Monday, August 11, 2008

Cell Phone Booster: zBoost YX600 Series Reviewed

The cell phone coverage in my home office was horrendous....I needed a top of the line cell phone booster. I spent a lot of time researching various options for cell phone signal boosters online and was surprised just how little information is out there. I know a few people that have boosters for their phones so I know they work...I just wanted something that provided a little more coverage than the ones I had seen in person.

After months of on and off research I ended up getting a dual band cell phone booster with an antenna intended for outside use. I looked at plenty of cell boosters with antennas you could set by the window but that wouldn't cut it for me. My office is in a lower level of the house and even right next to the window I barely received a signal and even if I managed to make a call it would just drop within the first few minutes....if it even stayed connected that long.

Anyway here's the model I went with. As I was browsing around the features looked like just what I was after:

  • Improves coverage up to 10,000sq ft and enhances all cell phone functions
  • Ideal for larger homes, warehouses or office buildings
  • Provides cell phone coverage where inside signal is weak or dead spots exist
  • Dual band product that works with all cell phone providers except Nextel IDEN frequency

  • This particular cell phone booster also had some great/honest reviews. <<< Click that link if you want to read the full reviews or just let me spoon feed you what I think you need to read:

    "Wi-Ex's zBoost Dualband Cellphone Signal Booster works brilliantly if set up properly. The average signal strength as tested on 4 CDMA devices increased from 0-2 unstable bars to as many as 4 bars inside the house in a relatively weak signal area. I did not test before and after GSM signal fidelity because I did not have any devices available at the time of set up.

    Wait! I didn't say, "Go buy it" yet. Let's face something- many of us are not made of money, and the price tag of the Dualband Cellphone Signal Booster isn't exactly pennies on the dollar. I searched far and wide for less expensive equipment to boost the signal available here inside the house, and I found none with a similar level of perceived credibility. Unfortunately, the price is still fairly substantial for a product I consider to be a convenience accessory for most non-business customers. "


    "There is not a place in my 3000 square foot house that doesn't get a signal. This is a tremendous improvement considering I had to keep my phone near a window so as not to miss or lose calls. Is it expensive? Only if you see it as something you don't really need, but considering how much my family uses their mobile phones at home I consider it a bargain.

    My only real complaint is with the instructions. They do not include photographs or drawings that label each component and the order in which they should be connected together. It would have helped me greatly in visualizing how I was going to install everything before I got started."


    I don't need the dual band but might at some point so went ahead and got it. Didn't really care about the lack of coverage for Nextel either...haven't known anyone for years that uses a Nextel. I don't have a 10,000 square foot house either but figured I would much rather have too much (in terms of coverage) than not enough.

    I ordered with Amazon and everything arrived as planned. One note, if you happen to the order the cell phone booster I linked to above note that it does not come with the cable you'll need to complete the installation. I ordered the cable from Amazon at the same time I ordered the booster.

    Long story short - I now get 1 - 2+ bars everywhere in my house when I use to not even get a signal on the lower levels. I haven't dropped a call since I set everything up (about a week ago) and it's nice not having a dead battery on my phone every morning because my phone spent all night looking for a signal. This booster works with multiple phones at the same too. Handy feature.

    Now you won't go from no signal to 4 bars but when installed properly this booster will give you a reliable signal in places that were dead before. There are a few places in my house where I show 0 bars but even then I still can make/receive calls with no problems. According to the documentation that came with the booster here's what you should expect:

    Question: Why isn't my cell phone indicating more signal with more bars?

    Answer: Our YX500-PCS product has a total gain (antenna to antenna) of 58 db. The YX500-CEL has 56db. You will not observe that gain on your signal meter because of the signal spreading out from the antenna. If your phone has a db meter, 3db is a signicant increase of 2X, 6db is 4x and 10db is 10X. On a 4 bar phone, 1 "bar" equals about 10db.

    The increase in signal you will see depends on:

    1. The level of the signal at the signal antenna (outdoor).
    2. The care of the installation.
    3. The signal already present inside.
    4. The distance of your phone/device from the base unit - signal spreads/diminishes rapidly with distance.

    I will personally attest to #4. If I lay my phone on or very close to the booster I get 4 bars...moving just a few feet away drops me to 1 or 2 bars...still a solid signal though. Sometimes I just leave my phone laying on the booster and use my bluetooth wireless ear bud. Perfect signal, and I do mean perfect.

    Overall I give this booster a 5 star review. It's a little pricey but worth it if you need a reliable signal booster for your cell phone. If you're thinking about buying this booster or have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.


    Sunday, February 17, 2008

    Pizza Hut - Everything you ever wanted to know and more

    Pizza Hut Coupons
    You simply enter your zip code and are sent to a page that includes all the current Pizza Hut coupons (printable), coupon codes and specials in your area.

    Pizza Hut Locations
    Use the Pizza Hut store finder to find the Pizza Hut closest to you. You can also use Mapquest or Google Maps. Pizza Hut has over 12,600 locations in 90 countries including the USA, Canada and the UK.

    Order Pizza Hut Pizza Online
    Registration is required and not available in all areas.

    Jobs at Pizza Hut
    If you need a job application for Pizza Hut your best option is to stop at the location you want to work at and ask for an application. Every Pizza Hut location keeps plenty of current job applications on hand. If you can't make it to a Pizza Hut location and need to get an application right away this is most recent/complete Pizza Hut job application currently available online. You can also find Pizza Hut jobs on CareerBuilder or Monster.

    Pizza Hut Menus
    Although item availability varies by location the official Pizza Hut menu gives a great overview of all of the items on a typical Pizza Hut menu. Pizza, pizza toppings, bread sticks, crust options and more.

    Pizza Hut Recipes and Nutrition Information
    Pizza Hut Crust Recipes
    Pizza Hut Sauce Recipes
    Pizza Hut Dough Recipes
    Pizza Hut Breadstick Recipes
    Pizza Hut Recipes
    Pizza Hut Nutrition Information

    Pizza Hut Misc Info
    Q: What year was Pizza Hut started?
    A: 1958.

    Q: Who invented Pizza Hut?
    A: Frank and Dan Carney.

    Q: Where is the oldest Pizza Hut?
    A: Manhattan, KS.

    Q: What does the Pizza Hut logo look like?
    A: The Pizza Hut logo looks like this.

    Q: What's the Book It! Program by Pizza Hut?
    A: Get Book It! information here.

    Q: Where can I find Pizza Hut commercials?
    A: YouTube probably has more Pizza Hut commercials in one place than anywhere else.

    Q: Where is the Pizza Hut Headquarters?
    A: Pizza Hut HQ Contact Info:

    Pizza Hut, Inc.
    14841 Dallas Parkway
    Dallas, TX 75254
    Phone: 1-972-338-7700

    Q: I want to let Pizza Hut know about my experience (good or bad) at one of their locations. What is the best way to do that?
    A: Fill out the information here.


    Measuring Search Optimization Success

    When I first got involved in search optimization it was all about placing favorably for certain terms. That's what clients wanted and that's what competent search optimizers delivered. Injury lawyer in Chicago, no problem you'll be in the top 3 for your handful of target terms in a few weeks, 2 - 3 months tops. Selling cars in Madison...same as above. Furniture in Detroit...we've got you covered.

    That's all changed over the past 6 or 7 years but unfortunately there are still some business owners/managers that think where they place in the search results for a handful of terms is the best form of measurement of the overall successfulness of a search optimization campaign. I don't fault the business owners or managers, after all, odds are search marketing is only a small segment of what they are responsible for and as anyone in the industry will tell you you can't be a part time search optimizer and be on the top of the search game, it's just not possible. Search is arguably one of the most dynamic, fast changing fields in existence today and it's not reasonable to expect the average business owner or manager to have the time to dedicate to search they would need to in order to keep up with what's working and what's not.

    Case in point, I had the pleasure of speaking with a friend (George) last week that runs his own business and for the past 5 years has been working with a search optimization company. He got in touch with me to ask if I could take a look at his agreement with them as it is coming up for renewal in March. He sent me a copy of his contract and 10 minutes in I already knew it was time for him to sever his relationship with them and find someone new to work with.

    The contract was obviously written 5 years ago and hasn't been touched since. I won't go into every last detail but when I see things like "monthly submission to 300 search engines" I don't even need to read further, it's time to cancel. The basic outline of the contract was this company would "do a bunch of stuff" that would cause the client to place in the top 10 for 15 "strategic" terms. Before I jumped to conclusions I called my George with a few questions. I thought maybe the contract was just old and maybe the actual work/relationship had progressed with the times and was broader in nature than what was in the contract. I asked the following...

    Me - Are you on page one in Google for these terms?
    George - On the reports they send we are but I don't always see our site when I look myself.

    Me -Who chose the 15 terms?
    George - The vendor. When the contract started we paid them to do keyword research.

    Me - Has the agreement always been for the same terms?
    George - The terms changed once 3 years ago. They said some of our initial terms were more competitive and we would have to pay more to keep our spot. We said no so they did some research and replaced 5 of the terms with longer phrases.

    Me - How's the traffic from these terms been over the years?
    George - I'm not sure.

    Me - Are these terms still generating sales / providing positive ROI?
    George - Our Internet sales gross more than we pay the vendor so yes.

    Me - Are you sure the sales are coming from the terms the vendor picked for you?
    George - No, I just assumed they were.

    Me - What analytics package are you using?
    George - Ana who?

    At that point I had heard enough and told George it was time to cancel the contract. It was obvious to me that the vendor he was using was doing little more than billing him for rankings they may or may have have influenced and even if they were directly involved in achieving those rankings they were focussed on all the wrong things.

    I told George it was time to focus on outcomes and not actions. I asked George, search aside, what was a success metric in his business. "Customers", he said, "customers". He went on to explain the the the lifetime value of his customers was through the roof. His average customer purchased from him an average of 7 times per year and remained a customer for just under 4 years. George knew almost to the dollar what an average customer was worth in terms of profit.

    I explained to George that in terms of his search program the outcome to focus on is customers. Not where he ranked for what, how many search engines he was being submitted to, how many links he was getting or how much content was being added to his site. Some of that stuff is important but at the end of the day if it's not bringing in new customers it doesn't mean a thing.

    My advice to George was to find a search company that would focus on the outcome that was important to his business, customers. Odds are company he ends up working with will add content to his site, change some things on the site around and do some link building as well. All that's fine and needed for a successful search program but to George it's no what is important. When George looks over the report provided by his new search company I told him to skip everything else and look for the outcome that's important to him - how many new customers did the search program bring to your business?

    The definition of success in relation to search for each business may be unique but what to look for is not - outcomes matter, actions do not. Don't get distracted by the actions or hung up on where you rank for a given term - focus on the desired outcome, whatever that may be for your business.


    Sunday, January 27, 2008

    Search the Education List

    Search all of the sites included in the Education List with the
    Education Search Engine.


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