The Official Samantha Rufo Blog

President of nxtConcepts, Ltd
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  • Heartbleed Bug Simple Q & A

    Posted on April 18th, 2014 rufo No comments

    By now you have probably seen the news about a recent security exploit for many sites using the “s” in the https URL.  There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the media, so I wanted to help break down what’s going on and how it might affect you and your business.  We are currently in the process of building a plan to change all passwords on nxtConcepts client websites, social networks, and notify you of other places you should change old passwords.  We know this is a PAIN, but  it is REALLY important to give this the attention it needs.

    1. Does this Heartbleed bug personally affect me?

    The simple answer is yes.  If you have ever created a user/pass combination on a site that used SSL technology, chances are someone may have access to your information.  Also, if you have ever used the SAME password for multiple account, you are most likely affected.  Here’s a quicklist of sites affected:

    Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Yahoo, GoDaddy, Intuit (QuickBooks), DropBox,

    Google-search, email, YouTube, Wallet, Play, and Apps

    For a full list go here:

    http://mashable.com

    Note-on a positive site, banks, government agencies, PayPal, and Target were not affected.

    2. Does this Heartbleed bug affect my company website?

    Maybe.  If you have an ecommerce cart using a SSL, then, you will need to check with your hosting company and/or where you purchased your SSL to see if they have completed the patches.**

    **3. If you use Bluehost.com, then the patches were made as soon as they were identified.  And, the SSL security keys were reissued.  According to Bluehost, the duration was very short so they have not seen an issue with this bug so far.  Here’s a link to more detailed info from them:

    http://www.bluehost.com/blog/uncategorized/bluehost-update-heartbleed-bug-need-know-3298/

    4. How can I check a https website to see if it is affected or not?

    Go here: http://heartbleedcheck.com/

    5. Where do we go from here?

    We have a list of all the websites and social networks that we work with you on.  So, we can go ahead and start changing those passwords and then send you an updated list of accounts and passwords.

    As for your website, we recommend having everyone change their passwords.  Just to keep away future issues.

    Joomla sites (2.5 & 3.0) & WordPress : we can install a small piece of software to force a password change the next time someone logs into the site.  I recommend this, but we will not add it until you give us the ok.

    Other sites we manage – please contact me directly for options.

  • Google+ and YouTube Making them Work Together

    Posted on March 22nd, 2014 rufo No comments

    We deal with this question all the time:

    We would like our youtube page linked with our  google+ page.  Since this is the Youtube page we have had for a while now we would like to keep all of its data and videos and link it to Google+ but  there is now a 2nd Google+ page, we would like to disconnect this page from our Youtube and have the Youtube page connected with our first/main page.

    Here’s how we tackle this:

    So, this is the plan I’ve come up with, executed in this order.

    *While logged in as your Bear Creek Resort Google+ page go to YouTube where your unwanted page is (it’s a global login in so just hop over to Youtube)*

    1. Go here:
    https://www.youtube.com/account_advanced

    2. Click “Disconnect Google+ profile, and use your YouTube username.”
    We’ll have taken care of the dummy YouTube page connection.

    The next 2 steps will be the important ones, as we’re trying to connect your YouTube page and a Google+ page.

    *While logged in as the correct Google+ page owner/manager.*

    1. At this point, you have to invite the specific e-mail login address (associated with the YouTube account we want to connect to) to be a manager of the Google+ page. That can be done from this page:
    https://plus.google.com/+bearcreek/pages/settings/admin

    *While logged in again as the YouTube account.*

    2. And at that point, we can follow the process described here to then connect the YouTube account to the Google+ page we now manage.
    https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2897336?hl=en

    If that doesn’t work, then you can try this:

    Change the settings to minimize the excess Google+ page off your YouTube account. It’s still there, but wont be as visible in the future. It’s good now that we at least an account, the login below, that is connected with all the relevant accounts After even more research, I found this on this page:

    https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/3056283?hl=en&ref_topic=4628105

    “If you connected your channel to Google+ over 14 days ago, try submitting the form via the link below. We’ll help you get your channel connected to the right profile or page.”

    Luckily, this form seems to be exactly what we need.

    https://support.google.com/youtube/contact/ytgplus

  • Can’t Wait until November 7th

    Posted on November 5th, 2012 rufo No comments

    You know its bad when a marketer and Political Science major (college) – me- is completely fed up with the election. I can not wait until Wednesday. It’s not even noon and I’ve had three political calls, one person at the door and 6 mailers from political parties. I can’t even watch TV, because almost every commercial is political in nature. The only reason I’m not getting emails or social media messages is because I’ve either spammed them or blocked them.

    Keep in mind, I love marketing.  I live and breathe it.  But, we (U.S. businesses) have standards.  We have opt-out lists, we remove people from call lists, we stop mailing people if they request it.  Our goal is to inspire and motivate consumers to do something-buy, sign up, attend, etc.  All of these things do not seem to apply for political advertising.  How did we let that happen?

    Honestly, whatever side you may be on, after what’s gone on over the last year, can you really say you are proud of our current electoral process? Obama has spent $347 million dollars in advertising, 85% of it on negative ads. Romney has spent $386 million dollars on ads, 91% of them negative. For those counting, that’s $733 million dollars. Plus, the Super PAC’s, which estimates say put this over a billion dollars. Gone, poof, up in smoke, since that money mostly went for air time on TV, radio, and web. Not one job created. No sales tax paid. Sometimes its hard to imagine how much money that is. Here’s some other things that much money could buy:

    1) Instagram

    2) The entire New York Times, says Reuters’ Jack Shafer

    3) 800 of AOL’s Microsoft’s patents

    4) The cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease

    5) 68 Lebron Jameses , 40 Kobe Bryants, and 83 Albert Pujolses

    6) 25.6 million containers of Luxury Ramen Noodles

    7) 60,900 Ten Ounce Gold Bar Door Stops

    8) 1,562 Castawayesque 20 Acre Polynesian Islands

    9) A 50% stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers

    10) 125 million partridges in a pear tree

  • Is Facebook advertising prejudiced against agencies?

    Posted on January 26th, 2012 rufo No comments

    Recently Facebook starting a new campaign to encourage small businesses to get more fans on their page with “$50 in Free Advertising from Facebook Small Business Boost”.  Emails were sent out and if you registered in the program, and were accepted, you could receive the $50.  To redeem, they stated, “Click on “Claim Your $50 now to redeem your free $50. After you’ve created an ad, we’ll automatically apply it to your account”.  Sounds easy enough, right?

    Well, not for everyone.  Although some of our clients were accepted into the program, when we tried to apply the promotion to their ad costs, we were declined.  Why?  Because it was another admin on the page they were targeting.  So, although its the same business, same page, they are discriminating the admins.  Not cool!

    Here’s a look into how Facebook deals with this kind of issue.  Phone calls, nope.  Just an email that they can easily dismiss.  What really makes me mad, is the only reason many of our clients are advertising on Facebook, is because of our recommendations and management.

    Step 1. Use the “Contact Us” form to contact the Facebook Global Marketing Solutions Team.

    Subject: Facebook Ads & Sponsored Stories: Help and Tips

    What types of questions related to your Ads or Sponsored Stories can we help you with?: Costs and Payment Please select one: I have a question not listed above Please describe your question or issue with as much detail as possible: We manage ads for various clients. Recently you sent out emails for $50 credits. Our clients have taken you up on this and are asking us to apply the credit to their invoices. However, it looks like it only took the first $50 credit for the http://www.facebook.com/client1 page. We have created new ads for these other pages, and are just looking to apply their credit: http://www.facebook.com/client2  and http://www.facebook.com/client3. Your help is appreciated.

    Step 2. Receive an email directing us to a different form:

    From: sales-support+bgttggg.aea5nuq4usfa4@support.facebook.com [mailto:sales-support+bgttggg.aea5nuq4usfa4@support.facebook.com]

    Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 4:05 PM
    Subject: Re: Facebook Ads & Sponsored Stories: Help and Tips

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for reaching out to us regarding your client’s coupon situation. In order to provide you the best support possible, please submit your information at your earliest convenience through the form below:

    http://www.facebook.com/help/contact_us.php?id=144829575575175

    We appreciate your patience in taking this extra step. After submitting this form, a Facebook Payments Specialist will respond shortly. You will hear from us within 24 hours during the business week but may experience a longer wait over the weekend.

    Thank you again for your time!

    Best,

    Ashley, Facebook Ads Specialist, Facebook

    Step 3. Complete the form and wait for a response.

    Step 4. Here’s the response:

    From: payments-support+mgivrqn.aea5k7cecbirs@support.facebook.com [mailto:payments-support+mgivrqn.aea5k7cecbirs@support.facebook.com]

    Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 6:09 PM
    Subject: Re: Advertising Coupon Inquiry – I am unable to add a coupon to my account

    Hi Sam,

    Thank you for your email.

    The recent $50 credit is for a program called the Small Business Boost. The goal of this promotion is to encourage small business owners to use Facebook Ads for their business. In keeping with this goal, only one page per user is eligible to enter the promotion.

    Unfortunately we are not able to activate multiple coupons for the same promotion on one advertising account. If your clients each received coupons via email for their individual registration, they are encouraged to activate these coupons on their own accounts. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience.

    Thanks for contacting Facebook,

    Cameron, Payment Operations, Facebook

    Step 5: When I am out of options, the only thing left is to go public. So, we notified the clients and emailed back Cameron.  I actually don’t expect a response.  Facebook is too big and although they say they want to help small businesses, I guess it must be OTHER small businesses.

    Something else I found interesting.  For the first time in two years of advertising on Facebook, this morning, one of our ads was “Disapproved” (although its been running for months without an issue).  Coincidence or a slap on the hand for trying to talk back to Facebook?

    From: nxtConcepts Support

    Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 9:09 AM

    To: ‘The Facebook Team’

    Cc: ‘client 1 and client 2

    Subject: RE: Advertising Coupon Inquiry – I am unable to add a coupon to my account

    Hello Cameron,

    First, thanks for responding. Second, you wrote, ” The goal of this promotion is to encourage small business owners to use Facebook Ads for their business”, that’s exactly what we are doing. These are seasonal businesses that are planning on stopping advertising. This incentive gives them one other reason to continue.

    Third, where does it state explicitly that a certain login must only use the promotion? As far as I can see and tell, it has to do with the page itself. That’s exactly what we are trying to do.

    I am copying these clients to make sure they are aware that it is YOUR policy and YOUR not honoring the promotion that is the issue. We have worked with Facebook for quite a while, and although we do not have clients that you consider “prime” with ads over $100,000 a month, we believe every advertiser and campaign is important. We just wish you did too.

    I’ll make sure that every one of my over 11,000 Twitter followers and Facebook friends and fans are aware of this too.

    Samantha Rufo

    President, nxtConcepts

    Have you had a similar issue?  I’d love to hear about it.

  • Who Benefits from Daily Deals Sites?

    Posted on October 4th, 2011 rufo No comments

    Groupon, Living Social, Eversave, Facebook, Amazon, these sites selling deeply discounted deals are everywhere.  And, views about their use and value are also across the board.  Especially, for business owners.

    Personally, I love a deal.  It means I have more money to spend on something else or save it for later.  As a business owner, I’m not a fan.  Let’s be realistic, frequent discounts or deals can devalue your product or service.  Eventually, no one wants to pay full price and it becomes harder and harder to cover costs without reducing the quality of the service.

    So, how did we get here?

    When this new concept of pre-paying deeply discounted deals came out, the attraction for the consumer was that they “would never pay full price again”. Of course at the same time, the merchants were being told, “you’ll get new customers who will stick around and pay full price”.  Anyone else see the issue?

    There are numerous success stories.  But, lately it seems there are far more complaints from businesses that find these deal seekers are harder to please and more critical on the social networks.  Which leads me to ask the question, are these deals worth it for businesses?

  • Identifying Influencers. Do you know who they are in your social media channels?

    Posted on May 13th, 2011 rufo 1 comment

    Today I moderated a Twitter chat #SMCColumbus where we discussed Social Media Influencers.  Here’s some of the highlights.

    What’s a social media influencer?

    Short definition: Someone who is active on a social media channel who are well respected and likely to be listened to.

    Successful social media marketing isn’t simply about amassing thousands of followers, but instead precisely identifying the most influential members of your audience and recognizing them for their value. By directly engaging one influencer with exclusive opportunities, special offers, and unique content, you are indirectly engaging thousands of other people who are part of this influencer’s social sphere.

    Keep in mind, the type of friends, fans and followers a brand amasses on social media sites matters more than the number. On average, approximately 1% of a site’s audience generates 20% of all its traffic through sharing of the brand’s content or site links with others. And these “influencers” drive an even higher share of conversion. These very important Internet users can directly influence 30% or more of overall end actions on brand websites by recommending the brand’s site, products or promotions to friends.

    How do you measure the influence?

    In my opinion, it depends on the specific media source of course.

    • Blog- traffic as measured on sites like compete.com, Alexa.com.
    • Twitter-followers are a good indicator of influence as well as number of times listed. After that, re-tweets. Services to help: Klout, PostRank

    The most influential are not on just a single network, but across multiple networks. Just like a luxury product goes well with another luxury product, so do different social media channels.  This way they take advantage of both Reach AND Frequency.

    How do you find them?

    1. Use reporting and traffic analysis tools to find out who your most influential followers are.   Radian6 is a good option.  The goal is to find which individuals are most actively sharing your brand’s links and messages.

    2. Find out what motivates them.  Are they seeking exposure and fame?  Do they tend to share deals and discounts? Or do they prefer to share links to your branded entertainment content, like YouTube videos, social games and contests, or informational articles?

    3. Engage your fans and followers around what they like about your brand and products, why they like it, what they’d like to see improved, and what types of opportunities and offers they’d be most interested in receiving.  Just be authentic and don’t sell.  Because if you overly “sell” to your influencers, you’ll burn a bridge and potentially turn your biggest fans into your worst enemies.  Be personalized.  Be authentic.

    What are the key mistakes when targeting influencers and how to avoid them?

    First, you need to appeal to them. If you want them to do something, you need to give them an idea of what’s in it for them, without being offensively obvious about it. The fact is that you need their help more than they need yours, so you have to be political about it. Secondly, a canned message rarely works. If you truly want to get them on your side, you better let them know that you actually are a fan and know what they are about.

    Here’s some additional feedback:

    @MatthewRusso: A SoMe Influencer iuses their active audience to distribute timely, useful content and messages to make a difference.  Quantity breeds quality. You have to put SOMETHING out to start engaging. Without access, no opportunity for a connection.  Finding SoMe influences depends on the goals of a campaign. Targeted niches might be best, but sheer volume may also work.  You never know what will work until you try it first. Then you can refine/adjust based on feedback.  My local presence has grown due to the in-person meetups I mentioned earlier. Connecting offline has been key.

    @nxtconcepts: An Influencer is someone who identifies their advocates and recognizes them for their value and contributions.  We try to keep in mind that we need Social Media Influencers help, more than they need ours.

    @tonnishaenglish: I would measure their influence by the ppl they attract & the way they make a difference. I would rather ONE follower I am engaged with & making a difference for than have ONE MILLION & do nothing.  Also, if you don’t know who/what your target is, how can you aim for/at anything? That could lead to mistake #1.

  • Top 10 Tips for Mobile Marketing

    Posted on April 25th, 2011 rufo No comments

    When developing a mobile campaign, here are some do’s and don’ts:

    1. K.I.S.S.

    For best results, messages should be short and to the point. You have an insanely limited amount of space to communicate something, so make it count. Text messaging is limited to between 140-160 characters, so keep the content simple, to the point, and don’t forget the call to action.
    2. Ask for Permission.

    Subscribers pay for text messages. No one wants to pay for content they did not choose to receive.  People today are accustomed to being asked whether they’d like to receive additional offers/news when downloading content from the Web. This opt-in process is even more critical in the wireless world. Every campaign you send out should also feature a quick and easy way to opt-out.  It’s not only polite but required by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).

    3. Create a compelling offer.

    Take great pains to ensure your offer is something your subscribers want. Strong offers can substantially increase subscribers, build brand awareness and increase sales for marketers.  A study conducted by Nokia indicated that nearly 9 out of 10 respondents agreed that they should be provided some kind of an incentive to opt-in to mobile marketing campaigns.

    4. Every phone is different.

    So make sure every message you send can be seen.  There are myriad of mobile phone choices today and a variety of platforms (text, mobile web and mobile video).  Phones can vary from simple SMS (Short Message Service) phones to highly sophisticated color wireless PDA’s (Personal digital assistant).  Screen sizes and quality range from small black and white screens to high-resolution matrix color displays.  Your mobile messaging provider should be capable of optimizing content for a variety of different platforms, including J2ME, BREW, WAP, and MMS.

    5. Make it Viral.

    Capitalize on mobile’s peer-to-peer communication abilities.  Users forwarding your message to their friends and colleagues (thus enhancing the reach of each message sent) facilitate viral or “word-of-mouth” marketing.  Adding “fun” or a give-away to messages may also facilitate viral marketing.

    6. Piggyback on traditional marketing.

    Just because you have it, doesn’t mean your customers will know it’s there.  Marketers must use other online or offline channels to drive users to participate in their mobile campaigns.  This means online advertising, email, social media, print ads, collateral, billboards, radio and television commercials can all be used to alert mobile consumers of a particular promotion, or invite them to join your mobile program.  Aside from increasing ROI, mobile marketing also enables better tracking of consumer behavior leading to useful reporting and data-mining capabilities.

    7. Track your results.

    Reporting is built-in to mobile platforms and occurs in real-time.  By tagging ad campaigns with a unique mobile keyword call to action, you can track each response to the exact ad that generated it.  Tracking your results also allows you to learn and improve the results of future campaigns.  Most professional mobile platforms include: polling tallies, survey results, total messages sent, total messages delivered, and more.

    8. Allocate enough set-up time

    Most businesses wait until the last minute of a campaign launch to start their mobile campaigns.  The problem, there is no one to market to.  It takes time to build up a subscriber list.  Starting months prior to a campaign will ensure you have people to send important messages to when it counts.  Don’t have the time?  All is not lost!  Mobile marketing is very flexible and time sensitive.  That means a last minute mobile campaign can be successful if done correctly.  Using a text messaging partner (like nxtConcepts) with previous marketing experience can be invaluable.

    9. Start because it’s affordable. Continue because it works.

    Some marketers may be tempted to develop a mobile campaign just because it can be a small line item in an otherwise big marketing budget. Big mistake.  Although mobile marketing can be very inexpensive to start and implement–sometimes just a few hundred dollars—it takes time and attention to make it successful.  By treating a mobile campaign strategically and integrating it with other online and offline advertising it will help it grow and thrive.

    10. Perfect pitch platform

    So why should businesses care about mobile marketing?  Simple.  The same demographics’ that are interested in buying your products and services are also the most likely to use mobile phones.  In a nutshell, every single one of your customers has a cell phone and there’s no better way to reach and engage them.

  • Geek Humor

    Posted on March 10th, 2011 rufo No comments

    I needed a humor break today. So, I am going to share a few techie/web thoughts that made me laugh.

    IMPORTANT: This blog post may contain information that is confidential privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons, no sense of humor or irrational beliefs. No animals were harmed in the creation of this blog post, although the mutt next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you.

    Marketer to coder: “You start coding. I’ll go find out what they want.”

    “My software never has bugs. It just develops random features.”

    “No trees were killed in the creation of this message. However, many electrons were terrible inconvenienced.”

    Software isn’t released, it’s allowed to escape.

    Technical support is how much a minute? Only one other industry charges per minute to talk to you, and at least you get some degree of pleasure out of that!

    Three things are certain: Death, taxes, and lost data. Guess which has occurred…

    “If things get any worse, I’ll have to ask you to stop helping me.”

    “I do know everything, just not all at once. It’s a virtual memory problem.”

    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to use the Web and he won’t bother you for weeks.

    Don’t make me use uppercase…

    The truth is out there? Does anyone know the URL?

    Have any more to add?

  • Facebook Pages are Changing Again – Here’s What’s New

    Posted on February 11th, 2011 rufo No comments

    It’s been talked about for a long time and if you manage a Facebook business page, I’m sure you’ve complained about all the work-around’s.  That’s going to become a thing of the past with the new Facebook business page layout.  And, whether you want to change, you have no choice, all business pages on Facebook will appear in the new layout beginning March 2011.

    Summary: Using the new business Facebook page will enable you to do almost everything you can with your personal profile. Note-In order to go back to editing your personal profile, you will need to revert back to “Use Facebook as “personal profile name”.  Biggest loss is the tabs across the top of the page.

    Should you upgrade now or wait. I recommend updating now. That way you can control the features you want and don’t want.

    What’s New?

    1. How you Showcase Your Latest Photos

    * The most recent photos that you post to your page Wall or photos that you tag your Page in will appear at the top. This area will not include any photos posted by your fans.

    * There’s not too much functionality associated with it, but at least you can hide a photo (if you don;t want it to be featured), by rolling over it and clicking X.

    2. Page Design.

    The tabs are gone and the navigation links are now on the left, just like on people’s profiles.

    3. Show the Top Posts on Your Wall

    * You now have two Wall filters. You can show posts by your page and top posts from Everyone, a new way for people to see the most interesting stories first. As an admin, you’ll have additional filters for viewing posts on your page.

    * To set a default filter for your Wall, go to Edit Page.

    4. Use Facebook as Your Page

    You can get notifications about activity on your page, see stories from the pages you like in your news feed, and interact with other pages as your page.

    -You now have the flexibility to interact with the other areas of Facebook as a page (instead of using your personal profile).

    -Get notifications when fans interact with your page or posts

    -See activity from the pages you like in your news feed

    -Like other pages and feature them on your page

    -Make comments as your page on other pages

    * To try this new feature, go to your Account page and select Use Facebook as Page. You can go back to use Facebook as yourself anytime – just click Account and select your name.

    5. New settings

    * You can set defaults for your email notifications and how you post to your page – as yourself or your page. You can also select which featured pages appear in the left column.

    * To manage your settings for email and posting preferences, go to Edit Page and Your Settings. To select which pages appear in Likes, go to Edit Page and Featured.

    Here’s some links to more information on Facebook page changes:

    Introducing iframe Tabs for Pages http://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/462

    An upgrade for Pages: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150090729064822

    So, what do you think?  Has Facebook done enough to make Facebook page’s more admin and user friendly?  Are there other features you would like to see?

  • New Year–Time for your Website Annual Review

    Posted on January 6th, 2011 rufo 1 comment

    Annual Website Review Checklist 

    Many websites grow almost as large as a house.  Throughout the year it seems to get new pages, links, images and user generated content.  That’s why I recommend performing an annual review of your website. To help get you started and get your site in shape for the New Year, here is an Annual Website Review Checklist.

    1. Review Your Domain Name Record

    Don’t let outdated information cause you to miss renewals and other important notices. Verify that the contact names and addresses on your domain record are correct once a year. Use these resources to review your domain record now:

    • InterNIC[http://www.internic.net/whois.html]
    • VeriSign[http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/whois/]

    2. Check Website Email Addresses

    Added new staff?  Replaced some others?  You could have invalid email addresses on your site. Make a list of all the email addresses on your site and confirm that they’re still active.

    3. Update Your Confirmation and Automated Messages

    If the automated messages from your registration, request, order and other forms have not been updated in the last year, it’s time to review them. These messages can be powerful customer relations tools, but only if they’re meeting your customers’ needs. Make sure your automated messages are serving your customers—not spamming them.

    4. Test Your Forms

    In conjunction with updating your automated messages, you should test your forms to make sure that they’re still functioning correctly—and to review how easy they are to use. Simply submit each as if you were a visitor on your site. Be sure to review your error messages as part of this process. You should test your forms often and immediately look into any sudden drops in the number of submissions.

    5. Validate Your Links

    Do your part to stop link rot, while improving your site, by making time to check your internal and external site links—especially if you’ve neglected this task due to more pressing demands. Here are a couple of basic tools that can help:

    6. Check Your Site’s Search Feature

    Like most of the items on this list, checking your site’s search feature should be done more than once a year. But we know it’s not always possible to review all aspects of your site on an ongoing basis. That’s why it’s important to make sure your search is functioning effectively and that outdated content isn’t showing up as part of your annual review.

    If you don’t have a search feature on your site, now’s a good time to see if adding one would enhance your site’s usability.

    7. Check Your File Sizes and Download Times

    If a lot of updates and additions have been made to your site, it might be time to check your site’s performance. It’s not unusual for page and image files to slowly creep up in size with each successive update. Re-optimizing your files so your pages load faster will make for a better user experience.

    8. Review Your Stylesheets, Standards, Accessibility and Compatibility

    If you want to save some serious time for your visitors—and for yourself during site maintenance—the annual review is the perfect time to revisit or set site standards covering CSS, Web Standards, Accessibility and Browser Compatibility.

    To help you wrestle with the issues surrounding evolving your site to new standards, we offer these articles and resources:

    Web Standards

    Cascading Stylesheets (CSS):

    • CSS Work from meryerweb.com[http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/css/]

    Browser Stats:

    9. Update Your Time References and Copyright

    About Us and other background information on your site may contain specific time references such as “for five years”. Your site may also include a historical timeline or list of accomplishments that should be updated at the start of the year.

    In addition, your copyright should be updated when your content is updated. During your annual review, check to make sure this task hasn’t been overlooked. Although you can simply use the date that the content was first created, it’s a good idea for your copyright to reflect when content was created and when it was modified. This is not only to protect your work, but also to avoid having visitors think that your content is out of date. Below are some examples of the syntax:

    Examples:

    • Content created in 2009:
      Copyright (c) 2009 nxtConcepts, Ltd.
    • Content created in 2007 and updated in 2011:
      Copyright (c) 2007, 2011 nxtConcepts, Ltd.
    • Content created in 2007 and updated in 2009 and 2011:
      Copyright (c) 2007-2011 nxtConcepts, Ltd.

    Learn More About Copyrights:

    10. Check Your Search Engine Visibility

    Search engines are one of the most important and cost-effective sources for attracting targeted traffic and increasing brand awareness for many sites. At the same time, many changes have taken place in how search engines return results and display paid (sponsored) listings. As a result, I check your site’s visibility on the top search engines by searching for your company name, products and other appropriate keyword phrases.

    If your site isn’t coming up near the top of the results for these terms, you should look into the benefits of marketing your site through search engine optimization and paid placement:

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