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10 Signs Your Office Tech Needs Upgraded PDF Print E-mail
Written by bruce   
Thursday, 27 September 2012 23:35

This past weekend we took the kids for a little mini-vacation to Branson, MO. Kids love indoor waterparks plain and simple so off we went for a quick trip for them to play and me to watch Branson Half-Ironman. Well, while driving through town we happened to drive by a store with the above sign. Yep, it wins our top spot in signs that you may need to upgrade the technology in your place of business. So without further adieu here are my top 10 ways to know that you need to upgrade:

NOTE: All these are real examples we have either talked to people about or witnessed ourselves just recently.

1) If your sign says there is an A: drive floppy error you may need to upgrade your signage

2) You still have a rotary phone on your desk (you know who you are)

3) You still use a yellow legal pad for your accounting and as your CRM system (this is honestly my favorite…)

4) Your office secretary still is required to use an At A Glance paper calendar to handle office scheduling for an office of 10

5) Your website was hand written in HTML in notepad and still auto-plays music

6) You still use MySpace and you are in marketing

7) Your BUSINESS email still ends in @yahoo.com, @gmail.com, @msn.com, or @anything that is not the domain name of your business

8) You still worry about a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death)

9) You have to find your copy of Frontpage 98 to update your website (ok this actually may be my favorite)

10) And finally… You still have a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitor that weighs more than you do

Feel free to post your own in the comments below.

Read more... [10 Signs Your Office Tech Needs Upgraded]
Building A Free Website Does Not Mean Effective Online Marketing PDF Print E-mail
Written by bruce   
Monday, 24 September 2012 18:06

It’s tough love time. During the length of time we have been helping local businesses create a presence for their business online through either online advertising, websites, social media, or whatever service they required, our team has been educating the small business owner as they hear the common “But my brothers friend can build a website.” or “I just put up a free GoDaddy site.”.

In the past couple weeks I have witnessed no less than 4 friends who have either posted on Facebook that they spent a day on the weekend and put together a new website or witnessed a restaurant that posted they have a new website and you visit it and its a hacked together free site on GoDaddy that will frustrate the visitors from the time they enter the site.

I completely understand that businesses have limited budgets, I have their backs on that more often than not. Every dollar out of these businesses cash register is a dollar that can go towards making their mortgage payment when its a family owned business, which it is in many cases.

But in virtually every case I have witnessed lately these same businesses are spending money on billboards, newspaper ads, or other legacy marketing methods that would more than cover the cost of a well designed and search friendly website that they can maintain and use to benefit their business.

The problem is most businesses think about their website as an afterthought, or as an “I guess I should have one” item when in reality in todays world it is the first place people are going to look for any information about the business.

I do not mean to pick on GoDaddy, I am a GoDaddy customer for domain registrations, but if you are trying to effectively market your business you cannot put up a free website with no professional input and expect real results. Which is what causes my major concern, as much as we would like their business, in all reality I have a passion about getting people online, I really CARE about them doing well online because I KNOW it is possible. But when they build a website like this with no consultation or understanding and then get a bad taste in their mouth because of improper techniques it taints their next interaction with someone that may be genuinely trying to provide them a service.

So, local business owners, please understand that there is a difference between truly doing something great for your business online and just building a website as an afterthought. Its a great start to show the interest in building something online, but make let someone help you make the right steps so you do not lose those customers once they get there.

Read more... [Building A Free Website Does Not Mean Effective Online Marketing]
Domain Drops Falls Into Place And Yes I Still Love dotME PDF Print E-mail
Written by bruce   
Thursday, 20 September 2012 20:51

Amazing how sometimes things just fall into place. Last night I was sitting with Tiffany working on the soon to be re-launched LocalTek website when a certain domain name popped in my head that I have been wanting for a couple years, it was not necessarily something I wanted for resell but more so for personal project reasons and was a bit on the fun side.

I had not really thought to check it in sometime and there was really only a couple extensions I would buy the domain in, one would cost more than I am willing to pay based on the use I have for it but the other would of been worth the cost.

Well, as I said I randomly decided to do a whois on the domain last night and noticed it was about to drop, as luck would have it it was in the GoDaddy expired domain auctions ending 23 hrs and 51 mins later.

Today I was able to get the domain name, super happy about it. I am just amazed at the timing. Sometimes the forces do align…

On a side note, recently in one of the comments here someone asked me if I still believed in the .ME extension. I would say more so than ever before.

Watch TechCrunch or any other startup or tech blog and keep an eye on the domains that people are launching with. Even the most diehard .Com purist would have a hard time ignoring that the extension has done well. Without a doubt startups have figured out next to .COM that .ME is a marketing teams dream for branding… When combined with the proper left of the dot word.

Read more... [Domain Drops Falls Into Place And Yes I Still Love dotME]
SEO Maintenance Is Important For Small Business Websites PDF Print E-mail
Written by bruce   
Monday, 17 September 2012 22:39

Over the past few years LocalTek has continued to gain more and more customers with a mix of different services from local ads to a new website to web hosting. But one service that has grown more and more is SEO maintenance on a monthly and quarterly basis.

If you are in this industry that seems like an obvious thing, but in rural America services like that are not common place and there is still educating that is being done everyday by the team here.

Fortunately our customers sites did not receive the negative impact that many small business sites across the web experienced after the last major Google Panda update. But, we do see some shifts in how Google is handling certain types of local search and how they handle more frequent content updates.

What does this mean? Well since many of the changes made, even though they are focused on spam sites, also impacted stagnant small business sites it is now more important than ever to have some sort of maintenance package to allow for review and tweaking of a website to continue its high rankings in local search results. We have always said this but not it is imperative.

As our team meets with new customers they frequently show examples of rankings of sites that have not been updated for months and years that have lost rankings and then show the rankings of sites that are maintained properly. Thats the best way to educate on any topic, real life examples.

The problem that exists today is that many small businesses still think its acceptable to pay monthly or quarterly fees to their legacy promotion providers (billboards???) but have not really thought about how they should shift their budget to match how they actually use the web which is a good indicator of how their customers search for things.

At this point we still spend time explaining the difference between web hosting cost and website maintenance, customers are still learning the difference. That means there is both opportunity but also a need for education.

Long story short, as an industry we people involved in online marketing think it is obvious that SEO maintenance or keeping a site active is obvious. But on Main Street, local business owners are still learning more and more everyday.


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