Do Not Take the Leapfish!

We got a call today from Leapfish, on one of our cell phones no less.   The caller asked out our service like any prospect would do and the caller identified himself as James after a minute and reveals that he is not a prospect but a telemarketer for leapfish.com.   We looked at the site and it had a decent page rank so we allowed James to schedule a callback later.   This gives us time to investigate the site and determine if it could be good for clients.

Our conclusion is that leapfish.com is not recommended for our clients.

They claim to have combined search and social media like that has never been done before..
James claimed that Google wasn’t better it was just different.  Google is based on popularity, Yahoo is based on content relevancy and Bing is based on news related or fresher content. 

They are aggregating the content and trying to sell ads on the site.  Nothing wrong with that. 
They are ranked well by Alexa but that doesn’t matter if your business doesn’t get leads.  There are distractions for every search so you could be displayed but still never get relevant traffic or conversions.

How it generally works.

You buy a key word position with 3 positions available.  Each year you have to pay 5% to maintain the position.
Example: Home Based Business
If someone searched this exact phrase your ad should be displayed 100% of the time along with news,  videos, Amazon advertisements etc… 

They say you can later sell your ad position but it is not clear how that process would work assuming the company maintains funding to get enough visitors to become a house hold name.  It’s a gamble.   We were told there are about 750,000 visitors per month.

The parent company is http://dotnextinc.com/  It was like pulling teeth to get this out of them.  The parent website wrote this about the company. http://dotnextinc.com/DotNext-Companies.aspx     Do your own due diligence and good luck.

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Category: Shorts

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US Search Engine Rankings

The Com Scores* are out and the findings show Google is still the top search engine with 65% of all searches.   This is up .5% from the Summer 2009 report and after some traffic previously included is no longer part of the totals. This means they are actually stronger even though the report shows Google stayed the same at 65%.  Yahoo still at #2 position with 20% of search traffic has fallen to 16.9% losing ground to Microsoft at #3.   Ask and AOL follow with under 4% of the market.   Should you dismiss AOL in your search engine marketing efforts?  Not if US traffic is important.  Many loyal, long time AOL users rely on the portal service which also includes “enhanced” Google results.  

* Based on the five major search engines including partner searches and cross-channel searches. Searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not included in the core search numbers.
** Due to a change in the URL structure for certain Google News & Video searches, a portion of searches previously counted were excluded. comScore estimates that these searches were responsible for a reduction in Google’s Core Search share of approximately 10 basis points or 0.1%

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Category: Search Engine Optimization,Shorts

Close Sunday and Increase Profits

Easter Sunday and most retailers are closing this year. It was a long time ago since it was simply expected that all but essential service businesses would be closed on Sunday. This meant you could get gas, groceries, prescriptions or dine out but local retailers would all be closed.  There is a message that a business sends when it is closed on Sunday as the sabbath.  A day of rest us good for the mind and body. If you follow the lead of Chick-Fil-A, a fast food chain who is always closed on Sundays one notices they are busy the rest of the week.  Hobby Lobby is known for crafts, home decor, furniture and florals but you cannot shop on Sunday.
Train your customers that you are closed on Sunday and same store sales will be brisk.

For many businesses closing on Sunday could be profitable but not in the way you traditionally expect. Consider the expenses of opening Sunday against the hours that the business is open. Sunday is typically a short day but the same costs apply for opening, closing and clean up.  How much is spent on advertising to get people in on Sunday?  How much does fuel cost your employees to work those few extra hours?  How much is heating and cooling?  Businesses that have gone to a closed Sunday policy find business actually improves.  Have you noticed the trend?  It is time to talk to other business owners and just look around your area.   Highly successful businesses are closed Sunday but you may not have noticed if you were working.  Considering the stress of opening 7 days a week many would close on Sunday just to improve employee moral, reduce employee and manager fatigue and get some down time for the business owners as well.

There is an argument about car dealers being closed on Sundays but it seems that there are cars everywhere.  The idea that you have to be open on Sunday needs a review.   This is not a discussion about laws but a discussion about the value of opening for basically half a day on Sunday when the expenses are almost as much as opening a full day.   Enjoy your day off, your employees will thank you.

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Category: Shorts