On the Subject of Search: the Difference between SEO, SEM, and Search””

Search… or do you mean SEO? SEM? S.O.S?

SEO computer graphicMany people instinctually use the words “search” and “search engine optimization” interchangeably. This isn’t wrong, necessarily, but it doesn’t allow for the wider range of meanings within the ever-expanding world of search.

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5 Points for Determining the Price for a New B2B Website

In — what we’re all hoping are — these post-recession days, we’re happy to be seeing a lot of activity from companies wanting to remake their long dormant websites. When I get to the point in the conversation in which I ask about the investment they wish to make, the answer is often gray. The subtext is that they will let the market dictate price. Following are 5 points I recommend companies gain some certainty around, prior to speaking with potential web design and development partners. Being clear on these points will help avoid ambiguity and aid in identifying the best firm for the job, which may or may not be the low price option.

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The 7 Characteristics of a Differentiated Website

Apples and orangesI separate the experience of creating “a website that differentiates” from creating a website. In 2009, anyone can create a website. Surprisingly few can create a differentiated website. What are the characteristics that make a website differentiated?

Brand strategy – brand strategy or positioning are fancy terms for professional differentiation. Listen to your customers, incorporate that intelligence into your own language and practice, share the kool-aid with your organization and feel great about being able to explain what you do with confidence while riding the elevator and talking to an impatient prospect. The website will come so much easier and faster when the brand is right.

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What Crowdsourcing Can Teach Designers

Large crowdWe recently won a competitive situation and will provide web site design, a pay-per-click (PPC) Search program, eMarketing and brand messaging for a company run by engineers. The company had originally been referred to us for “a website.” When I asked the client why he chose RainCastle, he said we were more strategic in our approach, viewing the web in the realm of marketing rather than technically, and that we understood how engineers view marketing … or don’t. Generally, he felt confident that we could work with his senior people and successfully guide them through a process. The consultative approach remains viable in the age of social media. 

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