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RFP – Random Friday Post (Last One of 2007!)

Portfolio, RFP - Random Friday Post on December 28th, 2007 No Comments

Yeah it’s been posted everywhere and it has become old, flat and tired, but I don’t care! I am posting it again because it hits so close to home for those of us involved in this wacky web world that everyone needs to see it a few more times. So, what do you think 2008 will bring?

Here’s my predictions:

  • Everyone and their dog will say they do web design and SEO/SEM for $199 (or even $25). Nothing says craptastic quite like this!
  • Google will roll at least one update as large or larger than the PageRank Update before the end of summer. Some Internet Marketers will cry for their mommy.
  • More legacy web giants will shut their doors or be bought out.
  • Counter design trends (or anti-trends) will take over a considerable amount of the market. Too-huge, glossy buttons will go back into the designer’s toolbox. Watch for urbanized designs, especially in logos, to explode.
  • White will become the new black, which is actually blue.

Happy New Year!

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RFP – Random Friday Post

RFP - Random Friday Post on December 21st, 2007 No Comments

Here’s the Drifters 1955 White Christmas Animation. Turn up your speakers, watch the video and listen to the golden voices of the stars of days gone by. The lead singer is Bill Pinkney (Santa) and the falsetto voice belongs to the late Clyde McPhatter.

Happy Holidays!

SEO Do's and Don'ts: Website Architecture (Structure)

Business Intelligence, Definitions, Natural Search Engine Optimization, Tips and Tricks, Web Design, Westward Strategy on December 17th, 2007 3 Comments

This is part two of our Do’s and Don’ts series. The purpose here is to provide quick actionable snippets of information to help you avoid any pitfalls in developing a strong web identity.

Do: Link to every page of the site from at least one other page on the site.
Do: Use absolute links in your link code, starting with the “http://”.
Do: Link key phrases within your copy to other relevant pages on the site.
Do: Use keywords in your page and folder names. However, keep the names short and simple. Separate words in page and folder names with a hyphen or an underscore. Do not use spaces or special characters in your naming conventions.
Do: Validate your html code and correct any errors. Use this online validator from the W3C.
Don’t: Use javascript menu systems and links. Links of this kind may not be indexed.
Don’t: Use frames or iframes in your html code.
Don’t: Serve different pages to the search spiders than your human site visitors. Nothing will get you dropped from the SERPs quicker – just ask the German BMW website.
Don’t: Use lots of folders and subfolders in your site structure, spiders like relatively flat websites.

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SEO Do’s and Don’ts: Website Architecture (Structure)

Business Intelligence, Definitions, Natural Search Engine Optimization, Tips and Tricks, Web Design, Westward Strategy on December 17th, 2007 3 Comments

This is part two of our Do’s and Don’ts series. The purpose here is to provide quick actionable snippets of information to help you avoid any pitfalls in developing a strong web identity.

Do: Link to every page of the site from at least one other page on the site.
Do: Use absolute links in your link code, starting with the “http://”.
Do: Link key phrases within your copy to other relevant pages on the site.
Do: Use keywords in your page and folder names. However, keep the names short and simple. Separate words in page and folder names with a hyphen or an underscore. Do not use spaces or special characters in your naming conventions.
Do: Validate your html code and correct any errors. Use this online validator from the W3C.
Don’t: Use javascript menu systems and links. Links of this kind may not be indexed.
Don’t: Use frames or iframes in your html code.
Don’t: Serve different pages to the search spiders than your human site visitors. Nothing will get you dropped from the SERPs quicker – just ask the German BMW website.
Don’t: Use lots of folders and subfolders in your site structure, spiders like relatively flat websites.

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RFP – Random Friday Post

Business Intelligence, Email Marketing, RFP - Random Friday Post, Tips and Tricks on December 14th, 2007 No Comments

Whenever you are going to be communicating with a mass of people, no matter the medium you plan to use, make sure you have at least one other person proofread your copy. All of your copy, even the subject line.

This email would have made a much larger impact and probably sold more tickets for the show Peter Pan had the subject line been correct. However, I bet their open rate went through the roof to find out who Peter Oan is. :)

Proofread and Spell check all of your copy!

Have a great weekend!

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Opera Takes Microsoft to court over Internet Explorer

Web Design on December 14th, 2007 No Comments

That’s right, Opera has filed an antitrust complaint with the EU over Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Their primary complaint is that IE’s dominant market share is restricting the web standards movement and hindering the ability of the entire web development industry to grow by not properly supporting the standards set forth by the W3C, both legacy and modern standards.

As a side note they also want IE “detached” from Windows. So in an ideal world consumers would have more of a choice in their browser.

Personally, I file this in the “too little, too late” category. I applaud Opera for their noble effort to inflict overdue pain on M$ for their “modern browser”, but this should have been done at least 2 years ago and probably more like 5 years ago. This way it would have had a greater impact on their development of IE7. Developers everywhere thought M$ was finally going to support web standards in a much broader way with IE7, until we started testing the beta. Quickly it was discovered that IE6 bugs were just replaced with new, equally frustrating bugs in IE7. Now we’re left hacking our sites and applications not only for IE6, which still has the dominant market share, but also for this new PITA (IE7).

I just don’t see Opera winning this one by themselves. Maybe they should form a Web Standards Browser Coalition (WSBC?) with Mozilla/Firefox and some of the other browser developers to really call more attention to exactly what they are fighting for.

So I’ll be rooting for David (Opera) but betting on Goliath (Microsoft). How about you?

SEO Do's and Don'ts: Link Building

Business Intelligence, Definitions, Natural Search Engine Optimization, Tips and Tricks, Westward Strategy on December 12th, 2007 No Comments

This is part one of a Do’s and Don’ts series I hope will help dispel some of the misinformation clients and prospects have stated to us lately about SEO.

I can understand how the average business owner or webmaster can become confused by all information, often conflicting information, that is out there on the net regarding our industry. With no way to regulate the industry the good guys (that’s us) and the bad guys (that’s the snake oil salesmen) are left to clammer over the top of each others’ message in a never ending battle of king of the mountain.

So hopefully this will help. If you find this information useful please let us know and we will continue to publish many more posts like this. Enjoy!

Do: Document all of your link building exercises and progress. Commit time in monthly intervals (minimum) to grow your links.

Do: Vary the anchor text you use for external links to your site. Don’t forget to use your target phrase for the landing page of the link!

Do: Find authority websites in your niche to obtain links from. Use your best judgment on this one by reading the content or reviewing the comments if it is a blog. Can you find the site in a search on the topic it covers?

Do: Utilize news agencies/websites in your niche to link back to your site.

Do: If you feel it is a good advertising investment, purchase links on industry and related websites.

Do: Exchange links on a one-on-one basis with other sites in your niche.

Don’t: Don’t Spam blogs, forums, user groups, guestbooks or anyone else. Ever.

Don’t: Fear Google when it comes to buying links.

Don’t: Buy links for any other purpose than advertising and traffic benefits.

Don’t: Participate in reciprocal link schemes or link farms of any kind.

Hope you enjoyed Part One!

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SEO Do’s and Don’ts: Link Building

Business Intelligence, Definitions, Natural Search Engine Optimization, Tips and Tricks, Westward Strategy on December 12th, 2007 No Comments

This is part one of a Do’s and Don’ts series I hope will help dispel some of the misinformation clients and prospects have stated to us lately about SEO.

I can understand how the average business owner or webmaster can become confused by all information, often conflicting information, that is out there on the net regarding our industry. With no way to regulate the industry the good guys (that’s us) and the bad guys (that’s the snake oil salesmen) are left to clammer over the top of each others’ message in a never ending battle of king of the mountain.

So hopefully this will help. If you find this information useful please let us know and we will continue to publish many more posts like this. Enjoy!

Do: Document all of your link building exercises and progress. Commit time in monthly intervals (minimum) to grow your links.

Do: Vary the anchor text you use for external links to your site. Don’t forget to use your target phrase for the landing page of the link!

Do: Find authority websites in your niche to obtain links from. Use your best judgment on this one by reading the content or reviewing the comments if it is a blog. Can you find the site in a search on the topic it covers?

Do: Utilize news agencies/websites in your niche to link back to your site.

Do: If you feel it is a good advertising investment, purchase links on industry and related websites.

Do: Exchange links on a one-on-one basis with other sites in your niche.

Don’t: Don’t Spam blogs, forums, user groups, guestbooks or anyone else. Ever.

Don’t: Fear Google when it comes to buying links.

Don’t: Buy links for any other purpose than advertising and traffic benefits.

Don’t: Participate in reciprocal link schemes or link farms of any kind.

Hope you enjoyed Part One!

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