Category Archives: Web Sites

Free SEO Tool Ranks Your Website Against Competitors

reviewmyweb_logoI get a lot of emails asking me to post, discuss or review a service and rarely have I found one worth sharing. This is one of those rare moments. Sam Cabal asked me to take a look at his free search engine optimization (SEO) tool called reviewmyweb.com that provides a fairly detailed report of how well your website ranks against your competition. Simply submit your website URL, along with up to two of your competitors, and within minutes a report is emailed back to you. It takes into account Google page ranks, backlinks coverage, site content, and blog coverage. I just tried it and found it very impressive. So much so, I’ve just sent a copy of my report to my Senior Web Developer as we’re in the midst of optimizing our new PEER 1 website which went live a few days ago. This is a handy tool for web marketers that I encourage you to try out… and the price is right. Sam, thanks for sharing and good luck.

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Filed under Google, Internet, marketing, Marketing Research, Online marketing tactics, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, Web Sites

Internet Marketing Key to Obama Win

Barack Obama wins Democratic nominationParticularly interesting post on the Wired blog that illustrates how Barack Obama’s branding and marketing campaign usage of the Internet played a key role in propelling him victory of the Democrat nomination. Below is an excerpt with a link to the original post:

“It’s impossible to imagine Barack Obama’s rise without the modern methods that his campaign used to organize itself, particularly around the internet,” says Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the nonprofit think tank the New Democratic Network. “This really was the most successful campaign of the 21st century.”

“This is what happens when you have a charismatic candidate, and you organize on a scale not seen before,” he adds. “Literally, the size and scale of this is unprecedented in American political history, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the money, and passion, and support of millions of American people.”

The campaign came up with a number of innovations on the internet. It used wikis — online collaborative software — to coordinate and churn out precinct captains in both California and Texas. And it created a counter-viral e-mail campaign to combat the anonymous e-mail smears that question his religious faith and patriotism. It set up policy pages that solicited ideas from supporters, and at one point, the campaign solicited letters from supporters over the internet to lobby the undecided superdelegates.

And Obama’s campaign constantly updated its YouTube channel to keep its supporters around the country up to speed on his latest speeches.

Read full story

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Filed under advertising, Barack Obama, Blogging, Branding, Communications, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Public Relations, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral, Web 2.0, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth, youtube

Google’s GOOG-411 Connects You to Local Businesses for Free

Google has come out with another free cool service called GOOG-411, a voice-activated 1-800 line that connects you to businesses in your area. For example, if you’re looking for ‘pizza delivery’, say it along with your city and state or province, and it will give you available businesses to choose from. Here is a video demonstration of how easy it is. I have already added it to my speed dial.

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Filed under Business, Cell phone, Communications, Electronics, Google, innovation, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Search Engine Marketing, Small Business Marketing, Technology, Web Sites

Consultants, Replace Your Tired Website with a Blog

I was talking to a leadership consultant over coffee and we started discussing websites and blogs. He has a company site, but like many, it doesn’t get updated much and is used as the primary introduction to his business – an online brochure, more or less. I suggested he should start a blog. Then, I went as far as to say his blog should replace his company site. He seemed taken back. Then I explained.

A blog is the best type of site for a professional consultant. It’s tailor-made for their needs and what they have to offer: knowledge and expertise. A consultant can use the blog to continually share their knowledge, keep it regularly updated, cultivate a community passionate about the same field, and interact with an audience. How many company sites do that? How many even get updated unless for a change in an address or phone number. And you can save on the hosting costs with a free blog here at WP, complete with traffic and search stats. Add pages to the blog such as articles, bio and business info and you’ve got all the components of most regular sites, but a hell of a lot more effective and functional. If you’re a consultant and only have a company site because everyone else does, you’re not doing yourself much service. And chances are, your company site isn’t doing a whole lot to communicate your authentic voice – a key component when evaluating consultants. Start a blog and link to it from your site, or make your blog your main site.

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Filed under Business, Communications, consulting, Hosting, Internet, marketing, Small Business Marketing, Web Sites

Expedia Delivers Worst Customer Phone Experience

This has got be the worst phone queue hell I have ever experienced. As I write this, I am exactly 2 hours into being put on hold by Expedia to make a minor change to my flight date for an upcoming trip. Why am I so stupid to wait this long on hold? You might be more perplexed that this is not my first time being placed on hold in the past two days, but my THIRD. My previous hold times were 1 hour 10 minutes and 1 hour 40 minutes, respectively – both which I ended to try a different course of action. Since Expedia is an online site, you would think I could make these changes over the net, but no, they require you to call their support line. After each of my first two attempts, I wrote them an email. Here is the frustrating correspondence that has left me no choice other than wait through the shrieking looping violin blaring out of my speaker phone:

  • ME, Oct 13th, 2007 (through Expedia site):
    Hello -I need to change my return flight on Alaska Airlines from San Francisco to Vancouver. Please let me know what the procedure is and how much the change will cost me. Thanks. Rajan
  • EXPEDIA, Oct 15th, 2007, 10:17am:
    Dear Rajan Sodhi, Thank you for contacting Expedia.ca regarding your reservation. Due to our high security measures, we ask all Expedia.ca members to call us directly and speak to one of our agents in order to change or cancel their booking. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our Customer Support Representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thank you for choosing Expedia.ca!
  • ME, Oct 15th, 2007, 11:20AM:
    I have been on hold for over an hour now. Please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Rajan Sodhi.
  • EXPEDIA, Oct 16th, 2007, 10:00am:
    Dear Rajan, Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate your thoughtful comments, and we’re sorry that your experience was not as expected. We rely on customers like you to provide us with the information we need to continue improving our services. We would just like to remind you that your time is of value to us, but we are experiencing an unusually high call volume at this time, and all calls are answered in a priority sequence. Due to high security standards, we do require you to call back, but cannot at this time give you a direct line to call. We thank you for your patience. If you have questions regarding this matter or require further assistance, please reply to this email or contact our 24-hour support desk at 1-888-397-3342. Our customer support representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • ME, Oct 17th, 2007, 11:40AM:
    I am currently on hold again and it has now been exactly 1hr and 40 minutes. Do you find this acceptable? I have been a customer of your site for at least three years and I find this appalling. Please provide me now with a direct phone number to an agent or call me at XXX.XXX.XXXX or XXX.XXX.XXXX – I cannot continue to stay on hold. Thank you. Rajan SodhiItinerary# XXXXXXXXXXX
    1. Need to change return flight from SFO.
    2. Received a notification through Expedia that a change was made to my flight. Cannot see it on site – prompted me to call you. Please clarify.
  • EXPEDIA, Oct 17th, 2007, 12:17pm:
    Dear Rajan, We apologize for the wait you had on the phone lines as we are currently experiencing an unusually heavy call and e-mail volume. Unfortunately, we cannot provide a direct line or have an agent call you as they are all working hard to reduce the call volume. We understand that you are frustrated and appreciate any patience in this matter. If you have questions regarding this matter or require further assistance, please reply to this email or contact our 24-hour support desk at 1-888-397-3342. Our customer support representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Ridiculous. And they have the nerve to refer to themselves in their recorded greeting as ‘customer care’ representatives. What’s the point of using witty terms and canned friendly email messages if the service doesn’t deliver. I used to recommend Expedia to everyone. I’ve been using their services for over three years and book 90 percent of my flights and hotels through it. No more. Crappy service like this makes me want to find a good travel agent.

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Filed under Business, Communications, Customer Service, Expedia, Internet, marketing, phone, Sales, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Travel, Web Sites

Web Hosting at Home: Pros and Cons

Great article written by Zvi Grauer who weighs the pros and cons of hosting your servers in-house (home or office) versus outsourcing to a web hosting provider. Many startups and small-to-medium size businesses host their servers in-house for convenience, costs and control. What they give up is security, bandwidth performance and a redundant environment to ensure uptime. As more businesses have become reliant on their IT infrastructure to sell goods, communicate with clients, and run their support systems, it could be disastrous and crippling to your business if that infrastructure isn’t rock-solid.

Quite a few of us have an idea or a personal project worth sharing with the world through hosting on the Web. Most of us also have an older computer which is either collecting dust in the closet/attic/garage, or is in a lonely corner, waiting for someone to use it, while the family flocks to the shiny new laptop or desktop in the study. That is especially true of IT professionals, programmers and administrators. Wouldn’t it be great to put that old computer to work, hosting our personal web site? Read more

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Filed under Business, e-commerce, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, Web Sites

Plentyoffish.com Featured in New Online Video Series

Markus Frind of Plentyoffish.com

Some photos from our video shoot last Friday of Markus Frind, founder of the No.1 free online dating site Plentyoffish.com. Markus is being featured in a new series of PEER 1 customer stories we’re launching shortly. We’ve also brought in former MTV VJ, Brian Adler to host the short segments. Markus was recently featured in a Today Show segment. Stay tuned.

Brian Adler chats with Markus Frind Brian Adler chats with Markus Frind Brian Adler and Markus Frind at SIP

pof_peer1_video_f.jpg pof_peer1_video_b.jpg pof_peer1_video_g.jpg

UPDATE: Here is the final video with Markus. He offers up a peek into how he runs his one-man million dollar operation. Hope you enjoy!

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Filed under Brian Adler, Business, Co-location, data center, Dating, Hosting, Internet, marketing, Markus Frind, MTV, PEER 1, Plentyoffish.com, Small Business Marketing, Web Sites