About us pages

We are planning a redesign of the website and I was researching some of the best About us pages online. I liked this link on http://www.blogtyrant.com/best-about-us-pages/ and most of the pages featured there, ranging from the weird, http://www.andrewreifman.com/ to the very long, http://www.seomoz.org/about, to the nice ones, http://twitter.com/about.

Here I am still undecided on what best to portray on the about us page. The 5 Ws looks like a good starting point. Five boxes of text each featuring the answer to each of the questions.

about us outsource2india

Still working on it…..


We are going to add phone number to the website using Twilio. Not bad. They have full-fledged API integration with our software so that each phone call can be captured as a lead.
That was one problem we had for a long long time. How do we get proper record of incoming calls and then follow up on them. Now, the call comes on the Twilio number, get added to a dababase and goes to our sales force software from the database. Sounds pretty complex! It’s pretty simple and smooth. And gets our job done beautifully.

Planning to take about 10 numbers. Local numbers come at $1 per month + usage charges, which is not very high. And toll free numbers come at $2/month + usage charges.

The primary reason for adding phone number to the website is to impress Google into giving us better rankings. Have to wait and see whether it works:)

Google panda algorithm affects many websites

Google panda algorithm update started in Feb, 2011 and was rolled out across all countries by April 11, 2011. Panda or farmer update is supposed to weed out websites with low-quality content or duplicate content. True, some of the worst affected sites are ezinearticles, suite101, buzzle, hubpages. The same names that were the favorites of SEO specialists have now become taboo.
But the Panda or Farmer algorithm has also affected good-quality, original content sites like ours. Our website, http://www.outsource2india.com suffered more than 50% dip in traffic and significant drop in rankings after April 11th. We have always been conscientious of the content that went online outsource2india; original content that would be of interest to our visitors. And yet Google considers us a content farm.
Ideas on what can be done to overcome the Panda algorithm update- traffic drop
1. Google webmaster tool – Go through and rectify any and all suggestions given by Google, like crawl errors, sitemap errors, HTML suggestions, loading time suggestions.
2. Run Xenu Linksleuth to fix any broken links, 404 errors that you website might be throwing up.
3. Modify robots.txt to include any unnecessary blog files or outdated pages.
4. Beware of your hosted wordpress blog files. Plugins can be hacked easily. Outsource2india suffered a pharma hack which took some time to rectify. And we fear that is one of the reasons why our rankings went down. Remove foreign codes, unnecessary plugins. If possible, move the blog to WPengine, which is the paid version of WordPress.
5. If you have not been active in the social media arena, start Facebook and Twitter accounts immediately. Google would be using your presence in these media as one of the factors to rank your websites.
6. Start off on top social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, Reddit, Mixx, StumbleUpon. But everything in moderation. Don’t overdo it, and then cry when these sites go the ezinearticles way.
7. Try to remove your articles from the article submission websites that have become the dirty word after Panda update. Ezine has not increased the number of words in the articles to 400 and doubled the review period in an effort to increase the quality of content.
8. Take care of duplicate content. If you have taken content from other websites, remove it. If you think, other websites have taken content from you, take a premium account of Copyscape that will help you search for websites that have copied content from you. File a DMCA complaint with Google. Be patient; this is a time consuming affair.
9. http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=76830633df82fd8e&hl=en&start=1480 – Write about your website on Google webmaster central. There is a disclaimer that individual websites cannot have manual exceptions, but the feedback would be used in tweaking the next update.
10. Submit your site for reconsideration. And be optimistic. Google manually brought back the rankings of Cult of Mac, a popular blog, after reports on dropping traffic to the blog. The big white elephant might start considering smaller sites too.

Good luck. And do let me know if these worked! I am trying them too….

I thought it was very easy

My mom was working on Pay per click for the past two years. I wanted to get her some more business than what she was managing. So we started a website called http://www.myppconline.com. Domain and hosting with godaddy.com; everything went well. Wrote about 8 pages and got the site up in couple of days.

The idea was to get inquiries by advertising on Business.com and 7search. We researched keywords, made ads and put them online these sites. But guess what happened!!

Not one good inquiry over a period of 2 months. And I thought it was all too easy.

Right now, hosting is over and website is down. So I have given up on the idea; and also the optimism that it is all too easy to start a website and get inquiries online. It takes perseverance, persistence and a lot of hard work to make a website succeed. Keep writing good articles, keep giving information to visitors…. just keep at it.

Liveperson.net – for online chat

Liveperson.net for online chat
Liveperson.net for online chat
Just like Mongoosemetrics for tracking online phone numbers and calls, we wanted to try a good tool for online chat as well.
Liveperson.net Business Solutions fit the bill perfectly. And their support is awesome. Being a chat support company, their chat is available 24*7, which is a huge relief. And the support team is quite knowledgeable. I never had to end a chat session because a problem was not solved.
We took the trial account for 8 days, and then moved on to the normal account. Have been using it for about 3 weeks now.

The good points are:
1. Beautiful technical support
2. Customisable chat buttons (though they only have pictures of females on the chat screens)
3. They gave me a discount on the monthly charges, which is $99/month.
4. They offered to design a chat button based on the website design. Haven’t made use of that yet, since our internal team designed a good-looking button already.
5. Admin panel is very easy to navigate, with options for modifying look and feel of the screens, providing canned responses etc.
6. Reporting is really good. Sessions, complete transcripts, time stamps, details of the person, navigation of the visitor etc.

Not time to discuss whether the chat option was effective in generating leads. But I would definitely recommend Liveperson. net to somebody looking of a reliable online chat platform.
Happy chatting!

Mongoosemetrics : to help your online marketing

Call option on website using mongoosemetrics
Call option on website using mongoosemetrics

The sales people wanted to put a phone number on the website so that customers can call us directly instead of filling in a contact form. But there are problems:
1. How can you be sure how many people called?
2. How can you be sure that the number the sales person gives you is accurate?
3. How can you get a local number, when you are in India and your website is targeting US customers?

That is how we came across Mongoosemetrics: the tool that helps you to easily put a local US number or a toll-free number on your site, and get a record of calls received on that number. There is a free trial available with 245 mts of free calling. After that they charges are $.16/mt. Normal charges are $39/month + $9 for a toll-free number or $10 for a local number.
The top features are:
1. They give you a trackable number. Toll free numbers would be available immediately whereas local numbers would take 1-2 business days.
2. Mongoosemetrics keeps a record of the number of calls received on that number. Any call to that number is routed through a page on your website where we have to put a code. That gives you a record of the number of calls.
3. The calls can be mapped to a local number.
4. Email alerts with incoming caller’s phone number, duration, time of call can be activated.

I am still in the research stage. Not started using it yet. Will write a better review after using it for sometime. Hope this helps you in your online marketing.

Keyword analysis is important

I have been doing keyword analysis for PPC campaigns or generally for websites for the past 3-4 years as part of Online Marketing. Can’t say I have perfected the technique, but I can say that there is more complication to keyword analysis than what meets the eye!

I have been using Wordtracker, Overture, Google keyword tool and other tools offered by different PPC engines. But now zeroed in on Google keyword tool, since Google brings most of the traffic to the website I work on. Google keyword tool used to show monthly search volume and average quarterly search volume earlier. Now they have modified the headings to “Local search volume: April” and “Global Monthly Search volume”. Advertiser competition is still given as a scale and not an actual number.

Just giving some interesting facts here.
1. Did you know that there were 110,000 searches (approximate average monthly searches, over past 12 months) performed globally for the keyword “3d modeling”, whereas “3d modelling” had 40,500 searches? So your page on 3d modeling should have just one “l” and not two, if you have done good keyword analysis. Some terms like this are easy and straight forward. But there are few others that are more complicated.
2. The term “clipping” has 201,000 searches, whereas the term “image clipping” has just 1600 searches. So do you call you service clipping? That could mean so many different things. If I call a service image clipping, will I be targeting the wrong keyword. This would need some more research and discussion with the sales team to find the right keyword. One dilemma I am on now.

So do you keyword analysis right and you would reap better rewards in your online marketing. Don’t trust your instincts and go wrong, when there is such a great tool telling you what exactly your customers could be searching for.

Twitter: the new buzz word or buzz world..

Twittering away
Twittering away
My reaction was just the same. Why would people want to read about what you had for breakfast or what you are doing at one point of time. In 140 words. I tried Twitter out and found that there was hardly anybody there for me to follow. You cannot import your contacts from Orkut or Facebook, which limits your contact list. So I found 2-3 nerds on Twitter, who right now talk so much technical stuff that it sounds like Greek and Latin to me.

But Twitter is said to be the next big thing after Google, or maybe even overtaking Google. Today I read about this device called Kickbee, a band that can be worn on the wrist by pregnant moms. Each time the baby in the womb kicks, this band with some sensor would detect that and put a post on Twitter saying ” I kicked mommy at so-and-so date and time”. Ain’t that funny. Let alone hearing about what others had for their breakfasts, I can also hear when babies of expectant mothers kicked them! Maybe those extra kicks were for being so silly!

All said and done, Twitter is growing in userbase and uses. Just watch out for the new developments!!

Searchmasters 09 from Google

Search masters 09 - Google India
Search masters 09 - Google India
On Feb 28th, 2009, Google gathered together webmasters and SEO specialists from all over India to Searchmasters conference. For the first time, few of us, working in second-tier companies, got the chance to drool over Google office, workstations, facilities etc. etc.
Congratulations to Google, it was done in style and with sincerity. They did not try to sell any product, or paid product. They did not give us brochures of extremely high-priced software (No offence to Adobe). They listened to the innumerable questions that the webmasters had about google algorithms, and why this was happening or why that was not happening.
Adam Lasnik and Rajat Mukherjee came down from Google HQ, and “the” MATT CUTTS spoke to us over a pre-recorded video. Some of the sessions were a bit too technical and I could see webmasters with laptops (wireless key for Google office given at the beginning of the meeting, ain’t that nice) browsing and social-media-networking away to glory. Those of us who did not have laptops doodled on authentic Google scribbling sheets.
The general sessions had nothing new to offer. The things that we talked about were things that everybody new. The best part was the questions. Most of the doubts were covered, a lot of things that even Google didn’t know of. Their time and schedule management was also extremely commendable. Sessions got over on the dot, and there was tons of food too:) What more to satisfy hungry, eager webmasters!!!
Cheers, Google. We would love to see more of this.