When not working on client projects I’ve been very busy over the last month with massive changes at my Volvo site It was very important that I do things correctly because I make a significant part of my income from the site. Miscalculation could have stopped the search engines from sending traffic to MVS and cost me big $. Income from that site goes up and down almost in lockstep with search engine traffic.

I did a trio of big changes in one swoop, and brought up parts of the site slowly over a few weeks as I was able. The process worked well, and I wouldn’t do a whole lot differently.

1 Server Switch

I moved MVS to my dedicated private server from shared hosting:

  • I have more granular control of the way sites work on my server
  • Sites on my server have better uptime
  • Sites on my server are served faster

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GM Advertising: Less TV, More Internet

While working this morning I’m watching CNBC’s coverage of the proposed US automaker bailout hearings at the Capitol, and caught a very interesting quote from Rick Wagoner of General Motors when he was asked if GM was going to spend $3 million on a Superbowl ad this year:

No… we’re shifting to electronic advertising which is less expensive and more effective.

VERY telling. And I concur 100%.

And it’s more trackable than traditional advertising. I worked at an ad agency for almost 4 years, and we used to say with traditional advertising (tv, radio, magazine, newspaper), half of your ads work. You just don’t know which half.

I manage a dozen online advertising campaigns for my clients and for myself. Ask me how I can help you advertise on the internet, and you can get detailed reporting on your dollar’s effectiveness.

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Put Your Domain in your Signature

This one’s easy: add your domain(s) to your email signature. You can do this with every email type under the sun, whether it’s Gmail, Yahoo Mail, MSN, Hotmail or an email client like Outlook or Apple’s Mail app.

Here’s mine It goes out on every email I send.


Google Analytics gets Custom Reports

Now you can see every day data in a way that took many mouseclicks before. In other words, you can get the same detailed reporting on, for example, bounce rates by city, all without performing detailed “drilldowns” every day.

Google Analytics seems to get better every few months.


What is Hosting?

I sent my hosting invoices out a few weeks ago and got a good question from a client: what is this bill?

The first inclination of my client was to say that she already paid for the domain name… the yearly GoDaddy bill.

Background: since all my clients choose to pay for their hosting on a yearly basis to save money and save me extra billing paperwork, this client has been happily running her site for a year, and this invoice seemed to come out of nowhere.

Here’s my response, and my summary of what hosting means:

GoDaddy is who you pay to buy (to lease or to rent, really) your domain name, and your domain name is where people find you on the ‘net: or etc. Hosting is the service that allows your site to exist on the web. Web sites need both.

All web sites need a computer somewhere — a “home” — to run on. Hosting is what this is called, and I lease a computer at a data center (big warehouse full of large noisy server computers) that runs your site, making it accessible on the internet.

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Should I Run Google Ads?

I get this question often. Here’s the deal.

If you have fewer than 50 visitors per day, Google AdSense ads showing on your site would help you to make money, but not very much. You ‘rent out’ space on your site, and Google fills that space with ads from third parties. The revenue you’d get from Google ads, given your traffic, would be maybe a few dollars a month, depending on your business. If you run a site dedicated to cameras, your AdSense revenue is going to be higher than a site dedicated to knitting.

Running Google ads does not help SEO at all. Sorry folks, no shortcut here.

Generally ads are placed on content sites, like my Volvo site I’m not selling anything, but rather offering content.

Sometimes there are sales sites with ads, but they’re rare because it’s hard to do both sales and content, and many times the ads Google chooses to run on your site will compete with the products you’re selling. My client StyleMatters is one that does both.

I’m not a big fan of the mix, but I do recommend Google ads on content sites getting 100+ visits per day IF you can’t find a private ad deal first.

I’d be happy to talk to you about how your site can make you money.

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