Friday, March 29, 2013

SEO Services Help in Staying Ahead of Competition

How Can SEO Services Help in Staying Ahead of Competition

In present times it has become very important for any business company to hire SEO services in order to lead the market and gain success.

Today, with the increased popularity of internet it has become very important for every business company to create their website because it helps them to reach the mass in a very short period of time. In fact websites are considered to be the strongest marketing tool nowadays as they work 24 hours, 7days in a week and 365 days in a year. Now it is important to note that simply creating a website is not enough. It is necessary for the business companies to create an efficient website containing detailed information related to the products and services offered by them. In addition to these the websites should also contain complete information about prices, company’s vision, news, testimonies, etc. Besides, creating attractive, colorful, stylish and efficient websites business companies should also keep in mind that their website should have the following qualities:

v  It should be search engine friendly
v  It should be listed on the first page of popular search engines in order to get maximum visitors.
v  It should be optimized in a proper manner in order to convert visitors into customers.
v  It should have proper keyword optimization.

In the absence of the above mentioned qualities the websites of the business companies will not become strongest marketing tool and serve the purpose for which they have been created. Therefore, it becomes necessary for the business companies to hire SEO services so that their websites receive maximum hits as well as increase chances of leads.

If you are running a business in Florida and want to configure as well as optimize your website so that it gets a high ranking on popular search engines and receives maximum traffic then make sure you hire Florida SEO Services.

Benefits of Hiring SEO Services:
1)   The SEO service provider optimizes your website by making it user-friendly. They make sure that the information related to products and services, profiles, etc. provided in your website are straight forward and clear to allow the visitors to read them as well as download them easily. They try their level best to make your website search engine friendly so that the visitors remain engaged with your website for maximum time. This will increase the chances of the visitors to convert into probable customers.

2)   The SEO service provider optimizes keyword for your website in such a way that it gets high ranking on the search engines enabling the visitors to search your website easily. Remember the higher your website is ranked on the search engines the more popular it will get in the internet world.

3)   The SEO service providers not only optimize your website and keyword but also keep a record of the ranking of your website on the internet. They keep on optimizing your website and keyword regularly to make sure that your website remains top ranked on the search engines.

Hence, it can be said that with the help of good SEO services business companies can make their websites strongest marketing tool and stay ahead of competition.   

~Guest Blog from Pranabesh

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The SEO Guide To Getting Started With Google Webmaster Tools

Sorry - today I have no time to write. This was an extremely long, indepth article on Google's Web Master Tools worth checking out.


Google Webmaster Tools can be a powerful ally. But, if you make a mistake or put this power in the wrong hands, it can mean trouble for your search engine optimization. In this post, I provide a basic SEO Guide to Webmaster Tools to help get you started if you aren’t taking full advantage of WMT yet.
It is very important to point out that some of these things are more detrimental than others. Also, there could be multiple articles written about each of these tools and reports. This SEO guide to Webmaster Tools is a simple overview with a little insight.
SEO Guide to Webmaster Tools
SEO Guide to Webmaster Tools

Messages: Spam Warnings & Other Notifications

Priority: Medium / High
Many of us know that Google sends an email to Webmaster Tools if there is an issue with your site. If you don’t check Webmaster Tools messages frequently, you could miss an important piece of information.
An example of an important message would be an unnatural link notification. A message such as this could be indicator of a major issue, or it could result in almost nothing at all. It really all depends on how Google plans on dealing with your particular situation. Regardless, if you get any type of notification, it is important to figure out why.
Bad Link Warning
Bad Link Warning


Priority: High
In the settings tab, you can do three things: set geographic target, preferred domain and crawl rate.
Geographic Target
According to Google, “If your site has a neutral top-level domain, such as .com or .org, geotargeting helps Google determine how your site appears in search results, and improves our search results for geographic queries. If you don’t want your site associated with any location, select Unlisted.”
Make sure to set this up so that it targets your intended geographic market.

Preferred Domain

Google states, “If you specify your preferred domain as and we find a link to, we’ll consider both links the same.”
I always recommend setting a preferred domain based on the way you want your website indexed. To do this, you may need to verify ownership of both the www and non-www versions of your domain.

Search Engine Land is always a great source of information, sometimes you just have to dig through the redundant data to find the good stuff.

Find Free Themes For Your Website

Where Can You Find Free Themes For Your Professional Website?

If you are planning to launch your business website soon, one of the first things you need to decide upon is the ideal theme for it. Fortunately, there is no dearth of online resources, where you can get extensive ranges of free, attractive themes for your website. Wish to know where such themes are available? Read through this article, and find out:

Ø  Fresheezy – At this website, you will get a comprehensive collection of free themes for Wordpress sites. The stock of themes are updated on a daily basis too, giving you greater options – while on the hunt for the ideal theme for your website.
Ø  TopWPThemes – The number of SEO-friendly themes available at this resource is mighty impressive. All the themes at TopWPThemes boast of neat and professional designs – which would go well on your business website. While planning your website designs, you should definitely take a tour of TopWPThemes.
Ø  ThemeLab – If you are on the hunt for free themes with a touch of innovation in them, you will find the collections at this website much to your liking. Themes for both general, informative websites, as well as blog websites can be found over here. Click here to find out how you should select the right theme for your website.
Ø  Free Theme Layouts – As its name suggests, you will here get a clear visual depiction of the custom website design and layouts, that are included in each of the themes. All the themes listed on this website have user-friendly interfaces, and text content and images can be combined quite beautifully on them.
Ø  ArcSin Templates – Are you in favor of the Joomla CMS web design? If yes, this one might just be the best website theme resource for you! Apart from smart and creatively designed Joomla themes, you will also find plenty of Wordpress themes on ArcSin Templates as well.
Ø  SkinPress – If you are looking to launch a dedicated blog website, suitable free themes can be obtained from this resource. Like most of its other counterparts, SkinPress is search-oriented too – and this would help you in looking for any specific type of website theme. You can, of course, also take your pick from the featured themes, displayed on the home page.
Ø  Dcarter – This website offers superior downloading options, for all the themes listed on it. You can also edit the Dcarter themes and templates, to get the ideal custom web design. When it comes to open-source website theme resources, this one ranks right among the very best!
Ø – This is a virtual haven for anyone searching for the right theme for a Wordpress website. You can check out the themes that enjoy the maximum popularity, and select one from that list. Alternatively, you can also use the rankings, to be redirected to the collection of the specific types of themes that you are looking for.
Ø  Web2Feel – At Web2Feel, you will find new additions to its collection of free website themes everyday. The device-responsive themes are clearly mentioned as such, rendering the search process a whole lot easier. Customizable themes are also available on this website.
Ø  Just Free Templates – Apart from offering a holistic range of free themes, this website also also allows you to see the date on which each theme had been added. This, in turn, gives you a fair idea of the relevancy and popularity of the themes. You also have the option of 'viewing' the themes that catch your attention, before downloading the best one among them.

WooThemes, BlogOhBlog and also enjoy widespread popularity as great resources for free professional website themes. You can research on the web, to find out about more such places where you can get the most suitable theme for your website. To attract visitors, the visual appeal of your website has to be of the highest order – and each of the themes from the above places easily satisfy that condition. Why not take a

~ Guest Blog from Kenneth Parkar

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Official Google SEO Cheat Sheet

Listen people, I can't make this stuff up. If you don't believe me, I'll make sure to put the link at the end of the article to the Google Webmaster Blog Article.

Google released this SEO, search engine optimization, cheat sheet back on March 14th so I am sorry it's coming late. I hadn't looked over there this month and fortunately for me, I did. It is EXTREMELY BASIC and has very little information that an SEO novice can benefit from. It can however be used as a tool to inform bosses, managers, and your cloistered peers revealing some basic insight into search engine optimization.

If you can't view images from your mobile device or your browser here is a quick recap of the search engine optimization cheat sheet.

Look Good in Search Results (textual SEO)

  1. Your page title is used as a suggestion for the title in Google’s search results. Describe your business in a concise, informative phrase.
  2. Domain names are an important part of Google’s search results. Choose a descriptive and easy-to- read domain name for your website. Sub-pages should also be easy to read. For example, use instead of
  3. Meta descriptions are page summaries often used by Google and other search engines on the search results page. Write unique descriptions for each page in 160 characters or less.

Help Google Understand Images (image SEO)

  1. Give your images short, descriptive file names.
  2. The “alt” attribute describes the image. This helps Google understand what’s in the image.
  3. Write a short caption on the page below each image. Put important information in text rather than images.

Keep your content updated and fresh (textual and image SEO)

Your website is like a virtual storefront. You wouldn’t leave a store unattended for 6 months, right? Keep your site fresh by starting a blog, announcing new products, sales, and special offers. Remember to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and make sure you provide them with the information they need.

So there you have it - loads of SEO information to keep you satisfied and possibly help you explain some basics to higher ups or even noobs. :) We were all noobs at one point and it is a large. ever changing, learning curve. Good luck and keep optimizing!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SEO Challenges: New Site Launch Or Major Updates

SEO Challenges: New Site Launch Or Major Updates

    1. Too many decision makers. This is one of the more basic headaches. Product marketing, engineering, PR and the executive branch can all weigh-in in ways that can have you ripping your hair out. This is definitely one of the most prominent problems in any corporation or vertically structured company. Even where I work now with it's horizontally based structure, there is still a whole system of checks and balances (not nearly as lengthy as some places) but it is to ensure quality and consistency with the brand. Good products get turned out, it just takes longer because of the channels. Give and take on new web development and especially content development.
    2. Many development priorities. This is often the most frustrating challenge, because it is the hardest one to combat. Other priorities may well be more important in the short term than what you are pushing for. Or, worse, it just makes it harder for you to get key players to buy into your idealistic view of the best way to build the new website.  I have definitely run into this problem as well. I have a large todo list where several things have been on it for more than a month's time because whether I want to finish it or not, daily tasks pop up taking a significant amount of time away from what could be a good product. After a month's time, often enough the priority gets shifted or the project gets altered which means re-working what has been partially or nearly fully completed to take into account these changes. Agile development becomes very tough in this setting.
    3. Ignorance of SEO. You still run into those that think that SEO is unimportant. Yes, they are still out there. I dug into this a bit in my article, Why Do Brands Overlook the SEO Opportunity for Non-Branded Keywords? It can be a daily struggle - where I previously worked we wanted to be #1 for "bowling balls" globally without investing any time in SEO. This was clearly an easy task let alone no time allocated to it because "it's not in the budget" so I should work on this during my lunch or after work.
    4. Misinformation About SEO. This one is worse. The exec who thinks they know something, but the information is wrong, just might drive you mad. Just last week at SMX West, I was talking to one exec that told me they had just finished updating the meta keywords on 1800 to their pages. To them, this was SEO. The lost time is certainly one bad part of this, but worse still, to this exec, the SEO for the site was done. (I took it upon myself to set them straight.) Thank God you did because I can't stand how often this happens still in the work force. It's abhorrently clear that people don't listen as much as they talk. Face Palm.
    5. Misconceptions. The belief that SEO is Hopeless. I haven't run into this anywhere yet, but the definitely think that Adwords PPC / SEO is in the same boat and the changes should happen equally as fast.
Great way to start the day - reading a great post on SEO Review from Search Engine Land. They have a lot of high quality guest bloggers and I liked this one in particular this morning.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Why Americans are Losing the Internet Speed Race

If you live in America, you probably never knew how we compare with other countries in terms of internet speed. Me personally, I thought we had to be atleast in the top 3 in all internet categories. Well in this infographic done by Zing Broadband, which takes a look at average connection speeds and web traffic by country, reveals America isn't as strong as I thought. According to average internet speeds, America is 12th among all countries. Our average connection speed is 6.7 Mbps, which is less than half of the number one country, South Korea with 15.7 Mbps.

Another interesting aspect of this infographic is just who controls the internet in America. Essentially there are 3 companies that control almost 50% of the market share for broadband internet speeds. These 3 companies are charging the 70% of Americans who have high speed internet at their home an average price of $46 per month. Compared to South Korea who gets more than double the speeds at $8 cheaper per month, not to mention that 94% of their population has high speed internet. The average household is using 52 GB of data per month and that number is supposed to multiply by 4 in 2016. Hopefully something is done about the internet providers in this county and hopefully its done faster than our current speeds.

A Thank You goes to Frank for this Guest Blog and infographic on "Why Americans are Losing the Internet Speed Race".

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What is a Brand by The American Marketing Association

“A brand is a customer experience represented by a collection of images and ideas;; often, it refers to a symbol such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both directly relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary.” ~ What is a Brand by The American Marketing Association

Friday, March 22, 2013

dotCMS, iPad Scaling, and Me

What an Exhausting Week.

The main focus was dotCMS this week. I was integrating my HTML/CSS/JS into dotCMS...

I hate how when I start doing a great piece and I run into one thing that then drives me nuts...solution? Don't do great pieces? Nah - it's the only way to stay current and motivated. So this menu gap scales with my resolutions - not what I want for the navigation. I didn't realize how complex the design was since it seems to emphasize minimalism. Epic fail. 

I've been doing a lot of tweaking and I've realized that a fixed layout is going to function much better for our needs - unfortunately. Fluid / Responsive design has been archived. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Where Google Gets Their Data on You

If your one of the millions who use gmail, google or YouTube, you're searching and sharing information across the internet. One of the great things about google is you can search, share and save all of your information in one place without having to register or create usernames on other sites. Your friends can see exactly what you're doing on google plus and you can save your documents on google drive. What you may think is a very secure and trusted source, actually isn't as secure as you may think. In this infographic by Dell Gines, you can take a look at exactly what google is sharing.

Where Google Gets Their Data on You

Google's street view camera's, which are collected by cars with cameras to give you map and street views of neighborhoods and cities, collected about 600 gigabytes of data from homes. This data was stolen from private Wi-Fi networks but no disclosure or privacy policy was given, notifying users that this would be taking place. Not only is google taking your information without asking, but so is the U.S. government. Since January 2011, the government requested data 39,581 times. The 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act allows the government and law enforcement to obtain data without warrant if it is at least 6 months old. There are only more changes to come, allowing for more of your information to be shared. Be careful with the information you share across the internet.

A Thank You goes to Frank for this Guest Blog and infographic on "Where Google Gets Their Data on You".

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manage Multiple Social Media Campaigns

Quick and Easy Ways to Manage Multiple Social Media Campaigns
Social media campaigns tend to grow over time. You start with a presence on Facebook. Then you realize you need a Twitter account. Then along comes Pinterest, and suddenly you’re devising pinboards and optimizing website images for repinning. Oh, and there’s also Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and whatever new social media sprang into existence as I typed this sentence.

Keeping your various social media profile voices consistent and inter-related can easily become a time-sink. Fortunately, a host of services are available to help you keep your campaign on track. Some of these services are free, while others charge small monthly subscriptions. All are excellent time-savers.

Scheduling Posts
Let’s say you spent the day devising tweets for a pool fence company. You’ve got thirty witty, retweetable posts (is “retweetable” a word? Because it totally should be). Now, you could post all these tweets manually, over the course of the next two weeks, but why waste time better spent on furthering your social media campaign?

Enter the auto responders. You need tools, tools I say! Services such as FutureTweet, HootSuite, Pluggio and SocialOomph allow you to schedule when your Twitter feed updates. Of the auto responders, HootSuite is probably the most versatile, allowing you to access Facebook as well as Twitter from its dashboard.

While we’re focused on Twitter, here are a couple of other helpful tools. TweetDeck allows you to monitor multiple Twitter accounts from a single dashboard. And the ever-useful Bitly automatically shortens URLs for use in Tweets.

One-Click Postings
Often a social media campaign needs to send an identical message to all its social media profiles. Again, manually submitting each post is a time-consuming pain.

Instead, use services such as OnlyWire and Seesmic Ping. Both services allow users to post identical messages to multiple platforms with a single mouse click.

Email Assistance
Somewhere in between writing posts, responding to followers, and running analytics, you probably need to check your email. Digsby, Netvibes and similar services offer a one-stop dashboard for social networking, instant messages and email.

Taking a slightly different approach, NutshellMail records screenshots of your social media sites as they update, periodically emailing updates to you. The emails allow you to quickly scan over multiple sites for an overall view of user activity. You schedule when the service sends updates.

Tracking Your Progress
Running analytics and monitoring social media activity play important roles in your campaign. Simplify your life with services like SocialReport, SproutSocial and TwentyFeet. These services allow you to calculate social media return on investment and compare the performance of different platforms.

Even with accurate analytics, determining your overall online presence can be difficult. Get some help with apps designed to rank your levels of activity and online engagement. Empire Avenue, Klout and PeerIndex all provide valuable insights in your online standing, who you influence, and who influences you.

Adrienne Erin is a social media marketer who loves to share the tips she’s picked up over years spent growing with the industry.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Search Bar Icons and How To Display Properly

So I'm sitting here at Rolled Alloys in my cube thinking - which can become cumbersome for the mind when you stare at walls all within reach - but regardless, I start to implement my search bar icon. I want it to look like...

As I start my coding process from where I left off, I realize I don't have a lot of work ahead of me. I really just need to implement the "Go" button because we are dropping the "All" feature now that we are using Google Custom Search Engine, which I have fallen in love with.

Back to my original purpose of posting this...

I was looking at possible ideas of implementing it - I know it is common practice to use <span> tags for my easily accomplished goal, BUT, and it's a big BUT, what about the possibility of using something else - STOP ANDY - don't innovate - it's not acceptable. So I look at what two of the most visited sites daily are using: Facebook and Twitter. They are full of icons and use .... <i> - an i tag? What? as in italics? To convey a different voice or an alternate way of saying something. This is odd. I mean sure, I get that HTML5 added features but did it add this? NOPE.

Facebook and Twitter save data for every time they use <i> rather than <span> - I can agree that <i> makes more sense semantically since <span> literally means anything and everything could be inside of this - there is no defining factor. So by them saving data every time, they in turn save loads of bandwidth - pretty cool. Okay so if the big dogs use it, maybe I should look at it. Hey, even bootstrap uses <i> over <span>. I love that framework.

Why not use <img /> ? We want to utilize background images as much as possible for performance enhancements. 

I found an excellent article on Stack Overflow that reinforces my thinking. Major props for Holly on this.

I'm jumping in here a little late, but came across this page when pondering it myself. Of course I don't know how Facebook or Twitter justified it, but here is my own thought process for what it's worth.
In the end, I concluded that this practice is not that unsemantic (is that a word?). In fact, besides shortness and the nice association of "i is for icon," I think it's actually the most semantic choice for an icon when a straightforward <img> tag is not practical.
1. The usage is consistent with the spec.
While it may not be what the W3 mainly had in mind, it seems to me the official spec for <i> could accommodate an icon pretty easily. After all, the reply-arrow symbol is saying "reply" in another way. It expresses a technical term that may be unfamiliar to the reader and would be typically italicized. ("Here at Twitter, this is what we call a reply arrow.") And it is a term from another language: a symbolic language.
If, instead of the arrow symbol, Twitter used <i>shout out</i> or <i>[Japanese character for reply]</i> (on an English page), that would be consistent with the spec. Then why not <i>[reply arrow]</i>? (I'm talking strictly HTML semantics here, not accessibility, which I'll get to.)
As far as I can see, the only part of the spec explicitly violated by icon usage is the "span of text" phrase (when the tag doesn't contain text also). It is clear that the <i> tag is mainly meant for text, but that's a pretty small detail compared with the overall intent of the tag. The important question for this tag is not what format of content it contains, but what the meaning of that content is.
This is especially true when you consider that the line between "text" and "icon" can be almost nonexistent on websites. Text may look like more like an icon (as in the Japanese example) or an icon may look like text (as in a jpg button that says "Submit" or a cat photo with an overlaid caption) or text may be replaced or enhanced with an image via CSS. Text, image - who cares? It's all content. As long as everyone - humans with impairments, browsers with impairments, search engine spiders, and other machines of various kinds can understand that meaning, we've done our job.
So the fact that the writers of the spec didn't think (or choose) to clarify this shouldn't tie our hands from doing what makes sense and is consistent with the spirit of the tag. The <a> tag was originally intended to take the user somewhere else, but now it might pop up a lightbox. Big whoop, right? If someone had figured out how to pop up a lightbox on click before the spec caught up, they still should have used the<a> tag, not a <span>, even if it wasn't entirely consistent with the current definition - because it came the closest and was still consistent with the spirit of the tag ("something will happen when you click here"). Same deal with <i> - whatever type of thing you put inside it, or however creatively you use it, it expresses the general idea of an alternate or set-apart term.
2. The <i> tag adds semantic meaning to an icon element.
The alternative option to carry an icon class by itself is <span>, which of course has no semantic meaning whatsoever. When a machine asks the <span> what it contains, it says, "I dunno. Could be anything." But the <i> tag says, "I contain a different way of saying something than the usual way, or maybe an unfamiliar term." That's not the same as "I contain an icon," but it's a lot closer to it than<span> got!
3. Eventually, common usage makes right.
In addition to the above, it's worth considering that machine readers (whether search engine, screen reader, or whatever) may at any time begin to take into account that Facebook, Twitter, and other websites use the <i> tag for icons. They don't care about the spec as much as they care about extracting meaning from code by whatever means necessary. So they might use this knowledge of common usage to simply record that "there may be an icon here" or do something more advanced like triggering a look into the CSS for a hint to meaning, or who knows what. So if you choose to use the<i> for icons on your website, you may be providing more meaning than the spec does.
Moreover, if this usage becomes widespread, it will likely be included in the spec in the future. Then you'll be going through your code, replacing <span>s with <i>'s! So it may make sense to get on board with what seems to be the direction of the spec, especially when it doesn't clearly conflict with the current spec. Common usage tends to dictate language rules more than the other way around. If you're old enough, do you remember that "Web site" was the official spelling when the word was new? Dictionaries insisted there must be a space and Web must be capitalized. There were semantic reasons for that. But common usage said, "Whatever, that's stupid. I'm using 'website' because it's more concise and looks better." And before long, dictionaries officially acknowledged that spelling as correct.
4. So I'm going ahead and using it.
So, <i> provides more meaning to machines because of the spec, it provides more meaning to humans because we easily associate "i" with "icon", and it's only one letter long. Win! And if you make sure to include equivalent text either inside the <i> tag or right next to it (as Twitter does), then screen readers understand where to click to reply, the link is usable if CSS doesn't load, and human readers with good eyesight and a decent browser see a pretty icon. With all this in mind, I don't see the downside.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Is Social Media Marketing Dead?

By Steve Mehr, CEO of WebShark360

Over the past few years, social media has held a special reign over internet marketing.  When social media became wildly popular a decade ago, there were multiple giants jockeying for space in a rather small circle.  Today, you can count over 100 social media networks.  Recently, a tech writer for Forbes magazine declared that Facebook was dead.  This sent shockwaves throughout the marketing community because Facebook is considered the top of the heap, the titan in any social media circle. If Facebook was dead, what promise did that hold for the rest of social media sites?  Have social media networks already jumped the shark?

The Case for Social Media Marketing
As is usual, technology forward people tend to get bored easily and look for the next big thing.  In the Forbes article, the data provided showed Facebook was beginning to lose teenagers, an early predictor that they may be losing their cool factor.  But this doesn’t mean that social media marketing in general is dead.  Anyone remember when Myspace was top of the social media network heap?  When Myspace faded away, it didn’t mean an end to social media nor did it mean an end to social media marketing.  Instead, I argue that social media usage has grown larger and that today’s social media marketing is no longer focused on one network, but is beginning to diversify and branch out further.

A decade ago, Facebook jumped up to wrestle control of the social media marketplace.  Their popularity was fueled by forward thinking ideas and an appealing interface that left the glitter and bouncing graphics to the kids playing on Myspace.  Facebook looked for bigger opportunities.  They wanted to attract the attention of adults, professionals, and networks of people abroad instead of focusing on the American college kids and teens that seemed to fuel Myspace’s early popularity.  Today, Facebook still enjoys significant market share, attracting 67% of American internet users. But new networks have begun to grow in popularity as well, diversifying the social media landscape.

According to Pew Research’s data from the Internet and American Life project, we see the following social media networks attract the following percentages of users:

  •         Facebook            67%
  •         LinkedIn               20%
  •         Twitter                 16%
  •         Pinterest             15%
  •         Instagram            13%
  •        Tumblr                  06%

Their data sets show clearly that women are a growing segment of social media usage. 71% of women compared to 62% of men are active in social media.  And women are expanding their presence in sites like Pinterest.  Pinterest has become a wildly popular social media platform and has begun to attract corporate heavyweights to the network. It’s viability as a marketing platform is beginning to show as users love sharing glossy pictures of items they love, they want to purchase, and that they covet. If social media were truly dead, then social media networks wouldn’t be growing.

Leverage Your Social Media Presence
As a marketer, the key to successful marketing is to be present in the places your consumers hang out.  And consumers are still in love with social media.  Once you determine where your audience congregates, then the challenge becomes to create content that will attract their attention and gain their business.  Currently, data suggests that consumers are showing preferences for increasingly visual content.  If your company is looking to attract the attention of consumers, it should be creating visual marketing content to share on these social media networks. 

Perhaps what teenagers have been recoiling from is an increasingly ad heavy social media network, which is less friendly to their visual sharing and aggregating needs. The need to monetize Facebook seemed to outweigh users’ actual engagement with the network itself.  Advertisers demand top placement to justify their continued paid presence on the network and unfortunately, users do not appreciate interruptive marketing.  If this is the case, social media marketers should take note not to turn off consumers with an overtly ad heavy presence.  The key is to leverage your company’s social media presence without venturing into the spammy advertiser territory.  As consumers expand their social media circles, your company should also expand its presence to include multiple networks, exposing your brand to multiple consumer profiles. That way when the next social media doomsday prediction is made, your company can rest easy that one network won’t take down its entire social media marketing strategy.

About the Author:
Steve Mehr is CEO of WebShark360, a top internet marketing and attorney marketing firm.  Based out of Orange County, California, WebShark360 works with clients large and small.  The preferred vendor of such titans as Jacoby & Meyers, WebShark360 offers clients comprehensive digital marketing tools including website design, content marketing, social media, public relations, and SEO. For more information, please visit or call (800) 939-4850

Friday, March 15, 2013

dotCMS Struggle

We've had a helluva struggle these past two weeks with dotCMS. For anyone that doesn't know what dotCMS is here is a nice little quote from there site.
dotCMS is an enterprise-level open source Java Web Content Management System (CMS). dotCMS delivers custom managed content to internet, intranet, mobile and other digital channels.
What they really mean is that dotCMS is still buggy. They have excellent support, but damn do we get attacked by a lot of random weird things occurring. I don't feel confident in their product and I really don't understand the file structure, deployment, or db schema. I'm not really a noob to CMSs - I've been working with Mambo, Joomla, WordPress, and custom ASP engines for over 6 years. It boggles my mind sometimes at the things dotCMS does - of course this could be my prejudice against Java. Don't even get me started.

  • Incorrect Languages displaying on sites.
For instance, we had French Sidebars, English Headers, and Czech Body Containers all on the same page - talk about a headache.
  • Host Changing its aliases
After 1 restart of tomcat, we had our Canadian site just drop its host header. We had to stop the host from running, and restart it which seemed to have fix our error.
  • All forms Broken
This one was a PITA and by PITA I mean instant headache and massive feeling of impending doom. For whatever reason dotCMS now has 2 files called dotcms-marketing-properties or something to the like. Correction - - that's where the massive headache started. For whatever reason captcha had been set to false one one file in the dotserver / dotcms / and then there is another in the web / inf / classes - was the bane of me Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. 
  • blog writing - what's that? Oh occasionally I do content development to help keep the SEO effort strong - forums, blogs, guest blogging, etc. Anything to keep the pages relevant so my head doesn't see the axe bearing down on me. I like my head attached for now
  • homepage development finish - done -minus responsive / fluid features
  • sub page design / development - not even started
  • test bts my account in ie
  • jquery map in ie8 - might be fixed
  • ICP License with China Hosting
  • China Hosting would be nice to have as well - suggestions welcome. I tried Blue Host, Host Gator (yuck), CD Networks, Rackspace, Sinohosting (still waiting for an answer), and of course GoDaddy (blahhhhh). No one seems to have a solution.
All on top of finding out - April is the due date for the new site. So I've started assembling it in dotCMS now from my HTML - I have to fix the images still and nothing is powered by velocity yet so here's to not killing all my time in the next few weeks.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pi Day! Irrational Numbers Lesson

As expected Twitter and social media in general is blowing up with irrational jokes on Pi Day, but what does that exactly mean? Well if you haven't taken math in a while you might forget exactly what an irrational number is:
An Irrational Number is a real number that cannot be written as a simple fraction.

Therefore on this wonderful day of Pi try not to be too irrational - the day is already begging for it.
3.14 (2013)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What to Watch If I Use Facebook to Promote My Business

With hundreds of millions of active users, Facebook has become one of the most powerful marketing and business tools in the world. Unfortunately, even with the amazing potential of this social networking website, many businesses are still falling by the wayside when it comes to maximizing their use of this platform. This is why it is important for business owners to understand a few important features when it comes to Facebook, their company, and their future.

Treating Business Pages like Personal Pages
 One of the biggest mistakes that many business owners make is treating their company's Facebook page like a personal page. While there are always going to be similarities, there are a few differences that everyone should remain aware of. The first step is to educate oneself on how marketing and advertisement work within social networking. This website is not just for posting interesting facts about the business, it is about building personal connections with customers and then watching the relationship grow.

Stop Selling and Start Campaigning
 When analysts are asked about the number one downfall of business pages on Facebook, most will state that it is when companies treat their webpage like a storefront. Instead of attempting to sell products through Facebook, business owners should treat it as an advertisement and connection tool. Facebook users are typically not surfing through Facebook to purchase an item, they are there to be entertained and engaged. Companies that have the ability to keep their customers and fans coming back time and time again are going to enjoy increased profits and much more loyalty in their customer-base.

Facebook is Hands-off, Automate It
 Facebook can be an exceptional tool due to the fact that almost all features can be automated to some extent. For the most proactive businesses owners or advertisers, this may lead to some mixed feelings. There is a time and a place to take the time to manually do everything, but Facebook does not typically need to be one of those instances. Page owners should look to private, third-party companies that provide real time releases, status updates, and the ability to create events. These inexpensive tools can often save huge amounts of time while making the Facebook page more enticing to users. When the connections have been created, owners can then devote their time and energy into keeping these customers happy.

Play By Facebook's Rules
 It may seem like an obvious suggestion to remain within the terms of use, but all of these rules are not as apparent as one may think. Facebook does a very good job at updating their rules to keep up with changing circumstances and technology. This is why those that operate a Facebook page should schedule a time to thoroughly review any changes to the ToS as frequently as possible, preferably once a month. If this important step is missed, company owners may quickly find themselves and their business permanently banned from Facebook and out of an amazing marketing and advertisement tool.

Link Users to Where They Want to Go
 Another powerful feature of Facebook is the ability to create customized marketing campaigns for users based off of their likes, dislikes, sex, age, and location. One common mistake, however, is using these advertisements to link to a company's main website. Not only does this discourage any potential customers, Facebook typically dislikes company's rerouting their visitors to outside websites. Try linking advertisements to the Facebook page instead. For those with a compelling page and enthusiastic fans, this can often lead to a quick and efficient sale.

Jeff has been blogging since 2007 & contributing on many websites since that time. He is also a consultant and content contributor for homes Queens community.