Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 29, 2008
I awoke this morning to an email from StatCounter, one of the systems I’ve used to track visitation. They were sending a warning message to their list that they’ve had a major falling out with PayPal citing double billings and late arrival invoices as the biggies. No surprise there I suppose. I’ve heard all that before about PayPal. But, c’mon now, this is StatCounter we’re talking about…one of the veterans in Internet tracking and PayPal is IGNORING them!
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the StatCounter blog where they tell the whole story. I mean, listen to this from their post: “At StatCounter we have tried phoning, emailing, posting on the PayPal forums… Many of our contacts are ignored, but even when we do get an answer all we are told is that “Upon review of your account, unfortunately we do not have a time frame for a resolution to your issue…”
Now, how does this relate to Website Waves? Well, for many reasons probably, but as I posted a comment to their blog post, I believe this act on PayPal’s part is reassurance to us in the Internet marketing world that you MUST offer an alternative way for people to purchase things from your website (either in addition to or instead of PayPal).
News like this from StatCounter could be reported from any company. And, once those PayPal users hear of such craziness do you think they’re very motivated to use PayPal for anything ever again? Heck no. If they even see a hint of PayPal in the buying process, they’ll abandon the checkout process immediately. So would I in the mood I’m in right now over all of this!
So, if you use PayPal, watch your charges and payments very carefully. Do WEEKLY audits (if not daily) of all transactions going through your PayPal account. And, if you take online transactions using PayPal as your only gateway, find an additional payment mechanism quick!
Or, you may one day soon find yourself sending out a similar email to your customers.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 28, 2008
Came across a great report on a website featuring the top 50 domain name registrars. It’s fascinating to look at the report but I’d also like to point out that I believe their ranking criteria is a little flawed. So, first checkout the top 50 domain name registrars report as shown on the Website Magazine website that featured in their May 2008 edition. Then, come back to Website Waves and listen to my 9min50sec audio posting of the criteria I would use to rank registrars.
This was of particular interest to me because I’m so frequently asked the question “Where should I register my domain name?”
When I attended the last Internet conference where probably half the audience was just starting to get involved with the Internet, I was probably asked that question a dozen times.
So, enjoy the article and my audio and let me know which ranking criteria you believe is more accurate. And, don’t be afraid to cast your vote for your favorite registrar and add your comment why of course.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 27, 2008
David Utter of WebProNews wrote today that Google will soon be including “page load time” as part of their Quality Score criteria. What that means, simply, is if you run Google Adwords to a page on your site that takes a long time to appear on screen, your ad could be dropped further down the list in Google pay-per-click search results…no matter how much you’re willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
I can see the many reasons Google would make this addition. Think of all those LOOOOONG sales letters that take forever to load. Think of all those Video sales letters that have to pre-load before you can even watch them.
Well, from a sales standpoint, Google could be shooting themselve in their own foot because those loooong sales pages seeeeeellll!! And, those big video sales letters are growing more and more frequent…because they convert too.
Google would love to see text-only…and just a paragraph or two would be best. But, the problem as I see it, as I originally learned this from Simon Leung who was on the original Adwords team at Google, is that Google staff are NOT Internet marketers. And, the Quality Score criteria they use makes that point obvious.
So, this response to David’s announcement is just a heads-up that you could see your positions in Google Adwords going down over the next few weeks even though you didn’t touch anything. If so, you better take a look at your page load times and the landing pages used by your competitors. Because, all things being equal, page load time will be impacting your Adwords positions shortly.
Because that’s how Google wants it.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 26, 2008
Memorial Day is a time for us to give thanks to our military who are fighting for our freedom today and those who have given their lives in the process.
There many things that I give thanks for in addition to the miliary each Memorial Day including family membes, friends, people who have influenced me over the years. Memorial Day is for rememberance…period.
This Memorial Day, I’m thankful for the Internet too. So I wanted to find a way to show how the Internet is an integral part of all of those things we give thanks for. And, I found it in a non-profit organization called FreedomCalls.org.
As posted on their website…
“We provide more than 2,000 enterprise class family video conferences and more than 1.5 million minutes of free telephone calls every month saving military families $4 million a year from their paychecks over AT&T’s monopoly $0.19 minute telephone rates.”
FreedomCalls.org is the best Memorial Day website I’ve ever seen. Why? Because of what the organization accomplishes. They accoplish communication between family and friends who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford those communications. And, it’s a combined effort of the non-profit itself and the technology of the Internet that makes it possible in the first place.
This Memorial Day, consider something you can DO in addition to simply being “thankful” for our military and those who have given their lives for our freedom. You can contribute to an organization that helps our active military keep in touch with their family and friends. Contribute to FreedomCalls.org and give the gift of communication this Memorial Day.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 24, 2008
I was driving home from my office yesterday when a stoplight turned red. I stopped of course and turned on my right turn signal. The light turned green and here was this guy crossing the street. And, boy, did he take his own sweet time. By the time he strolled his way across 6 lanes of traffic, I was able to make it through the light…but only as the light turned yellow.
There was no reason he was walking so slow. Maybe he just liked the power of holding up traffic. But, no one was going to get him to move any faster. It was just plain rude I thought.
How polite is your website to your visitors? Do you make them take more time than they should? Do you create your pages with your own interest in mind? Are you sympathetic to peoples’ time?
Don’t be the slacker that holds up traffic while crossing the street. Spring across to the other side! Smile as you run by! Wave to give thanks to the people you’re running in front of.
Be polite and considerate with your website and people will thank you for it.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 23, 2008
As I was saying yesterday, I kind of went into “bloggernation” mode (that would be the merging of the words blogging and hibernate for the unaware) so that I could learn more about what makes blogs successful. I knew I was missing so many things, but I really had no idea how much until I went through the “re-setup” process of Website Waves.
Most of the posts from before yesterday I let alone, some I deleted. Pretty much EVERYTHING about this blog is different now. It took me about 6 hours of searching free blog theme directories (and installing them to see what they really look like on “my” blog) before I found this one.
Then, I installed 7 of 9 essential [no, essential is too weak of a word--how about, "YOU BETTER INSTALL THESE OR I'LL PERSONALLY COME OVER THERE AND..."] plug-ins.
The other two get installed today. Then I have to create my header graphic which I will attempt to do myself so who knows!
Now, the point of this post is that (other than finding the theme) I followed a step-by-step process. The process evolved from some client projects I was working with. One of those was The Capital Factor blog. We used a blog to promote the conference event. Several times per week our staff was making blog posts. But, we had to have the setup right.
So, as I spend hours, days, and eventually weeks to arrive at the perfect setup for The Capital Factor, I kept track of what I did in a notebook and documented what worked, what didn’t, and what I needed for things to work better. By the time The Capital Factor event came to pass, I had a 6-page document procedure in my hands.
Then came the big test. I had to put the process to the test. So, I chose another client project and gave it a try. It worked! It only took me an hour to go through all the setup steps. And, of course I made some modifications to the process along the way…always discovering something new y’know.
Then I thought, “Silly, you have another product now!”
So I called it my Ultimate Blog Setup Checklist and offered it as a free download. Go get it for yourself, because if you have a blog and are not working through the components of my Ultimate Blog Checklist, I fear you might be the next to find yourself bloggernating in some cave when your blog produce.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 23, 2008
It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. And it took me until a few months ago to understand why. There are two reasons. #1) I wasn’t getting enough feedback or results from the blog posts I was making and #2) I really don’t have time to do things that don’t bring results.
So, I had to go into a very detailed search for why to have a blog in the first place and then how to setup the blog and how to promote it. Otherwise, operating Website Waves would be a waste of time.
While this was all going on, a few new clients came my way that needed help with their blogs. Maybe it took that sense of urgency for me to finally get on the shtick and figure out this blog stuff. But, I believe I finally have.
My invitation to you is to stay with me on this journey while I share with you what I’ve learned over the months about how to setup a WordPress blog and integrate that with what I hear on the street about what’s new with websites.
And a journey it certainly is.