Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Building Your Website (Part Ten)

 Social Media Optimization (SMO)

Although I haven’t mentioned Social Media Optimization previously, it is an area that seems to be gaining more and more importance. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media) explains Social Media as follows: Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and "building" of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences.” Social Media with regards to the Internet includes Blogs (this article is a blog), Microblogs (Twitter, Pownce and Jailu), Social Networking (Bebo, Facebook, LinkedIn and My Space), Photo Sharing (Flickr, Zooomr and Photobucket), Social News Sites (Digg, Mixx and Reddit), Video Sharing (YouTube, Vimeo and Viddler) and Livecasting (Ustream, Justin,tv and Mogulus). All of these and more can be used to increase your website’s popularity and ranking. These have to be used carefully and I would suggest that you study its use before embarking on Social Media Optimization. Check it out on the Internet, there are many articles on the subject. Remember, knowledge is power!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Building Your Website (Part Nine)

 Traffic, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Optimization (Part 2)

11. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing is used to help websites increase their visibility. There are several methods of doing this. The best and least expensive is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is also the slowest method of SEM. I have discussed SEO in previous articles, but, to explain is simply, it is a method that builds your website in such a way that Search Engines will find the website, investigate it (crawl) and rank it. The better you optimize, the higher your ranking will become (given time). Other SEM tactics include “paid placement” and “paid inclusion”. The following is a brief explanation of each.
Paid Placement – This is a definition provided by Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_per_click) “
Pay per click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used on search engines, advertising networks, and content websites, such as blogs, where advertisers only pay when a user actually clicks on an advertisement to visit the advertisers' website. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. When a user types a keyword query matching an advertiser's keyword list, or views a webpage with relevant content, the advertisements may be displayed. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to or above the "natural" or organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a webmaster or blogger chooses on a content page. Content websites commonly charge a fixed price for a click rather than use a bidding mechanism.
Paid Inclusion -
This is a definition provided by Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paid_inclusion) Paid inclusion is a search engine marketing product where the search engine company charges fees related to inclusion of websites in their search index. Paid inclusion products are provided by most search engine companies, the most notable exception being Google.

The fee structure is both a filter against superfluous submissions and a revenue generator. Typically, the fee covers an annual subscription for one webpage, which will automatically be catalogued on a regular basis. A per-click fee may also apply. Each search engine is different. Some sites allow only paid inclusion, although these have had little success. More frequently, many search engines, like Yahoo!, mix paid inclusion (per-page and per-click fee) with results from web crawling. Others, like Google (and as of 2006, Ask.com, do not let webmasters pay to be in their search engine listing (advertisements are shown separately and labeled as such).

Remember, these methods will cost you money, but with them, you are able to control or limit your costs. It is a quicker way to have your website seen by targeted visitors, but not a way to guarantee search engine rankings. If you use the paid SEM method prudently, with an eye to Search Engine Optimization, it can be win win situation for you and your website!

(To be continued in Part Ten ~ Social Media Optimization (SMO))

Friday, October 16, 2020

Building Your Website (Part Nine)


Traffic, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Optimization (Part 1)


The goal of every website has to be getting people to visit their website (Traffic). Why have a website that no one visits? So, the main object is to have traffic, good traffic, visit your site! But, how do you do this? Good question! Frankly, it starts right from the beginning! Actually, the process begins before you start your web construction. You have to decide why you want a website and what you want it to offer visitors. Once you have a very clear picture in your mind of that, you have to figure the best way of getting there. The first questions to ask yourself is who do you want to come to your website and how are you going to get them there. This, in essence, is the whole process of constructing a website! “Determining who you want to come and how to get them there.” From there it’s just a matter of following tried and true web building steps. I have outlined most of these steps in previous Blog articles, plus there are tons of article that can be found on the Internet. Building a great website, right from the start, will make all your “Web” dreams come true!

(Continued in Part 2)

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Building Your Website (Part Eight)

 Contact Information and Linking

Contact Information

A number of the websites I have visited over the past year have had either no contact information or incomplete information. I believe that this is a real mistake! When someone visits your website they are looking for answers. Most websites are designed to give as much information as possible. However, there will always be someone who has a question that is not answered on the site. When this happens the person will want the question answered. If they don’t get it an answer they will likely become frustrated and not visit the site again. A lost opportunity! This is why I always recommend that a website contain complete contact information. For me this includes telephone numbers (phone, fax and, where possible, cellular), a mailing address and, most important, an e-mail address. An e-mail address is important because, after all, the question is coming as a result of your Internet website. Communicating via the Internet only makes sense! Finally, it is imperative that once a question has been asked, no matter what mode of communications, that it be answered as soon as possible!


When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), search engine companies (especially Google, Yahoo and MSN) are attaching more and more importance to websites having quality, compatible external links! Before search engines “smartened up”, Search Engine Optimizers use to “load up” websites with questionable external links. Most had no relevance to the sites they were linked to. This was all in the name of optimization! Fortunately search engine companies have become more sophisticated and are now recognizing when sites are trying to trick them. As a result, websites who use this practice can be penalized by Search Engines and have their rankings reduced or eliminated completely. When this happens, it is very difficult to earn your ranking back! In a word, Search Engine managers don’t like to be tricked or taken advantage of! It is important, right from the start of Building Your Website, that you and your web designer create a plan for attracting compatible, quality external links. This process may be time consuming, but doing it right, from the start, will pay huge dividends in the future! Remember that the object of all Search Engines is to provide quality and accurate searches for their customers.  So if you plan your website accordingly, you can’t go wrong!

(To be continued in Part Nine ~ Traffic, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Optimization)

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Building Your Website (Part Seven)

 Simplicity and Website Layout


The best advice I can give when building your website can be summed up in one word, “simplicity”. If you want people to visit your website and then stay, simplicity is the answer! Let me explain. Search engine crawlers and very particular! They like simple things. They don’t like “flash”. They don’t like “digging too deep” into a website. They want a clear, simple path to find all that your website is offering. If you make it too difficult for them, you will loose your chances of high rankings. So what you might say! Well, without high search engine rankings, people will have a difficult time finding you. Of course, if you only want your friends to visit your website, you don’t have to worry. However, if you want new people to find you, search engines and their rankings are very important! The other reason for simplicity is that people, like search engine crawlers, don’t like complicated! If you make your website too complex, people will quickly become turned off and will leave your website quickly to find something simpler! If your object is to have people visit your site, stay for a while and then buy your products or services, keep it simple!

Website Layout

Like “Simplicity”, Website Layout is very important. This is true for many of the same reasons stated above. You need a nice clean layout that allows visitors (human and electronic) to easily travel around your website. Well marked page links, concise text and descriptive photos all make for a better site. Having accurate, uncomplicated information on your entry page (normally your “Home” page) gives your visitors a clear picture of who you are. Giving visitors the ability to easily look through your website will keep them on it for a longer time. If you are selling products or services, having well written descriptive text is imperative.  Easy to follow instructions on how to make a purchase will help you make more sales. Always remember, when building your website, it is for the benefit of your customers, not a monument for you and your web designer!

(To Be Continued in Part Eight ~ Contact Information and Linking)