Company name: Design Matters Home
Hometown: Louisville, Colo. (Old Town)
Website: Design Matters Home (http://www.designmattershome.com)
Years in business: We opened our office in Old Town Louisville in 2008.
Motto: “Your design matters, our expertise, results you want!”
Describe your business in 50 words or less: Design Matters believes that design is important, if not critical, to everything in the world, natural and manmade. We have broken design matters into six main components that we feel encompass all the pieces that are important to customers in interior design projects – Aesthetics, Functionality, Health, The Earth, Saving Money, and Future Investment.
What are your areas of specialty: Interior design, home staging for real estate
What’s your competitive advantage? We feel we have a very good ability to take a client’s vision, wants, and needs and use our expertise to come up with a solution that will work for their budget. Tim Gunn on Project Runway is famous for saying “make it happen!” We make it happen for our clients! We really want customers to embrace us as part of their project team. We are in it for them first and foremost and I think this vibe, and our attitude toward design, resonates with many people in our area.
We are the only full service Interior Design and Home Staging company in the Boulder, Broomfield, Longmont area providing services that enhance all the phases of home ownership: Kitchen and Bath Design, Real Estate Home Staging, Settle-In Design, Redesign and Interior Styling, Home Office Design, Home Entertainment Design, Outdoor Kitchen Design, Green Design, Universal Design, Color Consultations, Lighting Plans, Window Coverings, Project Management, Space Planning, Furniture Layout, Flooring, Upholstery, Feng Shui, Accessorizing, Built-in Design, Party and Holiday Styling.
What’s the most unusual thing that ever happened to you at your business? We are in a unique place as a business because when we go into a person’s home, we are seeing an aspect of their personal life that few people outside family and friend circles get to see. Sometimes we come across some real strange accessories and situations. One time we encountered a bunch of baby chicks in a bathtub while doing a consultation, and we love this kind of experience. We love to meet all kinds of people with all kinds of aesthetics and needs.
What’s the biggest misconception in interior design? There is no one-size-fits-all level of importance for any of our six design principles, or any project. Different customers will rank each design matter differently and that is cool. We pride ourselves on our flexibility and true desire to make the client’s interior design or home staging project succeed no matter what design issue is most important to them.
People frequently apologize about the state of their home. It is all good from our perspective, we have seen it all, and we need to see it all to get the driving force behind the life of our clients. Well done interior design is as much about a person’s lifestyle as it is colors on a wall. This is the spice of life and the lifeblood of our business. People should be proud of their homes. When you are proud that means you are comfortable and at peace in your home. This is super important. We all have enough challenges and stressors in our lives and our home should be our retreat. It should function how we want and it should calm or excite our senses as we want. We really do take this to heart and give everything we can to help clients feel this way and be as happy as possible inside their homes
What do you do when not running your business? We are part of the community where we do business. We live very similar lives as our clients and are able to have a strong rapport with them. My husband and I are both athletes. He races bicycles and I run marathons. We have kids in the BVSD school system, we participate in many countywide activities, and we support many local causes and local businesses. We are out there engaging in our surroundings. We know the market very well. Every member of the Design Matters Home team loves being around people. We are one of the guys or gals. We are here for our clients and are dedicated to the success of every project we take on. We know that when you are going through an interior design project or need a home stage that you are going through a big change. We are there with you during that change to make it go as fast as possible ending up in the desired results.
Where can we get more information? We have a blog on our website where we share our thoughts on various interior design, home staging, and market topics. We also conduct monthly workshops to help educate and inspire you with design. Questions about interior design and staging are always welcome, and we offer a free initial design consultation. We can meet you, preview your space, and see how we can help you transform your space to suit you perfectly.
Save money, sharpen your AdWords skills and learn from experts by signing up today for the first-ever AdWords Advantage Online Summit, a three-week online event beginning Tuesday (March 9).
The summit’s 14 sessions are led by top industry experts, including Bryan Eisenberg, Co-Founder Future Now Inc., Frederick Vallaeys, product evangelist for Google, and Dennis Yu, CEO and co-founder of BlitzLocal.
As a bonus, BlitzLocal is offering free pay-per-click campaign templates for a few industry verticals for those who attend “AdWords for Local: Sort Heads from Tails, Find Free Clicks and Calls,” which Yu is leading on March 16.
Yu will cover a number of topics including:
how to build effective campaigns for businesses that have a local customer base
why mobile ads are a hidden gem for lead gen on smartphones and non-smart phones alike.
how to manage the difference between “Chicago restaurants” and “restaurants” searched from Chicago: find out how much traffic can you expect from geo-targeted search versus geo-multiplied keywords.
For more information and to save $200 by registering today, please follow the link here.
There are no fundamental differences between the ranking algorithms of mainstream search engines (Google, Yahoo! & Live Search etc.) and other leading Asian-language search engines (Baidu etc). However, when you’re optimizing an Asian language website, there are certain rules you have to follow and some tactics and tools will help you to achieve the desired position on SERPs.
Search Engine Market in China
China’s Internet population stood at 210 million at the end of 2007, up 53% from the same time in 2006 when there were 137 million. This figure puts China just 5 million users away from having the world’s largest wired population.
Search engine market share in China of Q4, 2007:
Baidu.com – 60.1%
Google – 25.9%
Yahoo! China – 9.6%
China’s search engine market reached US$131.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, almost double from a year earlier.
In China, 74.8% of Internet users use search engines, lower than the U.S.’ 91%. However, mobile search is growing strong in China. iResearch estimated that 127 million people in China were to use mobile search in 2008.
Top Search Terms in China (2007)
QQ (China’s most popular IM tool)
QQ (China’s most popular IM tool)
招商银行 (China Merchants Bank)
十七大 (17th CPC Plenary Session)
工商银行 (ICBC Bank)
迅雷 (Xunlei – downloading software)
小游戏 (small online game)
跑跑卡丁车 (the name of an online game)
建设银行 (China Construction Bank)
迅雷 (Xunlei – downloading software)
快乐男声 (a TV program similar to American Idol)
和谐社会 (harmonious society)
Search Engine Market in Japan
87.5 million Internet users
68% penetration rate
50% + on broadband
Japanese is the 4th most popular language on the Internet
Baidu was founded in January, 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu. It’s the leading Chinese search engine and the world’s third largest search engine with 3.3 billion searches per month, according to ComScore. Baidu is also the largest search engine in the Asian market, following by NHN which is largest search engine in Korea and fifth largest search engine in the world.
Baidu now operates in both China and Japan (http://www.baidu.jp/).
Chinese Search Engines
Location of paid and non-paid results on a Baidu page
SEO on Baidu.com
Baidu uses the similar ranking algorithm as Google and Yahoo!. However, because of the language differences and specialness of Chinese, it does need to take extra care on the following elements when optimizing websites for Baidu.
URLs – There is no need to use Chinese characters in URLs, because Baidu does not support Chinese character URLs. It transfers characters into UTF-8 code when use in URLs. But writing URLs in pinyin is recommended, unless it’s your English brand name or targeting the English word specifically. (Pinyin is the most common standard Mandarin Romanization system in use). Baidu does understand pinyin most times, and Chinese people enter pinyin in the search bar occasionally. For example, the pinyin for “student” is “xuesheng”. If your web page is talking about students in Chinese, then use “example.cn/xuesheng” as the URL rather than “example.cn/student”.
Domain – It would be better to use a Chinese domain, like .com.cn and .cn, or/and host the site in China.
Copyrighting – Write everything in Chinese, not only visible page elements (title, headings, page copy, link anchor text etc.), but also invisible elements, including Meta keywords, Meta description and ALT text.
Title – Within 30 characters will be the best.
Content – Baidu is very sensitive to some information, so totally avoid mentioning or writing adult content, pornography or Chinese government forbidden keywords.
Robots.txt – The robot name of Baidu is Baiduspider.
Sitemap – Adjust your XML sitemap to fit Baidu’s News Protocol and submit it to http://news.baidu.com/newsop.html
Asian Languages, Word Separation and Search
In English, the words in a phrase or sentence are separated by spaces. In most Asian languages, including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, there are no spaces between words in a phrase. This difference means Asian search engines have the difficult task of understanding and separating words before interpreting the meaning of sentences and web pages. Google uses the word segmentation technology from Basis Technology (http://www.basistech.com/) and Baidu uses its own technology. The quality and speed of word segmentation affects the quality of search results and has implications for SEO. Currently Baidu is still better on word segmentation technology than Google.
Japanese Optimization Issues
4 different sets of letters and characters
No spaces segmenting the words
Must find the best (most popular) word/phrase combinations used in Japan for SEO, for example:
Indicating Language and Region
Use lang attribute in a meta tag, or inside an enclosing span or div tag in HTML, to provide additional geographical and language information to search engines. For example, use in the header section of the page to indicate Japanese of the entire page.
Asian language codes:
zh-gan (China), zh-guoyu (China), zh-hakka (China), zh-Hans (China), zh-wuu (China), zh-xiang (China), zh-yue (China), zh-Hant (China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan), zh-HK (Hong Kong), zh-MO (Macao), zh-TW (Taiwan)
You can find a complete list at http://www.i18nguy.com/unicode/language-identifiers.html
As for English sites, SEO keyword research is equally important when optimizing Asian language sites. Both Baidu and Google provide basic keyword research tools for free. Baidu’s Keyword Tool is for Chinese only. But Google’s Keyword Tool can be used on many languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Baidu Keyword Tool – http://d.baidu.com/rs.php
Google Keyword Tool – https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
Keyword Density Tools
For calculating keyword density on Chinese websites:
Chinese Search Engine Submission
You can submit your sites to Chinese search engines at the following addresses:
Baidu – http://www.baidu.com/search/url_submit.html
Google China – http://www.google.cn/intl/zh-CN/add_url.html
Yahoo! China – http://search.help.cn.yahoo.com/h4_4.html
Sogou – http://db.sohu.com/regurl/regform.asp?step=regform&class=
iAsk – http://www.iask.com/guest/add_url.php
Yodou – http://tellbot.yodao.com/report?keyFrom=help
Chinese Web Directories
Sogou Directory – http://www.sogou.com/dir/
NetEase Directory – http://dir.so.163.com/index.php
iAsk Directory – http://dir.iask.com/
Beijixiang Directory – http://www.beijixing.com.cn/
Hao123 Directory – http://www.hao123.com/login.htm
9991 Directory – http://bbs.9991.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=27
Chinese Social Media Sites
Video sharing – http://www.tudou.com/
Photo sharing – http://www.yupoo.com/
Similar to Google Trends (http://www.google.com/trends) which also works for Asian languages, we can use the following services to do basic market research for Chinese sites:
Google’s popular searches – http://www.google.cn/rebang/home
Yahoo! Buzz – http://cn.buzz.yahoo.com/
Baidu Top Searches – http://top.baidu.com/
Baidu Index – http://index.baidu.com/ (similar to Google Trends)
Chinese Domain Info
Domain info – http://www.cnnic.cn/en/index/index.htm
NEW YORK — BlitzLocal co-founder and chief executive Dennis Yu is among the presenters at “SEO For New Websites,” a March 4 session by and for technology entrepreneurs hosted by Ultralight Startups of New York.
The session, part of the March 2010 Entrepreneurs Forum, includes an overview of search engine optimization (SEO) terms, tactics, myths and facts. It covers how strategies for new and established sites differ. It explores such topics as site-building strategies, off-the-shelf platforms vs. built-from-scratch solutions, real-time search, social media, voice, mobile and social search and more.
Moderator is Graham Lawlor, founder of Ultralight Startups and CEO of BrightMap. Other guests include Seth Dotterer, senior director of marketing at Conductor Inc. and Christopher Hart, director of Eastern region operations for Bruce Clay Inc.
Yu is co-founder and CEO of BlitzLocal.com, a technology startup that provides cutting-edge local search solutions to local, regional, national and international enterprises. He has guided development of an ad-serving platform that integrates pay-per-click (PPC), search optimization, mail, and Facebook advertising campaigns to online and offline conversions via phone, lead generation, online ordering, and coupon redemption.
Yu, a veteran of web analytics and PPC, has helped Yahoo!, American Airlines, J.C. Penney and others maximize online leads and revenue.
Ultralight Startups, with branches in New York, Boston and London, hosts events for and by technology entrepreneurs to pitch, network and discuss ways to exploit the latest cost-effective, capital efficient practices.
The event takes place from 6:30-9 p.m. on Thursday, March 4 at event partner Sun Microsystems, 101 Park Ave., 4th Floor, New York, N.Y. To register at this limited-space event see the http://ultralightstartups.eventbrite.com/.
Dennis Yu (888) 811-2448 ext. 1201
Email: dennis (at) blitzlocal.com
For ages, the battle between the world’s inhabitants has raged. Each race, species, and family has fought for survival. Each looking for a piece of earth to call home. Peace is established where clear boundaries and dominion exist. But where an insect’s home and a human’s home cross, territorial tribes frenzy. Few homeowners voluntarily co-inhabit and co-exsit with insects crawling freely within the walls of their home. Further, nuisance insects become invasive pests when they destroy a human’s food supply, contaminate living quarters.
There are benefits to having insects. Bugs play a valuable part in nature; they help break down decaying elements and debris. Pests are also a valuable food source for wildlife. But when these pest invade human structures family feuds ensue and a home’s peace is destroyed.
Pests are serious business for residential property owners. There are millions of homes each year that become infested with nuisance pests that can destroy property, spread disease, and permeate foul odors. Some species of spiders, ants, and wasps carry potent venom, being potentially lethal to humans and animals. Arachnids like brown recluses, scorpions, and black widows are real health risks.
To keep your family protected, Bulwark Exterminator recommends this strategy:
– Identify pest threats.
– Eliminate pest from within your home.
– Don’t let pests get back into your home.
How Do Pests Get In?
Pests will swarm at various times throughout the year depending on locations and weather conditions. Pests will also migrate. In the heat of the summer, as pests move about they and draw closer to your home the pest will feel the cool humid air escaping your structure and find openings to slide into. Openings as small as 1/16th of an inch are unblocked doorways with ample space for these intruders. Cracks are found in brick mortar, concrete foundations, weep holes, j-rails, around wiring and around plumbing. During the winter the pests will feel the heat and comfort of your home spilling out of these cracks. Your home sends open invitations across the air waves during all four seasons. Insects, like ants, that work and live together will explorer these new surroundings and bring in new ants in mass. As these bio-masses crawl around within the walls of your home they are bound to explorer further moving out of the walls and into closets’, toy boxes, refrigerators, pantries, and laundry.
Signs of Pest Problems
Just because you don’t see bugs doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Your property isn’t safe from infestation without a proper defense. Some insect colonies will work 24 hours a day. A single insect colony can have up to a million pests in their population. Fire ant mounds are easily spotted in the latter stages of a colony. But mounds indicate not a beginning of an infestation, but an active and live infestation that is already spreading its borders. Seeing your first roach inside may be just the tip of the iceberg. Most pests don’t like to come out of their hiding spots. Most pests survive by staying invisible to mammals. That is why nocturnal activity works best for bugs. As soon as begin seeing pests, you know there is problem.
While total annihilation of pests is futile, homeowners can and should prevent potentially disease-carrying pests from infesting their properties.
Professional pest control companies use various methods to prevent pest from entering your home. Regular treatments to deal with the constant threat of pest invasion is the key to keeping your home secure. Bulwark uses a 3 layer treatment process and a method of baiting. This regular exterior barrier treatment serves as bulwark around your home. While total elimination from your property is not feasible, Bulwark also limits pest populations and the neighborhood biomass by treating key areas in the property. Bulwark’s philosophy is that the better we do on the outside the less you will see on the inside.
How do you protect my home from insects?
Call Bulwark today and speak to one of our professionals.
BlitzLocal Blog | Sharing online marketing tips and tricks
Company name: Design Matters Home