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Archive for December, 2009

Personal Family Physicians Press Release

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Dr. Michael Jennings is opening a revolutionary medical practice right here in Salt Lake City.  Geared for small businesses, entrepreneurs, the uninsured and uninsurable, this medical practice offers a direct pay program that works for many people.  You can find the practice at www.pfpslc.com.  Here’s the press release that came out Monday -

FIND A DOCTOR THAT DOESN’T REQUIRE INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE?

Salt Lake City, UT, December 7, 2009 — Finding a doctor that doesn’t require health insurance sounds as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. Personal Family Physicians, a new Salt Lake City family practice, wants to remove the insurance company from the doctor/patient relationship by providing a direct care program designed for the uninsured or uninsurable. Small businesses and entrepreneurs may also find the direct care model attractive. The office opens December 7, 2009. Complete practice details are available on the Internet at http://www.pfpslc.com?ref=sbspr.

Dr. Michael Jennings founded the practice to change the way healthcare operates in America. “By offering a direct care solution, we help small businesses and families get the healthcare they need,” said Dr. Jennings. “Healthcare shouldn’t be about insurance, it should be about serving the patient’s needs. That’s the oath I took thirty years ago,” Jennings continued.

Personal Family Physicians can provide services to the uninsured and uninsurable in many cases. The new office is bringing hope to those who have “pre-existing” conditions most insurance companies won’t cover. It also provides an attractive financial alternative to small businesses that find it unaffordable to offer medical benefits to employees. The direct care model isn’t suitable for every patient, but Dr. Jennings offers a free consultation to determine whether his practice is a good match to the patient’s needs. “Ultimately I want the patient to decide if we are right for them. In most cases, I think the answer is ‘Yes’” he concluded.

WordPress Training Meetup SLC

December 10, 2009 3 comments

I’ve been trying to get to the WordPress Wednesday meetup group for some time, but have always had conflicts.  Tonight was the night and boy was it worth it!

Recently, many of my potential clients and clients have been asking about web design.  For a simple site, the first thing that comes to mind for me is a WordPress site.  When most people think of WordPress, they think of a blog.  While that’s what WordPress started out as, it has evolved into a content management framework.

Tonight, that’s what group leader Channa Connolly taught about and gave specific examples of using themes and plug-ins.  Those themes and plug-ins are only available on the self-hosted version of WordPress.  I’m not using that version, because I like the ease of use of the WordPress hosted version you see here.

With the right theme and design, consider WordPress a site you can make changes to yourself.  Blog or not.  My clients at Fiscal Networking chose to use a WordPress site because they wanted to blog and Corey keeps on adding cool plug-ins to expand the capability of the site.

One of my newer clients had his site done in WordPress and while a blog is available, it’s not being used yet.  Tonight, Channa taught how to activate it using the Atahualpa theme which my client happens to be using.

Both of these sites use WordPress, but they are completely customizable and don’t have to look the same.  Here’s another example of a WordPress based site.  My takeaway from this meetup is WordPress is a viable solution for a quick website for clients who need something quickly and want to be able to make minor changes themselves.  It’s also a great blog authoring tool.

If you want to learn more about WordPress, this is an amazing meetup group or you can contact me to set up and maintain one for you.

Twitter Tools for Maximum Productivity

December 8, 2009 11 comments

There’s a lot of noise out there about how unproductive social media is.

Twitter has many tools available to improve productivity, but it’s hard to determine which ones are the best.

For me, two features are very important; the ability to schedule tweets in the future and to coordinate a separate message for my Facebook business page.

Ultimately my goal is to build the number of followers I have who may be receptive to my message.  I’ve written about methods to increase followers in the past and having the right tools to acheive this goal is of utmost importance.

Over the past few months, I’ve been trying very hard to find the right Twitter toolset and I believe I’ve finally got it.

I use Twitjump to schedule tweets and get followers and there are similar tools out there.  What sets this software apart is you can add people by keyword and get analytics on how many times a particular word is searched or tweeted on Twitter.

To complete my toolset, I use Hootsuite to schedule Facebook updates.  That is the only missing piece of Twitjump.  So I can schedule tweets through either software, but need to use Hootsuite to schedule for Facebook. 

Both pieces of software have URL shorteners to save time and space and both are free.  I learned about Twitjump, which is still in Beta, at the Utah Stompernet meetup and I asked around quite a bit before trying Hootsuite.

No matter which tools you use, if you don’t have a strategy, your social media campaign won’t be successful.  Ultimately, the goal is to get in front of you prospect, customer or client.  I read this article yesterday about a Tweetup in New Zealand -

I went to my first Tweetup on Friday night and had a ball. It was the first NZ National Tweetup and it was just fantastic. Over the past couple of months I have been developing relationships with some great people, and it was wonderful to meet so many of them face to face….and we had such fun!

For me, this was proof that Twitter is a fantastic tool for developing great relationships – personal and business.

That is the key to social media.  No Twitter tool, as great as it may be, is a substitute for actually connecting with people in real life.  If you’re looking for tools to help you on Twitter, I highly recommend Twitjump and Hootsuite.

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The Easy Way to Make Links

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Facebook is becoming the popular commenting system on many websites and blogs.

Here’s the easy way to make sure your link counts.  You are leaving your link when you make a comment, aren’t you?

WWW isn’t necessary, http:// is.  Leave a link?  Make sure it has http:// before it.  The www is optional.  If you want a link, the http:// isn’t.

www.seobyswaby.com and

http://seobyswaby.com have different linking results in different media.  Don’t waste your time.  Use http://yoursitename.com instead of www…

Robots.txt and Other Ways to Fight Bad SEO

December 6, 2009 1 comment

I’ve written before about how web designers don’t know how to do search engine optimization and why bringing an SEO company into your project as early as possible is a good idea.

This last week I saw one of the worst uses of meta tags on a new client’s site.  The company that set up the WordPress blog for my client coded in a meta tag that tells the search engine spiders to ignore every page and link on the site.

The worst thing is every method I tried to change that code failed.  However, I know a work around for everything.  Since I couldn’t change the meta tag, I added a robots.txt file.  Spiders look at two things when they visit a site, the meta tags and the robots.txt file.  On my client’s site the meta tags said “go away” but the robots file says index my entire site.

It’s entirely likely that a robot might find the same links on some other page without a NOFOLLOW (perhaps on some other site), and so still arrives at your undesired page.

The other thing I did to fix the situation was submit the URL to Google for indexing and created a directory listing for the site at Merchant Circle.  Tomorrow a press release hits that also contains links, so I know we’ll be getting a lot of quality inbound links for my client in a very short time.

In the mean time, I’ll still be figuring out how to move that irresponsible meta tag.  The reason the tag exists is to avoid the so called “duplicate content penalty.”  However the penalty no longer exists.

There is one reason and one reason alone to ever use the noindex, nofollow meta tag.  It’s when you’re running a paid search campaign to a specific landing page and you don’t want organic traffic to skew your numbers.  That’s it!

Where do you place the robots.txt file?

It goes in the root directory like this – http://www.seobyswaby.com/robots.txt.  It’s just like a page except it’s in basic text instead of .html.

What’s in a robots.txt file?

Very simple commands for the spider.  Here’s what my client’s file looks like.

If you’re doing a site redesign or having a site made for the first time, be sure to get someone who understands SEO involved early because you will save money and possibly avoid having your site tagged to be ignored by Google.

Is Ongoing Search Engine Optimization Necessary?

December 3, 2009 4 comments

Last week I had a meeting with John over at inQuo, a computer support company.  He suggested I write an article about why SEO must be ongoing and not a one shot deal.

That is a very good idea because many people think we SEO guys just sprinkle a little magic dust and presto websites are appearing on the front page of Google.

While I could go into detail about specific steps that need to be taken each month, the bigger reason ongoing SEO needs to occur is more conceptual.

Three major reasons you need ongoing SEO services:

1.  Google loves fresh content and rewards it with high results.  If you don’t have someone to update your content or site on a regular basis, any upfront, on page SEO will eventually lose its value.  It may not happen right away, but it will happen.

2.  Tracking.  Businesses and people for that matter tend to perform better when there’s a number to beat.  If you don’t measure performance, you’ll never know how to improve it.  Any SEO service should involve monthly reporting.  For certain types of PPC, these reports should be weekly.

3.  Expertise.  While having tracking in place is part of the battle, knowing how to read those numbers is the other part.  For this site, I’ve found Friday’s are my slowest day of the week.  I’ve tried additional marketing on Twitter and making sure to post new content to help drive traffic on that day, but it still tends to be my slowest day.  Other sites I’ve managed have other “slow” days.  It’s my experience that tells me whether to be concerned or to recognize that it’s a normal traffic trend.

The same applies to spikes in traffic.  If you get one you want to know why, whether that traffic is effective and whether to try and duplicate it.  Again, it’s experience that matters.

Some people think SEO is a waste of time and money.  Some SEO companies will waste your time and money.  I don’t think a properly executed campaign is.  I’ve seen amazing results in the past and now from being on top of the search engines both in traffic and income.  I know proper SEO works and I know it needs to be ongoing.  There is no magic dust.  There are no instant results.

Notable News – Facebook Reaches 350 Million Users

December 2, 2009 1 comment

If you recently logged into Facebook, you might have noticed a message from founder Mark Zuckerberg.

In the message he noted Facebook wanted to change a key privacy setting and remove “regions” altogether.

The plan we’ve come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone.

A key reason for this policy change is the continued growth of Facebook subscribers who now top 350,000,000 world-wide.  It was less than 90 days ago that Facebook reached the 300 million marker.

If you’re not on Facebook as an individual or a business, you are missing one of the greatest opportunities of the modern era.  Facebook can no longer be ignored.  I predict Twitter will be the next social media platform to reach this level.

The numbers don’t lie.  I tell people social media is like “web presence” was about a decade ago.  People will notice you for having a social media presence now.  In a few years that won’t be noteworthy.  Whoever executes best is going to be talked about then.

If you’re ignoring social media because you think it’s a passing fad, you are sorely mistaken.  I talk to people every day who once thought that and now are trying to figure out how to get themselves or their business involved.  I personally helped someone yesterday set up two Facebook fan pages because she believes what I’m saying.  This person is in a particularly competitive business and quickly realized the truth I am speaking.

350 million Facebook users can’t be wrong.  You know what tool to use and you know why.  I can teach you how.

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