Sparks October 2003 -

Sparks October 2003

In the News

Use Google PageRank to improve your site rankings
As Web Smarts attendees know, one of the best ways to achieve higher rankings in search engine results is by getting high-quality sites to link back to yours. But how do you know which sites are high quality? One of the best ways is by checking the site’s “PageRank” rating in Google. This is easy to do by using Google’s free toolbar. The toolbar installs into Internet Explorer and allows you to conduct a Google search from any page on the Web (rather than having to go to Google’s site specifically to conduct your search). The toolbar will also show the PageRank of the site you’re currently visiting.

Google’s PageRank is on a scale of 1-10, where higher numbers are better. Four is considered good and anything above 6 is considered excellent. So if you’re on a site that may be a candidate for linking to your site, check its PageRank. If it’s 4 or above, its link to your site can help your site rank higher in Google search results.

Guide to the PPC engines
As we’ve reported in earlier issues of Sparks, many businesses and organizations are investing in pay-per-click search engines in order to drive more traffic to their site. With pay-per-click engines, you bid on keywords of your choosing. Then you’re charged your bid price every time someone clicks on your ad, which is displayed when a searcher types in the keyword you’ve chosen into the search box at an engine. Whoever is willing to pay the most for the keyword or keyword phrase will be at the top of these rankings.

There are a wide variety of PPC engines; a recent issue of SitePro News gave a quick rundown of who the major players are, their advantages, and their rates. Read the article for a good guide to Overture, Google AdWords, FindWhat, and more.

Google launches AdWords
tracking tool

AdWords Select, Google’s pay-per-click engine, has a new conversion tool to help advertisers monitor return on investment. The new tool correlates clicks on AdWords campaigns with sales generated, sign-ups, leads, and page views. Results are integrated into the campaign management interface. Learn more about AdWords Select.




This month’s winner: Jim Johnson!
In addition to a sense of panache and style, Jim wins a T-shirt featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a T-shirt with a custom design! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

SEED Corp.
In 1996, the City of Bloomington, Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Middle Way House, and Bank One joined forces to create the Bloomington Area Microenterprise Initiative (BAMI). Since then, BAMI has presented small business planning courses in partnership with the SBDC and provided microloans (up to $35,000 each) for small businesses, helping countless new and existing small businesses to thrive.

This year BAMI decided to raise its profile, expand to new territories, and re-invigorate its mission. As part of this re-positioning, it changed its name to SEED Corp. and hired Design to design its new logo.

As an alternative to traditional lenders, SEED Corp. wanted to ensure it conveyed both a sense of trustworthiness and openness. We partnered with illustrator Jim Johnson to create a logo which is professional yet not stand-offish. The icon in the logo is both structured and organic, relating nicely to the stacked serif type. The type rests upon a graphic “base,” reflecting the support which SEED Corp. provides to small businesses. The warm green communicates financial growth, business, and trustworthiness. Overall the logo combines grace, stability, and a sense of growth and success, perfect for SEED Corp’s needs.

View the SEED Corp. logo designed by Design