Volume 15, Issue 3 - May-June 2011

Open 24/7
By Manny Hondroulis

Q & A

I periodically receive emails from window film dealers who read my column asking me computer-related questions. I thought Iíd share those questions and my responses as some of you may have the same concerns.

Q: Do you prefer organic search engine optimization or pay per click (PPC)?
A: My quick and easy response is ďwhy pay for something when you can get it for free?Ē PPC is a way of buying placement onto the first page of a search engine like Google. Though not without merit, PPC listings are usually found at the top, bottom and right hand side of the results page, not in the pageís body where the human eye is immediately drawn. So that means the average web surfer may never notice your PPC ad even if itís on the first page of Google. I know I certainly donít. My eyes are always drawn to the pageís body and as a consequence I never click on a paid sponsor link. Search engines rank organic results based on the relevancy of a website to the search term entered. A paid advertisement is buying space on the page based on advertiserís desire to get listed using certain keywords, even if his/her website isnít completely relevant to the search term. PPC can also get expensive as you are bidding for space against your competitors. You are charged for every click that occurs so the potential exists for an internet menace to just click on your link all day long and run up your bill.

Q: What kind of laptop should I purchase?
A: It seems that more and more people are opting to purchase Macs based on Appleís ability to simplify and enhance the computer experience. My office uses Windows machines and, as a consequence, I have more experience with them. We used to be a Dell house but for multiple reasons switched to Lenovo ThinkPads because of their track record of durability. Laptops are portable machines that are stuffed into your briefcase and lugged across town. You need a machine that can take the associated physical abuse.

Q: What kind of smart phone should I purchase?
A: This is an easy one for me to answer. Without a doubtóthe iPhone. Itís an incredible mobile machine; itís easy to use and the touch screen never fails. You can update the phone yourself through iTunes without having to go to the mobile phone store and wait in line for the most recent software update. And itís now available on the Verizon network. I encourage you to wait for the next generation iPhone to be released, which as now is rumored to be late in the year. It will run on AT&T and Verizonís 4G network and be faster than the current generation iPhone 4 which operates on the 3G network.

Q: What kind of digital camera should I purchase?
A: A good digital camera will pay for itself after only a few uses. Useful for estimating purposes and taking pictures for your online photo gallery, the process of buying a camera can be overwhelming. My advice is to purchase one with at least 10 megapixels that is easy for you to use.

Q: How do I present a PowerPoint presentation on a sales call?

A: You will need a laptop, an LCD projector (unless the prospect/customer already has one), and a relevant PowerPoint presentation. Most readers already have a laptop but may not already have a LCD projector. Rather than lug around a traditional five pound projector, consider the MP 180 pocket projector from 3M that can project your laptopís screen on the wall for less than five hundred dollars. In fact, with the MP 180, you donít even need the laptop. WF

Manny Hondroulis is marketing manager for Energy Performance Distribution in Baltimore. Mr. Hondroulisí opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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