August 2010 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate Stonewall Chamber of Commerce for being the winner of this month's free hosting site. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.

Going Mobile

With the recent release of the iPhoneŽ 4 and the ever increasing popularity of today's newest Android devices, smartphones have become the wave of the future. For businesses, bloggers, and all other Web site owners, this means customers can access your Web site from virtually anywhere.

While this opens up a world of new opportunities, one major drawback exists with mobile devices--the size of the screen. Although consumers can zoom and scroll on their phones most all appreciate, and are more likely to visit, a Web site that has adapted to the mobile market. If you want to stake your claim in this lucrative space, you should contact us about creating a version of your site formatted for mobile devices.

Here are some things we consider and you should also:

  • This is a mobile site; you can't have all your standard site on it. No Flash animation, few pictures, condensed content, and only vital content a mobile visitor would need.

  • We set your domain to automatically redirect mobile visitors to your mobile site when the system recognizes the visitor is browsing from a mobile device. That way there's no need to purchase an additional domain.

  • Mobile visitors tend to scan and not read, so the content is changed for easy comprehension.

  • We try an keep page size to about 10Kb (which is not much content) because it speeds load time and doesn't incur a lot of bandwidth which may cause a visitor additional phone charges (if their phone plan does that).

  • We keep the number of pages available to under 10. Since real estate is a premium on mobile sites, this keeps the navigation bar from taking up all the room on a page.

Google Allows Response To Reviews

Google Places lets you respond to users who post reviews and comments about your business. Engaging with the people who give you feedback can be a good way to get to know your customers and what they think about your business.

Business owner responses allow you to build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When replying to your customers, keep the following in mind:

  • Be nice. This isn’t just a guideline -- it’s also a good idea. You aren’t going to win an argument with a frustrated customer. And you don’t want to burn any bridges. Even customers who initially had a bad experience might come back.

  • Don’t get personal. Remember that you’re replying to feedback about an experience, not about you as a person. Reply in a way that addresses the overall experience, and remember that there’s a real person on the other end.

  • If you believe the review violates the posting guidelines, please use the Flag as inappropriate link.

  • Feedback is helpful. Both positive and negative feedback can be good for your business and help it grow (even though it’s sometimes hard to hear). Think of all feedback as an opportunity to improve.

Ground rules for what to post

Google wants you to be innovative and creative with your responses, but there are a few ground rules:

  • Be polite and professional. You’re responding to one person, but the response is public. Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous.

  • Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for genuine responses, but not necessarily novels. Don’t say in twenty words what you can say in ten.

  • Be appropriate. Responses should comply with our local content policy.

  • Be thankful. A customer who has written a review has taken the time to invest in the success of your business. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly. One response reaches to lots of customers, not just one.

    Feedback is a chance to improve. If you’ve made a business improvement based on a review, thank the user and share the change. You don’t need to address every single complaint.

  • Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business. Share a tip or something they might not know from their first visit.

New Sites Joining Us Or Completed Recently

Help out these folks by visiting their site. All ya'll will remember how hard it is to get those initial "hits" so the search engines notice your site. So take a minute and visit their site.