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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What? Who is that? Really!?!?

Ok, so the title is corny but totally appropriate! I have been creating my article content strictly for Super Cheap Signs and while I have really enjoyed doing that, I have missed my own little blog and my readers. So, I am making a commitment to pop in at least 2 times a week and post something interesting whether it happens to be about signs or not! I swear I will not remain a stranger!!!!

If you want a quick glimpse at how I have been spending my writing time, feel free to take a read:

I'll write you all soon and update you on all the doings:-)

Monday, April 5, 2010

SEO Tools and Tips

Occasionally, I actually cover topics that are not directly related to signs, but still have some bearing on advertising or marketing (don't get the wrong idea though! Signs are critical to marketing and advertising!). For whatever reason, I had this huge urge to cover SEO :-)

In today’s world, gaining popularity in the business sector has become very competitive. So, businessmen are searching for various techniques to establish their name in the market. Among many techniques, SEO for business is quite popular among small and big businesses and corporations. Search engine optimization (or SEO) is the process of improving traffic to a website from search engines. This is made possible by organic search results. Through SEO, search engines can examine the presence of your website by looking at keywords that are included in your web pages. On the basis of that, business websites will be ranked on the search engine list. In this entire process, relevancy of content plays a crucial role.

During search engine optimization, one must consider a very important process- build links by creating external links. These links build points to your website and improve your website’s authority level. The search engines crawl the website and check out whether it is popular or not and if it is popular then the search engine will reward the site with more prominent rankings. Not only this, SEO for business website can bring more potential customers from across the globe.

The following 10 free SEO tools can help draw targeted traffic to your Web site content. You’ll notice that many of the tools in this roundup come from Google. Because Google searches account for about 65 percent of all Internet searches, it makes sense to use Google tools for your SEO efforts.

Top 10 Free Small Business SEO Tools:

1. Google AdWords Keyword Tool: Google’s free tool is designed for marketers who want to find the best keywords for their Google AdWords campaigns. But it’s extremely useful for organic (unpaid) SEO efforts, too. It can give you a sense of how often people use a particular keyword, or variations of it, in Google searches, and how competitive a keyword might be to rank highly for it in Google search queries.

2. WordPress: Search engines love blogs, so if you aren’t currently blogging, give it a try. WordPress is widely seen as the best blogging platform.

3. Google Analytics: If you haven’t set up a Google account and added Google Analytics tracking code to your site or blog, you should. Simply put, it’s a fantastic tool for learning about what attracts visitors to your site -- including the keywords used to find it -- as well as where visitors come from, how many pages they typically visit on your site, how long they stay on your site and tons more.

4. Google Insights for Search: While Google AdWords Keyword Tool shows you the volume of searches conducted using specific keywords, Google Insights for Search gives you a sense of the trends in keyword usage. Specifically, you can compare search volume across chosen time periods (from 2004 to the present), geographic areas, categories and a lot more. Google Insights for Search will show you the keywords that are rising in popularity. This information can help you target the best keywords for new site content, such as blog posts.

5. Google Trends: Google Trends shows you what the hot topics and search terms are on Google right now. It’s not quite as useful as Google Insights for Search for getting the big picture on trends. But it’s ideal for a quick snapshot on the Internet zeitgeist. Plus, you can also go back in time to see what the top hot searches were on a given day, which is cool.

6. Trendistic: Trendistic provides charts to reveal how a given topic has trended in the past 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, or 180 days. Another good tool to guage this is Twitter Search ( Twitter search doesn't give you any graphs, but it can help you stay up-to-date on the latest buzz.

7. Facebook: Facebook has surpassed Google as the top source for traffic to major Web portals, prompting some analysts to say that social media networks, such as Facebook, could become the Internet’s next search engine.

8. Wordtracker Labs Keyword Questions: Increasingly, people are typing natural-language questions into search engines. But what questions are people typing? Wordtracker’s free tool will tell you, based on the search query data it compiles. You could discover the top questions people have that are relative to your product or service. Then you could write a blog post or add an entirely new page to your site to answer one of those questions.

9. Google Local Business Center: By listing your business with Google’s Local Business Center, you’ll greatly increase your chances of rising to the top of local search results. You can create a separate listing for each of your business’s physical locations. Use important keywords in your listings, and make sure you get happy customers to review your business, too.

10. Google Webmaster Tools: Google’s set of Webmaster tools are relatively easy to use. Once you’ve verified your site, you can get diagnostics to ensure there are no errors preventing search engines from indexing the content -- which is essential to being found in searches. The Webmaster tools also show top search queries used to find your site, the links to your site, and more.

Top 10 SEO Tips:

While intense SEO can involve complex site restructuring with a firm (or consultant) that specializes in this area, there are a few simple steps you can take yourself to increase your search engine ranking. All it requires is a little effort, and some re-thinking of how you approach content on your site.

Here are a few tips by Richard V. Burckhardt, also known as The Web Optimist (Richard has over 10 years experience in search engine optimization, web development and marketing), to help you increase your SEO:

1. If you absolutely MUST use Java script drop down menus, image maps or image links, be sure to put text links somewhere on the page for the spiders to follow.

2. Content is king, so be sure to have good, well-written and unique content that will focus on your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

3. If content is king, then links are queen. Build a network of quality backlinks using your keyword phrase as the link. Remember, if there is no good, logical reason for that site to link to you, you don’t want the link.

4. Don’t be obsessed with PageRank. It is just one isty bitsy part of the ranking algorithm. A site with lower PR can actually outrank one with a higher PR.

5. Be sure you have a unique, keyword focused Title tag on every page of your site. And, if you MUST have the name of your company in it, put it at the end. Unless you are a major brand name that is a household name, your business name will probably get few searches.

6. Fresh content can help improve your rankings. Add new, useful content to your pages on a regular basis. Content freshness adds relevancy to your site in the eyes of the search engines.

7. Be sure links to your site and within your site use your keyword phrase. In other words, if your target is “blue widgets” then link to “blue widgets” instead of a “Click here” link.

8. Focus on search phrases, not single keywords, and put your location in your text (“our Palm Springs store” not “our store”) to help you get found in local searches.

9. Don’t design your web site without considering SEO. Make sure your web designer understands your expectations for organic SEO. Doing a retrofit on your shiny new Flash-based site after it is built won’t cut it. Spiders can crawl text, not Flash or images.

10. Use keywords and keyword phrases appropriately in text links, image ALT attributes and even your domain name.

For a longer list of tips, please visit 55 Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Signs and Banners: Marketing Tools?

Using signs And banners for new business marketing is a good plan. If you think you have to concentrate all your efforts on internet marketing you are wrong. Sure the internet is the way to advertise in this age of the online business world but, as I have said before, the old traditional methods work too.

Signs and banners are an easy to use marketing tool that are great for many different types of businesses. You can find local sign companies that will not only print your banner or signs, but offer design assistance (some for free with your order) so you can ensure a professional banner or sign every time. You can find these forms of advertising in almost any industry or for a number of businesses. Why would they use banners or signs if they didn't work? The fact is,they wouldn't.

Many business have used banners to promote their business during trade shows. Using this advertising strategy will guarantee you some profit, and can boost your reputation. Not only that! Banners have spurred a whirlwind of different types of banner stands that can add dramatically to your set up.

You can get all the attention you want when you use vinyl banners and vinyl signs. A favorite with many people, vinyl banners are the best choice because they are durable, simple to maintain and versatile. Moreover, one of the most vital reasons for using vinyl to make banners is that it can be used on both indoors and outdoors. Due to its durability, vinyl can be mounted, hung, attached, or pasted on most surfaces making it simple to catch attention of the passersby. And the rapid changes in technology have now allowed large vinyl banners to be printed with relative ease and comfort using the spray paint technique. Whatever size vinyl banners may be needed, there is one that can be made for you.

If banners are so effective then, why use yard signs (or bandit signs as they are sometimes called)? Many many reasons, but three come immediately to mind:

1. Business yard signs help brand your company. The public needs repeated exposure to your company in order to maintain it in long-term memory.

2. Displaying yard signs is a symbol of pride. Don’t you take pride in the work and services performed by your company? Like other proud professionals, your company can sign your work too. Use yard signs to proudly promote and advertise the work you do. This is your signature - there for the world to see.

3. Signs are a marketing tool. They act as advertising signs alerting possible clients of your services. A business can benefit from varied forms of advertising. A well-positioned printed sign can recruit many customers.

Advertising is vital to any business, organization, or cause. When you feel strongly about a company you own or an organization you belong to, you want to get the word out. You want others to use your business services, join your organization, or support your cause. And the only way to get the word out to gain the interest of others is to market or advertise whatever it is you are promoting. If you are just getting started with your marketing campaign or you are looking for a simple and cost effective way to advertise, signs and banners are a common avenue to take.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Drive by Laughter...

I don't know about you, but I sure could use a laugh to start this day off! It was a nice weekend but just not long enough to prepare me for another Monday morning :-P

So, for the sake of sanity and to relieve the extreme effort needed to reboot the work week, I give you 50 of the funniest road signs!

Hmmmmmm.... which light do I follow?

How do you pronounce that again?

How often do they have cows falling off of cliffs?

That’s just wrong.... but forewarned and all that.

You never know, you might grow wings and fly too.

Hey at least they said “Good Luck”.

That new “Dry” swimming is rough on the body.

Once you decide, you can’t turn around.

Well that’s one way to tell you.

Nothing more need be said...

To enter or not to enter... that is the question.

I’m not sure we needed to know that.

Not sure we needed to know that either...

So I wonder... next week will it be green and say “Sign in use”?

Not much to say on this one.

Not sure they even know what they mean.

This might not be the best place to take your wife....

I’ve been looking for a spot to park my house.

That’s it, it’s over.

There’s more than one way to close a freeway down.

I thought that was a secret?

Decisions decisions....

Man, thank God that sign was there, otherwise I wouldn’t have known.

We just had to put up a sign banning signs.

Long trip? They have warm beds and three meals a day.

Nope.... didn't see that one coming.

And we have been fighting to legalize this place for how long?

They got the bridge covered... just don't touch the sign!

See, signs do teach us important things!

So THAT'S what the preacher meant...

20 tourists came in - only 10 left.

Hey we had to spend some tax dollars just to let you know.

They just wanted to reassure you...

Who chose this route?

Some decisions are hard to make...

Well at least they warned you that there was a curve ahead.

I’m not sure how something is “Semi-Permanent” or how you “Deactivate” a road, but I’d be careful.

So what constitutes traffic, more than one car?

Do not adjust your hearing aid or turn up the radio... this is only a temporary silence.


Once if by land... twice if by sea... OHHHH... NVM :-P

Just in case you didn’t notice, read the sign... then hide

Now if they had just put an arrow pointing backwards, this really would have been confusing.

You have to stop by “Weed” first and pick up some supplies.

Hey man, thems the breaks!

Honey, can you walk and call someone for help? I'll wait in the car.

This dry beach is part of that new dry swimming.

Quick, which way do we go?

It was bound to happen eventually...

They mean business...


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