Tag Archives: No Biz Like Horse Biz

52 Fridays – #6 Which Is Better, A Static or Dynamic Website?

52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

In these days of Internet-connected-everything, it’s sometimes hard to believe that some horse businesses still don’t have websites. Yet, it’s true. If yours is one of those businesses, and you’re asking ‘should I go ahead with a website, and what should it be like?,’ here’s your answer….

It depends.

Depends on what your goals are, what types of products or services you have, who’s in your target market(s), and how you connect with your customers. Are you already successful, meeting your financial goals, with everything cooking along at a good clip? Great, you probably don’t need me OR a website! But if you’re struggling to gain new customers, get repeat business from current or past clients, or looking for ways to expand your business, then a website might be a logical next step for you.

The next question is, do you want a static or a dynamic website? Say what?!

What's best for your equine business, a 'static' or 'dynamic' site? It depends.

Wikipedia has a great page about websites that gives a lot of good detail. Basically, ‘static‘ sites are sort of like online brochures; they can present information like an About page, contact information for your business, pictures, that sort of thing. ‘Dynamic‘ sites are able to change or customize themselves; you start with a designed template and a database of information, and the site can ‘plug & play’ sites that are different for each viewer based on things like information ‘read’ from your computer (e.g., ‘cookies’) or how you interact with the site (e.g., rolling your mouse over an element on the page).

If you’re looking for something simple and small, without a lot of pages, then there’s nothing wrong with having a static site. It can provide an entry point for people to find you on the Internet. For a dynamic site, the effort is put into compiling and maintaining the database instead of creating a bunch of static, unchanging individual pages, which is more efficient.

Websites used to be the only option for a Web presence, but no more. Still, if you want to develop a site for your own horsebiz, be sure to discuss with a programmer the various pros and cons of static and dynamic sites.

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Please note: In doing research for this post, I discovered that in April, 2010, the AP Stylebook decided to use the spelling ‘website’ instead of ‘Web site.’ Apparently, I musta missed that memo! But, here’s the tweet about it. While website had long been my own preference, because I write for a number of publications who follow AP Style, I tended to stick with Web site. However, going forward I’ll be using ‘website!’

Do you have a website for your horse business? Is it ‘static’ or ‘dynamic? Please click on the Leave a Comment button to send in a link, I’d love to see it! See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #7!

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Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, Uncategorized

’52 Fridays’ Launching Today

Happy Friday to you! I’m about to launch 52 Fridays, a 52-Friday-long (yes, that’s one year) endeavor into sharing even more marketing information, tips, resources, and ideas! 52 Fridays #1 will be arriving later today.

This series came out of my popular ‘Fifty Ways (Yes, 50!) To Stretch Your Marketing Budget‘ presentation at the 2010 Equestrian Lifestyle Expo & Holiday Market presented by the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois. But, for the blog series, I decided to do 52 Ways, taking us through a full year.

I hope you enjoy 52 Fridays! Thanks, and make it a great weekend.

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No Need To Travel To Equine Events, With Online Simulcasts

Later this afternoon, the grand opening ceremony of the new Al-Marah Arabian Galleries at the Kentucky Horse Park will be broadcast live, during the 2010 Egyptian Event. Amazing that no matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to view it via the Internet. In the future, will there be any need to even travel to equine events?

The answer is, yes, of course there will be. Horse people love to be around horses, and no matter how great the video and audio on a simulcast, nor how big your computer monitor, the Web will never replace being in the presence of horses.

That said, this is a cool use of technology. I wouldn’t drive the 8 or so hours from Chicago to attend the opening in Kentucky, but I’ll probably tune in later today, especially to see what my former employer is up to. Yup, I did marketing and PR at Al-Marah Arabians, back in 2004. Of course, back then we didn’t have such handy-dandy technology; when someone was interested in a horse we had for sale, I had to get out the camcorder, take the footage, transfer it to a VIDEOTAPE, and mail the video. Oh, back then it was a veritable Stone Age compared to now!

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What marketing and PR opportunities

might YOU create for your equine business, using video simulcast?

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I’m not sure if there will be an archived version of the video; I hope there will be. These galleries are part of the efforts of the Purebred Arabian Trust, and the opening ceremony would be an important historical document, albeit in video form.

It does bring up questions for equine businesses about video use. Can you expand your potential market through video simulcasts? Would it allow you to expand into other regions, countries, or even continents? Might you create public relations and promotion opportunities through the use of simulcast events? Ah, the opportunities!

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, New Media, Technology, Uncategorized, Video

Monday Morning Quickie – Check Out The Competition, With Compete.com

There are a number of helpful tools for analyzing online traffic. I think Compete.com is intriguing since you can compare multiple sites against each other. This means you can also look at your own site to see how it stacks up against the competition.

First of all, many thanks to Angelea Walkup, founder and ‘chief equine officer’ of HorseGirlTV, for sharing this resource with me.

While Compete.com has a paid, ‘Pro’ version, they also have a free version you can try out, and even the freebie has some interesting features.

I’m still exploring the site and its capabilities and applications, but by entering a Web site URL, you can view any site’s unique visitors (a better judge of traffic than ‘hits’), and see how that traffic has either increased or decreased over the past month and the past year. Compete.com also gives you the top five search terms (what people enter into a search engine such as Google or Bing in order to find you), and what ‘referring’ sites they find you from, such as Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s a graph for one of my clients, The Equine Chronicle, showing the increase in their Web site traffic over the past year:

Compete.com graph for The Equine Chronicle on June 7, 2010

How might you use Compete.com for your horse business? With the free version, you can identify your own improvement in terms of traffic, identify the most-used search terms and incorporate those into your online content, or even analyze media outlets to find out what might be the best fit for your advertising dollars.

If you’re interested in checking out Compete Pro, here’s a very thorough review of the Compete Pro version by Melanie Nathan at Sugarrae.com.

Have comments, thoughts, or questions about Compete? Please Leave a Comment below – thanks!

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Technology, Uncategorized