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Blogged thoughts

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Archive for the 'Business' Category


Risque company names, clever for branding or bad, bad, bad?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

While on my way back from Naas today I noticed a van for a company called ‘Doggie Style‘. The company actually provides mobile washing and grooming services for dogs, but the first thing that caught my attention was the large words ‘Doggie Style’ on the side of the van so initially I thought the company must be in a different industry altogether. Near the company name was more ‘word play’ with what I guess is the company’s attempt at a tag line… ‘good clean fun’. The company therefore has a lot of connotations associated with its name and branding but are these risque (some would say controversial) connotations good or bad?

Of course when people are trying to come up with company names, one of the requirements is for the name to be as memorable as possible for branding purposes. Company names such as ‘Amazon’, ‘Pink Elephant’, ‘Pigs Back’ and ‘Xtra Vision’ are unlikely to be forgotten too easiliy so in that respect a company name of ‘Doggie Style’ is right on the mark. I wonder though do the (perceived) negative connotations associated with this name outweigh the advantage of it being clever & very easy to remember, I mean I sure as hell wouldn’t want a van with ‘Doggie Style’ written in large lettering on its side pulling up outside my house… what would the neighbours say? :-) Additionally does it make the company appear tacky or unprofessional?

I guess that’s only one example (send me any examples you know of) though, but I’m looking for your thoughts on the topic title, so what do you think?


What’s up with some recruitment sites not being able to handle IT search strings?

Friday, February 8th, 2008

The IT industry like most industries has its fair share of abbreviations, jargon, keywords and general ’shop talk’. With that in mind it surprises me how many recruitment websites can’t handle searches for simple IT strings like ‘c#’, ‘c++’, ‘asp.net’, ‘.net’ etc. I think the IT industry in particular makes extensive use of the web for job searching so all recruitment sites should facilitate say a c# developer who wants to search for ‘c#’. Have a look at recruitment sites like elanIT.ie, CPL.ie, EmployIreland.com which were some of the sites I spotted which couldn’t handle most if not all of the above search strings.


Optimizing PDF files for the search engines

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Google and the others can handle them pretty well these days, but there are certain things you can do to make the lives of the search engines ever so slightly easier. The main things which pop into my mind at the moment include the below, which incidentally are not in any particular order of obviousness.

Use Keywords in the PDF filenames
Having keywords in your filename helps the search engines to better understand the contents of your PDF.

Don’t create PDF files from scans
If you scan a document and save it as a PDF. The document will be an image which search engines cannot understand. Create your PDF from textual content.

Use well structured keyword rich content
This is a given for information stored in any format. Use your main keywords a couple of times throughout the body of your content. Split the content into well defined paragraphs and headings. Give special attention to the first line or two of text on page one of your PDF.

Complete the ‘Document Properties’ information for all PDFs
When creating a PDF go to File > Properties to update it’s information. Updatable information includes title and description fields. It is widely believed that Google and perhaps many of the other search engines can read this information and may be using it for a) determining ranking and b) displaying listing snippets.

Link to your PDF with its Keywords and or Title
Don’t ever have ‘Click here’ as the actual link text pointing to a PDF. If your PDF is about gardening, business loans, soccer or whatever well then put them keywords into the anchor text.

There are a couple of good blog posts and articles which cover this topic in a fair bit of depth, if you have the time I recommend throwing the eye over the following pages:

Make your PDFs work well with Google (and other search engines) located @
http://www.acrobatusers.com/articles/2006/02/pdf_for_google/pdf_for_google.php

Eleven Tips For Optimizing PDFs For Search Engines located @
http://searchengineland.com/070912-095906.php


RingJohn.com site redesign

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Just noticed the other day that Guinness Enterprise Centre based Internet marketing company Ring John has put a new version of their website live. I’m not sure if it’s the final version of the redesign but it appears to be a big improvement on the previous site. The old version used the very much clichéd variety of stock images of some very good looking blonde women to ‘entice’ all us one track ponies to contact them. I personally think the use of images like that is A) very template-ish (new word) and commonplace and B) so tack that it actually turns me off a company.

Thankfully the new site doesn’t use them. The new homepage puts emphasis on what the company does, with PPC and SEO services seemingly getting more prominent positioning than other services available. Of course the customer capture form is present above the fold, any online marketing company worth their salt will have a similiar page setup. The site is easy to navigate and seems to have a decent information architecture behind it which sees each service page breaking off into well defined sub service pages.

The site kind of reminds me of WebTrade’s website, note the emphasis on the ‘kind of’. The one thing I don’t like about the site is how the link to the blog is buried on the bottom footer. Is this another case of a company overlooking the massive benefits of pushing their business blog on their website? Blogs are an excellent way for potential customers to get to know your expertise, approach, vibe etc. for that reason I nearly would have thrown the blog link up onto the main header navigation bar similar to the way IQ Content and RedFlyMarketing have done.

Of course what I think about a certain site doesn’t really matter, what matters at the end of the day is whether or not a site works. The main metric as far as I’m concerned in measuring how well a site works is conversion rate, so if this redesign or indeed any redesign improves conversion rate that redesign should be considered a success. Are things ever that black and white though?


Google not in the top 10 for the term "search engine"

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Typed in ’search engine’ into Google.com today instead of ’search engine optimisation’ by mistake and noticed that Google itself is not in the top 10 results. Google.co.uk currently comes in at 17th. The Google.com homepage has only one occurance of the word ’search’. It does not contain the word ‘engine’ nor does it have a meta description tag with either of these words present, infact it doesn’t have a meta description tag at all. Similarly Google.co.uk does not have the word ‘engine’ or a meta description tag, it does however have an extra occurance of the word ’search’.

Guess it shows that true to their word Google does not manually alter results, additionally it shows that people most likely link to Google with the word ‘Google’ as opposed to ’search engine’ or ‘Google search engine’. Dogpile seems to consistently come in near the top across the major engines.


Would you hire this company to do your online marketing?

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

One thing that annoys me and amuses me at the same time is when companies offering certain Internet services quite obviously haven’t got a clue about the service their offering and or haven’t got a clue how to sell themselves. As an example have you ever seen a company claiming to offer web design services whose own site looks absolutely awful? I have. I mean come on, how does a web design company expect to make credible claims about its design expertise if its own web site looks like something from 1994?

Tonight I came across a similar case where a company who offers search engine optimisation solutions from their website clearly haven’t got a clue about SEO, I can judge this from their HTML title tags as well as one or two other elements of their site. The company in question is Pixel (not to be confused with Pixel Design). Below is their 20+ word title:

Web Design Ireland - Pixel Website Design and Development offers professional web design services, logo design, e-commerce and content management systems. Dublin, New York, Kilkenny.

Those that know anything about search engine optimisation will tell you straight off that this title is far from optimised. Do they think ‘cracking’ the New York market is going to be that easy? Not only a bad title, but one that is present on every single page of their site. Having the same title on all pages is a fundamental optimisation mistake and thus any company that makes this mistake hasn’t got a clue what it’s doing as far as SEO is concerned. Hell would have to freeze over before I would hire this company for Internet marketing of any kind.

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