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Q: Review and Proof-Read of our web site. ( ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Review and Proof-Read of our web site. (
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: cesarpinto-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 05 Dec 2003 08:34 PST
Expires: 04 Jan 2004 08:34 PST
Question ID: 283840
First off, forgive me if this is long, we are selling our software
trough the Internet since one year and we are not doing well.
We hire a couple of companies this year to do the optimization and do
the monthly maintenance with the 5 biggest Search Engines including
Pay per Click on Overture and nothing happens.

We read many answers from professionals like, Lot-ga, sgtcory-ga ?and
we found that Serenata-ga were very professional and friendly writing.

We would like to Serenata-ga answer these questions but others are welcome.

After your analysis, we well hirer a Company or a person to re-submit
our site and do the monthly maintenance.

1 ) ?Review and Proof-Read of our web site?. ( 
?	Perhaps related, it would be great if you look at how
rates within the Internet    community as well.
?	What, if anything, should we add to the site, to attract and
interest potential buyers?
?	What, if anything, should we modify in the current site?
?	How can we improve the path a prospective buyer takes through the
site, in order to make the initial contact easier?
?	Suggestions on layout, navigation, color, logo, graphics, copy,
information provided, information missing, would all be welcome.
?	Instills a sense of professionalism and confidence.
?	Appears to have the information they are looking for.
?	Is easy to navigate.
?	Is well written.
?	Who knows, your advice could directly change the website itself. 

2 ) I would like our website to rank higher for the search term "point
of sale" and "pos" on the Google and Yahoo search engines.

3 ) How can I find companies related with my site, to establish Links?
Retail Associations like National Retail Association, are considered
valid links? Is there a site that suggests that?

4 ) DOCTYPE Declaration & Title Tags - Are we making good use of our
DOCTYPE Declarations and your <title> tags?

5 ) Using your statement ?Since Google and the major search engines
and directories basically ignore metatags, you need to add RICH,
DESCRIPTIVE text for the search engines to index and return in answer
to a searcher's queries. Make sure every page has enough text to meet
those queries." Do we have good description in our keywords and
description meta tags?

6 ) Can I have a suggestion on an advertising slogan for POS Software Company?

7 ) List of Companies who does ?Press Release?.

8 ) List of magazines dedicated to retailers, to send ?press release?.

9 ) How can we get seal of approval from Microsoft, Borland, magazines, etc...? ?

10 ) List of Companies who sells software to National retail chains.

11 ) Who provides the best information on price comparisons, user
reviews, and ratings for Point of Sale systems for small and medium
Retail Stores?

12 ) Can you suggest 6 companies to do the submission and maintenance of our site?

Thank you

Cesar Pinto

Request for Question Clarification by serenata-ga on 05 Dec 2003 11:00 PST
Hi Cesarpinto ~

Thank you for asking for me to answer to your questions. I shall be
happy to oblige and address the issues you have listed.

You have asked certain questions that will require some in-depth
research, so I anticipate a few days before I have everything gathered
to supply your answers.

I do have an immediate question for you, though.

     Who do you feel is the ideal market for your software?

I understand you are aiming at retailers; but, generally, is there one
market sector you feel would be both in a position to invest in your
software and for which it would be most beneficial? Or is there one
market sector you'd like to aim at to "get your foot in the door"?

This information will help to gain a perspective toward who you are
(or should be) designing for - because there are different ways to
present the necessary information to different markets.

I may have other questions as I proceed, and I'll request the clarification here.

Thank you again,

Clarification of Question by cesarpinto-ga on 06 Dec 2003 04:11 PST
Hi Serenata, thanks for the question.

The program is made for Retailers in general.
Electronics, Office depot, Shoes and Closes.

It has a Module for Size and Color and we are just finishing a module
for Food Stores.

We have a Server in a Collocation in Orlando, FL where one of our
customers with 5 stores in San Francisco has his Data Base. It?s
connecting through VPN 24 hours a day. He can check his places from
home or even when he is traveling.

If the Store doesn?t have a good Internet connection, it could use our
replication system.

If the customer has only one store, the database could be located in his premises.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Cesar Pinto
Subject: Re: Review and Proof-Read of our web site. (
Answered By: serenata-ga on 09 Dec 2003 10:01 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Cesar Pinto ~

Your request was daunting, to say the least, as you requested a great
deal of information about a subject with which I wasn't entirely

I think, however, that it may be to your benefit that I wasn't, as it
gave ME an opportunity to consult with some friends in retail and food
service about the subject. Of course I asked them for their opinions
on your website and will include that information in this answer.

Your site is also available in Spanish, but I will address this from
the English perspective only, as Google does not provide facilities at
this time for multi-lingual questions and answers.

General Overview & First
Impression of the Main Retail Site

My initial impression to the site was confusion.

1. Color -
   Across the top is one color combination of black, white and
   red. Below that is a color combination predominantly of blue
   and white. It almost appears that this is taken from two
   different sites.

2. Name -
   The top part is "Applications Network", although the domain name
   is A graphic "Main Retail" is located below
   a navigation bar, it really doesn't appear to be the name of the
   website or your product, but looks more like a header.

3. Focus -
   There is no "real" information to grasp or focus on. The first
   "bulleted" phrase is "The most complete package available in
   the industry today for retail stores." However, what package?
   Specifically for what?

   The eyes are drawn either to the Applications Network colors at
   the top or to the bottom where you've got images of software,
   ie., SQL SErver, Windows 2000, etc.. Are you selling these

The text information doesn't state nor infer what the purpose of this
site is, either, which adds to the confusion.

Suggestions for Improvement

Your domain name -

Main Retail is the name of your product and shares the name of your
domain. This   should be the predominant name on your page.
"Applications Network" should be relegated to a much smaller and less
important position on the page. The name of your product "Main Retail"
should be what your visitor remembers.

You can mention "Applications Network", but I would mention it in a
footnote or using an asterisk, something like:

     "Main Retail, a Division of Applications Network"

(or whatever is appropriate) and then only once, in a footnote, perhaps.

     "Main Retail is a wholly owned subsidiary of Applications

If you want continue promoting Applications Network, then you are
going to have to work harder at building the Main Retail brand, which
is an entirely different issue.


Choose one color combination for your site. You have two distinct
color combinations which are not only confusing, but they don't really
compliment each other at all, giving the site a "disjointed" feeling.

There is some information on web safe colors on the Webdevelopers site here:

Another article, "How To Select Perfectly Matching Color Combinations"
by Robin Good, helps you understand the importance of colors.

Personally, I recommend the use of the blue and white theme. Blue is a
cooler, more professional color - there's a reason they call IBM "Big
Blue" - and shades of blue are pretty much "safe" no matter how bad
some monitor's colors may be tuned. Color should be a sort of
'framework' for the content of your site, and not so obvious that it
distracts from the site's business.

I would stay away from reds, because you are wanting to market your
product to businesses to whom 'red' silently says "bad news".

Whatever you choice, keep to one color combination and employ that
through the site.


Every page on your website should have a purpose, and that purpose
should be immediately understandable by your visitor.

There should be some 'action' you require from your visitor as well,
and your content should compel the visitor to perform that 'action'. I
would imagine in your case it would be to contact you for more
detailed information. The type of product you are offering doesn't
lend itself well to either "impulse buying" or purchasing after only
one visit to your site, so you should write your copy and present your
information in such a way as to satisfy their curiosity, easily find
answers to their immediate questions and ultimately, to contact you.

Surprisingly, the visitor's eyes do not go to the upper left hand
corner of their monitor, but down about an inch and to the left about
three inches.

Your focus or focal point should be there, and your important
information should be presented at that point. Information should be
grouped with white around it to make it stand out as the "important
information" on your page.

And you should always assume that your visitor has no idea what your
product is. You wouldn't start a "sales pitch" in the middle, and your
web page should not presume that your visitor knows - in this case,
what "POS" or "point of sale" is or can do for them.

Some Online Resources On Web Design

Joe Gillespie's "Web Page Design for Designers"

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox

Jeffrey Veen's "The Foundations of Web Design"

All the above have some good basic and not-too-technical information
on how to design a "user-friendly" site, including what your Visitor
expects and anticipates.

I don't always agree with every point in any of their advice and
information, but there really *are* basics, which have been
empirically noted on how people approach websites.

Site Specifics

You are proud of Main Retail, and rightly so. You have worked hard to
develop a product and now you want to market it to others.

Having lived with your project for so long, though, it is easy to
forget that your site visitor doesn't have all that information you

I'll try to point out "areas" where you can improve on the information
you have, or add information that is lacking, in order to get your
visitor to contact you.

 1. Home Page

Besides the confusion of product, color and focus listed above, there
is a very "crowded" feeling about this page

Your navigation bars at the top are cramped, and some are on (or in)
the grey bar which fades to the right, and some below it in a smaller
(shorter) bar.

"Main Retail" looks more like a subject header than a product, which
is the main product you are trying to promote.

The graphics to the right is too vague to be connected with the
content (or lack of content) on this page. A better graphic would be a
photo of a happy merchant or retail clerk using a POS product, it
would help define exactly what YOU mean by "point of sale".

Does YOUR "point of sale" mean this?

     "POS (point of sale) is the physical location at which
      goods are sold to customers.  A point-of-sale (POS)
      software terminal is a computer replacement for a cash
      register. More sophisticated than traditional cash
      registers, a POS (point of sale) software system
      includes the ability to track customer orders,
      process credit cards, and manage inventory."
      [From P.O.S. Direct "What is Point of Sale?"]

Or does your "point of sale" mean one of these terms as found in
Google's search engine using the term "define: point of sale" (without
the quotation marks.
   - ://

Google's got a lot of definitions of "POS", too:
   - ://

and, as you can see, they are not all related to "point of sale".

Define what YOUR particular POS application is about - and not by
listing a whole list of 'features'. You also cannot assume your
visitor will understand the benefits to him of your POS packages, so
it is your responsibility to show him how it will benefit him.

The term for this, "sell the sizzle", holds here. Your customers won't
buy "features", but they will understand and buy Main Retail for the
benefits those features offer.

Keep all your 'subjects' grouped together, too. You have a "Main
Retail POS software promotion!" with "Click here to see our business
proposition" in the middle of the page, and then "Online and Real Time
Access" (a feature) and "Even when you are out of town, you can
supervise Point of Sale, Invoices and Inventory Sold just by accessing
the Internet." (a benefit) which should realistically be a part of the
main focus benefits of your site as discussed above.

Taking the time now to write clear, relevant copy, which contains
those terms under which you want your site to be found will help your
visitor understand what you are offering and consequently aid in
search engine positioning.

While you should indeed stress that Main Retail is Windows-oriented,
the software at the bottom of the main page more properly belongs on
an inside page in which you discuss the technical issues of Main
Retail instead.

Your 'promotion' should be that ... a promotion of some sort. If it
does involve completing a survey, you should say so wherever you
mention your promotion. The way it is set up could very well be
interpreted to be misleading, and that is the last impression you want
your visitors - which are your potential customers - to have.

Promotion or Business Proposition Page

The first thing to think about is the fact it is a pop up page. What
do you have in place for those visitors who have pop ups disabled?

     "Applications Network is offering to you a great
      opportunity of winning complimentary Main Retail
      (Module 2) POS system. Completely FREE!  No Contract,
      No strings attached.

      There will be 2 drawing every month, totalizing 24 Main
      Retail software (Module 2), which can be installed in a
      network up to 5 computers.

      To participate, you just have to enter the information in
      the forms bellow. Sooner you enter, grater will be your
      chance of receiving the best POS in the market today."
      [From your javascript:popSurvey()]

Grammatically, it should read:

     "Applications Network is offering you a great
      opportunity of winning a complimentary Main Retail
      (Module 2) POS system. Completely FREE!  No Contract,
      No strings attached.

      There will be 2 drawings every month, totaling 24 Main
      Retail software (Module 2), which can be installed in a
      network of up to 5 computers.

      To participate, you just have to enter the information in
      the forms below. The sooner you enter, the greater will be
      your chance of receiving the best POS in the market today."

      Do not miss this chance to be one of the winners!

In addition to that, you make them fill out yet another SURVEY to
enter your drawing ... which is overkill. You should definitely
combine the condition they fill out the survey and agree to using
their comments, etc., instead of requiring them to fill out another
form. The object is to make things EASY for your visitor, not chase
him away with a lot of information he's not ready to just give up.

And what about those who don't want their information publicly
paraded? Where is your privacy policy? I am certainly NOT going to do
business with anyone who doesn't ensure my information is not shared
or spread all over the internet. And about 90% of your site's visitors
share that opinion.

Navigation and Coding

A check of your HTML shows a remarkable 341 (give or take a few lines)
of coding in the header before we ever get to the content of your

Most of that is for the navigation of the site. Two things to think
about is that some search engines choke on that much javascripting and
may never get to your inside pages. And what do you offer those who
are browsing with javascript disabled? How can they navigate your

A simple search to see which of your pages are indexed can be done on
Google by typing "allinurl:" in Google's search
box. There are only five pages returned.
   - ://

Google specifically recommends you "Offer a site map to your users
with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site
map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map
into separate pages." [from Google's Design and Content Guidelines]
   - ://

Good design principles also include including text links on your page
so those who are not seeing your page as it is designed can navigate.

If you want to keep the scripted drop-down menus in your design, at
least link to the script so search engines can get to the content,
which is what really counts when it comes to search engine placement.

About Us

As a rule visitor expects to see information about the real PEOPLE
behind a product on the "About Us" page, and not information about the

The material on this page would better be a part of your product
information pages, and some real information about the people behind
Main Retail would be more appropriate on the "About Us" page.

INformation should also involve information about your physical
location and phone numbers.

Contact Page

Again, you are using the Applications Network information for Main
Retail. You should use the contact page to further strengthen Main
Retail's relationship to Applications Network, with Applications
Network taking a lower or lesser rank. This site *IS* about Main
Retail, after all.

Under "Contact A Reseller Near You" are locations for Florida,
Michigan and New York, with phone numbers. Unfortunately, there is no
name with those phone numbers. Are these businesses? Are they
individual people? If you want your visitor to call a number, then be
courteous enough to tell your visitor who he is calling.

Support Page

Your support page directs users to:

    1st - "the on-line help and in the User's Guide"
   then - "feel free to call, fax, or e-mail our Technical
           Support Department"

You should supply a link to your User's Guide. Without that, you are
forcing the user go hunting down that link.

The same is true for the phone number and fax number, they should be
included on this page.

The email address is ... is that your Support
email? Either way, you should ensure your visitor understands who he
will reach if he chooses to use that email address.

Again, you are asking for comments, and payments to "Applications
Network" instead of Main Retail. If you are keeping that name, Main
Retail, you have to refer to "Main Retail" first, because that is the
name of your product, and Applications Network second.

What is ASP?

This seems somehow to be sort of 'thrown in' as an afterthought.
Bearing in mind that you cannot make the assumption that your visitor
understands "POS" or "Point of Sale", he likewise may not understand
what "ASP" has to do with those terms, either.

This page might better be included with product information, at the
very beginning ... sort of a "Beginner's Guide to Networking" or
whatever you choose. It leaves your visitor wondering why it's sitting
out there on your navigation all by itself.

Main Retail & Formatting

Since Main Retail is the focus of this website, it is necessary for
this to be the very first link (after the "home" link) on your
navigation. There is a perception that your links are in order of
their importance.

Yes, your visitors do expect to see an "About Us" and a "Contact Us"
and a "Privacy Policy" page, but these are usually toward the bottom
of your internal links within your site.

You have a LOT of information hidden within the drop down menu:

     * Info
     * Features
     * Screen S hot
     * video Demo
     * Price List
     * User Manual
     * Online Help

I'd seriously rethink your navigation system (as mentioned above), and
in any case, this should clearly be out there for your visitors to
click on, instead of relying on a drop down menu. These pages include
information they need to make an informed decision whether or not to
buy YOUR product, Main Retail.

The rule of thumb should always be to make it easy on your visitor,
not to make him dig around looking for the information he may need.
The more he looks - and fails to find - the information he is seeking,
the greater chances he'll click away to another site that does supply
the information in a user-friendly, easy-to-find way.

Two items I feel I need to mention at this time are the right
justification and the graphical 'hint'.

Right justification is great for print, it's really bad looking
online, by nature of the way the internet is constructed. Online does
not offer the letterspacing and kerning that printing does, so some
lines have way too much space between words. This is irritating to
someone who is trying to read the information. The word flow in your
text would flow more smoothly if you let that right margin fall where
it may.

On some browsers at some default settings, it looks pretty bad as it is.

As for the 'hints' to the right of your text, you have "The retailer
can see the POS movement thru the internet". I think "on" the internet
may work better for you.

Main Retail Features Page

Your 'features' page lists scores of Features. But features alone
aren't going to induce your visitors to buy.

You need to convert those features to "benefits" so your visitors
understand why all those features are important and what they mean to

An easy way to change a feature into a benefit is to take each feature
and then add, "what this means to you is ..." after it.

The part that comes after those words, "what this means to you is ..."
is the benefit.

For instance, you have a 'feature' under Point of Sale, "Join
Invoices". So, what does that mean to your visitor? What benefit is
there in being able to "join invoices"?

It would be better to break this page up into the separate sections
and rewrite it to point out why each of those features will or can
benefit your visitor. Without helping him to understand why any of
those features are important, their meaning becomes diluted.
Especially when there are so many - as there are on this page.

Price List

Your price list is confusing.  You have a "one time only" charge for
different levels which require, first, that they have to click on each
of those modules for more information; and secondly, when one gets to
the information, it is based on the number of 'seats'.

First of all, what are you referring to as a 'seat'?

From there, it becomes more confusing. For instance, what if I have 5
seats but want the support features you offer in Module IV? Do I have
to order that, even if I don't need those 5 extra seats? And why isn't
the Office Manager automatically a part of it?

Can it operate without the Office Manager?

My friend who has 31 locations, with at least 3 cash registers in each
location, and usually more (drive in and larger counter areas).

He couldn't figure out, after a half hour on the site, how to order
what he'd need for his chain. He lives the "buzzwords" for his fast
food chain. POS and Point of Sale and most of the language you use are
not foreign to him. He understands inventory control down to the price
and how to order soft drink lids, and he couldn't figure out how he
would begin to make a price estimate based on the way your price
structure is published.

His system is serviced by IBM, and it includes the whole deal from
equipment, registers, computers, intranet tie-ins and everything else
he needs, and he leases the system. Support and upgrades are either
free or incur minimal charges and maintenance is worry-free for him.

Your prices "look" good, until one starts adding in the features one
needs or wants. Then there is not that great a difference. His
ultimate argument is that he doesn't have to 'own' or tie up his own 
system. Equipment and the software he presently leases can be easily
upgraded or updated, and maintenance and service are a part of his
contract, greatly minimizing downtime.

It might be worth it to rethink how you are list your prices in order
to make it easy for even those who marginally mathematically inclined
to arrive at a better estimate of the ultimate cost.

Method of Payment

You offer Paypal as a payment method, which is a popular mode of
payment; why not go the rest of the way and either open your own
merchant account with your bank or use a seamless third party
processor. This gives you a more "professional look" and offers an
immediate payment method when your visitor makes the decision to buy.

Some third party processors with a good reputation are:

     * 2 Checkout (accept credit cards without a merchant account)

     * Internet Secure (for Canadian payments without a merchant

Online Help

It seems that your online help closely resembles your User Manual
(which is in PDF format) which is over 400 pages of information.

You are relying on java for part of the online help. What do you offer
your customers who have java disabled? Is there an alternative method
you can use to present this information?

Office Manager

This page describes the usefulness as a user interface for all the
modules of Main Retail. I assume you have it listed separately because
you offer it separately as well, but it wouldn't hurt to include it in
your information about Main Retail, or at least heavily link TO this
page in order to help your visitor understand and fully appreciate
this interface.


This page is serving the dual purpose of recruiting resellers and
provides reseller for Florida, Michigan and New York.

As a courtesy to those who are reselling for you, you should list them
first, along with WHO those phone numbers belong to in case. Remember,
no one likes to make "blind" phone calls to gain information.

Once again, you are using the Applications Network header, and the
email address for Main Retail. I would repeat the need to clearly
establish the relationship between Main Retail and Applications
Network and be consistent throughout the site.

I also noticed at the bottom of the Reseller Application a toll free
number. This is the first I noticed that number and wonder why you
don't offer your customers the use of that number as well, especially
since you limit the amount of "free" support time.

Free Trial & System Requirements

Your offer to download a free trial is always a good idea, especially
from a marketing standpoint. My recommendation is to combine the
"System Requirements" with the download page and to give your visitors
more information about the download.

Is this download time limited? Is it fully functional? Does it include
all the modules? Providing as much information as you can will only
increase the chances that the software will actually BE downloaded and
put to use.

Summary of Overall Impressions

You specifically asked for the following information:

     ? Perhaps related, it would be great if you look at
       how rates within the Internet
       community as well.
     ? What, if anything, should we add to the site, to
       attract and interest potential buyers?
     ? What, if anything, should we modify in the current
     ? How can we improve the path a prospective buyer takes
       through the site, in order to make the initial contact
     ? Suggestions on layout, navigation, color, logo,
       graphics, copy, information provided, information
       missing, would all be welcome.
     ? Instills a sense of professionalism and confidence.
     ? Appears to have the information they are looking for.
     ? Is easy to navigate.
     ? Is well written.

I will emphasize the need to establish from the first the fact this is
Main Retail and it is a (division, subsidiary, whatever the
relationship) to Applications Network. This is to brand the Product
first, since that is the domain you are using, then the company who
makes it. Be consistent throughout the site with that product/company

This method works fine with Microsoft and its products (such as
Windows OS), so you should have no problem establishing the same type
of information for your own visitors and customers.

You should also establish on the first page what the site is about,
what you are referring to as "POS", "Point of Sale" and even the "ASP"
and how it relates to Main Retail.

I would include graphics showing users of your system. There are many
sites with royalty free photos you can adapt to the site. Here are a
few for starters:

     * Comstock

     * iStockphoto

     * Royalty Free Photos

     * Getty Images

     * 1 Stop Stock

Any of the above offer photos which you can add to your site where appropriate.

Your offer of a free module, etc., in exchange for the survey should
be clearly delineated as such, don't make them fill out the survey and
then enter the drawing, combine the two and clearly tell them what you
will do with the information.

Speaking of 'information', you should also adapt a privacy policy. Not
all of your customers will want their information shared or published.
You should establish and publish a privacy policy. This not only lends
credibility to your company but establishes trust with your visitors,
who you are hoping to convert into customers.

Information on drafting a privacy policy can be found on the
Electronic Privacy Information Center

Other sites with enough information to get your started on drafting a
suitable privacy policy can be found here:

     * Law Commerce

     * Privacy Affiliates

With regard to your navigation system, there is so much information
you are offering, I would again suggest adding a site map, and perhaps
a site search so they can find the information they may be seeking, as
well as a FAQ page. The object is to make it very easy to navigate and
find the information, so you probably cannot add too many ways to help
your visitor find what he is looking for.

Think hard about your navigation system. Using a drop down menu forces
your visitor to first, search for information and then remember where
that particular menu item is. Perhaps the old tried and true method of
using a text menu on the left hand side would be of more value for
your visitors.

Lastly, as stated, I would suggest one color scheme throughout the
site. The colors should be easy on the eye and should be unobtrusive,
as you do not want them to detract from the information.

Addressing your other matters

I'll address the further questions and information you are seeking in
your questions.

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

You said, "I would like our website to rank higher for the search term
"point of sale" and "pos" on the Google and Yahoo search engines."

Everyone would like to rank highly in search engine results pages, but
unfortunately, there are 10 places per page.

Searching Google for the term "POS" returns over 13 million results.
   - ://

and searching for Point of Sale over 8 million results.
   - ://

Obviously, the competition is pretty strong for those choice
positions. Google thoughtfully provides guidelines on how to place
well in its Webmaster Guidelines, here:
   -  ://

And explains the importance of its PageRank system in its Page Rank Information:
   - ://

and in "Our Search: Google Technology":
   - ://

From your questions, though, you were already aware of these
recommendations, but you should definitely take them to heart.

Establishing Links

You asked, "How can I find companies related with my site, to
establish Links? Retail Associations like National Retail Association,
are considered valid links? Is there a site that suggests that?

It is rare that software developers make good marketers. You are ahead
of many others by realizing you need to establish some good links from
important sites. The most obvious start would be links from your
existing customers, both in the manner of testimonials on your own
site and encouraging a link from their sites. If you have such a
relationship established already, it is usually easy to ask them for
both a testimonial and a link. It is only courtesy that you link to
them as well. offers a listing of state retail associations on its site here:

You might want to take a close look at those state association
websites and contact the key personnel from the sites which most
closely match your own professionalism. Remember, though, that you do
not want to merely be a part of a page full of links.

Likewise, has a listing of different types of retail
associations which will also give you some idea on which you may want
to approach and establish a working relationship with. You can find
those here:

It isn't always easy to judge which might be just the hot spot you
need, so this might be the perfect time to hire a good public
relations person who will have the contacts to help with both issues,
establishing the links and gaining some publicity for Main Retail.

DOCTYPE, char-set
and Title Tags


You asked, "DOCTYPE Declaration & Title Tags - Are we making good use
of our DOCTYPE Declarations and your <title> tags?"

All of the pages have an appropriate DOCTYPE declaration.

2. Char-set

None of the pages, however, contain a character set declaration. The
importance of using a char-set declaration is addressed by the World
Wide Consortium here:

as you can see, it would be to your advantage to add the encoding
within your Header tags to ensure your viewers actually see what you
intend them to see. I would recommend adding this one:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">

3. Title Tags

Your title tags are in all caps, which are harder to read than using
upper and lower case.

Every page uses the same title tag as well, "Point of Sale/ Inventory
Control for Retail Sales". It is much better and adds to the ease of
indexing your site if each site has a title tag that more closely
represents the actual contents of that page.

For instance, "What is ASP" ... instead of the title tag which you are
using on every page, a better title might possibly be "What is ASP?
Point of Sale Information from Main Retail"

Your title tag does have some weight with most search engines, so
appropriately naming each page and using key words in the Title tags
is ultimately to your advantage.

Metatags - They Do Serve A Purpose

You asked, "Do we have good description in our keywords and description meta tags?"

Because some unscrupulous webmasters long ago started abusing the
keyword and description metatags by stuffing them, they are given
little, if any, weight by most of the major search engines.

Lesser directories and search engines, however, may use them for
finding your site. Even Google occasionally uses a description tag for
its description of a site in search engine results.

On the other hand, you do not want to appear as if you are "stuffing",
"spamming" or otherwise gaming the system.

Keywords - Put them to good use by including those words under which
you wish to be found without stuffing them with needless words. You
might want to use Word Tracker which will help you determine the most
requested phrases covering Main Retail to help you decide which order
to place the words. Each page should have keywords relevant to the
content on that page, why use the same 'catchall' set on every page
when you have this ability to customize them to reflect each page's

Word Tracker can be found here.


Description - You should likewise carefully consider a one or two
sentence description for each page, reflecting the page's content.
Think carefully about how you would like each page's description to
show up in its own search engine results listing.

Advertising Slogan

You asked, "Can I have a suggestion on an advertising slogan for POS
Software Company?"

Developing a good advertising slogan is as important to branding as
the development of a good logo and your website. A slogan should take
into effect your company's mission, goals, customer service policies,
dedication to excellence and then transforming them to a slogan which
can be stated in 6 to 8 words.

In your response to my Request for Clarification, you stated your
market was wide open. A realistic approach is that many of the major
retailers already have a system in place, or at least portions of the
system you offer. Many of those are proprietary systems with Fortune
500 companies such as IBM, NCR and others which provide the total
system for millions of dollars.

That leaves a considerable market for you to try to cover, from
independent grocers in specific locations to small fast food
operations, to business-to-business (B2B) operations, etc.

It really wouldn't be appropriate until you make other major
decisions, including whether or not you might want to target a
specific niche market to even try to develop a good slogan which will
be both memorable and serve you well.

You need to make firm decisions as to direction and reach before a
slogan should even be considered.

Some PR Firms

You asked for a "List of Companies who does ?Press Release?."

I can recommend the following, as I am familiar with their work. 

     * B L Ochman, author and moderator of Marketing Wonk's
       I-PR list.
       Contact information

     * Nancy Preiss - Campaigns that work 

You might also want to consider joining and taking advantage of PR
Web, the free wire service here:

Lastly, there is a great service which you may find of particular
interest in Dan Janal's PR Leads:

or consult with Dan Janal here on internet marketing strategies

Retail Trade Publications

You asked for a "List of magazines dedicated to retailers, to send
?press release?."

Starting with media & public relations:

     * Retail Council of Canada's "Canadian Retailer"

     * Chain Store Age

     * DSN Retailing Today

     * Stores Magazine

     * Apparel

     * About Com's retail publications lists

A Google search for retail trade publications returns about 868,000 results.
   - ://

This is where a good PR person comes in handy as he or she will be
familiar with the particular niche or trade publications you need to
target for the best results. Most PR people have the lists necessary
to assist you along those lines, and as a rule, their contact lists
are not for sale.

To try to list them all is no help to you until you decide on a niche
and then look for the best publications within that niche. No company
can cover every possible publication, therefore, it would help to
target a certain sector and seek the publications important to that

Seal of Approval

You asked, "How can we get seal of approval from Microsoft, Borland,
magazines, etc...?"

1. Microsoft

Microsoft does not give a "seal of approval", per se. They will,
however, allow you to use their "made for" logo on your own software
if you meet certain criteria.

The information is available on the Microsoft website on "Designed for
Windows Program"

2. Borland

Borland's site offers a "partnership" program, and I think what you
are looking for there is its Borland Solution Partner Program (BSP).
You can find information about the BSP program here:

and general information about its partnership programs, "Become a
Borland Partner", here:

3. Magazines

Each magazine you might choose will have its own information on how to
achieve this goal, provided the magazine offers one. It would be
necessary to check with each magazine on how to submit for such a

4. Online Sources

You might want to consider listing your 'free download' software with
CNet Networks online. This covers both C|Net and zdnet. The site to do
that is located here:

Companies that 
Sell Software to Retail Chains

You asked for a "List of Companies who sells software to National retail chains".

This, again, is a difficult list to complete.

Retail chains are like any other business in how they may purchase
software. Some of them order through one source, such as Office
Depot's corporate sales or Business Services Group. Others use
corporate supplier branches of retail outlets. Still others deal
directly with hardware and/or software manufacturers for licenses and
the equipment they need.

Some deal with mass merchandisers such as Boise-Cascade 

Or Office Depot's Business Services Division

and other similar business service divisions of retailers.

This, too, is one of those questions that is both sector and
individual retailer specific, and it would be impossible to provide a
true 'list' of companies who sell software to these chains. Most will
buy the best way possible.

Price Comparisons

Surprisingly, I was unable to find a real price and/or feature
comparison of Point of Sale Software.

A check on Froogle - - produced a comparison
of Quickbooks POS software, but not a lot of other offerings.

I was unable to find comparisons on C|Net, ZD Net or PC World, either.
Apparently, no such comparison exists at this point.

Submission & Maintenance

You asked, "Can you suggest 6 companies to do the submission and
maintenance of our site?"

I am sure you can appreciate that recommending others is not always
easy to do, as it is my word saying these people are "great". As a web
designer myself, I sometimes consult with the experts listed below. If
you are talking about site design for user and search engine
optimization, I can recommend:

     * Shari Thurow - SEO expert and author
       Grantastic Designs

     * Jill Whalen - SEO expert and author

     * Bruce Clay - Search Engine Optimization

The above are totally ethical in their approach to search engine
optimization and they consistently boosting their clients' sites high
in search engine rankings. There fees are high, but they are among the
most recognized names in the industry.

Whether or not you retain them for site maintenance or if they even
offer an ongoing service will be between you and them, should you
decide to engage their services.

If you are talking about normal site maintenance, I can recommend Judy
Vorfeld of OSS Web Services,

I'm sorry the list didn't include six persons, but without
understanding your total needs in design, optimization and
maintenance, I am hesitant to recommend someone who wouldn't do
justice for you or your site.

Clarification of Answer by serenata-ga on 09 Dec 2003 10:16 PST
Hello Cesar ...

For some reason, the very last portion of my answer did not make it
into the Answer, so it is posted below.


Search Strategies

Some of the google search strategies used were:

   - retail trade magazines
   - (for specific site info)
   - office supplies
   - best website navigation practices
   - search engine optimization
   - POS
   - Point of Sale
   - Point of Sale retailers
   - PR + Ochman
   - Nancy Preiss
   - food trade publications
   - retail trade publications
   - Microsoft + seal of approval
   - Borland + seal of approval

In addition to the above specific searches, I relied on bookmarked and
other resources I regularly employ in my web design business.

Thanks for the opportunity to review your site. I now have a real
workable knowledge of POS and Point of Sale software.

Best of luck,

cesarpinto-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $50.00
Hi Serenata,
Thank you very much for your work.
You are 5 stars professional.
Merry Christmas.
Cesar Pinto

Subject: Re: Review and Proof-Read of our web site. (
From: serenata-ga on 17 Dec 2003 22:01 PST
Greetings Cesar Pinto ~

Thank you for your kind words, the 5-star rating and your most generous tip.

All are greatly appreciated!

Best of luck in your undertakings, and I look forward to seeing what
you may do with your site.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year,

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