Archive

Archive for January, 2011

5 Minute website self-evaluation

January 30th, 2011 No comments

One of the services we offer is a website review. In a website review, we go over every page of your website and check for any missing elements or erroneous entries that might have a detrimental effect on your Search Engine ranking.

But do you need a full website review? Here’s a short video that will enable you to do a quick evaluation of your own website based on four critical factors. If you find your site coming up short on these, a full website review should be considered. It can save you a lot of lost business in the long-term and lost money in the sort term.

Click here for more information on Website Reviews

10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology

January 27th, 2011 No comments

The New York Times logoA recent article by Sam Grobart in the Technology section of the New York Times lists 10 things you can do to for a better experience with your computers, smartphones and assorted gadgets. And often at no cost.

“…the tech industry has given you the impression that making adjustments is difficult and time-consuming. It is not.”

From protecting your photos and files from theft, accidental loss or crashes to protecting your devices from viruses, this article is packed with good advice.

One piece of advice that I have been giving for a few years that also appears in the article is “STOP using Internet Explorer!” Using a modern browser like Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari will give you a better browser experience and offer you a wide variety of add-ons and features.

Firefox, Chrome and Safari are available for Mac and Windows – Firefox and Chrome are available in Linux versions as well.

Read the complete article at the New York Times »

This post was originally published at:
http://BobStovall.com/10-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-technology

WordPress, Joomla! lead among Open Source CMSs again – even better solution for manufactured housing websites

January 23rd, 2011 No comments

The Water and Stone 2010 Open Source CMS Market Report is now available. According to Water and Stone, “The Big Three – WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal – remain firmly in command of the market,” and “WordPress has taken the lead in brand strength after a strong growth year.”

What does that mean for MH manufacturers, retailers, community owners/managers and suppliers? It means they will be around for a long time to come. And that means superior support for the software your website runs on – IF you’ve chosen one of the market leaders.

Orange Cat offers it’s clients development on the WordPress and Joomla! platforms as we feel they offer most power and flexibility in Internet marketing. Drupal is a popular alternative to Joomla! but we feel Joomla! offers our customers more options, templates and plugins and a more vibrant support community.

WordPress is the simplest of the three to administer and recent upgrades have added enough features where we can now consider using it in a wider range of customers applications.

You can download the Water and Stone 2010 Open Source CMS Market Report here.

Using a piece of paper to market manufactured housing online?

January 20th, 2011 No comments

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show was a rousing success. Exhibitors and attendees alike were in an upbeat mood and pretty much every exhibitor I talked to was happy with the results. This kind os show can put the industry on a positive footing as we head into 2011.

Trade shows are one of those places where one picks up a lot of business cards. I was there with the MHMSM.com crew – Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Business Development Manager Jeff Templeton and Reporter Matthew Silver. We received cards from most of the exhibitors and many of the attendees.

One thing about those cards struck me as rather odd here in 2011. Many had no email address and many more had no website URL. Did they not have a website? Or were they doing the “penny-wise, pound-foolish” thing of using up older cards years after having a website?

Doing some quick calculation, I found that fully 61% of business cards collected at the show had no website address. That’s astonishing. If 61% of exhibitors and attendees have no website, I have little doubt that could be a major contributing factor in the falling sales figures for the past few years.

Email addresses on business cards were better, but not perfect. 10% had no email address.

Your business card is your personal-sized billboard. Using every part of it is in your best interest. Website URL and email are essential pieces of information these days.

Here is what my MHMSM business card looks like:

Bob Stovall's MHMSM Business Card front
Bob Stovall's MHMSM Business Card back

Notice how we used both the front and back of the card to convey our message. Of the cards we collected, only 5% utilized the back of the card for more information.

Business cards were and are part of your offline Social Networking system. You give away both sides when you hand out your business card – use them.

When I began to write this, I was thinking to myself that it was an awfully basic thing to post about. Then I thought about those 61% of business cards that had no email address and the 90% that didn’t use the real estate on the back of the card.

If your cards fit one of these descriptions, think about an immediate update. That little piece of card stock is one of the most important parts of your online marketing strategy.

Adapted from the article Business cards are an online marketing tool at OrangeCat.com

Louisville learning is a two-way street

January 16th, 2011 No comments

Louisville Manufactured Housing ShowOn Wednesday, January 12, MHMSM.com’s Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and I presented our “Dominate Your Local Market” program at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. Roughly 50 persons attended the session and from the feedback we’ve gotten, the presentation was a rousing success.

I’d like to thank George Allen, whose programs preceded ours, warming the audience for us to bat clean-up for his generous introduction to our part of the afternoon’s proceedings.

Those that attended relayed to Tony and myself that they had gotten a great deal of value out of the presentation and I’m grateful for that. When I present one of these programs, I invariably get as much in return from those who generously share their questions and concerns with myself and the others in the room.

Ken Rishel shared with me that he’d rather refer to these type of programs as “workshops” rather than “seminars”. His line of reasoning is that there is mutual benefit from them and that the workshops provide actual, usable information instead of seeding a sales pitch.

I agree with Ken on that point 100% – my aim is always to provide value exceeding the value of the time the attendee spends with us. I know this is Tony’s philosophy as well.

We promised everyone who attended “Dominate Your Local Market” that the presentation will soon be available online. And it will. In keeping with the point of this post, some material that attendees expressed interest in will be added to the online version, creating “Dominate Your Local Market 1.1”

“Dominate Your Local Market” has long been the tagline of my websites at BobStovall.com and OrangeCat.com. We’ll do our best to keep content on them from becoming confused, but much of it similar – with content on my websites aimed toward general business and those on the MHMSM.com website more aimed toward the manufactured housing business, whether HUD-Code or Modular.

Thanks to everyone who attended our workshop in Louisville – I hope you had a great show – feedback indicates you did. And we hope to see you at shows and associations around the country this coming year. But remember that I am always only an email or phone call (859-544-9005) away.


“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through constant struggle.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, as we celebrate the birth of American clergyman, activist and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., let us remember that only through our consistent efforts will we make the changes that will bring our industry back to its rightful place in the American marketplace.