Archive for October, 2008

The Golden Ears Gateway, Maple Ridge BC

I attended the Ridge Meadows Chamber of Commerce’s mini-tradeshow and networking event tonight. It was mostly a chance to get ou of the house after being headsdown busy for the past couple of days, but I have been trying to make a point on keeping connected within the business community (though normally I attend events that are in downtown… not out here in Maple Ridge).

Anyhow, one of the things that attracted me to the event tonight was to hear a speech by the President, Dean Barbour, on the Chamber’s current direction and mandate. While I won’t regurgitate, I did like what I heard. One of the key things that resonated with me was Dean’s vision and discussion of “The Golden Ears Gateway”. Basically, anything that is within site of the Golden Ears Mountains, should be within the marketing catchment of the Chamber and local businesses. And a big part of the growth will be in using the new website to promote the region and its businesses.

And then Dean announced, “The Chamber website will be re-branded under www.openforbusinessmrpm.com

I don’t know if Dean or anyone else in the room saw me convulsively twitch when this was announced. Pardon? That was “Open For Business Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows .com” in case you missed it the first time. Part of me almost feels bad for going home and registering GoldenEarsGateway.com. I guess this now complements the other local domain I registered the other day: http://www.MyMapleRidge.com

Me thinks I am going to get involved with the Chamber and help them with their marketing.

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October 24, 2008 at 1:59 am 1 comment

Using Meetup Profiles to Boost Your Search Ranking

Now here is a pondering… can your Meetup profile boost your search ranking?

I set myself up to generate a Google News Alert any time my name is mentioned [not from a vanity standpoint, but more from a reputation management standpoint]. I received an alert this morning that directed me to my profile on the Vancouver Entrepreneur’s Meetup group website. Incidentally, it was another good event last night. Cheers to everyone who attended…

Anyhow, in viewing the page I noticed that it had a PageRank of 5. And that was for just my profile on the site itself. Of course, I quickly modified my profile to insert links to a few of my recent ventures (e.g., my golf tee times site). After all, any site with a PR of 5 is good enough for me.

But then I got curious, The Vancouver Search Engine Optimization Meetup Group has a PR rank of 2. How about other groups… hmmm … International Internet Marketing Association Meetup they have a PR of 6. I think I will join this group, build out a few links on my profile. Now how about Vancouver Net Tuesday… a PR of 4… well my profile now has a link to my tee time golf reservation business as well.

Well it appears that not every group is equal. Some have a ranking, some do not. With a bit of time, I bet I could find a few groups that could provide me with good deep links to a number of my sites. I wonder if there are any SEOs out there who want to do a more in-depth experiment on this.

And yes… it is not only about having sites with a good page rank link to you, but it can’t hurt.

October 17, 2008 at 2:41 pm 2 comments

Reliable Flagging, Maple Ridge – Read this before calling them

Thinking of calling Reliable Flagging of Maple Ridge for your flagging and traffic control needs? Then please read this post first.

Back in July, I wrote about the weekly wrong numbers that we were receiving for Maple Ridge’s Reliable Flagging (see the post here). I wrote the post to seed the search engines with the right phone number. Well the calls stopped for a while, but they started up again a few weeks ago [I was bumped out of the top position for the keywords “reliable flagging” by an Industry Canada profile]. And then the calls started again. For the calls we’ve been answering, it works out to be 2 to 3 calls per week. From an SEO perspective, this shows the power of being in the top slot as opposed to being number 2.

And every time someone calls, we’ve been dutiful in trying to help out and pass their actual phone number along (it is now written on a permanent sticky-note next to the phone and I have it memorized 604.466.3524… 604.466.3524 …604.466.3524 … 604.466.FLAG). And every time we get a phone call, we ask the caller to “say hi from John” when you call the right number.

But not any more. No way. No how.

Here’s why. I had another phone call today from someone looking for flagging services. I told him the correct number without a beat, and he mentioned that I must get a lot of phone calls for them as this is the number that I got from the Internet. I said “I did”, and “please say hi to Jane for me.” After hanging up, I did a quick search on Google revealed that we are no longer ranked number 1 for reliable flagging. Hmmm… I pondered. Let me call Jane directly again as last time when I tried to find a solution, she wanted to know why I didn’t call her and let her know about the problem.

The response that I got from her today was appalling in my opinion. She is saying that she only gets business from the Yellow Pages and never from the Internet [hands up if you simply recycle your Yellow Pages when it arrives on your doorstep]. And she certainly has never had anyone say that they got her phone number from me. She kept on insisting that it is an issue between me and Telus if we are getting those phone calls [think about that one for a while].

Then I tried to interject the berating and threats that she is “going to sue my ass off” with a creative solution. I offered to get her a website built through some of the contractors that I use overseas at cost … as in I am not going to be making money… and for a basic brochureware site, you are talking $100-$200 max. But at least as a website owner she could control her own name and her own business. But I forgot… she doesn’t get any business from the Internet.

I cannot comment on her business skills, customer service abilities, professional  demeanor, traffic control skills, or anything else in that regard. I do hope that for whichever customers do choose Reliable Flagging over other great businesses offering flagging services, your experience in dealing with Jane has been better than mine (please post a comment below if you agree or disagree). I hate to admit it, but I actually hung up on her. I never hang up on anyone. I am even polite to telemarketers.

So for the last time, Reliable Flagging’s phone number is 604.466.3524. And this time, when you speak to Jane, please say “Hi from John”. And do tell her that you got her number from my blog and the Internet.

Oh… and for those looking for flagging services in Maple Ridge or the Vancouver area, these websites look interesting:

Ansan Traffic Control

Valley Traffic Systems

October 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm 9 comments


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