Tracy Petrucci: February 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SEO Tip: 301 Redirect

Lately many of my clients have needed to set up a 301 redirect for their websites, and most of them had no idea what that meant. . . So what the heck is a 301 redirect and why should you care?

A 301 redirect is a way to forward one web address to another. People most commonly use this if they have changed their website address and want people who type in their old address to be permanently forwarded on to their new one. However there's another reason to consider a 301 redirect that many are not aware of.

Did you know that is not the same thing as, even though when you type them in they will take you to the same place? Search engines do not see these two as the same, which can hurt your ranking in search results.

For example, if both of these addresses have 25 inbound links, each will only rank according to the 25 links. But if the two were connected with a 301 redirect, the website would be ranking as having 50 inbound links, which is a little more desirable.

Want to find out if you need to set one up? My favorite quick and easy website to use is called Pear Analytics. No hassle, so signing up, just type in your website address and see what they spit back at you! By the way, it's likely there will be me many other things that come up which require updating for better SEO. Don't be overwhelmed, just handle one thing at a time. Pear Analytics is great too because they will prioritize your to-do list for you!

Now get to work. . .

Monday, February 20, 2012

Is Direct Mail Making A Comeback?

I have not designed a direct mail marketing item in years. I, like many marketers, dropped the archaic old method and started focusing on online marketing. Snail mail is expensive, a shot in the dark, and it's- starting to work again?

I've read a few studies which have found the response rates are double and tripling in regards to direct mail campaigns, as of late. But those studies are not what made me start questioning this. I have been receiving these in the mail, weekly (and in this case, in one day's delivery):

It's definitely not winning me over, because I get one every day, no joke. BUT recently they got my attention, finally. They sent a different shaped postcard, sort folded into a booklet. I opened it up, and there was this incredible deal for cable (which we don't currently have). It almost got me. Almost.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

FIDM Materials Conference

I went to the latest FIDM Materials Conference tonight, most specifically to see a speaker from Patagonia discuss the company's environmental moves.

You may not know it, but I'm pretty into sustainability. When I was a buyer for an eco-friendly lifestyle store, I saw my fair share of designers trying to pawn off their companies as "green". What I liked most about Elissa Loughman's presentation was the transparency.

Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
–Patagonia's Mission Statement

First and foremost, they want to build the best product. How do you do that and also claim to be making moves as a sustainable leader? Patagonia is doing great things, I'm really excited to delve into this deeper. Please stay tuned for my Care2 article on this subject. Trust me, it's really something.

Friday, February 10, 2012

To Use Or Not To Use People's Names In Email Marketing

Do you use your customer's names when you send them an email? Lately I've been coming to a few realizations about this technique, and I have a little rant for you this afternoon.

For the most part, I don't use people's names in my client's emails because the business does not always have the name available. Customers may sign up with a pad of paper in the store, and simply scribble a barely legible email address, or they may enter their email in a subscribe box that doesn't ask for a name. Whatever the reason may be, this happens often.

I don't see a problem with it because let's face it, we pretty much know when we are getting an email produced for more than our own private eyes. We are not fooling anyone by saying, "Dear Tracy" are we?

Monday, February 6, 2012

You Can't Win Them All

As I've been saying for a while now, you need to pick your battles in social media and marketing. There are so many outlets, so many places to be, and unless you have a HUGE marketing budget, you just can't do it all.

It's time to get real and realize some platforms are better suited for certain businesses, cut your losses, and deal with it.

A few months ago, I was using Pinterest for my business. Not to promote it, but as a way to keep a tab on things I wanted to write articles about, or marketing articles I wanted to read later. I'd been looking for something like this for a while, and it was not supposed to be looked at. And happily, nobody was.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Turning Little Into Big

The way things are moving in social media these days seems to be empowering the small, local, or independent designers and creative peeps who used to get stomped all over. It's a good trend.

New methods of online sharing can move around the photography, art, and creativity of people who would otherwise not be equipped to make such an impact.

Can you name this social media site? It's growing every day...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Time, Please Stop Ticking

Wow! Was it just me, or did January go by really, really fast? I have been working on some extra projects, and they are fun!

I am also tapping in to some new and less obvious marketing techniques that I hope can cut the clutter filling our online experience these days.

Well February, you're a short month, so it's time to pull out all the stops and be as productive as I can be. Time can't possibly keep moving at this accelerated rate, can it?