Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.
October 30th, 2018
This report provides managers with a high-level overview of key web development best practices and trends so they 1) are better equipped to make informed decisions, 2) are aware of available tools and resources, and 3) gain an understanding of current requirements, risks, and costs associated with their website.
Download the Report
The topics covered include:
Strategy and Goals
Understanding the effectiveness of a website is dependent upon the quality of the comprehensive marketing plan in which it exists.
Content and Messaging
The preeminence of content or achieving your website goals.
Developing your organization’s website from your target audience’s perspective.
Graphic Design Principles
An overview of the fundamental principles for utilizing design to provide effectiveness and credibility to your message.
Web Design Trends and Best Practices
A summary of current web design and layout trends and their advantages.
An overview of the increased risk of hacking and the major factors that can affect your website’s security.
Website Accessibility (Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 AA)
Understanding the rapidly evolving requirements for website accessibility.
Website Deployment Options
The pros and cons of professionally managed websites compared to user managed content management systems (CMS).
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
A primer on the components of SEM including organic SEO and paid SEM.
March 14th, 2018
WordFence’s blog posted an excellent article addressing the fallacy that many website owners have that their website isn’t significant enough for hackers to care about and therefore they don’t need to implement all best practice security and disaster recovery measures.
A quick summary of the reasons why attackers make the effort to attack many smaller and seemingly “insignificant” websites include:
- If offers server resources they can use to run other malicious schemes
- It’s connected to the internet and likely has a good reputation (i.e. is not a suspicious platform for malicious activity).
- It may contain user data
- It probably has traffic coming to it
- The site is important to you and therefore there is a chance for the criminal to collect a ransom
- Many websites of smaller businesses and organizations are not implementing proper security and therefore the cost of acquisition to the criminal is low.
Please read the entire article at WordFence.com.
May 15th, 2008
We receive a very high percentage of customer inquires regarding two general type of solicitations they receive. Since these same scams continue, sometimes with different company names and angles, we thought it would behoove our valued clients for us to post some info on them.
The most important principle to remember to protect yourself from any marketing scam is to always be extremely wary of any unsolicited communication, whether by phone, email or postal mail, that claims to:
A. Be able to do something that seems too good to be true, or
B. Presents a “bill” or “invoice” regarding your domain, Website or some other Web related service from a company that sounds official, but of whom you’ve not dealt with before.
Scam 1—Bogus Domain Registration Invoices
Almost anyone with a domain name registered has probably come across this one. An official sounding company sends you an invoice that states or implies you will soon lose your domain if you don’t register with them. If you have never heard of this company, there is a 99% chance it’s an unethical attempt to get your money. The easiest thing to do is Google the company name or do search on the FTC site. If are still uncertain don’t hesitate to fax or email us a copy.
Scam 2—Unsolicited SEO Spam
I get a kick out the chutzpah of professed SEO companies who resort to spam marketing their implied expertise in driving new customers through search engines. If they really are so good at getting business through search engines why do they have to resort to the most despised of illegal Web marketing to get their own? The answer is obvious.
Google states it best:
Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue….Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators. No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. (Read the whole page at Google.com)
We encourage you to read this prior post of ours where we go into more detail on the topic.
September 12th, 2007
Have you ever received an unsolicited email like this:
Dear Website Owner,
If I could get you five times the RELEVANT traffic at a substantially reduced cost would you be interested? <company name> can place your website on top of the Natural Listings on Google, Yahoo and MSN. … We do not use “link farms” or “black hat” methods that Google and the other search engines frown upon and can use to de-list or ban your site. The techniques are proprietary, involving some valuable closely held trade secrets. Our prices are less than half of what other companies charge.
If you’re an owner of a business web site, chances are you’ve received quite a few. We get questions from clients about the validity of such companies on a pretty regular basis.
There are a lot of, maybe even most, SEO companies out there that are basically trying to work the system to create online spam. It might benefit you in the short run, but it breaks the whole legitimate ranking system and ultimately it can hurt a site more than it help. Just like how spam email marketing can produce some positive short-term results
but in the end runs the name of the offending individual/business to the ground (or even to criminal court in some cases).
SEO is simply creating value and relevance for your target clients and making it easy for them to find you. This does include some legitimate professional service roles like getting your site listed in as many relevant directories, esp. local
directories, as possible. However, what should make us leery of SEO firms is terminology like “proprietary closely held trade secrets”…big red flag, there is no secret to SEO, it’s actually quite simple as described by Google. The real problem, like with so many other things, is that real SEO (aka building value) takes a lot of time and hard work. The temptation is great to want to believe that there is a “get search optimized quick” solution out there thus the proliferation of the SEO scam artists. I’ve blogged on this topic a number of times, the related posts are all on this SEO page.
Outside of the SEO involved in coding and developing a site (which actually is quite involved) we don’t provide ongoing SEO services of the type this company is advertising…we do provide some services to build long term value like blog writing services though. If you need help, we refer out to a few real SEO (value building) and Pay Per Click services companies
on a case-by-case basis…just let me know.