Internet Marketing Strategy – Driving Accelerated Results

Posted by Greg | Posted in Business, Internet Marketing, Tips & Tricks | Posted on 05-09-2010-05-2008

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Being an Internet Marketing firm, we are always asked the following question: “What works the best/fastest to get new business from the Internet?”
Now obviously this is a loaded question on many different fronts.  Most “marketing minded” people know that there is no “one thing” that  works, but rather a strategy of many things working together.  That combined with consinstantcy is almost ALWAYS a receipe for successful marketing (online and off). That aside, I will share with you a strategy that IS working very well for many of our clients.

I am sure you have heard of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing.  You know, the thing that made Google take over the planet.  PPC marketing is online ads that show up when people type in specific keywords in a Google search. Most businesses use PPC and end up throwing their money away.  This is because they are not doing some very specific (and strategic) things that are required to see results. 

There are 5 key components to successful PPC marketing.  I will go over these 5 key components using a fictisious client. In my example, we will assume the client is a Landscapeing company.  The business caters to both residential and business clients.

  1. Strategic Ads – You  will need more than one ad.  You do not want one ad that tries to target two different markets (business and residential)
  2. SPECIFIC keyword targeting – Your keywords are what makes the marketing dollars add up.  Don’t use general keywords like  “lawn care,” or you will be spending your money on people looking for better ways to take care of their yard.  Instead target keywords like, “landscape maintenance contracts.”  This will ensure that you are speaking to the right audience.
  3. Landing Pages – This is  critical!  Do NOT send people to the Home page of your website when they click on your ads.  It is too general.  People do not want to peruse around your site looking for their answers.  Instead, send them directly to “landing page” that specifically addresses what they were looking for (I.e. – landscape maintenance contracts).  This creates much higher conversion rates.
  4. Website Tracking (for conversions) – Without tracking, how do you know if your marketing dollars are working?  You don’t! Be sure that your website has tracking tools installed so that you know exactly who, what, when, where, and why you are getting hits on your website.
  5. Phone Tracking (for leads / new business) – This is the important one that everybody leaves out.  Get a “dummy” number that forwards your calls to your “real” business number.  This will allow you to determine what business you are really getting from your PPC ads.

I hope this has given you some great ideas and insight to get started on your Internet marketing.  And remember, if you need some additional advice or just want someone to handle it for you, call us!  It IS one of our specialities..

Asset Technology – Technology Answers For Your Business

520-955-8503 OR 602-492-8503

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Calendar Appointments Made on Droid Phone Show as Private in Outlook

Posted by Greg | Posted in Business, Miscellaneous, Tips & Tricks | Posted on 23-08-2010-05-2008

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I recently purchased a Droid X phone from Verizon. For the most part it is great, but I use it for business quite a bit and have noticed some issues that need to be addressed asap. One of those issues is the fact that every time I set an appointment on my Droid, it marks it as a “private” appointment in my Outlook calendar. If you are experiencing this problem then i have a work-around for you. When you setup a new appointment on you Droid, you can hit the menu button and select “show extra options.” Now your appointment that you are creating will have a privacy setting at the bottom of it. By defualt it is set to private, simply change it to “public” and it will show correctly in your Outlook.
I have not found any way to make this change permanent so I guess we are all going to have to deal with these extra steps until an update comes out…

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Windows 7 – Should I? Why?

Posted by Britt | Posted in Business, Workstations | Posted on 03-08-2010-05-2008

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Well Windows 7 has been out for a year now and has overtaken Windows Vista. there are still many people that have the impression there is no need to go to Windows 7 as XP still works, Windows 7 is just a fixed Vista, blah blah blah. Unless someone uses it and understands the benefits they will always have preconceived notions of what it is or does. From the features below you tell me, should you?

The other question that goes along with it is what version to buy. Well talking on the business side of things. You need at minimum the Professional version, however there are some benefits to going to the Enterprise or Ultimate version that could save downtime or data theft. If either of those are of value or importance read on.

Ultimate and Enterprise are basically the same, only licensing and purchasing methods are different. Ultimate = Retail, Enterprise = volume license.

Now for the fun stuff:

The built in windows backup will make full system backups for quick recovery using Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) images. The VHD images are mountable and bootable making for easy file recovery and quick system restores or virtualization.

BitLocker is a feature to encrypt hard drives, volumes, and files. Using this encryption USB drives and hard drives can be encrypted in-case of loss or theft protecting valuable company data.

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National Broadband Plan

Posted by Britt | Posted in Business, Miscellaneous | Posted on 18-03-2010-05-2008

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The big tech industry news of this week is the FCC announcement of their National Broadband Plan http://www.broadband.gov/ to push broadband to millions more people at much higher speeds. The term broadband is to be redefined from the measly 768kpbs of today to 4Mbps in a few years, and they want companies to offer 100Mbps service to the homes of everbody in the next 10 years. Part of the plan will be to barter wireless spectrum from companies that already have licensed the frequencies and sell or license it for companies that will facilitate this new broadband for areas that currently have little or no broadband coverage at this time. While this is all well and many of the things that will come out of it are great, there are down sides.  One of the biggest downsides is that like phone lines currently there are going to start being more taxes and fees added to broadband services to help cover the costs. Also there is not a plan to force more competition in the industry where many companies own entire markets and are locked in such as the cable companies.

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Want to be a “computer guy” (or gal)?

Posted by Zary | Posted in Business | Posted on 01-03-2010-05-2008

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Microsoft has introduced to us a new way to find and capture talented web-savvy and technical-type folks:  The “Students-to-Business” program, which works with local businesses (engaged in IT work, of course) and college-level students to pair-up students with a mentor under an internship arrangement.

According to Microsoft’s website:

The objective of the S2B program is to inspire local businesses to communicate the competency requirements for new talent, to evaluate the skills of students ready for an entry-level job or internship and collaborate with Microsoft and local education institutions to provide the curriculum and training needed to ensure students are prepared to meet the innovation needs of company’s around the globe.

Students engaged in S2B benefit from unique mentoring, training and certification opportunities. Various offerings are available to students at each stage of S2B – when profiling, in application and after their job connection.

We think this is a great opportunity for all involved, and you can see more about it here:

http://www.microsoft.com/studentstobusiness/home/default.aspx

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Google has plans for HSI – fiber style!

Posted by Zary | Posted in Business, Internet Marketing | Posted on 19-02-2010-05-2008

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Recently, Google has put itself into the High-Speed Internet fray by announcing they’re looking to build a network almost 100 times faster than what many people have access to now.

Check out the Google link for more info:

https://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi/

If you’re a government official, you can go through the process of nominating your municipality to be part of the test scheme, and even receive additional benefits. Not with the government? Then you can nominate your own community group, city, or state agency.

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What’s cool this week? Versalaser!

Posted by Zary | Posted in Business | Posted on 17-02-2010-05-2008

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We had an opportunity this week to meet with a company to talk about our managed services, and discovered they supply a machine and supporting technology that creates some of the coolest things we’ve seen in a log time!

After our meeting regarding a proposal we’ve been working on to supply them with IT service, we were invited for a plant tour of their Scottsdale, AZ training and technical support facility. (To be fair, they actually manufacture the machines in a building just about right next door, but we simply didn’t have time to visit both.)

All we can say is: Wow.  Their laser system is a self-contained CO2 system that etches, marks, and engraves ALL KINDS of material! We watched one system in action taking an 8 1/2 X 11″ piece of walnut board (plaque-type material), and “burning-in” a picture of a vacation shot one of their tech’s took while overseas. The detail was phenomenal. Sure, it was 2-D and monochrome, but it was done in under a few minutes and was ready for show.

See more of their unique systems at their site:

http://www.versalaser.com/

Oh, and the coolest part? Their business cards.  Etched aluminum.   Wicked.

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Marketing sucks the life out of you… right?

Posted by Zary | Posted in Business | Posted on 12-02-2010-05-2008

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Careful followers of our Blog may have noticed our conspicuous absence this week, and we have a darn good reason for it: We’re busy!

From meeting with some nice folks from Microsoft, to recovering lost Exchange servers, to working out pricing deals with the local printer, I have to admit we’re behind the 8-ball.

It’s not the fact our business is up 25% (or more) from last year, and it’s also not due to increased demand for our services (although that IS true), it’s just that our marketing efforts to try and expand our reach and influence have been paying off a little earlier than we’d anticipated.

We’ve had the opportunity to meet with some great new service providers and learn how we can be more effective, more productive with less effort, and that’s helpful when there’s just a few of us running the show.

So don’t be dismayed, we’ll return with some really juicy tidbits about what’s happening in the tech world next week!

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Windows 7 and XP mode

Posted by Zary | Posted in Business | Posted on 02-02-2010-05-2008

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Many Microsoft users are asking themselves the following question:  Do I hold onto my XP software, that I’ve used and loved for almost 10 years, or make the switch to W7?

Those folks aren’t alone. Not surprisingly, a majority of our clients who have been in business for more than 10 years are asking the very same question, and rightly so.  After all, their infrastructure is set up, tested, working, and requires basic maintenance for continued operation. However, with the upcoming release of Office 2010, I fear there’s no room to quibble – make the change or suffer the wrath of the bloatware gods.

In all fairness, some of our clients have made the conversion with little to no subsequent difficulties. Most of what we’re experiencing relates to updates to their printer drivers, antivirus software, and attached devices (including video cards, USB drivers, etc.). And even in some cases, where the manufacturer doesn’t support Win7 or IE8, we’ve gotten devices to work under the built-in XP Mode that Win7 Professional and Ultimate has. It’s really quite helpful for those using legacy devices.

All said, we believe it’s a safe bet to make that jump into Windows 7. For further advice and suggestions, visit the Microsoft Windows 7 website at:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/

Click around and explore some of the features they highlight – we think you’ll see more than a few reasons to make the switch!

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Recovering your lost data – is it worth it?

Posted by Zary | Posted in Business | Posted on 12-01-2010-05-2008

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We’ve just signed on with DATATECH LABS out of Colorado. They offer a comprehensive data recovery solution to those who have corrupted, lost, or overwritten data on their hard drives, memory cards, or even damaged media such as CD’s or DVD’s.

You can find out more about them here.

Sure, it’s a service that will make us some money, and yes, we added it so we can grow in the Phoenix and Tucson markets, but there’s more.  Until we met the nice folks at DATATECH LABS, we didn’t have an easy solution for our clients to be able to recover their data from catastrophic loss. Normally, we would refer them to another local company or suggest they contact the drive manufacturer for options on sending the unit in for repair. We had no answer for memory cards.

Now we don’t have to send them away. It’s nice having an in-house option for clients (and even new customers)  to determine if their data is recoverable. Another cool thing DATATECH LABS features is their cleanroom. They can rebuild most hard drives at their facility in Denver, and that’s handy in case it’s just a logic board or read/write head that’s the problem. If you’ve ever seen a hard drive disassembled, it’s a bit daunting, so we have great respect for the technicians over there.  So much respect, in fact, that we decided it would be a smart business move to partner with them and offer their services in Tucson and Phoenix, making it easier than ever to recover and keep the data our clients really need.

Is it worth it? Well, I suppose that depends on your point of view. Data recovery isn’t cheap (it’s easily four to five times as much as buying a new drive), but if you have data that can’t be easily reproduced, then this is the only way to go. What, are you going to re-write that entire proposal that took weeks to compile? Are you going to re-enact the first words out of your baby’s mouth? And how will you explain losing all those e-books your spouse downloaded to read?

Easy answer: Call us for your data recovery needs – we’ll get you back on track!

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