SEO, no shortcuts

I finished my second hour of SEO work yesterday on a site I’m helping out on at the moment. I need to give it a few days now before I can do my 3rd and last hour. SEO is a fickle thing and there aren’t really any shortcuts. It’s a painful and boring process, but I don’t really mind doing it. I just hate trying to explain to clients that there’s no easy fix, they won’t see instant results and I can’t make any promises.

It’s even more difficult to explain this when you’ve got other so-called SEO experts promising they can get your client on the first page of Google before they’ve even seen or explored the site. The techniques used by these experts with their to-good-to-be-true promises should have been sucked into a black hole in 2004. What I do is optimise the site to the highest standards I can within the time allocated for the job. I look at keywords used, the placement, the code and site speed along with optimising sitemaps. It’s not an easy job, but if the site’s competition has done it you’re levelling out the playing field. If they haven’t, then you’re a step ahead of them.

SEO doesn’t stop at the site when you start to pull email newsletters and social networks into the job as well, but there are only so many hours in the day. Telling the bots and users where to look for your fast and beautiful content is really the only way to go.

This isn’t what the WHOIS is for…

Just got a marketing call that irked me. I run a hosting company, so I register plenty of domain names. What happened was basically a design firm is going through the WHOIS records of recently registered domain names and phoning people and offering to design them a new website to go with their new domain name. They do it in a chummy way which is really annoying, like being asked how your day’s been in the supermarket at the checkout by the till assistant when you just want to take your shopping home. The main problem with this though is I thought it was against the rules or even illegal* to use the WHOIS records in this way. I get enough spam as it is without this phone spam becoming a normal thing. It was a London-based design firm by the way. They called me, spoke for a moment, hung up and then called me again. I think they hung up the first time because they realised they hadn’t used a blocked number as the second call was from a blocked number. They hung up on me again when I told them they shouldn’t use the WHOIS records for marketing. End of story.

If you want hosting or a domain name from me visit Gimur Hosting. I keep data protection close to heart and your privacy is very important to me. Plus I handle all support requests, so you always know who you’re dealing with.

*Update: Apparently it’s legal to use it for marketing and there’s nothing to be done about it. Although these are the terms you agree to when making a WHOIS query…

The Data in this WHOIS database is provided for information purposes only, and is designed to assist persons in obtaining information related to domain name registration records. It’s accuracy is not guaranteed. By submitting a WHOIS query, you agree that you will use this Data only for lawful purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this Data to: (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail(spam); or (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that apply to this WHOIS or any of its related systems.The provider of this WHOIS reserves the right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

I’m guessing no one is enforcing the terms of the search and I’m not sure if making a sales call counts as commercial advertising as it only lists solicitation as being via email.

Darren Di Lieto

May 21, 2014

We’ve been so busy over the last couple months. I finally posted up some of the new MMA4 mail art on the Mail Me Art website and we got the ball rolling on the Showcase 100 project. I even got a SC100 project page up on the LCS. We’ve been so busy in fact I’ve not really had any time to stop and write about it. Time to get back to ticking jobs of my lists before I start babbling about all the odds and ends we’ve actually been doing!

Because you love illustration

I see so many illustrators put so much time, effort and love into their work… I’m almost in awe of the results. But then when it comes to showing the work around they seem to devalue it by promoting it with very little care or thought. It seems that they feel they’ve done their bit so the rest doesn’t matter. This just isn’t true! When the time comes to show the labours of your love publicly, you need to take the same amount of time, effort and care with the promotional process if you want people to take an interest in your work. You can’t just fob people off with a ‘look at this new illustration’ attitude and then leave it at that. You’re doing yourself a great injustice by not connecting properly with your network of peers and clients.

We want proper descriptions, we want context, we want WIPs, videos… We want to support you, but you need to make us care about your work the same way you do. Some illustrators do this very well, some are even better at doing this than they are at illustrating, but by being good at promoting their work they add value to it. Please put the time, effort and love into everything you do and not just the bit you enjoy. I think illustrators are brilliant and I really want people to really see the value in what they do.

If you want a list of illustrators who I consider to be good at promoting their work, let me know in the comments and I’ll reply with a few suggestions.

Like me! Like me! Like me!

Well, everyone is on Facebook these days and we all know how “likes” work. I have a Facebook page along with a personal page, as it makes sense to keep family and silly stuff separate from work and official stuff. I do like things on Facebook, I actually “like” quite a lot of things… But…

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If you’re going to send me a message via my Facebook page with a link to your page and the words “please return the like”, I’m not being funny, but you’re putting me on the spot. What if I follow the link and I don’t really like your stuff or it’s really not to my taste, but it’s OK. If you’re going to send me a link to your stuff and you want me to check it out ask me to do just that. Then there’s no pressure and if I like it, I’ll “like” it. It’s scary the number of messages I get where it’s “I’ve liked you, now like me”. Plain and simple, I don’t trade “likes”. I like what I like.

You can “like” me, if you like me at https://www.facebook.com/lieto or if you don’t like me, I’m sure our dog Finlay would love some love. https://www.facebook.com/finlay.mcboo I’m not the type to roll around when my belly’s tickled, but he definitely is.

Darren Di Lieto

February 3, 2014

I’ve just made a few updates to some of the old text on the Mail Me Art website. Hopefully to bring it a bit more up-to-date and reflect the projects current activities. I’ve also added the first and second MMA books to the MMA shop.

Now that I’ve done that it’s time to get the project pages sorted on the LCS. Once done people should have a proper insight into what we’re up to half the time.