Sunday, December 8, 2013

Improve Your Search Engine Results Page Position 4 SEO Tips

Improve Your Search Engine Results Page Position 

4 SEO Tips

You can improve your search engine results page position starting with these 4 SEO tips and combining them with quality content. Achieving a top position on the search engine results page is extremely important; the webpage that is found at the top of the search results gets more 30% of the traffic. Before you begin, please take the opportunity to perform an SEO Site Audit, download and save the report so you can use it as a baseline measure and subsequently to validate the effectiveness of the "efforts" put forth to improve the ranking of your website

SEO Factors

Tip 1: Make Sure You Have a Website That is Crawlable

The first tip to improve your search engine results page position is to make sure the website is crawlableObviously a website should have a “look” or a “design” that is visually attractive to the target audience; however, when developing a site that includes images, videos, or other non-text items some further steps must be included in the process. In order for a search engine to index (list your site) a robot, such as Googlebot (Google’s robot) will have to read your page (referred to a crawling your page). Currently (2013), these robots cannot tell how to categorize non-text items. Therefore, including non-text items on your website without taking these somewhat easy steps could hinder how your site gets ranked. There are a few steps that must be taken to ensure that a website is crawlable.

Step 1: Properly Naming Images and Alt Tags

The first step in this process is to create a file name that appropriate for the image. For example a picture of a Bartender working behind the bar of a crowded establishment should be entitled something similar to Bartender-crowded-bar.jpg rather than image-6234890copy.jpg. Then when you incorporate this image into your site you need to add an image alt attribute (incorrectly but commonly referred to as an alt tag) to the image. If you want your non-text item to be accessible you must provide an alt attribute and it is recommended that this description be no longer than 125 characters excluding spaces. The alt attribute is one way to incorporate the text description of your image.

What is the Purpose of the Alt attribute (image alt tag)?
  • The text of the alt attribute is what will be shown if and when the image cannot be shown. For instance if a visually impaired user is using a screen reader this is the text that will be read in place of the picture. 
  • This text will be shown in text browsers, such as Lynx, or when images have been disabled.
  • Functionally this attribute gives a semantic meaning and purposeful description to the images.  It is important to remember the functionality when you are putting your text together, as illustrated in this example: Attribute 1: alt "a red hexagon with a white border and the letters S T O P positioned in its center" versus Attribute 2: alt "stop sign". While an elementary educator might find a function for attribute 1 in general attribute 2 is likely more functional for the typical website visitor.
In short, write the alt attribute as if it was a sentence or word that defines the image.

Step 2: Proper Redirects 301 vs. 302

On a basic level, there are two different types of redirects (when a URL forwards right on to another URL). They are temporary (302 redirect) and permanent (301 redirect). Google will read both of these, but keep data from the 302 temporary redirects – understanding that web users may once again be able to see the original un-forwarded site. The problem with temporary 302 redirects is that they do not pass on link equity (AKA the positive optimization weight of internal and external links). 

In practice one of the most popular 301 redirects is when you redirect your visitors to when someone entered or vice versa. There are reasons that support both choices but ultimately it is your choice. My preference is the redirect the URL with the www. to the URL without the www. only because I believe that more people enter in the direct website without the www prefix. This redirect is important because both the and the websites are seen separately by search engines; and, search engines do not like web pages that contain duplicate content. The 301 redirect solves the duplicate content issue and defines the chosen URL as the main URL.

Another reason for the 301 redirect that is often used is when you change the location or filename of a page. For instance initially you have a page with the following URL: and you decide to move that page out of the howto folder and the new URL is Within your site you have properly renamed the previous links to reflect the new URL but it is impossible for you to know or even maybe remember how many places or people have recorded the initial URL as the place to find information on changing a light bulb. So, if you construct a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new URL your visitors will automatically find themselves on the new page without any issue. Redirects are quite simple to perform, check with your domain host or online for step by step instructions.

Step 3: Optimizing Your Site Speed

Many years, decades ago websites took so long to load that you could prepare a 3 course meal and eat it before the site was completely loaded. Currently, you only have between 5 and 7 seconds to get your site completely loaded or your will lose customers. Additionally, visitors to your site will "bounce" from the page if they do not perceive almost immediate loading. When people bounce, click the back button and leave your page, this increases the ratio of people that leave your site without visiting any other pages and causes a negative effect on your SEO. If you site loads quickly the visitors will be more likely to explore and find the content they are looking for which will have a positive effect on your SEO. There are several ways to optimize the speed of your website, particular attention should be paid to making sure your images are optimized for web and that you utilize some sort of compression technique. All of these are easily found online and in most cases offered by your domain hosting provider.

Step 4: Sitemaps Are Important XML and HTML

Google has a hard time crawling your website without an outline, or in industry jargon, an XML sitemap. A sitemap is used by SEOs and webmasters to clearly tell Google of their website structure and URLs. Think of it as a hierarchical break-down of how your website flows and links together. Why do you need an XML sitemap for your website? It will guarantee that the search engines index all of your webpages, which will allow them to show up on search engine results pages. With consistently updated sitemaps, the search engine crawlers are able to discover great new content on your site or blog. As you read before, identifying keywords in your image alt tags is crucial, but creating image site maps of those optimized images can earn you more traffic, too! You can help your website on its way to great rankings by submitting your sitemap through Google and Bing Webmaster Tools. For larger sites, you can even submit multiple XML sitemaps and Google will take it from there by updating and indexing and the most recent URLs found.

Tip 2: Include the right words, a title, and a description for each page

You must include the right words, provide a title, and provide a description for each page. You may have seen or heard the term keyword research. This is the process of determining what it is that the people you want to visit your website are searching for when they query a search engine. If you are trying to rank for best search engine optimization practices, you need to include that exact phrase in your web page content. That type of a search query is an example of a long-tail keyword. A long-tail keyword or phrase that reflects the purpose of your page such as: Top 5 SEO Strategies must be included in the text of your page. If you have the proper long-tail keyword in the content, description, title, and page URL, it is extremely likely that your web page will have a favorable position on the search engine results page.

For instance:
With a URL: 
Your head section should include:
A title tag of: How to change a lightbulb A meta description that reads something to the effect of: How to change a lightbulb can be best answered in the steps below... no more than 155 characters in length. 
And your body should contain:An H1 tag that reads: How to change a lightbulb  and it would not hurt if you opened your first paragraph with the following: To change a lightbulb follow these steps
Notice that the URL, the title, the description, the H1 and the content of the page all match. I underlined them so you could see the parts that match. Following this technique has provided me with very nice results. Additionally, the important phrases and keywords in your content should be bold, italicized, and sometimes they should be both. Remember you want people to be able to find the answers to their question or to recognize the word or term of interest almost immediately. Setting the text apart by boldface or italics is one way to improve your search engine results position.

Tip 3: Don’t think about link building, think about compelling content and marketing. 

As I wrote in my previous blog, there are no tricks to SEO, all you have to do is provide quality content. While establishing back links is necessary, you will be penalized if you do not acquire back links in a natural manner. What this means is, you should write valuable content, attract readership, and then the back links. Other websites will include references to your website within their content, this is a back link. The best way to gain back links to provide content that is valuable.

Tip 4: Not using webmaster resources and learning about how Google works and what SEO is about.

Google and Bing webmaster tools provide a wealth of information, take it slow and stay steady at it. Join some discussion groups and follow some SEO topics on twitter or Google+. You might also want to analyze your current site, one of the best tools I have found is Screaming Frog (, that tool will provide you with information on your titles, descriptions, broken links, alt tags and much more. Take in as much as you can, but start with the basics above and stay tuned as I will continue to blog about SEO strategies. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Web Contractor Accountability Benefits The Client And Developer

Web Contractor Accountability Protects the Client and Improves the Service

At Web Contractor Accountability WCA our clients are very concerned about what they perceive to be a lack of transparency and an inability to objectively measure what is being done by their SEO professional
"It has become our purpose to provide a level of web contractor accountability that will protect the clients and improve the level of services" 
We realize that most of us, on the web development side of the coin, believe that we are all honest and hard working folks. However, if that was true, I do not think there would be so much pandemonium within the SEO ranks every time Google releases an updated algo. Personally, I believe that, as in all service industries (where the product is not actually tangible), the overall lack of accountability among web contractors is absurd. As mentioned in several current blogs on the topic, many SEO companies pride themselves for using "grey hat" and some use "black hat" strategies. This low level of accountability reduces the overall perception and legitimacy of working in SEO
"If all SEO professionals were honest and held themselves accountable to their clients there would not be so much pandemonium every time Google releases a new algorithm" 
Just recently I was listening to a conversation, one of the parties touting  himself as an accomplished SEO Professional was telling the other that he could spin 5,000 articles of 300-500 words and have them posted online within a week. When asked how he would accomplish that task he defined his intelligent piece of software that can spin text. After visiting some of the sites that he promotes, I found that the “spun content” was positioned below the fold, in a barely legible font size, and “spun so well” that the sentences were nonsensical.

A set of measurements and solid criteria to judge web contractor performance must be developed and adopted. Independent auditing of web contractors,  will protect the business owners and raise the bar among SEO professionals. Poor performing providers will be forced to improve or go out of business. The clients of the SEO industry will benefit as they become a knowledgable and informed consumer on the topic rather than being taught by the salesperson on the other end of the phone.

"Independent auditing of web contractors,  will protect the business owners and raise the bar among SEO professionals"
A set of measurements reflecting solid criteria must be implemented. SEO consultants must be held accountable for the money they are paid. The search engine algorithms are constantly evolving to improve the user experience; there is always some optimization that can be performed on every website in existence. WCA provides clients with a definitive set of measures and customized solutions to improve their site. A free SEO audit of your website is available and even that report includes a plan of action based on the results of the audit.

Establishing an impartial and reproducible website auditing system and a comprehensive, yet easy to understand, interpretation / plan of action is imperative. This will protect the business owners and instill accountability among web contractors. Thus raising the performance bar among SEO professionals and ultimately make the web a better place.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How to Rename The Wireless Devices Connected To Your Mac

rename the bluetooth connections to your Mac conputer

Rename Any Wireless/Bluetooth Device: Keyboard, Mouse, or TrackPad Connected To Your Mac

There a several instances that may arise where you might want to rename your Apple Wireless Keyboard, Mouse or Trackpad

For example, you might be selling one of the devices, or you may have "outgrown" the name that you gave one of the devices back during your experimental college days. 

The process to rename any wireless/Bluetooth device that is connected to your Mac computer is quite simple. 

Before proceeding, make sure that the wireless device you intend to rename is connected to your Mac

To Rename Bluetooth Devices Connected to Your Mac:

  • Open up System Preferences
  • Click on the Bluetooth icon within the System Preferences window Right-click* on the wireless device you wish to rename. 
  • Choose Rename from the pop-up that appears after you right-click.
  • Enter a new name (it cannot be blank) for the device, and you have accomplished the task. 

If you are selling the wireless device, I would advise you to rename the keyboard to Apple Wireless Keyboard and then remove it from your computer by right-clicking on the device's new name and choosing remove. 

* If your mouse does not allow you to right-click - the right click on any Mac can be accomplished by holding the control key while clicking with the mouse. 

Detailed Instructions on How to Rename a Wireless Device on Mac (Mac OS)

Figure 1. System Preferences Icon

STEP 1: Open Systems Preferences > Bluetooth

system preferences window that appears when you click on System Preferences
Figure 2. System Preferences Window

STEP 2: Once you have opened the System Preferences window, click on the Bluetooth icon to open the Bluetooth window.

Bluetooth Dialog Window

STEP 3: You right-click on the wireless device you want to rename, remove, or disconnect. You will be given those exact choices in a pop-up window, and you click once on your intended selection.

When you choose the device to rename the current name will be outlined in a dialogue box.
Position your cursor in the box and delete the current name (you can position your cursor at the end of the current name and press the delete key to remove the current name).

Once the current name is deleted, type in the new name for the device in the same box and press the enter key.

Follow similar steps to remove or disconnect your wireless device from your Mac.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

There Are No Tricks to SEO


All of the folks involved with a website should be informed about and have a strategy in mind when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) This makes great sense because proper SEO techniques will help your site appear at the top of the search engine results page. There are many strategies that a person concerned with SEO should utilize, and most of them can be found under the webmaster tools produced by Google and Bing. Additionally, you can find some cool tools to use from ScreamingFrog and SEO Mofo SERP Optimizer.

While all of these legitimate sources provide great information and using them will most likely improve your position on the search engine results pages (SERP) not a single one of them help you with the most important component of your SEO strategy. The answer to what is the best SEO strategy is straightforward yet so frequently overlooked and in some cases dismissed. Employing this strategy is never penalized and always encouraged. It is not easy to follow and requires work, but nothing of value ever comes easy.


SEO DefinedHigh-quality content is the only sure way to improve, maintain or establish your SERP position. While there are plenty of "agencies" or "freelancers", I call them spammers, that will flood your inbox with claims of an ability to "get your site listed on the first page of Google" or "convert your visitors to sales", etc... the claims are virtually impossible if your site does not contain high-quality content. Using these spammers will most likely result in your site being penalized and possibly removed from the index of the search engine.


This is a funny question, and to most, the answer might be obvious, but quality content is content that contains the words or answers the questions asked by those searching the internet. You need to understand why people would want to visit your site and then develop the content that answers the question: "Why should I visit your website?"

Each and every page single should focus on one topic (keyword). Do not clutter your website with unnecessary pages but you should feel encouraged to develop as many pages as necessary to answer all of the reasons why someone would or should visit your website.

Quality Content is Attractive to Your Target Audience

Put yourself in the place of your target visitor and structure the content of your page to match up with the information being searched for by your target. Develop an overall persona that defines your best customers.

An Example Persona: men and women, aged 30 - 40 years, unemployed, and looking for work.

Appeal To or Answer The Questions Being Asked By Your Customer Persona

After you have set/defined your customers, produce content that answers what is being searched for, and that is appealing to your developed persona. You may even want to hire someone to help you generate content that is appropriate for your site. If you choose to hire a content writer, save yourself the headache and hire someone that is familiar with and void of cultural differences with your customer persona. I cannot tell you how many times a difference in cultural understanding, not a language issue, has been the culprit of unusable content. So, if your company is targeting an American readership/audience, you should hire an American to write your content.


They are all contributions to the body of knowledge surrounding SEO, and the best ones include something about the content. This could be a simple statement such as: develop authoritative content or something slightly more sophisticated and include terms such as canonicalization, backlinks, microdata, etc... and without a doubt, these are strategies that will assist your quest for SEO. But, worry first about producing quality content and once you have amassed 51 individual pages of quality content implementing the other strategies will be somewhat easy.

If you need assistance or would like to discuss this further, please contact me or comment to this post and I will do my best to answer you in an extremely reasonable time frame.


The number of visitors to your website will be directly related to whether your posts appear to answer questions asked in a search engine's search bar or how well your posts seem to align with the number of people surfing the world wide web.

One way to address those two concepts is to engage in Keyword Research. Keyword research simply means discovering the terms that people search for and incorporating those exact terms into your site content. 

Here is a short course from LinkedIn on Keyword Research.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Adobe CC Not Recognizing Exchange

Why is this an issue?

I have been a subscriber to Adobe CC since it became an option just a couple months ago and before that, I was a subscriber to Adobe CS 6 and have had all the previous versions from CS4 up installed on my Mac.  I never doubted my decision on any level when I purchased a subscription; I felt my choice was strongly supported by Adobe when they announced a full commitment on CC (creative cloud) and no more revisions on the CS product. However, occasionally the installations of applications, plug-ins, etc... has been a bit troublesome.

Today, I was so excited to find a plug-in, CSS3Ps, that proclaimed to turn the webpage mock-up that I just designed in Photoshop CC into very easy and ready to use CSS code. Of course, this ability is included in the latest version of Photoshop CC, but for some reason, the CSS code that was promised by the free CSS3Ps plug-in available on Adobe Exchange looked more appealing. 

So, I downloaded the CSS3Ps.zpx file and thought within just a few minutes I would be ready for action...

Photoshop and Dreamweaver are Not Communicating With Exchange!

Yes, when I tried to open up Adobe Exchange within Photoshop CC or Dreamweaver CC, I was getting error messages that read Adobe Exchange was not being found by Creative Cloud. I thought I noticed this issue a month ago or so, but I chalked it up to the plug-in being incompatible with my current version. Today, I found out that somewhere my Adobe files had been corrupted.

I read many forums and blogs on how to solve these issues, including deleting files from the  /Library/Application Support/Adobe directory, using the usual Adobe Uninstaller Programs, to remove all the leftover files that Adobe seems to leave behind.

After using all of the solutions above, I was stumped a once more trying to find the link from which I could easily download the Creative Cloud Installer. Of course, it is about 4 rows down on the webpage, and I kept missing it. Once I downloaded the installation process, which for some reason took over 1 hour, I encountered the error: "Adobe Creative Cloud Installer Fails to Initialize."

If You Have an ADOBE CC Issue Do Not Use Any of The Typical Methods of Removing an App on the MAC.

I believe the fact that I started my 15 hours (still not done) Adobe adventure with trying traditional methods to uninstall the programs just made matters worse. My recommendation is that you use ADOBE CLEANER. This program gives you the option to try the uninstall method once more, or you can just remove the Adobe version that you select. It works on the ancient versions too, so do not worry about being to old school for this utility. Benefit from my troubles, and the time it took for me to finally stumble upon the proper forum with the appropriate question to become aware of it.

I Still Believe You Can't Find A Better Set of Programs For The Money.

With the current cloud subscriptions topping out at just under $50/ month, and access to all of the Adobe favorites and even more,  I do not think you can go wrong with a subscription. The installation/program issues have been few and far between, although I have noticed them. I would estimate about 10 total issues, including program crashes, etc... since January 2013. So, I encourage you to not be discouraged by my post but to be encouraged by the availability of Adobe Cleaner!!!

Enjoy yourself, and be creative!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Open Office Documents On An iPhone For Free

How to read an Office document on an iPhone For Free?

Google Drive

You have taken the plunge and paid the top dollar for your iPhone, and you have received a document that is in MS Word, MS Excel, or MS PowerPoint. For the money, it seems reasonable that you should be able to open these documents of your iPhone with a simple tap or two. I personally struggled and was able to find a reasonably easy and free method to open MS Office documents on an iPhone. 

Apple's Solution To The Problem (not free)

Apple provides a very nice and lightweight set of comparable applications, and in my opinion better on some measures, to the MS Office package. You can download these applications: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote from the app store onto your iPhone. These applications will translate your MS Office documents with relative ease. If you do not use a Mac computer 

My Free Solution To Open A MS Office Document On Your iPhone

There is at least one free method to accomplish the task of reading office docs on your iPhone. If your main computer uses the Windows operating system, it makes the most sense for you to not use the Apple applications. I suggest you take advantage of the Google platform. Specifically, the applications: google drive and google docs.

Before you follow the steps below, register a google account. You do not have to use a Gmail email address.

The Steps to Open Office Documents on an iPhone For Free

I am presenting 2 options the first one is free and the second one is a low-cost option:

The Google option (and Documents Free application) Free!

1. Download and install Google Drive on your computer(s) (and follow the instructions) or read the instructions first (

Set up the google drive you set up the drive on both the cloud and on your local hard drive. Then if you have a need to share a large file with a client, share the file using Google Drive.

2.  Download the appropriate google drive mobile app (currently offered for iOS and Android devices) Login, and you will have access to the documents in your google drive.

3. Take advantage google docs to read your ms office docs, and since it is incorporated with Google Drive, you are cool.


Documents Free
After you have google drive installed you can download the free app "Documents Free" for your iPhone this application will allow you to sync with Google drive and read Word and Excel formats. 

The Low-Cost Option(s)


1.  Download the iPhone application: QuickOffice Pro, which is a $14.99 application 

2. Purchase Office 365 which is either 9.99 / month (home) or 12.50 / month (biz) or $99 and $150 / year respectively. Both options allow the one subscription to serve multiple devices and OS, in fact, the home option allows for up to 5 devices, and that can be a combo of Windows, Mac OS, iOS, etc... but you only get 5. 

To get this Office 365 software visit: and you can download and compare the products from that site.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Data Continued: Describing the Sales Data Using Measures of Central Tendency

Adequately Describing Sales Data Using Simple Statistics

Continuing on the topic of data, I would like to discuss the widely used descriptive statistics: mean, median and mode. Collectively, these are defined as measures of central tendency. We use measures of central tendency to gain some understanding of the distribution of the collected data. Practically, whether it is “sound or not,” these measures are often used when it comes to making decisions about inventory, the success of a business, and even to establish the need for additional legislation. 

Using the Average

The arithmetic average, referred to, as the mean is a single value that best represents the set of value from which it is calculated. It is not without faults but is widely used.

For example, if you owned a car dealership, you would probably record the sales price for every car sold. You might also be interested in the average vehicle sales price at your dealership sold. Therefore, you would add up the sales total and divide it by the number of vehicles sold to calculate the average (also referred to as the mean) amount spent by each customer. 

An important issue to consider is that the mean is affected by extreme values. Additionally, the average may not tell a business owner what the best selling or most popular product is among consumers.

Figure 1. The mean is significantly influenced by extreme values. 
The mode is the value that appears the most in a set of numbers. 
The median is the midpoint of the data set.

Extreme Values Influence The Mean

To illustrate the influence of extreme values on average, I have present two scenarios. In scenario one, (Table 1) notice that the cars ranged in price from $16,100 to $278,295 and the number sold at each price listed. Multiplying the cost of the vehicle by the number sold for that price yields the total sale amount for that model. Add up the total number of cars sold (133) and do the same for the total sale price for each car ($3,076,655). To calculate the mean, divide $3,076,655 by 133 for a mean of $23,132.82. 

Just by removing the one vehicle that was sold for $278,295. We have a fairly substantial change in the average sale price of vehicles. The new average sale price is 21,199.77, almost $2,000 less than the first average.

Unfortunately, neither average is equal to an actual sales price. Both the $23,132 and the $21,040 averages are between the vehicles priced at $20,940 and $27,670. If we use the average (mean), we might recommend that we increase our inventory with vehicles priced between $20,940 and $27,670. It might be reasonable to suggest that the dealership increase the stock of vehicles at or near the average price; however, this recommendation may not yield an increase in actual sales. We should use other descriptive statistics to determine the most frequent sales price. 

The Most Frequent Sales Price (the mode)

The statistical term mode, the most frequently observed data point, may provide us with a bit more insight. The mode is most often used when analyzing data that is not “numerical,” but “categorical.” An example would be when you wish to determine which exterior color of the vehicle sold the best. In the case of color, you cannot add up values and compute a mean value. So counting up the number of vehicles sold of each color, and then reporting the highest value would be one way to use the mode.

Using the previous scenarios, from tables 1 and 2, we can use the mode to help us make a recommendation regarding the restocking of vehicles based on the sales price. Notice, in both scenarios, the vehicle priced at $18,995 was the most frequently sold vehicle. The vehicle at this price accounted for 21 of the 133 total sales. The mode is  $4137 and $2045 lower than the averages of scenario 1 and 2 respectively.

At this point, we have calculated the mean and the mode using the given data from both scenarios. We have a clearer understanding of the purchases made at our dealership, but we have one more descriptive statistic that we might want to explore.

Using the Median, the Mid-Point, Percentiles

A percentile is not the same as a percentage; it is the percentage of values that fall at or below a given value. It is likely that you are aware of a test score given in terms of percentiles. The results may have been something like you score: 87 percentile. This means that your score was equal to or greater than 87 percent of the scores on the same test. By taking the number of questions answered correctly and dividing it by the number of total questions you calculate a percentage.

The median is the midpoint of the data set. The exact midpoint is known as the 50th percentile marking the price where 50% of the sales were for a lower or a higher price. 

To find the data point that represents the median:
  • When you have an odd number of data points, in our case we have 133, you take the number of data points and add 1 to that number, take the sum and divide it by 2. So: 133 + 1 = 134; divide 134 by 2 (134 / 2) = 67.
  • If you have an even number of data points, calculate the usual average of the two data points found in the middle.
List vehicles sold by price, starting at the lowest price, count the number of cars sold until you reach 67. The sale price of the 67th car sold is $18,995

Sometimes this value is easy to determine and sometimes it is not. When it is difficult to determine it is common practice to report other percentiles. Using the above data sets, table 1 and table 2, we find that 61% of the 133 cars sold were at or below the price of $18,995. The 76th percentile for both scenarios is $20,940, and the 46th percentile is $18,500. Recall the average for scenario 1 and 2 were $23,132.82 and $21,040.49. Even the 76th percentile is not as high as the average value.

What About The Entire Picture? The Range

Sometimes you might want to report the range of the observed data. In this case, we might want to know the range in sales price. This information might be useful to highlight the large disparity among the customers, or even to justify having a few high priced vehicles in stock. To calculate the range, subtract the lowest sales price from the highest sales price:
  • Using the data from Table 1: $278,295 - $16,100 = $262,195
This range, $262,195, could be a bit misleading. If no further information is provided, the actual details behind this broad range in sales price are unknown. 

To provide the best picture of the data, other measures of central tendency should be reported. Choosing one or all of the measures of central tendency will give the best description of the data.

So What Should The Recommendation Be?

Based on the presented data, we should quickly realize that at least ¾ of the customers purchased vehicles priced at or under $20,940. The sales of a few higher priced vehicles caused what might be classified as a mean that may not be useful when determining what cars to restock. If the salesperson’s commission on a new vehicle is independent of the vehicle sales price, then it makes the most sense to stock the inventory with the cars that are most likely to sell. Using the mode and percentile data we find that cars priced at $18,995 as well as those priced at or under $20,940 are trendy among the customers.

Personally, I would stock only cars that were priced at or under $20,940 and offer the higher priced vehicles via order only. I would equally distribute the number of vehicles having higher prices across the number of cars ordered at the $18,500, $18,995 and $20,940 price points. 

Often times we can be misled by using only one statistic to describe the data. In this example, we found that the mean could be characterized as being slightly inflated. The mode was several thousand dollars below the mean; and, the price, of more than ¾ of the vehicles sold, was lower than the average. I find it interesting that most people are primarily concerned with the average.
  • The mean is affected by extreme values but is still the most representative of all the scores. It is the most representative because it includes all the values. 
  • The mode is the most frequently occurring data point, and, the only measure of central tendency that can be applied to data that is not numerical. In this case, we used the mode to determine the most frequent sales price.  
  • Also known as the 50th percentile, the median is the point at which 50 percent of the observed data points fall at or below.
There are several other instances that I can think of where I would like to have more than one measure of central tendency reported. How about you? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.