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According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Bing is its main competitor - not Facebook or Apple. He sat down with Alan Murray of the Wall Street Journal, who was kind enough to post an embeddable video of the conversation. "What's interesting is we think of neither [Facebook or Apple] as a competitive threat...our competitor is Bing. And it's interesting, for years, people have asked about Microsoft and everyone has forgot about Bing." He calls Bing a "well run, highly competitive search engine". He doesn't get into Bing's partnership with Yahoo, but that clearly has to be considered a big part of Google's headache in search competition.

When asked about being more concerned about Bing 5-10 years down the road, he said, "Facebook is too early to tell. Facebook is a company of consequence, and they're doing an excellent job building a social network." He also says that people forget Apple is a partner of Google. Schmidt talks about a number of other topics, such as privacy, China, his thoughts on the "web is dead" article, President Obama, social media, and more.


1. Be Open For Business 24 Hours a Day

Your business is open to the world 24 hours a day, 7days a week with no labor costs to watch it. An online store never closes. And a website faces no time zone barriers.


2. Reach New Markets With a Global Audience

Internet is the most cost effective way to trade nationally and internationally. A website will broaden your base of customers, members, distributors or suppliers. You can generate more and more clients for your business without doing additional marketing. Today, more and more customers are making purchases through the Internet. Why should you limit your business to your immediate locale when the whole world may be your potential market? Thanks to the Internet, it is as easy to sell halfway across the world as it is to sell across the street.


3. Nerve Center for the Global Economy

The Internet has become the nerve center for the global economy. Many world leaders are realizing that those organizations will thrive in this global Internet economy who will grasp its importance before their competitors do. A well-designed website is not only an Internet identity for your organization, it is an essential part of the success and future of your company in the 21st Century.


4. Present a Professional and Credible Image

Your organization must make the leap into the 21st century if it is to be perceived as professional in today's marketplace. Today, customers, employees, and suppliers expect to be able to find and communicate with a business online. It is very much like being listed in the Yellow Pages, if you do not have a listing, potential customers will not be able to find you and trust you? Organizations that still do not have a Web presence are inadvertently making a statement about their ability to embrace technology and adapt to change in today's dynamic environment. For a small business, a well-designed website is a great way of creating credibility and looking bigger than you actually are. You can look like one of the big corporations at a very small cost. When one compares the cost of establishing a website to what it costs to promote a business on the traditional media (newspaper, radio, television), it is evident that a website is the cheapest form of marketing ever created.


5. Improved Customer Service

You can provide 24 hours customer services without hiring any additional employees. Your customers are better served when they can access information about your product or services immediately via your website rather than waiting for a mailed brochure or a return telephone call. In today's fast-paced market, how quickly and conveniently customers can access the information or purchase the product is frequently the factor that determines who will win the sale. Provide answers to frequently asked questions on your website. Information requests can be processed immediately via online forms and autoresponders whether someone is in the office or not.


6. Save Money on Printing and Distribution Costs

A website is your online brochure or catalog that can be changed or updated at anytime at a much cheaper and faster rate than print material. It saves you money on printing and distribution costs.


7. Create A Product Or Service Showcase

Provide photos and detailed descriptions of your products or services. Explain why your products or services are superior to your competitors. Show them how your products or services can help them in their personal or professional lives.


8. Automation, Productivity, and Profitability

Through Internet automation you can increase productivity and profitability. Online automation can reduce costs for advertising, sales personnel, and other support staff. A website increases your company's productivity because less time is spent explaining product or service details to customers since such information would be available 24 hours a day on your website. A website saves costs by allowing users to download invoices, proposals, and other important documents. Your website can also allow the customers, employees, and suppliers to have their email address added to your mailing list. Sending an email to your entire email list can be done at virtually no cost.


9. Sell Your Products and Services Online

Selling through your website is much cheaper and a great way to supplement your offline business. Providing secure online ordering is very affordable today. That explains why the worldwide online commerce has reached $6.8 trillion by 2004.


10. Stability

You may move your place of business, change your phone number, or even change your hours, but your website address never changes, and your website is always open.


11. Your Own Internet Identity

Your own domain name (www.yourcompany.com) establishes a strong online brand identity, and allows you to set up email addresses specific to your own company. Today, email is the most common way to communicate efficiently and professionally with the rest of the world.


12. Promote Your Services

Lawyers, doctors, financial consultants, entertainers, realtors and all service oriented businesses should take advantage of the massive reach of the Internet. Millions of users are logging on to the Web to compare various specialists and practitioners before they purchase a specialized service.


13. Customer Feedback

You can gather information about your existing and potential customers by using online forms and surveys. Provide a feedback form to make it easy for your customers to send their input. Conduct surveys to find out how you can improve your products and services. Your site statistics can also help you understand how your visitors and customers use your site.


14. Worldwide Exposure

There are numerous ways you can promote your website to enhance prominence, drive targeted traffic, and get worldwide exposure for your business. You can register your site with various search engines and directories that reach more than 800 million Internet users around the world. Most of the search engines and directories allow free registration of websites. Leverage the massive reach of the Internet and the precision targeting of the search engines and directories. You can send press releases to news media about your website that features unique aspects of your organization. You can also promote your site through free banner advertising on various link exchange networks.


15. Many Money From Your Site

You can also earn revenue for sales, leads, and traffic driven from merchant links and ads placed on your site. Take advantage of free access to various affiliate networks on the Internet.


16. Great Recruiting Tool

You can post job opportunities with your company on your website. Your website is a great recruiting tool for building your business.


17. Transfer Information to Branches and Affiliates

Transfer of documents through your website is cheaper and faster than by UPS, FedEx, etc. You can password protect your files if security is needed.


18. Viral Marketing Without a Marketing Cost

You can have your satisfied customers refer you to their friends and relatives through an online form on your website.


19. Improve Your Advertising Effectiveness

Your website address on all of your promotions will give your company a cutting edge corporate image and it will encourage the viewers to check your site for additional information. The addition of your website address on your ad increases your exposure without adding any cost.


20. Educate Your Customers

Your website can offer free advice about your services and products including ideas and suggestions for maximizing the benefit of your products.



Why a Professional Needs a Website


All types of professionals and freelancers can achieve the same above-mentioned benefits from a web presence. Lawyers, doctors, financial consultants, entertainers, realtors, and all service oriented professionals and freelancers should take advantage of the massive reach of the Internet.



10 Reasons Why an Individual Needs a Website


For an individual, a website and a personal domain name can be useful in many ways.


1. Permanent Identity

A domain name is your personal and unique identity on the Internet. You can set up a personal or family website that may feature your family history, resumes of family members, family photos, travel photos, etc.


2. Personalized Email Address

You can have a personalized email address such as [email protected] Your personalized email is lifelong as long as you keep your domain name and website. You never have to worry about updating friends and family with a new email address when you change your job or Internet service provider.


3. Make Contact/Keep in Touch With Family

Your website can help you establish and maintain contact with others and network with your peers. Many families are spread across the country and around the world. Family members often miss out on precious moments such as new babies, first steps, graduations, birthdays, weddings, etc. If you have a website, you can post pictures and videos of your family on your site so that everyone can keep up to date.


4. Showcase for Your Hobby or Craft

Set up a website around your hobby, sport or craft. You can feature your work or collections. It may even be the beginning of a home-based business.


5. Club or Community Organization

Set up a website around a community organization or a club you started.


6. Children's Website

Give your children a head start in the information revolution by giving them their very own website.


7. Domain Name as an Investment

You may keep your personal domain names as an investment. Many common personal domain names will become scarce and valuable assets that are likely to increase in value. The personal domain name registration rush has begun. Most of the common first and last names in the world have already been registered. You may still be able to get some variations of your name or your family name for your domain. Act now before it's too late.


8. Share Information

On your website, you may post information that would be helpful or interesting to others around the world.


9. Worldwide Exposure

There are numerous ways you can promote your site to get worldwide exposure. You can register your site with various search engines and directories that reach more than 800 million Internet users around the world. Most of the search engines and directories allow free registration of websites. You can send press releases to news media about your website that features unique aspects of your club or hobby. You can also promote your site through free banner advertising on various link exchange networks.


10. Make Money From Your Site

You can also earn revenue for sales, leads, and traffic driven from merchant links and ads placed on your site. Take advantage of free access to various affiliate networks on the Internet.


Currently working on Search Engine Optimization , which is important for any website to succeed -


"Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion. Typically, the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence.


As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.


The acronym "SEO" can refer to "search engine optimizers," a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may be incorporated into web site development and design. The term "search engine friendly" may be used to describe web site designs, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, and other elements that have been optimized for the purpose of search engine exposure.


Another class of techniques, known as black hat SEO or spamdexing, use methods such as link farms, keyword stuffing and article spinning that degrade both the relevance of search results and the user-experience of search engines. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques in order to remove them from their indices.




A good article to read: http://dustinbrewer.com/top-10-search-engine-optimization-techniques/


Over these past 2 months, you have seen AutoShopOwner go through some changes/updates (with the exception of our server going down for a week). I wanted to explain why we do this and basically what prompts this.


The ever-expanding on line experience is what drives people to visit certain websites more than others. Offering a quality experience, along with useful information, is what we feel drives our members to re-visit. Staying ahead of the curve, when it comes to offering the latest technology and features, is what my overall job is here. I've been tasked to make sure we stay current and offer all of you the most we can.


AutoShopOwner is basically run a by a program called IPB. We take that program and customize it to our needs. IPB releases updates and security fixes to their software usually one a month a or so. But occasionally, they release a major overhaul update, which brings in new features, and customization ability. Since we are constantly keeping up with the software here, we implemented the latest upgrades and customized them for AutoShopOwner. These days, if you want to stay current, you need to have the most current features, just like other online communities offer. We also have come to the realization that sites like Facebook and Twitter, have become avenues for growth and sending our message to other shop owners. Facebook alone has over 400 million active users! I wonder how many are shop owners. Facebook offer integration of login to other sites. Well, we implemented that. So, if a Facebook user wants to come over to AutoShopOwner, they just need their Facebook login information. We're hoping that this raises our exposure. We're also testing the water with Twitter.com.


We've recently announced the change in our home page, which I feel ads a little personality and information that can be easily accessed, all in one place. More info can be found here. We're also planning to bring in Wordpress, to run a new articles section. For those of you that do not know, Wordpress is used by millions of sites for articles and blogs, and is highly customizable and search-engine friendly. Search-engine friendly, that's another full topic that can be discussed.


In a nutshell, we're keeping AutoShopOwner up to date for you, and to offer the best user experience when comparing automotive management forums on the web, in hopes of expanding our network of members. Spread the word!

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