Posts Tagged ‘land lease community’

What’s broken in your business?

October 17th, 2010 No comments

Why are so many things broken? In a hilarious talk from the 2006 Gel conference, Seth Godin gives a tour of things poorly designed, the 7 reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them.

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and blogger who thinks about the marketing of ideas in the digital age. His newest interest: the tribes we lead.

At home or at work, MH professionals need fast, reliable Internet service

October 14th, 2010 No comments

OpenDNS logo Whether you’re at work or at home, if you’ve experienced slow Internet connections and “domain not found” errors or would like to exercise a bit of control over what your children are seeing on the Internet, you should have a look at OpenDNS.

It’s fast, free and easy to use. Takes minutes to set up on your computer or router.

Network Speed and Reliability

OpenDNS is the world’s largest and fastest-growing DNS service. With zero downtime ever, the service is trusted today by more than 15 million users around the world in businesses, at schools and in households.

Taking just a few minutes to change your network’s DNS settings will make your Internet overall faster and more reliable, freeing you of DNS-related outages.

Network Security

If you’re not yet using OpenDNS to secure your network and protect against phishing, malware, botnets and DNS vulnerabilities, take it from me – you should.

OpenDNS, chosen by Fortune 100 companies and more than 25,000 schools, provides comprehensive security services, including award-winning Anti-Phishing from PhishTank. In addition, OpenDNS is one of the only DNS services that was never susceptible to the largest and most threatening vulnerability ever discovered. Dan Kaminsky, the researcher credited with finding the flaw, personally recommends using OpenDNS.

In addition to Web and DNS security, OpenDNS provides comprehensive Web content filtering and detailed network stats that let you see what’s happening on your network.

Web content filtering

If you’re not yet using OpenDNS Web content filtering, take it from me – you should.

OpenDNS, chosen by Fortune 100 companies and more than 25,000 schools, provides the most efficient yet powerful Web content filtering available. The cloud-based service takes just minutes to set up and gives you 55 categories of Web content, all of which are constantly updated. On top of Web content filtering, OpenDNS provides anti-phishing and malware site protection.

It will also make your network faster and more reliable, and give you tools to easily see which Web sites are most visited on your network. If you see problem Web sites in your network stats, you can easily block them.

Parental Controls

Award-winning OpenDNS Parental Controls makes filtering Internet content a breeze. Simply choose your desired filtering level, from “High” to “Minimal,” and check a box. Your filtering preferences take effect in just minutes. Further customize your preferences by adding additional categories like “Social Networking,” “Hate” and “Gambling,” or individual Web sites like that are problematic or unsafe for your household.

OpenDNS will also make your network faster and more reliable, and give you tools to easily see which Web sites are most visited on your network. If you see problem Web sites in your network stats, you can easily block them.

Use OpenDNS

Marketing Manufactured Housing online makes it easier, but not effortless

October 9th, 2010 1 comment

Online marketing has made the job of identifying, contacting and staying in touch with leads a simple and easier process. Unfortunately, it has led some to believe in a “do it once, benefit forever” marketing mentality.

While some of your efforts in online marketing can be classified as “evergreen” (non-changing information giving you benefit for years to come), the day-to-day effort of building customer and prospect relationships requires some diligence.

Just as gathering a big pile of lumber, nails and other components on your factory floor requires more effort to turn it into a house, the building blocks of an online marketing campaign require ongoing effort to turn it into a working strategy.

Components of an online marketing campaign:

  • Website
  • Blog
  • Social Networking
  • Static Content
  • Dynamic (Fresh) Content
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Analytics
  • Press Releases
  • News Feeds
  • Marketing
  • Web Design
  • Craigslist
  • Online Listings Sites

We’ll work our way through this list in later posts, but this time I’d like to draw our attention to the first item – the website.

I know from experience that some of you still don’t have a website. But there’s a better than even chance that if you don’t yet have one, you are probably not bothering to read this blog …or this ezine for that matter.

I’ve drawn this analogy before, but your website is like the foundation of one of our homes. It isn’t optional. Without it, your marketing efforts, both online and offline are structurally defective and it danger of collapse.

If your website hasn’t been updated, it is much like the home that was set and forgotten. Deferred maintenance is now taking it’s toll and it won’t be long before parts of it are endangered from internal rot and invasion by enemies from without.

The technology to make updating your website an easier and less costly task are readily available. Your web design team should know how to make it possible for you to update parts of your website yourself. If they don’t, we do. So give up the dependency of that old school adversarial relationship and give us a call.

By the way, we just scratched at items 4 & 5 on the list as well.

By all indications, 2011 could be a very good year for manufactured housing if we are willing to do what it takes. In an Industry Voices post last week, Thayer Long of MHI aid out some objectives for 2011. Giving them the support they need to see those objectives through could be the start of something big.

But don’t neglect the basics. Make sure your marketing foundation (your website) is up to the job at hand. If it’s not feeding you leads and providing a way of keeping in friendly contact with those leads from the very beginning of the sales process through to the post-sale customer service, sit down with a professional and bring it up to par.

2011 is just around the corner. Where will you be?

What have BBQ and Manufactured Housing got in common?

October 3rd, 2010 No comments

Luck Dog BBQ logoMost people only get to see me in my day-to-day role as the entrepreneur behind a soon-to-be fifteen year old Internet Marketing company that has built web sites, email marketing programs and social networking strategies for businesses throughout the English-speaking world.

But there are a few other sides of me that are seldom seen. One of them is as a proud member of the Lucky Dog BBQ Team, the brainchild of dear friends Brad & Cindy Simmons.

This past weekend, we competed in the Kentucky State BBQ Championships at the Kentucky Crossroads Harvest Festival in Springfield, KY. It was a great opportunity to show of BBQ cooking skills as well as to get together with friends on the KCBS BBQ circuit that we hadn’t seen in some time, stay up late, get up ridiculously early, cook up some BBQ, drink some beer and generally have a great time.

And of course there’s the real reason for being there – to compete against 31 other BBQ terms from around the country for cash prizes and bragging rights. That some of the teams were former national, state and Jack Daniel’s champions attests to the quality of the competition.

We did pretty well overall, but my point here has to do with our entry in the “ribs” category. We cooked what we felt were our best ribs ever. A few of our neighboring teams concurred with our opinion.

When we got our scores, we finished 12th in ribs – a bit of a disappointment – and largely on a low score from one judge. And that is the point of this post. No matter what you do and how well you do it, there are people whose tastes and opinions will differ from yours.

That is not a negative reflection of them or your products, but a statement designed to recognize the variety of human nature.

No matter what kind of home comes out of your factory – no matter how high the quality – someone out there is going to have a different opinion.

I know you’ve heard it all before, but every one of us needs to focus on those who see the quality of our product. That goes for factory-built home manufacturers and every one in the supply line down to the customer as well as it applies to an Internet Marketing consultancy or a BBQ team.

When we focus on those who are impressed with our product, the stress of trying to please everyone vanishes and we can lead happier, wealthier and more productive lives.

See Thayer Long’s blog post today in Industry Voices for his take on what it will require to give the Manufactured Housing industry the place at America’s housing table that it has long deserved.

‘Hits’ are the Pits – It’s People That Buy Manufactured Homes

September 30th, 2010 No comments

In baseball ‘Hits’ can earn you millions – in web stats they are completely meaningless!

Everytime I hear someone talk about how many ‘hits” their website gets, I have to stop and wonder. Are they misusing the term or are they trying to deceive?

Since most people have no intention to deceive, they are probably just using the wrong term. But there are exceptions; those who intentionally use inflated stats for their own aggrandizement.

Why would someone want to deceive you or me about the number of visitors to their site? As so often is the case, it comes down to money. The more traffic a website gets, the more it can ask for advertising or other services.

For instance, a website owner can charge more to place an ad or item if he can show more traffic. If a web designer can show that she is drawing big traffic numbers to a website, her value goes up.

So, what’s wrong with ‘hits’?

When counting web traffic, three common terms are used, each of them measuring something different. In A couple of things you need to know about website stats, I stated “‘Hits’ are the most misleading and worthless stats on a web log” and showed an example of how 89 pageviews can turn into 1,171 ‘hits.’

Since pageviews represent people and most ‘hits’ represent some other, non-human page element, the problem is one of who your business serves – people or elements. If your business is like mine, it’s people who pay the bills.

How would you like to pay for 1,171 of something and only receive 89?

Alright, let’s explain the three main terms used to describe web traffic. You may have seen this before, but sometime seeing it again in different words helps clarify it.

Sessions – A session is initiated when a visitor enters your website. The session ends when they leave the website or when the session times out. The session can time when a visitor enters your site, and walks away from the computer without actually leaving your website. The we web server has a timing mechanism and when the visitor stays beyond that time with no activity it times them out and ends the session. You’ve probably had this happen when you logged on to a website (maybe the bank), got distracted and then returned to the web page to find yourself logged out. A ‘unique’ visitor is one who initiates a new session. One person can initiate more than one session in a day if the web server it set to time them out quickly.

Pageviews – A pageview is recorded whenever you visit a web page. So a visitor to your website who visits several pages can record several pageviews in a single session. Your sessions and pageviews counts, along with the stat that tells you how long the average session lasted are very valuable stats in helping you determine the value of a website visitor, whether for advertising purposes or for your own analysis.

Hits – A ‘hit’ s recorded every time a web page or an element of a web page is loaded into your browser. That means the web page counts as a ht as well as every element of that web page including images, javascripts, stylesheets or anything else the page calls. Those with an interest in inflating this statistic can also pre-load images – even though they never appear on the page, they are counted as ‘hits’. That’s how 89 pages viewed produced 1,171 ‘hits’ as mentioned above. For most purposes, ‘hits’ are meaningless.

When someone quotes ‘hits’ stats to you, look at it with suspicion, not necessarily for the the intent as much as the lack of knowledge. Ask them for the ‘people’ stats of sessions and pageviews. If they can’t or won’t supply those, take your business elsewhere.

I’ve never received an order or a visit from a photo or a javascript. It’s the people that count. Make sure you are counting the people and you’ll always get your money’s worth of value.