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ACORN NEWS September 30 , 2005
Overdue Billing and Finance Charges
Acorn is striving to remain a low cost, high quality service provider, but we need your help to do that. As per your Acorn Services Contract, we bill 4 times

a year, once each quarter. We do this via an online payment system. Paper billing is time intensive and would add overhead costs that would need to be passed on to you our customer. BUT, we need you, our customer to help us make this work. Some e-mail systems tend to misplace our quarterly bills.

SO we are asking each of you to log the 4 dates listed above on your calendar or daytimer and remember to watch for your bill. We are also releasing our quarterly newsletters 1 day in advance of the quarterly e-mail billing as a reminder to keep an eye out for your bill. Finally - if you do not see your bill on the following 4 dates, simply log on to our Billing Orchard payment system and make your payment or print your bill to ship a check. YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A PAYPAL ACCOUNT to pay online with a credit card.

As a courtesy you may also call the Toll Free number and provide your credit card information and we'll run the payment for you. Finally - please note the total amount owed on any account will be found in the lower left hand corner of your bill. See yellow area below.

Payment Agreement Reminder
Invoices will be generated quarterly by the last day of the last month in the quarter with payment terms of Net 15. Accounts more than 45 days past due will incur a 5% finance charge on the past due balance for each invoice cycle in which the account is past due. Acorn Internet Services Inc. offers multiple cash payment options for your convenience, including cash, personal check and business check. For accounts that fall 75 or more days past due, Acorn Internet Services Inc. reserves the right to remove the Client site from the host server. Advance payment may be required to reinstate any website that has been pulled from the host server.

New Release of Urchin with BOUNCE STATISTICS now ONLINE!
Included in Acorn Hosting is a full-featured version of URCHIN Tracker. Acorn DOES NOT CHARGE for a web site statistics tracker, as many of our

competitors do. The reason for this is that we believe tracking is the fundamental building block of knowing how your web site is functioning. We DO NOT want cost to be a factor for you not to have the right tools to run your business. This version provides you all the tracking information about visitors to your web site to help you make informed decisions on listing services, Pay Per Click (PPC) listings, etc. If you host with Acorn and do not know how to access your statistics, please contact us for your username and password to access your tracker.

As of mid September, you will notice your URCHIN Tracker now provides BOUNCE statistics. A Bounce is simply when a customer (it could be a human or a spider **) enters into your site on any particular page and LEAVES AGAIN FROM THAT PAGE without looking at any other pages. This new statistic will give you insight on whether the information you are providing is what the customer was searching for or if they just BOUNCED off because your page wasn't what they were looking for.

** BOUNCE CAUTION: If you have not paid to upgrade to the URCHIN Enahanced Visitor Tracking as mentioned in Last quarter's Acorn News, your BOUNCE numbers may be skewed higher than they really are due to the spider and crawler traffic being tracked in the BOUNCE counts.

It's not too late to contact us and request that we install the URCHIN Enhanced Visitor Tracking to your web site code to pull out the spider and crawler traffic. There is no on going fee, once the code has been added to your pages.

Estimated Work Effort: 1 hour at Development Rates

A Search Engine HORROR Story just in time for Halloween!

This story is brought to you personally by Mark and Lisa Kolb. We sold our Bed and Breakfast the Lennox House on August 29th of this year, after 9 years of

innkeeping, and 3 years being for sale. But NO that's not truly the HORROR part of this story. As many of our customers are for sale out there, you know the roller coaster ride of having a buyer, not having a buyer, having a buyer, etc. Well, last fall, we had in interested party, was he going to buy? was he not going to buy? And I - being that busy business-owner that each of you can relate to - I quit keeping my www.lennoxhouse.com web site FRESH. I quit getting links. I quit doing newsletters reguarly. HEY - I was going to sell the inn, why bother. WHY BOTHER???? This was really a BAD decision. In May of 2005 my coveted 1st page placement for 'colorado springs bed and breakfast' in Google, MSN, etc dropped to page 12. NOT GOOD. REALLY NOT GOOD. So when that offer letter never materialized, and realizing I hadn't done any work on my site like - since forever, I got busy and RE-WROTE Lennox House Re-Write Sitethe entire web site with a whole new look and feel. It was now the New and Improved Lennox House Web Site. And it was online. BUT do you think I could get GOOGLE to put me back on page 1. I waited and waited and waited and waited. I submitted to them to re-read and put me back. I practically begged them to put me back. But - as those of you who strive to stay high in the search engine organic listings know - you CAN'T MAKE the search engines go fast. Then on one fine day in August, just in time to close on the inn with the new buyer, our site returned to page 1. (How ironic the new owner didn't want to purchase the new design.)



P.S. If you are looking for a new site design, give us a call - and submit a bid on the code the new Lennox House site code owners didn't purchase. We'd love to auction it off to another innkeeper!

DO IT YOURSELF - Update your web site text yourself with Snippet Master!
We are bringing this article to you again! Many of our customers have signed up since the last e-mail and are loving it! Don't Wait! Call or E-Mail Now!


“Excellent web site design, management and exposure of your business are absolutely the most important aspects of your business plan in the hospitality field. It can also
be one of your worst headaches. Constant analysis, evaluation of what is effective and what is less than effective as a strategy is a daily constant in a thriving business. Failure to address that can result in unsold rooms and disappointing fiscal results.

Prior to our best marketing decision of the year resulting in our retaining the services of Mark, Lisa and Co. at Acorn Internet Services, we were very handicapped in the management of our site. Our analytical efforts often became fruitless. Even the most responsive web site management sometimes cannot alter your site "right now." You are one of many clients and your web person, though sensitive to the priority of your request, can only place you in the queue while you lose valuable time in placing your most recent marketing plan into action.

SnippetMaster is a life saver! It is stellar not only in its ability to render "immediacy" but also totally eradicates the stagnation that is often the death knoll to new ideas. It is hard to strategize on "what's next" when your last creative work session is still on your webmaster’s desk. Empowerment is the byword and SnippetMaster is the tool. It is efficacious and easy to utilize for even those not computer savvy.”

Patti, Cumberland Falls

Acorn offers the installation of the Snippet Master toolset. This simple wysiwyg (What You See Is What You Get) content-editor tool is for those web site owners who want a very easy, quick, and visual way to edit a pre-defined area on any web page through their browser without messing up the rest of the web page. If you can pull E-mail online, or know how to use a word processing tool such as WORD or WORD PERFECT, you have the skills to use Snippet Master to update the text on your web site. IT REALLY IS THAT EASY!

[Snippet Master Overview] | [Snippet Master Demo]

Acorn will install either the PRO or LITE version of Snippet Master depending on the customer needs. Installation time is billable at Development Rates and usually takes about 1 hour to install. Once installed, there are NO ONGOING fees to use these tools. E-mail us or call us regarding installation schedule.

SPAM - Junk E-Mail Forms
This section is for Acorn Hosting customers who have email forms on their web site. We were getting reports from several of our hosting customers

that they were getting junk emails from their email forms. A Spambot was hitting sites and sending garbage out through the email forms on web sites they crawled. We added extra code to the email form program to detect this activity and reject it if the validation failed. This should have stopped the garbage emails. If you get anymore of these, let us know and we will see what we can do to block it.

Content is Important - Writing for the Search Engines

If you make the analogy that your web site is like a bed and breakfast, then you
could say that the marketing and design of your site (like advertising and the

inn’s outward appearance) is what gets the guests in the door, and the content (like the innkeeper’s hospitality and amenities) is what keeps them there. When writing for your web site, there are four main things to keep in mind: marketability, voice, audience and accuracy.

There is very little purpose in having a web site if no one is going to see it, so the most important thing you can do when writing copy for your web site is to make sure it is marketable. Your web site copy should include important keywords that search engines will pick up on. Making your writing marketable ensures that when a potential customer types in keywords that are relevant to your business, your web site comes up in the search engine results. You want to include both general keywords that refer to the type of business you own and specific keywords that refer to particular services or amenities that that you offer. Another good rule of thumb is that each of your site’s pages contain at least 150 words of text.

Voice and audience go hand in hand when writing for your web site. Your web site’s voice, or writing style, should reflect the atmosphere of your business. For instance, if you are advertising a country inn, you might want your web site copy to sound more casual, personal and inviting. If you are advertising fine jewelry, then you might want your writing to reflect the elegance and romance that your jewelry represents. You also want to keep in mind your audience, the people who are visiting your web site. Ask yourself these questions: Who do I want to attract to my business? What kind of information will they be looking for on my site? What goods or services do I offer that set my business apart from similar businesses? How can I describe my business to make it more attractive to potential customers?

Finally, you want to be sure that your web site copy is accurate. Proofread your writing carefully to avoid grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. Make sure that contact information is correct and that current policy, vacation package and discount information is up to date. Also, make sure that descriptions of goods and services are described in as much detail as possible, referring the reader to contact your business if more information is needed.

If you utilize all of these tips while writing for your web site, you are sure to make your cyber presence more marketable, informational and attractive to your online visitors. Of course, we at Acorn are always happy to assist you in improving your web site. So if you need more information about marketing your business online, please give us a call at 877-ACORN-99 (877-226-7699) or e-mail us.

New Design Spotlight
View more designs in our portfolio section on the Main Menu above.
Ponder Cove
Cottage at Twin Oaks
North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Assocation Re-Design
Vineyard Properties
Mystic Rose Inn
Book Land Direct
Employee Highlights
Kelly Haux

Kelly joined the Acorn staff in April 2004. Previously, she had been an office manager at a busy insurance and investment company. She has also been a volunteer coordinator at a non-profit children's organization in a supervisory position over 75 adult volunteers. Loving to travel herself, Kelly is enjoying helping the Acorn clients from all over the United States.

Kelly has been married for seventeen years to Kevin and they have 7 children. Their children range in age from 20 to 7. They also welcomed their first grandchild, Kylie, into the family last March. When Kelly isn't working on Acorn projects, she enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, reading and various volunteer projects.

Recently, Kelly has added PPC Management to her Acorn job description. She looks forward to working with the customers who are interested in this service that Acorn provides.

And a special welcome to our new Marketing Specialists, Patty Lapa Straub and Sarah White.
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