The Mender

Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter
Issue 21
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Advice and techniques for the promotion of your web site plus Search Engine Optimization News and valuable resources for the serious on-line marketer.

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Welcome to "The Mender" Issue 21

SEARCH ENGINE NEWS



HIGHLIGHTED ENGINE OF THE MONTH

AltaVista
AltaVista is a world leader in search technology. Their patented technology continues to set the pace, making AltaVista the leading search engine among Web users and the premier provider of high-powered search software to intranet, enterprise and e-commerce clients around the globe.



WHAT'S NEW AT METAMEND

NEW HOSTING PARTNER - Sunny Oasis
Sunny Oasis Internet Corporation now services customers from across the globe and continues rapid growth. They continue to add employees, equipment, and support to handle their high growth and strive to stay well ahead of it's competition to bring its clients the professional website design, hosting and marketing they have come to expect. Sunny Oasis combines multimedia and Internet technology to provide you with a customized Internet marketing presence that will enhance your exposure, sales and service to existing markets while leading your expansion into new markets.

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NEW HOSTING PARTNER - PCNet International
Pacific Coast Net offers many Internet solutions to provide small and mid-size businesses with a cost effective solution for conducting business on the Internet, including Residential Service Plans, Business Dial-up, ADSL, Virtual Hosting, Dedicated Connections, Cohabitation, Workgroup Option and Secure Server Environments. With Pacific Coast Net's wide range of service options, your company is guaranteed Internet service custom-tailored to its business needs.

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NEW SEO ADAPTATION - Doorway Pages To Be Replaced
Here at Metamend we keep a close eye on the major search engines watching for changes to submission rules and the way the engines measure the index-ability of a site. Through close scrutiny over the past few months we have noticed a decrease in importance and a lack of attention paid by the Engines to so-called doorway pages.

Subsequently we have decided to stop offering and creating doorway pages as part of our solution. Should you be a Metamend client and have several doorway pages as part of your existing service package, fear not. We shall begin replacing those pages with a new innovation.

A site map page. Plus we will be mending and submitting additional HTML pages from your site in place of the doorways. A customer service representative will be contacting you in the near future to explain these changes and their improved benefit in greater detail. Thanks in advance for your patience during the transition. These changes to our technology will ensure Metamend clients continue to gain the visibility their websites deserve.



ADMINISTRATOR'S CORNER - The Eighty-Twenty Rule
by: Richard Zwicky

Last month, I was fortunate to travel to Moscow, Budapest, and Munich on business. It was a fascinating trip, but exhausting. Moscow really surprised me. It reminded me of New York and London. It was much nicer and in much better physical condition than I expected. Unfortunately I needed 15 flights in 12 days to do the trip. I could have saved two flights, but I'm not comfortable flying Aeroflot, so I added 2 extra flights to avoid it. Aeroflot may end up being a great airline, but at this time, it's not as safe as some others. I'm glad I did take that extra flight however, because on one of them, I chatted with a really interesting fellow for about 2 hours about the 80/20 rule in business. A lot of the discussion was tongue in cheek, but it got me thinking.

For those who don't know, the "80/20 rule" has been applied to business practices for many years. It follows along the lines of "20% of your sales force produces 80% of your revenue" - "80% of your problems arise from 20% of your dealings" - and "80% of completing an assignment takes 20% of your efforts and the last 20% takes 80% of your work." I like that last one. It seems, as a nonscientific measurement scale, to be fairly accurate.

I never really knew the origin of the 80-20 rule, or that it was coined by an Italian almost a century ago. One observation that was made to me by my seat mate was that in today's business we seem to have lost some perspective on this rule and some wise ways to apply it. Here's his perspective: If 20% of your sales force get 80% of your deals done, they must be the most talented sales people. So why do businesses give them the toughest accounts? Once a sales person gets to be successful, they are given tougher accounts. These tougher accounts take more work than average, and are slower going. Because they take so long they don't add as much to the bottom line.

So why take someone who can sell like crazy, and generate lots of revenue for your company, then put them into a position where they cannot sell? Why not give them the easy 80% of the market to work with and let them run wild? Today's modern corporations tend to put their best and brightest in positions where they work on the toughest 20% of accounts. From an objective perspective this may not make sense.

Let's relate this equation to Search Engine Optimization. 20% of your efforts in SEO can get you 80% of the way to success. But if you don't do it right, it will take you 80% of your time to get 20% of your work done. If you do your SEO work manually, and if you are reading this and are a customer, it's unlikely that you do, you will spend 20 hours a month doing your SEO work. If you use Metamend, you are spending almost no time each month doing anything related to SEO, but 80% of what needs to be done is performed by us on your behalf.

What is the other 20% of SEO activities you should be involved in? Getting content up onto those page is something you should do regardless, but also helps your SEO work for you. Also, looking at and reviewing your statistics is important. Your stats. help you understand how people use your site. In all likelihood 80% of your visitors will only look at 20% of your site. The 20% of the pages people look at are crucial to your success. You can spend 80% of your time worrying about why people rarely visit this or that area within your site, or you can spend it improving the areas people truly visit.

This is where you are making your revenue, and it's where your clients have shown interest. Why waste your time trying to get them to look at things only you find interesting? Why not concentrate on adding your content, products, and services to the areas that appeal
to the people who want to spend time and money with you online? Many people do not realize it, but this is indeed a part of the Search Engine Optimization process as well. An SEO firm will prepare and promote a site you build and maintain, based on the content. It won't advise you on your products or services - they're not experts in what you know, only in how to present it properly to the search engines. However, the effort you put into creating and maintaining your site is your contribution to SEO. So, concentrate on getting everything your clients are visiting you for onto your site. If you need more detailed information about where to spend 80% of your time, on 20% of your site, pick up Urchin Advanced Stats from us; you'll find out everything you could want to know about how people use your site and you will improve your productivity for building your online business.

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MARKETING - You Never Know Who's Out There
by: Robert McCourty

Sometimes as with all jobs from time-to-time, it can seem like you're stuck in a rut, that nothing you are doing is making any difference. Your marketing efforts seem to be going out into the big void of cyberspace and dissipating into the ether never to be heard from again. Then you get a surprise. Someone you spoke with months ago suddenly calls and wants more information. A publication you've been trying to get an article about your business into is now, (after a years worth of press releases) wishing an interview. Persistence pays off in marketing. So does repetition.

I got a call the other day from a person who heard me as a guest speaker almost a year ago, at a convention in California. He said my words really stuck with him and he's now finally ready to get his website online and was contacting me for marketing advice. The longevity of a single marketing effort may surprise you, they can have a very long-lasting effect. Not everything moves at lightening speed. Sometimes it takes months for the message to sink in, but it does eventually sink in.

You never know who is out there or who has read your material or remembers hearing about you. Maybe they found out about you from an old issue of a magazine or through Usenet archives from years ago. Be encouraged by this marketing longevity and keep putting those messages out there. Every effort you make contributes to the overall picture. Your efforts are not in vain. Approach your marketing like a long term investment, not a short get-rich scheme. It'll pay off over time, if you keep investing in it.

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WEBMASTER'S CORNER - Consolidate. It's Not Too Late!
by: Todd Hooge

Things getting crazy at work? Too many projects on the go all at once? Maybe it is time to consider the possibility of centralizing your efforts into a more manageable format.

I personally spent many hours researching the Net for this very reason - I needed something that would help me organize all of my projects, email, and contacts into centralized workplace. The answer for me was Microsoft Project. Please keep in mind that I am a Windows user, so my research was specifically oriented for this operating system. There may be many other great project management software solutions available out there for your particular OS or to suit your needs especially if you are already a Windows user. So look around and find the one that's right for you.

The key benefit to centralizing projects is the ability to share projects and tasks with a common resource pool. A resource pool is just a list of all staff associated with your projects. If, for example, John Smith is assigned 4 tasks this week and 5 next week, his schedule will automatically be updated and will let him know when each task needs to accomplished in order to complete the project on time. Microsoft Project works much like a spreadsheet - it "budgets" each person's time to accommodate the timelines of any given project and also incorporates all other associated projects they are working on. Very powerful.

While Project is arguably a little "too" much for my needs now, I have found it to be excellent for a broad range of tasks from large, corporate scale projects to smaller, single task web site fixes. I also have the ability to integrate Microsoft Outlook which helps me with my contacts and scheduling. So remember - it is never too late, to consolidate!

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TECH TIPS - Miva Merchant & Metamend *Please Note, we no longer offer this service
by Jonathan Schlackl

If you are running an online store it is likely that your website is dynamic - meaning you use a script (CGI, PHP, ASP, etc.) to "draw" the pages of your store when someone visits your website. If this is the case, you may be experiencing difficulty in getting your store pages to show up in the search engines. Part of the problem is many search engines will not index some forms of dynamic pages. The solution to the problem is relatively simple - create a static HTML page based on your existing dynamic page(s) and market those to the search engines specifically. Sounds easy doesn't it... The problem is that you'll need to regenerate those pages each month to account for new items in your store and any other content changes on your site, such as new navigation links, header content, etc. If you are using Miva Merchant 3 or greater to operate/manage your online store you're in luck!

Metamend has developed a module that "plugs-in" to the Miva Merchant solution providing you with a fully automated Search Engine Optimization feature which optimizes and submits those static HTML pages each month for you! The module was designed specifically for the Miva Engine and requires NO FTP access. All you do is download the module from our website *No Longer Valid and install it through your Miva Merchant Administration Interface. Then you simply "activate" the module inside your "Logging Configuration" section of your store.

Once activated, you must input the required data into the module form and hit "update" and you're ready to go! You can change the pages that are optimized each month as you see fit - Each month the service will run according to the options you select in the interface. You spend enough time maintaining your online inventory, orders and website content - let Metamend manage your search engine optimization efforts for you!



METAMEND CLIENT OF THE MONTH: BEACHCOMBER HOT TUBS

Since 1978, Beachcomber has been building a full line of quality hot tubs for customers around the world. Beachcomber's comfort, tough and durable construction, and convenience to buy makes these hot tubs a pleasure to own and operate. Check out their online guide for some great answers and tips on what to look for when considering a hot tub.


Metamend: Innovative web site optimization and marketing service which automatically corrects keywords and meta tags increasing web site relevance and popularity within search engines.


Want some free advertising for your web site? This space [              ] free to all Metamend clients. Just ask. We'll be happy to include you in a future issue. Let the promotion begin.

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Todd Hooge
Director of Operations
Metamend Automated Website Promotion
Toll Free: 1-877-307-2701