Some 'Golden Rules' of logo design

While the variables are infinite (that's a good thing - it means that every logo can be unique) there are certain benchmarks (I hesitate to call them rules) that if you follow, will pretty well insure that you'll end up with a decent and workable logo. While whether or not a logo is 'good' remains completely subjective, following these pointers will give you a logo that's usable, practical and promising a long shelf life.

1) Uniqueness
Your logo should be able to stand out as completely 'yours'. It's surprising how many times we get asked to 'copy' logos - we've even had clients request a 'version' of my brand. Not a good idea. On top of the potential legal complications nothing screams 'unprofessional' like a logo that's looks even remotely like someone else's. Do not copy. I'll say it again. Do. Not. Copy.

2) Timeless
Every few years there's a trend, or fad, that new logos seems to embrace. A few years ago it was the 'swoosh' - made logos all hi-tech and 'internety'. Trouble is, everybody jumped on that bandwagon and the treatment rapidly became hackneyed and trite. Few years hence, and we've got lots of people stuck with out of date designs. The latest design logo trend is so-called 2.0, a technique that (like a lot of design trends) can be traced back to Apple Computers. Take your logo, add a 'gel' treatment, give it glassy reflection at the bottom and you're all set. (hey - the 3D version of our house could qualify). Web 2.0 is still going strong, but I'll go out on a limb and say it will be yesterday's news by end of summer.

3) Gimmick Free
Special FX and filters are usually applied, by inexperienced designers, to logos that are 'missing something'. Trouble is, what the logo is generally missing is any design integrity, and adding bevels, lens flares and drop shadows is the logo design version of 'putting lipstick on a pig'. While it certainly shows how cool the latest design software is, it doesn't do much for the professionalism of your mark. Such treatments are fine for glamour shots (used as display pieces on brochures and the like) but are only going to cause grief down the road, especially when it comes to application of your new logo on standard business material. Your logo should be as technically simple as possible for adaptability, which just happened to be number 4 on our list...

4) Adaptability
Over the life of your company, you'll want to plaster your logo over everything you send out. That's the point of having a logo in the first place. In order to do this, you'll need a logo that's adaptable to every occasion and while they may look 'pretty' , the design gimmicks we just talked about render your logo impractical for many of these uses. Some of these uses - checks, FAXes, embroidery, newspaper ads, invoices, letterheads, etc. Your new logo has to work on all of them. You'll also need a quality black and white version that can reproduce as a halftone grayscale, or in the cases of low-resolution BW reproduction, a linear version.

5) Scalability
When using your logo, you'll need to be able to use it small. Real small. Postage stamp size. Classic example of this - over the years, I've designed a load of sports event posters that feature logos from dozens of event sponsors. Space only permits the logos to be featured as very small images and it's always the simpler logos that stand out when viewed from a distance. The cluttered logos aren't recognizable to any great degree and the sponsors are probably wasting their money, especially if inclusion on the poster is the only benefit of their sponsorship. When it comes to scalability, the text portion of the logo is the most important, as that's the piece you want people to remember. Scrawny, sickly text doesn't read very well at half an inch high.

6) Color is Secondary
Colors are extremely important. Using consistent corporate colors will become part of your brand - that's understood. However, when it comes to the design of your logo, color must always be secondary. A logo that requires color to 'hold' the design together is fine when reproduction is optimal - websites, 4 color process printing and what have you - but even then only if the size is appropriate as well. Logos that rely too much on color tend to blend together when used small (see above) and unless the contrast between the two colors is pronounced, will be a grey mess if used in black and white. As for low-resolution reproduction (FAXES, checks, etc) you can forget about readability completely - logos that use color as a design cornerstone usually come out as black blotches on a FAX transmission and with all their money, banks still haven't figured out how to print a decent check.

7) Appropriate Aspect Ratio & Footprint
The aspect ratio of a logo is the relationship between a logo's height and it's width. Bottom line, you don't want a logo that's too tall, or too wide. Square'ish' is always best as this allows the maximum adaptability of a logo, especially when it's being used in conjunction with other artwork. The 'footprint' of a logo refers to the amount of physical space that's required to place a logo on any page. If the footprint is 'wonky' - trailing design elements 'poke' outside the footprint - it can greatly affect the size that the design can be used at, as well as the visual impact of same.

Like most 'rules' of design, not all of these will apply in every situation, and in many cases, we'll toss them out completely. However, they should give you a road map that will help you navigate the sometimes frustrating creative process to design your new logo.

Steve Douglas is the CEO, founder and Creative Director of Thelogofactory.com an internet based logo design studio specializing in logos and corporate identity for small to mid-sized companies. With a history in the graphic design industry spanning 25 years, Douglas has had extensive experience as an agency and magazine art director before founding TLF in 1996.

Make Money With Affiliate Programs: Step-by-Step Guide

By Alan Liew

Affiliates make money by referring customers to their merchants. There are many companies and webmasters offer affiliate programs to promote their online sales. When you sign up for an affiliate program, you will be given an affiliate link with a unique affiliate ID which will be used to market the product. When someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link, you make money (earn affiliate commission). Below are the steps to starting an affiliate marketing business:

Step 1 - Join an Affiliate Program

Clickbank.com is one of the best places to find an affiliate program that interests you as there are a ton of sellers looking for people to promote their e-books and information products. Before you join any affiliate programs, do a little research. Find out which products are most popular, the conversion rate of the products and visit the sellers websites to see whether their sales letters are convinced enough to generate sales. A conversion rate of 5% is reasonably good. This means that for every 100 visitors to the website, 5 visitors will buy.

Step 2 - Promote an Affiliate Program through a Website

You need to have a website to promote your affiliate programs. Creating a website isn't difficult nowadays. You can use an easy website builder to create a website with little or no technical knowledge. To learn more about how to set up a site with website builder, you can go to Google and enter the search term 'website builder to find a website builder that is right for you.

Step 3 - Decide the Content on Your Website

As you are promoting e-books, you can write a review on each e-book with an affiliate link to the sales website of each e-book. If you do not wish to write reviews, you can create a product recommendation list on your website (e.g., Top 5 SEO e-books, Top 3 MP3 music download, etc.).

Step 4 - Drive Targeted Traffic or Visitors to Your Website

To earn affiliate commission you need to drive targeted traffic to your website. The more traffic your website gets, the more likely you'll generate more sales. There are several ways to drive targeted traffic to your site in short period of time (2 to 5 days). Here's how

Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
You can get a lot of targeted traffic using PPC advertising. The two most popular and effective PPC advertising programs are Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing. So how PPC advertising program works? PPC advertising programs allow you to bid for top rankings on the keywords of your choice. When someone enters a search term matches your keyword in the PPC search engine and press the search button, your contextual ad will appear on the sidebar of the search result page. If the visitor clicks through your ad to your website, you'll be charged base on your bid amount. To learn more about PPC advertising, please visit Google AdWords.

Article Marketing
Writing an article related to your affiliate products with a link to your website in the article's resource box and submitting it to many article directories can bring some free targeted traffic to your site. To get more and continuous targeted traffic, you need to write more articles. Try to publish a new article every week. Doing this for a year can drive truckloads of free traffic to your website.

Post Messages on Forums
Another way to get free traffic is by posting messages on community forums with a link to your site on the signature of each message posted by you. Here's a technique I learned from an affiliate marketer.

  1. Run a search on Google to find out forums and message boards that are related to your affiliate products and try to join as many forums as you can.
  2. Make sure that each one of your forums profile is edited to include your website link within the signature option.
  3. Spend a few hours navigating the pages of the forums. You can ask questions and post informative and helpful replies to other peoples questions or messages to build your status. The more people trust you, the more likely they will click your link.

There are other ways (free and paid) to increase traffic for your website. You can find a lot of free information and resources about website promotion from search engines.


About the Author:
Alan Liew is the webmaster of online4income.com which provides information, tips and ideas of how to make money online. You can also visit his blog to find out more ways to make money online.

Click here for more info from this author...

Launch Your Affiliate Program

By WorkZ Staff

Once you've developed an affiliate program, it is time to decide what types of affiliate sites you want to target and plan a marketing campaign to get their attention. Visit each applicant's site to determine if it is appropriate for inclusion into your network, and be prepared to provide members with the necessary links and graphics to promote your affiliate program on their site.

Decide What Types of Affiliates You Want to Attract

When you are ready to launch your affiliate program, you'll want to be proactive about finding the right types of affiliates, rather than just accepting those that come to you. Of course, you will want to target sites that are credible and share your target market. You may also want to attract affiliates that are already successfully involved in other affiliate programs, because they will already have a steady stream of customers coming to them to make purchases. To find active affiliate sites, visit top affiliate merchants, such as Amazon.com or CDNow, which typically offer links to their affiliates. Send an e-mail letter to sites that share your target market to introduce your own program.

Market Your Affiliate Program

With a target audience in mind, spread the word about your affiliate program. Again, many merchants choose to join an affiliate network, such as CommissionJunction, LinkShare, or IncentaClick, to leverage their marketing advantages. If that's not in your budget, however, grassroots marketing can be effective in promoting your program. It includes:

Incorporating banners that tout your new affiliate program into your online marketing plan.

Giving your new affiliate program a prominent position on your site and/or including details in your site's "What's New" section. Provide as much detail as possible about the program potential affiliates may be turned off by a program that is poorly defined or confusing.

Providing selling tips for affiliates. Affiliates will be more interested in joining your program if they know that you will assist them with increasing sales by identifying selling opportunities. These tips will be based on your selling experiences. Perhaps you have found that placement within a certain area of your site increases sales. Or maybe you have developed a way for affiliates to describe the program to customers that works especially well. Try to make these tips as clear as possible.

Including details in your blog, electronic newsletter or other e-mail promotions. Your current customers will appreciate knowing that your site is growing. Note: In all marketing efforts, be careful to avoid making unrealistic claims about your program's expected performance, and never promote your program through the use of spam.

Evaluate Affiliate Applications

As tempting as it may be, because of the potential for increased revenue and traffic on your site, it is not advisable to accept affiliates indiscriminately. You need to cater to the specific interests of your target audience and make sure the merchant's products are complementary to your own. Develop a list of criteria to use to ensure that potential affiliates are a good match for your program.

Provide Technical Requirements for Affiliates

In your Web site's affiliate section, you will need to provide company logos, banners, or art that should be used by your affiliates on their home page, online store page, or some other prominent location to promote your products. You may want to offer different graphics to correspond with different product lines, so you'll have to work with affiliates to determine which ones are right for their program. You will also want to provide detailed instructions on how to copy these images.

You should also display a short description, review, or other reference for affiliates to use to describe each product included in your affiliate program, or provide a link to the appropriate page or pages. If you require specific placement of these descriptions, provide instructions to your affiliates on your site describing how it should work.

You will need to provide affiliates with a unique code to use for their links to identify sales coming from their sites. These coded links will take affiliates' viewers to the corresponding ordering page for products on your site. At that point, your staff will take over to close the sale, including managing order forms, processing payments, shipping, cancellations, returns, and related customer service duties.

Finally, it is a good idea to provide a frequently asked questions (FAQ) list to answer any commonly asked questions about the technical requirements of your site. Since proper order tracking depends on proper link formatting, you may lose sales, and your affiliates may lose commissions, if any of the technical elements aren't properly formatted. For any questions not covered in the FAQ list, be sure to provide a telephone number and/or e-mail address to your customer service department.


About the Author:
The WorkZ staff is made up of gurus in many areas of expertise including Sales, Marketing, all aspects of the Internet, Technology, even starting and running businesses.

Click here for more info from this author...

Create Your Own Affiliate Program

By Jennifer LeClaire

You can significantly increase site revenue and traffic by starting your own associate or affiliate program. Planning your program will involve choosing or developing your software, setting up agreements with your associate sites, and deciding how much pay in commissions. You will also need to accurately track the activity on your program once it's up and running, and to do this you'll need to consider how you can provide good reporting systems to your associates.

But before you begin you should understand the ins and outs of affiliate networks and decide if this approach is indeed the best outlet for your marketing energies. A successful affiliate program will require you to consider and decide on many options, such as outsourcing opportunities, product offerings, program models, and affiliate site evaluation criteria. You'll need to target your market and spread the word about your opportunity, and manage the selection and payment of your affiliate sites. This sounds like a lot of work, but the rewards can be tremendous. Just ask Amazon.com.

Understand Affiliate Programs

Creating an affiliate program is a good way to boost your revenue, expand your marketing reach, partner with leading e-tailers, and increase your site traffic. But you need to understand the different types of programs and how the different commission structures work before you launch one of your own.

Should You Create an Affiliate Program?

Once you understand the basics of an affiliate program, you'll have to evaluate whether having one will be a worthwhile investment of your time and money. As with any other business venture, you will need to consider many factors, including whether there is a demand for the program, whether you have adequate capital and staff to implement and manage it, and whether you will gain an acceptable return on your investment.

Choose Your Path to an Affiliate Program

If you decide that you want to implement an affiliate program, you have two basic choices: Outsource by joining an affiliate network or go the "indie" (independent) route. If you have a sufficient budget, an affiliate network, such as CommissionJunction.com, LinkShare.com, or IncentaClick.com, can handle the basic development and implementation of a program. But if your budget is somewhat smaller or you would prefer to develop the program on your own, the entire development process can be done quite effectively in-house.

Develop Your Own Affiliate Program

If you go the independent route, you'll need to develop the entire program yourself, from deciding which of your product offerings will be included in the program and choosing a program model to drafting legal agreements and determining evaluation criteria for membership. But before you begin, be sure to do your homework. This includes conducting research to see what affiliate programs already exist in your space, as well as what your target market is looking for.

Launch Your Affiliate Program

Once you've developed an associate program, it's time to decide what types of affiliate sites you want to target and plan a marketing campaign to garner their attention. You'll also want to visit each applicant's site to determine if it is appropriate for inclusion in your network, and you'll need to be prepared to provide members with the necessary links and graphics to promote your associate program on their venue.

Manage Your Affiliate Sites

If you've developed an attractive associate program and marketed it well, it won't be long before you have a good number of sites to manage and links to track. Managing your members effectively will require you to use dependable tracking methods, such as Webtrends, to ensure accurate measurement of each affiliate's effect on your sales and traffic. In addition to link-tracking software, affiliate management software solutions are available to assist you. Examples include The Affiliate Program Software, AffiliateShop and AffiliateZone.

As a reputable affiliate merchant, you will also want to pay timely commissions, provide administrative and technical assistance, and establish an ongoing quality control program to ensure affiliate conformance with program guidelines.


About the Author:
Jennifer LeClaire

Click here for more info from this author...

Hispanic Business Weekend -- George Lopez to Have Last Laugh; Auto Review: GMC Denali; High-tech Must-haves (IJimenez@CosmicBreath.com)

Hispanic Business Weekend -- What you need to know before Monday.

>> Your weekly dose of Arts & Entertainment, Auto news, Media headlines
and commentary from Hispanic Business columnists.


-- Featured Columnist --

Commentary: Compromise
As the confrontation in Washington about the war in Iraq intensifies between the Democratic legislature and the Republican executive, 10Senators from both parties and President Bush announced their second bipartisan agreement in a week. The first was on trade and the second on the more controversial issue of immigration reform, long postponed since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65564&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=News


-- Arts & Entertainment --

Indy 500 to Feature First Hispanic Female Driver
Rookie driver Milka Duno, a native of Venezuela, will make history Sunday as the first Hispanic female to race in the Indianapolis 500.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65456&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=Arts+%26amp%3B+Entertainment+News

George Lopez to Have Last Laugh at Sí TV's Latino Laugh Festival
After a five-year hiatus used to launch Sí TV, the Latino Laugh Festival is back on track in a new city - Hollywood instead of San Antonio - and veteran comic and humanitarian with a recently canceled sitcom to his credit finally getting the last laugh.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65668&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=Arts+%26amp%3B+Entertainment+News

Latin Music: Just Don't Call It Flat-out 'Reggaeton'
"Residente o Visitante," the sophomore album from Puerto Rican duo Calle 13, adds tango, hip-hop, rap and more to the reggaeton of the band's debut.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65529&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=Arts+%26amp%3B+Entertainment+News


-- Auto --

Auto Review: GMC Yukon Denali
The all-new 2007 GMC Yukon Denali sheds all sports utility pretense. It's simply a luxury vehicle.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65666&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=auto

GM Receives SEC Request
General Motors Corp. said Thursday its received a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission for documents related to its recent restatement past financial results.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65648&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=auto

Jumping into Russia's Red-Hot Auto Market
Magna's loss may be a blessing in disguise. Instead of struggling to turn around an ailing North American carmaker, it can refocus its energies on more promising emerging markets such as Russia.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65289&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=auto


-- Media --

In Search of the Scientific Truth
The role of research has been strongly tied to the advancement of entire industries. It is fundamental, long term and essential for progress. However, argues Jake Beniflah in his latest In Perspective column, much of what we know about Hispanic marketing today is lacking an objective and critical research perspective on which real scientific progress can be based.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65563&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=Media

High-tech Must-haves for Spring Gift-giving Season
Forget the ties, the jewelry and the gift certificates for clothes. What dads and grads really want for their big day are high-tech gadgets. And do we ever have some sharp ones to suggest for shoppers this season.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65419&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=Media

Latin America's Press Not This Bullied in Decades
The Oppenheimer Report column: By almost every standard -- whether it's government censorship, intimidation of reporters or drug gang killings of journalists -- freedom of the press in Latin America is going through its worst moment since the right-wing military dictatorships of the 1970s.
http://email.hbinc.com/n.asp?n=65069&sid=1263&eid=751144&cat=Media

The Nation's Leading Hispanic Youth Media Outlets Showcased in June 14 Hispanic Market Pro Teleseminar

Miami, FL--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--May 25, 2007--The Latino youth market represents one of the most elusive yet growing segments of the Hispanic Market and no one is better equipped to help you reach them than the entertainment media outlets that specifically cater to them. Join Hispanic Market Pro for a national teleseminar that will feature a top Hispanic youth entertainment media panel that will provide actionable advice on scoring coverage in their media outlet.

Participants will learn the key differences between various Hispanic youth media, the top do's and don'ts when pitching each of them, what stories they want and what horrible mistakes to avoid. The audio conference, "Meet The Press: The Nation's Leading Hispanic Youth Media Outlets," will take place on Thursday, June 14 at 3pm ET.

Moderated by Romina Bongiovanni, vice president, Edelman Multicultural, the stellar panel includes Jose Tillan, Senior Vice President of Music and Talent for MTV Networks Latin America (MTVNLA) and MTV Tr3s; Enrique Kike Posada, Publisher, BOOM! Magazine; Flavio Morales, Vice President of Programming, mun2; Demian Bellumio, founder and president, Hoodiny Entertainment Group ( elhood.com); Luis Moreno, online NY market editor in chief, LaMusica.com-Spanish Broadcasting System, LaMega.com/ 931amor.com, Ricardo Villanueva Cruz, president, In The House Magazine, Inc. and Nicolas Jimenez, vice president of marketing, CosmicBreath.com Partners.

Here are a few of the practical topics that the expert panel will cover:
-- What are the leading trends among today's Latino youth? What are their preferences for media and entertainment?
-- How has the surge in social media affected the way that you communicate with Hispanic youth?
-- What makes each outlet unique? How does each outlet reach its target audiences?
-- What are the topics that are most relevant for your outlets and your respective audiences?
-- What are some tips for submitting content or story ideas to your outlets?
-- What role does your online presence play with your print publication or programming?
-- What should PR pros avoid when pitching your outlet?
-- How does your outlet get involved with the local community or grassroots efforts?

Access rates per teleconference call-in site are $110; $35 for educators and students.
To register for the teleseminar, click here. http://www.hispanicmarketpro.com/hispanic/details.php?file=9

Registration Details
Your teleconference registration includes:
-- A site license to attend this 60-minute national conference from the comfort of your office. Invite as many colleagues as you like to join you around a speakerphone, at no extra cost
-- The opportunity to connect with the speakers during the audience Q&A session.

Registration deadline is 24 hours prior to the teleseminar. Cancellations before 5 p.m. PT, two business days before the date of the audio conference will receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. All cancellations must be e-mailed in writing to cancel@hispanicmarketpro.com or by calling HMP at 305.971.2622.

About Hispanic Market Pro
Headquartered in Miami and owned by Hispanic PR Wire, Hispanic Market Pro (HMP) ( www.hispanicmarketpro.com) provides Hispanic marketing executives with first-rate professional development teleseminars that are insightful, practical and economical. HMP presents monthly marketing-related training sessions on a wide variety of career-building topics that appeal to executives across every advertising and PR discipline ranging from media buying to media relations. Hispanic Market Pro is a sister company of Hispanic Digital Network, LatinClips and ConTexto Latino.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Multimedia assets are available at: http://www.hispanicprwire.com/home.php?l=in

--30--

CONTACT:
Hispanic PR Wire
Natalia Flores
Corporate Communications Manager
305-971-2622
305-804-6941
natalia@hispanicprwire.com

Using Testimonials for Maximum Effect

Anyone who's been in marketing for more than a day understands the value of customer testimonials. Better than any other form of proof (logical argument, data, endorsements), they can prove particular claims that the marketer wants to make about his product.

But, like any marketing tool, the strength of a testimonial is greatly related to the effectiveness of its presentation. If you give your customers typical testimonials in a typical way, they will have very little effect, because they will neither attract attention nor deliver an emotional message. But if you can find a way to make the testimonial new - either with the language itself or with the presentation - the effect can be powerful.

When I teach young copywriters the power of proving their claims, I stress the importance of not using testimonials that "sound like" testimonials. When a customer tells you that your product is "far and away the leader in its field" or "the best thing since sliced bread," you may be thrilled because it sounds like something you might have written yourself. But that's precisely why you shouldn't use it.

The best testimonials are those worded in a way that catches your attention, conveys a positive message, and does so with credibility. "Damn good eatin' fish!" is a testimonial I'd much rather use than "Succulent and tasty." The "damn" arrests my attention, the choice of words is believable, and the effect of making "eating" an adjective conveys an immediate benefit. It almost makes the mouth water.

So that is one thing - selecting, finding, or creating language that meets these criteria:

* attracts attention
* conveys a benefit
* achieves credibility

But that's not all. To make your testimonials do their job, they need to be presented in a format that supports those three objectives. In a sales letter, for example, testimonials are typically presented as one- or two-sentence quotations that are placed either in the text itself or at the margins. If you have a bunch of one- or two-sentence testimonials, it doesn't hurt to use them that way.

But if you have a really good testimonial, one that's distinctive and believable and strongly conveys the chief benefit of your product, you should find a more creative way to present it. You can, for example, turn it into a big bold headline and bolster it with an eye-catching photo of the customer enjoying the benefit.

Perhaps the best way to achieve both powerful, unique language and a captivating presentation is to show actual customers in their natural environment speaking their own words. Infomercials selling wealth-building programs often present real customers talking about their success, but they are usually in a staged setting - in front of the beach or a swimming pool - and their comments seem to have been coached out of them. A much better approach would be to have these people walking around their homes or businesses, interacting with other people and talking candidly and in an unrehearsed way about how their lives changed by following the system that is being sold.

Home Depot just released three commercials that do a very good job of this. So good, in fact, that I'd recommend you study them to get an idea about what is possible - particularly nowadays, when just about every business should be working in mixed media, incorporating video into their advertising program.

Home Depot's new commercials feature documentary-like accounts of customers who have fixed up their homes. One features an African-American mother, her sister, her daughter, and her son. Seated in front of her children and beside her sister, the mother is obviously proud of the painting and spackling job she did on the living room. She says something like, "Now my kids say Mom did this and Mom did that"... and is interrupted by her daughter saying, "At first we were, 'Mom, you're messing up the house.'" The commercial flashes back to the mother getting tips on spackling at Home Depot and features impressive before-and-after shots. It ends with the mother saying, "This is a building that I made into a home."

Another one begins with a young mother saying something like, "I'm going to try to tell this story without crying." And then, "Two weeks after I bought my house, Dad died. He remodeled every house we ever lived in." And then she starts crying.

According to a review of the ad series by Stuart Elliott in The Wall Street Journal, the commercials were directed by Jeff Bednarz, a documentary filmmaker. "We started with the notion that nobody can tell a home-improvement story better than the customer can," said Gary Gibson, creative head of the Richards Group, the ad agency handling the Home Depot account. "They tell them better than we write them."

I agree. The message of these little films is empowerment and the effect is sentimental - but that sentiment is successful because it comes without a script and without professional actors. The cinema verite style that Bednarz chose to depict the customers' stories makes them at once dramatic and believable.

The bottom line is this: Testimonials work well if they are true - and the closer you can get to truth, the stronger your sales message will be. When working with testimonials, ask yourself, "How can I show this customer experience as dramatically and truly as possible?" You'll get a much better response.

Michael Masterson has developed a loyal following through his writings in Early to Rise, an e-newsletter published by Agora, Inc. that mentors more than 160,000 success-oriented individuals to help them achieve their financial goals.

Six Questions That Produce Successful Web Advertising

You would think that everyone in business would be able to tell you what they do and why you should be doing business with them; unfortunately the sad truth is many business executives can't. In fact one of the biggest problems in designing websites has always been getting appropriate raw material that can be turned into meaningful presentations: a handful of badly written brochures and a few out-of-date photographs are not going to make much of an impression.

And now that the Web has involved into a sophisticated communication platform, able to deliver audio and video content, the problem has become even worse; not only do websites need to deliver appropriate copy and image content, they need to present audio dialog and video performances that demonstrate how products and services improve the business or personal lives of website visitors.

As a company we are good at what we do, we can turn the mundane into the memorable but we can't do it if clients don't know or can't express their own marketing story, or are unwilling to allow their multimedia advisor to develop that story for them.

At the heart of the problem is fear, fear of making a definitive statement, declaring loud and clear what you do, and why anyone should care. It's no longer good enough to apply technical solutions to marketing problems: you are not going to engage your audience with SEO, XML, CSS, or PHP. You must have a story to tell and you can't be afraid to tell it as boldly as you can.

Do You Know Who You Are and What You Really Do?

We know who we are and what we do: we deliver our message knowing that some people are just not going to buy into what we have to say, but those that do get it, really get it, and they are our potential clients. As far as the others are concerned, well, there's lots of business for everybody, and nobody is going to get it all.

You can't be afraid to loose a customer you never had in the first place. In our case our job is clear: we deliver marketing stories using Web-video and audio in memorable Web-presentations. We are not afraid to tell clients that they need multimedia, and that an over dependence on search engine optimization or any other technical answer is a mistake - a big mistake.

Are You Doing All You Can To Attract Business?

There are many methods that can be employed to drive appropriate traffic to your site: search engine optimization is only one. Have you written and published articles and advice on what you do, have you created a blog or a MySpace page to create a community of interest, or have you issued press releases on new developments and product releases? If you're relying solely on search engine optimization as a substitute for marketing, you are not doing everything you can to attract new business.

Even if your search engine tactics are attracting large numbers of visitors to your site, what is your conversion rate, how long are people staying on your site, and do you have enough compelling content to get them to come back?

If you're in the business of selling banner and text ads on your site, if that is how you make your living, then lots of random traffic may serve your purpose; but if you are in the business of providing something useful to people, then you better pay more attention to what your visitors see once they arrive on your site. After all, all the traffic in the world is useless if those visitors don't get your message. It all starts with the message, so what's your message?

What's Your Story?

Crafting your marketing story is not as easy as it sounds, and you may have to let go of some outdated thinking in order to bring your story to life.

Web-videos are not feature films or even viral videos intended to show how clever you are. You are making a commercial: special effects may be cool but they are not a substitute for a finely crafted script delivered by a professional performer.

Websites Don't Close Sales, People Close Sales

Web-videos are designed to make a statement: "this is who we are, and this is what we do, so contact us to find out how we can change your life." Websites create leads, not sales; so don't expect your Web-video to make the sale, that's your job.

Now you know the purpose of your website presentation, it is time to figure out what you want to say. Below are a series of questions that will help you develop your marketing story.

1. How will your product or service change your customer?

All stories or marketing messages have to do with change: a cosmetic company provides change from plain to beautiful, from self-doubt to self-confidence. A vitamin supplement supplier provides change from poor health to good health, from sluggish to vitality. A self-help motivational program provides change from defeat to victory, from depression to wellbeing, and so on.

All good marketing stories highlight the change that your audience wants to make in their business or personal lives. Go deeper than the obvious look for the psychological, emotional, cognitive or spiritual change your company delivers.

All successful campaigns are about change. People who are satisfied with their work and life aren't motivated to be customers; you want to target people who are motivated, people who want to be better, stronger, smarter, prettier, healthier, and richer; people who want more out of work and more out of life.

If your audience isn't motivated to change and if your product or service can't deliver that change, then you're wasting your time and your money.

2. Is what you have to say different?

If you are saying the same thing, the same way as your competition, you're in trouble. You must differentiate yourself somehow; you must standout. Your product or service must provide something different. The world is full of 'me-too' companies, businesses that do the same thing as dozens of other businesses. You must find that unique something in what you offer that makes you different; that says you are not a follower but a leader.

If your product or service is substantially the same as your competitors, perhaps you should market it differently, or maybe you should concentrate on the 'High Concept' need it delivers, rather than the standard 'same-old-same-old' that everyone else is touting.

Which one of 'Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs' does your product or service fulfill: physical, safety, social, self-esteem, aesthetic, cognitive, or self-actualization? Chances are your competition has completely ignored the psychological and emotional marketing angle and is focusing on specifications and features that have little to do with why people really choose one product over another.

3. Do you know how to tell your story?

You must have more than a story to tell or a message to deliver; you must know how to tell it. Your marketing should create a recognizable corporate image that establishes a unique identity in the mind of your audience. If your audience sees no difference between you and the competition then you become interchangeable.

Apple didn't capture the lion's share of the MP3 market just because their product is arguable better than everyone else's, they did because iPods are more than MP3 players, they are a life-style choice, clearly delineated in commercials and advertising.

4. Can you say it boldly?

The meek may inherit the earth, but if they're in business, they'll probably go broke. If you got something to say, SAY IT, and say loud and clear. There are just too many companies, too many websites, too many advertisements, and too much everything to expect people to pay any attention to you if you are afraid to stand up and be noticed. Go boldly or don't go at all.

5. Who is your target audience?

Decide who you want to target and what motivates them; then design your website, videos, and advertising campaigns to trigger every hot button motivating message you can. Develop your message so it speaks directly to that audience.

Your message must have purpose, be focused and concise, and deliver a clear impression of identity. This means you can't be all things to all people. By focusing on a clear audience with a precise message you may even have a better chance of capturing non targeted audiences: the fact that Apple iPod commercials are aimed at a hip young audience has not stopped Apple from capturing MP3 market share across all demographic profiles.

6. Can you take the heat?

Last but not least, do you have what it takes to tell your story in a way that people will remember? Are you prepared to deliver your message in the boldest, most audacious manner you can? Are you ready to give up on none productive audiences and concentrate on those motivated to say yes to your message? Are you able to ignore the odd complaint or nasty email objecting to your cutting-edge approach? Are you ready for the Web-video revolution?

Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit http://www.mrpwebmedia.com/ads, http://www.136words.com, and http://www.sonicpersonality.com. Contact at info(a)mrpwebmedia.com or telephone (905) 764-1246.

Six Questions That Produce Successful Web Advertising

You would think that everyone in business would be able to tell you what they do and why you should be doing business with them; unfortunately the sad truth is many business executives can't. In fact one of the biggest problems in designing websites has always been getting appropriate raw material that can be turned into meaningful presentations: a handful of badly written brochures and a few out-of-date photographs are not going to make much of an impression.

And now that the Web has involved into a sophisticated communication platform, able to deliver audio and video content, the problem has become even worse; not only do websites need to deliver appropriate copy and image content, they need to present audio dialog and video performances that demonstrate how products and services improve the business or personal lives of website visitors.

As a company we are good at what we do, we can turn the mundane into the memorable but we can't do it if clients don't know or can't express their own marketing story, or are unwilling to allow their multimedia advisor to develop that story for them.

At the heart of the problem is fear, fear of making a definitive statement, declaring loud and clear what you do, and why anyone should care. It's no longer good enough to apply technical solutions to marketing problems: you are not going to engage your audience with SEO, XML, CSS, or PHP. You must have a story to tell and you can't be afraid to tell it as boldly as you can.

Do You Know Who You Are and What You Really Do?

We know who we are and what we do: we deliver our message knowing that some people are just not going to buy into what we have to say, but those that do get it, really get it, and they are our potential clients. As far as the others are concerned, well, there's lots of business for everybody, and nobody is going to get it all.

You can't be afraid to loose a customer you never had in the first place. In our case our job is clear: we deliver marketing stories using Web-video and audio in memorable Web-presentations. We are not afraid to tell clients that they need multimedia, and that an over dependence on search engine optimization or any other technical answer is a mistake - a big mistake.

Are You Doing All You Can To Attract Business?

There are many methods that can be employed to drive appropriate traffic to your site: search engine optimization is only one. Have you written and published articles and advice on what you do, have you created a blog or a MySpace page to create a community of interest, or have you issued press releases on new developments and product releases? If you're relying solely on search engine optimization as a substitute for marketing, you are not doing everything you can to attract new business.

Even if your search engine tactics are attracting large numbers of visitors to your site, what is your conversion rate, how long are people staying on your site, and do you have enough compelling content to get them to come back?

If you're in the business of selling banner and text ads on your site, if that is how you make your living, then lots of random traffic may serve your purpose; but if you are in the business of providing something useful to people, then you better pay more attention to what your visitors see once they arrive on your site. After all, all the traffic in the world is useless if those visitors don't get your message. It all starts with the message, so what's your message?

What's Your Story?

Crafting your marketing story is not as easy as it sounds, and you may have to let go of some outdated thinking in order to bring your story to life.

Web-videos are not feature films or even viral videos intended to show how clever you are. You are making a commercial: special effects may be cool but they are not a substitute for a finely crafted script delivered by a professional performer.

Websites Don't Close Sales, People Close Sales

Web-videos are designed to make a statement: "this is who we are, and this is what we do, so contact us to find out how we can change your life." Websites create leads, not sales; so don't expect your Web-video to make the sale, that's your job.

Now you know the purpose of your website presentation, it is time to figure out what you want to say. Below are a series of questions that will help you develop your marketing story.

1. How will your product or service change your customer?

All stories or marketing messages have to do with change: a cosmetic company provides change from plain to beautiful, from self-doubt to self-confidence. A vitamin supplement supplier provides change from poor health to good health, from sluggish to vitality. A self-help motivational program provides change from defeat to victory, from depression to wellbeing, and so on.

All good marketing stories highlight the change that your audience wants to make in their business or personal lives. Go deeper than the obvious look for the psychological, emotional, cognitive or spiritual change your company delivers.

All successful campaigns are about change. People who are satisfied with their work and life aren't motivated to be customers; you want to target people who are motivated, people who want to be better, stronger, smarter, prettier, healthier, and richer; people who want more out of work and more out of life.

If your audience isn't motivated to change and if your product or service can't deliver that change, then you're wasting your time and your money.

2. Is what you have to say different?

If you are saying the same thing, the same way as your competition, you're in trouble. You must differentiate yourself somehow; you must standout. Your product or service must provide something different. The world is full of 'me-too' companies, businesses that do the same thing as dozens of other businesses. You must find that unique something in what you offer that makes you different; that says you are not a follower but a leader.

If your product or service is substantially the same as your competitors, perhaps you should market it differently, or maybe you should concentrate on the 'High Concept' need it delivers, rather than the standard 'same-old-same-old' that everyone else is touting.

Which one of 'Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs' does your product or service fulfill: physical, safety, social, self-esteem, aesthetic, cognitive, or self-actualization? Chances are your competition has completely ignored the psychological and emotional marketing angle and is focusing on specifications and features that have little to do with why people really choose one product over another.

3. Do you know how to tell your story?

You must have more than a story to tell or a message to deliver; you must know how to tell it. Your marketing should create a recognizable corporate image that establishes a unique identity in the mind of your audience. If your audience sees no difference between you and the competition then you become interchangeable.

Apple didn't capture the lion's share of the MP3 market just because their product is arguable better than everyone else's, they did because iPods are more than MP3 players, they are a life-style choice, clearly delineated in commercials and advertising.

4. Can you say it boldly?

The meek may inherit the earth, but if they're in business, they'll probably go broke. If you got something to say, SAY IT, and say loud and clear. There are just too many companies, too many websites, too many advertisements, and too much everything to expect people to pay any attention to you if you are afraid to stand up and be noticed. Go boldly or don't go at all.

5. Who is your target audience?

Decide who you want to target and what motivates them; then design your website, videos, and advertising campaigns to trigger every hot button motivating message you can. Develop your message so it speaks directly to that audience.

Your message must have purpose, be focused and concise, and deliver a clear impression of identity. This means you can't be all things to all people. By focusing on a clear audience with a precise message you may even have a better chance of capturing non targeted audiences: the fact that Apple iPod commercials are aimed at a hip young audience has not stopped Apple from capturing MP3 market share across all demographic profiles.

6. Can you take the heat?

Last but not least, do you have what it takes to tell your story in a way that people will remember? Are you prepared to deliver your message in the boldest, most audacious manner you can? Are you ready to give up on none productive audiences and concentrate on those motivated to say yes to your message? Are you able to ignore the odd complaint or nasty email objecting to your cutting-edge approach? Are you ready for the Web-video revolution?

Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit http://www.mrpwebmedia.com/ads, http://www.136words.com, and http://www.sonicpersonality.com. Contact at info(a)mrpwebmedia.com or telephone (905) 764-1246.

Hispanic Business Weekend -- What you need to know before Monday.

Friday, May 25, 2007
Issue #4
Home News Magazine Contact Us


Hispanic Business Weekend -- What you need to know before Monday.

>> Your weekly dose of Arts & Entertainment, Auto news, Media headlines and commentary from Hispanic Business columnists.

Featured Columnist
Isaac Cohen
As the confrontation in Washington about the war in Iraq intensifies between the Democratic legislature and the Republican executive, 10Senators from both parties and President Bush announced their second bipartisan agreement in a week. The first was on trade and the second on the more controversial issue of immigration reform, long postponed since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Arts & Entertainment
Milka Duno (Photo by Misha Maximowitsch)
Rookie driver Milka Duno, a native of Venezuela, will make history Sunday as the first Hispanic female to race in the Indianapolis 500.

After a five-year hiatus used to launch Sí TV, the Latino Laugh Festival is back on track in a new city - Hollywood instead of San Antonio - and veteran comic and humanitarian with a recently canceled sitcom to his credit finally getting the last laugh.

"Residente o Visitante," the sophomore album from Puerto Rican duo Calle 13, adds tango, hip-hop, rap and more to the reggaeton of the band's debut.

Auto
yukon.jpg
The all-new 2007 GMC Yukon Denali sheds all sports utility pretense. It's simply a luxury vehicle.

General Motors Corp. said Thursday its received a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission for documents related to its recent restatement past financial results.

Magna's loss may be a blessing in disguise. Instead of struggling to turn around an ailing North American carmaker, it can refocus its energies on more promising emerging markets such as Russia.

Media
Jake Beniflah
The role of research has been strongly tied to the advancement of entire industries. It is fundamental, long term and essential for progress. However, argues Jake Beniflah in his latest In Perspective column, much of what we know about Hispanic marketing today is lacking an objective and critical research perspective on which real scientific progress can be based.

Forget the ties, the jewelry and the gift certificates for clothes. What dads and grads really want for their big day are high-tech gadgets. And do we ever have some sharp ones to suggest for shoppers this season.

The Oppenheimer Report column: By almost every standard -- whether it's government censorship, intimidation of reporters or drug gang killings of journalists -- freedom of the press in Latin America is going through its worst moment since the right-wing military dictatorships of the 1970s.

Hispanic Business Weekend -- George Lopez to Have Last Laugh; Auto Review: GMC Denali; High-tech Must-haves (Info@CosmicBreath.com)


Friday, May 25, 2007
Issue #4
Home News Magazine Contact Us


Hispanic Business Weekend -- What you need to know before Monday.

>> Your weekly dose of Arts & Entertainment, Auto news, Media headlines and commentary from Hispanic Business columnists.

Featured Columnist
Isaac Cohen
As the confrontation in Washington about the war in Iraq intensifies between the Democratic legislature and the Republican executive, 10Senators from both parties and President Bush announced their second bipartisan agreement in a week. The first was on trade and the second on the more controversial issue of immigration reform, long postponed since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Arts & Entertainment
Milka Duno (Photo by Misha Maximowitsch)
Rookie driver Milka Duno, a native of Venezuela, will make history Sunday as the first Hispanic female to race in the Indianapolis 500.

After a five-year hiatus used to launch Sí TV, the Latino Laugh Festival is back on track in a new city - Hollywood instead of San Antonio - and veteran comic and humanitarian with a recently canceled sitcom to his credit finally getting the last laugh.

"Residente o Visitante," the sophomore album from Puerto Rican duo Calle 13, adds tango, hip-hop, rap and more to the reggaeton of the band's debut.

Auto
yukon.jpg
The all-new 2007 GMC Yukon Denali sheds all sports utility pretense. It's simply a luxury vehicle.

General Motors Corp. said Thursday its received a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission for documents related to its recent restatement past financial results.

Magna's loss may be a blessing in disguise. Instead of struggling to turn around an ailing North American carmaker, it can refocus its energies on more promising emerging markets such as Russia.

Media
Jake Beniflah
The role of research has been strongly tied to the advancement of entire industries. It is fundamental, long term and essential for progress. However, argues Jake Beniflah in his latest In Perspective column, much of what we know about Hispanic marketing today is lacking an objective and critical research perspective on which real scientific progress can be based.

Forget the ties, the jewelry and the gift certificates for clothes. What dads and grads really want for their big day are high-tech gadgets. And do we ever have some sharp ones to suggest for shoppers this season.

The Oppenheimer Report column: By almost every standard -- whether it's government censorship, intimidation of reporters or drug gang killings of journalists -- freedom of the press in Latin America is going through its worst moment since the right-wing military dictatorships of the 1970s.


Google Trumps Yahoo with Neighborho...

Conversion Rate Marketing Blog --> GrokDotCom by Future Now, inc

The Only Marketing Blog You'll Need to Read

  1. Google Trumps Yahoo with Neighborhood Maps Search - 2007-05-21 14:01:51-04
    Google Maps now offers localized neighborhood searches, helping users find locations within informally defined city areas.The upgrade to Google Maps, announced on the Google Maps and Earth blog, comes on the heels of Yahoo's upgrade to their mapping service. That upgrade offers driving directions in 34 European countries.The Google upgrade allows users to perform searches such as "Ita...

  1. Sharing Your SEO Knowledge is Good - 2007-05-21 15:24:49-04
    There is a school of thought that the in-house SEO should be like the Wizard of Oz… feared and awed and hiding behind a green velvet curtain where no one is exactly sure what it is he does, but clearly it must be important. I think that, while this might do happy things for one’s [...]

  1. Wallop - More Than Your Average 'Sneak Peek' - 2007-05-21 18:12:59-04
    I was able to get an invite to join the private beta of Microsoft's social networking site Wallop, which describes itself as 'the exclusive place where you connect with your real friends and expand your relationships'. Here's my report. The site's exclusivity isn't because the site is in a testing phase, rather exclusivity is one if their selling points. The first thing I noted about Wallop ...

  1. Search Marketing Conference (Crazy) Schedule - 2007-05-21 18:35:14-04
    Paging through the latest issue of Search Marketing Standard, I landed on the colorful two-page layout devoted entirely to the search marketing conference lineup for 2007. I’ve decided that somewhere along the line, someone decided that all SEO/M’s are millionaires with marvy travel budgets who live in small isolated parts of the world like [...]

  1. Test Blogger and We’ll Love You and Pay You - 2007-05-21 18:58:00-04
    You can help us out and make money just by using Blogger! From time to time at Blogger we run usability studies to make sure that we’re on the right track with all the new features we’re working on.If playing with Blogger for an hour or so and making up to $100 sounds like something you’d like to do, please sign up here. Have more questions? Read the FAQ. You don’t even have to live near Mounta...

  1. Google Maps: Speed up address lookups with aliases - 2007-05-21 19:00:00-04
    The Google Operating System weblog highlights a great tip for speeding up your map searches by creating aliases for your commonly used addresses. To create an alias, just type in an address you want quick access to with a description of the address in parenthesis. Next time you need to find that spot on a map, just type in the name of the alias you've created rather than the address. Google ...

  1. Posting tips for the AdWords Help group - 2007-05-21 22:49:00-04
    Just about a year ago, we posted to celebrate reaching 5,000 members in the AdWords Help user-to-user support community. Since then, membership has more than doubled -- with just above 11,500 members assisting each other, 24/7. All in all, AdWords Help is a very useful place to shop for answers to your AdWords questions -- or to just spend some time browsing and reading questions and answers f...

  1. Busted By The Wikipedia Police - 2007-05-21 22:51:00-04
    In a recent post on Search Engine Land's Link Week I got a less-than-enthusiastic comment/rebuttal from a Wiki supporter after I suggested looking to the Wikipedia as a link resource. Here’s the comment I got: Deb, please have a look at Wikipedia's conflict of interest guideline. I believe that webmasters should be able to do whatever they want with their own sites, but when they visit somebod...

  1. Too Lazy for a Top Ten List? - 2007-05-22 03:11:05-04
    It's no secret that "top x" lists are popular with bloggers. They're a good way to draw attention and to pull in links from other blogs. If you're anything like me though, you often find yourself with 9 good items or 11 good items, but have trouble hitting that supposedly magic number ten. No worries! As it turns out, a "Top Seven" list could score you more links and requires you to do 30% less...

  1. Sweet PPC Ads - 2007-05-22 04:17:02-04
    Two chocolate companies advertised similar products via pay per click ads. One wasted thousands of dollars while the other grew their business.

  1. Buy Viagra - 2007-05-22 06:38:00-04
    Today has every other day I check the “Buy Viagra” results in Google and today for the first time ever I got all top ten results from .edu’s . Google that’s so poor it’s unbelievable, the top 3 edu’s have remove the Buy Viagra pages, meaning you not even giving your Users the ability to [...]

  1. CNN Does Yahoo!-Like Local News Deal - 2007-05-22 09:02:58-04
    The WSJ (sub req’d) is reporting this morning that CNN has struck a reciprocal linking/syndication deal with the publisher of a large network of local TV station websites: The deal, with Internet Broadcasting, a privately held Minneapolis-based company that publishes the Web sites of 70 local TV stations, allows CNN to use local stories from any [...]

  1. Google AdWords Now Bolding Keyword Variations in Google.com - 2007-05-22 09:30:22-04
    A WebmasterWorld thread reports Google not only bolding the ad text that matches your exact search query, but also bolding variations of that query. For example, a search on ipod in singular form, also bolds the word "ipods" in plural within this Circuit City ad. WebmasterWorld member Rehan confirms that he also believes this is new, saying; I'm pretty sure this is relatively new, or at th...

  1. New Study on Google Ranking Factors - 2007-05-22 09:36:28-04
    “titel” is “title” in German for you spell check enthusiasts. Via Axandra Search Engine Facts newsletter, German company SISTRIX (translated link) has conducted a study of 10,000 random keywords and then analyzed the top 100 Google search results for each keyword to determine which page elements offered the most influence on rankings. Nothing in the analysis will [...]

  1. Fooooo! Japan’s Video Search to Make International Splash? - 2007-05-22 09:46:49-04
    Japanese video search engine Fooooo.com has expanded into the International scene with new video search versions in English, Russian, Chinese and French. According to Motoko Hunt of Multi-Lingual Search, Foooo launched its beta version in March of 2007 and now searches over 28 million videos from sites such as YouTube.com, Google Video, DailyMotion and Ask.jp [...]

  1. SEO Clinic : Free SEO from Industry Experts - 2007-05-22 10:12:44-04
    Search Engine Journal’s SEO Clinic will be back in action next week after a month or so off and we are looking for more sites, businesses, and organizations which are interested in participating in the program. SEO Clinic is a transparent list of SEO recommendations and How To’s which are provided to sites which serve [...]

  1. Google bans essay writing adverts - 2007-05-22 10:20:23-04
    After complaints about students buying essays over the internet, Google is to ban essay adverts.

  1. Google.com Shuffles AdWords Listings: Results Return After Cookies Deleted - 2007-05-22 10:40:59-04
    A number of members at WebmasterWorld noticed that their AdWords ads, which previously ranked on the first page, were moved to the second and third page results. This was first observed on May 16th. On the 16th of May, I noticed that most of the websites that were in the first page rankings in Google USA, had been dropped to second and third page positions. Websites that have replaced them...

  1. Control Your Title Tags in Blogger - 2007-05-22 11:13:08-04
    It's no secret that about the single most important on-page factor in terms of search engine rankings is your Title Tag. After all, it's what humans often use to categorize your site, so why shouldn't search engines pay attention as well? If you use Google's free Blogger service to power your web blog, you may have been frustrated with the default settings that allow you very little control ove...

  1. Workspace: Al Gore rocks multiple monitors, could stand an inbox - 2007-05-22 11:31:11-04
    Former Vice President Al Gore's got a sweet multi-monitor setup, but wouldn't win any coolest workspace contests. Somebody get that man a copy of Conquer the Clutter. Thanks, Ralph! —Gina Trapani Al Gore's American Life [TIME]