Tuesday, October 27, 2009

H is for Histats

HistatsHistats.com has a traffic analysis tool that I have used for a long time to monitor the traffic on my website: darkbluesun.com. I kept it because it gives the option to add code to my site and it produces this cute little button on my page that shows the world how much traffic I have had.

How many visitors:
darkbluesun.com visitors
how many page views:
darkbluesun.com views

You can reset these numbers back to zero at any time.

Google Analytics Preview

Google Analytics

Like Histats, Google Analytics records:
  1. Daily Stats
  2. Number of Visitors
  3. Location of Visitors (Country)
  4. Traffic Sources
  • Direct Traffic - they typed in your URL in their web browser.
  • Search Engines - they did a search for something and you were the chosen result.
  • Other Site - social network profile, backlinks.

  • * I also attended the webinar Advanced Marketing Analytics (AZ501) at Inbound Marketing University Professor: Avinash Kaushik of Google and author of Web Analytics 2.0. Visit Avinash's blog for more in depth info on how to really measure your website's effectiveness.

    You'll definitely need to get one of these traffic tools for your website! If you don’t have a website yet, stay tuned for the "W is for website". Our web presence is the virtual equivalent of our first impression. It’s how we tell our stories, sell our stuff, share our info and offer contact info to our new clients. It's best to plan it thoroughly! So, if you haven’t already, start thinking up a unique and memorable name. This could also be your business name that you were thinking up earlier. You can go online and buy a url at godaddy.com or networksolutions.com. When you register your domain, find out if your registrar has a free traffic monitoring tools (e.g. godaddy analytics )

    * Beware of some of those super cheap domain registration providers! You may be registering your site without actually getting rights to it! There are lots of resellers out there who basically charge you like 4.99 a month to register and host your site through them, but you are not the actual owner. It's like lease a site. Sure it's cheap now, but when you want to purchase the site when your business is established you'll end up paying a much higher price.

    How many people are clicking on your shared links?

    You can also monitor traffic from shortened urls. The following excerpt is from: URL Shorteners

    The reason why bit.ly is my favorite URL shortener: I can log in and see the traffic for each my shortened links. I use twitterfeed to automatically change my blog post URLs to bit.ly addresses for twitter updates (because of the 140 character rule). When I log into bit.ly I can see how much traffic my blog posts are getting from twitter!


    * Make sure you create an account and sign in to bit.ly before you shorten any links you want to track.

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    G is for Google

    Google Logo It is true that Google is a huge operation. The capabilities of their network can seem staggering to a new comer. However, Google is a fabulous organization, they offer so many resources for us work at homers. Not only do they have a pretty great search engine, but you should sign up for an iGoogle account and access Google apps which include tools for documentation, email, request for information and contact forms. They are available for personal or business use. Google also has a lot of great website tools including: Adsense, Adwords, Analytics and last but not least are Webmaster Tools that you can use for bringing, monitoring and sharing traffic with your blog or website.

    In a nutshell:
    Adwords Adwords are advertisement for your business. They are definitely worth looking into if you are wanting to utilize SEM (Search Engine Marketing). As with almost all good advertising, it comes with a price. You definitely want to get your website established, and get your market research done before delving in to a powerful tool like Ad Words.

    piggy bankAdsenseAdsense is an account that you setup and get code to put into your website to display little ads (from those people who use Adwords) of related content on your site, and then you get a little money for it each time someone clicks on your Google ads. But Beware: Do Not Click On Your Own Links. Google will know. Visit this post at darkbluesun.com for even more information about Adsense: Making Cents of Adsense

    Webmaster Tools Webmaster Tools include:

    Site configuration
    Submit sitemaps, verify a crawler has access to search and index your site, and other settings here.

    Your site on the web
    Top search queries (what did someone have to type in to bring up your site in a search), Links to your site (which sites are linking to you), Keywords (the ones found most on your page) , Internal links (which sites are you linking to from your pages)

    Crawl errors (which you want to get fixed so google will visit you.), Crawl stats (the last time a Googlebot visited you), give HTML suggestions if your site code needs to be reexamined.

    Labs allow you to fetch site info as a Googlebot and give malware details

    Other search engine's Webmaster Tools:

    You will also need to create accounts and submit your website to use these tools.

    bing logo
    Bing Webmaster Tools(Similar to Google's webmaster tools minus a few features.)

    yahoo logo
    Yahoo Site Tools (Yahoo is definitely the most thorough search engine when it comes to finding all of the sites that link back to you.)

    Google Analytics Analytics measures how much traffic your website gets. And traffic monitoring conveniently leads me to my next tool.

    Friday, October 2, 2009

    F is for Facebook

    This post is actually about facebook and myspace. These are two of the biggest social networking sites on the internet. (Don't worry, I'll get to Linked IN and Twitter later.)

    myspace logo


    My first social networking profile ever was on myspace. I began actively using it around September or October of 2006. Since I tried this one first, I'll start here. Myspace still has a small hold on the entertainment industry's social network. However, a lot of everyday users have slowed or stopped using this service altogether. The problem with myspace has simply been that they threw in the profile 2.0, and really changed the way people were once able to update and personalize their profiles. It seemed like a lot of people jumped ship then, and went to our "Plain Jane" yet beloved facebook. :) A prime example of how drastically changing a good thing can go bad. Still, I provided the examples below, to show that they really wanted to make it more customizable.

    Check out the following profiles:
    1. SAMPLE 1 - nice example of what that "profile 2.0" thing is good for. Nice huh?
    2. SAMPLE 2 - good example of a myspace splash page linking to a main website.
    Myspace should have seen the complaint emails coming, when they introduced this profile upgrade. You had the option of either choosing among about 8 profile themes or learning CSS (or hiring yourself a web or style sheet developer.) Since this transition, they have added a few more profile themes to choose from. :)

    A side by side comparison: Coca Cola on Social Media (I love you Diet Coke! :)
    MySpace Page vs. Facebook Fanpage
    They are really very comparable. Aren't they


    I didn't have a profile on facebook until September of 2007. And I have probably used them both the amount even though I've been on myspace longer.People also switched over to facebook due to the many options available like facebook fanpages (see my two pages: Business2.0 & Work at Home Parents)and the fact that when you first signed up, it "judged" whether you were putting in a real name or not (no funny characters or curse words here). Inevitably, this meant that looking up people to find and reconnect with on facebook was much easier. Never-the-less, I think that trying out both networks is a good idea. Facebook has become a wonderful mix of business and pleasure. They also made a smart move by making it available to the masses, not just the college students. (But you have to start somewhere right?) Anyways, I encourage you to go do some research, be adventurous and see if you can find anybody you knew or join a group to find people you want to get to know.

    Social Netiquette

    In conclusion, I would like to share some professional social netiquette rules to keep in mind. Please do not take this as a complete or concrete list. I am not any kind of authority on etiquette. In fact, I am usually the clueless one -LOL. But seriously, consistently professional web presence is very important, and I am welcoming anyone who has another list of rules or additional info then please share with us.

    1. Beware of what you post on your profile. Don’t put anything on your profile you wouldn’t want your clients or partners to see. I am not trying to say "be fake", I am just trying to say "be selective" with your pictures and posts, etc.

    2. Beware of what applications (apps) you use, because a lot of them require you to allow them access to your profile and will post things on your profile or even your friends' profiles. :{ (And for security purposes, watch out for those apps that ask for access to your profile info, friends, etc.)

    3. Try to keep business at a minimum on your personal profile.(No more than maybe one business post a day on your personal profile) That's what facebook business pages and groups are for. If all of your high school and college buddies want to know about your business, they'll join your group or "fan" your page.
    ( **Here is where I should apologize and sincerely thank all my friends that have let me spam them to get my facebook vanity URL's** :) - I love you guys!

    Effective communication depends on your situations and relationships. Just remember we are all different, and when you read something on a screen, it's difficult to guess or interpret the tone of voice or facial expression behind the posts and messages. It's natural to assume the worst or to want the instant gratification of an immediate response to your posts and messages. I am here to tell you, this isn't always the case. Stay positive and know that just like you get busy, so will the people in your network. Have fun with it, and keep it real.