Using Google to Get Your Business on its Feet

Using Google to Get Your Business on its Feet

Owning a website is a great feeling and it can be a really encouraging feeling to wake up, get on your computer and start publishing content on your business website with the hope of it becoming an authority. However, just because you are very motivated to get up in the morning and work, that doesn’t mean that people are actually going to be reading what you’re saying. There is a lot involved in getting people to read your content. Fortunately for you, the world’s biggest search engine, Google, has made it incredibly easy for your website to be found and for your business to get on its feet.

What Google has done is created a relatively straight forward algorithm for those that are trying to rank in the search engines naturally. On the flip side, they’ve created a tremendous advertising program in which people, if they have the money, can forsake the constant work of link building and on site SEO. Here, people can buy ads on certain keywords and get traffic that way. Which should you use for your website? Which of these Google methods can get your business on its feet? Good question.

  • Natural search engine traffic: Here is a great way to get traffic and the method is simple. Google’s algorithm is based on the principle that the more links you have, the better you are going to rank in their search engine. However, Google doesn’t just want any links. What Google wants to see is that you are getting links from other sites within the same niche as you. Getting links from a politics site when your site is about baseball just doesn’t fit and this could get you penalized. However, other than that, having strong, relevant links is the trick to get ranked. Sure, there are other details, but this is the basic method.
  • Advertising Program: AdWords is a fantastic way to get traffic to your site, but it can be a bit expensive. In this program, you’re paying for each and every click to your site on the ads. The way this works is that you pick a keyword that you want to advertise with and whenever someone searches for that, if your pay/click is highest, your ad will appear and the visitor can click. A lot of people have had a lot of success with this technique.

Google can be a great way to get your business on its feet, but there are two ways to approach it. You can do the slower, but often times cheaper technique of natural search engine traffic. On the flip side, you can do the faster, but more expensive AdWords campaign. Whichever route you choose, though, it’s easy to understand that Google is a great way to get the traffic you need and want to your website. Traffic means money!

How to increase your sales with video testimonials

How to increase your sales with video testimonials

It is a fact that watching consumers speak praises about a particular product is very persuading. Same information is more inspiring when presented through a video than when presented through written text. Not only is it more believable but also very convenient as it doesn’t require the audience to know how to read to be able to get it.

With a camera and a computer with internet connection, here are five steps to creating a video testimonial that will help you boost your sales and generate more revenue to your business.

i. Open a You Tube account

You are going to need a place to post your testimonial videos after creating them. This is where YouTube comes in. YouTube is a very reliable and easy to use viral video website that is completely free! Upon posting your videos, anyone and everyone will be able to access it online.

ii. Create a good testimonial

Bring your video camera along when promoting your products or delivering a project to a customer. Once your discussion is drawing to a close, find a good point to ask your customer for a short testimonial about your product. Assure your customer that their identity will remain confidential and that all you need is a couple of statements about their experience with your product which you will share with your future clients. With their consent, take out your camera and record their testimonial.

iii. Transfer your footage to a computer

With a good testimonial video in your camera, transfer your footage to a computer. Ensure that your format is in a format supported by YouTube such as WebM, MPEG4, 3GPP, MOV, AVI, VMW, MPEGPS and FLV.

iv. Editing

Get video editing software and use it to make your video more interesting by adding nice background music. You can also use Windows Movie Maker to edit your video.

v. Upload your testimonial to YouTube

Click on the “upload” link at the top of the screen beside the search bar. Follow the instructions and get your video on the World Wide Web. You need to come up with a good title with useful descriptive tags and relevant keywords in order to increase the chances of search engines locating your video.

There are tons of things which you can do to make your video interesting in order for it to go viral and attract more views while generating more traffic to your site. All you have to do is being creative and open minded.

Using Offline Techniques to Build Your Website

Using Offline Techniques to Build Your Website

When people think about owning a website, they think that they need to hire a company to do SEO, they need to build links, write articles for article marketing, post on blogs and forums, and just do a whole bunch of online stuff. What they don’t take into consideration is there is another entire step of methods in which you can promote your site without even having to be in front of your computer. These techniques are a bunch of offline methods that can be applied so that more people can find you. This is best used when your site may not be ranked so highly in the search engines. Here are a few methods:

  • Get pens made with your website URL on them. It’s so easy to pass a pen out to someone when they ask. If they go to give it back, tell them to keep it.
  • Carry your business card around on you. You can get really inexpensive ones at some online websites. Get them and include your website on it so when someone asks you for your phone number, you can give them the card and they’ll see your website.
  • Put an ad in the newspaper. Newspaper ads are still really good. They don’t do as much as they used to, but a lot of people still go and read newspapers.
  • Submit a press release to your local paper. Your local paper may pick it up and write a story about you. This story will, in return, create talk about you which may send you an increase in traffic.
  • Just talk about your website. Tell your friends and your family that you have this new website, that it’s an addition to your business already, and you are really looking to get it larger.

These are five ways. There are hundreds. I’ve used tons of different methods when promoting offline. You could be in a conversation about the topic of your site and then you could suddenly say, “Hey, I actually wrote an article about that on my site. Check it out.” Boom. One more visitor. One visitor may not seem like a lot, but if you remember viral marketing, one can lead to two can lead to four and the list goes on. Don’t spend your entire life on your computer trying to promote your site. Go out, experience life, and promote that way as well. It really does work.

Knowing What Kind of Sites to Stay Away From for Promotion

Knowing What Kind of Sites to Stay Away From for Promotion

Knowing What Kind of Sites to Stay Away From for Promotion

If you own your website, chances are, you’re going to want to promote it as much as possible. The more you promote it, the more business you’re going to get for your company and, in return, the more money you’re going to get. However, one of the amateur mistakes that a lot of new website owners make is they spam the internet trying to get links which results in getting sandboxed in Google. Getting sandboxed means being removed from the search engine results. The best way to prevent this is to know what kind of sites to stay away from.

  • Sites that promote illegal content. You don’t want to be getting links to your site from a hate group’s website. This will only make Google think you’re part of the hate group which definitely won’t give you a positive result to the search engines OR your customers. Imagine if they saw you linked from the KKK.
  • Sites that are in no way a part of your niche. If you are in the car business, don’t try and buy links on sites about parental methods. What this does is show that there is no relevance and once Google thinks you’re buying links, they accuse you of it and then you are removed from the search engines. Buying links is fine. Just do it the right way.
  • Sites that get their links from shady places. The saying “guilty by association” is true. If you are linked to from a site that gets links from a shady place, you’re going to be penalized as well. You want to know the details of what kind of sites link to a site so that you are safe.
  • Sites that link to dangerous sites. If they are linking to dangerous sites, it labels that site as more dangerous. If it links to your site, Google may consider your site a more dangerous site. This is very dangerous for your search engine rankings and is something that you do not want to let happen.

Having strong rankings is a much desired thing. Promoting your site on a lot of different sites is a great thing. However, just because it is a great thing doesn’t mean you should post links on every site you come across. Do research and only get links to your site on sites that truly fit the niche. It’ll work out best for you in the end.

Web Content Management System (CMS): Why You Need To Have One

Web Content Management System (CMS): Why You Need To Have One

Your web design exercise can be pretty simple and fast when you have a good content management system in place. With an effective CMS, you can easily update elements of your site like photos, videos and text. However, the real potential of a content management system comes with thousands of adds-on applications which can range from simple ones to the most complex ones.

In place of a motionless/ brochure type website, you can incorporate additional features that will help attract more visitors. Such features can include social media applications from sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that are linked to your site. Such applications will help you build a reputable online brand image while reaching and interacting with millions of potential customers. Better still, you can always update these applications by yourself once they have been installed by your web developer.

So what are the benefits of a web content management system?

Content management system sets you free from the bonds of conventional web design. Think about you being in full control of your website. There are definitely several benefits that come with this, two of which are cost and time.

Suppose you had a shoe store with hundreds of new shoes to list on your site, you can use your content management system to feed information to your store’s database. By “pointing and clicking”, your new products will be included to your online store in a matter of seconds. This means that you will no longer look to your webmaster to update your product list for you. You can apply the same concept when you are looking for something more “advanced”.

With your “do-it-yourself web design” enabled by your Content Management System, you will be able to save hundreds of dollars on your web master’s fees. This is no doubt a great cost cutting strategy. This coupled with the time saving advantage are major factors contributing to the popularity of web Content Management System.

While CMS will certainly save you time and money among other benefits, not all website designers are capable of developing websites using it. As an online trader with some web knowledge, CMS will be of great importance to your business. All you will need is a little understanding of other user friendly programs.

Content Management System brings great convenience and a sense of self satisfaction by giving you the freedom to take full control of your website’s updates. This will to a great extent give you a feeling of being part of the system.

More computers are hacked in China. New report from McAfee

More computers are hacked in China than anywhere else in the world, a new report from security firm McAfee revealed

In the last three months of 2009, about 1,095,000 computers in China were hacked, and 1,057,000 in the United States – this on top of the 10 million or so machines already infected in each country. An estimated $1 trillion in intellectual property was stolen worldwide in 2008 through hacking, McAfee estimated.

In China, hacked computers often are clustered into botnets,; a.k.a. battalions of corrupted computers commandeered to attack websites and spew spam. The growing presence of botnets is yet another sign of network insecurity – already a huge concern for both business and government. The news comes just after China closed down Black Hawk Safety Net, the country’s biggest training website for hackers. The site signed up some 12,000 paying subscribers, providing them with both primers for cyberattack and Trojan software, which hackers use to illegally control computers. The report also comes after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s historic Jan. 21 speech on Internet freedom, where she announced: An attack on one nation’s networks can be an attack on all.

China produced 12 percent of the world’s botnet “zombies”; as they’re called. The U.S. was second on the list with 9.5 percent – down from the top spot (and 13.1 percent) in the previous quarter. The rest of the top five: Brazil, Russia, and Germany.

It’s not necessarily the Chinese themselves who are causing the problems. Just because the attacks original from China doesn mean the people behind the attacks are Chinese or even physically in China, Gideon Lenkey, founder of protection company Ra Security, told China’s Internet is very closed off from the rest of the Internet so it’s a great position to attack from.

Other findings from the report:

  • A drop in spam: Levels dropped from a record 175 billion a day in the third quarter of 2009 to 135 billion, a 24 percent decline. Don’t get too excited – the overall historical trend still points upward, said the report. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2008, volume is up 35 percent. For the record, there were about 135.5 billion spam emails sent every day in 2009, compared with 122 billion a day in 2008 and 76.5 billion a day in 2007. The U.S. is the world leader in spam production, but Brazil and India are fast catching up.
  • Malware threats are on the rise, nearly doubling over the year. It was a transformative and evolutionary year for computer threats, the report said, with portable storage devices becoming a very popular target. This is partly because the hardware is so popular, but also because so many PCs use the Windows autorun feature – meaning no user action is required to become infected.
  • Last year saw an increase in bogus antivirus software that convinces web users their PC is infected and asks them to pay for equally bogus security software. Thanks to the growing popularity of Adobe applications, there also was a rise in attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in Flash and Acrobat reader.

Last month a report from McAfee and the Ce nter for Strategic and International Studies revealed a growing threat of cyberattack, with widespread attacks on critical systems.

Web Design Inspiration?

Web Design Inspiration?

We all get the design flavor of writers block occasionally it is unfortunately part of life. What you do when that happens makes the difference between a designer, and a good designer. Some will call it a day and go home, others will go to the nearest bar or coffee shop and forget about everything for a while. Others will go and do something completely different like go fishing, skating or to the gym.

When you do lost inspiration, it is certainly time to step away from the project for a while but it doesn’t necessarily mean the time is wasted. There are plenty of ways to spend time away from the desk but not be productive. Every city has plenty of places you can go to take your mind off things while still being productive.

Here are some of my favorites.

An art gallery is an obvious choice I guess, but one that shouldn’t be ignored because of that. Here you can spend time looking at other people’s ideas and work. You will be relaxing away from the office, but still not wasting time. While your conscious mind might be taking in great works and admiring the skill of the artist, your subconscious will be storing it all up for another time.

A modern art gallery is a variation of a theme but still worthy of an honorable mention. Here your mind can take in the latest in contemporary design. These places are often great for exploring color and how different ones can work together, or not. Not everything in a modern art gallery appeals to me, but there is often enough in there to get my mind ticking over.

A Museum is another great place to get inspiration. While it won’t have cutting edge, modern exhibits, there are a lot of retro ideas that can come from somewhere like this. Old engines, architecture, jewelry, even clothing from days gone by. New designs often use influences from the past and the museum is a great place to get them. It could be just the use of colors, or the lines of a specific exhibit. It’s all subjective so you will take what you will from it.

Going shopping is another great pastime when you have designers block. Especially a department store that sells high fashion. A slow browse around taking in the colors, shapes, lines and anything else that takes your fancy. You don’t even have to buy anything if you don’t want to, just look and absorb what you see. Your imagination will do the rest.

These are just a few of the places I use to visit when my creativity takes a break. Which one and where depends entirely on my mood at the time, but by the end of the day my mind is brim full of ideas ready to go the next day. It might not seem as productive as slaving away at your desk, but it is, just in a different way.

Relevance is Key When Building Links

Relevance is Key When Building Links

I know I’ve mentioned it a lot in other articles about how relevance is key when building links and all of that jazz, but I wanted to dedicate an article to it because it really is an important concept to take into consideration. To understand it, here is a little bit of a history lesson about Google. Once you understand this lesson, you’ll be better able to understand why relevance is key.

When Google was first started, what the owners wanted was a site that ranked sites based on the number of links they got. So, if one site got 100 links and the other got 1000 links, obviously the site with 1000 links was more of an authority than the one with the one hundred links. Unfortunately, what Google found out was that it was tremendously easy to go and just start spamming the internet with links so that you could rank successfully in the search engines. It’s easy to manipulate new websites.

Google, though, is notorious for being smart and so they were able to figure out that people were doing this. So, what they did was made it so that if you added too many links aimed at your site in too short a period of time, you were considered a spammer and so, you were removed from the search engines. So, what people did was bought a few links a week and built them that way. Google didn’t know the links were bought and the link builder got high quality links and a few at a time.

Finally, Google was tired of people manipulating their search engines. They said that buying links was against the rules and if you bought them, you’d be removed from the search engines. That was scary to a lot of people, but the thing was, Google relied on links. So, people were still able to buy links. It just changed. Now, people bought links on sites within their niches. People shared link juice this way.

By understanding that, you’ll understand why relevance is important. Google wants their search engine to be the best. So, they constantly make updates. Buying links is a pivotal part in making your website grow bigger. However, the best way to do it is to buy links on relevant sites. It is better to have a relevant link than a non-relevant link. Often times, a stronger non-relevant link is actually weaker than a weak relevant link. Relevance is important. Buy relevant links to promote your site and you’ll find your rankings skyrocketing.

What exactly is SEO?

What exactly is SEO?

Often times, people have to stop what they’re doing and ask themselves: what is SEO? Sure, they know that SEO is important for their website and they know that if they are going to have success on the web, they need to employ a series of tactics that will make their content appear before readers more likely than with another website. However, the truth is: what is SEO?

This is a question that people often have to ask themselves because they don’t even realize what they are doing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a series of techniques that a website owner (or company) employ in an effort to optimize their site so it appears on the front page of the respective search engines, specifically Google. People spend thousands of dollars each and every month because they understand that having a front page listing is worth a lot of money, especially if the keyword is super competitive.

However, while understanding SEO is important, there is a way to delve deeper into the topic. There are two types of search engine optimization. There is the more basic one which is the external search engine optimization. Then there is the more detail oriented one which is the internal search engine optimization. Here are details about each:

  • External Search Engine Optimization: This is the process by which a website owner builds links for their sites. They may employ any number of tactics such as article marketing, link exchanges, directory submission, or anything else. The goal is to create an abundance of links. The more links that are linking to your site (in the proper niche) results in a higher page rank from Google, but more importantly, it results in appearing on the front page for a series of keywords. What keywords those are, though, is entirely up to you.
  • Internal Search Engine Optimization: This is the process by which a website owner goes in and carefully edits their code so that it is works better for the search engines. Here, a website owner may go in and edit the meta-tags so that the site ranks stronger for other keywords. This is very fine detailing; however, this fine tuning can result in a considerable boost in the search engines. Without this technique, no good search engine optimization will work well.

No plan works alone. Without internal SEO, external SEO won’t do enough and the same can be said on the flip side. With this understanding, it is important for a webmaster to develop a technique in which they focus on building their links, but keep a careful eye on their code to make sure they don’t need any growth on that side.

Should You Make a Website?

Should You Make a Website?

As the World Wide Web has grown more and more, one of the biggest questions people have been asking themselves is whether or not they should have a website made for their company. More people are starting to hop online and people are obviously using search engines to find what they’re looking for. Topics that are geographically specific are searched every day such as Tampa Web Design for an example. With this in mind, a business owner needs to stop, sit down and ask themselves: Do I need a website?

The answer should be a complete and utter YES! There is no reason why your business should not have a website. People argue that since they don’t sell a product, they shouldn’t have a website because a website is only good for selling goods. That doesn’t mean anything. Having a website in that case means you are providing another way for people to find your contact information or to learn more about what you offer. People say that their business is so unique that no one would search it, which gets the response: if you can have a business about it, you can have a website about it.

The fundamental reason you want to get a website made for your site is it is an added method of people being able to find your business. Before the World Wide Web was big, people found businesses by going into their phone book. They’d open up their geographically specific phone book and look for a pizza place. These days, they can type in the keyword “city name pizza place” and come up with the results. By having a website, you can provide the visitor all the information they may need such as: what kind of catering do they do, what do they charge for a large cheese pizza, and so many other questions.

No matter what type of business you own, having a website is a great investment. Even though it costs a little money to get the site up and running, that doesn’t mean that you should forsake the great possibilities that can come from a website. By having a website, you are giving yourself the chance to really get your business out there. Depending on what you provide, it can mean a lot more business. There’s a reason people are constantly making new websites. It’s working. It’s making businesses money. You should make a website soon. Or contact us.