I wish you a prosperous New Year. Many of our clients asked for help setting up BLOGS last year. BLOGS are a buzz word you should know.
First off, what is a BLOG?
The term is a blend of web and log. You see, geeks (& mathematicians) think it is cool to simplify things (often at the risk of making them more complicated). A BLOG is basically a journal on a web site. For many it is the “News” section. Much of a web site remains fairly static, but a BLOG is edited whenever news breaks.
A BLOG can also be interactive, where it can be open to comments. A word to the wise, be sure to moderate your comments. With my business, we send all comments to review by a human before they go live. ~:-)
4 reasons why you should have a BLOG on your company’s web site.
- BLOGS are fresh, people know to look to the BLOG for the latest info about your company.
- BLOGS are loved by search engines. What makes a search engine happiest? Fresh relevant content. A properly created BLOG is written as much for search engine rankings as it is for people.
- BLOGS are archive-able: As soon as new articles are posted the old ones are archived. This allows visitors to get some history on past projects from your company.
- BLOGS are social. BLOGs play nice with social media, and smart ones can automagically update your facebook, linkedin and twitter.
Warning: I hear some of you running off to Blogger.com to setup a BLOG right now. STOP!! I said above that the BLOG should be on YOUR Website. If you post it @ Blogger (or any other blogging site) THEY will reap much of the benefit for your hard work. Be sure your BLOG lives at your company’s website, not theirs.
What should you ‘post in your BLOG and how often?
This article is not a substitute to sitting down for some serious consulting with your favorite marketing geek, but I will share some general thoughts on content. We always work to deliver value. Most of our clients have a wealth of knowledge that they can share with their customers. By sharing your company as a resource, you become viewed as an expert in your area of business. Consider this an investment in your customers, current and future.
For omOriginals we post 2 articles a month with marketing tips [like this one ~:-)]. We also post brief articles on recently completed projects. This is valuable for our customers (promotion) and for visitors to see interesting marketing ideas, are to show real world examples of our work. We also share articles from others on occasion to change things up a bit.
How often? This will vary for each business. I often recommend 1 or 2 posts per month for companies new to BLOGGING. I’ve seen a fair amount of people start out strong with 1 or 2 a week for a few weeks and them drop off the map. It is best to make your plan sustainable. This is a balance of quality and quantity.
Here is a bonus: After you create these articles you can broadcast them in lots of places (Social sites, eMail marketing, newspapers, newsletters, mailers, etc.)
Do you have to do this alone?
Not unless you are a crazy micro-manager. Your company is likely a collection of uniquely talented individuals. Each of you has your own unique voice. By sharing the work of the BLOG with others in your organization you will have a richer experience for your users.
Side note: I enjoy reading Summer’s tips on our BLOG, they offer fresh marketing insight.
There is a wealth of industry specific content available for purchase. This can save a lot of time, but be very certain that you agree with the articles. You can also hire a company to help administer your BLOG. < This could be an article in itself.
What is the point, Oscar?
A BLOG is a great way offer value to your clients while remaining at the top of their mindshare. Today’s competition is tough and cutting edge! You need to use today’s tools to position yourself for success.
Work Smart + Play Hard!
Oscar Myre IV, ~:-)
Bright Lovable Original Geek!
Let’s jump into this months GeekSpeak. If you’ve been tuning in for long you likely have a professional web site, a blog, a facebook page and you are probably doing a little twitter. Wow you are such a geek. ~:-)
But, are your events listed at CowlitzToday.com?
Is your business listed in the Cowlitz County directory?
We originally created this site to help people connect locally.
CowlitzToday.com is a free, one-stop community calendar and web directory of businesses.
We’ve partnered with many organizations that have events in our area. Every day, more and more events are being listed. If you know of events and don’t see them on the calendar, we invite you to tell the event holder how they can add their events for free! (Or you can add them yourself!)
CowlitzToday also has a helpful directory of local business and organizations. You can find virtually anything from Accountants to Food & Dining to Movies to Real Estate!
With this article we are announcing the launch of the NEW and improved business directory!
We created the new directory to help make more connections:
- SEO Findability: Our first goal is improving local organizations search engine rankings in the search engines. Having a great web site or business is only great if you can be found. We’ve built the new directory with some new and old school SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tricks, which have skyrocketed viewership.
- Social Browsing: Our second mission is to help harness the social networks. More specifically – Facebook. You see, Facebook is great at helping you share and even find what you are looking for, but it doesn’t work well like good old fashioned browsing.
We’ve improved the directory to make it easy to browse the directory. Similar to those phonebooks of yesteryear. Our new directory is a great way to learn and link. Listings include helpful info and now links to their websites, facebook & twitter. Facebook “like” buttons are built into every listing. ~:-)
It’s where all the cool kids hang-out.
Want another reason to add your stuff?
CowlitzToday.com is being visited by 20,000 people per month!
By the time you read this we will have nearly 1,000 local listings. You can share a listing on facebook with a click. I invite you to get your organization listed for free today. Cowlitztoday.com. Wherever you work, play or worship can be listed as it’s own entity.
And don’t forget the Cowlitz County Online Event Calendar. We’ve streamlined the adding of events. If you’ve haven’t added an event in awhile (forever is still awhile)
Click on the new “Submit Event” button to learn how to add your event (also for free!!). If your organization has multiple events per/year please consider partnering with Cowlitztoday. If you are eligible we will give you a free calendar that you can post on your site AND then all of your events will appear in the community calendar!!!!!
Our community has posted over 6300 events to date! You simply can’t say there is nothing to do around here!
So what’s next?
I double dog dare you to search CowlitzToday.com for your favorite local business. If you find their listing, I’m sure they love for you to “give Kudos” for them. If they aren’t listed please call, eMail or facebook them the link. They’d appreciate the help and we’d appreciate your helping in spreading the word to help even more people connect.
Smart Phone users there is a new way to visit web sites on your phone. Simply install a free scanner app and start scanning. Think of it as Bar Codes 2.0 Ready? Grab your phone and visit http://m.omoriginals.com We will hook you up to get you started. If you already have a scanner – Scan now. “Tag” is above at top of page, looks like a square ink blot!
Oscar wrote this article on his iPhone. ~:-) Oscar is the owner and operator of omOriginals Marketing in Longview, WA and holds the title of award winning developer for the CowlitzToday.com web site. Questions about geeky stuff, call them @ 360-575-9839
Many of these geek speak articles are directly from my bag ‘o FAQs (frequently asked questions. So here is a question I was asked at least 2x last month…. “When you build my new site can you put a visitor counter on the web site?”
My answers goes a little something like this.
Yes, we can….but, there is an even better idea.
A web site visitor counter IS a visual way to show you the popularity or your web site. Unfortunately, they are terribly inaccurate AND everyone sees the results. A more modern approach is to have web site statistics. Here is what I like about website stats.
- They are private. Only people with your account password can view your stats. Your visitors and your competitors don’t need to know your sites popularity.
- Stats can show very detailed and specific information (more on this later)
- Stats are archived over time so you can compare results chronologically. Let’s talk about stats. In order to view stats you first need to have a stats program or two installed. Ask your web host what they provide, if they don’t already have some installed I recommend you take a look at Google Analytics. For the sake of this article I’m not going to focus on any one stats program, but on the basics of what they record and what it all means.
When I hear people bragging out the web stats the will often talk about hits. They might say, “My site had 100,000 hits last month!”.
It sounds impressive, but what does it mean? The short answer is hits are just big numbers to impress people who don’t know what numbers really matter. But, this number won’t impress you because YOU are more interested in “Unique Visitors”, “Number of Visits”, Page Views, Hits & Bandwidth.
Unique Visitors: is a computer that goes to your site during a current time period. So if I visit your site, I will be tracked as a Unique Visitor. (Who are you calling unique, ha ha). If I like your site and return an hour later to your site, my “Visits” will be tracked and your stat software will recognize me as the same unique visitor as before. So your stats have recorded 1 Unique Visitor and 2 Visits. It will further tell you that while I was at your site I visited the following pages, home, about us, services & contact. Each Page view was tracked. Page view = 4.
If you are new to stats then just focus on the big 3. Unique Visitors, Visits & Page views – you will learn a ton about your web site. If you’re feeling geeky read on about more stats.
Skipping hits, we move on to Bandwidth. Bandwidth is total number of bytes for pages, images and files downloaded by web browsing. So a graphical rich page with PDFs to download and video to steam uses more bandwidth that a mostly text page.
Two sites with similar Unique Visitors, Visits & Page Views can have drastically different bandwidth based on the sites content. Here are a few more things you can learn. Entry Page is the first page people view when coming to your site, often it is the home page, but when people link directly to a certain page or when the your found in the search engines, you will have a variety of Entry Pages. You can also track the Exit Page which is the last page viewed before the left you site. Session Duration tells how long a person spent on your site site.
Most stats will show you if they (visitors) came there direct or if they can from a bookmark. Graphs can so what days of the week and even hours of the day are most visited. Pages outline how many views each page received, Referrers shows the addresses that people came from to get to your site, Search even shows the keywords and keyphrases people used to find you in the various search engines. Those are the highlights.
My 4 cents is to get a copy of your stats for last month and sit down with your favorite beverage and learn how many people are visiting your site and what they are doing during their visit. Compare to previous months and years. Do you like the progress? The stats can give you wisdom to connecting with more people. Want to learn more? Let’s us know.
So now if I tell you that CowlitzToday.com (or any site) has 500,000 hits this month, you will say cool, but how many unique visitors are you getting? And I will tell you…. hey wait, you didn’t ask. ~:-)
72 Degrees Air Conditioning & Heating is a full-service Longview, Washington Air Conditioning and Cowlitz County Heating Contractor with the ability to service and install complete heating and air conditioning systems. In addition to scheduled service checks, repairing of existing equipment, and installation of new equipment, they can help you find ways to reduce your energy bills through a thorough cost-benefits analysis. 72 Degrees has an extensive history of repair service on all brands of central air conditioning and heating systems.
Their certified technicians use state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and repair existing systems and always use the finest new equipment for installations in the industry. Furthermore, 72 Degrees Air Conditioning and Heating has a patented Straight Forward Pricing Guide™ so you know what the price is before they do the work and you are never charged by the hour. How many companies are willing to show you their price books?
You can count on 72 Degrees Air Conditioning & Heating, Your Comfort Experts to do the job right. They service all brands of air conditioning and heating equipment in Clark, Lewis & Cowlitz Counties in Southwest Washington.
72 Degrees Air Conditioning & Heating
1152 3rd Ave., Suite D
Longview, WA 98632
Northwest Motor Service has been serving Southern Washington and Northwest Oregon since 1988.
- AC & DC Motor Repair/Rewind
- Machine Shop
- Gearbox Repair
- Transformer Repair
- Pump Repair – Centrifugal & Submersible
- Dynamic Balancing
- Clutches and Brakes
- Cowlitz County New and Used Motor Sales
Northwest Motor Service
1341 Industrial Way
Longview, Washington 98632
Office/24 Hr ER Service: (360) 425-8700
Fax: (360) 425-8702
Mesa Floor Coverings has been covering floors in New Mexico for over 50 years. They have the knowhow & professionalism to exceed your expectations on your next project. Mesa Floor Coverings cater to the do-it-yourselfer as well as the large Commercial Projects. They pride themselves on providing the highest quality service to every customer large or small. With their large Showroom Mesa Floor Coverings has the tools to make your next design idea a polished reality. Their showroom floor features various layouts to aid customers in possible design ideas. Everything installed on the floor is available to order, so if there is a design that you desire you can make it your own. They offer free local estimates to ensure the project to be done correctly & efficiently by measuring for the least amount of material waste. Request an Estimate
Mesa Floor Coverings also offers custom window fashions to complement any room in your home or business.
Mesa Floor Coverings
729 E. High Street
Grants, NM 87020
This month I wish to warn you about an ongoing domain name scam and to educate you on the different types of domains. If you have a website then you surely own a domain. A domain is the address of your website. An example of a domain name is ValleyBugler.COM. The major domain extensions .com, .org, & .net can be registered for one or more years at a time. For maximum search engine ranking it is now suggested to register your domain for 5 years or more. This “tells” the search engines that your company is committed to developing your website.
Don’t lose your domain.
It is important to keep your domain registered or else you can loose it. There are lots of companies that wait for domains to expire and then register them up for their own gain. I recommend having a reminder on your calendar for the due date of your domain.
That being said, when a bill comes for you to renew your domain read it VERY carefully.
Every year I hear of businesses getting an “official looking invoice” from the Domain Registry of America, Liberty Domain names or Domain Renewal Group. Both of these companies (and others) send eMails and snail mail letters to registrants (the people that own domains) that look like invoices, but they are just solicitations. If you look closely it says that it is not a bill, but many people pay. ~:-) This is the same tactic that is known as slamming in the phone industry.
The result: Your domain is then transferred to their company for about $30 year! Most domains should cost about $15/year. This can be a mess. If you have any question where your domain is registered I suggest that you call your web site developer before paying any domain bills. If they don’t know, you can call my office and we can give that info to you. ~:-)
I’m often asked, “What is the difference between domain extensions?”
.com represents the word “commercial,” and is the most widely used extension in the world. Most businesses prefer a .com domain name because it is a highly recognized symbol for having a business presence on the Internet.
.net represents the word “network,” and was created for use by Internet service providers. In reality I see most businesses attempt to get a .com and they use the .net as a second choice. omOrginals Marketing! could technically be a .net, but we’ve embraced the .com.
.org represents the word “organization,” and is primarily used by non-profits groups or trade associations.
.biz is used for small business Web sites.
.gov is used for government Web sites.
.info is for credible resource Web sites and signifies a “resource” web site. It’s the most popular extension beyond .com, .net and .org.
.mobi (short for “mobile”) is reserved for Web sites built for easy viewing on mobile devices. There was a lot of hype with .mobi, but all sites should go mobile. I don’t see a reason for this extension.
.us is for American Web sites and is the newest extension. It has the largest amount of available names in inventory.
.cc was originally the country code for Coco’s Keeling Islands. It is unrestricted and may be registered by anyone, from any country.
.bz was originally designated as the country code for Belize, but is now commonly used by small business who can’t get the name they want using the .biz extension. It is unrestricted and may be registered by anyone, from any country.
.tv is for rich content/multi-media Web sites, commonly used within the entertainment or media industry.
.ws was originally designated as the country code for Western Samoa, but is now commonly used as an acronym for “Web sites.” It is unrestricted and may be registered by anyone, from any country.
.name is the only domain extension specifically designed for personal use. It is commonly used for easy to remember e-mail addresses and personal web sites that display photos or personal information about an individual.
.pro is a new extension. is open to all professionals and licensed business owners in any country, Business license owners are also eligible.
Be the master of your domain.
Be sure to review your domain registration bills and consider registering for 5 years. If you have any questions about domains and/or need help with registration we’d be glad to help. ~:-)