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How to help tech support help you quicker.

For those of you who have to regularly or even periodically contact tech or IT support via email, there are some ways you can help them solve your issues quickly and with fewer back and forth emails.

It’s similar to walking into a restaurant hungry.  Ordering: “I’d like lunch today.” When actually you were interested in the daily vegan specials that were gluten free due to your intolerance, and you’d like a vegan beer to go with it.

Do you go into Starbucks and ever order “1 coffee” without being bombarded with at least three questions in rapid succession?

Until someone launches the “ReadMyMindApp,” we support people are stuck asking you the questions to get in your heads the old-fashioned way without assumptions.

This may seem like a lot of detail, but try this – they’ll thank you and help you quicker:

Read moreHow to help tech support help you quicker.

You restructured your website, can people find the old bookmarked pages?

Steps before you restructure your website or move it.

It’s so exciting to get a new website, revamp it, reorganize, clean house, but here are a few steps to take before you toss out the old structure. If you simply start fresh, or change domains, or toss out old pages, you may be missing valuable traffic. This is primarily for a restructure or switching …

Read moreYou restructured your website, can people find the old bookmarked pages?

Use easy URLs to track your marketing efforts for events, books, products, campaigns.

How do you know if your marketing dollars are leading to revenue unless you can track it? Even small businesses that have one or two events a year need to be tracking how their efforts pay off. Sometimes we pay for ads in directories, sponsor events, sponsor a local team of kids, put an ad …

Read moreUse easy URLs to track your marketing efforts for events, books, products, campaigns.

Vanity URLs – keep it short and matching.

I don’t always take my own advice, and with a name that’s not so unusual, sometimes I just miss out. Vanity URLs give your personal brand a consistent message. Ideally – your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ profile vanity URLs are all the same: @susanfinch . No, I was not able to get …

Read moreVanity URLs – keep it short and matching.

Ghostery and other extensions may block the content you seek.

Tools are developed each month to help us protect our computers, our privacy, our data, our habits while surfing the web. These come in the form of browser add-ons and extensions. Chrome offers them, Firefox does and even Internet Explorer has them. We also use these add-ons and extensions for increasing our productivity. Sometimes we …

Read moreGhostery and other extensions may block the content you seek.

Google Analytics Tip: Annotations to leave a trail of changes.

This is one of the most helpful tips in Google Analytics and it’s not hard to do. Just a couple of clicks and a tweet length description and you’re done.

ANNOTATIONS in Google Analytics as shown by David Kutcher of Confluent Forms, can allow you to leave a trail of what you did to your site, domain, sitemap, ad campaigns and more that may affect traffic and journeys through your website.

An example of an annotation on a specific day may be:
Sent out email campaign to 8,000 people to promote XX feature at this page XX.
Changed domain records and let domain expire as we didn’t use it for anything.
Thinned out home page to be 2mb and 1.41 seconds download down from 10mb and 14 seconds download.

Here’s the thing, if you have many people making changes on your site, creating marketing initiatives, running campaigns, Facebook, Twitter and other paid programs – they all need to make annotations. You need to INVITE them to have access to analytics and to be able to make notes. You don’t have to allow them to manage users, but they need to be able to make notes. It needs to be ALL of the responsibility, including developers who work on roll-outs of new features, bug fixes – to go in and make a note of it so you can understand why there has been a surge or decline in traffic.

Window: Installing software failures and running as administrator

Time to upgrade a program other than Silverlight and Java and iTunes, you may need to RUN as  ADMINISTRATOR. With bigger, more invasive programs, you need to run as the administrator on your PC to give permission for this newer version to fit into your system all the way. If not, you may end up with those messages after a while, “Failed to complete.” “Fatal error on installation.” “Incomplete installation.” and similar. Try right clicking and running as administrator. 

Familiar? I’d switch to Gmail, but I’d miss Outlook features.

creating filters in gmail

Gmail has more Outlook-like features than you may realize. Those on GMAIL, especially those missing features of Outlook, you can search in ways you probably didn’t realize – including date ranges, sizes, header only content and more. There is an option in the “search” field at the top of your Gmail inbox to make it …

Read moreFamiliar? I’d switch to Gmail, but I’d miss Outlook features.

If I had a nickel…Webmaster Transitions: Pleading Ignorance Doesn’t Fly by Stephan Hovnanian

f I had a nickel…Webmaster Transitions: Pleading Ignorance Doesn’t Fly
It used to be that you would have “the guy” and he would hold the keys. Uh, BAD IDEA. It’s YOUR presence, YOUR domain, YOUR email, YOUR BRAND.If you decide to part ways for whatever reason with “the guy” there are a lot of aspects of your web presence that you will want to get a copy of. 

We have been on both sides of this discussion, as providers helping our clients move to new providers, and as the new provider for a client who has dumped, been dumped or simply parted ways with a web services provider. Years of hard lessons are now coming to you, free of charge so you are prepared to make that switch when the time comes.

========OUR FEATURED EXPERT========
Meet MaAnna Stephenson:
MaAnna is a geek who can still speak in plain English and helps solopreneurs, small businesses, and non-geeks create sites that gets noticed by search engines and readers. Whole-site setup, consultation and training including WordPress, SEO, content, conversion, security, performance, MailChimp, and memberships.

MaAnna’s links:

========Your Series Hosts========
Susan Finch – Marketing, PR & Web Pro for DECADES!
With a background in public relations and advertising since 1986, Susan is a “gentle guide for clients trying new venues online.” She engages those skills as she helps create an online presence that will appeal to existing and future clients and/or investors. All these factors are considered before she constructs a suggested plan for clients. It goes way beyond an online presence.


Stephan Hovnanian – Web strategy, Google+ for Business
Stephan Hovnanian is a web strategist and email marketer for Shovi Websites, author of the Google+ Pro Tips series of ebooks on Amazon, and host of a weekly webcast called Google+ Business Spotlight. Stephan distills the content and advice out there on the Web into useful and applicable ideas to help your business make the most of its online presence.


Checking for Broken Links

Do you have a new site? How about a site that you have been working on for years with tons of resources, links to articles, images from other sites and more? Chances are you have broken links. This is known as LINK ROT.  Once a quarter, we recommend using some tools to track down the broken links. THEN you’ll have to learn how to fix them. Creating a sitemap at the same time you are checking your links can increase your site’s visibility to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex etc, and ensures indexing of the web pages that might not be discovered otherwise.

Here are some tools to help you. goes wtih:

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New Twitter graphic requirements – seeming familiar – YouTube -esque

Twitter has just gone through a MAJOR change in layout. In order to keep your branding consistent and looking good, I’m highly recommending you allow me to update the look to fit the new graphics requirements. Click the image below to see the dimensions more clearly.   Profile & Cover Image: 1500 x 500 and …

Read moreNew Twitter graphic requirements – seeming familiar – YouTube -esque