If you've noticed fewer posts about one of my favorite nonprofits, 4 Paws for Ability, it is because they have found room in their budget for a new employee, Jessica Noll. Noll came on board the Ohio-based nonprofit a couple of months ago, and has been doing amazing things. Her title: Community/Media Relations Director. Says the 4 Paws site, "Award-winning and Emmy-nominated multimedia journalist Jessica Noll comes to 4 Paws straight from TV. She has a decade of newspaper/magazine journalism experience (in fact she got her start at the Centerville-Bellbrook Times), and two years in TV. She’s a writer, blogger, photographer, producer, editor, videographer, social networking guru, storyteller and dog lover!" What an honor to have been webmaster and also help many families with their online fundraising efforts by editing their articles and press releases. I learned more about the world of disabilities than I thought possible, and the parents of these children are the most superb people on Earth. To see the results from the combination of well-trained dog and disabled child has been breathtaking. It's been a great five-year ride, and I wish the best to these dedicated people who strive and sacrifice to enrich the lives of families touched by disabilities. Thanks to my many friends and colleagues who stood by the sidelines and cheered me on! And now, on to my next community service project(s)!
Archives for October 2012
This past week I visited the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium in Litchfield Park, AZ. I've been visiting for at least 20 years, and each time I leave I am impressed with the changes from the previous visit. Always well thought out to delight the public, and children of all ages. On this visit, I saw many new completed projects and postings of new features to come. Loved Dragon World. Often-dangerous subjects: a photographer's dream. Meaning many exotic creatures, like a 28-foot-long Reticulated Python, separated from the viewers by thick glass. Watched probably the longest snake move from a long thin line into a relaxed, curled up position. My brother took a video of it. The ever-so-slow movement itself was fascinating, and so was the amazing design. Wikipedia says, "Like all pythons, they are nonvenomous constrictors and normally not considered dangerous to humans." Yeah. Right. We spent three hours photographing many exhibits, but were too tired (and hungry) to continue on to the aquarium area, which is simply humongous. And fascinating. Next week, perhaps.
Guest post by Megan Perez
One of the reasons Google has been such a popular search engine is due to its largely uncluttered home page. Sure, you sometimes see the whimsical Google Doodle, but the page itself is free from ads. Earlier this week, this changed when Google posted a simple, yet rare ad on its page. The product? It was its own Nexus 7 tablet.
This was the first time that Google had any ad on its home page. The ad was subtle, so many people may not have noticed, but it opened the minds of many Internet marketers. What would you do if you could have an ad on the most powerful piece of Internet real estate? Since the ad would be on Google’s homepage, keyword research would be unnecessary. So how else could you ensure that it was effective?
Create an Incentive to Click
Even if the ad is on such a powerful page, it needs to invite the reader to click. A simple image may not be enough. A link for important information like “pricing” or “locations” can improve your click-through rate. You may also provide links for special deals or discounts. While you would want to stick with Google’s uncluttered appearance, you also want to ensure the viewer has a reason to click your add.
Be Prepared for a Surge
If you could put your ad on Google’s home page, you would need to be prepared for a surge in traffic on your site and increased sign ups with your email marketing efforts. It's inevitable that the world’s most powerful web page and a good ad pointing readers to your site would turn into increased traffic. So, how would you handle this?
First, you would need to make sure that your web site is ready to handle an increase in traffic without crashing. Then, you would need the help of a strong email-marketing client to handle the increased traffic and the number of email newsletters you would be sending. Finally, you would need to be certain the page the ad directs people to is one that converts into new newsletter signups, group members or product sales — depending on your goal.
Go Big or Go Home
The understated Nexus 7 tablet ad was big. It was not big enough to be obtrusive, but it was big enough to grab attention. Your ad would need to be big. Consider the Yellow Pages for a minute. What ads does your eye gravitate toward when you open the phone book? The large ones, right? Similarly, your ad on Google’s page would need to be large enough to grab the attention of people coming to the page to search.
Focus on Good Content
Once the ad is ready, you need to make sure your site has the content that will turn clicks into customers or generate repeat visitors. Your content needs to be original, thoughtful and well-written. If you can focus on breaking news in the market, you will do well. Always include a call to action as well, because this is where clicks become customers.
Chances are that Google will not soon repeat its home-page advertising. After all, it has grown into one of the most successful Internet giants without home-page ads, so why change what is already working? Still, it's fun to dream about what it would be like to own some space on the most important piece of the Internet.Megan Perez is a business communications major who is working on her M.B.A. She bought her first car with cash and wants to be the next Suze Orman.
Last Thursday I had the honor of being present at the Arizona court of Appeals Division One Investiture of Randall M. Howe. I've known Randy for years as a fellow board member of Arizona Center for Disability Law, and he was president at the time he was given this honor. The ceremony was held at the Disability Empowerment Center. The center itself is remarkable, and well worth visiting. The ceremony was wonderful: emotionally moving, and (for me) educational. After the ceremony, we went to the reception in the Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center. We were in one-half of the entire gymnasium, which is a work of art. The entire facility is breathtaking. When I think of people like Virginia Piper and Nina Pulliam who gave so generously to support the community in so many different ways, I stand in awe of them. But I digress. Seeing a person of the caliber of Randy Howe sworn in to the Court of Appeals is a moment I will always treasure. We as citizens are blessed to have Randy Howe on the bench.