Monday, September 19, 2011

2 Google Analytics Codes On One Page

This is a short heads up that if you plan on putting 2 google analytics codes on one page, you will most certainly affect the search engine ranking of your site.

In the course of optimizing a client's site, I was perplexed to see link referrals in his Google Analytics from the most obscure of places. In fact it just didn't make any sense. The site I was working on had no relationship whatsoever to the sites that were linking to his site.

After some head scratching, I inquired if this person owned other web properties. Lo and behold, the referral links were from another site owned by my client.

I quickly checked the source code to see if there was more than the one Analytics code there. Bingo! 2 Google analytics codes on one page were placed throughout the site on every page.
It seems that in the course of building his non-ranking site, he had used a template of another site and had forgotten to remove the original Analytics code from the template.

I quickly removed every duplicate Analytics code and was amazed how quickly the site's position had changed in the search results. In fact, within two days, it was in the number one position for it's main keyword phrase.

It seems Google can be very heavy handed and yet forgiving at the same time. One can only wonder how many sites may be suffering, when a genuinely unintentional error is made during the construction of a website.

More telling is, that if you plan to sign up to Google's Analytics program, make sure you've read and abide by every one of Big Brother's guidelines. It seems Google hasn't figured out or isn't willing to advise its Analytics participants with an immediate popup message reading "BEWARE - really stupid errors on your site."


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Do I Really Need 2 Websites?

Well - well. As if managing one website wasn't enough, now cellphones have created such user urgency, that internet information MUST be available 24-7.

Today, (according to Wikipedia) there are more mobile web users than PC based internet users.

Does this mean you should rush to redo your website to be visible on cellphones and PDAs?

The simple answer is Yes and No.

Here are the problems:
-Small screen size - difficult viewing graphics
-Lack of windows - only one page can be displayed at a time
- Navigation - limited navigation.
- Lack of Javascript and cookies - not suitable for identifying visitors and stat analysis
- Limited access - Secured connections, Flash, PDFs, or video sites, not accessible.
- Speed - Service is very slow
- Broken pages - On many devices, a single page is broken into segments and treated as a separate page.
- Compressed pages - Many pages, in their conversion to mobile format, are squeezed into an different order.
- Size of messages - Limits on the number of characters that can be sent in an email message.
- Cost - User access and bandwidth charges are higher than fixed-line internet.

These problems alone suggest that waiting to create a .MOBI account (also known as dotMobi - a top-level domain), are in order.
However, be aware that technology is moving so quickly, that many of these issues will be solved by the time you finish reading this. :)

I strongly urge that website owners at the very least, register their respective business names before someone else does. I recommend Moniker (great pricing!).
This way, you'll be ready to reach the mobile masses when the time is right.

For many, the time is right - right now! If your business falls into the category of entertainment - don't wait! Restaurants, Movie Theatres, Sporting Events...you get the idea. What mobile users are looking for IMMEDIATELY, are telephone numbers, best prices, menus, weather info etc. usually to make on location decisions: Where do we eat?
What's playing?
Who's got the best price?
Let's book tickets!

For those making the move to create a .MOBI website, remember that nowhere else is the KISS principle so important (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Short and to the point is the order of the day.

Do It Yourself ADVERTISING?

With troubled economies come troubling decisions that can either keep a company afloat or sink it. Take the idea of DIY (do it yourself) advertising.

One of the first areas affected by cutbacks is media spending and production services. When advertising budgets are slashed, businesses may often look internally to manage their company's advertising.

What may seem like a sound move, is often driven by a false sense of creative smarts and strategic thinking. Blame technology. It has leveled the playing field so well, that many a business owner may rely on family and staff familiar with photoshop or shooting home videos, writing blogs or strumming a guitar, building a personal website and so on, to manage their company's advertising campaigns.

This is somewhat like an intern doing surgery. Yes, there may be some very talented interns who could pull off an operation, but is it wise to bet your limited Advertising dollars on someone with little or no experience?

I don't think so. Practically speaking, can a company be objective enough or knowlegable enough to create, produce and execute a advertising campaign? Not likely.

Then again, if their staff was well versed in creative thinking, graphic design, print production, audio production, media analysis and buying, TV production, targeting, web design, PPC advertising, social networks, public relations, researching, trends and so on - they might be successful.

So, what can you do during troubled economic times to promote your product or service?

My advice is to work even closer with your Ad agency to find ways of maximizing media budgets and trimming production costs. Make sure your Ad Agency is negotiating vigorously on your behalf to get more for your dollar. Get your web site optimized so that you can develop a steady stream of free traffic and work out contra-exchange (barter) deals with media whenever possible.

As a side note, it is well established that during economic downturns, companies who do not maintain a presence in the marketplace will, in the long run, lose out to those that do.

The Cost Of Building A Web Site Backwards

Time and again I come across websites that were built backwards. "How is that possible" you say? Let me explain.

The typical backward web site contains elements such as :

- Company ABC designs a site with keywords they "think" are ideal. (if they design it with keywords in mind at all, is another question).

- They put their company name as the TITLE TAG. ie:

< title >Company ABC< /title> and nothing else.

- They use improper anchor text: Anchor text is the word used to hyperlink to another page. For example: pass your cursor over this hyperlink - search engine optimization - and at the very bottom of the page in the status bar, you will note the complete address as it should be to earn higher Google rankings.

- They keep the same meta tag information for every page etc. etc.

- They design a completely flash-driven site.

These are just a few of the backward approaches that a well-meaning but inexperienced web site designer may use to construct your website. WHY is it backwards? Because the very first thing you should consider before designing a site is, how people will find it!

If you plan on forever paying big money for online advertising to get traffic, then a backward site is fine. But if you want a steady stream of free traffic and the status of being on the first page of Google, Yahoo and other relevant search engines, you must design your site to be found by the search engines as well as people.

This requires an area of expertise that most web designers do not have. This is evidenced, for example, by the many thousands of websites that are built using flash (and take forever to load - ugh!), and only currently, better indexed by the search engines.

What this all means, is that you must follow some very rudimentary steps before initiating the design of your site.

You must determine:
-Using the correct domain name
-Using the exact keywords people use to find your product or service
-Writing sufficient ORIGINAL content
-Setting up the proper internal linking structure
and more...

To get a better handle on how site optimization can help you, check out this information on
search engine optimization .


Free Internet Traffic

I am totally perplexed by the majority of retailers who think that simply putting up a website will lead to sales.

Hasn't anybody told them that their site is INVISIBLE unless they are ranked by the search engines?

Don't they know that unless they are on the first 2 or 3 pages when someone does a search - That their site is basically useless?

Haven't they figured out that their competition is moving forward not simply because of a better product - but because they have a better position in the marketplace? Remember the old phrase - "location - location - location."

Are they not aware that today's "Marketplace" also includes the INTERNET?

I could go on and on about how many retail businesses could dominate the internet for their respective keyword phrases simply by doing some SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION.

How do I know this? Simple. After researching thousands of local sites I have discovered that many of them are on the first page of Google by default!!


What this means, is that those "on the first page of Google" web sites are only slightly better optimized than their competition. And I do mean SLIGHTLY.

Maybe the answer lies in the fact that the term "search engine optimization" is foreign to most people, meaning they are not aware that a process exists whereby you can legally and logically manipulate the design and content of your site in order to gain a higher placement in the search engine results pages!

Heck...this process is even blessed and recommended by Google. In fact, it is said that there is not enough local content on the internet. This means that local businesses are designing sites that either are not being found by Google spiders, or do not contain enough relevant content to make their site worthy of showing up in search results.
You may have noticed that local Google Maps is now featuring 10 results instead of 3? If you're not seeing 10, it's because there is not enough content!

So for those of you who want to dominate the local search results pages and have a steady stream of anxious shoppers visiting your online business daily, 24-7, GET YOUR SITE OPTIMIZED! Believe me, your No. 1 position is ripe for the picking.

For those of you with tight Ad budgets, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I said FREE INTERNET TRAFFIC! Move some of today's less effective Print Ad budgets, optimize, and drive traffic from your website to your brick and mortar business - or finally get some online business from your online order system!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

DO YOU REALLY NEED TO BE ON THE INTERNET?

The answer is simple. YES.

Why?

Because more people than ever, are researching, comparison shopping and making purchases online.

But being on the internet, isn't enough.
PEOPLE MUST BE ABLE TO FIND YOU.

Yes...doing a search for your business name may yield results, but what about the thousands of potential buyers who don't know your name?

If they are looking for Blue Widgets - will you be the top choice?

Most likely, not.

If you are one of the millions of website owners NOT on the first few pages of the internet search engines, your website is basically a sometime viewing event for family and friends.

What's missing from your beautifully designed website, is optimization. Yes, you've spent thousands of dollars building a web site that is invisible and basically, a waste of money. Not only a waste of money already spent, but a loss of future income and internet marketshare.

Not that it will make you feel better, but you are not alone. Of the millions of websites online, most cannot be found because they have not been designed to be found.

And creative graphic design is not enough to win you a first place seat in the Google search results pages. In fact, it can hurt your position because the Google search spiders who look for websites are not fully capable of reading the many flash-driven sites that are impressive, but useless.

Websites absolutely need to be optimized, but sadly, most web site designers are not trained to do it properly. You need a search engine optimization specialist.

If you're interested in having your web site place high in the search engine results pages (SERPs), you clearly understand that search engine optimization is not a passing fad, but a key ingredient in determining your company's visibility and success in today's marketplace.

Businesses that have achieved top search engine ranking for their vital keywords, are feasting happily on a much larger share of the internet traffic and money pie.

IT'S TIME TO FACE AND EMBRACE THE NEW REALITY.

THE INTERNET MUST BE PART OF EVERYONE'S BUSINESS MARKETING PLAN.

Just imagine having HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS of visitors to your web site EVERYDAY that you didn't have to pay for... Read more...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Is Your Website Useless?


Further to the story in the Gazette, it is estimated that by 2011 Internet advertising will become the largest ad medium, at nearly $63 BILLION. Yes, Billion! Compare that to just $16.9 billion for the full year of 2006 or $7.134 billion in 2001. (Industry Survey Conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Sponsored by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB))

This is "a watershed moment" in the media business. Newspapers as well as electronic media are scrambling to incorporate and monetize their online presence. The marketing landscape is in upheaval and quickly changing.


What does this mean for the advertiser using traditional media? Simply put, if the Internet is not part of your advertising arsenal, you are losing business to those who are aggressively using online marketing to promote their goods and services.

I say "aggressively" because if you believe as many website owners do, that "if you build it they will come," you are quite mistaken. Check these numbers. Here's what the Internet universe looks like:

As of 2006 figures, there are approximately 100 MILLION WEBSITES serving up somewhere between 15 and 30 BILLION web pages and it is estimated that over 30,000 web pages go up every single day.

So where is your website ranked within its niche and is it useful to your visitors?

Well here's the sad truth. Unless you are ranked on the first or at least the second page of any given search engine, your website is virtually invisible.
Yes, you may have spent thousands of dollars on your not-so-search engine-friendly flash driven website - but nobody knows you exist.

For a primer on how to tell the level of your online competition and where you rank on the Internet (Google as example) - click on this image.









You will see that the global search term “women’s fashion” has 15,300,000 web pages that are vying for top ranking position on that keyword search.



A little closer to home, if you click on this image, you will see that a local search query for the keyword phrase “montreal advertising” lists 7,850,000 web pages hoping to place on the first page of Google. Look further down and you will notice that our advertising agency,
Noasound, is actually the first listed agency on the page. The others are industry related.








How can you get noticed?


You now have two choices.


1. You can advertise your web site offline and online


and/or


2. You can have your site professionally optimized so that you rank on the first page of the search engines for the keyword search terms that are most related to your business.


I mention above, “and/or” as an option. This is to say that even if you rank on the first page of Google, you should still use offline media to direct people to your site.
I advise my clients who have first page ranking, to do exactly this. It gives them an opportunity to do what no other advertising medium does quite as well as the Internet. For example, when you direct a primed radio listener or newspaper reader to your site:

1. You welcome a receptive visitor and prospective client who will respond much better to the sales copy on your web pages.

2. You can show and sell using video clips as mini infomercials.

3. You can actually make a solid connection and build a long-term relationship with your visitor. Using powerful promotions to capture their email address you can build a list of eager buyers that you can sell to over and over again!


To find out more about harnessing the Internet, take a moment to give us a call at: 514 696-9443 or
write us.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Make Millions Working In Your Wife's Underwear

There's no end to, or lack of shame in the kind of persuasive headlines that online marketing pros will use to solicit your attention in the hope of making a sale.

Whether you can or cannot make an online living while working in your wife's underwear is not really what this article about. Though I will say that the marketing techniques you use, will play a large part in whether making money online is a possibility.

But if you were to write an article or Ad that was related to starting an online Internet business, this headline would work quite well. After all, you're reading this - aren't you?

You're reading because of one marketing technique that has been around since man was able to scratch words on a tablet.

Creating a powerful headline.

The headline is the default technique for attracting the eyes of prospective customers or the impulsive shopper.

Today, more than ever, the headline is king. As the information age continues to accelerate via the Internet, millions of search queries bring potential customers to massive listings of information and ads that correspond to keyword input.

The competition is fierce and it is the headline that determines the viewer’s next decisive click!

How can you channel the clicking frenzy in your favor? Several ways...

First, don't assume that humor is the key ingredient as was used in this article. As a matter of fact, it can backfire against you if your headline is not pertinent to the content.

When advertising online using PPC (pay per click) advertising such as Google Adwords, you are most often better to match the headline with the keyword search term that has been used. For example: Someone looking for "debt consolidation loans" will be drawn to an Ad headline with a similar or exact headline. Something like "Debt Consolidation Quote" would be an excellent choice. You can then mention, "Free quotes..." within the body text.

Using a humorous headline similar to the one for this article is something I would use in an email campaign, an ezine article, a blog post, a forum post or banner Ad on targeted sites.

The key is, to understand the subject matter, the advertising medium and your target market before you decide on a straight up approach or to add a "shock quotient" to make your reader do a double take.

In some cases, it might even be prudent to sensationalize if there are many competing advertisers. The tabloids do it all the time ie:
"HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR."

Still not sure which headline to use? In my next article I'll discuss a foolproof way to select the best headline to go with before you spend thousands on an advertising campaign.

Can't wait? Subscribe to my newsletter and get your marketing tips before they go online.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Emotional Font

Few people consider how something can be so subtle, yet, obvious and powerful at the same time.

Welcome to the emotional font. Misrepresented so often by people who have no clue how to harness the attention-grabbing strength fonts have.

Time and again I see advertising with no target market appeal. Like boorish ads with typical Helvetica Black fonts that try and reach out to the feminine heart, or pretty pink serif fonts trying to capture the oft-unfocused male eye.

These Ads rarely get a second glance and if they do, they typically reflect badly on the product. Result: no interest, no sale.

As any seasoned advertiser knows, everything revolves around the headline of your ad. It is here that your time-starved reader wants the gist of what you are hoping to convey. That means just a few seconds to make your pitch! To that end, you must use every trick in the book - eye-catching, thought-provoking words, images and emotion.

Sadly, it is the emotional part of an Ad where so many falter either through ineffective images or uninspiring fonts.

It doesn’t matter if you want to convey trust, class, cheapness, urgency, madness, coolness or funny. It all starts with your font.

The best example of font usage can be found all around you. Your neighborhood book store, on packaging, newspaper and magazine Ads, store signage etc.

Here is a quick look at fonts that clearly convey who they are trying to reach, what they are trying to say, when they should be used, where they belong and why they make you feel a certain way.



Yes, these fonts make you feel something. This is the emotional power that fonts have to attract or repel.

Feel childish with the Walt Disney font…adventurous with the adventure font…or spirited away to the land of Camelot with the Camelot font.

With the high cost of advertising, it is wise to inject as much appeal into your Ads as possible.

So. Do you choose a font to appeal to a specific market or to define the product?
Good question!

The short answer is: both.The long answer depends on what the product is and to whom you are selling to.

The key is to remember that you basically have masculine fonts, feminine fonts and “bi-fontual” fonts.

To get a better idea of the type of fonts available, simply do a search on “fonts” and see what’s available. You can even download free fonts for both PC and Mac from several sites online.