The Stars Are Not Shining Bright

A few months ago, I wrote a brief article about the return of hockey for the year and how exciting the Dallas Stars will be considering their year last year.  Suffice to say, this is not what I had expected.

As of this writing, Dallas sits in 6th (of 7) in the Central Division and 9 points back from the second wild card spot for the playoffs.  Granted, we are only approaching January and anything can happen, but this is not an enviable position at this point in the season.

There are three things that require attention from my previous post:

  1. Offense – This team was supposed to have such an improved offense over last year.  Instead, they fell a little.  Last season, they ended 11th in the league in goals for.  As of now, they reside in 13th.  Usually, after a somewhat surprising and good season along with some decent off-season additions, you would think offensive production would go up.  Sadly, it has not.  That’s not the worst of it, though…
  2. Defense – Last season, this team ended the regular season campaign in the middle of the pack for goals against at 16th in the league.  Where are they now?  Dead last.  As in 30th out of 30.  AND they have played fewer games than the next 3 teams on the list.  Slipping offensive production coupled with atrocious, porous, and downright awful defense has them actually over-achieving in my books.  They shouldn’t be as high as they are in the standings.
  3. At least they aren’t the Colorado Avalanche.  The only team in the division technically worse than they are right now (same points but Colorado has played 1 more game).  At least I can hang my hat on the fact that I said in my previous post that Colorado wasn’t going to cause many waves this year.  So far, so good on that one.

The bottom line is that points are harder to get at the end of the year.  Dallas has squandered and lost so many points that, given the relentlessness of their division and conference opponents, finding themselves in their current situation may already have doomed them for the year.  If they come out in January and don’t find a way to at least have a winning record for the month, they aren’t going to make it.

Hopefully January is kind to the Stars and they get it in gear.

San Antonio River Lighting

River LightingIf you find yourself in San Antonio during the holidays, you want to take some time and head to the River Walk.  On the day following Thanksgiving, the River Lighting takes place.  Strolling the River Walk, you’ll find festive holiday lighting all over the place.  This is a yearly event and should be experienced at least once in your life.

Alamo Drafthouse

Since moving to Texas, I’ve run across a handful of amazing things that just aren’t found where I’m from.  One of them being the Alamo Drafthouse.  For those of you who don’t know what the Alamo Drafthouse is, it is essentially a movie theater/restaurant/bar.

There is typically movie theater-style seating with tables in front of the seats.  A waiter takes your order, delivers your food, and refills throughout the movie.  It really is a great time.

What makes this experience truly unique is the number of different events that takes place in all of the different locations.  They do things like “quote alongs” where popular, often quoted classic movies are shown and fans are encouraged to come and enjoy quoting throughout the movie.  You can find them playing classic late 80s, early 90s Saturday morning cartoons on some mornings – and they serve cereal to boot.

If you are going to spend any time in Texas, I strongly urge you to check out an Alamo Drafthouse while you can.

 http://drafthouse.com/

San Antonio Beer Festival

What: 2014 San Antonio Beer Festival
When: October 18, 2014
Where: Maverick Park in downtown San Antonio
For more info: http://sanantoniobeerfestival.com/

See you there!

Hockey in Dallas

Hockey’s Back!

It’s almost that time of year again.  Less than two weeks from the season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Dallas Stars look to make an impact and start the season strong.

After barely sneaking into the playoffs last season (only 2 points ahead of the now Arizona Coyotes for the final playoff spot), the Stars were given the unenviable task of taking on the Anaheim Ducks who finished 1st in the western conference.  The Stars put up a great fight, taking the series to 6 games before ultimately succumbing to the Ducks in overtime of game 6, 5-4.

The Past is the Past.  Our Future is Brighter.

No one is going to take anything away from last year’s team; however, that’s not to say that no one is going to look towards the future and see that the future is bright here in Dallas.  The team put together for 2014-2015 is definitely a bigger offensive threat.  The biggest issue facing the Stars?  Being caught in one of the two most competitive divisions in the league.

Anyone can argue which division or conference is tougher, but the consensus is that the west is a far tougher conference to play in right now.  For starters, look at the standings for the end of the season last seasons.

In the east, you had the Boston Bruins (President’s Tropy winners) with 117 points to win the Atlantic Division.  You had the Pittsburgh Penguins with 109 points to win the (awfully named) Metropolitan Division.  Who else made the playoffs from the east?  The Tampa Bay Lightning (101 points), Montreal Canadiens (100), New York Rangers (96), Philadelphia Flyers (94), Columbus Blue Jackets (93), and Detroit Red Wings (93).

In the west, you had the Ducks clinching the conference 1 point back of Boston at 116 points to win the Pacific Division.  The Colorado Avalanche eked out the Central Division with 112 points.  Who’s next?  The St. Louis Blues (111 points), San Jose Sharks (111), Chicago Blackhawks (107), Los Angeles Kings (100), Minnesota Wild (98), and Dallas Stars (91).

To top it off, the eastern conference boasted the two worst teams in the league with the Buffalo Sabres registering only 52 points (still, they may have overachieved) and the Florida Panthers picking up 66 points.  In the east, only 3 teams finished within 8 points of the final playoff spot, whereas in the west, 4 teams fell in that same category.

It’s painfully obvious that after Boston and Pittsburgh, there isn’t much in the way of strong teams (though, both bowed out inexplicably early in the playoffs).  In the west, there are 5 teams that have that opportunity to win every game every night – Anaheim, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose, and St. Louis (sorry Colorado, but you just don’t have the same strength of team as you did last year).

And somewhere in the middle of all of that mess that is the west are the Dallas Stars.  They certainly may have improved their offense, but if they don’t improve their back end, they may have to rely on some luck to make the playoffs again this year.  I’m not counting them out by any means, but they need to prove every game that they can hang with the big boys on a nightly basis.

Here’s to a great season!

SEO in San Antonio

It’s no secret that San Antonio is a hot-bed for growth right now. As such, there are plenty of new businesses popping up around the city. Unfortunately, for any new business, generating new clients and customers isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

Aside from the usual issues of trying to profitably run a new business, your competition already has a leg up on you when it comes to advertising and just public awareness. You could certainly start small and try to offer your services at a discount just to start drumming up business. You could also take ads out in the newspapers or rent one of the many billboards around the city; however, most of those ventures could become quite costly.

blank billboardWhen it comes to newspaper ads, billboards, radio ad, etc., there is a lot of waste. How often do you find yourself driving by a billboard and take the time, not only to read it, but to actually take in the message it is representing? The fact is, with an advertising campaign similar to that, you’re trying to blanket your message to as many people as possible; however, the only ones that will take notice are typically those that are currently in need of what you are offering. The same goes for newspaper or radio ads – often they are small and insignificant to the point that most people will never notice.

This turns the attention of advertising options to online. There are certainly several options when it comes to online marketing: social marketing, PPC (pay-per-click), and SEO (search engine optimization) are the typical methods of marketing.

Social MarketingSocial networking and PPC typically end up being very similar. With typical PPC with search engines, you often choose key phrases/words that you are targeting and your ad may be shown when someone searches for those specific terms. When they are shown your ad, it is typically clearly marked as an ad (which may turn some people off right off the bat). The positive with this is that your ad can be shown as many times as possible and you are only charged when someone clicks on your ad. Social networking is similar in structure; however, depending on your source (typically Facebook), you can actually decide the demographics of who you want your ad to be shown to. You can choose by age, gender, and interests, as well as location. The downside? Who wants to buy something while catching up with friends? Furthermore, if you offer emergency services or repair services, most people tend to not go to Facebook to seek you out.

That leaves SEO. SEO, essentially, is specific tweaks to your website and specific off-site backlinking in order to affect where your website ranks for search terms related to your business and what your website is about. More often than not, you would hire a firm to handle your SEO needs as it can be an involved process. If done properly, a good SEO agent can begin to move your site in the rankings within a week. Depending on the competition, you could even see your website move to the number 1 position for several key phrases. Having your site in the number one spot is crucial when possible. Typically, most people will click on the top 3 results, often disregarding the remainder of the results, and very rarely making it past the first page. Having your site appear number 1 for high-volume searches could bring hundreds or even thousands of sets of eyes viewing your page and possibly calling you or purchasing what you have to sell. To top it off, you know these viewers are interested in what you have because they have already actively searched for it online.

You can find San Antonio’s top SEO firm, Mallery Online Marketing at the forefront of helping businesses ascend the rankings and begin to dominate their competition.

Mallery Online Marketing

San Antonio web design is another service provided by Mallery Online Marketing.