Monday, November 12, 2007

The Definition of SEO

SEO – (Search Engine Optimization) is the activity of increasing the amount of visitors to a website. SEO generally refers to bringing quality traffic to a web site from search engines through “organic" or "algorithmic" search results. The algorithms of a search engine like that of Google will search a site for keywords, unique content, presentation, structure and quality content that matches a search query and will rank the site appropriately. The higher a site’s ranking the better it is optimized for a search engine.  Many factors attribute to SEO these include title tags, image optimization, design and coding style.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Protecting Your Ideas in the Age of Web 2.0

On a few occasions some of my ideas have been lifted by people I thought were my close friends and allies. One heartbreaking occasion was when I worked with a close group of friends on a groundbreaking start-up. After working for months on conceptualizations of product offerings and monetization strategies, I later found out that one of the members lifted these ideas and used them for another company which mimicked exactly the company we were working together on.

Having someone steal your ideas and claim them as their own is a real disheartening experience. I personally don’t think any monetary gain is worth destroying a good friendship over. Friendships can be more rewarding and everlasting if properly nurtured, but you certainly find out who you real friends are in the process of putting together businesses.

I am not a lawyer, so my advice should not come as legal advice but rather as advice from my own personal experience and dealings. If you have a truly original idea, one of the first steps you need to take is to get a legal protection for that idea.

Every time you present your idea to somebody else, you run the risk of your idea being stolen and copied by somebody else. One good way to ensure that no one steals your ideas is to put together an agreement in writing not to discuss your idea with anyone else. This is referred to as a “nondisclosure agreement”. This will ensure that the ideas stay central to investors, business partners, and prospective hires while still protecting your trade secrets.

Another good course of action is to visit your country’s patent and trademark office. In the United States., patents provide "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling" the invention in the United States or "importing" the invention into the United States. A patent can last between 14-20 years. Patents are especially good for tangible products – goods that can be sold and intended to be marketed.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Writing a Winning Web 2.0 Marketing Positioning Statement or Tagline

A well-thought-out statement should capture the essence of what your company is about and differentiate your company’s unique selling proposition in the marketplace. When writing a statement think about what your position is – what makes you different and why someone should choose you over one of your competitors.

Writing a winning positioning statement in the age of web 2.0 means writing the statement as succinct and to the point as possible. This means a 6 word maximum statement. The less words contained in your statement the easier it will be for your potential customer to take to mind your company and its position in the marketplace.

For many of the taglines that I have created for my own clients I went as low as 3 words to ensure catchiness and impact. Three word taglines take a little more effort to compose, but if effectively executed is a winning solution in the era of web 2.0 marketing.

Start thinking in layman’s terms for the language and style you write your statement in. To think like a client also means expressing one’s self like a client. Make an effort to speak to the customer in the customer’s native tongue. If your customer is an educated professional – then the use of sophisticated language in your statement will be appropriate. The point is certain words are more identifiable by your audience and choosing words that speak to your customer is critical in creating a powerful positioning statement.

Think about how your positioning statement will look on marketing collateral such as PowerPoint presentations, business cards and your website. Even thinking beyond the smaller picture by imagining how the statement will look in a global advertising campaign is a good exercise for identifying the magnitude of your statement. If you can’t imagine your statement wrapped around a 747 Jumbo Jet then it might not be prolific enough for your company to bear on your business card.

Remember at the end of the day the positioning statement is created to help you market your product, service or idea more effectively.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Is the Opera Browser Better Than Firefox and IE?

Browsers come and go like fads. Like most I started browsing with Netscape during the early age of the internet. Soon after, at Microsoft’s discretion, Internet Explorer came pre-installed on every machine so naturally I migrated to using IE along with most of the business population.

Then came the virus wars - so I found myself using Mozilla Firefox as an almost safe haven. Briefly encountering Safari on a friend’s Mac – I found myself wanting something more unique for my OS. My search lead me to Opera. Opera is my current browser of choice. It has many widgets and operates much in the same fashion as Firefox.

I feel safer using Opera because I know most of the viruses being developed are targeting Internet Explorer and Firefox at the moment. Opera kind of escapes the detection of the radar – which puts me at ease.

Perhaps the coolest function of Opera is the “speed dial” page which is a fancy bookmark facility that operates like a speed dial on a phone hand set. Simply load your favorite 9 pages into speed dial and you will be re-directed to your clicked page at record speed.

Of course Opera offers tab browsing alongside many of the other features of Internet Explorer and Firefox so you won’t feel at a loss when switching over.