Web Design and SEO Blog

Feb201221

Benefits of Pay Per Click Advertising

by Joshua Reynolds in SEM, Tools & Tips

Google AdWords Logo
Google AdWords Logo
Bing Logo
Bing Logo
Yahoo! Logo
Yahoo! Logo
Second in a Series: Benefits of PPC
Last month we introduced Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising, which has become a popular and cost-effective way to advertise. As mentioned in January’s JTech Dispatch, the chief benefit offered by PPC is its pricing model; until a user shows interest by clicking on the advertisement, there is no cost to the advertiser. 

Some Additional Benefits:
  • Time to Market. Advertising campaigns can be quickly planned and developed, with ads launched almost immediately. 
  • Good for small businesses. PPC advertising can put you in a solid competitive position. We can help you to hold a top ad placement without having to substantially outbid a larger national advertiser. 
  • Builds branding. We can deploy advertising that will focus on building your brand and company name.
  • Quick reaction to market conditions. A campaign can be modified at any time depending on market requirements and business goals.
  • All this makes PPC an appealing package. With careful campaign planning and management, almost any size budget can be effective in finding interested customers. 

Upcoming next month:
Part 3 of this series — PPC Campaign Management

Ongoing Education

Control Center Login Page
Control Center Login Page
Control Center List View
Control Center List View
Image Editor
Image Editor
JTech Webmail Client
JTech Webmail Client
JTech Control Center
A great website management system.
Many of you are already familiar with JTech's Control Center. For those of you who are not — and as review for those of you who are — we decided to share a few of the features we think makes it great.

Are you managing a large website? Or perhaps a smaller website? Actually, it doesn't much matter. The Control Center has dynamic sorting and searching, which means it will be easy to find and manage your website's content regardless of the site's scope. Click on a column header to sort the list by that column – click it again to re-sort in the other direction.

Want to crunch some numbers or edit your website's copy in your preferred spreadsheet application? No problem. The Control Center exports data with one click. The export button is in the upper-right of the list view, to the left of the print button.

Duplicating a record is a snap. Just click on the duplicate control on the left side of each record to bring up a copy. Make any changes you wish, then save your new record!

Our built-in image editor is fully-featured and very easy to use. When you upload a photo, the image editor automatically creates, crops, compresses and stores all different size versions required by your site. You can even preview, crop, or rotate the image until it's just right.

My personal favorite is the custom webmail built from the ground up for the Control Center. It includes all the luxuries of a fully-featured email client, such as a built-in address book, full drag-and-drop support, keyboard shortcuts, and notification sounds. Stepping away from the keyboard? As you’d expect, it has an auto-responder to use when you take the vacation you so fully deserve.

If you're not using the Control Center, give it a spin. If you're already using it — great! We wish everything could be this easy.

Featured Project

HRSG Users Group Logo
HRSG Users Group Logo
HRSG Users Group Home Page
HRSG Users Group Home Page
HRSG Users Group
The HRSG User's Group (Heat Recovery Steam Generator) offers educational events and the HRSG Users Handbook for its 1500-plus members in 50 countries. These offerings uniquely tie together the theoretical fundamentals of steam generation with the practical, hands-on insights users need.

HRSG has been a JTech client since we built their original site 6 years ago, and we're proud to bring this beautifully redesigned and rebuilt site live for them this month.

Take a look for yourself at www.hrsgusers.org

Thank you for reading!

Josh Reynolds
President
Jan201217

An Introduction to Pay Per Click Advertising

by Joshua Reynolds in SEM, Tools & Tips

Google AdWords Logo
Google AdWords Logo
Microsoft Bing Logo
Microsoft Bing Logo
Yahoo! Logo
Yahoo! Logo
1st in a Series: What is PPC?
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising is a modern, cost-effective advertising method that helps you target prospective customers who are interested in your product or services.

When people use a search engine to search for keywords that match your business, your advertisement shows up. This advertising is free until a potential customer responds by clicking on your ad. As an advertiser, you don't pay for the ad until your target audience clicks on it.

Compared to traditional advertising, PPC is a business owner's dream. Rather than throwing heaps of money into an ad campaign that reaches all audiences, PPC allows for optimization of your advertising budget and focuses only on those who identify themselves as interested and are located in the areas you have specified.

Because you only pay when a search engine user clicks on your advertisement, there's no wasted cost for disinterested viewers. One wonderful result of this model comes when analyzing efficacy. Directly measuring the return on your advertising investment is simple.

The precision of PPC's targeting means it is effective in positioning your business: easily found and ahead of competitors.

Upcoming
2nd in Series - Benefits of using PPC Advertising
3rd in Series - PPC Campaign Management

Ongoing Education

DNS Simplified Diagram
DNS Simplified Diagram
DNS: You Use It Every Day
DNS is a part of the Internet that virtually everyone uses every day without knowing it.  DNS (Domain Name System) is the framework that enables things that most of us take for granted. When you type an address such as www.domain-name.com into your web browser, DNS is what the browser uses to find and show you the correct website.  

DNS is also the system that allows you to email yourfriend@their-domain-name.com and have your email arrive at the correct email server anywhere in the world.  It’s a fundamental part of the Internet and it makes life easier for all of us.

DNS works by attaching a human-friendly address, such as jtechcommunications.com, to a "real" address of 64.25.128.2. Since people are generally much better at remembering names than long strings of numbers, DNS makes using the web a much friendlier experience.

In a simplified fashion, it works like this:
  • You request information from an address like “pizza.com”
  • Your request is sent to your ISP (whatever company provides you with Internet access)
  • Your ISP uses DNS to resolve the real address of "pizza.com" and sends this information back to you.
  • Once you have the real address, your computer or device is able to directly contact the server hosting “pizza.com” and get the information you requested.

Featured Project

The Gem Gallery Logo
The Gem Gallery Logo
The Gem Gallery Home Page
The Gem Gallery Home Page
Gem Gallery
The Gem Gallery, located in downtown Bozeman, Montana, was founded in 1995 by Don Baide, and specializes in creating custom jewelry in gold, platinum and palladium. They are proud to feature one of the largest collections of brilliant, all-natural Yogo Sapphires in America.

The Gem Gallery has been a valued customer since the late 1990s. In 2010 we put the finishing touches on their completely new site and have enhanced it many times since then. The current site shows most of their inventory and allows customers to shop and purchase their fine jewelry online. I beleive The Gem Gallery is the only Bozeman area jewelry store to sell online!

Take a look for yourself at www.gemgallery.com

Thank you for reading!

Josh Reynolds
President
Dec201113

Using Facebook to Increase Website Traffic

by Joshua Reynolds in Social Media, Tools & Tips

Facebook Logo
Facebook Logo
Facebook Share Icon
Facebook Share Icon
Word of mouth is an excellent way to promote your business. One modern equivalent is posting on Facebook. When a user posts their interests on their Facebook wall, those interests are shared with all the friends, family and acquaintances who are part of their Facebook social network.

One quick improvement to your site makes it easy for customers to post specific products or services that interest them to their Facebook wall. We place a Facebook “share” button on that product or service page; if a user finds it interesting, they can click the button to make a link from their wall back to that product or service page.

To see this in action, look at this product detail slip on the Gem Gallery’s website.

Ongoing Education

JTech Webmail Login Screen
JTech Webmail Login Screen
iPhone Email Accounts Preferences
iPhone Email Accounts Preferences
Email Primer 2: Email on the Road
It’s time again for the holidays, and for many of us that means a lot of travel. While on the road, it’s easier than ever to stay up to date on important communication through email. If your cell phone is a “smart phone” such as an iPhone, Android, or Windows 7 phone, it’s easy to set up your email account on your phone. Of course, if you travel with a laptop or iPad, you have your email with you wherever you travel.

If you’re like me and have email accounts that you don’t check as often, or if you don’t have a device with you for checking email, you have a few options.

Set up infrequently used email accounts in your phone or device and then disable them. Once they’ve been set up, it’s easy to turn them on or off as needed. Use your email provider’s “webmail client”. If JTech provides your email, just visit mail.jtechcommunications.com in any web browser. Log in using your email address and password, and you’ll be able to access your email from anywhere.

Featured Project

Bank of Bozeman's Home Page
Bank of Bozeman's Home Page
Bank of Bozeman
Bank of Bozeman is the premier community bank serving the Gallatin Valley, and is conveniently located between Kohl's and Rosauers in Bozeman Gateway. We took their new site live just a few weeks ago and are quite proud of our work.

They invite you to take a look at their beautiful new website — and if you're in the area, to come in for a coffee, snack and a personal tour of their facilities. While you’re there, they’d be happy to discuss your banking needs with a member of their dedicated staff.

You can see the site now at: www.bankofbozeman.com.

Thank you for reading!

Josh Reynolds
President
Nov201115

Using Website Statistics

by Joshua Reynolds in Tools & Tips

Web Statistics and Analytics tools tell you how your site is performing - what's working, what isn't working, and trends in how visitors use your site. They can be an invaluable resource to optimize your web presence and increase sales:
  • Understand what visitors are looking for and what they're interested in. 
  • See how often and how long visitors look at each page on your site.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your site's structure and navigation. Is it easy for visitors to get where they want to go?
  • See the route that users take as they navigate your website: where they enter, where they exit, and how deep into your website they travel.
  • View the phrases that people used to find your website in search engines such as Google.
  • Determine which websites and search engines refer visitors to your site.
  • Browse demographic data such as where in the world your users are located.
  • Track the effectiveness and profitability of your promotions and advertising.

Website statistics are available directly through the JTech Control Center. If you don't have access, contact us and my team will be glad to help.

Ongoing Education

Apple Mail
Apple Mail
Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Outlook
Google's Gmail
Google's Gmail
Email Primer
Email is one of the backbones of day-to-day communication on the internet. Despite its importance, many people only learn enough about email to send and receive messages. A deeper knowledge of how email works can make communication even easier.

POP vs. IMAP
  • POP and IMAP are email protocols - different ways to receive your messages.
  • POP downloads and stores all mail on the device you use to check email. Once it's downloaded, there's no longer a copy on the server. This works well if you only use one computer or device to check your email.
  • IMAP, by contrast, stores all messages on the server. 
  • Why should you care? If you use multiple devices to check your email, using IMAP means they can stay "synced" - each device with access to all your messages, inboxes, and folders. 

Apps vs. Webmail
  • Not too long ago, a separate program (such as Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird or Windows Mail) was the only way to check your email. 
  • Webmail services, such as Gmail, Yahoo mail, or Hotmail imitate the function of an email program, but do so within your web browser. In the last fifteen years or so, these webmail services have made huge leaps and are now very robust. 
  • Even so, separate email programs (or "email clients") tend to be faster and offer more features than webmail services. For the best experience, I recommend an email program designed for your system in particular: Apple's Mail for a Mac; Outlook or Thunderbird for Windows.
  • If you do need to use webmail, JTech has a beautiful, fast webmail client that we built in-house which is available to all clients who use our email services at: mail.jtechcommunications.com.

Featured Project

Bozeman Deaconess Health Group
Bozeman Deaconess Health Group
Bozeman Deaconess Health Group
Bozeman Deaconess Health Group is a multi-specialty group of primary care and specialty physicians and healthcare professionals owned by Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The new Bozeman Deaconess Health Group website went live earlier this year and incorporates the hospital's updated branding. Check it out today.

Thank you for reading!

Josh Reynolds
President
Oct201126

Online Advertising in Business

by Joshua Reynolds in SEM, SEO, Tools & Tips

Online advertising and how it can help you.
Once your website is online serving your clients and attracting new customers as designed, you effectively have a new location with which to do business. The next step in harnessing the Internet is to market yourself online. Let's start by breaking down the most common types of online advertising:

  • Pay Per Click - Ads shown on search engines like Google and Bing.
  • Banners - Graphical ads that can be static, animated or even interactive.
  • Social Network Advertising - Ads shown on Facebook and other social networking sites.
  • Advertising Networks - Ads fed out to other's websites.
  • Email marketing - Everything from newsletters to coupons to "spam".

Have you noticed how advertisements in the yellow pages are fewer and fewer and smaller and smaller?  This is because more business are spending increasingly larger portions of their budgets online.  They're doing this both because their customers are increasingly online, and online advertising has many advantages over traditional advertising, such as:

  • Only pay for responses to your ad, not for exposure of the ad.
  • Clearly target people that are only looking for your product or service.
  • Quickly adjust your advertising message for better results.
  • They encourage people to immediately interact with your ad and business.
  • Rapidly respond to new business opportunities as they arise.

Online advertising's ease of use and strong results have translated to a surge of popularity. Advertisers are moving online, because that is where their customers expect to find them. There is so much to learn about online advertising that will benefit your business through books and, of course, over the Internet.  If you'd like to learn how JTech can help you to make more money by taking advantage of online advertising, give us a call.

Continuing Education

Apple Safari Icon
Apple Safari Icon
Google Chrome Icon
Google Chrome Icon
Firefox Logo
Firefox Logo
Microsoft Internet Explorer Icon
Microsoft Internet Explorer Icon
Web Browser Primer
Web browsers are programs (or in today's parlance, an "app") on computers and mobile devices for displaying websites. Even though all browsers are designed to do the same thing, they differ dramatically in their speed, approach to displaying (rendering) websites, and features. Because many people don't know what a browser is or how they differ, it's common to choose a browser based on which one came with a computer or what you were taught to use. On Windows, that usually has meant Internet Explorer, and on Macs, Safari.

In this month's continuing education segment, I explore a bit about browsers and their features to just give you a taste of what's out there.

First, here is an incomplete list of web browsers for Macs and Windows, which operating system(s) they run on and who makes them:
  • Firefox Mac, Windows Mozilla
  • Chrome Mac, Windows Google
  • Internet Explorer Windows Microsoft
  • Safari Mac, Windows Apple
  • Opera Mac, Windows Opera

Next, here's a list of features that many browsers have.  If the browser supports these features, they all do so in different ways, some better than others:
  • Extensions - Small additions, usually free, to make your browser more useful.
  • Bookmarks - The way each browser finds, changes, and manages bookmarks.
  • Reading List - Currently Safari-only, this is a to-do list of websites you plan to read.
  • Reader - Another Safari-only feature that helps read articles without distraction.
  • Downloads - All browsers manage your downloads, but they have different approaches.
  • Pop-up Blocking - All modern browsers are good at blocking pop-ups.
  • Printing - Some browsers do a much better job of helping you print websites.
  • Auto-Fill - Fills forms on websites with information you're frequently re-using (name, email address, etc.)
  • Password storing - Some browsers can save your log-in credentials for websites.
  • Spell check - Spell check features vary by browser and operating system.
  • Smart zoom - Zoom the images and text of a webpage.

What browser should you use? The answer really depends on your personal tastes. I use Safari on the Mac and Chrome on Windows myself, but I highly recommend you give them all a try and compare them to find your best fit. The browser "market" has become highly competitive, with companies releasing faster browsers with advanced features.

My final advice about web browsers applies no matter which browser you choose: Always run the latest version. The web has changed very rapidly and is changing faster than ever today. A browser that's even a version behind generally performs slower, is susceptible to security risks and won't support many new abilities. Keeping updated is generally easy in that you can trigger most browsers to check for updates right inside the browser. The one tricky browser is Internet Explorer. You can only run the current version if you're on Windows Vista or Windows 7. If you're running Windows XP, I recommend you switch to Chrome or Firefox.

Featured Project

Life Answers Back Home Page
Life Answers Back Home Page
Life Answers Back
Life Answers Back is an exciting new business and our latest project to hit the web, now ready to view at lifeanswersback.com

They describe themselves as "a community dedicated to entertainment, education, motivation, inspiration, discovery, charitable giving, and rewards, all designed to enhance your enjoyment of life."

The design and construction of Life Answers Back is unique and beautiful, if I do say so myself, and features immersive, full-window imagery, content that unobtrusively slips into the background when you aren't interacting with it, and pages that seamlessly fade into each other. This site is one of a kind, and I urge you to check it out. I think you'll like it!
Sep20111

Website Marketing Dispatch

by Joshua Reynolds in Announcements, Industry News, Tools & Tips

Why are we sending you this?
We're very pleased to introduce the JTech Communications web marketing dispatch. You're getting this newsletter because we'd like to help you get the most out of your website, and these newsletters are a way to share our expertise. We won't waste your time.

Once a month, we'll email you a new newsletter packed with friendly advice, marketing tips, and web design suggestions. We want your website to stand out from the crowd.

We'd love to hear from you, whether you find the dispatch useful, annoying or anywhere in between. Have a suggestion or criticism? Please pass it back to us so we can serve you better. Also, while we're excited to bring you fresh marketing tips, if you want to unsubscribe -- we understand. Simply click on the link at the bottom to be removed from our list or change your subscription options.

Tip of the Month

Microsoft's 'Bing' search engine has a robust mapping system in addition to Google's more familiar option.
Microsoft's 'Bing' search engine has a robust mapping system in addition to Google's more familiar option.
Searching for a type of business, such as "mexican restaurants" in this example, shows a list of businesses that could meet the user's needs.
Searching for a type of business, such as "mexican restaurants" in this example, shows a list of businesses that could meet the user's needs.
Google Maps show detailed information about your business.
Google Maps show detailed information about your business.
Make your business easy to find.
Trying to attract local customers with your website? Getting found is getting easier. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing! can provide a map to your business when users search for you on the web.

Searching for businesses on the web is an increasingly popular alternative to the yellow pages. For users with smart phones, local searches of Google Maps are a very common way to find a business that meets their needs. As well as helping users find you with a map, search engines can list vital information:
  • Location
  • Business Hours: Including an OPEN sign when users find you during business hours
  • Contact Information
  • Services
  • Photos of your business
  • Your logo
Once you're listed, users searching for you will be able to immediately connect with your business. If they're on a smart phone, they can even pull up your website or call you directly from your listing.

To create a local listing, use the search engine's map function to find businesses in your field. Next, pull up your listing and edit it as the business owner. After an email, phone call or text message to confirm that you represent the business, you can edit your listing. A good starting point is submitting your listing to Bing! and Google.

Or, with our full line of search engine optimization (SEO) services, have us do it for you! Take advantage of our knowledge. We'll create optimized local listings on all of the leading search engines for just $195.

Google Special Offer

Get started with $100 of free AdWords.
Get started with $100 of free AdWords.
Start an advertising campaign.
Are you feeling proactive? Once you know how people are finding your business, you can increase your exposure with advertising and promotions.

Yes? Great! You're interested in advertising on Google. J-Tech is offering $100 of free Google AdWords to get you going, and we'd like to help you manage your marketing campaign. Call us today to get started.