Archive for 'blog'

Smokin' Hot

As I waited to see the doctor I referenced in a previous post, I skimmed through the complimentary copy of Bicycling Magazine (which I have a personal subscription to) which was sitting in the lobby area. I had time to kill so I figured I’d browse through it to make the time go by a little quicker.

About halfway through the magazine there is an ad with a smokin’ hot blond depicted wearing Shimano clothing. Quick 4-1-1 for the uninitiated: Shimano is a popular component maker for bicycles, fishing equipment, etc. which is obviously trying to expand their presence into apparel and gear. Upon further reflection, I realized I hadn’t even noticed the brand until well after scrutinizing “Miss Thing.” It’s not like I have any “shot” with this girl, and I’m perfectly content with the girl I’m presently dating. It’s a total guy thing though—it’s who we are and how we’re wired. Our human nature, if you will.

Stop and think for a moment: what is Shimano really selling in this ad with the gorgeous blond? Clothing, right? Hell no—they are selling HER! They are selling the ideology that somehow buying their product gives you a shot with the model or someone much like her. It’s that subliminal message connecting some strangely placed dots within the male ego that has worked for years and will continue to do so because that’s how we’re wired. It may work on women, too, but I’m not as sure about that. Any women care to chime in to lend some “expertise?”

A majority of cyclists are men so this is likely an effective ad because guys will undoubtedly talk about the girl which will invite other guys to check out the ad. Shimano is a secondary component to the girl, but they know that. She definitely grabbed my attention so the ad worked (on me at least). All heterosexual guys will almost always notice gorgeous women (and make comments to their buddies) because we’re extremely visual. It doesn’t matter if they are single or married either—it’s the very basics of advertising to men, and it won’t go out of style. We warm blooded guys won’t let it. I’m not so sure “taken” (married or seriously involved) women would have the same reaction would they?

When Average isn't Good Enough

If you’ve visited this blog before, you probably saw my post on the seminar Seth Godin gave here last week in Louisville. If you haven’t, please check it out as it will make this post more sensible to you. In short, Seth made a statement that we’re mostly a society receiving “average goods for average people” and most things are “already good enough.”

After watching UofL’s basketball team play three games in three days this weekend, I realized I’m (thankfully) not part of the majority. Average doesn’t sit well with me in the least. I demand excellence from myself and the products I use or support. That may make me radically different, which I’m happy with, but why does the majority accept mediocrity? Where does fitting in with the average Jane or Joe really get you? Since I rarely half-ass anything, the mentality to accept mediocre status in anything irritates me. Either do something or don’t–there is no in between!

The basketball product I witnessed this weekend is very mediocre at best, and this will be the second year in a row that the product on the floor is not up to par for my tastes. Does that mean I’m no longer a fan? No, but it means that I probably won’t vote with my wallet next year and renew my season tickets. That’s the price of mediocre–you lose interest from people like me if you try to fool me more than once. I feel as if Rick Pitino is trying to fool me with this team by telling the media that this team will be very good by year’s end. Unless he has some sort of magic trick he’s going to implement in the next few days, it ain’t happening with this bunch.

UofL has now lost to Dayton (a mid-pack Atlantic 10 School), only beat Ohio by 3 (a mid-pack MAC school), and struggled with Division II Bellarmine yesterday. Yes, I said DIVISION II!!! I’m sorry, but the Big East Conference is anything but “mid-pack” or average so something has to give based on the results thus far. Yes, things can change with a few weeks of hard practices, but I fear that isn’t going to help because this team just doesn’t seem to get it. They allow lesser talented teams to hang around. They take highly contested and un-make-able shots and miss easy wide open shots very badly. Guys who shouldn’t be shooting from the perimeter (T-Will!) shoot far too many jumpers, and guys who should dominate inside (Juan Palacios–a.k.a. Pele-acios) are completely soft and get their stuff pitched by smaller opponents.

In the years Pitino has been coach here, his teams rarely stop dribble penetration on fast breaks especially in the middle of the lane, and they frequently run away from shooters. That’s a sure fire way to keep a lesser team in a game, and it’s no way to discourage easy shots. When he was at UK, he had a boat load of talent to mask his shortcomings as a coach, but he doesn’t have that talent here (yet) so his weaknesses as a coach are readily exposed. He’s simply not a good bench coach–all anyone would have to do is watch his teams following a timeout to see what kind of play they run. It’s, more often than not, a guy going one-on-one and taking a highly contested shot. That’s coaching 101–your team should get a great look following a timeout, and UofL rarely does. It was the same at UK, but the talent level was much higher so the players had greater ability to overcome the lack of a set play on their own. On the flip side, he is a great motivator so his teams will stick around in games they have no business sticking around in so it gives off the impression to the “average fan” that his coaching abilities are responsible for that.

I’m here to tell you, Denny Crum would run circles around Pitino when it comes to play calling. Denny just couldn’t recruit the modern day athlete toward the end of his tenure, but he could call plays like nobody’s business. Same goes for UofL’s football coach–Bobby Petrino–he’s a master play caller (and great recruiter to boot), and that’s why his teams have great success. As frustrated as I am with the basketball program, I’m elated with the football program and Coach Petrino. He does things “my way” which means the football program is on par with my goals and objectives in life, but the basketball team has some work to do to win me and my money back. I’ll still attend the games this year and watch in hopes that I’m proven wrong, but I’m not holding my breath with this year’s, average to date, basketball team. If things don’t change, my wallet will vote for an alternative product next year. I’ll always be a UofL fan, but season tickets are becoming far too expensive to cast any wallet share on a sub-par product any more.

Bottom line: don’t settle for average–do something great for a change. The world needs more “great.” Or as Seth says, “be remarkable.” I couldn’t agree more.

SEO Considerations

Things to Consider before Embarking on an SEO Initiative
1. How long have you been in business?

2. How long has your website been “live?”

3. How much traffic does your website generate per month?

4. Have you submitted your site to all of the major search engines?

  • a. If so, when was this done?

5. Have you submitted your site to any directories?

  • a. If so, which ones?
  • b. Is your site still listed on those directories?

6. Who are some of your potential linking partners?

  • a. Friends
  • b. Co-workers
  • c. Clients
  • d. Similar businesses which aren’t competitors
  • e. Business journals
  • f. Local chambers
  • g. Complimentary products/services
  • h. Affiliates/distributors
  • i. Suppliers

7. Do you currently distribute press releases about your business?

8. Do you currently distribute articles on topics related to your business?

    a. If not, do you know of anyone within your organization that may be a good candidate for writing these types of articles?

  • b. Do you have case studies or white papers you could share?

9. Does your company have a blog?

10. What other forms of advertising and marketing does your company utilize?

11. How much have you budgeted for a complete SEO Program?

  • a. Is this budget specific to the SEO effort, or is it a percentage of your overall marketing budget?

12. What are your plans should an SEO program not produce immediate (1-3 month) results?

Please Note: Most SEO programs take a minimum of six months to begin to reap benefits. We suggest utilizing traditional marketing methods until the SEO program begins to produce the desired results. Backing out of an SEO program after 3 months will likely produce minimal results although it is not impossible to see results that quickly.

The Basics of SEO

What is SEO anyway?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) is a highly involved, somewhat lengthy, process designed to elevate an internet website’s major search engine ranking and/or positioning. The major search engines (Google, Microsoft Network (MSN), and Yahoo) make up greater than 70% of search traffic on the internet. This is a common way for people to find others, information, companies, potential business partners, etc. by entering a “keyword” or search term. Typically, the searcher will seek information on their keyword or search term and click on the top results. Thus the higher a site ranks for a given keyword or search term, the better its chances of attracting more visitors to its site.

Why Should I Care about SEO?
If you run a business and have a web presence, don’t you want the most people possible knowing about that business? Wouldn’t it benefit you if your website was able to bring you new leads or develop new customers every day, 24 hours per day? Research has shown that nearly 95% of all search engine users rarely read past the first page of search results. Because of that, it behooves you to have your website on the first page of search results for specific keywords and terms.

Can’t I just Pay for a High Ranking?
No! Organic (or “free”) search listing rankings cannot be purchased. These are “earned” over time via links, content, keyword relevance, page and site descriptions, titles of pages, etc. You can pay for clicks to your website based on specific terms or keywords however these are separate results from the free results people commonly click.

What is Pay-Per-Click?
Pay-per-click is a form of internet advertising where you pay a certain amount for each “click” or “hit” to your website as a result of a person searching for a certain keyword or phrase.

What is Click Fraud?
Click fraud occurs when a person or automated computer script imitates a legitimate search for a keyword or phrase yet clicks on the pay-per-click result for the sole purpose of generating revenue for the search engine or affiliate.

What is a Linking Partner?
A linking partner is a website which provides a link to your site. Some will require a link on your site to theirs in return (a reciprocal link) while others will want to have a link on a third party’s site in exchange for the link to yours. Reciprocal links aren’t as valuable as unique one way links but the more links you have pointing to your site (link popularity), the more “important” the search engines will consider your site.

What is Page Rank?
Page Rank is Google’s proprietary algorithm for determining a site’s importance. It’s expressed as a value from 1-10 with 10 being the most important and most desirable. The algorithm was designed by Larry Page, Google’s co-founder. Page Rank is affected by things such as the number of links pointing to your website, and the amount of unique and relevant content on your website.

What is a Keyword?
A keyword is a typical word or phrase you’d expect people to use when searching for your site. That’s about as simple as we can explain it.

What is Keyword Density?
The number of keywords you use on a particular page in relation to the number of total words on that page. The more keywords you have peppered throughout the page and site, the better your site may rank for that particular term. You must be careful not to load a page with too many keywords, however—that is considered keyword “stuffing” or spamming and is frowned upon by the search engines.

What is a Sitemap?
A sitemap is basically an inventory listing of all of the pages on your site. It tells the search engines how to get around your site and also how many pages there are on your site. It can be made visible to your visitors, but it doesn’t have to be. Uploading an XML file directly to the search engines is a generally accepted best practice for optimizing your search engine rankings.

What is a Spider?
Search engines utilize small programs to surf and inventory sites all over the internet. These are called spiders, and they follow links from site to site to gather their inventory to report back to the search engine. They are also referred to as crawlers or bots from time to time.

What is a Meta Tag?
A meta tag is an HTML piece of code which provides information about that particular page or document. These don’t provide formatting information or any actionable code—they are there for the search engines to catalog your site and the pages contained on your site.

What is a Blog?
A blog (short for weblog) is a news or journal type of site which is frequently used more for opinionated type of entries and is typically updated frequently. It is intended for general consumption but has become a valuable tool for all types of users to spread information and awareness of their websites.

Why Should I Write Articles for my Website?
Articles are a great way to increase the amount of unique content on your site as it pertains to the keywords you desire to rank well. There are numerous websites that publish articles, and it is common practice for the authors to include a link in their by-line back to their website. This creates an inbound link to the author’s website which in turn increases its popularity. It’s also a good way to increase awareness aside from the linking benefits.

What are Directories?
Directories are databases containing listings to websites based on categories and sub-categories. Many of the search engines access directories to crawl their links to learn of new sites. Directories are an invaluable resource for search engines and can often serve to improve a site’s ranking depending upon how important the search engine weighs the directory in question. Directories may provide a link to your site often without requiring a return or reciprocal link on your site.

 Page 49 of 49  « First  ... « 45  46  47  48  49