The Advantages to Email Newsletter Marketing

August 11th, 2011 by Rogue Media

In order for a business to thrive, marketing is an essential tool. How a business goes about marketing is based on the product or service they are selling, their target group and what has worked best in the past. With the internet, many companies have succeeded at email marketing. You may think that this form of promotion is outdated; after all, many businesses have shifted their focus to using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to attract customers.

email newsletter marketingEmail marketing is in fact very popular – and very effective. It works for a variety of reasons, including that it allows businesses to target specific people, it drives direct sales and it builds a relationship between the company and the individual. In the majority of cases, it’s the person that signs up to receive emails, so already the company is sending their marketing tools to those that have a general interest in the product or service. With regular emails, the people can choose when they want to take advantage of the product. And, there are options to customize the emails with the customer’s name for a more personalized approach.

Another advantage to email marketing is that it allows opportunities for immediate action. Click on a link and customers can instantly start shopping. Download the latest flyer or hit the envelope icon to send a message to a support person. All of these tools and more are available through email marketing. In fact, emails work very similar to websites, with bright colors, bolded fonts and enticing places to click. By using this type of email newsletter marketing, companies can directly link their target group to their website.

Some companies choose to partner with smaller companies to promote awareness about social issues, sell related products and send out important information. With this approach, companies are able to expand on their ideas, encourage social change and ultimately build trust within their target group.

With all the advantages to email newsletter marketing, it’s no surprise that many companies start here in their efforts to promote their product or service. With an email marketing company by your side, you can send out engaging emails, track how many of the newsletters are being opened and read and maximize your marketing tools. With analysis reports and strategic planning, a marketing company can ensure that your business succeeds and gains all the benefits of email marketing.

Best SEO Practices For Ecommerce Websites

July 28th, 2011 by Rogue Media

In its simplest form, ecommerce is the buying and selling of products through websites. This is an excellent way to improve sales, boost traffic to the site and make a name for your company. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is needed to capture and grow organic traffic that is related to the success of your ecommerce business. There are many ecommerce SEO techniques that will benefit the natural search traffic and interest of your target audience.

First, you will need to optimize the distribution of your ecommerce homepage Rank. Since your Home page most likely has the highest ranking; the rest of the pages should link directly from the home page. You should also keep the pages within 1-2 clicks of the homepage. The pages that most consistently link from your home page will also rank higher in organic search results.

To benefit your ecommerce SEO home page, be sure to use a pure CSS based design instead of nested tables. This will allow pages to load faster and is better for ecommerce SEO. Place H1 and H2 around headings and subheadings, and use the keywords in the page titles. When evaluating the most popular site searches, place these terms around the search box.

Next, you will want to focus on the proper linking and redirects for your ecommerce SEO. Ensure that your homepage is linked to your site root folder “/”. (Sometimes, it can be linked to a default or index page instead.) You’ll also want your page to be easy to find, so if your site is, you’ll want to make a 301 redirect from to Avoid using sessionIDs in URLs and keep your URLs written in descriptive formats that keep consistent with relevant keywords.

Once you have established the linking and redirecting, you can rest assured that online users will be able to find your ecommerce site rather easily, plus be directed to the right pages. Now you will need to work with your Product Page, which should be built around targeted keywords that will help you in ranking better.

To assist with this, ensure that proper meta-keywords and descriptions are included for each product. Also add an H1 header in the product title, use the main product keywords in the page title and URL, place keywords in italics and bold and add keywords in the last paragraph of the page.

Finally, make your ecommerce SEO authentic, never duplicating the content from the manufacturer. If you do this, your website may be devalued for duplicating content. By taking the time to ensure everything is linked properly, the proper keywords are targeted and organic search results are directed to the right pages, your ecommerce site will be well on its way to success!

Bele Chere 2011 Closes In On Asheville Streets

July 21st, 2011 by Rogue Media

Bele Chere 2011 FlyerHold onto your hats Asheville. If you think that the summer has been hot so far—you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

In less than two weeks, the City of Asheville, the Bele Chere Board of Directors, and an eclectic army of supporters dedicated to continuing the tradition of “beautiful living” here in North Carolina, will descend on the downtown area to launch the 33rd Annual Bele Chere Festival. The Festival, which was first held back in 1979 on a patch of land that spanned about three city blocks, has now grown into the largest street festival of its kind in the southeast, drawing well over a quarter million visitors each summer—and consuming every available inch of Asheville’s central business district for the better part of three days.

Over the course of the event—which will officially kick-off at 12pm on Friday, July 29th and wrap-up at 6pm on Sunday, July 31st—a wide variety of musicians, artists, vendors, and “home folk” will gather to celebrate the special ingredient that has helped to make Asheville great: its people. And true to the spirit of southern hospitality, Bele Chere’s organizers will ensure that there is something fun for everyone:

Children and Youth. For the littles, the Arena Level of the Asheville Civic Center will be transformed into an alcohol-free Children’s Area featuring free crafts, children’s performances, and ticketed rides.

Music Aficionados. Love music? No problem. The Festival will host more than 40 bands representing diverse lyrical traditions including Rock & Roll, R & B, Bluegrass, Top 40, and Gospel.

The Artistic. Consider yourself crafty? Great! Visit Bele Chere and greet some of the most skilled artisans from across the nation as they show and sell high-quality works in metal, fabric, paint, and other popular mediums.

Silver Foxes. Who says that young people should have all the fun? Join Asheville’s “young at heart” at the Bele Chere Senior Oasis as they enjoy all of the same fun as the younger set—and maybe more—in a cozy, air-conditioned venue.

So whether you’re a swinging single, married with children, a forward-thinking elder, or somewhere in between, plan to join the fun at this year’s Bele Chere Festival. After all, you’ve only got one life to live. Why not make it beautiful?

New Google Product Datafeed Guidelines

July 18th, 2011 by Rogue Media

Change is in the air for Google merchants and shoppers alike! On September 22, 2011, Google will implement a new set of standards for the Google product datafeeds designed to improve Google Product Search. Who will the changes affect? Merchants in the U.S., France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan will be required to adhere to the new Google product datafeeds standards. As for Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands; Google will email any account affected by the changes with further information. Not to worry, though, because these changes will not only improve your shopping experience but also drum up business for Google merchants.

The Google product datafeeds that will fall under the new specifications are availability, data freshness, Google product category, apparel, and image feeds. Fortunately the changes are relatively easy to implement. For example, the availability feed will require the status (out of stock, no longer carried, etc.) of products. This is to ensure shoppers can find the products they are searching for even if the item is out of stock. The image feed changes require stores provide an image link of each product, ensuring consumers have a better idea of what they are purchasing. As one can see, the new specifications will not only make shopping on Google a more pleasant experience, but likely improve sales for Google stores.

Merchants can rest assured Google will indeed enforce the changes to the Google product datafeeds. Any merchants in the U.S., France, Germany, the United Kingdome, and Japan that do not put into practice the new specification may well find their accounts suspended. There will also be penalties for those who continuously fail to implement the changes. However, improved sales are all merchants who adhere to the new specifications can look forward to!

Asheville, NC Claims “Beer City” Title In 2011 Again!

May 11th, 2011 by Rogue Media

Asheville beerOnce again, Asheville has managed to climb to the top of the charts for beer production. It just seems that no one else can seem to catch up as far as the Beer City title is concerned. This is the third year that Asheville has won this coveted award, taking it with over seven thousand votes and blowing away the competition. Cities like Portland and St. Louis were in the running, but no one could come close to Asheville. It really is the very best place to go if you want to find great beer and a town with under one hundred thousand people that has gathered around the beer industry.

Now, it is important to note that winning the Beer City award is not something that a city can do just by producing a lot of product. If that were the case, St. Louis, with the main Budweiser plant, would be much farther up the list. This is about producing the best product, the beer that people actually want to buy. It is about small-town brewers who want nothing but to craft top-notch styles of beer that perhaps only sell to a few thousand people. They are not looking to make it big; they are looking at their brewing efforts as a form of art.

This is an idea that Asheville has embraced on all fronts, not just that of beer. The downtown district is full of little shops that are locally owned. The money that goes into the city’s economy tends to stay in the city’s economy. Everything is done in Asheville with a distinct sense of identity and pride. The people who live and work in the city want to show the world who they are, but they want to be true to who they are without absorbing everything from the rest of the world. This is true in their restaurants, their produce markets, and their breweries.

In Asheville, there are many different kinds of beer to be had. Those who are used to drinking the same generic lagers day after day will be shocked to find how many choices they have. The beauty of this is that no two Asheville beers are quite the same. A brown ale made by one company is going to be different than a brown ale made by another. Everyone wants to put their own spin on the beer that they are making. They know that this creates small niches for different beers, but they love this individualism.

What this has led to in Asheville is a town that rallies around itself. The people of Asheville are proud of what they have accomplished. They are proud of what they have and what they have done. They all seem to support this small-town mentality, this close-knit tightness that is not often found in a town with eighty thousand people. The beer is just an offshoot of this mentality, one more way that they can come together and create, and what a wonderful offshoot it is.

What’s This About Organic Panda Farmers?

April 13th, 2011 by Rogue Media

Earlier this year, Google released another significant update to their search algorithm aimed at devaluing websites deemed to be of low-quality. The Farmer/Panda update was officially released on February 24, 2011 and has affected an estimated 12% of Google search engine results. (The update was initially coined “Farmer” by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land but was named Panda internally at Google after one of the engineers.)

As many of you know, we’ve been stressing the importance of providing unique, quality content for some time now. This most recent algorithm update touches on that by identifying and devaluing excessive duplicate (copied) content, but it also takes the analysis a good bit deeper. Essentially, Google polled third-party testers about the overall quality of a series of websites and compiled their answers to help define what a “low-quality website” is. Some of the signals of low-quality websites include the following:

  • High percentage of duplicate content
  • High bounce rate
  • Low click-through rate
  • Low time-on-site
  • Excessively obtrusive advertising

These metrics are not only a measure of content quality, but can also be heavily influenced by the quality of web design and usability. Your content may be 100% unique and engaging, but if your web design is grossly outdated and contains aggressive ads this would affect your overall quality score by contributing to high bounce rates and low time-on-site metrics.

So what’s the takeaway?

Instead of scrambling to update your website every time there’s a Google update, align your Internet marketing practices with Google’s: Provide engaging, quality content and give your visitors the best experience possible! This really isn’t a new concept but it does help to reinforce our overall approach for SEO and Internet marketing for years.

{Re}Happening 2011 :: Black Mountain, NC

April 8th, 2011 by Rogue Media

ReHappening 2011

This Saturday, the former Black Mountain College campus at Lake Eden will be revisited by a gathering of creative minds and bodies to share their work and inspire others. The second annual {Re}Happening will feature performances and installations from artists working in a variety of mediums, including sculptural video installation, to interactive sculpture, and multimedia-based performances. Tickets for the opening dinner are sold out, but after-dinner tickets are still available. Come out and enjoy a fantastic evening of art and inspiration!

The New Google Analytics: Dashboards

April 6th, 2011 by Rogue Media

Google Analytics has proven itself to be a popular and powerful tool over the past few years. This free service is currently in use at over half of the most popular 10,000 websites, generating massive amounts of statistical data. On March 23, Google announced on its Analytics blog that the new version of Google Analytics will soon be available in beta to more users.

As the first in a series intended to highlight the new features of Google Analytics, the March 23 post concentrated on the changes the user is likely to notice first – changes in the Dashboard itself. Users will soon find that the entire Dashboard has been completely redesigned and features customizable widgets. In addition to this added power, up to 20 customized dashboards can be created per profile.

Google Analytics WidgetsThe new Dashboard in Analytics will be completely based on widgets from categories including Metric, Pie Chart, Timeline, and Table. These distinct visualizations of the raw data can be arranged via a drag-and-drop customizing interface to present users with the information most relevant to them.

Using this flexibility across multiple Dashboards will give users the power to craft tools personalized for their specific reporting needs. Suggested options mentioned by Google in their post include a Dashboard dedicated to website content and a Dashboard focusing on search engine optimization efforts.

These changes to Google Analytics will provide users with more streamlined access to visitor data and the tools to creatively view this data in the form that it will be most useful to their efforts. This promising upgrade to an already powerful tool for online marketing research is already available to a small segment of Google Analytics users and will gradually be rolled out to more users as new functionality is added.

Google Launches Gmail Motion

April 1st, 2011 by Rogue Media

Google has announced today the introduction of Google Motion, a revolutionary new method of interacting with Gmail (and Google Docs). The new technology enables users to enter commands via their webcams using predefined body motions.

Gmail Motion Guide

Gmail Motion Guide

We’ve already signed up for a trial account and LOVE it so far! There are a few glitches here and there, but that’s to be expected with a Beta version.

What’s even better about the new system, is that it also works with Google Docs. Now remote collaboration is even easier and documents can be shared and updated effortlessly. Thanks, Google!

Google Docs Motion Drawings

Drawings for Google Docs Motion

Outsourcing SEO To A US Company

March 10th, 2011 by Rogue Media

If you own a business, you probably know how important SEO is to the success of your website. This is what drives traffic to your site and what pushes you upward in the search engine results. Most people will never look at any of the results that are not on the first page. If you run a site that needs SEO content to be written in US English, you should really consider outsourcing SEO to a US company. You will find very quickly that there are a lot of advantages.

Native Speakers
First off, you can be sure that the people who do the work will be native English speakers. This is important to consider when you are outsourcing SEO because you want to get content that is readable and that makes sense. You need content that will bring people in, but it then needs to be coherent and to convince them to make a purchase.

Save Costs
You will also find that you can keep your costs down by outsourcing SEO to a US company. You will not have to pay your own employees to do it, and you can get the work done when you need it. You will not have to pay someone to be a full-time writer, giving them a salary, if you only have work for a part-time writer.

Save Time
You can also save a lot of time by outsourcing SEO because you will not have to have your own employees do the work. Instead, you can allow your employees to keep doing the jobs that you hired them to do. You can then hire a writer for all of your SEO needs so that he or she can do the work at a much faster rate than someone who is not trained or experienced in the field.