Using Style Sheets to Create Better Printer-Friendly Pages

USING STYLE SHEETS TO CREATE BETTER PRINTER-FRIENDLY PAGES

Forget what I said last month about printer-friendly pages. I didn’t know what I was talking about.

Well, maybe I’m being a little harsh. Let’s just say that this month’s me is more educated and knowledgeable than last month’s me. It’s an ongoing process of improvement. I can’t wait to see how smart I am next month.

Using Cascading Style Sheets: A Smarter Approach

After writing that article on multiple approaches to creating printer-friendly pages, I discovered a method that appears to offer almost all of their combined advantages with none of their drawbacks. It’s my recommendation that this is the approach you should use on your own Web sites with few exceptions.

Without getting too technical–geeks can contact me directly for details–Web designers can utilize something called cascading style sheets (CSS) which affect the way a page displays. These style sheets dictate the fonts, colors, margins, links, and just about everything else that impacts the layout of a page.

One Web Page: Multiple Layouts

You can also use multiple style sheets within a single Web page: one can control the screen layout and another the print layout. This allows you to create one Web page that’s optimized for both the screen and the printed page. Utilizing this method–no matter how many pixels wide your Web site may be–it can still print within the confines of an 8.5” by 11” sheet of paper.

Style sheets can also control which parts of the page will display. For example, using CSS you can hide the navigation, images or banner ads when someone prints the page. Alternatively, you could hide something on the screen that would show on the printed page, such as some marketing copy or a copyright notice.

You can also specify different fonts for the print version. Most people agree that sans-serif fonts such as Geneva, Helvetica and Arial work best on the screen. However, on the printed page, serif fonts such as Times New Roman and Georgia are easier on the eye.

For Example

Below are two images; one shows a screen shot of our recent press release for the Healthy Children Project; the second shows the same page when printed. Before using dual style sheets, this page might have been cropped when printed; now it wraps perfectly on the page. In addition, the navigation has been hidden to allow for a cleaner printout. Finally, the body copy has been specified as Times New Roman, while the original version used Geneva.

Image of Web page on screen Image of Web page when printed
Web Page on Screen Web Page on Paper

Because you only need to create one version of the page (rather than a second “printer-friendly” version) this is a more cost-effective approach. Updates are easier and cheaper since there’s only one page to change. Often, even the most conscientious Web developer may forget to update the secondary “printer-friendly” version, leading to inconsistency on the site.

One caveat: a Web page needs to be set up with CSS to take full advantage of this approach. The time it takes to retrofit pages with CSS can vary based on how the pages were set up and the size of the site. Still, the future cost-savings should counter-balance any initial outlay.

If you’d like to talk to flyte about using CSS to provide better printer-friendly pages please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

Printer-Friendly Pages Will Increase Your Market Reach

PRINTER-FRIENDLY PAGES WILL INCREASE YOUR MARKET REACH

In last month’s newsletter we talked about how you can leverage your Web site content…specifically how a “share this page” feature can help your online business grow.

This month we’ll examine another method of reaching more people: printer-friendly pages. Each day more people turn to the Internet to conduct research on subjects from breast-feeding to diaper pails to digital camera reviews. (On an unrelated topic, my wife and I had our second baby, Sophia, two weeks ago.) When they find the information they need they often print these Web pages, allowing your site–and your brand–to travel even further. These printed pages may be filed away, shared with a friend, or posted on a communal bulletin board.

Many site owners don’t give this a lot of thought: if a visitor wants to print a page, just hit “print,” right? Well, if you’ve ever printed a page and had the right side cropped you know it isn’t always that simple.

Why Do Printers Crop Web Pages?

Most printed material comes on “portrait” oriented paper, 8.5″ x 11″, not the other way around. However, computer monitors tend to be of the “landscape” persuasion, leading to cropped text on the right side. (A Macintosh is smart enough to resize the Web page appropriately for the printer…which doesn’t help the 97% of your visitors on Windows machines.)

Web designers customarily create Web pages that have a minimum- or fixed-width size, which gives the designer more control over the way the pages display on the screen. This size–often based on the resolution of the monitor–is usually wider than a printed page.

Making Your Content “Printer-Friendly”

There are several ways in which you can make your pages “printer-friendly,” each with their own plusses and minuses. You’ll need to decide which one–or ones–best suit your needs.

Database Solutions/Content Management Systems

The most elegant solution is to have all of your content stored in a database and dynamically generate your Web pages. This method formats your content beautifully whether it’s on the screen, the printed page, or delivered in another format, such as “share this page,” an email newsletter, on a PDA, etc.) The downside is that this is the most expensive solution and isn’t appropriate for smaller sites.

Printer-Friendly Versions

This is how many of our clients address this problem. On Web pages that are likely to be printed, such as articles or white papers, they offer a printer-friendly version of the same content on a separate, fluid page which will properly wrap to any size size paper.

By clicking on a printer icon or appropriate link, a new window opens with just the article and possibly some identifiying information, such as a URL or the author’s name. The downside of this approach is that if a change is made to an article it needs to be made in both versions.

PDF Documents

PDF, or Portable Document Format, is another solution. It gives you near complete control over your page’s appearance when printed: colors, images, fonts, layout, clip art, and so on, all appear as designed. It’s especially useful when used for registration forms and other documents that require strict formatting.

It has its shortcomings, however. It takes additional time to develop PDF documents, they don’t update automatically when the page’s content is changed, and despite the fact a PDF reader is available for free, there is a small percentage of the population that can’t open them.

Fluid Web sites

It certainly is possible to develop a Web site that is completely fluid and will wrap to any width. The benefit of such a solution is that when an article is changed it doesn’t need to be updated elsewhere. It’s also the simplest solution for your visitor who wants to print a page; all they need to do is just hit “print.”

However, it does limit the width of images you can use on your site. If you have a logo at the top of the page that’s 600 pixels wide, that’s as “thin” as your page can shrink. It also limits the number and width of columns you can use if you have a lot of table data. There are also certain design approaches that can’t be used on a completely fluid design.

In Conclusion

As a Web site owner you should be looking to maximize your results. Printer-friendly pages allow you to extend your reach and get more mileage out of your content and your site. Just be sure to put identifying information on your printer-friendly pages, regardless of which solution works best for you. Your Web site address, contact information, or even a short marketing blurb are all appropriate methods of tagging your work.

Consider this: a lobster shack that only offers dine-in service can only sell to the tourists and locals who walk through its doors. A lobster shack that will pack lobster to travel and can ship anywhere in the U.S.will greatly increase its market share.

Package your content…to go.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

Leverage Your Content to Reach New Prospects

LEVERAGE YOUR CONTENT TO REACH NEW PROSPECTS

ATTENTION: Join us on 5/30/2013 for a FREE live webinar on Turning Likes Into Sales.

If you’ve read our previous email or print newsletters, or heard me wax poetic at a Search Engine Seminar or in person, you’ve learned that it’s important to have unique, compelling content on your site.

Clients and prospects call us, asking how their site can rank higher in the search engines or how they can attract more traffic. I usually recommend that they start by posting content (in the form of articles, white papers, FAQ’s, etc.) to their site on a regular basis…content that is of interest to their target audience.

Why Content Helps Your Business

Often, site owners don’t understand how this will help. I’m here to tell you that quality content attracts visitors. First, search engines love content, gobbling it up for breakfast and returning regularly to sites that continually post fresh material. The content from your site appears on the SERP (search engine results page.) If you’re writing about what your prospects are searching for, you’ll appear on their SERPs.

Second, you can leverage the content on your site in several ways to bring in even more traffic and reach new clients. To paraphrase Archimedes, you can move the world if your lever is long enough. Here are some ideas that can help:

  • A Share This Page link
  • A Print This Page link
  • A Link to This Page link
  • An Email Newsletter signup link (deliver future content twice:
    through your email newsletter and your Web site)
  • Submit each new content-rich page to search engines through
    free submit pages; primarily Google and Yahoo

It’s easy to create links or icons for the first three or four items and post them on the articles on your site. Today we’ll talk about the Share This Page link.

Why Share a Page?

Whether it’s called “share this page,” “email this article to a friend,” or “recommend this site,” the benefits of having a visitor tell another person about your Web site or business should be obvious.

One of my clients recently asked why should he bother putting a Share This Page link on all of his articles. “How is this different from having someone just use the email this page option on their browser?” Good question. It’s true that certain browsers include a built-in “email this page” feature. However, there are a number of advantages to creating your own link.

Make It Easy for Visitors to Help You Out

Not all browsers offer the option of emailing a Web page. Often, even if they do, users don’t know about this feature or aren’t thinking about it as they read this article. A gentle reminder in the form of a link or icon may get them to think, “Janey was looking for a house. This article is right up her alley!”

Control the Message

When you leave it to your visitors to share your page, you lose all control of the message. By creating a simple form, you can choose to send the entire article or include only the link and a description (to encourage the recipient to visit your site.)

You can also include your own marketing materials in the email…your mission statement, links to featured products in your online store, a signup for your email newsletter, or whatever will help you achieve your business goals.

Gain Insight

With this simple form, you’ll know when a visitor is sharing your content. You can track which articles are being shared most often and which are receiving the most click-throughs from the recipients. If you’re curious to know whether it’s more effective to share an entire article or just the link, this is a perfect way to test out both possibilities.

In Conclusion

If you’re just posting new articles to your Web site you’re not leveraging them for all they’re worth. Simple online tools like Share This Page allow visitors to promote your company to prospects you wouldn’t have otherwise reached.

In future Honey Roasted Peanuts we’ll look at other ways of leveraging your content for optimal results.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

What’s Yahoo Worth to You?

WHAT’S YAHOO WORTH TO YOU?

Yahoo logo

Search engines play an essential role in Web marketing plans. One of the biggest, Yahoo, has made a lot of news lately by overhauling their pricing plans…once again.

So the question is, how do I get listed in Yahoo and what’s it going to cost me?

You can get listed in Yahoo via three different methods:

  • A Yahoo Directory listing.
  • A Yahoo Search listing.
  • A Pay-for-Performance listing. (We’ll review the pay-for-performance listing in a future issue.)

The Yahoo Directory listing costs $299/year. You submit your site to be reviewed by a Yahoo editor, and assuming they feel your site is worthy, they’ll add it to their directory.

Many search engine marketers feel this isn’t such a great deal. Although it will ultimately help with building your site’s “link popularity,” a Yahoo directory listing doesn’t automatically mean your site will be found by someone searching at Yahoo.

For example, let’s say you own an auto repair shop that offers detailing, but your directory listing reads “Carl’s Auto Repair – Fixing Cars in Arizona since 1962.” If someone searches Yahoo for “auto detailing in Arizona,” and you’re only included in the directory, you won’t be found. (The word “detailing” wasn’t included in your listing.)

There are currently two ways to get included in the Yahoo Search index:

  • Pay for it.
  • Get it for free.

(I recommend the latter. It turns out to be cheaper.)

Although you can’t use the free submission form without signing up for a Yahoo account (also free), I wouldn’t consider that to be a big obstacle. But, be aware that the free submission offers no guarantee that your site will be included in the Yahoo Search index.

Yahoo has recently rolled out a new product called Site Match™, which has been maligned in the search engine press. The service is provided by Overture, another Yahoo acquisition.

Unlike the free submission, Site Match guarantees your inclusion in the Yahoo index (and in a timely fashion) but not your placement in the search. In other words, it doesn’t help your site to rank higher. Your ranking is still based (supposedly) on your site’s relevance to the given search.

The first URL (Web page) is $49. The second through the tenth are $29 each. The price falls to $10 each after that. That’s not too much more than Inktomi was a year ago, and Yahoo has a much bigger market share.

However, (and this is about as big a “however” as you get,) every time someone clicks on your link, you pay Yahoo another 15 cents! (Some “select” categories charge 30 cents.) Note: if you got into the Yahoo Search index for free then there’s no charge per click.

Hmmm…I can probably get into the Yahoo Search for free, or I can pay Yahoo 50 bucks, plus maybe hundreds or thousands of dollars a month more for the exact same service. This is a tough one….

In Conclusion

I think you know the outcome of this one. I can’t recommend spending your money on Yahoo right now. The only reason to join the Yahoo Directory would be for link popularity. The only reason to sign up for Site Match is if you feel you have too much money or you’re concerned that Yahoo stock needs a bump.

Things will probably change in the future; Yahoo may get rid of the pay-per-click component of this plan, or they may rank Site Match participants higher than competing sites that didn’t pony up any cash. This could make Yahoo’s pricing plans more important to your Web marketing budget.

But for today, hold onto your money. If it’s burning a hole in your pocket consider making a donation to Maine Public Radio.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

“Hidden” Copy On Your Web Site – Copywriting Opportunities That Fall Between the Cracks

“HIDDEN” COPY ON YOUR WEB SITE

Copywriting Opportunities That Fall Between the Cracks

To separate yourself from your competition, your site should tell a compelling story with your own, unique voice. Since your story is constantly evolving, it’s a good idea to review your site every 3 – 6 months and see if your copy is still fresh. Like Chinese takeout lurking behind the milk, “hidden” copy can get moldy far from the light of day.

So, what is this “hidden” copy? Maybe you read over your home page occasionally, but when was the last time you completed your own contact form? Bought something from your own store? Signed up for your own newsletter? Each of these interactions generates a dialog with your visitors. This is the copy that you can’t easily see.

What’s the conversation that you’re having with your visitors when you’re not around? What text greets visitors after they’ve completed your contact form? What’s the tone of your autoresponder? What does the email confirmation say after someone has placed an order?

These are perfect opportunities to strengthen the relationship between you and your customer. You can choose to hold this conversation in your own voice, or in the all-purpose, generic, default text written by a programmer who created this form years ago. I work with programmers regularly and I can tell you that they are talented…at programming. However, they are not copywriters anymore than I’m a swimsuit model. (So I’ve learned…the hard way.)

Take some time today and do the following:

  • Test your contact forms. Try submitting your forms without completing the required fields. What does the “form error” page say? How would you say the same thing? Then try submitting the form correctly. Review the “thank you” page with the same questions in mind. If you have an autoresponder, be sure to look at that as well.
  • Don’t forget about your other online forms. Do you have an “Email This Article to a Friend” form? A “Recommend This Site” form? When was the last time you read the “marketing message” that gets sent with these emails?
  • Buy something from the online store. Was the process confusing? Could it be made clearer through better copy? What did the email receipt say? If it reads like every other receipt you’ve ever received, maybe you can make it stand out with your own voice.
  • Sign up for your email newsletter…again. You may need to get a free email account at Yahoo! or Hotmail, or you can unsubscribe then resubscribe using your current email address. “Listen” to the voice in the confirmation and welcome messages. Is this your voice? Purposely go to a missing page on your site. You can do this by going to www.yourdomain.com/asdf. What does this 404 error message say? Could you say it better?
  • Rewrite ALL of this “hidden” copy in your own voice. If you don’t say “Greetings and salutations!” in person, don’t say it in an autoresponder.

Your copy is how your visitors come to know you. Whether your “hidden” copy has become stale, irrelevant, or was never appropriate, it’s time to make it consistent with the rest of your site, and to say it in your own voice.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

Are You Getting Through to Your Subscribers? Four Tips for Delivering Your Newsletters Successfully

ARE YOU GETTING THROUGH TO YOUR SUBSCRIBERS?

Four Tips For Delivering Your Newsletters

A few of our clients have recently discovered yet another downside of spam: spam filters are blocking their email newsletters from reaching their subscribers. In fact, I replaced the word “spam” in the newsletter with an image of said word because so many filters are set up to block emails containing that word!

Email filters come in two main varieties: ones that are set up by the ISP (Internet Service Provider,) i.e. AOL, Earthlink or MSN, and ones set up on the user’s email program,  i.e. Outlook, Eudora or Netscape.

Although there’s currently no solution that will solve all potential problems, there are some steps you can take to improve the chances of your newsletter getting through.

1. Educate Your Subscribers. A brief page explaining how to prevent email filters from blocking your newsletters is the first step. If possible, display this message immediately after someone subscribes.

If that’s not possible–or in addition–place a link on your home page beneath your signup box that reads: “Not receiving our emails? Click here!” You can see an example that we created for the Meal Makeover Moms here.

This page should also have your newsletter’s “From” address listed.

2. Your From Address. Many email programs filter mail based on the address they come from. If they don’t recognize an email address they may pop it in a “junk” or “spam” folder. If possible, use an address at your domain, such as newsletters@yourdomain.com as the “from” address and let your subscribers know this. Then they can tag the address as “friendly.”

3. Post Your Newsletters to Your Site. We’re dealing with a lot of newbies out there, people. They don’t understand what email filters are or how to change them. They don’t know who their ISP is or how to contact tech support. Even when you walk them through the process (which can be time consuming for just one subscriber) they don’t get it. To help these people we recommend posting all your newsletters to your site.

There are benefits beyond telling these people that they can always visit your site to read your newsletters. New content will get search engines to revisit your site more often, will encourage links from other sites, and will allow new subscribers to see what they’ve been missing.

4. Handle Responses Efficiently. You need to determine how to handle responses to your email newsletters. Even if you send your newsletter from  no-reply@yourdomain.com people will reply. It’s their nature. Plus, there’s a button labeled “Reply.”

The problem with having newsletter replies go to your email is that when your subscriber base gets to a certain size you are going to receive dozens, hundreds or even thousands of “Out of the Office” messages and other unnecessary emails.

You may also get people asking to be unsubscribed despite a very visible, very clickable link in your email for that very purpose. In fact, you may be unable to unsubscribe people if someone else is maintaining your newsletter.

I recommend having the replies sent to a specific email address that has its own autoresponder. This response should explain how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or update an email address. You may also want it to say that any messages sent to this address won’t be read, or won’t be answered in a timely fashion, and all correspondence should be sent to youremail@yourdomain.com.

Taking these steps will help your subscribers, your business, and your peace of mind.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

Custom 404 Errors: Keeping Lost Visitors at Your Site

CUSTOM 404 ERRORS: KEEPING LOST VISITORS AT YOUR SITE

We’ve all seen them; you click on a link and instead of the page you’re expecting you see:

The page cannot be found

The page you are looking for might have been removed,
had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

And then you’re asked to try different options, like double-checking your spelling, hitting the back button, or shutting off the computer and getting a life.

Although some Type-A’s may continue to search for the missing page, most people will give up, cursing the site and looking for a competitor.

How does this happen?

In geek-speak this is called a 404 error. It occurs when you request a page from a Web server by clicking on a link or typing a URL into the address bar, but there’s no file at that address. To let you know this the server displays a generic 404 or “page not found” error, devoid of any links or helpful information.

404 errors are a fact of life; sites evolve, pages are reorganized, and links from other sites contain typos.

What can be done?

The fix is simple; most hosting companies allow you to upload a “custom” 404 error page, something to replace the generic error. This custom page can look like the rest of your site, include links to the most popular pages, and include a site map or search to help visitors locate moved pages.

You can also customize the tone of your message along with the look of the page to better fit with your site. Rather than a buttoned-down “Page Not Found” message, maybe “Can we help you find something?“, “Have you lost your way?“, or “You can’t get theah from heah,” might be more appropriate.

Don’t let lost visitors turn into lost opportunities; make sure you can help them find their way back.

If you’d like to add a custom 404 page, please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

If You Build It Will They Come? 8 Rules to Increase Traffic To Your Site

IF YOU BUILD IT WILL THEY COME? 8 RULES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC TO YOUR SITE

The movie Field of Dreams has always been a favorite of mine…any movie with a Fenway Park cameo should be beloved by everyone. However, a woman once told me that she hated it. “It’s so unrealistic.” Field. Of. Dreams. Maybe she missed the opening scene when they showed the title.

In the movie–for all you cricket fans–a voice keeps telling Kevin Costner that all he needs to do is build a baseball field and he will be reunited with his dead father (“if you build it he will come”). Many people, even after the hype of the Internet has subsided, still believe this is true with their own Web sites. That once the site is built their work is done, and people will visit their site in droves and buy out their entire inventory.

Field. Of. Dreams.

Successful Web sites require traffic, and traffic comes from ongoing marketing. This may include keyword analysis, search engine optimization, solid copywriting, reciprocal links, advertising, good PR, online tools, and cross-media pollination. If you are going to spend money on a Web site you should make sure people are going to find it. Celebrities don’t appear on David Letterman for the free mugs and abuse; they know that after their movie has wrapped they have to promote it if they want to sell tickets.

Here are some tried and true measures to increase your site’s visibility. While they won’t overcome a sluggish economy or a poor business plan (Tickle-Me-Marilyn-Manson dolls, anyone?), they will improve your chance at success.

Research your keywords. Whether you hire a firm or do it in house, uncover the exact phrases people are using to search for the products or services you offer. Don’t guess at success. If you’re selling “Trapper-Keepers” and everyone’s searching for “Back-to-School-Supplies” you won’t make many sales.

Optimize for the search engines. I’ve already written two articles on search engine optimization, so I won’t go into the details here. But the simple advice is this: take your researched keywords and sprinkle generously on your pages: in your copy, your headers, and most importantly your page titles. Set aside some of your budget to cover the submission fees that most major search engines now charge. They can range from $35 to $299 per year. You don’t have to get into every search engine, but try and cover the big four: Google, Yahoo, MSN Search and AOL Search. (Recent and future media buyouts and mergers may change this line up.)

Consider hiring a copywriter. I know, I know, you’ve written books, articles, and a dissertation on the mating dance of Norwegian bumblebees. You have an advanced degree from a well-respected school and patches on the elbows of your smoking jacket. You know your parts of speech and how not to dangle a participle. Regardless, that doesn’t mean you can write compelling copy for the Web. When writing for the Web you need to consider at least two audiences: humans and the search engines’ spiders that visit your Web site. If you do “go it alone” do your research and Google “Writing Tips for the Web” first.

Gather incoming links. Links to your site provide two important marketing benefits. First, people visiting other sites will find the link to your site, and if interested, visit. Secondly, many search engines consider a link to your site as a “vote of confidence” and will rank your site higher, all other things being equal. Since it’s difficult for new sites to have many incoming links consider search engine advertising for the first few months through a service like Google Adwords or Overture to help boost traffic.

Advertise. Yes, it can be expensive, but it can pay huge dividends. We may not all have the money for TV or even radio, but regular advertising in a local paper or magazine with a desirable, targeted readership can be very beneficial. A direct mail piece to primary care physicians might be a good buy if you are trying to be a preferred provider of certain specialized services. In his books “Selling the Invisible” and “What Clients Love”, Harry Beckwith suggests that people don’t remember whether it was an article or an ad, but they remember your brand. This improves consumer confidence and the likelihood they’ll choose your services. Be sure to include your URL in a prominent place and consider a special offer.

Get the word out with good PR. Once your site is launched, or after a major revision, get out a press release. This is something you can do yourself or hire that same copywriter to handle. It’s not expensive and a good copywriter may have experience in submitting press releases to both local papers (who are more likely to carry the piece because it’s got local flavor) and national periodicals that may target your audience.

Use viral marketing. By placing “Recommend This Site” or “Email this Article to a Friend” forms on your site you can use word-of-mouth advertising to connect with prospects. These forms allow people to email friends right from your Web page and you’ll be able to add your own marketing message along with links back to your site. Add a free email newsletter signup (see last issue) and start delivering new content right to subscribers’ email on a regular basis.

Cross-pollinate with other types of media. Your Web site should promote your other collateral and back again. Dare I say it, my dad has a good grasp of this. His Web site, www.drrobertbrooks.com, promotes his speaking engagements and books. His books list the URL for his site. At his talks he refers to his Web site and his free email newsletter. His email newsletter is delivered monthly to over 5,000 subscribers and contains links back to his Web site and any new books he has written. This is a great example of cross-promotion.

Conclusion
All this “extra work” may seem daunting when you’re first planning to develop your site, especially if you were under the impression “if you build it they will come”.

The point is not to be intimidated, but rather educated and realistic. Better to build a smaller site that people will visit than a larger one that will gather dust. Your site doesn’t need to be the biggest, flashiest, or even the best. It just needs to be effective in helping you reach your goals. Whether marketing your Web site means increasing your budget or reducing the size of your site, it’s an essential piece of Web marketing strategy.

–Rich Brooks
President, flyte new media

Keyword Analysis: A Success Story

KEYWORD ANALYSIS: A SUCCESS STORY

Companies and individuals often contact me about increasing traffic to their site. Unfortunately, many balk at doing a keyword analysis which would uncover the most effective phrases to use on their site.

Others go ahead with the research, but then choose not to make the necessary changes often because they don’t realize the difference it can make to their bottom line.

What does keyword analysis do?

By rewriting (or “optimizing”) the copy on your site to take advantage of these high-ranking “key” phrases you can raise your site’s ranking at the search engines. However, it’s only effective if you know what people are searching for, not if you’re guessing.

If you’ve been holding off on a keyword analysis I’m hoping this success story will change your mind.

Case Study

After we developed a site for the New Image Weight Loss Center, our client, Dr. Artuso, was interested in increasing traffic to his site. We suggested a keyword analysis to uncover the phrases he should be using on his site, and then, based on the research, revamping his copy, content, and meta-tags. Dr. Artuso agreed and provided us with a brainstormed list of keyphrases that described his services.

We partnered with Harvey Marketing Group who handled the keyword research and provided analysis and recommendations. The research uncovered the most effective keyphrases, taking into consideration both the services offered and the center’s geographic location.

Based on our findings we edited the copy and added new content, headers, titles and meta-tags to his site.

The Results

Within just a few weeks New Image’s Google rankings increased dramatically:

Google Ranking Keyphrases
#1 gastric bypass surgery new york, gastric band surgery new
york, gastric bypass surgery new jersey, gastric bypass ct,
gastric band surgery nj, weight loss surgery new jersey,
dr artuso, lap band surgery new jersey;
#2 gastric band surgery ny, gastric bypass costs;
#3 bariatric bypass surgery, gastric bypass diets, gastric
bypass nj, bariatric surgery new york, weight loss surgery
new york, gastric bypass new jersey, gastric bypass connecticut,
lap band surgery new york;
#5
obesity
surgery new york, bariatric surgeons new york, gastric bypass insurance,
gastric bypass support groups gastric bypass nutrition;
#6
obesity
surgery ny;
#7
gastric
bypass surgeons new york

New Image’s monthly traffic reports show the difference these changes and the higher rankings have made:

Month Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Unique Visitors 247 889 2,170 2,453 2,165 3,761

Your mileage may vary.

By optimizing the site for these phrases New Image was able to improve their ranking in the search engines which translated into more traffic, more visibility and more sales.

If you’d like to discuss what keyword analysis can do for your business, please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

Stopping Spam from Your Web site

STOPPING SPAM FROM YOUR WEB SITE

Important Note as of 12/30/03:

I’ve done some testing with SpamStopper and I can’t recommend it. I put up a test email address protected by SpamStopper that wasn’t anywhere else on the Internet. Within 24 hours I was receiving spam at that address. This article has been since edited to hide the email addresses being used as examples.

Once your Web site is up and running you may be inundated with spam for low home interest rates, cable descramblers, male enhancement drugs that rhyme with Niagara and, ironically, software to reduce spam.

How Do They Get Your Email?

One method spammers—the people sending spam—use to collect email addresses is through “harvesting”. Their software scours the Web to collect email addresses that appear on Web pages. Once they have your email address they will spam you into submission. Since many sites contain the owner’s email address (and why not?) they inadvertently invite spam to the site owner’s mailbox.

In a recent FTC study, 86% of emails created for the study and posted to the Web received spam within just six weeks! If the address had the “@” sign in it, it drew spam.

How Do You Stop Them?

 

A piece of software called SpamStopper can help reduce your chances of being found by these harvesters. Most characters (a-z, 1-9, @, “, ”, and ¢ for example) can be converted into a special code which can be read by a browser. [Edited to hide email addresses now.]

How Do You Get The Software?

SpamStopper is only for the people who work on your site and know HTML. Also, it won’t help you with all spam, and harvesters may one day adapt. The software is like the The Club for your car: it won’t stop everyone, but it will make you a less attractive target.

If you’d like us to convert the emails on your own site to code, talk to your Web developer or contact us.

I’d like to thank our client Robert Gerzon who turned me on to this piece of software. He’s the author of the highly-acclaimed Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety and has a Web site dedicated to Conscious and Creative Living.

–Rich Brooks

 

President, flyte new media