March 2009

XML Sitemaps and Search Engine Marketing

I’ve always held the belief that XML sitemaps are an important technical aspect to an effective marketing campaign, especially when it comes to blog and search engine marketing. However, this belief was only supported in theory. Sure, every piece of marketing advice and documentation pointed to why XML sitemaps were beneficial, but there wasn’t any data to back up that claim. It was a search engine optimization assumption, in that because this technology was supported by Google and all the other major engines, it made sense to include it in a comprehensive marketing campaign. The question is, does this actually help the engines index your site better or faster? Or is this just a myth pushed by myself and the rest of the SEO community to justify the addition? Couldn’t search engines find and index your site or blog easily on their own?
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“The Staff at iePlexus Has Been So Helpful…”

Client TestimonialAllow me to take you on a tour of the building of my website.

I have written a book and have done research and other tasks on the computer but, it wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to build a website for a business. I have a love of farm animals and wanted to build a business around them so,

www.outaroundthebarn.com was born.

With a lot of help from Stores Online and their store builder, I have a website that I am proud of. When it went live online on Jan. 5, 2009, I was extremely excited but nothing was happening. There was no traffic to my site and I was not sure where to go from there. I knew I had to market my business but, wasn’t confident enough in myself to know what to do. I began receiving phone calls from different marketing companies and started to get confused. They were making promises that I would make lots of money in a certain time frame and they just knew that their company was the best for me. I wasn’t so sure, I had been jilted before and wasn’t ready to just let go of my money.
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A Giant Leap for Blogging Kind

When Barack Obama promised the American people change, not that many imagined he meant change within and through media channels. But on February 9, 2009, Obama held his first press conference, and there were definitely hints of change in the proceedings.

Taking questions started out in the most traditional way possible. Obama called on 88-year-old dean of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas. A prominent and longstanding figure in the media world, Obama became the tenth U.S. president to field her questions. Obama quipped, “All right, Helen, this is my inaugural moment here,” thus acknowledging the very tradition which he was furthering. All business, Thomas asked a traditionally pointed question about Afghan safe havens for potential terrorists and the existence or nonexistence of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Still keeping within political tradition, Obama spoke without truly answering the question.

He didn’t break tradition until the next question, which was taken from Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, a news-centered blog and self-proclaimed internet newspaper. Stein asked a similarly pointed question regarding the potential prosecution of officials within the Bush administration, which Obama pointedly and elegantly sidestepped.
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Social Media Versus Search

It seems like it’s impossible to get away from articles nowadays that start with the phrase “In these hard economic times…” But gear up for another, because in these hard economic times, companies are looking for any excuse to yield revenue and cut costs. Perhaps that accounts for part of the reason social media tactics are so very popular right now.

After all, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace can disseminate information about your company’s products and services in a quick and (most importantly) free way. And this ability has many touting this means of marketing as the next best thing.

But there’s also something to be said for holding off on any fad that simply seems too good to be true. After all, any new marketing efforts require time and energy. Even if there isn’t any money required upfront, there is still the necessary dedication of manpower. And this can be viewed as tantamount to expense, because time is most certainly money. As such, before you or your company launches an organized social media effort, make sure it’s right for your business and make sure your business is ready for that kind of campaign.
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