Educate Customers

It is our responsibility – as designers, developers, salespeople, etc. – to educate customers as we build a relationship with them. Setting expectations as early on as possible and explaining deliverables is key to creating and sustaining a healthy client/company relationship.

Failing to educate a client can cost you money.

Search Engines

With all of the sites we create at PowerServe we do an initial site submission to Yahoo!, Google and MSN upon completion of a project. We explain to clients that it may take several weeks before spiders start crawling their site. The initial submission is not a magic bullet. It does not guarantee inclusion in any of the engines, nor does it guarantee placement. If this is not explained to clients, they might assume we haven’t done our jobs.

Search Engine Optimization takes a lot of time and effort. It’s a combination of optimizing TITLEs, META keywords, META descriptions, and CONTENT among other things! In order to improve placement on search engines, you have to keep your content fresh and relevant to your keywords, descriptions and titles. The time and effort involved in successfully optimizing a site for search engines can be costly. SEO can be a crap shoot most of the time, and tweaks you make to any of the elements of your site can positively or negatively effect your placement on search engines. You’ve constantly got to educate yourself on the latest strategies. Customers need to understand all the work that is involved in Search Engine Optimization.

Design

Design takes time. Design isn’t easy. Just because tools are readily available to allow home users to publish websites or to create basic graphics, does not mean that it is easy to do graphic design or web design. Paying a professional to design a website or an ad or a brochure, etc. for you buys their expertise and their ideas, which are things no program can buy you.

Sites made by Front Page or Publisher, for instance, look unprofessional.

Google Alerts

I just stumbled across the updated Google Alerts feature while searching on Google tonight. I was aware that there was a Google Alerts for News… but now it seems you can also save Search Terms and have those search results emailed to you on a daily basis as well. Very cool. Nice extension of an existing service. This will come in handy for SEO professionals. There are already services that do this … but it’s interesting to see that Google is now doing it as well.

Link: Google Alerts

myGoogle

Straight from the Google Labs comes the new Personalized Google Homepage, which I’ve dubbed myGoogle for short.

Google is launching a personalized home page tonight, which you can view now by going to the URL below. It’s basically a custom portal of your own Google services, like a Gmail preview and Google News highlihgts, as well as Word of the Day, Weather, and Wired News updates (they must be pretty happy about that).

Oh, and a search box. I forgot about that.

Google Personal Page [Google]

(From Gizmodo)

I’m not overly impressed by it.

I’ve been wondering when Google would get into the portal game to compete against the likes of Yahoo!, AOL and MSN… but this seems like a sub-par effort.

The personalizations that are available represent a good cross-section of info I actually would want displayed on myGoogle. The design is, well, boring, at best. Pretty much everything Google has done, with the exception of Google Maps, has been pretty bland when it comes to design. (Obviously, Picasa and Hello are exceptions to this.)

A few things to note:

Easy Sorting:
Drag and drop the modules you choose where you want them positioned on the page. This was pretty cool. Nicely implemented. Worked in Firefox. Did not test in IE.

Easy Personalization:
Select only what you want displayed and how you want it displayed. Choose how many articles, quotes, emails, etc. are displayed on the page at any given time. Easily edit the settings on the page to make it more to your liking. Worked in FireFox. Did not test in IE.

Overall Impression:
Not bad, not great. I’d like to see where they take this. But right now, I’m not overly impressed. I know it’s fresh from the labs, but I’ve come to expect a lot more from the folks over at Google. They need to really innovate if they hope to stay ahead of all of the competitors nipping at their heels right now. I do use Google.com as my primary search engine, and I use Gmail exclusively for my private email account, so I will use this new page as my main Google entry… I hope to see it evolve more, and soon.