Nov 30, 2011

Domain Registration(s): What's In A Name?

If you're going to be starting a new business, or if you have a business but haven't yet started to market your company online, call Cole WebMarketing at, I meant to of the first steps in the internet marketing process is the "Registration" of Domain Name(s).  I say names, plural, because many businesses will want to register more than one.  Why?

Regarding a "primary domain", you want to get .COM first. If corporate branding is important and you want "maximum brand protection", we suggest that you also register the .NETand .ORG domains too.  This is especially important for large national companies.

Once you've secured your PRIMARY domain names - for example, you may want to consider registering additional "top level domains" (TLD's) to remove them from the open market to help protect your corporate identity. After these are off the market and in your pocket, many businesses will register SECONDARY domains, primarily for "internet marketing" purposes.

These can be additional TLD's that are based on their primary products/services.  If they mainly make/sell "blue widgets", then getting can be helpful, especially regarding SEO (search engine optimization) since search engines will sometimes factor in the domain name as part of the search indexing algorithms. For local/regional businesses, using or (or your city/region) can also increase your "rankings" on the SERPs (search engine results pages).

Additional Domains & SEO: Google's "rules" seem to change with the wind, so comments made about Google can be outdated a day after they're posted online. At this time, it seems that Google usually just "picks" just one domain in their indexing, so trying to use secondary domains may not have a major SEO impact. However, Yahoo! and Bing (the #2 and #3 most popular search engines) will sometimes list sites more than once on their SERPs, so I wouldn't dismiss this SEO strategy completely.
International companies often also register "country code top level domains" (ccTLD), such as for Germany, for Russia, etc. 

Here's some of the ways Cole WebMarketing uses our domains:
  • - "main offline domain" for biz cards, brochures, etc.
  • - for online marketing OUTSIDE the Charlotte area
  • - this is considered my PRIMARY domain and for online marketing IN the Charlotte area
  • - legal name of business, registered for brand protection but not used on or offline
Last but not least, domain name registration is one of the many services offered by Cole WebMarketing.  One domain name is included in all our Website Hosting Packages. We can register additional domains upon request.
It's important to note that all domains are registered with our clients listed as the "Registrar" (owner). Be careful if you're doing business with another website design/development firm! Make sure if they register domains for you, that they are not listed themselves as the Registrar.

To learn more about Domain Registration, Website Hosting and related internet marketing issues, please visit or call us at 704-456-WEB1 (9321).

Oct 5, 2011

The REAL Truth About ''Search Engine Registration/Domain Submission Services''

If you have Registered a Domain, you've probably received a few (or many!) emails that start off or contain "doomsday warnings" such as "Registration Expiration Notice: ...inform you that it's time to _________ and failure to act may result in the cancellation of ________ making it difficult for your customers to locate you...on the web". 
Our 1st response is usually fear/concern - Legit? Spam? Scam? Our 2nd response should be suspicion - "money for nothing?"

IMPORTANT: Don't Miss the "Three Things You Should Know About Search Engines"
at the bottom of this Blog Post.

Recently a Cole WebMarketing client, based in Charlotte, NC forwarded an email to me asking for review and feedback.  The email came from (Beijing, China registered domain), and was asking for $75 per year for "search engine registration/domain submission" services. It's a good practice to NEVER click on any link in any email you suspect might be spam or a scam, so I didn't click on the link. Most scams contain "fine print" and if the online order process is completed, the buyer (victim) often unknowingly agrees (in writing) to terms & conditions... that are almost always a good idea for the bad guy (seller) and a bad idea for the good guy (buyer).

Here's a screenshot of the actual email:

Three Things You Should Know About Search Engines:
  1. Search Engine Registration/Domain Submission: although this type of service will often speed up the process of getting a brand new website ''into the system'', it is NOT required in order for inclusion into search engines.  Although Domain Registrations need to be renewed annually (or every 2,5, or 10 years), Search Engine "Registrations" for major search engines don't actually exist; therefore they can never expire!   
  2. Search Engine Registration/Domain Submission: Search Engine Registration/Domain Submission is included at no extra charge (FREE) with all Cole WebMarketing website packages. As soon as a new website by Cole WebMarketing is "launched" (HTML Meta Tags revised to request/allow search engines to crawl/index pages), we submit your domain to the major search engines. Once your site is crawled and indexed by the "BIG 3" (Google, Yahoo, & Bing), dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of "minor" search engines will soon find your new website.
  3. Overview on How Websites "Get Into" the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages): GoogleBot, Slurp, and the other major search engine "spider robots" will  eventually find ALL public (and some private!) websites on the web, all on their own. Once they do, they'll check to see if the domain/website is listed in their "index" (files). If not, they'll usually schedule an "in-depth crawl" (visit each page of a website). Once crawled, they can "file" your pages in their index. Once filed, when a person searches for a company or particular product/service or keyword phrase, the search engine will serve up in the SERPs, what it thinks are the most relevant pages/websites based on the user query. With sophisticated automated search engines, such as Google; the more specific the query, the better the (search engine) results.
To learn more about our Search Engine, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Website Design/Development, WebMarketing and related services, visit and then call 704-503-7069 for a free consultation and quote.

Sep 28, 2011

The 5 Things Every Business Blog Post Should Have:

Business Blogs are a great communication tool that can help you attract new customers, retain current customers and regain previous customers. However, in order to make your blog make you (the most) money, there are 5 "must do" things you should do in every blog post, according to Charlotte, NC based website design/development/internet marketing firm Cole WebMarketing.

1) TITLE: make it attention grabbing - clear and concise, and directly relevant to the specific subject matter of the post
2) KEYWORD RICH: constantly think "keyword rich text" when writing (example: music lessons, charlotte music lessons, etc. rather than just "lessons" - use company name rather that we)
3) SINGLE THEME: keep your blog comment "single themed" - if you find yourself "switching subjects" in a single blog post, cut & paste "topic #2" into a new & separate post
4) SHORT: seems everybody is busy and/or distracted easily, so less is better. Keep blog posts short - a few paragraphs at most. If you find yourself writing a book, divide the post into "chapters", as in "continued in part 2 of 5"
5) LABEL WELL: use the tags/labels feature always and properly - this is what makes your blog easily searchable and that helps readers' searches deliver relevant content. It also helps your blog be more easily found after general search engine queries.
Most "website packages" by Cole WebMarketing include the option for Business Blog - includes setup, customization, initial training.  Your blog can also be integrated into your website if you don't want visitors to leave your site in order to read your blog.  To learn more about business blogging, call Charlotte, NC based Cole WebMarketing at 704-503-7069 or visit our website -

Jul 30, 2011

Google +1 What Is It and Why Should I care?

One of the newest offerings by Google is something called +1.  The PLUS ONE button can be found on web pages (especially next to certain advertisements and other features) and we will ''soon'' see these on millions of websites.

Similar to the Facebook LIKE button endorsement, when users click on the +1 button it adds that ad, web page, feature, company, product, brand, etc. to "the social network".  We're not talking about your Facebook or Twitter, but to "THE" social network - all the ways we're connected to others we interact with on the internet.

Remember that effective Web Marketing is all basically about two things:
  1. BUILD IT: Designing & Developing (or re-designing/re-developing) a professional looking, well "search engine optimized", well organized, informative website... that attracts visitors... and keeps them interested enough to take a ''buying action'' (bookmark, phone call, email, quote request or places an order)... before they hit the back button
  2. MAKE THEM COME: Promoting your website online (and offline)... so that your website becomes easier and easier to find over time... by people (qualified prospects) searching for your products and services

A key component of the PROMOTE part of the process is driving qualified prospects to your website, and that's where +1 can help.

When a person is logged into their Google account (everyone should have one), and begins doing a search on Google, any site they (PLUS those in their network!) have ever added via +1, will now become part of the Google search "algorithm" and their "personalized search function".  Your searching experience will be enhanced because you'll see "who in your network has plussed what" and be able to take advantage of the approval (of others that you known & trust) when considering what to click on in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).  With +1, Google is adding a powerful social element into their searches!

The value /benefit to Cole WebMarketing clients and other website owners doesn't just stop here. +1 will also impact Google AdWords PPC (pay per click) Google AdWord advertisers.

Soon, +1 will also start showing up on Google AdWords listings. A click on a +1 button will NOT count as a click on paid keyword/keyphrase ads, so clicks will not cost you any extra money. As most of us know, Google seems to love giving us "more for nothing"! Google AdWord advertisers will be able to see which ads are getting the most +1 clicks and be able to obtain other useful web marketing data via their free Google Analytics reports.

This new +1 feature certainly will probably very quickly become a "learned convention" by website users and adding +1 to your website pages should be considered a web development "industry best practices" addition.

Want to TRY IT OUT?
Simply click the PLUS ONE button under this blog post!

Like everything on the web, change happens every second, so keep we encourage you keep updated about Google +1 (and many other web marketing tools & tactics) by clicking the ''follow this blog" (upper right).

See the value in adding PLUS ONE to your website?  If you currently have a "Website by Cole WebMarketing" (or if you'd like us to design & develop a brand new site and include +1 to your site), please call us at 704-503-7069 or visit

Jul 29, 2011

Own a Domain? Watch out for Domain Registry of America!

new blog post coming soon. 

I'll be specifically warning people to watch out for anything coming in the mail (snail or email) from Domain Registry of America (aka Domain Renewal Group). Their mailings can easily trick unsuspecting domain owners into transferring their domain over to the control of DRA. Once transferred, it's not easy for the owners to regain control and hefty penalties can add up quickly and can cost the owner hundreds of dollars to rescue their domain, held "hostage" by DRA.

Domain slamming (also known as unauthorized transfers or domain name registration scams) is a scam in which the offending domain name registrar attempts to trick domain owners into switching from their existing registrar to theirs, under the pretense that the customer is simply renewing their subscription to their current registrar. The term derives from telephone slamming.

Domain Slamming has been going on for years, but one particular company (DRA) continues to stand out.  DRA was sued by a major (legitimate) domain name registrar, claiming the company illegally lured away thousands of customers by tricking them into transferring their domains.

I just Googled - domain registry of america - and Google's drop down "popular/related search suggestions" included the words scam, refund and complaints added onto their name.  THAT alone should make you suspicious!

In 2009, the Advertising Standards Authority issued an Adjudication on Domain Registry of America.  The ASA noted the mailing was headed "Domain Name Expiration Notice" and closely resembled a bill, including a credit card payment slip, and considered recipients were likely to infer that their domain name had been transferred to DRG and a renewal payment was now required.  

to be continued...

Jun 30, 2011

Domain Name Registration: Process Overview + Tips/Advice

new blog post coming soon I'll be covering:
  • what is a domain name
  • what types of domain names are there
  • which domain name is best for me
  • what should I avoid when registering a domain
  • how to you renew a domain name
  • transferring domains
  • buying & selling domain names


Feb 18, 2011

Facebook Page vs Group - What's The Difference and What Should My Business Have?

If you're confused, here's the quick answer: A business should have a Facebook Page, not a Facebook Group.

Here's an example that should help make the distinction clear:

PAGE: ''The Bead Lady'', a local Concord, NC business, would want to create a Facebook Business Page. She'd want to name it after her business - something like: "The Bead Lady". The Page will help her increase awareness of her business and help promote it.  The page connects her business with prospects, customers, and supporters (friends & family) who become "fans".  

GROUP: She might also want to increase awareness about her "type" of business and help promote her industry, so she would want to create a Facebook Group.  Perhaps simply calling it "Beading", for people interested in beading. The group connects members, who share a common interest, with each other. To better target a local geographic area, a business owner might want to add city or region to the group name, such as "Cabarrus County Beading" or "Concord Beading".

Facebook Pages:
Like a friend's profile, Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organizations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook. Unlike your profile, Facebook Pages are visible to everyone on the internet by default. You, and every person on Facebook, can connect with these Pages by becoming a fan and then receive their updates in your News Feed and interact with them.

Facebook created Pages when they noticed that people were trying to connect with brands/businesses in ways that didn’t quite work on Facebook. Business Pages not only connect ''fans'' with the business, but they can show their friends what they "like" (support) and recommend by adding Pages to their personal profile. When people become a fan of a brand/business, that information is posted on their wall. You can see which Pages your friends are fans of via the “Info” tab on their profile.
It's also important that I point out that a Facebook ''Business Page'' is different from a Facebook "Business Account". The Account is mainly for companies that pay to advertise their brand/business on Facebook.

Facebook Groups:
A group is best suited for something of shared interest - a cause, a hobby, etc.. While Pages were designed to be the official profiles for businesses, Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication among "members" who share a common interest. 

Facebook Groups are set up for more personal interaction. Groups are also directly connected to the people who administer them, meaning that activities that go on there could reflect on you personally. Pages, on the other hand, don’t list the names of administrators.

PRIVACY - The Separation of Your Business & Your Personal Life: It's important to understand that Facebook considers groups to be an extension of your personal actions. When you post something as a group administrator, it appears to be coming from you and is attached to your personal profile. In contrast, Page Adminstrators can create content that comes from the Page itself, so that content doesn’t have to be linked to you personally.

SEO: Regarding which type is best for a business, one critical difference involves SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  Pages are indexed by external search engines such as Google, just like a public profile, while Groups are not.

There are MANY other differences, unique features/benefits, and pros & cons between Pages and Groups, but hopefully I've shared enough here to show you that if you're a business owner/manager, you need to create a Facebook page to represent and promote your brand/business rather than a Facebook group. 

For more information about this blog post topic, please visit and then call Cole WebMarketing at 704-456-WEB1 (9321).

Feb 17, 2011

Website Content: Video Tips

Great Content Helps Make Great Websites! Adding high quality short video clips to your website is one sure way to help educate and impress visitors to your website.

Although Cole WebMarketing offers local Charlotte, NC area on-site and off-site professional standard and HD video services, sometimes our clients might want or need to "shoot themselves".

Garbage In / Garbage Out is a phrase commonly heard in the Information Technology world, so here are a several Photography & Video Tips to help you provide us with good raw materials to work with.

Especially for home builders, new/custom machinery development, any business involved with refurbishment/restoration (before and after photos are a must!), etc. - it's best to capture and preserve daily/weekly (or major event) project progress.

POSITIONING: For best results, always use a tri-pod to mount the camera to avoid camera shake. It may seem minor during filming but it will be major while viewing on TV or the internet. Remember to shoot from several positions around project. Be sure to make those positions (tape on floor, stake in ground, etc.) to ensure you get the same angle/view each time.

SHOT FRAMING: It's recommended to not shoot ''too tight'' in regard to shot framing. "Backgrounds" can be helpful in providing reference to viewers, but keep the focal point obvious by avoiding too wide of a shot. Make sure you avoid cutting off body parts, sections of equipment/machinery, etc. - remember...garbage in / garbage out!

LENGTH: Unless absolutely neccessary, such as filming a process/event from A-Z, avoid LONG clips. It's usually best to shoot short (30, 60 or 90 second) vid cam clips. These short clips will be combined by us during the website video post production process. Our world today has a very short attention span (is this blog post too long?) so keep in mind that the suggested total length for informational internet video clips is about 3 minutes max.

PAN & ZOOM: It's OK to pan pan side to side, but go super slow. When you think you're panning slow enough, slow it down a bit more!
A common amateur mistake is excessive zooming. Try to avoid zooming in/out zoom while in record mode. Although wide-angle full scene and close up footage is good to shoot, transitions can be applied during post production by us, so it's best to zoom out - then record, stop, zoom in, record some more. If you must zoom while recording, do it very slowly and smoothly.

FILE ORGANIZATION: After shooting, transfer your "raw video footage" to your PC. To best organize your content, create folders - with clear and concise labels. Including the date is also helpful. I prefer this dating format: 2011-0217 (for February 17, 2011). Main folder example: SmithHome_2011-0217. Using this format style helps with chronological sorting later. Inside the main folder, create sub-folders, also clearly and concisely named. Smith_OutsideFront, Smith_OutsideBack, Smith_InsideLiving, Smith_InsideKitchen, etc.

BACK UP: And finally, it's always a good idea to make backup copies of anything shot. You want to preserve a back up of any and all "master originals". You can store a copy on another PC and/or external hard drive. It's also easy to burn to CD or DVD, and "off-site" storage is recommended.

CLIENT EDITS: We prefer that our clients don't edit videos on their end, other than trimming off excess at the beginning and end of video clips. You want to avoid downsizing the file. We sometimes get tiny video clips (180 pixels wide for example) and while a large video can be made smaller, increasing the size of a small video always results in significant degradation of quality. In post production we can make big small; but not small big.

VIDEO FORMAT: WMV, MOV, AVI, and MPEG are probably the most common, but we can work with just about any video file format. For website use, Cole WebMarketing always tries to follow current "best industry practices". The norm, at this time, is for website videos to be converted into Abode Flash (.swf) files. They're very compact in file size so they load fast (3 min. total length is "standard"), and can be viewed by most internet users. (the exception would be Apple portables - iPhone, iPod, iPad can not display Flash files). However, we can post a link on your site to an MPEG-4 version will allow Apple portable users to watch all your videos.

VIDEO SIZE: Videos included in websites by Cole WebMarketing are usually standard 4:3 format. Sizes for website use are usually standard small (320 pixels wide x 240 pixels high) or standard large (640 x 480).We'll also use "widescreen" (16:9 format) and sizes depending on the site layout and design.

FILE TRANSFER: To get your raw video clips in our hands for "post production" (editing, enhancement and conversion for use on your website, your YouTube Channel, etc.), we can help you to upload them, via ''FTP'', directly to a private location on your website server for our retrieval, or you can burn and snail mail a CD or DVD.

For more information about this blog post topic, please visit and then call Cole WebMarketing at 704-503-7069.

Website Content: Photography Tips

Great Photos Help Make Great Websites!  Adding high quality photographs to your website is one sure way to help impress visitors to your website. 

Although Cole WebMarketing offers local Charlotte, NC area on-site and off-site professional DSLR (digital single lens reflex) high resolution (15MB) still photography services, sometimes our clients might want or need to "shoot themselves". 

Garbage In / Garbage Out is a phrase commonly heard in the Information Technology world, so here are a several Photography Tips to help you provide us with good raw materials to work with.

Especially for home builders, new/custom machinery development, any business involved with refurbishment/restoration (before and after photos are a must!), etc. - it's best to capture and preserve daily/weekly (or major event) project progress.

For best results, it's best to use a tri-pod to mount the camera, even if it's a simple, inexpensive "point & shoot" camera. Remember to shoot from several positions around project. Be sure to make those positions (tape on floor, stake in ground, etc.) to ensure you get the same angle/view each time.

For still camera shots, take one photo zoomed out and then one zoomed in.  Always take two identical shots in case the first is flawed (lighting, focus, or other issue). You might even want to take a few and alter the settings slightly. It's recommended to not shoot too tight in regard to shot framing.  Excess can be trimmed during post production by us, but if you cut off body parts, sections of equipment/machinery, etc. - it's garbage in / garbage out!

As soon as possible after shooting, transfer your photos to your PC.  To best organize your content, create folders - with clear and concise labels. Including the date is also helpful.  I prefer this dating format: 2011-0217 (for February 17, 2011). Main folder example: SmithHome_2011-0217.

Using this format style helps with chronological sorting later. Inside the main folder, create sub-folders, also clearly and concisely named.  Smith_OutsideFront, Smith_OutsideBack, Smith_InsideLiving, Smith_InsideKitchen, etc.

And finally, it's always a good idea to make backup copies of anything shot. You want to preserve a back up of any and all "master originals". You can store a copy on another PC and/or external hard drive. It's also easy to burn to CD or DVD, and "off-site" storage is recommended.

We prefer that our clients don't edit photos on their end. However, if you feel the need, keep in mind not to downsize photos. We sometimes get tiny photos (150 x 150 pixels for example) and while a large photo can be made smaller, increasing the size of a small photo always results in degradation of quality - i.e., blurry and/or ''pixelated'' (jagged edges).  In post production we can make big small; but not small big.
PHOTO FORMAT & SIZE: Cole WebMarketing always tries to follow current "best industry practices". JPG file format is recommended. For website photo display, most "large pics" we use are 750 pixels wide x 500 high - small pics are 200-350 pixels wide.  Maximum total website/photo width is 960 pixels wide, as this size avoids the dreaded "side scrolling" for 96-99% of all internet users.  

To get your photos in our hands for "post production" - editing/enhancement for website use, you can email photos, several at time.  If you have more than 50MB or dozens of photos, we can help you to "FTP" them to your website server for our retrieval, or you can burn and snail mail a CD or DVD. 

For more information about this blog post topic, please visit and then call Cole WebMarketing at 704-503-7069.

Feb 5, 2011

Search Engine 101: What They Are and How They Work

Knowing a bit about what Search Engines are and how they work is important to any internet user. However, this information is especially important to any website owner/manager. Having at least a basic understanding will help you develop and/or improve your overall webmarketing strategy for maximum effectiveness and to help you maximize your return on your website development and maintenance investment.

Search Engine History & Overview:
WebCrawler, which was born in 1994, is considered to be the first true search engine. It was an automated ''crawler based'' full text search engine. In 2000, Google was released and rapidly gained popularity because it delivered very relevant results to queries (search keyword or keyphrase). Google is by far the most popular search engine, and has been for the past several years. Yahoo! and Microsoft's Bing are the others that make up the "Big 3", although in 2009 There are also hundreds of other "major" search engines, like "", and thousands of ''minor'' ones. Many search engines are "powered" by others (in 2009 Yahoo! began to use Bing technology), so the results can be similar, sometimes almost identical.

Search Engine vs Directory:
There are also online Website Directories (think internet phone book). The terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably, but ''human run'' directories (such as are very different from search engines, which are "robot run".

How Search Engines Work:
There are three primary pieces of software involved: the spider software, the index software and the query software.
SPIDER: Search engines automatically create web site listings by using "spider robots" (software programs) that "crawl" web pages, index their information, Spiders, like GoogleBot, usually return to already-crawled sites on a regular basis in order to check for updates or changes.

INDEX: Everything that they find goes into the search engine database. The engines use complex (and secret) algorithms (mathematical formulas), to help determine what goes where in the database. Think of the file cabinet in your office. The better you evaluate, label and sort (alpha, numeric, etc.) the faster you can find stored information you need when you need it later.
QUERY: When a user searches (submits a query), the search engines evaluates the query, checks it's database, and then using it's algorithms, provides the user with what it considers a list of "best match" results that it ranks by relevancy to the word or phrase in the query. An analogy would be you going to a library, telling the librarian you need a book on "cars", and the librarian retrieves and presents you with a some books. Since your question was vague and general, you might get a cart full of books! The more specific your question ("history of BMW" for example), the better the librarian can help you quickly find exactly what you need - i.e., "we have 1,251 books on cars, but here are 3 that seem best matched to your specific question".

SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) and Different Types of Listings:After a query, a user is presented a two different types of results - Organic & Paid.
Organic/Natural Search Results, are listings on SERPS that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to paid advertisements. Most search engines will present "pay per click" ads on the column on the right, often with a few at the top center (above the natural results). Those in the premium position (top center) get there based on highest cost per click paid and frequency of clicks. Much research has been done regarding this topic, but it's my professional opinion that most users, most of the time will first click organic search results before they click on the paid listings.

Why Should You Know This AND Why Should You Care?
As a website owner or manager, you know how important it is for prospective customers to be able to easily find your website when they search for your products and services.  Now that you know what Search Engines are and how they work, you can help create or modify the organization of your website content, and create or modify specific page text to best the needs of the search engines.  The spider robots need a "search engine friendly" website (easy to crawl & easy to index) that's filled with keyword rich text.

LEARN MORE: To learn more about Search Engines and SEO, use the "blog search box" (upper left) to find other posts in this Cole WebMarketing blog, using keywords/keyphrases such as Search Engine, Online Directory, Google, Yahoo, Bing, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, etc.. 

For more information about this blog post topic, please visit and then call Cole WebMarketing at 704-503-7069.

Jan 27, 2011

Cole WebMarketing Testimonial by R. Butler of OmnAvia (Aircraft) Interiors

Posted on the ''Google Places'' listing for Cole WebMarketing -- Jan 26, 2011

Cole WebMarketing Testimonial by Robin Butler of and www/

OVERVIEW: Longtime client (7+ years) R. Butler, of and  talks about the affordable and quality website design, development, and management services provided by Cole WebMarketing, as well as effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services, Social Media Marketing Consulting & Management and much more.

  • we've been working together for seven years or so
  • our website consistently ranks in TOP 5 at Google for major search keyphrases
  • Cole WebMarketing has been directly responsible for much of our financial success over the last number of years.
  • This new company (OmnAvia-Interiors) we're starting now would not have been possible 
  • without the skills & webmarketing experience of Cole WebMarketing
  • I can't say enough great things about them
  • if you need a website, talk to Brian Cole....he's the best!


This client's conviction in the QUALITY and VALUE of the professional, yet affordable, website services provided by Cole WebMarketing, led to a recent referral (to a longtime friend) that resulted in a nice size new "total website overhaul" project.  

Wouldn't you agree that a referral, (especially to a long time friend), is THE best PROOF of of long time track record of "good services @ competitive prices"?  

If a small-medium sized business needs website design, redesign, website photography and/or video shoot, editing and production, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or related website investment and partnership with Cole WebMarketing just makes good sense!

Note: on the same VIDEO TESTIMONIAL page is another TESTIMONIAL by 2 time NASCAR Champ, Randy LaJoie.                   

For more information about Cole WebMarketing products and services, please visit and then call us at 704-456-WEB1 (9321).

Jan 3, 2011

To Link or Not To Link (your website to another) - How To Avoid "Link Farms"

Most all website owners/managers have received this type of email - a "reciprocal link request" from a total stranger.  Here's a typical example:
Copy of Email from LINK FARM:
...and I manage a wide variety of websites and have found that adding links on my site to other related sites is beneficial for both parties involved. My research has shown that linking with similar sites shows a significant increase of website traffic. I came across your website ABCcompany{dot}com and would be very interested in adding your link to my site; provided you are able to add a link back to one of my sites. If I have made a mistake by sending this to the wrong address, please simply click reply and I will remove your email from my mailing list. Below I have included the details I would like you to use when adding my link to your site:
URL: XYZcompany{dot}com
Title: _____ ________ ________
Description: _________________ ___________ __ _____________ __________ _______
If you are interested in my offer, please reply to this email and let me know where you have added my link. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!++++++++++++++++

1) it comes from someone you don't know
2) it involves a website totally unrelated to your company/products/services/industry
3) this email was sent to you because your website indicates that this address deals with requests of this type.
3) it offers to "help you" remove yourself from their mailing list by clicking reply (this confirms they hit an active email account, which increases the value of your email address when they sell it to other spammers and scammers)

Regarding these types of emails, I encourage all Cole WebMarketing clients to be very cautious and be careful to avoid "link farms". These are sites that exist primarily for the purpose of providing a huge number of links to often completely unrelated websites. They are frowned upon by Google and the other search engines because "# of links to your site" is considered to be a factor in how GoogleBot, Slurp and other major search engines "index your site" (determine rank, listings, etc.). This is the main reason link farms are considered a "black hat (bad) SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactic".
QUALITY RECIPROCAL LINKS = White Hat SEO: Increasing your "back links" (inbound links from other sites to your site) is considered an effective "white hat (good) SEO tactic". It's advisable that you try to get as many websites as possible to link INTO your site. Linking OUT to other sites only helps them. That's why ''reciprocal links'' are best - both related sites link to each other to help both the human site visitor (get additional info.) AND makes your site more "search engine friendly".

OUTBOUND LINK RISKS: A final word of caution regarding linking out to other sites from your website - as you know, our world today is one filled with a "information overload" and web surfers have developed a very short attention span.  If you link out to another website, be aware that you may decrease your "conversion ratio" (visitors turning into customers).  The prospect at your site might have been just about to order, call, email you, bookmark, share, or take another buying action, but you distracted them with a link to another website.  Also, if you are a dealer or distributor, linking out to the "manufacturer" website might cost you a sale/customer if the other site makes it easy to find your competitors. An outbound link is best from dealer to manufacturer when you have an exclusive or protected territory.

For more information about this blog post topic, please visit (note the inbound link I just included here!) and then call Cole WebMarketing at 704-503-7069 to discuss your business, your website and how we may be able to help you improve your SEO efforts with a quality link building program.