Category Archives: Computer

Using Google Adwords to find your hot marketing buttons

I stumbled on this idea while reading up on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and building a good website.

One of the primary concerns of any marketing staff or business owner is finding out what people will respond to.  I refer to these as “buttons”.  The reason they are called buttons is that once a button is pushed (meaning once the word or phrase is said), it will produce a reaction in the intended audience.

As an example, consider the button “terrorism”.  When I say that word, most likely it evokes an emotional response.  When creating a marketing campaign, advertising piece or even a simple sales or marketing email, a key feature in the success of the advertisement is what buttons are used and how they are used for a specific type of audience.  But how do you know which buttons to choose?  Or how do you know if the buttons that were successful last year will be successful this year?

The answer is keywords.  Keywords are the words and phrases that people enter into search engines like Google or Bing when they are looking for something.  Keywords are the most important factor in building an effective Search Engine Optimization strategy for a website.  If your website has a high concentration of a particular word or phrase, it will generally rank higher in search engine results when people type in those keywords; all other things being equal.

In order to find out what buttons to use in a marketing program, consider using popular keywords.  If a lot of people are already using a particular work or phrase to find things in search engines, it stands to reason that these words are already on their mind.  By using these same words in your marketing, you stand a better chance to evoke a response to your marketing piece.

Google Adwords is a paid form of advertising that appears on the results pages when people search for related topics.  One very helpful (and free) tool that Adwords provides is a keyword suggestion tool.  If you type in into your web browser, you will be able to find out what phrases people are using to find similar products, services or information when they search on Google.

To give you an example of how to use this process, my company is running a special on promotional products this month, and I want to know which words and phrases people are using to search for promotional products.  I enter in “promotional products” into the keyword tool, and I get 100 top keywords and phrases that people use in Google.  By doing this, I found that people use “promotional advertising products” and “Cheap promotional products”  more than others.  I then incorporate the words “cheap” and “advertising” into my marketing.

This tool works best for marketing to a broad audience.  If you want more targeted uses, such as limiting to regional markets, you may want to add the region you’re marketing to in the search phrase above.  So, in my example I would enter “promotional products dallas” to try to get more locally targeted results.

To your success,

Jim Kurtz


grAmrr & Cumyunikashun

I have to admit, I never liked to study Grammar when I was in school.  Usually, when the teacher would say something like, “today we are going to study parenthetical clauses” my eyelids would get heavy and my mouth would start to involuntarily drool.

However, as I surf my way through the information superhighway, I’m surprised to learn how advanced I am in comparison to the average blogger, RSSer, tweeter and commentators out there.  For example, here was a comment to one of my recent blog posts:

“Just wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity on your put up is simply spectacular and that i could think you’re knowledgeable in this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to seize your RSS feed to keep updated with coming near near post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.”

Ouch!  Or:

“Unquestionably believe that that you stated. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to consider of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while other folks consider concerns that they plainly do not recognise about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thanks”

The judge gives a life sentence for mercilessly hacking up the English language with a plastic spork (an eating utensil that combines a spoon and a fork into one device).

To be fair, these posters are probably not native English speakers.  As such, I give them the benefit of the doubt.  God knows my syntax is horrible whenever I try to spew out my limited vocabulary of Spanish, German or Turkish.

What’s perhaps even more annoying are the mistakes and just plain laziness of the average texter, tweeter and other internet and phone denizens out there.  Especially those who post in a professional capacity.  There is a concept called proofreading that I highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for me to take you seriously or otherwise view your argument in a positive light.

The bottom line is, people judge you based on how you present yourself.  In person, this includes your appearance, body language, etc.  Once they have a first impression of you based on your appearance, your communication skills (or lack thereof) will solidify their overall opinion of you.  If you sound like you can’t be bothered to pronounce your words correctly, observe at least basic grammar and speak in a clear, confident tone; people will have a negative opinion of you.

With online media, your appearance is often left out of the equation.  At best, people will have access to your profile picture.  That said, if you are writing in a professional forum or on a professional topic, make sure your profile picture isn’t the one with you and your 2 best friends in the middle of a 15-tequila-shot binge (or the morning after).  Also, when you are referring people to your online profile, website, Facebook or other sites, make sure those sites are free of negative imagery.  Create separate pages or profiles if you have to.

Keep in mind also that because your online posts, tweets, comments and blogs are devoid of body language, voice tone and other communication nuances, you must be that much clearer in your intention.  For example, not everyone reading this post may recognize my attempt at humor in response to the quoted blog comments above.  Sarcasm is notoriously tricky to communicate via only the written word.  Unless you are very sure that your audience will understand your style, humor, etc., keep those elements to a minimum.

And finally, proofread, proofread, proofread!!!  If you’re language skills aren’t that of an English major, don’t try to be fancy.  Say what you mean as clearly and concisely as possible.  Make sure there are no speeling or grammatical errors (yes, I intentionally misspelled ‘spelling’ to prove my point).  That’s what a spellcheck was created for.  And if you’re writing an emotional response to something, take a few minutes to calm down and reread your comments before you hit send.

Good luck and good writing! (I hope I didn’t overdo it on the parenthetical clauses)

Customize your Computer Desktop

If your desktop looks boring, stale, or just plain generic, spice it up!

Read on for a quick tip on how to personalize your wallpaper with a desktop slideshow made form your pictures.

Many people know how to use photos as their desktop, but here I’ll show you how to turn a group of photos into a rotating slideshow that changes periodically.  For this tip, I will assume you have Windows 7.  If you’re using XP or a Mac, you’re going to have to search the web for detailed instructions.

1) Have all of the photos you intend to use in one folder.  In my computer, I created a folder in my pictures library.  To do this, go to your pictures library folder ( My Documents -> Pictures library), right-click and select New Folder.  Name the folder Desktop Slideshow or something you’ll remember.

2) Copy the pictures you want in the slideshow into the folder.  Go to the place in your computer where the desired pictures are and select them.  You can select multiple pictures at a time by holding down the Ctrl button and clicking on all of the photos you want to copy.  If you want to copy them (make a copy, but leave the pics in the original folder), hit Ctrl-C.  If you want to move them (delete from their original location and move them to the new folder), hit Ctrl-X.  Next double-click the new folder.  Move your cursor into the empty folder and hit Paste (either Ctrl-V or Right-click then select Paste).

3) To change your desktop, hover over a blank spot on your Desktop and right-click. Select Personalize.  In the bottom of the pane, click Desktop Background.  Toward the top, you will see Picture Location.  Click Browse to the right of it.  Click Libraries -> Pictures -> Desktop Slideshow (or whatever you named the folder). Click OK.

4) By default, all of the pictures in the folder will be selected.  If you want certain pictures not to be included, click the check mark in the top left corner of the picture to remove in from the slideshow (it will not delete the picture from the folder).  Under picture position, choose how you want the picture to display on the screen.  Play around with the options to see which you like best (different options work better for different sizes of pictures).

5) Under “Change picture every:” there’s a drop-down menu that allows you to select how often the pictures rotate.  I recommend selecting 10 seconds and leave the window open.  In the background, you will see the slideshow flip through the pictures.  Then, go back and select a more appropriate interval.  If this is a work computer, select 10 minutes or more.  You don’t want to get too distracted!  Here’s an example of my desktop, which rotates every 10 minutes.  The handsome young man is my youngest son, Finley.

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You can add more photos to the slideshow by copying more pics into the folder you created.  They will automatically be added to the slideshow.