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design & marketing blog

Straightforward design, marketing, and technical advice for making your marketing communications more effective.

Redirecting Users From Links to Old Webpages

January 16th, 2011

Have you just deployed a new Website that includes a significantly different site structure, file names, and/or file extensions?  There are a few basic “housekeeping” tasks that should be performed to insure that indexed pages (in the case of search engines) and bookmarked pages (in the case of users) will not be returned with “Page not found” errors.

301 Redirect

The digital Change of Address Notification

301 redirects are  the best method for telling the world that a previous web page name and/or extension have been replaced by a different page. Think of a 301 redirect like digital equivalent of forwarding your USPS mail when moving to a new physical address.  It instantly forwards an old URL to the newer replacement URL. With a 301 redirect, the server is configured so that when a search engine or user follows a link they have previously bookmarked, the server recognizes that URL as an old page and automatically redirects the user to the new page.  For example we have the following URL set to redirect using this method: http://risingline.com/creative_samples.htm (notice the URL of the actual page you end up on is completely different).

301 Redirets are also useful for creating more descriptive and memorable URLs in marketing campaigns. For example, we found ourselves directing people to a particular page on our Website quite often during phone conversations.  Rather than having to relay the page name with its dash and “.php” extension we just created a shorter 301 redirect; so now we just have to say or type “http://risingline.com/why” instead of  “http://risingline.com/web-sites.php“. This URL is much more effective and memorable for verbal and written communication yet allows us to retain our file name “web-sites” which is more desirable for SEO purposes.

Should you market through Twitter?

May 3rd, 2010

Twitter Usage in America 2010 from Tom Webster on Vimeo.

Edison Research just released an insightful report entitled "Twitter Usage in America: 2010".  This report is important because it cuts through the fanatical hype and provides a basis for establishing a rational decision about how much or how little your firm should incorporate such social media channels in your marketing efforts.

Many write ups I’ve read on this report have painted the findings in a negative light, emphasizing that "only" 7% of American’s actually use Twitter.  However, 7% of Americans is 17 million people and as it turns out these people appear to have many favorable characteristics for most businesses. Here are some selected findings from the report about Twitter users:

  • 7% (~17 million) of Americans use Twitter; 41% (~126 million) Americans maintain a Facebook profile.
  • 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks.
  • Twitter users are 3 times more apt to follow brands using Twitter than other social networking services.
  • Twitter users have higher than average incomes.
  • 4 out of 10 Twitter users own three or more computers.
  • About 1/2 of Twitter users post updates using Twitter; 70% of these same users post updates on other social networking sites like Facebook.

It’s easy to incorporate Twitter into your marketing plan

When considering if you should incorporate Twitter into your marketing efforts I think of the adage, "If it might help, it’s easy to do and won’t hurt then why not?" For those who are already publishing any sort of news or advertising communication on a regular basis it’s a no-brainer; we can put together a streamlined process so the same message is published to multiple mediums all at once. A typical scenario goes like this:

You provide your newsletter, advertisement to us. We take that message and immediately:

  1. Post on your Website or Blog
  2. Generate an optimized RSS feed that notifies Google and other major search services of your new article
  3. Post on your business’ Facebook page
  4. Tweet through your business’ Twitter account
  5. Format, test and distribute in HTML email to your mailing list using an email marketing service like VerticalResponse or Constant Contact

Feel free to contact me for more information about electronic and social media marketing distribution.

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