The Atlanta Web Designer May 2010 Newsletter
Blue Light Labs has finally gone live with its new website design
Spring Time In Atlanta! After almost 8 years of sitting on our old website were now optimized and running! I promise it does not take that long for us to finish our client projects. :) Anyhow, if anyone feels the urge to point out anything from browser compatibility errors to spelling mistakes feel free to give us a heads up. The new bluelightlabs.com website will allow our clients to manage everything from their billing, website content and domain renewals to support tickets and website analytics. We find it helps out if everyone can manage their website services from one location. We will also be posting up-to-date useful information regarding recent industry news and internet marketing issues.
Please, if you have not done so already become a fan on our Facebook page to get real-time updates.
1. Our New Atlanta Website Design
2. GOOGLE is acting like the economy (CRAZY)
3. Facebook Advertising: Could it work for your business?
4. Get the IPad now or wait for the HP Slate?
3. Entrepreneur Gold Rush (Where is the Gold?)
4. 5 very simple things you can do right now to improve your website’s ranking
5. Make some extra money referring Blue Light Labs
6. Featured Clients
Is it just me or is Google acting crazy lately?
Over the past 6 months I have been watching Google's results a little too much. New companies and businesses are starting to penetrate Top 10 ranking positions and listings are being flip-flopped around way more than usual. Some companies that I used to think where just grandfathered into their top ranking positions are being dragged from top to bottom of the organic search multiple times a day. I personally believe either some major changes are being implemented at Google or they are just messing with people during this stressful economic crisis we are in! In many ways the new blood is a good thing that makes us get off our butts and learn something again. However, I have also seen unexplainable results that don't make much sense when compared to what I know.
Another issue to really look at is that even though Google is king, it is starting to sweat around the collar from the pressure of Bing, Facebook, Twitter and the social networking rush. Facebook actually officially became the most visited site daily on the Internet; people’s grandparents are learning how to use Facebook before their computer for god’s sake! Social networking is forcing the rest of the culture to get online and access pictures of their grandchildren and almost forgotten school sweethearts. The big question is still: What does this mean for web based business and ecommerce.
Facebook Advertising Lowdown
Social network advertising with Facebook has turned out to be a avenue that works quite well for some businesses, but not all. We currently are running campaigns with a few clients and it seems to be doing rather well with local service based companies. If you have an ecommerce website selling widgets or items without a common niche I don't recommend it as much. Facebook allows you to pause and restart your campaigns, like Google AdWords, it also lets you drill down into your demographic using some available profile data. I'm seeing a good amount of local businesses, such as lawyers, massage therapists, couriers, restaurants and local coupon websites, take advantage of the local target markets.
Facebook ads are typically located in the lower right of the user activity stream page and wall web pages. The ads are not that large, only 110px by 80px, so use your space wisely. I have noticed that there are quite a few ads that are terrible; you can't even read what the ad says because the advertiser spent the entire real-estate on a logo or long pitch message. The ads seem to only change session by session meaning that when I login I typically see the same ads during my visit.
When setting up your campaign you can drill down using keywords used in profiles with the same interests. The more key words you put in, the shorter the available profiles list becomes.
Our Web Design Campaign Example:
- Sex : Female
- Age 35-68
- Small Business
- City / State / Everywhere
- Education / Relationship Status
So you can start to get the picture, there are 2 ways to setup campaigns at the moment. You can pay by impression or by click. You pay allot more per click than impression and in most cases I feel that paying per click is the way to go - depending on your industry. Impressions would be a good idea if you were just trying to spray name recognition verses (Mikes Shoe Repair Store). This next Sunday being Mother's Day I'm seeing a great deal of local florists riding the back of the holiday.
Social Network Design has popped up on our scope as being a completely new business to get into. At Blue Light Labs we are now building niche social networking websites using a large array of tools and components.
IPAD VS HP SLATE
These are huge buzz products right now. I was really excited about getting my hands on an IPAD but I personally am holding out for the HP Slate. I got the chance to get my paws on one at my local Best Buy and as expected it was very impressive, fun and easy to work with. The OS and everything built into it functions almost exactly like the IPhone. Being a web developer and designer the slate has more room to expand software wise as well as the entire issue with Flash support. I know there are many web designers out there that would disagree with me but I still am a pretty strong supporter of the Microsoft Corporation and its products. I own an IPhone and use it religiously we have Windows 7 running on almost every workstation/laptop in the Lab now and I have to say I really think they have done a great job with the OS. There are a million articles on this so I'm going to narrow it down to just telling my readers that they should look at the pros and cons of both before running into a store and spending $500 on a tablet. The Slate has not released its availability date yet but it's expected to be out soon.
Entrepreneur - Avalanche
I think people are finally getting used to the new economy temperature and its effects. Things that used to stress me out have been replaced with larger and more elaborate problems. My clients are stressed out, I'm stressed out and getting new customers is literally like pulling teeth. Companies I had completely forgot about have been calling me wanting to collect on 7-10 year old debts that I can't even remember. Vertical marketers are jamming up our phones with partner program offers and referral programs. The Atlanta web design business I'm in has just stepped over the cut throat line in the sand. If you own your own business you should have noticed by now that your competition just about doubled over night. I don't want to sound like a broken record when compared to the tabloids but a good number of people that lost their job are almost forced now to go into business for themselves. I think what they might have not realized yet how hard it is to do. Not everyone has the entrepreneur spirit even though they may think they do.
All you businesses out there that built yourself from scratch and made it this far - hang in there. Improve your services; your experience will pay off.
5 Simple Things That will Help your Websites Ranking
No SEO Specialist or Internet Marketing Agency knows exactly how Google works. There are theories and experimental data scattered all over the web. In many ways I just follow my gut on some things. These are a few things I feel will make a difference in your websites ranking without spending more than $500. Take them or leave them.
- Purchase your domain name for more than 10 years +
- Make sure your site is on a static IP address that is not being shared with 300 other go daddy websites
- Add your website to Yahoo's directory. It is between $200 - $300 a year but I really believe it is the best authoritative directory you can be listed in.
- Link from your internal pages back to your home page using slight variations of your primary phrases. For most SEO Marketing experts this is a no-brainer.
- Don't have more than 1 <H1> on your site and make all your secondary headers <H2><H4>
Want to make some extra money and refer Atlanta's favorite web design company at the same time?
We are now offering, in most cases, a 20% referral check or free web design work to current clients that refer a friend to our web design services. If it comes up over lunch or conversation please keep us in mind. If you have worked with Blue Light Labs, I believe you know how determined we are to making our clients successful.
We are looking to hire. Blue Light Labs is looking for web designers and web developers. If you feel you might be a good fit please email us a resume and brief summary of your skill sets and experience in the field.
Our team is multitask oriented, so we are especially trying to find a candidate that not only can build great websites but also has no problem picking up the phone and participating in being a client liaison or sales representative.
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