Thursday, May 22, 2008

Santa Cruz County Summit Fire

We're experiencing a really big fire in Santa Cruz County. The pictures posted are from the KSBW site from viewers who sent in photos. We're close (in Scotts Valley) but not close enough to have to be evacuated. We did have to close all of the windows because it smells like smoke outside and it was starting to come inside.

1400 people have been evacuated thus far.

As of now, it's been burning for 12 hours and is currently out of control, there are more than 500 firefighters on scene and it's approaching 4,000 acres scorched. 40 engines, 8 tankers, and 8 helicopters are on scene. They are expecting it to burn 10,000 acres.

One of the major factors is the high wind we have been experiencing. Our power went out earlier today due to the high winds.

Google Maps is updating on the fire with evacuations, road closures, destruction, videos and images too.

We've been hearing the helicopters and sirens all day too. You can read the full story on KSBW. Local residents have already begun posting on YouTube. The Governor has declared a state of emergency.

We have friends in the fire department fighting the fire and we hope for a quick and safe containment of the fire.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What is a Web Content Management System?

If you're asking that question, congratulations! You're on the right track to taking control of your business and coming out ahead of the pack.

A Web CMS will help you maintain your website and provide fresh content to your site.

A CMS can help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by providing the search engine crawlers with fresh content from your website. If you have one, you'll be able to continually add new links and articles too.

If your considering a new website design, I definitely recommend you look into getting one. You can have your web developer implement many of the open sourced ones such as Joomla!, Drupal and even WordPress.

We developed our own CMS and have found that it's much more user friendly and easy to use, but of course we're biased! We love our own products! We have a page on our website that explains our custom CMS and why it's a great resource for you. Check it out at Complete Business Systems - Content Management System.

As always, please feel free to post your opinions - I love to hear what you have to say!



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Complete Business Systems participates in Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

Complete Business Systems is a proud member of Bloggers Unite and participated in their last call to action in December "Acts of Kindness", and do so again today because we believe in it.

Today is Bloggers Unite for Human Rights.

Human rights refers to the "basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled".

The reason for today’s post is to bring awareness to human rights issues and the atrocities people are suffering every second of every day. The only way there will ever be change is if people come together and demand it. The only way that can come about is through awareness.

Just to name a few of the atrocities:

Children’s Rights Violations

  • Child offenders are executed in China, Iran, Pakistan and Sudan.
  • There are 100s of thousands of children who are abducted at school, on the streets or at home and recruited into armed forces and militia groups.
  • Many countries use their children to work and don’t allow them to be educated.
Violence Against Women
  • One out of every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in her lifetime.
  • Domestic violence is the major cause of death and disability for women ages 16 - 44 in Europe.
  • In the US a woman is abused every 15 seconds and raped every 6 seconds.
  • Women are being trafficked, forced into labor, abused and sexually exploited.
  • In Guatemala, Russia, India and other countries, murder of women often go unpunished.
  • Famale genital mutiliation is still occurring right now in Africa
Darfur Conflict
  • More than 2 million innocent people are homeless
  • Reports of more than 400,000 people have been killed
  • 4.27 million have now been seriously affected by the conflict
The top 10 countries deemed the worst offenders of human rights by the U.S.
  1. North Korea
  2. Myanmar
  3. Iran
  4. Syria
  5. Zimbabwe
  6. Cuba
  7. Belarus
  8. Uzbekistan
  9. Eritrea
  10. Sudan
(The U.S. has removed China from the list)

This year is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations. Can you help? Yes. Where can you go to find out more information?

Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Youth For Human Rights

If you are interested in posting a blog and raising awareness, consider joining the Bloggers Unite Group and posting your link.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How Can I Figure Out My Conversion Rate?

Just what is conversion and how can it help your bottom line? Wikipedia defines conversion as the transformation of one thing into another.

Website conversion can be defined in the same way. The transformation of a website visitor to a customer, or simply put - a shopper into a buyer.

Is your website converting your visitors to customers?

You may be thinking, “I don’t sell anything on my website, so I don’t pay attention to conversion.” In my opinion, you should. Whether you are selling something, or just using your website as an online brochure for your business, conversion matters.

In today’s society, most people are out searching on the Internet first before going into a store or business. They want to see what’s out there. They shop online. While some people aren’t yet comfortable making an online purchase, they may still come to your site first to see what you have to offer before coming into your physical location or making that first call.

How can you measure conversion rates? One important method is to install analytics on your website. You need to track the visitors coming to your site to see where they came from and where they are going.

If you have an ecommerce website, when setting up your analytics to measure conversion, you’ll want to create a “sales funnel” (more on that in a future post) with a final goal page that will validate that you have made your sale.

You can set up your sales funnel to have your “thank you” page, (the one that comes up after a sale has been completed) as your final goal. That way you can track how many of your visitors reached the final goal page (the verification) of a purchase.

To figure out your conversion rate, you’ll take the number of sales and divide it by the number of visitors. For instance, if you have 4 sales and 75 visits, you know that your conversion rate is .05%. 4/75 = the percentage of your visitors who converted to sales. Obviously, you're going to want to have a higher percentage than my example :)

Once you know your conversion rate, you can gauge whether or not you are doing better converting your visitors to buyers with your new pricing, new landing page, etc.

You can also measure conversion rates for your online brochure site. If your ultimate goal is to have the potential client contact you once they have had a chance to review your services, you can create your funnel using your “Contact” page as the final goal. Another option would be to get them to sign up for your newsletter and leave their email address. Many business owners have their websites as a means to create leads. By capturing their visitors email addresses, they then have targeted leads that are interested in the product or service they have to offer.

Once you begin tracking your conversion rates, you can then begin A/B testing to increase your conversion. Only when you have a benchmark to begin with, can you measure whether your site changes or improvements are helping or hurting your bottom line.

I recommend every website owner keep track of visitors and conversion rates via analytics. The best part is, it’s easy to do!


Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo at Complete Business Systems

It's Cinco de Mayo! What does that mean for Complete Business Systems? Not much at all...I thought just MAYBE that there wouldn't be as much work today, (you know, people love any reason to celebrate). I was dead wrong.

Today was really hectic! A few of our longest clients contacted me today with new business ideas. Other clients who haven't sent in final content decided today was the day to finish their websites. New potential clients called in with ideas for websites and logos.

So...I didn't have time to write a small business tips blog today.

With that said, tomorrow I will post a small business tip you can use.

For now, I have this to pass on:

Today really isn't Mexican Independence day.

Yahoo placed a lovely image for you.

Google showed no love for the holiday.

I'll post something tomorrow - as it's getting late and my margarita, chips and salsa are waiting.