Monday, July 18, 2016

Your Domain is About To Expire.

It was in fact true, one of my domains WAS going to expire!  How did they know?  They even had the exact date it would expire.  They had my business information, when the domain was initially registered, and even knew what server was hosting my web site.  The letter was even formatted nicely and appeared to be legitimate affiliate of ICAAN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

But, I knew better.  This was just another sneaky attempt to get me to unknowingly transfer my domain name, get my personal and credit card information, and/or hijack my domain.

Whether it's a letter or an e-mail, I immediately know that it's not legitimate. But, how many of my clients, and people in general would think,  "Oh no, I don't want to lose my domain name!" and then click the link to renew or send in a check?

In this case, they were selling SEO.  But, they make it clear to the reader in the super small, light grey font at the bottom of the email. (Sarcasm intended)  See the actual screenshot of letter below- but here's what it says.

"You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification offers. If you no longer wish to receive our notifications, please unsubscribe here or mail us a written request to Domain SEO Service Registration Corp., Miami Beach, FL 33139. If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually in order to stop receiving notifications notices. We are a search engine optimization company. We do not directly register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools."

Please take note of the BOLD text.  Funny thing is, I don't recall "electing to receive special notification offers."  Hmmmm...

Don't be tricked by these letters and unknowingly transfer your domain name or sign up for a no-results SEO campaign.  Also, know that the registrant and expiration of virtually any domain name is public information.  There's no need to freak out thinking your system has been hacked and your entire personal identity has been stolen.  Want to see for yourself?  Visit and plug in you domain name.  Now do you understand how they were able to get your information so easily?  There are options for Private Registration - ask us about it if you are interested.

Are you a MICO client?
If you are a client and we manage your domain, the ONLY invoice or renewal notice that you need to be concerned with, will be from our company.  If you have any questions about an e-mail or letter regarding your domain status, simply give us a call or forward the e-mail and we'll get it sorted out.

Client or not, don't hesitate to reach out to us.  If they are trying to scam me, more than likely you'll be getting your letter and/or email soon enough.

Stay Smart.

Here's a copy of the email. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Your Facebook "Friends"

A client asked me a few weeks ago about...well, how to put it lightly,...basically how to push his products and services onto his Facebook friends.

"Yes. Please tell me more."
In his mind, there they were, all 650 of his friends just waiting to hear from him.   How excited they would be to see his latest special offer.  Yes, about as excited you'd be to discover that the only reason an old friend took you to coffee was to to invite you to join their vacuum cleaner sales team.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that your "friends" can't be customers. By all means, some of my closest friends are clients.  But, if your Facebook "friends" are truly your friends, don't they already know what you do?  You don't have to sell it to them through social media.  If they're not already using your services, they probably don't need them or maybe it's just you.  Just kidding, that's another topic for another day.

Think of it this way:  Would you share a selfie of you and your amazing dessert from dinner last night with your customers? No?  Well, what about that Vine video of your new adorable puppy coming down the stairs?Certainly not.  Why?  Because they don't want to see it.  Basically, my point is, keep your personal and business Facebook accounts separate.  They are two distinctly different audiences.  Besides, it's tacky.

If you're ready to market your products and services through Facebook to get results, contact me.  If you want to start selling vacuum cleaners, still call me, I might know someone.  ;-)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Not knowing what you don't know.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
― Henry Ford

In the past 2 weeks I redesigned a client's web site.  We discussed budget restrictions and some goals.  In an attempt to help, the client sent me a link to a web site that she really liked. In that e-mail she said, "I like everything about this web site".  She thought the homepage was pretty, thought it was a good idea to limit the amount of text, and she liked the contact page.  Ok, who was I to argue. We had a small budget and a relatively quick turnaround; this was going to be easy.

Excitedly, I clicked the link.  Surprise!  (Not in a good way).  In my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions, the site she sent me to was worse that her existing site - the very one we were redesigning!  In my mind it would have been a huge step backwards.

The client saw concise text, nice photos, and simplicity.  I saw small text, an SEO nightmare, no calls to action, slow loading pages, external links to a photo gallery, a dated design - need I go on? 

Thankfully, I had already started a mock-up for her site before she sent me the link - so, I took the chance, finished the layout, and presented it to her while simultaneously apologizing for not incorporating any design aspects from the link she sent me.  I took a deep breath and waited for her response.

She loved it.  And, I loved her for loving it.

The point I'm trying to make is that "we don't know what we don't know".  Ironically, I don't even know where that quote originated.  The only thing I found was a quote from Donald Rumsfeld and a reference to "evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups" in a 2002 DOD news briefing. Anyhow, I guess what I am trying to say is that when we ask the right questions we'll get completely different answers. 

So, my bad for not asking the right questions to the client.  How could I have expected her to answer "I'd like my web site to look good across all platforms.  It needs to be responsive.  Did you know more than 40% of people today are using their cell phones to access the web..."    Of course she's not going to say that - she doesn't know what she doesn't know.  She doesn't know that the site she sent me looks horrible on a mobile device, that Google will demote that site if it's not mobile-friendly (or, another way to say it, they are going to rank sites higher that are mobile-friendly), or that she needs quality content on her site for the search engines.  She doesn't know what she doesn't know.

Lucky for me, this time it turned out great.  The client was very pleased with the final result and I'm happy because I know the site will outperform her old one.  So, I'm on a quest now to find a solution to asking the right questions to clients who think they need faster horses. 

I'll keep you posted on what I find out.