Getting Traffic In 2016 Is Not The Same As Getting Traffic In 1997

12345845_1124265154274240_1275585496_nBack in 1997, Yahoo was the king “search engine”.  Actually more of a directory… but today that directory is no more.  It was wonderful to be in the Yahoo directory without much competition, it is what made our business at the time take off to unimaginable heights.

Back in 1997, free for all links were great.  People wanted to discover new sites and they would click on all kinds of links.

In 2016, not so much.  People in the United States are much more social users of the internet.  People in other countries are still in discovery mode, but the US is tired of exploring.  We like what we like, no need to venture off.

With all that is different today, how does a new website get discovered, visited, and become popular?  Let us first take a look at the top 5 websites in the world, as organized by Alexa:

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When A Company Should (And Should Not) Invest In Technology

Investing in technology for your small business may seem like a good idea.  Many small business owners have laptops, smart phones, color laser all-in-one printers, digital cameras, or any number of other hardware devices.  Their business may also have specialized software and hardware to control inventory in their warehouse, or to share data among their employees.  There are all kinds of uses for technology and it may seem natural to use technology for any business process that can be done with technology, but that may not always be the wisest choice.  This article discusses when a company should invest, and when it should not to invest, in technology.

Justifications for a technology purchase

When starting new technology projects or purchasing new technology, business managers often use the following justifications:

Competitive advantage – Competitive advantage is when one company has an advantage over another.  As an example, company XYZ has competitor ABC, which has a CRM system.  Company XYZ buys a CRM to eliminate company XYZ’s competitive advantage over it.   Competitive advantage would also apply if company XYZ buys new technology company ABC does not yet have; company XYZ would then have competitive advantage (in theory).

Support a strategy – A company CEO may have a vision for the company’s future.  He or she creates a mission statement to detail the vision, and strategies to realize the mission statement.  The company then buys technology to support one or more of the strategies.

Create a product – Many companies in recent years have used technology to create a product: from web sites such as to companies like Oracle that develop software solutions.  Other companies like Cisco, IBM, and HP develop hardware products that they sell.

Be able to share information internally and externally – A company may invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) product or exchange data with a business partner via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

Manage and control the organization better – Companies will buy financial packages such as Quickbooks or software solutions as elaborate as Microsoft Dynamics Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) package to share and control information within a company.

Market products and share information with customers on the internet – A company may develop a website to share information with their customers about a new product offering or information about contacting the company.  These days the internet has become a self-service marketplace, allowing customers to research, buy, and get service after the sale.

When to invest in technology

The following are situations when companies should seriously consider investing in technology:

When there is a need – The technology is a requirement of doing business.  For instance, a customer begins requiring data transmissions about the status of shipments.  Not implementing the technology means losing the customer’s business.

When there is a significant savings to be had – Implementing the technology means not hiring 5 people, saving the company $250,000 in salaries, taxes, and benefits.

When there are significant revenue gains to be had – A new customer will only do business with your company if you accept their orders electronically, and will sign a contingency contract to that effect.  The value of the business is $2 million per year.

A reasonable return on investment is needed to justify the above arguments.  If it costs $50 million to get $2 million more in business yearly, the 4% return may not be worth the investment.  In addition, many companies underestimate the costs of technology investments, often leading to a smaller return on investment than expected.  It is important to make realistic estimates.

While operating on the “bleeding edge” of technology may seem to be a risky endeavor, the competitive advantage it provides may produce an exceptional return on investment.  Again, it is important to make good estimates for cost and analyze the expected return on investment to see if it makes sense to proceed with the new technology.

When not to invest in technology

Here are some situations when a company should not invest in technology:

To get the cool new thing – Investing in cool new toys may not be the best use of company resources.

To keep up with the Jones – While competitive advantage is important, it is also important to make sure that keeping up makes financial sense.  Perhaps the Jones’ new technology purchase was not such a good idea for them.

To sell new, unconfirmed business – One logistics company implemented warehouse automation they did not need, believing they would be able to make new sales because of it.  The company is no longer in business because the new sales did not materialize.

To get technology for technology’s sake – A company wisely declined to invest $500,000 for a machine that would have eliminated one $20,000 per year job.  The machine would have also required regular maintenance and repair.

To develop a new product without marketing research – New technology can be expensive.  Make sure there is a market for your technology idea before you invest a fortune.

Technology can be a wonderful investment with a magnificent return for your company, but you must make sure your investment will produce a good return.  Jumping in is almost never a good idea.  Make sure to do your research to keep your eyes wide open for the best possible result.

Get Fresh Leads By Promoting Your SplashPlan site

10362286_1420343261571590_1005938937_nWith, you can get fresh leads… Exactly what do we mean?

Your SplashPlan site: When you sign up as a member on our site, and fill out your profile, you will get a SplashPlan site similar to

Promoting your SplashPlan site: We offer you several ways to promote your SplashPlan site for free.  Mainly you add a link to your SplashPlan site on other web sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and so forth.  Participate on these sites to make your link more powerful.

Leads: A lead, in the case of SplashPlan, means that somebody signs up as a SplashPlan member after they visit your site… You want to provide your lead with quality support for using SplashPlan.  A lead changes to a prospect when they ask for information about your network marketing program.

Prospects ask for information about your network marketing program: Once they become a prospect you can send them information online or by mail, then follow up with them by your chosen method until they ask you to stop or they sign up in your program.

Fresh Leads: Mailing lists tend to be a little stale, but you will get SplashPlan leads at the moment they sign up as a SplashPlan member.  Again, you will want to build trust with leads by providing top quality support for using the SplashPlan site.

Internet Marketing Training: Training included with your SplashPlan membership that shows you ways to promote your SplashPlan site online.

That’s about it… let me know if you have any questions…

Online Security – My Journey Down The Rabbit Hole

You think you are safe and secure online?  You are not.  You are smart, you learn all about how hackers can get at your websites, exploit your data, change your pages, or extort you as I read in this article:

If you are outraged after reading, I just want to let you know that Naoki did get his Twitter handle back after much effort.  So ultimately extortion is illegal and companies will try to help you out after they check every last detail.

Preventing security problems is what we really want.  We want to prevent somebody from getting into our Paypal, Amazon, or Godaddy accounts.  We want to prevent somebody from spending on our credit card after they extract it from an online database.  We want to prevent somebody from phishing our password then using it to post on our facebook account.

All I can say is good luck.  My understanding after much research is that hackers are getting smarter all the time.  But you can take some basic steps to improve your odds:

  • Use a unique password for each site that has your credit card information
  • Use two-step authentication with your cell phone on every site you can
  • If you have a Godaddy account (or any other web hosting), avoid using the same credit card from Godaddy on any other web site
  • The bigger websites are the biggest target for hacks: Amazon, Paypal, eBay, Google, Facebook, Walmart, etc.  Be the most vigilant with them.
  • Banks are usually very good with security but make sure your bank requires more than just a password to get into your account.
  • Never, ever click on a link in an email then sign into any web site.  In some cases, password resets may be the exception, but only if you are expecting them.

As far as our website security, we take the following precautions:

  • We do not take your credit card for any reason on our site.  We do not even do paypal.  Note that our partners do take payments.
  • We use an SSL certificate for  We do not use one for The SplashPlan Blog.  You do not sign in on it.
  • We store your password and password reset codes in encrypted form in our database.
  • Our form fields are escaped to prevent SQL insertion.

Nothing we can do will entirely prevent a hacker from getting in.  But we have very little sensitive information. Please make sure to use a unique password with our site.  Nobody can see it on our site, not even me, but it is a good idea anyway.

Is there anything you can add?

Google reCaptcha Saves My Butt

Before I get going, please make sure to see the links at the end of this post.  I could include them within the body here but I am going to be lazy.

I spent the last two weeks fighting with the bots to try to get a good indication of how well we are doing on the site.  I thought up a number of possible solutions to the problem but ultimately the bots were smarter than me.  Nothing I came up with eliminated fake sign ups; and anything that would cure the problem would get in the way of the user experience.

I was very concerned about using captcha to solve the problem because it added one more silly field that the user would have to fill out to sign up.  Adding more steps or more fields meant losing good sign ups, and I only wanted to lose the bad ones.

Enter Google’s reCAPTCHA.  It basically has the visitor check a box if they are not a robot.  Simple.  Effective. Doesn’t get in the way too much.  Ok, give it a shot.  But it will be difficult to install right?  Wrong!  Using an article I found, it was simple and straight forward and I did not have to install a code library on my web site.

It really was very easy and solved the problem.  Now I am back to having a hard time getting sign ups.  At least the ones that do sign up will be real people who will get good use out of the site.

Links you can use:

Setting Up Twitter To Promote Your SplashPlan Site

Twitter is a great social media platform for promoting a website, with the ability to use your website link as part of your profile and as part of your tweets.  Make sure not to overuse this feature as it does get to be a bit irritating to other users.  You may find yourself unfollowed.

Set up your twitter site by going to and clicking Sign Up in the upper right.  Follow along with twitter’s set up wizard to get the basics down.

Once you are online, make sure your profile looks good and send your first tweet.  That’s all there is to it!

Make sure to watch the video below for more detail.

What is a URL or Website Address?

A URL is a synonym or shortened version of Uniform Resource Locator.  It can be a website address… which is usually what I am asking for when I say provide a URL.  Here is a link to the definition on Wikipedia:

The link above is a URL and starts with http://  In most browsers you can also copy the URL of the current page your on by highlighting the address bar, right clicking, and copying it (a menu will drop down when you right click it).

You may also see a URL or website address start with https://  The “s” in this case represents a page on a secure server or the secure version of the page (often you can load it with or without the s).  Other URLs that are not website addresses include mail: and ftp:  mail: represents an email address and ftp: represents an ftp location (file transfer protocol).

Why is all of this important?  If I ask for a URL or website address and you just put “bob’s website”, that doesn’t work too well… neither would because it doesn’t indicate it’s a web address without the http://   …   so when I link to it, it just appends to the current web page location (append means it sticks it on the end).

In addition, to be a web marketer, we must understand web terminologies…. so I hope I’ve taught you a couple new ones tonight.  You will need to use a full URL each time you want some other website to link to your page.  You use them in HTML a lot.  (HyperText Markup Language)  You can use HTML in classified ads to display a picture or make your text look different than normal (colors, bold, italics, underline, etc).  HTML is good to know along with what a URL is.

I’ve been around a while so URLs, website addresses, and HTML (as well as PHP) are mostly second nature to me… so I apologize if I sound too snarky about it… I know beginners need to know the basics of being online as well as the more advanced stuff, so here is my attempt to help out the internet with more information on the same things.  Don’t believe me?  Google search it…

Make sure to check out (click)

Do you use cookies?

Yes!  When somebody visits your splashplan site at, we put a cookie into their browser so that when they return, you are still their sponsor.  The cookie is good for one year from the time of each visit (as we refresh the cookie with each visit).

If a visitor goes to a different splashplan site (a different member’s site), they continue to have the same sponsor information as when they initially visited, although they will see another member’s site on the home page.  This is only true for the home page.  Once they go to the registration page, they will see their correct sponsor.

We really want to give our members a fighting chance at sponsoring people under them so we are doing all we can to make sure that happens.

Even if we didn’t use cookies, visitors often bookmark the initial page they visit, or return from the same link, and the URL (web address) contains the sponsor’s subdomain name.

Do you have a suggestion for a better way to track visitors and credit sign ups?  Please feel free to write us at

How do I make money with is a free service itself, but has links to paid services that you can buy.  In addition, you can change the affiliate link for the service so that you get credit whenever any SplashPlan member that joins under you buys the paid services.

Of course, there’s always your MLM program.  Most new members will not initially join your program, true.  But as they learn more about you and work with you, you will become a person with whom they trust and think of if they decide to make a change in the future.

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