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Monday, July 28, 2008

Cuil - Not so Cool

Today a new search engine was launched by 2 former employees of Google. The name is Cuil (pronounced "cool"). I gave the search engine a quick try this morning with some of the search terms I watch for myself and clients. The results, not so cool.

Searches for "search engine optimization," "internet marketing," and "rubber stamps" yielded the following message:

"We didn’t find any results for “insert-term-here”
Some reasons might be...a typo. Please check your spelling.
your search includes a term that is very rare. Try to find a more common substitute.
too many search terms. Please try fewer terms.
Finally, try to think of different words to describe your search."

When I tried the industry term seo I finally got results which included, in the "Explore by Category" tab - Korean Pop Singers??? Whoa! One search term I tried brought up relevant results with a totally unrelated reference to cNet software.

The result pages are laid out completely different than "normal" search engine with a three column format. The listings often include an image although I'm not sure how they are making a determination on image selection because often the images didn't seem to be related to the company or product represented - like it was just some random image from the site.

They people behind the search engine also stated that they had more pages indexed than Google . . . well apparently not if they are serving "not found" pages to typical terms.

My analysis - maybe it was launched too soon but right now Cuil is not so cool!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Even though the web may appear to be a cold, distant tool to some, it's really a relationship builder and, like every other relationship, you have to tune in to the feelings and desires of the people you wish to serve.

No matter how well you express yourself on your website, the constant challenge is to do and say the right things at the right time. Giving attention to the keywords people are using to find you will help you put the most important information in the right place and on the right page. And if you don't know which phrases people will use to find you, a healthy dose of keyword research is in order.

If your visitor is looking for a certain widget, put a picture of the widget on the front page. If your goal is to develop more leads, make the process quick and easy for your visitor including a great reason to give you their information.

Treat your web visitors like your customers and work towards developing an online relationship that will make them want to do business with you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take youeverywhere."--Albert Einstein

Many times when website owners think about the design and development of their webiste they think logically - come in the front page, click a link, exit... What happens when someone comes to your site and doesn't have the same logic you have? That's where imagination becomes important. Most of the visitors to your site don't have the same mindset and it takes thinking outside the box to give every visitor the best opportunity to find what they want on your site.

Having just one link on the front page to critical information doesn't catch everyone but having an alternative link to that info gives twice as many chances to get there. Using industry terms to describe your offerings only work if your visitor is familiar with the industry, try asking your customers what words they used to find you and try optimizing with those terms.

Click here is a good call to action but can you say it better? How about "Get your free catalog here!"

Your website is a chance to show and tell - use your imagination and try something outside the box. You may be surprised with the results!

Monday, July 14, 2008

What do your web visitors really want?

Harvard Business School Professor emeritus Theodore Levitt once said, "People don't want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole."

The visitors to your website don't want a product, they want a solution. How do you find their needs? Normally you have a dialog and ask questions to uncover their needs. On the web you may not be speaking face to face but you can still provide the answers to their questions through a "frequent questions" page or by just directly integrating those answers within your text.

It's not about what you're selling--it's about how what you're selling can help the customer. Focus on benefits. Give your visitors a reason to do business with your company by showing them the value behind your product or service.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"The Coolest" from Google

Today I was able to attend a webinar from Google - which I think is cool just to begin with. The pros at Google answered questions that were submitted in advance and went through the highlights of Webmaster Tools, Web Analytics and Web Optimizer. Even if you thought you knew it all, there was plenty more that these tools are able to tell you and that you can accomplish with them.

At the end, each of the three moderators gave their take on the coolest features of each application. Here they are:
  1. The external links feature combined with the "what googlebot sees" in the Webmaster Tools. Together these tools not only tell you who's linking to you, they can show you what others are saying about your products or services. They give you an opportunity to comment on blogs that mention your company and manage your corporate reputaion... yep pretty cool.

  2. The "compare to site average" segment by goals report in Web Analytics. This tool helps you really focus on which traffic sources and even keywords are giving you the most sales (or leads). The visual of this report shows you in bold red and green where the best performers are... yep very cool.

  3. The "time on site" testing ability in Web Optimizer. Web Optimizer is usually thought of for the split testing toward definite goals like making a sale or getting a sign up on the site but if you just want to focus on branding your company, time on site is your major indicator that people are paying attention to what you have to say. And for retail or lead generating sites, time on site is a valuable tool when it comes to knowing that you are delivering what your visitors are looking for .. . . . way cool.

If you aren't already using these tools or you need help getting set up email or call me (877.644.3327) - I'll be happy to help!

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