Author Archive for Katherine Andes

Sliding Pictures in Web Banners: Best Practice or Fading Fad?
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Sliding Pictures in Web Banners: Best Practice or Fading Fad?

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Sliding pictures in website banners are very popular today. For a long time, I tried to like them. But I gave up because they drive me crazy. That’s because I get interested in the initial picture shown and then it changes. Hey, where’d my picture go? Or, after looking at the picture, I start to […]

Ghost Avatar
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Add Gravitas to Your Comments with a Gravatar

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Have you ever noticed that in the comments following articles, including Catholic Lane’s,  that some people have their pictures next to the comment? Other comments just have a “ghost silhouette” to represent the commentator. A picture of you will look so much better than a ghost. A picture immediately makes the reader think, “How cool […]

Did You Develop a Website As Good As Everyone Else’s?
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Did You Develop a Website As Good As Everyone Else’s?

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A retail-store owner called and asked me to look at his website. I always try to find something nice to say about a prospect’s website, but this one was pretty challenging. It looked like it had been done in the early 1990s. It was slapped together, with glaring colors, strange navigation, and too much bold […]

Git It Said Right!
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Git It Said Right!

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Numerous self-improvement gurus recommend vocabulary-building to help business professionals make more favorable  first impressions. That’s fine. But what may be even more important is to pronounce words correctly. That’s not so easy to learn … I am a child of the Central Valley in California. Farmers and ranchers and cowboys settled our fertile land. So […]

Hunting and Pecking is a poor way to type.
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No-Look Typing: Put All Your Brain Power on the Subject

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I write copy for commercial clients to help them make more sales from key web pages. My process always includes writing a detailed creative brief with my clients before starting a project. I debrief both owners and sales staffers. But no matter how deep my brief goes, I still need to ask my clients questions […]

Keywords are like Fishing Bait
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Using Keywords is Like Using Fishing Bait

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By now, you probably know that using keywords or key phrases are important to help drive traffic to your website. A good way to think of keywords is to think of them like fishing bait. Different bait brings in different fish, so, too, different keywords bring in different prospects. So keywords — the words that […]

Use the Smile Factor in Your Website Redesign
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Use the Smile Factor in Your Website Redesign

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When I was in college, I took a “singing for the stage” class. The instructor once put me in front of the class and told me to sing a song, but not to smile. Then she had me sing the same song again; but, this time, she had me smile. The class overwhelmingly thought my […]

Avoid Playing Trick and Trap with Your Web Site Visitors
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Avoid Playing Trick and Trap with Your Web Site Visitors

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I just despise it when marketers try to trick me … or they are just plain dumb and don’t test their stuff. In the mail, I received a Facebook promotional offer. I would get some free advertising if I just used their code. I went to the web site address they gave me. There was […]

Smashing the Box
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Smashing the Box

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When writing web copy — or any other marketing piece — try to avoid words and phrases that have been overused. Like … You’ll be glad you did … Improve your bottom line … Done right … Outside the box … We pride ourselves … There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the above […]

One space after a period. Not two. Here’s why.
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One space after a period. Not two. Here’s why.

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Many people still put two spaces after a period. “That’s what my English teacher taught me,” they say. The practice is a holdover from the era of the typewriter when characters all took up the same amount of space. For example, an “i” took exactly the same amount of space as an “m.” So the […]

A Primer on Search Engine Optimization
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A Primer on Search Engine Optimization

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Okay, I can’t tell you everything you need to know about search engine optimization (SEO) in700 words. But I can tell you what you, as a small business owner, need to know when looking for help in this area. First some definitions … SEO is the process of making your website easy to find by […]

Top SEO Companies Not Likely to Deliver Good Content
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Top SEO Companies Not Likely to Deliver Good Content

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A well-established copywriting colleague of mine was approached by one of the top SEO companies in the nation. They wanted her to assist their clients by writing web pages. Web pages need to … Grab attention Understand the reader’s desire or pain Present a concept or solution Move the reader to a next action Be […]

Why Websites Look Terrific, but Under-Perform.
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Why Websites Look Terrific, but Under-Perform.

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Over the years, I’ve worked with numerous business owners who have spent a considerable chunk of change building their websites. Then they sit back and wait for results … but the results are often less than stellar. The owner is discouraged and thinks all this Internet marketing stuff is a bunch of hooey. It’s not […]

Courageous is a Must-See Movie for Families.
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Courageous is a Must-See Movie for Families.

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I attended the opening night of Courageous with some trepidation. I had seen Fireproof, made by the same filmmakers, and I had not cared for it. Fireproof was just “okay” and I gave it an “A for Effort,” but, to my mind, the Christian message was too on-the-nose. But, last Friday night, some friends wanted […]

18 Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website
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18 Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website

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Developing a new website or improving an old one can be a daunting task. There are so many things to keep in mind: the marketing message, the design, the words, the links, the navigation, the keywords, and more. It ain’t easy. Below are some “don’ts” that I recommend keeping in mind as you build or […]

Bad Stuff Happens to Business Websites
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Bad Stuff Happens to Business Websites

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When working with smaller companies, I always try to stress the need to maintain as much control over their websites as possible. Unfortunately, I’ve run into folks who have given too much power to web developers whose ethics are less than stellar. For example, some developers will take over the task of registering a domain […]

Hate Twitter and Facebook? Get Over It.
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Hate Twitter and Facebook? Get Over It.

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Most business owners hate Social Networking. I don’t blame them. They have enough to do and now there’s this gorilla in the room that refuses to be ignored. I’m going to tell you briefly how to get started in a non-stressful manner. The main thing is simply to set up a Twitter and business Facebook […]

The Amazing Power of Checklists for Web Pages and More!
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The Amazing Power of Checklists for Web Pages and More!

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Checklists have been with us for many years, especially in critical industries where a mistake could make the difference between life and death. We’ve all seen footage of pilots in the cockpit doing a careful checklist before takeoff. And we know the ground crew does similar check  listing before each takeoff. I suspect commercial aircraft […]

How American Idol Can Make Your Website a Star
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How American Idol Can Make Your Website a Star

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You can learn a lot from watching American Idol year after year. That’s because American Idol offers real lessons about what makes a star. When the top 24 are selected, there are so many wonderful singers that I always wonder, “How will one person ever rise to the top?” But, inevitably, someone does. We, the […]

Google Analytics. Powerful Market Research — Gratis!
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Google Analytics. Powerful Market Research — Gratis!

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What if you had access to powerful marketing research about your company, it cost you absolutely nothing, and you didn’t take advantage of it? If you think that’s not you … then think again. If you are like many, many website owners you are not taking advantage of the free Google Analytics tool available to […]

Web Site Review Image
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Website Review: A Roadmap for Improving Your Site

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There are times when a web site review or site audit is a great resource for diagnosing whether or not your website is under performing. The truth of the matter is that all websites can be improved, including mine. But if you have major problems, they should be attended to as soon as possible. And […]

Email Solicitations -- Why They Are Opened
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Email Solicitations — Why They Are Opened

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If you are under 30, you might not remember what a treat it used to be to get your daily mail. We actually got letters from people. A long distance phone call was expensive, so people still wrote to one another. And when you got a letter from someone special, you sat down, studied the […]

Guard and Monitor Your Online Reputation
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Guard and Monitor Your Online Reputation

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When participating in online forums, message boards, and blogs, please watch what you say. Social media is great for exchanging information. Sometimes criticism is a legitimate part of business. But please try to be diplomatic and temper whatever criticism you may have for another person or company. In fact, it’s best to leave off names […]

Stop Hemorrhaging Leads and Sales
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Stop Hemorrhaging Leads and Sales

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Do you think because you can hammer a nail into a two-by-four, you can build a good piece of furniture? Of course not. You know that building good furniture takes a lot more skill than simply hammering and sawing. It also takes training, equipment, and materials. Most people don’t question the high price of fine […]

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