Thursday, December 13, 2007

To Flash Or Not To Flash - Answers For Your Dealership

The short answer is no flash, or at least very little flash. For me, the perfect ratio of text to images/flash files on a site is 10/1 (10 lines of keywords and contact information per flash file or image). That is not a hard and fast number, just a ball park figure to help ensure that both human and electronic visitors get the information they need.

Danny Sullivan who is the Editor in Chief of Search Engine Land makes a great point that flash heavy sites will never do well in SERPS (search engine results page). Why? Because bots don't have eyes. Flash and even jpgs were created for the human experience, and while that is great for us, it is a huge stumbling block when you are relying on a piece of software to get your website in front of millions of people.

Just in case you would like some other reading material:

Search Engine Tattler
Success Works

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Social Networking And Your Dealership

Recently, one of my clients came to me and asked me about running a PPC campaign for his Myspace account. He has known me for a while now and knows that I am not a huge fan of the Myspace designs and layouts. Don't get me wrong, I think Myspace is a fantastic idea and I have am intrigued by the new social marketing movement and how this will ultimately change how we view PPC and even selling cars.

This lead me do some research into the dealership pages that are out there now and what they had done. Until this week I had never set up a Myspace account so I had no idea what to expect, and I am by no means an expert on social media or even PPC in social media so take this advice with a grain of salt (or a whole salt mine). There are some things that these dealerships are doing that I like and think will work, and other things that I think they could do better. These are not my clients websites and I do not know anything about these dealerships other then what can be found on their Myspace pages.

The first one I found was Nemer Vw's page and I have to say this has a lot of potential. They are very upfront about the fact that this is the dealerships page, and their intent to use this as a marketing tool, they have a vehicle with a "Myspace" price and an open call for local musical artists. I think the main thing they are missing is a more "human" feel. I don't feel a connection to the personality who is creating this page (presumably the internet manager or a younger sales associate). I want to know who is updating this, is the sale only good if I talk to this person? How does the dealership want me to let them know I want this car and I am a "friend"? For me a little more social spin on this would make it a fantastic marketing tool.

The second one I found was Elk Groves Myspace page. This page may or may not have great information, its hard to tell because my eyes got tired after about 10 seconds and I left. The "lesson" here is that as with all advertising if the content isn't clear and readable it's not going to help you sell cars. Sure, the car is flashy, hip and hot, but I would not recommend using it as a background, instead I would have added it to my pictures or used it as my avitar.

What do you think of these sites? Would you buy a car from the dealership based on their Myspace page? Do you even care that they have a Myspace page?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blog Thoughts - Connections -Why Your Dealership has to Blog

Why is it that you keep reading certain blogs over and over again and others you dismiss after a few lines? What value are you looking for from your blog reading? Why do people keep visiting when the pages are so god awful busy and ugly? The answer for most people is connection.

The world is changing, and it is infinitely more intimate then it was when I was a little girl. In the past *cough* 20ish years *cough* we have gone from the idea of "big business" to the global marketplace. Brand is no longer the most important factor in choosing a company, especially for women. Women want to buy from people they trust, we want to know that if our car breaks down the company/dealership will take care of it because they care about us. Today's busy woman demands a dealership she can have a close relationship with. She has to know that when she hands over her keys that every care is going to be made to address the concern, and that the dealership is going to go above and beyond to protect her family and save her money on costly repairs.

Buying a car is a lot like buying meat was back when the "Brady Bunch" was on tv. Alice always bought the families meat from the same butcher because he knew what she liked, how she liked it and he would even deliver it if something came up. Sam was more then just the guy who cut their meat, he was an extension of the family, he was part of Alice's external support network. Just like Sam, your dealership can become a part of the family, and the best place to start is your blog.

Avinash Kaushik makes a great point in his blog Occam's Razor, that to be successful your blog has to be a discussion and not a monologue. I would also argue that your blog should be reflective of the writer as well as the dealerships personality. Go ahead, allow yourself some free reign and have fun with it. If you are having fun then your readers will have fun and keep coming back. Someday those loyal readers will need to buy a new car, and since they already like you (and maybe even want to meet you) they have a positive connection with your dealership and are far more likely to buy from you.

A stuffy, sterile blog will be just like talking to yourself digitally...and that would be creepy....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's the Holiday Season - A Hectic Time

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately, but I am in full holiday crunch mode :). In addition to the usual holiday tasks of baking, entertaining, cleaning, shopping, wrapping, ect, there are a bizzilion things to do for my clients. With the end of the year comes a bevy of holiday sales, charity events and that all important end of the year crunch to clear out their lots.

The best part about this time of year is that so many people and businesses take a few extra moments to do something nice for someone else. Yesterday I was in the grocery store picking up some last minute baking supplies when a woman approached me and asked me if I wanted her Turkey Points (points you earn by shopping at Shaw's and can redeem for a free Turkey). I told her that I didn't use them and instead had been giving mine to the local homeless shelter. She thought that was a good idea and said she would stop by on her way home and donate hers as well. Everyone in the line with us gave their points to her as well, in the end she had enough points for 4 turkeys!

With the world being so crazy these days it's nice to see that some people still possess the ability or maybe it's desire to help someone they may never meet. So here is my holiday challenge to all of you: Find a way to make another persons day brighter. Donate to a charity like Donors Choose, Caring Bridge, & Make A Wish or simply hold the door open for someone who's hands are full of packages. After all it's the little things that make the season bright.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Weathering The Storms of Automotive Change

Today I was doing some research on one of my clients market areas (Harrisburg, PA) and I stumbled across this website : for a dealership has been open since 1954! My little Friday addled brain just boggles thinking about all the events and crisis's they have successfully navigated around. I wish all my clients this much success and longevity!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ad Words: Revenge is Cheap in 2007

First off let me say that I do not condone this sort of activity, however it is rapidly becoming more common place. In the spirit of the season I am going to tell you about a scary new way that people can be destroying your reputation for a couple of bucks a week.

Let's take the fictitious story of Jimmy and his local Porsche dealership. We will pretend that Jimmy went out and bought a brand new 2008 Boxster in his favorite color of Sea Foam Green. Jimmy loved his car for the first 150 miles or so until the engine fell right out of the car in the middle or rush hour traffic. Suddenly Jimmy isn't very happy at all, so he calls the dealership asking them to come get him, the car and what is left of the engine. Well things go from bad to worse and Jimmy is left with his very expensive car and a box of engine pieces standing on the curb.

Our hero eventually gets his car put back together but at an extreme cost and so he vows revenge against the dealership. How does he plan to get revenge? He starts a smear campaign using a "disposable" blog and his adwords account. Jimmy writes an SEO friendly blog and then sets up an adwords account with 20 bucks and just lets it run.

For most dealerships a smear campaign like this would be earth shattering, because the average dealership does not have a reputation manager on staff. If this were to happen to a dealership without a website, or a poorly designed website the ramifications could be catastrophic. It would take the dealership forever to get that link buried if they ever even found out that someone had done this to them.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween is Coming!

This morning there was a hard frost on the ground when I left my house, the first one of the year. Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Maine that has been the first sign that Halloween is fast approaching and it was finally time to go buy my Halloween costume. When I was little costumes came in card board boxes with the scratchy plastic masks, and we loved them.

Every year we would go to the local store and stand in front of the choices trying desperately to find the perfect costume for trick or treating. My siblings and I would fight over which super hero or cartoon character we would be for the year. One year when I was still pretty little my mother made us some pretty silly looking chicken egg costumes made out of "mill paper" and rented herself a giant yellow chicken costume for the night. The only benefit was I got all the Dots and gummy fish that she collected that night and she ate my popcorn ball :).

In case I don't get a chance to post before then have a safe and happy Halloween!

~ps image came from

Friday, October 19, 2007

Google Adwords Ad To Make You Go HMMM???!!

Was there a party at the Google Editors office? Maybe they are all out playing Halo 3? I saw this on Marketing Pilgrim and I thought they had to be kidding so I tried it myself..they weren't kidding.

WTF? You mean you ain't heard these37
Money-Saving AdWords Factors?
Why Haven't AdWords Advertisers
been Told These 37 Facts? Why...?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Google Bites Off More Than It Can Chew?

A couple of weeks ago everyone at our office was buzzing about how cool Goog411 is, but the service isn't living up to the hype. The past few times I have tried call for a number it hasn't worked out. I keep getting an unprofessional sounding message where people in the back ground shout out random business names like "Roto-router" followed by the gentleman's voice saying "We are a little backed up, please call back. Talk to you soon". The sound quality of the message is very poor, and its really annoying to listen to the tinny distorted voices in the background.

This is not the level of quality we have come to expect from Google. I mean come on if I had the luxury of waiting to make the phone call I would have just looked the number up on the internet..duh!
If they don't put up more lines and a better recording system quickly I might be forced to try out Windows Live 411.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Radical Transparency...Is It Worth It?

Would you allow your employees to openly blog about what goes on in your company? Would you set limitations (such as never talk about x product)? Would you penalize your employees for admitting to a weakness in your companies structure? For most businesses the answer to that is "yes!".

Wired recently wrote a fantastic article on Microsoft's approach to Radical Transparency. The software giant has created an atmosphere that not only embraces blogging but open communication with their partners as well. From a vendor to vendor standpoint the idea of radical transparency is fantastic. Imagine being able to go to your vendors site and read that x batch of brake pads are defective before you go and put them on 1.3 million cars. Just think of all the time and money you could save!

When I was doing dial up tech support I often wondered if the employees of third parties were as fed up with their system breaking as I was. Did they want to scream and pull their hair out because some dork in the back room didn't think it was important to fix the scripting errors that were causing the OS to crash every other hour?

Personally, I find it is less frustrating to work with a third party when they seem "human". Companies that allow their employees to have "off topic" conversations and to "be real" are so much easier to deal with. After all, if your system is broken and sucks so does mine. We understand that not everything works right all the time, and sometimes people screw up happens. I would prefer you just tell me the truth so I can come up with a game plan and move on. One customer service job I had forbid the use of "problem, broken, repair, malfunction or issue" in any client facing communication. Have you ever tried to apologize for an issue without admitting that there is anything wrong? The fear that a competitor would figure out that our server went down was so prevalent that if the server did go down we hired a third party to go make the repairs at the Colo instead of using our own engineers.

Is Radical Transparency worth the risk? From a corporate perspective the concept is so new and foreign that we can't really answer that yet. Today, the Channel 9 site is one of the most popular sites in the tech circuit with almost as many visitors a month as The real bonus may be that Microsoft has gained a warmer, more approachable image. The unknown is what lasting effect, if any, this new philosophy have. Is blogging a passing fad? Will Social Networking revamp the businesses of the future? Will Bush's Baked Beans one day release their secret family recipe on Myspace? I somehow doubt that that they will, but you have to admit it would be pretty cool if they did.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Automotive Prediction Monday: Like Football..Only Not

Blogs are taking over the world aaahhhh!!! Two years ago blogging was for the "social misfits" or attention seekers, now everyone is blogging. There are funny blogs, sad blogs, entertaining blogs even blogs that are little more than a few random sentences every great once in a while, but no matter what the content someone somewhere will eventually read these missives.

66% of Americans trust blogs for their product recommendations according to the Nielson Global Survey. Now if I owned a car dealership I would run right out and grab myself a couple of college interns to write a high quality, regularly updated blog for my website. I would have them scour the nets and link to blogs that have positive reviews of whatever the hot model of the week is. Not only would the dealership have a "fresher" online presence but they would be building up their sites keyword density which helps the relevancy scores.

So here is my prediction: In two years it will be almost impossible to sell a car without an excellent blog. I see the PPC market to become so prohibitively expensive that smaller dealerships will have to turn to more creative methods of advertising.

That is my prediction for this Monday...oh wait I have a bonus prediction:

My saying I like Triscuits will not make them more popular...well at least not yet :)

Saturday, October 6, 2007 Challenge

Dear Reader,

Many of us were lucky enough growing up to have access to things like cameras, art supplies and various materials for school projects, but we all knew at least one child in our class who didn't have those same advantages. Through teachers can request help to pay for materials that their classrooms need and can not afford.

My challenge to you is to find a proposal and either donate to it directly or challenge your friends and family to help. I plan to send some money in for two separate projects on pay day. The first is for cameras because as a child I loved taking pictures of everything I could find (especially rocks) and a field trip to buy books that the class plans to take just before Christmas. Call me a softy but it will be nice to know that all the children in that classroom will have a least one Christmas present this year :).

Friday, October 5, 2007

TGI Friday and Random Thoughts

TGIF! Have I told you lately how much I love weekends? No? Well I do. Don't get me wrong I have a pretty awesome job all things considered, but there is nothing as wonderful as coming home on a Friday night (especially if I was industrious and did some housework during the week).

For the next two days I can sleep in, wear my jammies all day or I can drag my poor husband out to watch the latest chick flick at the local theater. There will be no keyword lists, no bid tracking and most importantly (at least today) no spreadsheets to occupy my mind. There will be itunes at full blast on my laptop all weekend long, dinner out with my wonderful in laws and many hours spent catching up on my blog reading.

Do you ever wonder what is running through someone else's head? Here is a quick list of the things I have been thinking since I started this post:

1. I really should add links to the blogs I read regularly

2. Why is everyone so obsessed with how Britany Spears looks in skimpy undies?

3. Why does the lead singer for Matchbox 20 always look stone and homicidal at the same time?

4. I wonder if my boss will let me make "Crazy Bitch" by Buck Cherry my ring tone at work?

5. Should I go buy the new Radio Head cd just to give them props for being brave enough to self market and let people pay what they think the cd is worth...and just in case I actually like them now.
6. Is "The Dude" really trying to attract all the vampiric, World of Warcraft playing car dealerships?
Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Microsoft to Help Small Businesses Enter the PPC Market

Today Microsoft announced it's newest "feature" , they are going to offer PPC assistance inside of their Office Live Small Business edition. Personally, I think this is asking for trouble not only for them but for many small businesses who may not be ready for the challenges of adequately managing a PPC campaign. Doesn't this reek of conflict of interest to you? As a consumer I am definitely going to sign up to have my campaigns run by the company who owns the third largest search engine in the world, no questions asked. I am almost guaranteed a fantastic ROI (or so I would think) as it would be stupid of them not to give my campaign a healthy cost per click discount.

The press release says they are going to offer three classes at 19.95 to teach the essentials of SEM and SEO. Wow, I bet my boss would have loved a deal like that when he was spending thousands of dollars training us on SEO and SEM. The reality is that at best these businesses will get a crash course in Live Search, ROI, Adcenter and some basic information on what PPC is. My guess is there won't be real training that covers a/b testing, negative keywords, proper geo targeting by population, the importance of meta data, dynamic landing pages, effective ad copy writing, etc, etc, etc.

If 60 bucks was all it took to become an SEM/SEO expert then every campaign out there would have a fabulous ROI, a 25% conversion rate, and a CPC of under $3.00. The majority of these companies are going to set up their own SEM campaigns and then forget them, which is terrible for the industry as a whole. These businesses need to have a strong, well formed online marketing presence handled by a qualified professional who not only has the time but the skills necessary to coax these campaigns into success. The changes to search engine algorithms change regularly which often sends even the most seasoned SEM/SEO experts scurrying to regain lost conversions. Now imagine the effect one of these changes could have on "Jim the Plumber" who believes the hype that this solution is all he needs to secure his dream of retiring next year. It's Microsoft and they are the good guys... Right? When will Microsoft learn from it's own mistakes?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Parts and Service Leads

Why is it that so many dealerships don't want parts and service leads from their PPC Campaigns? Every couple of weeks I hear from a disgruntled client who is upset that they are getting contacted for their parts and service centers, but I just don't understand why. To me this is like my little brother being upset that people are coming into his bakery for whoopie pies but not peanut butter balls. Eventually all of those whoopie pie eaters are going to be adventurous enough to try the peanut butter balls. No one can resist all that chocolate covered peanut buttery goodness forever...right?

Someday those people who need parts/service are going to have to buy a new car (usually sooner rather then later), and it seems to me that getting someone in your front door is a great way to be added to the list of places to buy cars from. Occasionally, you will even find the golden customer who brings their vehicle in for repairs and realizes its cheaper to buy a new one. Is there a new school of business that says money is bad? No? I didn't think so either...well just in case you are feeling adventurous here is my little brothers peanut butter ball recipe (shhh it's a secret)....


2 lb. peanut butter

3 lb. powdered sugar

1 lb. butter, melted

2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Mix well in large bowl. Make small balls (approximately 150).


2 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

1 block paraffin wax

Melt together in double boiler. Dip balls and put on waxed paper to "dry".

And for those who don't know what a whoopie pie is :

For cakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

For filling

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar

2 cups marshmallow cream such as Marshmallow Fluff

1 teaspoon vanilla
Make cakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld, then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth. Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 buttered large baking sheets. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely. Make filling: Beat together butter, confectioners sugar, marshmallow, and vanilla in a bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Assemble pies: Spread a rounded tablespoon filling on flat sides of half of cakes and top with remaining cakes. Makes 8 individual desserts

Thursday, September 27, 2007

MSN Live and A fun Quiz :)

Happy Birthday Google!

This has been one of the craziest weeks I have had in a long time. This week dad is here to visit, we are relocating our office at work, and MSN Live Search launched late last night. Every hour seems to be packed with activity, anxiety and details.

MSN Live Search is lackluster to say the least, really it is a minor tweaking of what Google already does so well. MSN really needed to up the wow factor and inspire product loyalty, but they fell flat on their face. Yes, the suggested searches on the upper right hand side are nice, but for a more experienced search user it's kind of pointless.

If you like quirky quizzes check this out. I will be interested to see what happens with the Website reviews section, I am always looking for great ideas and good design companies to refer my clients to. The Potamkin Honda site that they reviewed this week is exceptionally well done. Kudos to them on such a fantastic site.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Busy rambling thoughts

My husbands best friends got married this weekend and it was lovely. We spent all weekend with them just relaxing and helping with last minute details. Everyone was so cheerful and happy and calm. I definitely wasn't calm before our wedding, I was so nervous that something important wouldn't get done (like the marriage license). Everything turned out magically at both weddings.

This weekend I didn't get my laundry done, or the shopping, or any of the 11 zillion things I need to get done before my father shows up this week. This is causing me huge amounts of stress, and I am not dealing with that as gracefully as I could be. I have always had that problem, when I get stressed I get very angry and with my bad temper that doesn't work out well for anyone. Hopefully I am better than I was, but I wouldn't count on it ;)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Don't Ignore Me Because I Am A Woman

For those of you who don't know this, I hate my car. More than I hate my car, I am beginning to hate the franchise dealership that is responsible for repairing it.

After many attempts to make a service appointment and failing my car broke down. This was a few weeks back but my car lost its clutch with less than 30,000 miles. I was stranded on a hill in the middle of Friday rush hour, which made me late to dinner with my in laws and I loathe being late. So I called the dealership and freaked out about the clutch dying, the car leaking fluids and the paint falling off. I also complained about the fact that the clutch (a fairly important piece of the drive train if you ask me) was not covered under the warranty after 1 year. We also found out that I need a new steering arm as mine is defective. That part was ordered nearly a month ago today but no one called to tell me the part was in (as promised). Instead the parts guy said he sent me a post card that looks like junk mail.......

This whole thing has been a terrible experience right from the get go. The dealership doesn't return my calls (which I have to leave because they never answer the dang phone) or emails, and when I do reach them they ignore my concerns. Now I may be a woman, but I do know that if you have to hit the clutch twice in order to get in reverse then there is a problem.

The Internet says my synchronizing is off and that could lead to the gears stripping....and that means a new and expensive transmission on a two year old car. I have told the dealership that this is happening in every single call and voice mail I have left in the past two weeks, and they still have not called me back. If they were not the only franchise dealership in town I would have gone somewhere else a long long time ago.

Want to know what really irks me? If my husband reports a problem they fix it immediately!!! When they replaced the clutch the car made a funny buzzing sound, and when we took it in the dealership tried to brush me off until my husband said he had heard it too. Once Josh chimed in the technician was all over getting in the car and going for a ride!

Why does Josh have to chime in for something to be broken? Why isn't my assessment of the situation enough? I know more about cars, engines, and troubleshooting then my sweet husband ever will, and yet he is the one they listen and respond to. This very same dealership has relied on me to resolve highly complicated technical issues for them on multiple occasions , but when it comes to the car itself I am ignored.

The end result is that our new car is a Nissan (not the same as my car) and it was bought from a different dealership just down the street. The new dealership was fantastic to close the deal with. Their staff were helpful, courteous, efficient and gave us a very fair deal. The GM even came in to say hi to us a couple of times while we were in signing paperwork. Oh? and if I tell them something needs to be fixed they fall over themselves to find out the source of my concerns. The new dealership even answers the phone!

Google hits the Road

It's late and I am surfing instead of sleeping, but this is to cool not to share. Google is now appearing in BMW's in Germany! This is huge for us in the automotive ppc industry....imagine if I can have my customers ads served to the people who are actually in the car driving to a dealership!! You can't get much more targeted then that.

The article is from myTelus, and is definately worth checking out :).

Have a great night.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why Read Marketing Pilgrim?

Sorry for no post yesterday the release of Presentation and the live Demo with Googlers stole a huge part of my day.

During my thrice daily review of MP I noticed Andy Beal is offering $500.00 to write about why we read their blog each day. This is a fantastic way to build link juice for themselves (not that they need it) and for a lot less money then if they were buying links.

This is part of the reason I read them every day, they have fantastic ideas on marketing, blogging and provide some very interesting reviews of the latest and greatest in SEM. Andy's blog is one of the few "out of industry" blogs that I read because of the product highlights and new features.

After all, without them, it might have taken me an extra 3 hours to find out that the awesomeness that is Google Presents had finally been released.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Double Clicking is for Windows

Today, while we were doing research for our PPC applications, I sent my co-worker the link to MSN's Ad Center Labs The ad with "Search Master Steve"really made me laugh. Sure the ad is targeting non professional SEM folks but I find it hard to believe most people won't consider the ad slightly insulting. How did they miss the lessons that Dell taught with their "Steve" in the early 2000's? I mean come on the guy was arrested for pot possession and completely ruined millions of dollars in advertising...

On initial review there are some cool little tools (demographic approximations!) but the real value seems to be diluted by MSN's outlandishly cartoon like presentation. Any statistical value these tools may actually hold seem to be so far buried in cute that they are rendered pointless. MSN would do well to just give us the info we need in plain html without all the "pizazz".

As my co-worker was reviewing the site he also pointed out that the site was extremely Microsoftish with its bright, surreal, cartoon like graphics and cheesy interface (I knew that was coming as he is a self proclaimed "website snob"). After getting over his "snobbery" he decided to check out some of the links anyways. After a few moments of discussing the relevance of some of the new information potentially available for our PPC campaigns he exclaimed "Double clicking is for Windows not the Internet! No one wants to double click on the Internet!"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunny Sunday

One more day of rest so they say. Although, I can't say that I did much resting this weekend. This afternoon we went apple picking, and I didn't get my donuts. While it appears the orchard didn't start a PPC campaign this year they did run out of donuts and I had to console myself with a nifty new apple corer (my husband is soooo sweet!) and a creamie (soft serv for the rest of the world).

One cool thing I did find over at Marketing Pilgrim was a blog about BlogRush. I am tempted to try this out somehow. I will have to do some more investigating but here is the link in case you want to check this out.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fall is in the air!

Today it definitely feels like fall. The air is crisp and the clouds outside are so dense it feels like our entire town is under heavy wool blanket. Tomorrow my in laws are taking us out apple picking. This is my favorite event of the season (well till Halloween)!
We will spend hours picking the apples with the cherry pickers (and of course sampling) while my father in law plays amateur photographer. Then on our way out we grab some early cider and fresh made cider donuts. If you have never had cider donuts then I feel bad for you, these things are amazing. They are at least 40% of the fun...I sure hope the orchard hasn't started a PPC campaign and they run out of donuts before we get there lol.

Tomorrow night when I get home I am going to make some apple crisp and freeze it for when my dad makes his annual fall visit. Here is one of my favorite apple crisp recipes, if you are diabetic then you can either cut the white sugar in half or try making it with Splenda.

3 pounds tart apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Peel, core and chop apples, toss in a bowl with lemon juice to prevent darkening. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir into apples. Set aside.
In another bowl combine flour, sugar and oats. Cut butter into 8 pieces, and cut butter into flour until mixture looks like crumbs. Stir in nuts. Butter a 10 X 10-inch baking dish. Spread apples in bottom of baking dish then sprinkle with flour mixture. Bake at 375° for 30 to 45 minutes, or until apples are tender and topping is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What A Girl Wants

The new marketing hype is that women buy more cars, and have a larger influence in the car buying process then ever before, but what does that really mean to a dealership? Search Engine Marketers are driving tons of high quality traffic to your website but how do you convert them?

Women buy relationships as much as they buy cars. I remember when my now husband and I were looking for my car I was that salesman's best friend. At every point of contention that my husband offered I countered for the salesman even though it was costing us money! Why? I liked him. He was a little on the cute side and didn't talk to me like I was a "girl". He answered my questions directly and didn't seem bored with us. Now a few years later I hate my car but I would still buy from that same sales guy again.

Another thing women want is safety. We want proof that the car we are buying is going to be safe to put our loved ones in. Most guys think we care more about color (well OK sometimes we do.... burnt orange is *NOT* the new black) then we do about anything else. We can have pretty colors in our home where our children won't be flying down the street at 60 miles an hour separated by just tires and some fiberglass. We would like to go to your website and get all the information we need (safety ratings, community posting area where we can ask information questions, price, color, options, contact us forms) quickly and without a high pressure sales pitch. Oh and if you can share Gram's recipe for monkey rolls that would be great too :)