Friday, August 28, 2009

Ranch House Invitations

We are excited to feature our newest expansion at RHD -- Invitations! For many of our loyal clients who've been with us for a few years, you might be thinking -- this isn't did invitations for me 5 years ago! Well it's new and it's not. True, we have been designing custom invitations since we opened our doors. We've done lots of moving cards, holiday cards, party invitations, etc for lots of our friends for the past 10 years.

We've been searching and we've teamed up with two of the leading nationwide invitation suppliers...Tiny Prints and

We are now able to offer thousands of personalized invitation examples at a price that can't be beat. So whether you're looking for a birthday party invitation, save the date, birth announcement, holiday card or more, we hope you'll visit Ranch House Invitations and browse through the exciting assortment of choices.

Of course, we'll still offer our custom designs just like always, we're just able to now offer a lot more options at a very affordable price. And for our high rolling friends, check out the choices at -- they are a little more pricey but they are really cool!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


It's that busy time of year where we're burning the midnight oils with updates in the web division. Yesterday we put up 40 new videos on Jeff Miller's site, and over 100 new photos of calves for sale this fall. Mondays are always fun since we get the rush of updates sent in over the weekend.

Updating your site - and letting people know it's updated - is crucial this time of year. Whenever you start updating your web site, your traffic is going to dramatically increase. Here are just a few examples of sites and the traffic they are getting:

Great Shorthorn Revival - They have been posting sale previews over the past few days, and their daily traffic has increased 4 TIMES OVER for the month of August. On August 1, they were averaging 60 visits per day. Yesterday, after posting thier 2nd sale preview, they had 286 visitors. GSR is one of our most well listed sites, as they do a great job of promoting their URL in their advertising. When reviewing their web site traffic, GSR is getting hits from (purchased link), (free link), (free link), (free link if you are their client), (free link for RHD clients), (free link for their clients), and

Jeff Miller has been continually updating throughout the last few weeks. On August 1, he was averaging 15 visits a day. Over the weekend, his site averaged 250 visitors per day! Jeff is also listed on several directories and getting lots of hits from (purchased), (purchased), (free), facebook (free), (free to his clients),, and (free to their advertisers)

Here are some more tips to build web site traffic:

1. Put your web site address on everything.... your ads, signs, e-mail signature, etc.

2. Send your friends and past clients a quick email letting them know that your site is updated. People love to see new things! Social networking sites are also great ways to announce that your new photos are up. If you have a facebook profile, post your calves there in a photo gallery too. And don't be afraid to call up your friends and tell them too. I would put money on the fact that Steve French (Great Shorthorn Revival) has made more than a couple phone calls to his friends letting them know the sale preview is up on his site!

3. Consider purchasing links on outside web sites. RHD isn't affiliated in any way with any of these sites, so we just make our recommendations based on the sites that have proven to give our clients the most traffic in the past 10 years we have been doing sites.

We recommend choosing one of the paid directory sites, and then purchasing a link there. Of course, if you are a show cattle breeder it's a given that you need to be listed on This is "THE" directory. If you aren't listed, e-mail right away to get listed. The cost is $250 and that'll be the best $250 you spend promoting your web site. Once you are listed, let us know so we can notify them whenever your site is updated.

Two others to consider are and These sites don't generate as much traffic as showsteers, but our clients that are listed here averaged about 100 hits a month from these two sites.

4. Get listed on any and all FREE sites.

The Show Circuit also has a breeder's directory, you can email to get listed. I believe they charge a small fee or sometimes they offer links as incentives to their advertisers. If you advertise with other magazines, check and see if they offer free links.

Before spending additional $$ to be listed on these sites, I recommend checking out their actual traffic. Don't just fall for the bogus line of "we have the most visited site on the internet". does great research on what sites actually get traffic. Their top ten sites for August is available at They do full research on all cattle related sites, but their show cattle related ones are:

  • Cattle Today Sites 17.55%
  • 8.73%
  • 7.00% (9)
  • 5.18% (7)
  • 3.21% (8)
  • 2.09% (>10)
Others close but not quite in the top 10 were:,,, and

And, remember, all RHD clients get a free detailed web site statistics program through us. If you want information on this or need a reminder about how to access your stats, let us know.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

1 Hour Web Turnaround in July!

Big news from the web updates division! In the month of July, we completed over 150 client web updates with an average turnaround of 1 HOUR! Just when we think we can't get any faster, Jessica and Dollie continue to do it again. But seriously, I don't see how we can get any faster than a 1 hour turnaround on updates, so I'm thinking this is going to be the top turnaround.

Our Grand Champion Web Updater Awards have become very popular among clients. Which is great....because we encourage everyone to update their site as often as possible to keep things fresh.

We have some new faces in the July Update Top 10 list.

Grand Champion July Updater: Washington County Fair
As the oldest county fair in Texas, and one of my personal favorites, the staff at the Washington County Fair are working hard to prepare for their 141st Annual County Fair. This year's dates will be September 16-19, so you can see they are updating quite frequently with all of their upcoming information. This client is averaging 2 updates per week.

Others in the Top Ten web updaters for July include:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Update on the telemarketing....

After posting yesterday's blog, we got this e-mail from another one of our clients complaining about these solicitations.

I just read your message and blog regarding the 3rd party repeated sales calls. My hats off to you for making a point to explain your position and view point on the issue. After I read your message I checked my cell phone and counted 9 times in the last 25 days I have been contacted by the individual you are talking about. I have talked to him twice and indicated to him that I was not interested to link my website to his directory. At first I didn't think much of it until he kept calling and never leaving a voicemail. Although I never suspected that Ranch House was distributing my contact information, I respect your decision to clearly explain your views on the issue. I also found it interesting that during one of the phone calls that I answered he actually mentioned your name, like it was part of his sales pitch "just let Rach know to link your site to our directory". I guess you can look at it as a compliment that other people in the industry know your product/service is premier and they are willing to risk their own credability in order to get ahead.

Just thought you would like to hear my view.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Livestock's do not call list....

This week we have had several of our RHD clients calling us complaining about a specific 3rd party livestock directory web site has been making numerous, repeated sales solicitation calls and e-mails to our clients, almost to the point of harassment.

Nobody likes telemarketers, and nobody likes harrassers.

RHD values your privacy and has not, NOR WOULD EVER, distribute our clients contact information to outside sales vendors. What appears to have happened is that this directory stalks our web site, and then calls or e-mails every single person that has a web site done by RHD.

We apologize for this nuisance and assure you that RHD values your privacy just as much as we value your business.

We do encourage our livestock clients to consider purchasing a link on livestock-related directories to help boost their exposure. There are several different sites who claim to offer the "best results" by purchasing a listing on their site, but after researching which sites provide the best results for our livestock clients, we only recommend,,, and for our cattle clients, and for our swine clients.

Additionally, Ranch House Designs maintains, and as an added bonus, all livestock-related clients will receive a free link on this site at no additional cost. Most all of the purebred breed associations (national and state) also offer free links on their website to their members as a benefit of joining your breed association.

If you receive a sales or solicitation phone call from a web site directory or listing service trying to convince you to purchase a listing in one of their directories, please exercise caution. Feel free to call our office at 979-532-9141 to discuss whether or not it would be worthwhile to invest your money in directories other than the ones listed above.

Meanwhile, maybe someone will develop a do not call list for livestock people. We realize you have a lot better things to do this time of year than trying to dodge annoying phone calls from people trying to sell you links on their web site.