Thursday, January 13, 2005

Know Your Website by Steve Plunkett

M/C/C Technique - Search Engine Optimization - Steve Plunkett

When you search online for your company name or your trademarked products, are you at the top of the search engines? On the first page? On the second page?

Are those $0.50 per click visitors to your site looking to purchase or just looking?

Is having the top listing for a particular keyword on Pay Per Click Advertising the best thing you can do for your website?

Internet marketing involves more than just building a website. It requires building a great website using qualified keywords and phrases as part of your website copy. It also means using elements within your website to boost your rankings in search results without using unethical strategies or techniques such as cloaking, hidden keywords or multiple pages with no unique content.

Making changes to your website to alter your search result placement is known as organic search engine optimization (SEO). However, making changes to your website without the proper research is a time-consuming activity and some changes even may be detrimental to your ranking or listing.

A comprehensive study of your website's history – what has and has not been done – should dictate the direction of your Internet marketing efforts. If you were lucky, that history includes your website’s submission to Yahoo! back in 1996. That means you have seniority, and you also avoided the $299 fee to have your site listed. Regardless, you need to find out if the current description of your website in Yahoo! accurately portrays what your company does today. In addition, you’ll want to consider professionally submitting your website to the major search engines, and you’ll need to know if there is something that isn’t “search engine friendly” in the actual HTML of your website.

It’s also important to understand how competitive your business channel is. Are you one of only 13 vendors that supply a really neat device, or are there 1,500 suppliers that could be viewed as competition by a potential customer that has not yet learned the difference? Trying to drive prospects to your website with Pay Per Click (PPC) could be cost-prohibitive for these types of situations – especially when you consider that 80 percent of Internet users skip over PPC advertising unless they recognize the brand and the web address.

Organic SEO, on the other hand, might be very effective. If you and six other companies, out of the 1,500, are using organic SEO on your websites, that would narrow your search engine placement from among 1,500 to just seven, which improves your chances of driving potential customers to your site.

To make organic SEO effective, you should conduct research on what your potential customers are looking for when they go searching. You need to know the common words or phrases used in describing your product(s), and you need to think about whether or not your product/service is transparent enough to have only one search engine result. You also should be sure that when someone types in your particular company name, technology trademark or service mark, they find you. By analyzing your current website traffic, you can determine how people are finding you now and, if necessary, change how they find you in the future.

Internet marketing is one of the best measurable forms of advertising. It can help you know what people searched for to find your website, what pages they clicked on and how they moved around on the website. You can know how long they stayed on each page and where they exited. Based on the referrals from the search engines and the exact time that they contacted you, it can also be determined which search engine and which keywords or key phrases led them to contact you. In addition, when you make changes to your website, traffic analysis can tell you what worked and what did not. Combined with e-mail marketing, traffic analysis can tell you how long it took them to read the e-mail you sent them, what time they clicked on the link and how long they stayed there.

All of these factors should be considered prior to the development of your Internet marketing plan. Ultimately, understanding your website’s history and the way potential customers search for your website can help you determine if PPC is right for your SEO plan or if you should just start with a few keyword changes in your HTML.

Tuesday, June 08, 1999

East Texas Web Guide

East Texas Web Guide
If you are a business owner, here are the facts about this www thingy, 52.5 percent of U.S. households, or about 53 million households had a personal computer as of 1999; 36.7 percent of those, or about 37 million households had online access. That translates into 90 million possible online shoppers out of a total U.S. population 270 million, which means one out of every three Americans is online today, says Evan Cohen at Jupiter Research. ( Online users have a mean income of $61,540 and 40 percent are college educated. This represents home use only, the facts are still not in on how many business users there are, but my estimate would be very close to those numbers. In case you are wondering just who in East Texas has a WebSite, here is a partial list, but you can find a complete listing at upcoming Asia Pacific football league, Check here for Fitness Schedules, Rates, and the latest Health information. Alan Utz and Associates, General Global Contractors Find great links to financial sites, and lots of information about one of East Texas leading banks. Bailey and Colley, L.L.P, Railroad Law and Personal Injury Law Firm. East Texas' Favorite Internet Service Provider, set this as your home page for a great starting point to the internet. Ronald's Barber Shop, specializing in Military Style haircuts. 24 hour sudden service Chuck's Travel, take a trip to your favorite American destinations via comfortable motor coach. Citizen's State Bank, find out banking information for the East Texas Area. DeHaven Eye Clinic, East Texas' pioneer in Eye surgery, with lots of good info. The Skin Doctors - Dermatology Associates of Tyler the Discovery Science Place's latest exhibit. Dixson-Hager Air Conditioning Service and Sales , need a tractor? This is the place. Medical Recruiter for the Emergency profession in East Texas East Texas Advertising Federation, Television, Radio, Print, and New Media, the gang's all here. Need a patio furniture or gas grill for summer? Also, find out about a fireplace for winter. Custom fasteners for any need. East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System, the place for all your health information in East Texas. Back/Leg/Arm/Neck Pain, Cant sleep? check here. East Texas State Fair, If you want to know what is going on at the fair, plan in advance by visiting their website. Feliciano Insurance and Investments, financial information that can help you plan for the future. University of Texas at Tyler East Texas Food Bank, visit their website and find out how you can help. KFXK Fox 51, want to know what's on Fox? If you golf, you must go here, Goodwill Industries of Texas Shop for your favorite collectibles. Local Baseball organization for kids. Get that special touch and relax. Moving out to the country? They can help. The man with the voice! The man with the voices! Need to lose weight for summer the Natural way? Really yummy stuff, find out where to buy it online. Almost 40 years of Classic Rock, 96X East Texas #1 Country Radio station. Jammin 93.1 The Jammin Oldies Station Jordan's Mobility Solutions - special utensils for special needs. Employment consultants Mike Pile Jeep, Mazda, and BMW, shop for used cars online. the Cap Ranch Cookout online! Candles from an angel. The most continuous hit music in East Texas. neurocare Network, back pain specialists. The Center for Corrective Surgery Blackjack Outback, go fishing or Hunting in Montana. Accountants for East Texas Bad Credit, Good Credit get a home loan here Emerald Bay Real Estate. See who's playing at Rick's On The Square. Robert's and Robert's Law firm Civil Litigation Firm Rusk County Chamber of Commerce WebSite and History on Henderson, Texas Simmons General Contractors. Metal Finishing Supplies Tyler's Newest Skating Rink with lots of fun activities. Pro and Home Audio Equipment sales and Installation The Suit Club - the place for Tommy Bahama Tyler, Texas Chamber of Commerce Tyler Area Builders Association Tyler Economic Development Council Tyler Today Magazine Online East Texas Piney Woods Regional Advisory Council for Texas Department of Health Baseball and Golf training aids Voted the Best Website in East Texas Tyler Neurosurgical Associates , check out the latest in Neurosurgery Azalea Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic

Tuesday, December 08, 1998
By Steve Plunkett

Welcome to the second year of bringing Tyler to the world wide web, or is it bringing the web to Tyler? Well...... I guess it's already here, so off we go to cyberspace. First we showed you how to get a whole lot done before 8 a.m. using the Internet, well since then, my alarm now goes off at 5a.m., I still have my apple computer, but now also my wife's PC. (I have to turn the PC on by pushing the power button, it doesn't just wake up and scream at me like the Macintosh does.) I almost get as much done, but I now have more e-mail to answer, from the, and, (96x) websites. Listen to both on Monday mornings, or just check out their websites.
Just in case you were confused by the first article, we then told you about the world wide what.. er web, in simple terms from the beginning. We have gotten many e-mails, and it seems there are actually more people getting on then Internet today as there was a year ago. We have had articles on "Cyber-Courting", (dating on the Internet), and how to do all your travel planning in only hours using the world wide web. These articles are posted on the web site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. As will this one and the ones to follow. We could write the same article over and over and it would still be new to many people. So if your not on the Internet yet, be sure to drop by a local bookstore and pick up a copy of "Internet for Dummies". I have had at least 4 copies, unfortunately all loaned out to Ballistic customers never to return again. For those of with Internet access be sure to check out,, and click on the help button for a "newbie" tutoring page.
Now, for the URLs U Can Use...... oops, URL (Uniform Resource Locator) like for example A URL is an address for a webpage that is the only one of it's kind in the world, usually a name with a ".com" at the end.
I guess I am grown up now, and I figured this out by what December means to me. When you are young December means Christmas, and TOYS!!!!!!!!!! Now that I am married and a grown up, (yeah , right!!), December means I can wear my warm clothes and FOOD at Christmas. Whether you are shopping for Holiday gifts, buying for your self, or just looking for recipes, the Internet is where it's at! My favorite subject, FOOD, let's try, nope, no website, hmm. Well this is the south, go to; , and since your in that same kind of mood check out Men's clothes, try, or for men's and women's clothes locally, plus the M.A. Simms web site has, you guessed it .. FOOD!!.
For those of your under 21, please skip to the next paragraph. Recently a friend in Austin, sent us a thank you gift of chocolate, it was from the web site,, has great food and wine, also don't forget, also if your are looking to buy some Texas wines, check out the search engine and look for "central Texas wineries". Llano Estacado Winery is kind of buried in there but I found a way to order some of their Marinara sauce, YUM!!.
Tip on ordering things on line, look for 800 number, fax # , e-mail, and also make sure the website incorporates "SSL", (secure sockets layer), if it doesn't have these things be careful on ordering, unless it is a recognized brand, and be sure to call the 800 number to see how they answer the phone. Just in case you are wondering, ordering from a website that has those criteria is safer than ordering over the phone. Well if you are on my Christmas list, guess what you got wine for Christmas and will be getting in time to enjoy during the holidays.
January, first thing, New Year's Eve, where to party.. hmm. Let's see place to stay in Dallas ,, DoubleTree Hotels, place to eat, hmm. Found a great one, you can get it all at UT Oh, wife says it's Austin, this year, so check out For supplementary information be sure to look at,, whatever you plan for the big day, you can make your plans now. For you sports fans January means SUPERBOWL!!!! yep, go to, you can find out all the info, buy tickets, TV schedules, who the half-time act is, etc.
February means two things, Valentines Day and Mardi Gras. buying sweets for the sweetheart? Be sure to check out , while writing this article, I went there, and I know I wont be in trouble Valentines Day, already have flowers and candy on the way, it was secure, so I figured why not do it now? So If you see my wife don't tell her you read this. Then I will probably have to get her some jewelry like can be found at, , so please shhh. The Mardi Gras party never ends, go to,, or For any other trips be sure to check out the TylerToday website, past issues for the travel article. Everyone in New Orleans has a website, you just have to find it.

Monday, June 08, 1998

Summer Surfing Expedition

Summer Surfing Expedition...By Steve Plunkett

It seems almost everyone I know is taking a vacation, or planning one. One of my co-workers is the cheap airfare Queen, she can find airfares for next to nothing and all she uses is the Internet. If you don’t know by now, the EASIEST way to find things on the Internet is to put “www.” before something and “com” after it. So check out Believe it or not, she also told us about the most obvious, Some other great airline travel sites are, (American Airlines),, (Southwest Airlines),, a general bargain trip site. These are just the sites, which someone could rattle off the top of their head. Now it is summer and there is real surfing, so if you want the scoop on the Hawaii surfing scene, check out, Now if you’re not planning on leaving the house, be sure to check out, for some killer bar-b-que grills, and patio furniture. Better yet, if you shall be golfing this summer, (who isn’t), take a look at
I know you are saying, “Yeah right, Steve, how am I supposed to find all these things?” Well, let me show you, need a walk in the park? Try, if putting “.com” or “.net” in front of the domain name doesn’t work, try “.org”. Give up? Pick a search engine, as you know search engines are like the card catalog at the library, just places for web sites to be cataloged.
The most popular search engine is Yahoo, and they have many links for travel of all kinds, look at, An important top, capitalization after the domain name (the .com part) is important to remember to capitalize the “R” and “T”. Excite is the second most popular search engine and can be found at Several friends and myself play an online game at Sometimes people from all over the globe will meet in one location, after talking to each other online. This year the “Moongate Gathering” is in New Orleans. Having only been to New Orleans once, and that was only for about 8 hours, I decided to do my homework.
Time to get a pen if you are reading this in a waiting room, or go to Brookshire’s and pick up a copy of your own. Shall we take a quick trip in cyberspace, step by step?
Step One. Figure our where you want to go. (We are using New Orleans).Step Two. Once you are at the Excite home page, click on “travel”.Step Three. Click on “Destinations”.Step Four. Pick continent.Step Five. Luckily on the next page they had spotlighted New Orleans, but you can pick the state or country at this point. Then select the city.Step Six. Look or print, everything you need to know is on this page or linked off of it.Step Seven. At this point I found hotels, restaurants, and other places to go. This is where all the good stuff is. Luckily the hotel we are staying in had a Red Star next to the name. “The Inn on Bourbon”, now I haven’t been there yet, but this is a vacation not a drinking expedition. This particular hotel sits right on Bourbon Street and is the favorite for people during Mardi Gras. The hotel has a balcony famous for throwing beads off of during the parades. A good friend of mine, however is partial to the Hotel Monteleone on Royal Street near Bourbon Street. She says staying at the Hotel Monteleone is the best way to experience the French Quarter.
Speaking of expeditions, a friend of mine called Ballistic and needed help on a Microsoft web site, I walked her through the registration and registered for myself while I was there. I couldn’t find any info about “The Inn on Bourbon” at this site so I decided to change search engines. The main reason why you want to look in more than just one search engine is because some web sites don’t submit to all the search engines. It would be really hard to submit to ALL 753 search engines. I gave up after 4 days of trying. There are search engines that search other search engines, they are called “meta” search engines. The best one is, it searches the most popular search engines for the top results. If you are trying to search quickly, this is a tool you will use everyday. Metacrawler allows you to select “any”, for example on the words “New Orleans”, it will find web pages, with the word “New or “Orleans”. If you select “all” it will find only those web pages that contain both “new” and “Orleans”. The best part is searching using a phrase, when you click on this choice it shows those pages, that contain only the words “New Orleans” in sequence. This will save you time and headaches, the reason you are taking a vacation after all.

Wednesday, October 08, 1997

World Wide What?

World Wide WHAT?
By Steve Plunkett

In our last issue, we told you how to start your day the Internet way. This brought out several questions. First, I do get up before 6am and get that much stuff done, that seems to be the only easy answer. We received several questions about the Internet, to someone who has been "online" for several years, just don't come to mind. Guess what? It's time to answer them ALL!!!
The Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why of the Internet is a Herculean task, but I think we can handle it. Once upon a time in a country named the United States of America, there was a man named Ike, as in "I Like Ike!!" President Dwight D. Eisenhower created a federal agency called the Advanced Research Projects Administration, or ARPA. This agency was established to explore new technologies related to defense. In 1969 this agency created ARPAnet. ARPAnet was developed to allow researchers to login and run programs on remote computers, but it quickly became an essential tool for sharing information through, and file transfer (FTP), electronic mail (E-mail), and interest-group mailing lists (News groups) . In 1980 the architects of the ARPANET designed a new architecture and protocol suite called TCP/IP. This is the system we currently use to communicate across the Internet from one computer to another. In a nutshell the Internet is just a bunch of big phone lines used to carry data (sent in packets) from one computer to another.

Unless you live in a cave, you have probably seen the "www" and ".com" printed on company letterheads and in newspaper ads, almost every TV commercial shows some kind of corporate web site address or "URL". These are web sites composed of web pages on the World Wide Web; the Web is just an extension of the possibilities of the Internet. The Web came about in March of 1989, when Tim Barnes-Lee proposed a project that would allow scientists to easily browse fellow researchers' papers on the Internet.

The name World Wide Web or WWW was granted to this project. During August 1991 Mr. Barnes-Lee announced availability of software from CERN in USENET newsgroups. The new language was developed, known as hypertext Markup Language or HTML and the protocol for handling HTML documents was to be called HyperText Transfer Protocol or HTTP.
This all gathered together into what we use today when a new program called a "browser" was released from National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NSCA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign called Mosaic in February 1993. Later that month Marc Andreessen from NCSA proposed that images could be placed in the browser with a tag to be called "IMG". With that addition, Mosaic became truly multimedia. This is how you see all those beautiful pictures of Hawaii on web pages.

A little over one year later, Marc Andreessen and Jim Clarc, former CEO of Silicon Graphics, founded what was called, at first, Mosaic Communication Inc. They hired many of the Mosaic and WWW developers and started to work on new browser and secure WWW server to allow transaction over the Internet. After protest from NCSA's lawyers name Mosaic Communication was changed to Netscape Communications and its first browser was released. This is more than you could ever possibly want to know about the World Wide Web, but now you know.

I think that establishes the beginnings of the Internet. Do you want to know how to get on the Internet? First of all you will need a computer or a WebTV device. WebTV is a box that you can use with your TV to connect to the Internet for sending e-mail and viewing web pages. These units are an alternative way of experiencing the Internet. If this is all budgets will allow then some Internet access is better than no Internet access at all.Computers are machines or "Hardware" used to run applications called "Programs". The underlying sets of instructions used to tell the computer what to do are called "operating systems". There are several different operating systems, Windows95, Windows 3.x (older version of Win95), and MacOS are the most popular. The most popular are the DOS (Disk Operating System) based ones, Win95 and Win3.x. The MacOS runs on an Apple Macintosh computer which this magazine is created and this article was written.

Once you have the computer, you will need a modem (a device that connects your computer to the phone line), which will allow you to connect to another computer somewhere else. These modems range in speed from 14.4 KBPS (kilobytes per second) to the new 56kbps speed. The faster the better because this determines the speed at which data is brought into your computer. Data being brought into your computer is called "downloading".Downloading is one of the greatest technologies for business or personal use to come around since the fax machine.

To connect to the Internet you must sign up with an Internet service provider or "ISP", like for example "Ballistic Action Net". Internet service providers are connected to that big bunch of phone lines we talked about earlier, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The monthly costs to be connected to an ISP are usually around twenty dollars a month. Once your computer has dialed across the phone lines and connected to your ISP, you are connected to the internet, basically all the internet consists of is a bunch of computers like yours connected to the big bunch of phone lines. Now that you are connected some say you are "online". This means that you will have your own e-mail address like "" . E-mail or electronic mail is the ability to send some words, pictures, sounds or even movies from your computer to another computer somewhere else. This also allows you to access newsgroups, web pages, ftp sites, chat channels, and even play games with people all over the world.


Web sites consist of web pages; web pages consist of text, graphics, sounds, and or movies. Just in case you didn't know it, this entire article will be on the Tyler Today website "" . Sorry no movies or sounds yet. Almost anybody can design a website, and not all websites are created equal, but if the website is not inserted into the search engines, it is just a snowflake in a snowstorm. Search engines are like the card catalog at the library that helps you find books on a particular subject. There are approximately 736 search engines on every type category or sub-category you could possibly think of, but there are about 10 really popular ones that most people use. A web site or web page can be in one search engine but not in all of them, so different search engines can have different results. If you still haven't found what you are looking for don't worry it is there somewhere.

Web surfing (riding this link to that link and so on) is only one of the other things you can do on the Internet besides e-mail. There are all kinds programs for all your needs. There are "chat" clients, that are programs used to "chat" (talk real-time by typing, called IRC- Internet Relay Chat) with other people all over the world. The programs cost money to buy, but you can spend hours, sometimes even days talking to friends on the other side of the planet. Chat is the business replacement for those silly speaker phone conferences with the home office in Des Moines. You could theoretically have 50 people from your company all over the globe talking to each other and sharing ideas for the cost of an Internet connection rather than international long distance charges. Back before the graphics, sound and video came along with the web pages, College students and/or professors would group together on MUDs (Multi-User Dimensions) they could simulate working conditions, thought processes and a myriad of opportunities to share ideas and problems with each other. These MUDs still exist, the scholarly uses now have moved to different platforms, but MUDs are still an enjoyable experience for kids or adults of all ages. A good one to check out online is MoongateOnline, by Ingenii Interactive, a very fun game.

Games are something that has really exploded on the Internet.With the graphics and sound capabilities of today's computers, you can become immersed in other worlds, complete with sight, sound, and yes--even touch. A very popular game is "Quake"; this game equips your computer with rocket launchers, double-barreled shotguns, and many other kinds of weapons to simulate running around a maze and defeating the forces of evil, or current and former co-workers. With a connection to the Internet, you can connect to other computers directly across the Internet or connect to one of thousands of game servers worldwide and battle or team up with other Internet users. Most of the games in the software stores today come with some kind of component that allows one person to connect to another or some type of server that allows players to congregate.

We hope this has helped you understand the complexities and possibilities of the wonderful World Wide Web and the Internet. Of course once you get connected the internet service provider, "ISP" should have a good technical support crew to help you explore all the advantages and wonderful things

you can accomplish on the big bunch of phone lines we call the Internet.