20 October, 2011

Thinking of Getting Epi-LASIK Done on Both Eyes

Many are sick of changing spectacles every 1 to 2 years, whenever the lenses are scratched or the frame becomes worn out. Glasses are not cheap. A decent pair of spectacles can set you back for $150 to $400! Some people have very high short-sightedness which can make the spectacle lenses thick, heavy and unsightly. Moreover, the quality of vision through these lenses may subject the wearer to distorted visual quality.

I hate those damn things. But contact lens are slightly better but still far from perfect.

Many contact lens wearers have suffered enough inconvenience. They suffer from dry eyes and blur vision whenever the air conditioning gets too cold and the air becomes too dry. Lens replacement is an ongoing cost! Not to mention when contact lens manufacturers release newer and more superior lenses, the prices are always getting higher!

What better way to do away with these inconveniences, other than to have LASIK surgery? But is Lasik all that safe? Is Lasik really the ultimate solution to all these problems? Is Lasik really safe?

Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding "No" like I found out from LasikSurgery.sg, a Singapore LASIK resource website. It seems there's a chance that the corneal flap may not adhere back ...permanently. This is a huge risk for a sporty person like myself, I mean imagine the flap comes of during a dive - OMG!

Which is why I think I'm going to take Mike's recommendation to visit Clearvision, which is located at Nutmeg Road, just behind the Paragon shopping mall in Orchard. The clinic is run by Dr. Tony Ho, who is supposedly one of the early pioneers of Epi-LASIK, a more advanced LASIK surgical procedure that doesn't involve cutting the cornea.

17 August, 2011

The Search Engine Marketing Option for SMEs

If you're an SME in Malaysia and looking for a cost-effective way to give your business a boost, you should probably consider Online Marketing. Compared with traditional print, tv, radio and OOH advertising, Online Marketing provides much better targeting, is measurable and way cheaper.

Production costs is also much lower because there are no physical prints and videos to produce. This also means that you can get your ads out quicker with Online Marketing.

Online Marketing has evolved tremendously over the years, from just simple banner advertising to a sophisticated array of tools. Today, one has the option of email marketing (EDMs), pop-ups and pop-overs, social media marketing, article marketing and search engine marketing.

What is Search Engine Marketing? Search Engine Marketing or SEM, is an umbrella word for all methods that are used to promote websites in the search engines, e.g. in the search results of Google, Yahoo and Bing.

There are two main methods in SEM - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising programs that are offered by the search engines themselves. SEO helps increase your website's visibility in the organic part of the search results (i.e. the left side), while PPC lets you place your ads under the Sponsored Ads areas (i.e. top and right side).

Between the two, SEO is more important because based on a number of studies, organic search results receive about 75% of the click distribution compared to 25% for sponsored ads. This can be attributed to 2 main reasons:

1. People apparently trust the organic results more because the positions are determined by Google based on a number of quality signals.

2. A big portion of users have developed some sort of "ad-blindness" which makes them look only at the organic search results.

Still PPC advertising shouldn't be neglected because it provides better certainty than SEO and lets you push your message out as quickly as within the hour. Unlike SEO, PPC also doesn't incur high upfront costs and you can stop your campaigns anytime when you feel that it has stop giving you a good ROI.

03 July, 2011

HomeGuru Malaysia vs. iProperty Malaysia

It looks like the battle of the property portals in Singapore, between PropertyGuru and iProperty, has now spilled over the causeway into Malaysia. However, All Property Media has given it a different brand here, calling it HomeGuru - a joint-venture with Redberry (Malaysia).

The competition has so far resulted in some consolidation, as a result of iProperty snapping up ThinkProperty, while HomeGuru bought Fullhouse. Other property portals in the country are StarProperty, Propwall, and of course, the free and popular Mudah.my.

The core revenue for these property portals come from the listing fees paid by property agents. And then there is some income from display ads, and also from marketing projects for property developers. Listing is mostly free for ads posted by the public.

For now, it remains to be seen how HomeGuru intends to win market share from the incumbent, iProperty - which has a very established brand in the country. The battle is expected to be intense, infact, both portals are already suing each other over the use of the brand "HomeGuru".

With less than a year in the market, it's hard to tell who will emerge the victor. Currently, HomeGuru is expanding their staff size at their Bangsar South City office. The new kid on the block has also boasted of having over 50,000 listings of Malaysia property for sale and rent on their site.

29 May, 2011

Using AdWords To Boost Your Business During This Lull

The global economy looks like its weakening again. The U.S. is still fighting with high unemployment, growth in the U.K. has been anaemic at best, and some of the countries in the Euro zone are at risk of going bankrupt. Hence, it's no wonder that you may be experiencing a slowing business during this period.

One of the quickest and most effective way to give your business a boost is by advertising, and nothing gives you better ROI than Google AdWords - the world's largest Internet advertising program. There are several benefits of using Google Adwords:

1. Hundreds and thousands of Internet users advertise with Google AdWords every year, and it’s no wonder why. Google AdWords will advertise almost any niche or genre for anyone, anywhere, that when published will be aimed directly at your market’s target audience. AdWords uses PPC (pay per click), which simply means that you do not pay for your advertisement until someone clicks on it.

2. When signing up for your Google Adwords advertising account, it allows you to set a maximum bid limit for you PPCs, with bids starting at just 1 cent US. Advertisers are able to see their ads up and running on Google within a few minutes of setting them up. The ads are displayed along with search results when someone searches Google for any one of your keywords. Ads are listed under the heading "Indicators" on the right side of your search results page. They can also appear in additional positions above the free search results. This way, you are advertising to an audience that is already interested in your topic. You can also place the ads on sites in the Display Network part of the growing Google Network. You can select the exact placement of the display of the network on which your ad will appear. Alternatively, you determine the right content for your keywords with contextual targeting.

3. Choose from a variety of ad formats, including text, image and video ads. Each has it’s own benefits in relation to your target audience. With the statistics and reports in your AdWords account, you will have full control over your ads’ performance.

4. With Google AdWords there is no minimum monthly fee - only one initial activation fee.

If you feel that you'd like to focus your time on your core competency and leave the campaign management to professionals, or if you feel that AdWords is too technical for you, you can always engage one of the many Google AdWords agency available in Singapore. Be sure though, to check that the person or company is an AdWords Certified Individual or Company - a validation by Google that the person/company has passed certain minimum criteria, and thus is capable of managing your AdWords campaign adequately.