The Mender

Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter
Issue 12
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Advice and techniques for the marketing and promotion of your web site plus breaking Search Engine Optimization News and valuable resources for the serious on-line marketer.

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Welcome to "The Mender" #12

WHAT'S NEW AT METAMEND?

New Strategic Alliance: Chasm Professional Services Group
Metamend welcomes the Chasm Professional Services Group as a Strategic Alliance partner. Chasm is an international mentoring and support agency with headquarters in British Columbia Canada, and offices in the U.S. and Far East. Chasm provides key services in the areas of management, business development and marketing, corporate development, capitalization and technology. Welcome aboard Chasm Group, we look forward to working with you. Click here for our Partners Page. Read the full press release here.

New U.S. Distribution: At Your e-Service
Thanks to our new partnership with At Your e-Service, Metamend's Search Engine Optimization Solution is now available throughout the U.S. in select retail and online outlets. You can find our package in all Micro Center and Fry's Electronics, outlets. You may also order on-line through Programmer's Paradise. Customers who purchase Metamend services through these channels will receive 3 months of web site marketing services at special introductory pricing. More of your favorite stores will soon be carrying our products. For more information, please visit, At Your e-Service Web site (currently offline) or call 408-871-4848.

New Media Appearance: TV Appearance - Dotto's Data Café
In case you missed it, here is a link to the archived live television broadcast of Dotto's Data Café. CEO of Metamend dropped by the studio to show host Steve Dotto how to enhance the marketing and promotion of web sites through SEO solutions. You'll need a Real Audio player to view the video*Link No Longer Valid. Thanks Steve, we had a great time!

New Interview: Metamend Marketing Director
Professional Journalist Pam Blackstone and Metamend Director of Marketing, Robert McCourty discuss Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and dispel some of the most common myths and misconceptions regarding the industry. Read the entire interview here.

More news, new tools and services next month.
Stay tuned, we're on a roll!


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ADMINISTRATOR'S CHALK BOARD
Communication Breakdown OS Style

One of the many problems to overcome in any organization regardless of size, is communications. Rather than rehashing the same discussions everyone has enjoyed countless times, let's take a look at a different communication problem; operating systems.

In a web based business, one of the factors which may contribute to a communication problem is different operating systems. Just because you can do something on your system, does not mean anyone else can perform the same function. This is where inertia takes over. Meanwhile the business, transactions, phone calls, e-mail, etc., all continue, while you're stuck trying to figure out how to make a .jpeg created on a Mac open on your PC.

Sounds Trivial? It should be. Unfortunately, different Operating Systems (OS's) are exactly the same in day-to- day life as different languages. Imagine handing someone from Tibet a magazine in German and then asking them questions about it in English, to which the answers are required to be written out in French. Not pretty. But that in essence, is what your computers and office communication has to deal with everyday. Our web designers review every web page we put up within a variety of operating systems, using various browsers, and browser versions. Logically, a web site built with an html foundation should be viewable exactly the same on any platform. After all, I'm writing this article in English. If you are receiving it, I'm pretty sure you are able to read it, just as I wrote it, typos and all.

Unfortunately there's no quick or easy fix to the problems posed by different operating systems, combined with different software solutions.

I sometimes receive Word 2000 attachments from a very large corporation sending mail using MS Outlook. I use Eudora, and Word 2000. I have yet once to be able to open their files in anything except Wordpad! At first I thought it was me, but I've recently learned they are having the same problem sharing files inside their own corporation!

Within our own office scenario we us MS Windows 2000, Linux Red Hat 7.0 and Mac OS 9.5. Occasionally, we need to share files, Word files, Excel files, etc. We have yet to transfer a file from one OS to another and not spend valuable time correcting the formatting. All this despite using the latest available translators on the market.

Some days I find it easier to read a German news magazine with my German to English dictionary by my side than it is to send a simple Word file using our office network.

The next time you feel frustrated by a communication problem within your company, even if you are the only two people there, take solace in the fact you are at least speaking to each other in the same language. That is, unless you are working with your spouse... Then all bets are off :-)

TECH TIPS
Redirection and Search Engines

Selecting a domain name can be tricky business, especially when more than one would work for your business. As a result, you may decide to register multiple domains thinking you'll cover all the possibilities. This is not a bad idea - this way you'll get visitors to your site through multiple domains. A common way to set this up is to have "redirects" in place, so when a visitor hits one of your alternate domains (or a page under that domain,) they are immediately redirected to your master domain.

However... Most search engine Spiders and Bots have been programmed to ignore redirects. Moreover should they encounter a redirect they may have instructions to "ban" your site entirely from future indexing. The solution to this problem lies in the setup of the domains themselves. Any alternate domain you have, should be configured to "point" to the master domain as opposed to having it "redirect" to the master domain. This is accomplished via the Domain Name Service (DNS) configuration at your web site hosting company. As for the pages within your domains, you should remove all redirects that you may have coded into the HTML - ie: http-equiv redirects - and replace them with actual HREF links to the specific page(s). By removing redirects within your HTML pages and configuring them through your DNS, you will effectively increase the spider-ability of your web site by 100%! And that's good times!

WEBMASTER'S CORNER
Many Ways to Skin a Web Site

The hardest thing I try to wrap my head around in web design is when to stop designing. What? Isn't that what I "do?" Well more specifically, what I mean is the tendency to keep adding stuff to a site, until eventually the original concept is lost, and I / you are left with a mixed-up site about a whole bunch of everything. The solution to this very common, yet understated problem can be simple or complex. Using the complicated answer would be too ironic and silly, so let's go with the simple one.

Personally, I've found that identifying the specific need for the site at the very beginning - yes, like a mission statement - is the key. It's best if you can narrow it down into one specific sentence, designating the "prime directive" of the the site. It should encompass and identify the site's purpose, the consumer need, and the philosophy that drives the site's think-tank. (home business owner, board of directors etc.) All subsequent ideas must run through this statement, like some kind of filter that ensures relevance in relation to philosophy.

Initiating this as a first step will set you far above the pack, providing everything you do reflects your mission statement as closely as possible. Master this concept and your clientele will be sure to recognize a strong theme to the site design which will ultimately result in repeat site visits.

WEB RESOURCE OF THE MONTH

Shannon Kinnard-Hansen's Wonderful book "Marketing with E-mail - A Spam Free Guide" is a must read. We found many valuable tips and suggestions, some of which were implemented directly into this very publication. Stop by Shannon's site and order her book. Tell her Metamend sent you.


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


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Todd Hooge
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Metamend Automated Website Promotion
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