Small Business Software

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:: Affiliate Communication

March 31, 2004
A new article has just been added to the content section of the SBS website. The article stresses strong communication with affiliates and resellers. Consider added incentives for performing affiliates and maintain regular contact inorder to support resale efforts.

:: PDFs

March 30, 2004
I stumbled across a really great utility recently. It allows you to save data from any application as a PDF. The download inserts an option into your list of printers, when that printer is selected the document is saved as a PDF. Very, very impressive! The software is called PDF995 and it works like a charm.

If you have promotional product slicks, you can convert them to PDFs and make them available on your website.

:: WebSite Templates

March 28-29, 2004
If you need to spruce up the look of your website consider using a template as the framework. The template will give you base graphics and the general layout. You need to just drop in the content! By using a tool like Dreamweaver and a template, you can create the framework of site so that a template modification will update every page on the site using that template. This can be significant time saver for large sites.

:: Backups!

March 26-27, 2004
As a small business, it is critical that you maintain backups. Hard drives can crash, floods or fire can cripple a small business. In addition to nightly backups, a weekly backup that is stored off site is practical. Keep in mind that testing an occasional backup is a good habit. Sometimes automated systems fail and ensuring and verifying a backup will ensure that your fall back system does not fail!

:: RSS Feeds

March 25, 2004
A number of news outlets and accept xml feeds, also commonly known as RSS feeds. If you have a collection of press releases or news about your company create a feed, so that news outlets will pick up the story. Check out the article "The Making of an RSS Feed".

:: Channels on Adsense

March 24, 2004
Google Adsense has implemented tracking that allows webmasters to modify code to distinguish "channels". The channels will allow webmasters to track what sites, pages or domains are performing in the Adsense program. The reporting is delayed for 48 hours so webmasters have not really been unable to evaluate how effective the new program is, but the reporting enhancements appear to be a step in the right direction.

:: New User Group Forum

March 23, 2004
We've added a new user group forum has been added to Small Business Software. User Groups can post speaker requests, discount or door prize requests. Developers can respond to requests or provide promotional offers to user groups. User groups can also post meeting dates. Keep in mind the more details provided for readers the better!

:: What is Software Piracy?

March 20-21, 2004
A new article has been added to the free website content section of the small business website. Software piracy is a growing problem and anything that can be done to make users aware of the risks and negative repurcussions should be encouraged and supported!

:: Blogging

March 19, 2004
Blogging can be a very effective way to generate fresh website content. New content increases the chance that your visitors will return. In addition search engines take notice of websites that update on a regular basis. There are a number of blogging tools that are useful or you can use a standard html editor and update regularly. Read more about blogging!

:: PageRank

March 18, 2004
As someone pointed out in the forum it appears that Google might be on the move again. In the last 24-48 hours webmasters are reporting hcnages to there pagerank. PageRank is displayed in the Google toolbar and indicates how many links point to a site and its relative popularity. Google uses PageRank as part of its algorithm to determine where sites appear in the search results.

:: Small Business Forums

March 16 - 17, 2004
We are very pleased to announce the launch of the new small business forums! Please feel free to ask and answer questions in the forum. There are currently 5 areas available for posting. The forums are explained and detailed below:

Search Engines Forum - Search engine news, questions and answers. Forum aims to assist small businesses with their online search engine campaigns and optimization. Compete with big business in the online world.

General Marketing Forum - General marketing questions and answers for small business owners and workers.

Business Question Forum - General business related questions and answers for small businesses.

Software Developer Forum - Forum for software developers to share ideas post questions related to software development and marketing. Followup discussions related to Software Marketing News and Blog

Software Announce Forum - News about new software releases, press releases or news regarding software announcements.

At this time registration is not required. Please feel free to join in the small business discussion forums!


:: Exchanges

March 15, 2004
Many small businesses lack the advertising budgets required to compete with large businesses. An alternative to spending money on advertising, is to barter or exchange ad space. Find a business that is complimentary and offer a newsletter exchange containing cross promotion. The distribution numbers should be similar, in order for both companies to benefit from the trade.

:: Yahoo's Mergers

March 13-14, 2004
I read a really great piece in Planet Ocean's subscription based Search Engine News. The article attempted to decipher what is happening with the properties purchased by Yahoo, which now include Overture, AltaVista, FAST and Inktomi. Some of the article contained conjecture and some contained prediction regarding Yahoo's ultimate plan. The new plan clearly states that the new Yahoo engine is a free crawler, which means you don't have to pay to be indexed. It appears the plan will mix paid inclusion results with natural results (unpaid). It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the FCC expressed concerned in June of 2002, requiring engines to distinquish between paid/unpaid listings. The gist of the article indicates that things will take a while to settle down and before paying for inclusion webmasters ought to try the free url submission.

Resource - Free Yahoo Submission

:: Google Adsense

March 12, 2004
This new article addresses the ins and outs of Google Adsense, evaluate your site and determine if Google could provide a healthy alternative to failing affiliate programs. This article is part of Small Business Software's free website content series. If you would like to reprint the article just be sure to retain the links and author resource box. Articles are fast becoming a great way to build and maintain website content.

:: Ask Jeeves

March 11, 2004
Ask Jeeves said that it is buying Interactive Search Holdings, owner of several destination sites including iWon, Excite and My Way, for about $343 million in cash and stock. This acquisition will double the market share, enhance their ability to compete in the fast-growing search market.

:: Search Engine Survey

March 10, 2004
According to a recent Nielsen survey the search engines used most frequently in the US are:

Google - 39 %
Yahoo - 30%
MSN - 30%

A similar survey conducted by Nielsen detailed the search engines used most frequently by Europeans are:

Google - 47%
MSN - 23%
Yahoo - 11%
AOL - 5%
T-Online Suche 4%
Voila Search 3%
Lycos Europe - 3%

Just recently Yahoo started providing search results independent of Google, this clearly shows that webmasters need to consider optimization for search engines other than Google.

:: Fresh Content

March 9, 2004
Blogs are great way to increase communication with customers. A side effect to blogs are that they provide fresh content for your website. Sites that contain fresh updated content on a regular basis, are spidered by the search engines more often than sites with stale content. Business can use web logs or online journals to promote products announce promotions, solicit beta testers and releases. Learn how to use blogs for businesses.

:: Promotional Items

March 8, 2004
Often businesses use promotional items to advertise their products or services. Measuring the success of such ad campaigns is difficult, but the concept is quite popular. Surprisingly, the promotional items are not often well thought out. When you are determing what promotional items to distribute try to find items with a long "shelf life". If a large number of trade show attendees are from out of town, stay away from items that might pose a security risk for travelers, who simply have a carry on bag. If the trade show is large avoid heavy items that attendees will tire of carrying. Try to find an item that is unique, distinct that will be remembered along with your company.


:: Google Alert

March 6-7, 2004
One of my absolute favorite resource is GoogleAlert. GoogleAlert allows you to enter keywords into the registry. When the Google directory changes you receive email notification of any directory changes, showing the top 10 or 50 listings and how the positions have changed.

:: Keyword Tools

March 5 , 2004
In addition to Overture's Keyword suggestion tool consider a new site GuideBeam . GuideBeam produces numerous phases within subgroups that are similar to the initial term.

Yahoo changes - Yahoo has begun a "content aggregation program" (CAP) designed to index the billions of documents contained in public databases but that are commonly inaccessible to search engines, or what's called the invisible or deep Web. To this end, it has aligned with the Library of Congress, UCLA, National Public Radio, the University of Michigan and Project Gutenberg, among others, to begin seeding its index with fresh, searchable material for Web surfers' queries.

:: Website Content

March 3-4 , 2004
In order to stay in the forefront of search engines and keep your visitors coming back you need to provide fresh website content in a timely fashion. This can often be a struggle for small businesses. A solution can be found by using syndicated articles. Often writers will create articles that can be used free of charge in e-zines or on websites. In order to use the content the webmaster need only to retain a resource box (or an about the author box) giving credit to the author of the piece. We've just added a section of articles available for syndication.

Feel free to use any of the articles listed for your website, but please keep links active and the resource box intact!

:: Newsgroups

March 2 , 2004
Forums and newsgroups are a great source of business. Particpate in newsgroups that relate to your industry profession. Provide insightful well thought out advice, to questions where you *know* the answers. Maintain your professional image, and above all else do not react in a negative fashion. Eventually you will be seen as an industry expert and with a little luck and a strong signature line, newsgroup participants may become customers.

:: Search Engine News

March 1 , 2004
Yahoo, as promised, dumped Google. The vast majority understood that Google would be replaced by Inktomi's pay per inclusion results but that appears to be only partially true. While currently it appears Inktomi is feed Yahoo, that is scheduled to change after April 15, 2004. Apparently there will be a new pay per inclusion service that will feed the new Yahoo Slurp engine. It is unclear how similar Yahoo Slurp is to Inktomi or what the results will be like. Stay tuned for details of another shake-up mid April.


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