Google retires Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Google Adwords Keyword Tool ReplacedA tragedy has happened in the SEO world. Google Adwords has replaced their old keyword tool with a much less helpful “Keyword Planner” today.

It does seem that Google has restructured the new Keyword Planner with most of the functionality of the old Keyword Tool. I was encouraged to see that the Avg. monthly searches are still available and the ability to change to “Exact Match” is also present.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner Exact MatchKeywords can be added to a “group” but it’s not quite as comprehensive as the keyword group. Maybe Google hasn’t worked out all the kinks yet but we will all have to learn to work with this new tool.

On the bright side, the playing field is even – everyone gets to use the same tool so unless you lean on proprietary keyword tools, this will be the new keyword planning tool of the industry.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Search Engine Optimization

How to update my Twitter Header image and design tips

The dimensions are 520 x 260 pixels for the new Twitter Header image released by Twitter on Sept. 17th, 2012.

Twitter Header Template

TIPS:

  • Arrange any photos or text around the Profile photo, name, and bio information.
  • Twitter adds a shade of grey to darken the image so if you’re looking for a true color, make your colors brighter to compensate.
  • The text will be white with a slight black shadow so don’t make your Twitter header image too busy or the text will be unreadable.

Remember: Simplicity is key. The real power of twitter is the text content and information sharing. Don’t let the Twitter Header image over-power your message.

For more help or questions regarding Twitter marketing contact us.

 

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Posted in Twitter

iPhone 4S finally unveiled and covered by Engadget.com

iPhone 4SApple just released the new iPhone 4S in their “LetsTalkiPhone” press conference today. After over an hour of tooting their own horn about various Apple products and new releases, the iPhone 4S was finally announced. Much to the disappointment of the masses who wanted the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S promises to be faster, carry more features, and employs an upgraded camera.

Upgrades and Features

There were several more features that I thought were inconsequential including talking to your iPhone 4S through the microphone and setting up appointments with the iPhone 4S’s personal assistant.

October 14th will be the official launch date of the new iPhone 4 S with pre-orders available by October 7th, 2011. Oh, and for all of you Sprint users – the iPhone 4S will indeed be available for Sprint.

So, sorry. No iPhone 5 yet.

The pricing for the new iPhone 4S will be:

16GB = $199
32GB = $299
64GB = $399

See more pictures and commentary on Engaget’s Lets Talk iPhone Live Blog.

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Posted in Apple

At the MainStreet Chamber Charlotte Expo

Business Web Design Charlotte at MainStreet Chamber Expo

Business Web Design Charlotte was proud to be a part of this year’s “Expo & Grow 2011″ small business expo event put on by MainStreet Chamber Charlotte. Along with over 30 other local Charlotte small businesses, Business Web Design Charlotte presented our Business Website Package, Personal Branding Website, and Internet Marketing Services to the expo visitors of Charlotte.

The expo was not about selling, it was about Networking. The key to a successful business is not how many people you can sell to, but how many people you can network with. When you can make relationships with other businesses and refer customers to them, you will get customers in return. We have already been able to make several connections from this even and have even earned some business.

MainStreet Chamber Charlotte WebsiteBusiness Web Design Charlotte is also proud to have built the MainStreet Chamber Charlotte website and assisted with the design and some of the marketing for the event.

We will be highlighting some of the other businesses that were present at the event in the upcoming blog posts. For those that don’t know, MainStreet Chamber Charlotte is a free business networking group growing at an incredible rate in the Charlotte area.

Look for us at future MainStreet Chamber Charlotte events.

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Posted in Business Networking, Business Web Design Charlotte

Google+ invite – Recipe for Social Success

Google+ Plus Ever wondered why Facebook became popular so fast? Or why any successful social media platform spreads like wildfire? We are experiencing a social phenomenon that is the recipe for social success. Google understands this. When Facebook started at Harvard it was only available to a small group of elite students at Harvard. Everyone else wanted to be friends with this elite group so advertising for Facebook was not necessary. Google has just done the same thing. This is a genius method of creating a demand for this new service.

“Google+ is in limited Field Trial” – Are you getting this message?

Google+ is in limited Field TrialEven the day it was released, most of us got this message. I did too. In only a few hours, the “limited field trial” was exceeded.  This was no accident. Google understood that if a select few of the social addicts in the world signed up for Google+ that it would soon spread everywhere. It was less than a week before I received an invitation from one of my friends to join Google+.

Even though there is a simple “Keep Me Posted” form, this simple message by Google gives the illusion that the trial is limited and that no further applicants can sign up. This is not the case. Instead what has happened is that a huge demand for Google+ invitations has swept the world. People are clamoring and sometimes even paying for a Google+ invitation. This has sparked controversy that has only fueled the Google+ fire.

Recipe for Social Success

  1. Limit the number of people involved creating exclusivity.
  2. Give it an easy to remember name.
  3. Refuse to customize.
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Posted in Google+, Social Media

Business networking with Main Street Chamber Charlotte at Great Wolf Lodge

Main Street Chamber Charlotte at Great Wolf LodgeThere was a great turn out at the Great Wolf Lodge for the Main Street Chamber of Charlotte‘s business networking meeting yesterday afternoon (June 7th). Over 60 business leaders were in attendance and the focus was on business relationship building – not selling to one another.

The meeting began with high-intensity business networking in the large conference room. Great Wolf Lodge graciously provided award-winning catering and they really went above and beyond for this event.

Main Street Chamber of Charlotte is a free inclusion business networking group that is growing at a fantastic rate in the Charlotte area. The next meeting will be at the Fox & Hound on June 28th. Also announced during this meeting is a TWO DAY Small Business Expo on September 10th from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM and September 11th from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. There will be 100 small business booths at the Expo and it is projected that over 1,000 people will be in attendance. Business Web Design Charlotte is pleased to announced that we will be manning one of the booths at this Expo. If you are interested in a booth at this expo, contact tracey@mainstreetchamber.net.

Great Wolf Lodge WaterparkThe meeting concluded with speed-networking and a tour of the Great Wolf Lodge. (My apologies for the blurry picture. I’ll blame it on my cell phone camera.) It is encouraging that facilities such as the Great Wolf Lodge recognize the power and potential in the Main Street Chamber of Charlotte. We are proud to be a part of Main Street Chamber since it is the fastest growing of the nearly 80 business networking groups in Charlotte.

For more information about Business Web Design Charlotte or how to get your business brand promoted, contact us.

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Posted in Business Networking

What is the iCloud by Apple?

Apple iCloud LogoThe Apple iCloud is a space online where all of your files, photos, music, events, apps, and information can be stored and then accessed by any device anywhere in the world. The iCloud is like your hard drive in the sky.

Link to Apple’s information page about Apple iCloud.

With Apple iCloud, you can access your documents, music, photos, and apps from your computer (both Mac and PC) as well as your smart phone, iPad/tablet, or any other device with internet web browsing capability. This is truly the direction where computers are going in the future.

What does this mean for the technology industry?

Because of technology like iCloud, computers don’t need to have a lot of hard drive space. Since you don’t have to store your files on your local hard drive anymore, all of your information is stored in the iCloud and can be accessed at anytime whenever you have an internet connection. Since just about every device will have a reliable connection to the internet soon, this will become the norm very quickly.

Is it really free?

Apple announced that the iCloud will be available in the Fall of 2011 and that it would be free. It cost Apple about $1 billion to build the infrastructure and the datacenter for iCloud to be possible. When you sign up for an iCloud account, you will get a 5 GB space in which to store anything you want. I believe that this is where Apple will really be able to make their money back since it’s very easy to burn through 5 GB of space when it comes to storing photos and music online. There is stiff competition however that may drive prices for extra space down. The Amazon Cloud Drive was released well before the Apple iCloud and Google has been using Google Docs as an online repository for a couple years now. There may very well be a bidding war over the price of online storage space very soon as we see hard drives disappear off of retail shelves.

Is iCloud a ploy to get us to purchase more from iTunes?

At first glance the iCloud sounds like a dream come true. Not having to bother with wondering where you saved something, which device its on or whether you sync’d your iphone this morning. But upon further inspection, this may be another way that Apple is trying to make everyone purchase through the iTunes Store. If you take a closer look at the way the iCloud works, many of the sources of content that will end up in the iCloud come from being purchased through the iTunes Store. In addition, Apple says that the iCloud content will be available on PC machines as well as Macs but the fine print clearly says that some content will be exclusively for iOS devices. Apple has had a history of incompatibility with other data streams and this may be no exception. This may be just speculation and Apple may blossom as the generous type but as track records go, this seems to be right down the line with encouraging Apple market segment domination.

iCloud Data Backup

iCloud BackupI am excited about the Data Backup that is included with the iCloud technology. The iCloud backs up your purchased music, apps, and books, photos and videos in the Camera Roll, device settings, app data, home screen and app organization, text messages and MMS messages, and ringtones. This may cause a huge hit to 3rd party backup services that charge monthly or annual fees for doing this very same thing. I’ll give this a big thumbs up in the Apple corner.

What does iCloud mean for my Business?

Since everything exists on a cloud and not on local hard drives, it gives businesses peace of mind that when one device or computer dies, the information does not die with it. This has been a big issue with the corporate environment and in the past great pains have been taken to upload everything to services like SharePoint and other corporate sharing environments. This becomes less needful now that you don’t have to worry about information being lost. Since the data is stored using Apple algorithms, search for documents and information becomes much easier since Apple’s Spotlight search works so much faster than the PC search functions.

iCloud is Coming Fall 2011

Apple will notify you when iCloud is available. Go to Notify Me and enter your email address to get updates on when iCloud is ready.

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Posted in Cloud Storage

GCS & Associates launches CharlottePayrollServices.com

Charlotte Payroll Services - GCS and AssociatesGCS & Associates has been in the accounting and payroll business for years working out of their Concord, NC office and providing services to the greater Charlotte, NC area. With many happy customers they needed web presence and a professional appearance. Business Web Design Charlotte was able to accomodate with a price that was well within budget.

We helped GCS & Associates from the conception to the completion of their project starting with choosing a domain name that contained the correct keyword phrases for their target market, setting up business email and creating/launching the website. The project spanned tax season so representatives from GCS & Associates were often unavailable for consultation but Business Web Design Charlotte was able to accomodate this schedule and the project was allowed to continue at the pace needed by the client.

GCS and Associates - original concept designSeveral design ideas were used before landing on the final product. Because of the ease of template changes in the WordPress platform, Business Web Design Charlotte was able to make the requested design changes without adding anything to the fee of the website.

Once the website was launched, training on how to use the back-end of the website to update the site was included in the price. Since no coding knowledge is needed to make changes, it is simple to make updates to the site without help from a developer. After a month of the site being launched, Business Web Design Charlotte was there when questions about how to use the website back-end were raised.

GCS & Associates provides professional payroll and accounting services for highly competitive prices while maintaining a personal relationship with clients. Don’t get stuck in a machine voicemail next time you have a payroll question. Just call GCS & Associates.

Find out more information about Web Designs for Business or contact us.

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Posted in Business Website Package, Web Design Projects

Poolside Networking with MainStreetChamber Charlotte

Main Street Chamber Poolside NetworkingThere was a great turnout at the Main Street Chamber networking meeting on Thursday, May 12th at the Elements on Park pool house. There were just over 40 people in attendance from many different professions and industries.

Led by Tracey Schuelte and with help from Frankie Prima III, the Luau theme was a lot of fun and the food was great.  The best part about the event was that it was free and inclusion in the Main Street Chamber business listing also being free is a great plus.

Main Street Chamber is growing at a rate of over 100 new members per month and looks like a great start to both an online and offline business networking organization.

For more information about MainStreetChamber, visit: http://my.mainstreetchamber.org/charlotte (sign up to get your free business listing)

*I would highly recommend that both new and established businesses add yourselves to this site.

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Posted in Business Networking

Allen Trench Safety launches new website

Allen Trench Safety

New Allen Trench Safety Website

Allen Trench Safety is a company that provides trench equipment rental and training for aluminum forms that are inserted into trenches to prevent them from collapsing. Located in southwest Michigan, Allen Trench Safety serves the North East United States with trench shoring solutions.

The Problem:

Allen Trench Safety’s old website was a brochure website that was not editable. When changes were needed to the page, it took a long time to get them done and the site did not lend itself to converting visitors to sales. As a small business with a limited advertising budget, they needed a solution that was not very expensive and could be easily updated even from within the company. In addition, they had several specific ideas for the website including photos and eventually videos that would go on the site. Also needed was a way to accept invoices online.

The Solution:

Old Allen Trench Safety Website

Old Allen Trench Safety Website

Business Web Design Charlotte’s Business Website Package was a perfect fit for Allen Trench Safety. The new website is built on the WordPress content management system that allows Allen Trench Safety to have a secure login to the website so that they can update the website whenever they like. Creating and editing pages in WordPress is easy and is comprable to creating a Microsoft Word document. Photos and videos are also easy to upload. Business Web Design Charlotte optimized the website for visibility on search engines and programmed in popular keyword phrases for Allen Trench Safety as well as set up online Contact Us and Quote forms that reduce spam and increase business leads. A plugin for accepting online invoices was also installed that integrates with PayPal for accepting payments online.  The whole project took only a couple weeks and Business Web Design Charlotte was able to work with the busy schedules of Allen Trench Safety to get the project done on time even holding consultation meetings after business hours when it was more convenient. Business Web Design Charlotte also assisted Allen Trench Safety in securing their domain name from their previous web design company as well as set up free hosting and business email.

Find out more about our Business Website Package or contact us for more information.

Posted in Web Design Projects