Turbo-Charging Robosoft with DynamicPAD (Part 2)

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in DynamicPAD, Online Marketing, PAD, Robosoft, Super Simple | Posted on 28-03-2011

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In Turbo-Charging Robosoft with DynamicPAD (Part 1) I outlined the problem of the massive amount of information needed and the data entry problem. In here I’m going to outline solution and go through the first steps to solving the problem in detail.

The solution overview is that we create a template in Microsoft Excel where we can easily duplicate entries very quickly, then import that into Robosoft. Now for the details on creating our template.

While the data entry problem looks scary, it’s easily solved. Writing the 3~5 sets of copy that you use is actually more time consuming. So lets start with the assumption that you’ve already got all your copy written. Lets also assume that you’re going to have custom entries for the following fields (by XML node path omitting “XML_DIZ_INFO” for clarity) alphabetically:

  • Press_Release/ALT_Headline/
  • Press_Release/ALT_Keywords/
  • Press_Release/ALT_Press_Release/
  • Press_Release/ALT_Press_Release_Plain/
  • Press_Release/ALT_Summary/
  • Program_Descriptions/English/ALT_Char_Desc_2000/
  • Program_Descriptions/English/ALT_Char_Desc_250/
  • Program_Descriptions/English/ALT_Char_Desc_45/
  • Program_Descriptions/English/ALT_Char_Desc_450/
  • Program_Descriptions/English/ALT_Char_Desc_80/
  • Program_Descriptions/English/ALT_Keywords/
  • Program_Info/ALT_Program_Name/
  • Program_Info/ALT_Program_Version/
  • Web_Info/Application_URLs/ALT_Application_Icon_URL/
  • Web_Info/Application_URLs/ALT_Application_Info_URL/
  • Web_Info/Application_URLs/ALT_Application_Order_URL/
  • Web_Info/Application_URLs/ALT_Application_Screenshot_URL/

IMPORTANT NOTE: Those fields all start with “ALT_“. That’s not a regular PAD field, but is used by DynamicPAD. If you stripped those out, they would be regular PAD fields.

With 1250 sites or so, you’ll want to reuse your PAD copy effectively. Use the best for the most popular sites like Download.com, and use more or less “throw away” copy for the sites that exist, but don’t really matter much. Luckily, Robosoft ranks sites for you in order of importance.

So the basic idea is to mix up “good” sets of copy that will work well for your SEO efforts. You can think of it kind of like when you cross-join to create test data for a database you’ve designed. And we do that in Microsoft Excel!

Excel is well suited to copying repetitive data and it’s well known. Few people working in IT don’t know how to use it, and those that don’t know how to use a spreadsheet shouldn’t be in IT anyways. So that’s simple enough.

The fields listed above will be column headers, while each row will represent a single web site.

In order to get that organized, I have a template ready for you. However, since the sites change rapidly, you should know how to export the sites (rows of the Excel sheet) yourself. It’s actually very easy, but takes a few steps to make it usable.

How to Get the Site List Out of Robosoft

In Robosoft, export a report by clicking Tools > Generate Report.

Robosoft Report Options

In the export dialog, check:

  1. Site Rank
  2. Site Name
  3. Site Category
  4. Site URL
  5. Site UIN
  6. Language

Make sure that you do them in that order and that ONLY those are checked. You can click the up/down arrow buttons to rearrange them. Make sure that ONLY those are checked.

Next, click Save. The report is an HTML file and will open up in your default browser.

Next, go to the file location for the report and open it in a text editor. Replace all instances of “<br/>” with a space. Save the file.

Now, back in your browser, refresh the page. Copy everything. Paste it into your text editor. Delete the top portion, i.e. Everything above the table header:

Site Rank Site Name Category Site URL Site UIN Language

Copy everything in your text editor. Paste that into Microsoft Excel. Everything should be neatly on 1 line per site. If it isn’t, go back to the HTML file and search and replace for whatever is monkeying things up on you. You may need to use a regular expression, but I highly doubt that you will have any problems if you follow the directions above.

Now you have the beginnings of the template that you will use to create the DynamicPAD info. To make the “Site Name” column a bit nicer, copy that column back into your text editor then with a regular expression replace “http.+” with nothing. Copy that back into your Site Name column and it’s all pretty and rainbows and unicorns!

The Column Headers for Our DynamicPAD Template

I’ve written some quick software to help out in the process, and since this isn’t a commercial endeavor, I’m not going to bother polishing it up with all sorts of fancy-dancy stuff. Instead, I’m just making it available for whoever wants to try this out. (Later when we get to that stage.) The important thing right now is that we need our columns to be in order for the software to work. So, these are the column headers for the template (as above, remember the “ALT_” part):

  • Rank
  • Site Name
  • Site Type
  • Site URL
  • Site UIN
  • Language
  • ALT_Keywords
  • ALT_Char_Desc_45
  • ALT_Char_Desc_80
  • ALT_Char_Desc_250
  • ALT_Char_Desc_450
  • ALT_Char_Desc_2000
  • ALT_Program_Name
  • ALT_Application_Info_URL
  • ALT_Application_Screenshot_URL
  • ALT_Application_Icon_URL
  • ALT_Application_Order_URL
  • ALT_Headline
  • ALT_Summary
  • ALT_Keywords
  • ALT_Press_Release
  • ALT_Press_Release_Plain
  • Program_Info
  • Program_Descriptions
  • Web_Info/Application_URLs
  • Program_Info/ALT_Program_Version
  • Press_Release

In that order.

So, by this point our template looks something like this in Microsoft Excel (download is below as well):

DynamicPAD Template in Excel

I’ve filled in the first row under “ALT_Keywords” on to the right, so ignore that. You should have the green highlighted column header and everything up to the “Language” column filled in. There should be NO blank cells. If your sheet doesn’t look like that, go back and start over because you missed something or make a mistake.

Filtering is turned on, and it’s important that you also turn on filtering in Excel as you need to use it later on. It is on the Data tab in the Sort & Filter section. Just focus on the top row (the header) and click the Filter icon:

Filter your DynamicPAD info

Entering Your PAD Copy

The fields above all are entered on a single line except for the special cases of the 2000 character description and the press releases (normal and plain) which allow line breaks. As such, they must be treated differently. So, go copy 1 set of each of all of your sets of copy into their proper columns.

For each of the special cases of the 2000 character description and press releases, individually, search and replace the line breaks with %0D%0A. It is now on a single line that you can copy into Excel. Robosoft will translate %0D%0A into a line break for you. %0D%0A is probably more familiar as “\r\n”. Here’s an example of what a 2000 character description should look like before and after (from some first draft copy for Photo Resizer):

Super Simple Photo Resizer is meant for everyone from children and computer beginners to fast-working pros.

Specifically designed for resizing photos and pictures from your digital camera, all the complex logic is already taken care of for you. Where other apps present you with a million confusing options, Super Simple Photo Resizer delivers top quality photo resizing with record speed and ease.

You can open all the most popular photo and picture formats and save resized pictures as JPEGs to share with friends and family.

Most new digital cameras take pictures that are bigger than you can upload to Facebook, Flickr, or put in an email. Now with Photo Resizer you can make your digital camera pictures small enough to easily share.

Resizing is super-fast. You can preview resized photos and pictures in real time. Save with new file names, or Quick Save pictures with easy file names.

For children and new computer users, there is no fear of overwriting your original photos. Photo Resizer will not let you overwrite your originals, making it the safe choice in photo and picture resizing utilities.

Where did Photo Resizer come from? A real need!

True story from the author:


My wife came to me and asked me how to resize pictures from our Nikon D5000 digital camera. I’d shown her how to do it with other popular imaging software, but it was simply complicated and slow. She was busy and didn’t want to learn complicated things like what Hermite, Mitchell, Bell, and Lanczos resampling filters were, and who could blame her? With 30 different options, it’s too complicated. So, I wrote Photo Resizer for my wife. She loves it. She can now post photos to Facebook, even when our Internet connection is slow.

If you’d rather share your photos than spend time learning complicated software, Super Simple Photo Resizer is for you. If you know someone that hates complicated software, do them a favor: Tell them about Super Simple Photo Resizer.

And after:

Super Simple Photo Resizer is meant for everyone from children and computer beginners to fast-working pros. %0D%0A%0D%0ASpecifically designed for resizing photos and pictures from your digital camera, all the complex logic is already taken care of for you. Where other apps present you with a million confusing options, Super Simple Photo Resizer delivers top quality photo resizing with record speed and ease.%0D%0A%0D%0AYou can open all the most popular photo and picture formats and save resized pictures as JPEGs to share with friends and family. %0D%0A%0D%0AMost new digital cameras take pictures that are bigger than you can upload to Facebook, Flickr, or put in an email. Now with Photo Resizer you can make your digital camera pictures small enough to easily share. %0D%0A%0D%0AResizing is super-fast. You can preview resized photos and pictures in real time. Save with new file names, or Quick Save pictures with easy file names.%0D%0A%0D%0AFor children and new computer users, there is no fear of overwriting your original photos. Photo Resizer will not let you overwrite your originals, making it the safe choice in photo and picture resizing utilities. %0D%0A%0D%0AWhere did Photo Resizer come from? A real need! %0D%0A%0D%0ATrue story from the author: %0D%0A%0D%0A–%0D%0AMy wife came to me and asked me how to resize pictures from our Nikon D5000 digital camera. I’d shown her how to do it with other popular imaging software, but it was simply complicated and slow. She was busy and didn’t want to learn complicated things like what Hermite, Mitchell, Bell, and Lanczos resampling filters were, and who could blame her? With 30 different options, it’s too complicated. So, I wrote Photo Resizer for my wife. She loves it. She can now post photos to Facebook, even when our Internet connection is slow. %0D%0A–%0D%0A%0D%0AIf you’d rather share your photos than spend time learning complicated software, Super Simple Photo Resizer is for you. If you know someone that hates complicated software, do them a favor: Tell them about Super Simple Photo Resizer.

Now you have all of your data copied properly into Excel and can begin mixing and matching it.

Mixing and Matching PAD Copy

You should really try to mix and match copy as much as possible. The more sets you have, the easier that is to do. Also, make sure to use your best copy for the top ranked sites. The Rank column (in red above) is there to help guide you as to which ones are important. It’s not a hard rule, but a soft guide. Use your judgement.

Also, keep in mind that you may want to pay for listings at some sites like Download.com. You’ll want to make sure that you polish that copy as much as possible.

DOWNLOAD:

DynamicPAD Excel Template (Microsoft Excel XSLX)

NEXT TIME…

Anyways, that’s the template. When you’re finished that, then you’re ready for the next step: formatting it with a custom software utility that I’ve written for this, and then importing the data into Robosoft. But, that’s all coming very shortly. So stay tuned!