PPCblog — how to improve your PPC campaigns

August 13, 2010 by Diane Vigil in

PPC BlogPay Per Click advertising — PPC for short — can be an excellent method of getting your message in front of potential customers. PPC ads are those ads you see on the search results pages of Google, Yahoo, and other websites. You may not have noticed them — the ones marked "Sponsored". If an ad says "Sponsored", it's a paid advertisement, not a regular search result.

As an example, here's a screenshot of PPC ads at Google. Notice the pink box at the top, and the entire right-hand column … they're all PPC ads.

Now, you can do this too, by signing up for an account at Google, Yahoo, etc., noting which keyword phrases you'd like your website to be found for, writing your ads … and that's about the time you discover that you'll be bidding against competitors for your ad placements. There are other issues as well — and, while of course you'd like the top position, your competitor(s) may be driving the bidding price beyond what is feasible for you, or simply what you'd like to pay. And thus you may find your advertising dollars draining from your account without doing you as much good as they should. more »

Sunshop Theme Design

July 25, 2010 by Diane Vigil in

Sunshop ThemeWe've worked with TurnkeyWebTools' Sunshop shopping cart for quite a few years now and, truth be told, it's become our favorite e-commerce application. We find it to be an excellent, full-feature shopping cart at a reasonable price. That said, having spent a good amount of time in TWT's forums, it's become clear that, whether due to lack of time or web coding know-how, most people are not able to design and implement a "Sunshop theme" that will work for their websites. more »

E-Commerce: watch your international carriers

March 20, 2009 by Diane Vigil in

Just a word to the wise: if you've got an e-commerce website and you ship outside of your country, you may find that some international carriers may deliver to a particular country … but not to the part of the country in which your hopeful customer resides.

If such is the case, and if your e-commerce shop liaises with the FedEx, USPS International or other carrier websites to determine available shipping methods (according to your specifications) and resultant costs in real time, your hapless customer may not be presented with any shipping method at all during checkout — and may not be able to complete his or her purchase.

If you're lucky, that customer will contact you rather than skipping off to your nearest competitor.

A little research may tell you that one carrier is your favorite choice for delivery to a country but may not deliver to specific areas, while another may.

Bottom line: it pays to do your homework!

The Case Against Storing Your Files Online

February 3, 2009 by Diane Vigil in

I occasionally hear people talking about using webmail (reading, sending, storing email online at an ISP or Google or Yahoo or Hotmail or …), and I never understand it. Sure, it's accessible from "anywhere" but if that online location is not controlled by you, then what happens when something happens? I'd heard fairly recently about Google shutting down someone's email account — which apparently meant, to that user, that among other things, his business emails were gone. And if those were business emails, how do clients email him? (Let's set aside the fact that using a free, pretty much untraceable email address for business purposes would seem to be an odd practice, at best.) more »