As most of you already know, the Google Panda and Penguin updates have changed the way we optimize our websites in a big way.  It used to be that we could just point a ton of links to a website and it would rank high in search engines, well those days are gone.

 The good news is that we can still optimize our sites and gain tons of truly valuable links by creating highly interesting and useful content.  Creating useful content will create natural links to it from visitors that want to tell others about it and bookmark it, maybe even post it on their own website with a link back to your website.

For Example:  Let’s say you own a landscaping business; you could create a blog post for tips on maintaining your lawn, planting different types of trees, plants or how to take care of your plants, among thousands of other topics.  The important things to note for each article is:

  1. Each article, page or blog post should be well written.  If you are not a good writer then please hire someone that is so you can be sure that each post is the best it can be.
  2. Useful or very interesting to the reader; make sure that you are writing about something that the visitors will want to share, bookmark and or link to.  This is the main goal of each post, you want to create a buzz for each article, so that people think it’s worth sharing with a friend.  There are many ways they can share your content, such as; clicking your facebook like button, sending the link to a friend, linking from their blog or website to your post, adding it to many other social networking sites out there such as linkedin, twitter…  I think you can see that this can create a ton of links if you have the correct content.
  3. Focused on a single topic.  Don’t spread your posts too thin, it’s best to pick one topic at a time and focus on it.  If you feel that other topics need to be mentioned then write a post on that topic also and link to it from the one you are writing.
  4. 100% Unique and not a spun article, spinning an article means that you use the same article over and over but for each one you change words so that it seems unique to search engines.  I highly recommend you do not do this, it’s viewed as spam, and it creates a bunch of garbage on the Internet.  Instead create high-quality, unique content for each and every post and it will pay off in the long run.

Also, on the actual pages of your website you should go through them and make sure they are also reader friendly and not just search engine friendly.  Make sure they have useful information on them and draw in the user with your blog posts also.

 

If you are unfamiliar with Google Analytics, you should do what you can to change that fact.  Tracking certain statistics on your site can directly affect the failure or success of your site.  If a website developer has set up your site so your small business can experience an online presence, or you are the head of a large corporation trying to expand your online success, you can benefit from Google Analytics.  This is a free service that allows you to view and track visitors to your site.

You may be wondering why this is so important and how you can set up Google Analytics and start using it today.  By learning how many visitors come to your site daily, how many are new and who are repeat visitors, what they are doing on your site and how much time they spend there, you can improve your customers’ experience on your website, increase the conversion rate of visitors to buyers, and ultimately make more money with your website.  When speaking with your website developer, they will undoubtedly recommend that you look into getting Google Analytics.

This program is something you can have implemented on your site by your website developer.  Then, you will be granted helpful, detailed statistics about the traffic on your site.  First, however, there are some steps you must take, such as obtaining a Google account.  After you have created a username with Google, you can access the ability to create a Google Analytics account.  This process is easy—you simply provide your domain name and along with the country and time zone of your website, and Google will create your account name based on your domain name.

With your account completed, you can now access the tracking codes and present them to your website developer who will add the codes to of all the web pages you want to track.  About 24 hours after you have shared the tracking code with your web developer, you should begin to see activity on your Google Analytics account.  You will need to add users to your account so your web developer can have access to your Google Analytics account without being granted access to your standard Google account.  By adding the email address of the designer you are working with, they can view your reports and suggest and further changes you may need to make to your website for it to be continually beneficial.

An email server is a computer on your network that serves as a digital post office.  There are multiple parts of this kind of server, including a storage area for local users to access, a database of accounts that can access the server locally, rules that users define to determine how the email server reacts to specific message destinations, and communication components that allow for the transfer of messages to and from other email servers and clients.  This final component is the part you are most interested in if you are trying to learn how to connect your email server to your computer so you can download your email onto your home computer.

When you use Microsoft Outlook, there are a few different ways in which your email messages can interact with and change between the email server and Outlook.  The scenario that applies to your email messages depends on the type of account you have.  The first scenario is that your messages stay on the server, Outlook connects with the server, and your messages can be read or deleted from there.  The second scenario is when messages are downloaded to a data file set up locally.  Outlook connects to the files that have been downloaded from the server and you can read or delete files from there.

The third scenario is what you are after if you want to connect your email server to your computer so you can download your email.  When you log onto Outlook, your messages are synchronized between Outlook and the email server.  Microsoft Exchange Server accounts allows you to access your emails in the future when you are not online because the emails are saved to an offline folder on your computer rather than on the server.  Your email account type will determine the default way in which your messages are saved and synchronized between Outlook and the server.

However, you will be happy to learn that you can customize the retrieval and saving of your messages.  With an Exchange Server email account, you can configure the account to keep a copy of all your emails on your computer so you can access and delete them from your computer without being connected to the Exchange Server.  Using Outlook and customizing the way messages are viewed, synchronized, and saved is the best way to connect to your email server so you can download your messages to your computer.

Web hosting providers offer you a way to make your website accessible to anyone with internet access.  You register a domain name, get in touch with a webhost, and have your site up and running, ideally, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Webhosts are the landlords and you “rent” your space on the internet from them.  Once you have a hosting provider in place, you can contact a web design service and begin to shape your website into something professional.  However, there are some questions you need to ask webhosting services before you choose them.

What do you offer and at what price?  Depending on what you need from your website, you could be paying for a simple online presence or you may need a way to allow patrons to conveniently make purchases.  This requires a shopping cart and a secure server for allowing transactions.  Make sure you know what your hosting needs are so you can obtain a proper price estimate from your web host.  To stay on budget, remember that these prices will be added to the charges from your web design service as well.

What is the difference between shared hosting and dedicated hosting?  The average website owner would do well to pursue shared hosting, a less expensive option for getting your website up and running.  Multiple sites are hosted on the same server with this option.  If you have a personal or small business website where traffic should not be sky-high, this is the best option.  Dedicated hosting allows you to have the whole server to yourself.  If you own a large organization that is bound to have heavy amounts of traffic at once, you will want a dedicated server to prevent your customers from being booted off your site.  Higher fees are associated with this kind of hosting, so keep this in mind when you contact a web design service for their contributions to your website.

What about free web hosting?  Even with the word “free” being present here, web hosting must still be paid for somehow.  In this case, advertising is the key.  If you want free web hosting, not only will you have limited access to bandwidth and disc space, you will also experience banner ads all over your website in order to fund the hosting costs.  These ads are for third party companies that sell dissimilar products to yours.  Even though you need to balance your web hosting costs with your web design service fees, choosing a paid service is superior to free web hosting.

Why SEO is Very Important for Your Online Business – Website Developers Can Help

Website developers know that SEO, or search engine optimization, is very important for your online business to succeed today.  Because of how hugely populated the internet is, with more than 80 million active domain names, it is clear that you have some competition.  Of course, not all 80 million active websites will be competing with you for page placement on Google, but unless you have a very specific niche, chances are you have at least a few thousand websites selling something similar to you.  In order to stand out and grab the attention of search engines, you must implement SEO tactics on your website.

Without knowledge of SEO, you will never gain the traffic you are seeking.  Website developers understand that programs used by Google, often called spiders or crawlers, follow links, analyze web pages, index them, and add them to the search engine database.  Indexing is a process that only search engine owners fully understand, but there are a few critical things you can be doing to help your website please the spiders and put your website higher on a return list than other sites with similar products being sold.

One very important aspect is the utilization of keywords.  However, one common mistake is to overload your pages with keywords on the topic your website is based on.  This will do more harm than good, all respectable website developers will tell you, because your website will be caught trying to exploit the system and marked as spam.  Then, you lose your ranking on Google altogether.  The proper densities of keywords in anything you write for your site—whether you place articles on your webpage or use them as backlinks—are 1% – 2%.  Also, never use a misspelling of something that is commonly searched for simply to grab a spot on the return list when someone conducts a commonly-misspelled search.

Take a look at your page ranking. Unless you are on page one or two of Google when you conduct a search using prime keywords, you need to be implementing more SEO methods on your site.  Whether you have an older website or you are looking to start a new one altogether, you can seek the help of website developers to accomplish your goal of greater, more targeted traffic to your site.  There is no better group of people to help you accomplish your goals than those who design effective websites for a living.

How to Choose a Good Domain Name – Some Mistakes to Avoid

Have you considered that the success of your website could be directly related to the domain name you choose to operate from?  Since registering your website’s domain name is one of the first steps in setting up your website with a web design service, you should spend the proper amount of time considering what your domain name should be.  With so many websites already in existence, the first few obvious choices you come up with may already be taken.  This could require you to get a little creative, but do not commit the most common mistakes when selecting your domain name.  Here is what to avoid.

The first common mistake is choosing a domain name that is unrelated to your product or is too vague.  The hope here, after exhausting obvious domain names that are already taken, is to intrigue the customer to visit again because they may not remember what the site was for until they are directed back to it.  This method does not work very often, however, because people conducting Google searches will often glance at the URL below the description and click on it only if it seems to fit what they are searching for.  A web design service can tell you this much.

The next mistake is to add things like dashes, underscores or misspellings to find a domain name that is not already taken.  For instance, if you sell party supplies, but partysupplies.com is already taken, you may try for party_supplies.com or party-supplies.com.  It is better to steer toward a different set of words than to introduce dashes and underscores.  Also, if your business sells unique cat care supplies, but obvious domain names are already taken, your web design service will tell you not to settle for a misspelling like katkare.com.  Your past customers will not remember the misspelling and you could lose a great deal of business by doing this.

The final mistake is to make your name very long in an effort to avoid a repeat domain name selection.  FreeDietPlanToLoseWeightNow.com may make sense to you, but the long name will not encourage repeat visits because it is not memorable.  If there simply is no sensible available .com domain name within your niche, you may need to settle for a .net or .info page.  It is less desirable than a .com website, as any web design service will tell you, but it is better than succumbing to these common mistakes.

How AdWords WorksHow Google AdWords Works – Why You Need it Working for Your Online Business

The pay-per-click ad system that Google has set up is called AdWords. This is the force behind AdSense. Because there are so many websites competing for page placement, you can get ahead by using this online marketing method. It works by letting website owners create ads using their website’s most relevant keywords that might be used in a Google search. The website owner then pays Google per click they receive on their ad, which will appear at the top of the return list with a frequency that depends on the amount they are willing to pay per click they receive. In this way, you only pay for results.

Because you have the choice of what you spend on Google AdWords, you have a great amount of flexibility, allowing you to make your decisions based on your advertising budget. You set your limits based on the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click as well as the maximum amount you want to spend in one day on your AdWords advertising efforts. You are in complete control with this online marketing method, which is certainly one of its greatest qualities. You can customize the appearance of your ad based on language, country, and even more specific locations that you may be targeting.

You need to utilize Google AdWords for your online business because it is one of the only online marketing tools that take up a very little amount of your time. While other methods like keeping up a blog and writing articles may be done for free, they take up a good deal of your time. Once you have chosen your keywords and created your ads, you will quickly get a feel for Google AdWords and devote little or no time to it in the future. This is a perfect solution to the busy working professional.

Even if you find yourself at or near the top of Google for your most important keywords, you can still benefit from Google AdWords by prioritizing the less prominent keywords and driving even more traffic to your site. This is because those who click on your ads resulting from a search of your targeted keywords are usually far more motivated buyers than those who simply click on the links that rank high on return lists. In this way, using Google AdWords as part of your online marketing efforts is bound to pay off as more targeted traffic is driven to your site.

The Internet, since its creation, and especially since Google went public, has transformed the Internet into the place to be if you have a business.  It’s no-longer a choice to have a website, it’s a must, if you want to compete with your main competitors.

 Here are just a few reasons you need a website:

  1. Convenient Everyday Access
    While most brick and mortar businesses are only open on weekdays for certain periods of time, your website is available 24/7 365 days out of the year, if you want it to be. No need to turn valuable customers away because it’s a holiday or you are on vacation.  With a website you can still collect leads and sales.
  2. Inexpensive Catalog and Brochure
    Your website can display the products and services that your business has to offer and the information people may want to know. You can also change your content whenever you want, without having to pay a printer a hefty fee to reprint everything.
  3. Global Marketing Medium
    The power of the internet holds infinite possibilities. Whatever may be contained in your website can reach out to the entire globe. This increases the chances for sales and earnings dramatically.
  4. Cutting-edge Customer Service
    Customer service is an important aspect that should be taken into account for a business to flourish. A business website can establish communication and healthy relationships between the marketer and the clientele. Customers can easily voice out their concerns and the marketer can in turn respond to these, thus creating rapport.
  5. Effective Marketing Tool
    A business website allows the salesperson or marketer to sell the products and services to millions of people. Using such eliminates the costs of having to pay for rent and other maintenance fees that result from having to set up an office.
  6. Low-cost Promotion
    Creating a business website is typically free of charge. One only needs to regularly maintain it for efficiency. Individuals are able to view the products and services the company offers without generating cost on the side of the marketer.
  7. Lead Generation  All businesses exist to serve the demands for such products and services. Having a business website allows the marketer to come in contact with possible clientele that might be interested in what the business offers.
  8. Recruitment Tool Business owners wishing to hire employees can utilize the business website as a vantage point. Vacancies and the like can be posted and the website itself can serve as the location of interviews.

Basically, for the last 5 years if you have not had a website then you have lost money and probably lots of it.  That is pretty much a fact.  So if you don’t have a website and you own a business please consider getting one, but if you do make sure you have a professional build it.

OK, here’s our shameless plug; We offer a wide-range of web design services but even if you don’t choose us, make sure the company or freelancer you choose has several years of experience and knows a thing or two about online marketing.

Many businesses have a great website but they never market it, so it’s never found.  Let us know if you need a web design quote.