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August Newsletter
Issued August 7th, 2006


I want to remind everyone that the newsletters are also online at I haven't had to repeat anything yet, and this is my sixth newsletter. My newer clients should definitely go back and read the old newsletters for ideas and information.

I would like to start by recognizing the newest sites to the CCFDesign Community

Rafter D Ranch

Goats, Sheep and other livestock in Missouri

Muddy Bottom Boer Goats

Boer Goats in Iowa

Brokenridge Boer Goats

Boer Goats in Missouri

This month's Agenda:

1.  Domain Names in email signatures
2.  Search Engine Results
3.  Forms
4.  Map
5.  Update Your Site!
6.  States
7.  Specials

1. Domain Names in e-mail signatures

I think most of my clients follow this advice, but I wanted to make sure that everyone is promoting their web site through their email signatures. It will draw visitors to your site and it is a good way for people to "save" your web site (if they don't mark it in their favorites). There are some things to consider when you put the email address in your signature. Consider the five examples in the box below



First of all, the capitalization in your web site does not matter. You can capitalize all or none of the letters and it will go to the same place. I prefer capitalizing the words (not all caps, but just the first letter of a natural word) because it makes the emphasis better.

Also, and very importantly, when you add the http:// and the www. your email signature is more likely to make it through as a hyperlink. Web based email programs and programs like Outlook and Eudora will recognize that the http and www are intended to be part of a hyperlink, but they will not just recognize the domain names. Again, if you look at those 5 examples, you should have 2 that are hyperlinked and 3 that are not. I didn't do anything special to them (because, if I wanted to, I could hyperlink the other web site addresses (like I did with the word web site there).

So, take a look at your signature, and make sure you include your name, web site address, phone number, and possibly even your email address (just in case your message is forwarded to someone else and the email header information is not forwarded with it).

2. Search Engine Results

When I want to go to one of your sites to check on an update, do you know how I do it? I normally go through the search engines and use a phrase that I know is associated with your site. For instance, when I want to go to my site, I go to MSN and type in "Boer Goat Web Design". My site shows up at the top of the list, I click the link and then go to my site.

What that does is it adds credibility to the search phrase for the site. Essentially, it is a vote for my site with that search phrase. I have seen steady increases in all of my sites because of this method.

Another option for me is to use my search phrase page and follow the search engine links to get to your sites. If you haven't done so, try it out. Go to and find your site. Click on one of the links in the search engine column for your site, and then try to find your site. For a variety of reasons, it might not be the exact number listed in the column that you clicked, but it should be close. If you have one that is listed in the 20s, 30s or 40s, those are more important to click on than the ones in the top 10 (because those are the ones that really need someone to vote for them).

3. Web Forms

Due to two different issues, many of the forms filled out on your sites for a few weeks in July did not work properly. Worse yet, neither you, nor the person filling out the form realized that the form did not get sent.

The main cause of this was an update to the server mail program that did not allow forms to be sent from email addresses outside of the domain. The form had been set up to have the form "sent" from the email address of the person who filled out the form, so when you replied to the message, the reply would go to the person.

Making identification of the problem worse, when I would test the form, it would go through fine. Later, I realized that was because I was using an email address that was on the server - so the form sent when I tested it.

After much consternation and hand-wringing, I was able to finally track down the problem - and even better yet, I solved the problem in the middle of last month. Now, the form gets sent by an address on the server ( ), and when you reply to the message, the reply does go to the address of the client / sender.

Additionally, I have worked a backup plan where all forms that are filled are sent to a database. I am working toward setting up means for each of you to be able to go and view these forms, determining which ones you want to keep and which to delete (maybe by the end of August I will have it set for all sites). If you are interested in having this done sooner, let me know.

Another issue that came up was spam filtering software. One of the hosts that I use was using SpamCop to filter email messages for spam. It sounds like a good idea, until you do not get messages that were legitimately intended for you. So, I have been emailing the web host, explaining that I would rather do my own spam filtering than be in a position to not get legitimate email messages.

I think it is resolved now, but I have pretty much made my GMail address my primary email address in the interim.

Note: this particular mail problem has not affected any of the email accounts of any of my clients (it is confined to the host that I have the CCFDesign domain on).

4.  Map

I did a customized map for a flyer a few months ago. The maps are pretty clean (a shape of the state and the major roads that would lead to your home). It is not a detailed, turn by turn map, but something to give someone a general idea of where you are located in your state in relationship to key geographical reference points.

The map I made was for a goat sale in Sedalia, Missouri. as you can see on the map, the major crossroads and key cities are shown just to give an idea of where to go. For turn by turn directions, you can direct your visitors to MapQuest or some other mapping program (or write out directions).

Let me know if you want one for your site.

5.  Update your site

When I make a sales pitch, I often harp on the fact that my maintenance is unlike most everyone else's in the Boer Goat web design business. I mention that I do the updates you want, when you want them, included in the price of the annual package. One of the other reasons I send out these newsletters is so that you are constantly reminded about your web site, and hopefully it gives you cause to think about changes you want made.

Consider this. This summer, one of my sites received an email request for information on goats for sale. The owner responded within 10 minutes of receiving the message (maybe there is some luck there that she was online at around the same time as the request). The writer noticed two goats on the web site that appeared to be for sale (and commented on how the web site appeared current). He asked if they had any other goats for sale. Pat wrote him and said that she had 8 that she was getting ready to list, and some others that would be ready later in the summer. She told him she could post the pictures of them (or send them to him) if he wanted.

Here was his unedited response:

Thank you for the quick response! I can't count the number of times I've been to out of date websites and/or had to wait a month to hear back (if ever) to my emails! :D I'm mostly interested in goats right now although I'd like to look at your rabbits while I'm there! I only saw 2 goats listed on your website for sale, the one's you mentioned becoming available the end of June/beginning of July, How much are the does vs. the bucks? And what percent of Boer are they? And when will they be available for pick up?

Thank you again!

To make a long story short (although very interesting), Pat came up with a list of 25 goats (plus 2 belonging to a neighbor). When he called back she gave him prices for them individually - then he asked how much for all of them. They added up to $8,750 individually so she told him he could have them all for $7.500. He's picked them up within a week from the beginning of the email (and drove from Virginia to Tennessee to get them).

The key points of the the story are to keep your site updated (because people are looking), and be sure to check your email daily (or even a couple of times a day) and respond to every inquiry.

6.  States

Speaking of updating your site, from time to time, I discover something that might make a site a little better, and when I do, I will go through and make the change to your site. One benefit to you is that there is no extra charge to you; another benefit is that sometimes I make changes to the templates on the site, which essentially makes a site-wide change. Search engines like sites that are updated - even if it is something small.

So, I recognized the other day that most of the sites had the state abbreviation in the contact information - which means that your State name was not displayed in text on every page on the site. This could damage your search engine optimization program, because people will normally not search for the state abbreviation, but they will search for the full state name. So, I went through most of the sites and got that changed on the contact information.

So, now, when the search engines go to your page, they will see that it has been updated, and that adds credibility to your site -- plus your State name now will have a larger role in your keywords used for the search engines.

If your State did not get changed, please let me know and I can fix it pretty quickly.

7.  Special

I don't currently have any advertised specials. I am still offering the discounts for recommending potential clients to me. If you need more information about the referral bonuses, let me know.

Also, I can still get you a discount at Breeder's directory (20% off). If you want to take advantage of that, follow this link:

Just go to that site, find your domain, put a site description in the box and choose 3 months or 12 months. The directory is a great way to get visitors to your site. If you have any more questions, ask me about it.

That's all for now.

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Gregory Motes

Phone: (813) 391-6793


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