Making Communications Buzz

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Searching for Ways to Achieve Basic Website Success? Tips from Mark McLaren and McBuzz Communications

McBuzz Communications owner Mark McLaren recently wrote an article called "Achieving Basic Web Site Success May Be Easier Than You Think", published in Dynamic Business, a publication of SMC Business Councils in Pittsburgh, PA.

It's a quick read and well worth it, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.

Here's the gist: there are four very simple things you can do to increase the visibility of a Web site without spending more than a few hundred dollars. If you or someone at your company knows basic HTML, you can do it yourself.

By "visibility" I mean the likelihood that a Web site will show up in the results of a search done on Google, Yahoo or As I have mentioned in this blog before, more and more, people are using online search instead of the phone book.

If your business has a Web site, you ought to be able to find it at or near the top of the results when you search for the name of your business on Google, Yahoo or MSN.

If your business has a common name, include the name of the city or region it's in.

If this sounds useful, check out the article. Go to the SMC Business Councils Web site to download a PDF of the September '06 Dynamic Business magazine. The article is on page 20 of the actual publication (page 26 if you are looking at the thumbnail numbers in Acrobat).

Friday, October 13, 2006

Latest Blogging Buzz: HitTail - SEO for Blogs - Bring More Visitors to Your Site

Tracking the search terms people use to find your Web site or blog can tell you a lot more than what the most popular terms are. It can tell you about the "long tail", the more unusual or unique sets of keywords that lead people to your site through Google, Yahoo and

If you haven't yet heard of the long tail, you will soon. Connors Communications has figured out a way to use the long tail to your advantange when you decide what to write about in your blog, and what unique terms or keywords pack the most punch in terms of bringing visitors to your site. Their free service -- that's right, free -- is called HitTail. Here is a brief introduction: HitTail: A Practical Alternative to Paying for Search Hits.

This is an area of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that is just beginning to be explored. Services like HitTail, and the companies that create and use them, are going to be well positioned as the technology continues to be developed. Definitely worth checking out. Or let McBuzz Communications show you how to use HitTail to your advantage.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Real Blogs, Fake Blogs: Explaining What a Blog Does Is Not Easy

There is still a huge gap between what techno nerds can do with the latest Web applications and what the average Internet user knows how to do. In fact, there is a huge gap between what techno nerds know is available as a Web application and what the average Internet user knows is available.

I have nothing against techno nerds. I aspire to be one someday.

The real source of this gap, of the gap-age, if you will, the gapnicious state of Web knowledge, is that most techno nerds are not all that interested in explaining the latest in Web capabilities to the rest of us folks.

McBuzz Communications thrives on this fact, because we can (usually) explain the latest techno-rific electronic communications buzz to laypeople who just want to get something done. They want to put gas in the car and turn the key, not spend all day trying to understand internal combustion.

Jim Rapoza makes this point with respect to blogs: How to Spot Fake Blogs.

Who knows what a real blog is? Not many people. But even an accomplished writer and tech whiz like Rapoza has to cut his discussion short in order to avoid a lengthy technical exposition of "pings" and "trackbacks" and such. My guess is that any layperson who reads a post like Rapoza's (i.e. someone who uses the Internet every day, but who does not know "how it works") will get very little out of the post.

This is the paradox of the new Web (Web 2.0, Consumer Generated Media, the next generation of interactive online tools and experience) because the whole idea is that now every person can create her own world online, and be part of a network of like-minded individuals, with all the new tools available.

This gives the individual more input into, and influence on, mainstream media and the marketplace -- of products as well as ideas. But in order to realize this newfound potential, people have to know how to use the Web 2.0 technology.

From what I hear, it's all second nature to today's teens. But for most of us born before the mid '80s, it's all still pretty confusing.

MySpace? YouTube? Facebook? Who? What?

The workplace is going to be transformed by all this new media, according to information technology experts at Gartner, Inc. See articles Consumer Tech Is Next Wave of Enterprise IT and Age Does Matter, Says Gartner.

Execs and IT managers may think things like Instant Messaging, Skype, impromptu Web conferences and peer-to-peer file sharing pose risks to security, but these "Consumer Oriented Technologies" are here to stay. Gartner recommends getting ahead of the curve instead of left behind.

And in the meantime, let McBuzz Communications know if there's something we can make simple for you.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Links for 2006-10-07

A good article about Vivisimo / Clusty appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review yesterday:

Clusty clouds Google's grip on Internet search
By David Conti

Pittsburghers, here's a great (free) resource for Internet / Web / technology news. Go to the Pittsburgh Technology News website for more information and to subscribe to their weekly news digest. An invaluable resource and, from what I hear, an inexpensive and effective place to advertise.

And here's proof that you can be named one of "Pittsburgh's Most Helpful Websites" without giving any thought to usability: Pittsburgh Business -- an excellent resource, but hard to read!! Please, Pittsburgh Business Calendar, take a few minutes to replace the default Times New Roman (serif) font with a sans serif font like Verdana, Arial or Helvetica -- and put some white space around your text blocks.

Some months ago I wrote to the Pittsburgh Business Calendar at Info@BusinessCalendar.Org and offered to clean up the site's usability and look-and-feel in exchange for a mention at the bottom of the page, but I never heard back from them. Maybe I'll try again.