Getting Exposure for Your Business Website

Your site is completed, the website design is solid and you’re happy with your content. You’ve done the hard part… or so you think. But building a website doesn’t mean they’ll come, and you’ll need to know how you get eyeballs on the page. You can’t just sit around and wait, hoping that people will show up; now’s the time to start working on getting your name out there and letting the search engines know that you’re there. Here we’re going to go over everything you need to do to establish your site’s reputation, and how you can do it yourself! Let’s get started.

Use Article Marketing to Get Exposure

Using article marketing is a great way to get exposure for your site, but what is article marketing and how can you do it? Article marketing is just you submitting articles to GOOD article directories that link back to your site. You want to make sure they’re as relevant as possible, but you also want to make sure they’re not written in bad English. A year ago you could get away with poorly written articles, but since the panda update you can end up hurting your site article marketing with bad content more than you can help it.

Keep People Informed

How many email newsletters do you subscribe to? I don’t know about you, but I get ten a day! The best way to get people to sign up for your mailing list is to offer them something of value, and you can do that with an email newsletter; let them know about sales, new products and features you’re offering and more. Create value with your newsletter and people will keep subscribing and you can build a real list of customers for growth down the road.

Get Listed

There are many ways to get listed in search engines, but one of the best is to have a WordPress CMS blog that pings different aggregators (feeds) to let them know you’ve posted something new. You can also manually list your site with DMOZ to get on Google; DMOZ is known as the open directory project, and if you can get onto this you’ll be able to really start getting indexed by all the major search engines. Getting listed on Bing can be tricky, but that’s where backlinks come in.

Getting Backlinks

Backlinks are a good way to get traffic in and get listed; you’ll want to do article marketing like mentioned earlier, but a mix of forum posts with your link in (some forums will do no follow links which won’t get you the better PageRank, but it can still help anyway), blog comments that are RELEVANT (don’t advertise Viagra on a blog about children’s toys for example) and other links that will bring in the hits. Always make sure your backlinks are relevant, and worry about making the comments as good as the site you’re posting them to.

Understanding On Page SEO

While there are many ways you can get off site SEO, you’ll want to work on on page SEO too! Your website is the thing that Google crawls, and no matter how many backlinks you have coming in if your website doesn’t have the right SEO you can end up with a bad ranking or even no ranking. Why make it harder than it has to be, when you can get your on page SEO done all at the same time? On page SEO is super simple, and you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner.

First Stop, Meta Tags

Meta Tags can be overlooked; while many SEO experts say they’re not all that important, they really are! Keep an eye on your meta tags, and if you don’t know what to do take a look at the different meta tag generators (be sure you remove any links back to the generators who are trying to piggy back on your good fortune). Before you start editing your meta tags you need to gather a few things like:

Your Keywords – You need to have the keywords you want to use for every page. For most pages you’ll probably use the same keywords, but tailor your keywords if you can so you don’t get hit with spamming penalties for using unrelated keywords. Also note that you can use UP TO 12 keywords and keyword phrases, anything more than that can mess with your SEO.

Use Yoast for WordPress – If you’re running a WordPress site or blog, you will want to use tools like Yoast to get meta tags for each blog and optimise your SEO. They’ll help you find good keywords for your article, and even write your description.

Descriptions for Your Pages – There are a meta tag known as “description”; you’ll want to have a custom description no longer than 140 characters (not words, but characters!) to let people know what this page is about, what you’re offering and all that. It’ll show up in Google search results as the little text that tells people what the page is about, so be descriptive and drive those users towards your page!

In Links

You’ll want to utilize “in links”, meaning you’ll link within your content to other content on your site. Crazily enough, this actually works! Like any other kind of linking you’d do outside of your website, you want to make sure that what you are linking to is relevant to the article. You might be tempted to in-link everything, but you don’t need to do that; 2 links or so will be fine for all of your needs.

Focus on Your Niche

Focusing on your niche is the best step you can take for on page SEO. You want to focus on what you do best; use high quality content to drive your traffic, be an expert in your field and you won’t have to worry about employing black hat tactics to bring up your SEO.

Understanding Web 2.0 Website Design

In the beginning, there was the word… and it was static. We all hear about web 2.0 website design, web 1.0 xml AJAX and all the other acronyms that make techies happy, but what does it all mean? Here we’re going to talk about the difference between web 2.0 and web 1.0; how to tell what your site falls into, and how to bring it up to the latest web standards.

What is Web 1.0?

Web 1.0 is what the web started out as. Static pages with static search engines that indexed them and you’ll notice them by their .html extension. If you’ve been on the web for the last ten years, you’ll remember lycos and geocities; these were web 1.0 sites! Remember those dancing “under construction” gifs? That web was awful, but it was the wild west of the internet and it holds a special place in the heart of everyone who’s been using the internet since the 90s. But when the rise of the “social web”, most notably blogger and dig, began to overtake the clunky older version of the internet web 2.0 was born. All good things must come to an end, and while the internet is not nearly as wild as it once was it is a lot more usable today than it was before

What is Web 2.0?

Also known as the social web, web 2.0 allows people to interact and buy things on a level they never could before. The new web is user driven with massive sharing of content and information, all at the user’s behest. WordPress, Facebook and Google are hallmarks of web 2.0 prominence, and you’ll want to get in on it!

Why is Web 2.0 Important?

No matter what you’re selling or saying online, you need to make sure your business is up to web 2.0 scruff. In the beginning it was all about shiny buttons, but now it’s about community and ease of use. People will not buy from you unless they can trust you; a well-designed website with web 2.0 features goes a long way towards establishing that sense of trust and community you need to thrive online.

Is there a Web 3.0?

Many experts are already proclaiming the rise of web 3.0; a web where companies make most of the content and are able to cut huge swaths of influence through the web without people even noticing it. You can look at Facebook for an example; Facebook leverages its user base to create massive databases to sell to marketers. Most of the content shared to you by your friends is actually manufactured by corporations and you’ll have a hard time telling which is which.

Using the web to your advantage in business online is important and you can’t survive without it. Integrating social sharing into your website, giving your users an easy interactive experience, building blogs and other experiences for your users to enjoy will give you a big leg up on the competition regardless of your niche!

Understanding How PageRank Works

PageRank is dispelled as a total myth by some SEO experts while others will swear by it. Here we’re going to go over what PageRank actually is, how it works, and everything you’ve ever wanted to know about PageRank but were afraid to ask! Is PageRank a metric you need to worry about? Do you have to have a high PageRank score for your website to get traffic, or do you need to focus on how many visitors you are actually getting into your website? Let’s get started!

PageRank 0 is Bad!

No, it’s not bad. It could just be that your website is brand new; it can take years for your website to age or mature and be a more “trusted source” for whatever it is you’re selling on your site. No matter what people tell you, you can’t go from PR0 to PR10 overnight; going at in an organic way is the best way to get your site better rankings over time.

PageRank Means You’ve Made It

There are PLENTY of low PR sites on the web today who get tons of traffic without a high PageRank score. You may not be optimising your site for all of your terms, but the ones you are will have a good SEO score. Focusing on PageRank can be a good thing, but you don’t want to put all your eggs into the PR basket!

Incoming and Outgoing Links will Improve/Ruin your PageRank

A common misconception is that if you have incoming and outgoing links you’ll be able to either raise up your PageRank or wreck it; it really depends on what you’re doing with the links. If the incoming and outgoing links are relevant to your site and what your keywords are, it can help your PageRank (but again, PageRank isn’t the only thing you have to worry about with SEO), but if it’s not relevant you can end up getting hit for spam. It’s also good to keep an eye on exactly what kinds of sites you’re linking in and out from; if they’re bad sites and you were paid for a link exchange, you can end up hurting your search engine position (front page, third page, etc).

Ways to Bring up Your PageRank

If you’re looking for ways to bring up your PageRank, the more organic the better!

  • How Many Good Sites are Linking Into Your Site?

Inbound links matter, and the better they are the better they look for you! Having your page linked from Wikipedia or CNN will tell the search engines you have “authority”, and are something worth visiting.

  • Are People Commenting?

User interaction is important when gauging a site’s importance on the web. If you have a blog, are people leaving real human comments or just garbage “THIS IS AWESOME, GO TO ww,wstevesho for MORE ResOURces” comments no one wants to read? How many retweets of the subject are there, and how many Facebook likes do you have on each page?

All of these things are important when gauging how you’re doing as a website and if you’re worthwhile resource. Check over your page and see what you could improve!

Four Ways to Make Your Website Successful

We all want a successful website, but it’s not always a clear road figuring out how to get there. What can you do to make your website successful, and what are some common pitfalls that businesses fall into trying to make their websites work? Here we’re going to go over how you can fix a failing or ailing website, and take your search engine rankings from 0 to 4 in a few short steps (and a little time, nothing fixes itself over night!) Let’s get started!

Who Are You Trying to Reach?

Before looking at anything to fix on your site, you need to consider the audience. Who are you trying to reach? What do they want, and how can you give it to them? When making any website, you need to cater to your audience! If you don’t know who they are, you need to hire a consultant who can help you identify and target them properly.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

While you might want to be the most innovative site selling or offering x product, it never hurts to look at how your competition uses certain tactics to be successful! Browse their sites and read their content, how do they approach their audience and how can you adapt your own strategy to incorporate what they do? You don’t want to copy it completely, but you want to be smart about information that you need to start growing and fixing how you approach your audience.

Make Your Site Pretty and Useable

Think of all the websites that you visit, and think about WHY you visit them. Do they have a pretty interface; is the website designed well and easy to navigate? Of course they are, and you want your own website design to be too! Design is important, and you can’t neglect it. Another thing you want to worry about is navigational design. How can people find all the pages on your site? Are they linked in through your front page? If people can’t find their way to your pages, search engines won’t be able to find them, and you won’t be able to get the new visitors that you need to move forward.

Write Good Copy

As the old saying goes “Design follows copy”, you can’t ignore the content on your website. No matter how beautifully designed your website is, how much it targets your audience, if your copy is bad you’re not going to be able to get anything done. Copy is one of those mysterious parts of the puzzle that you have to keep an eye on. If you’re not good at writing your own content, you can hire someone who can do it for you!

When you want a successful website, you’re going to want to make sure you know your audience; who are they and what do they want? Look at your website and see if it looks good, and make sure the writing is solid with calls to action that push them towards what you need them to do.

Why CMS Website Design’s are Better!

Wordpress CMS Website Design

No matter what you’re selling online, what your message is, or what your site is about you need a CMS or content management system. If you’re struggling to get the right website up and if you don’t want to spend tons of time trying to code one, a CMS will help you with a push button solution. Get control of your SEO and your content all in one package. But why are CMS’s helpful, and what CMS is right for your website? Here we’re going to go over everything you need to know about content management systems for your website, and how you choose the right one.

How CMS Work

A content management system does just that; you have an interface to write pages and blog posts, manage pictures, an ecommerce system and more. You’ll be able to have a full website and blog set up in just a few hours, and if you don’t want to write your own content you can always hire a freelancer at a penny a word or less. Content management systems allow you have total control of your website without having to hire a developer to manage it 24/7; this frees them up to work on important things like plugins and ecommerce solutions, and gives you the money to put towards your business.

Choosing the Right CMS for You

By far, WordPress websites gives you the best experience across the board. It’s free, it’s easy to maintain and it’s so widespread you never have to worry about finding a developer who can help you with your issues. You can get a shop widget to run your ecommerce sites for under a couple hundred dollars. Get all of your SEO bundled into a single package without having to worry about optimizing everything, and get access to millions of awesome themes.

Drupal is also a popular option, especially for business websites. If you don’t want a blog (you need one for SEO, but some people don’t want one) you’ll do fine with Drupal. Either of the systems will give you a good setup for getting your site online right away. You may not have the template you want right now, but it’s important to have a site online as soon as you purchase your domain; this tells Google it’s something worth crawling and will give you better search engine results down the road.

Why You Need a CMS

You may not think that your business is big enough, or that your html site works just fine, but is it really? You need to be able to edit your website without hiring a developer to go through the flash template, you need to be able to control the destiny of your business online. A CMS system allows you to edit, publish, delete and form your web presence just the way you want it to be.

Choosing a CMS is the first step to getting the website you need to bring in sales! The rest is the hard part, so get started today.

 Contact us today to find out how we can create the perfect CMS website design for your business!

When is it Time to Redesign Your Website?

website redesign tips

Is your site looking a little out dated? Is it a little rusty? Are you using an old HTML design, and want to upgrade to the sparkly new functionality that a wordpress website can bring you? When your site makes you a little sad to look at it, it’s probably time to redesign your site. From the navigation menu to the colours, all sites can do with a makeover from time to time! But how do you choose the new colour scheme, the new layout, what design is right for your business? The truth is you’re going to need professional website design help to get your site on the right track.

Dancing GIFs? Time to Redesign!

Remember the good old days with those little hard hats and street cones would dance on a page, asking people to excuse the mess, under construction? If your site looks like this, you need to move beyond the old design and create something that will show you’re a modern company that can get the job done. A great design is one of the most important things to establish trust with your audience; it might seem a little shallow, but it’s just the way things are. Don’t neglect the look and layout of your site design, and remember that you need to keep it updated as much as possible.

Has Your Business Changed?

Getting your site updated means that you need to look at how your company has grown over the years! If your business has grown or shrunk, changed the way it does business, or if you are just selling something else now’s the time for you need to redesign your site. Look at the content on your site; does it reflect what kind of business you run now? Do you catch yourself not wanting to show people what your website looks like? These are all great reasons to change it up, but the last one you want to pay attention to is SEO; is your site getting search engine love?

You’re SEO Challenged

SEO is an important thing to keep an eye on; if you’re not getting page views you’re not getting new customers. If you’re not getting new customers, you’re not getting more money coming in, and your website isn’t serving the purpose it was meant to. SEO is important and many old websites just aren’t built for pleasing the search engines. If you use a CMS like wordpress, you already have a leg up on the SEO game. You’ll still want to look around for SEO plugins that will help you get better results, as well as a design with a great navigation system that will help your usability and the indexibility of your site with search engines like Google.

If you catch yourself not liking your website, it’s time to change. From a simple colour redesign to something more drastic, they can all lend you a new sense of credibility that you never knew could come from design!

Contact us today to find out how we can help create the perfect website for your business!

Why Every Business Needs a Website

Everyone needs a website, no matter how big or small their business is. Even if you’re not doing much business online right now, you need that web presence to show people that you’re serious about providing services or products to them. If you have business cards, you’ll be able to put your website URL (address) on your card, and people will be able to go there and check out more about you. It’s a great way to communicate with people who might want your services, it but it’s also a great way to save time without spending a lot of money. If you’re ready to take the leap, keep reading!

Be Professional

A professional website design gives you an edge that you can’t really get anywhere else. A designer can give you an air of sophistication and importance, while in reality you’re not putting forth a lot of effort and energy like you would with phone calls explaining your business or with face to face meetings. Websites allow you to have a conversation with people who might be interested in your business, but weeds out the ones who might just waste your time. You can include contact forms that let people email you with questions, and include contact information like your business phone or mobile number that will help them get a hold of you to ask your more in depth questions about your business.

Save Money and Be More Environmentally Conscious

Instead of printing up brand new brochures every time you need to change prices or what’s offered, you can just update your website. There are millions of mobiles in use right now, and you can take advantage of that! If you run a restaurant, you can give people online menus that are updated constantly with new items and prices without having to print up a ton of menus and waste a lot of money and trees to do it. Go green and reap the benefits of being environmentally conscious with your own small business website!

Find New Clients

Finding new clients and customers in the current economic climate isn’t easy, but you can get a leg up on other local small businesses with the right tools. A website that’s filled with great content and optimised to get search engine love will help you get the new customers you need to survive. Instead of advertising constantly and trying to find more customers who might be interested in your services, you’ll be able to just sit back and have them come to you. If you’re not spending all of your time chasing leads, you’ll be able to focus more time on the things that matter like improving your business’ products and services.

Having your own small business website can improve your odds of survival! With the right design and content, you’ll be able to get a lot more customers coming to you and you’ll be able to give a more professional appearance to your operation.

How to Establish Your Brand Online

While using the internet to build your brand is easier than the alternative 20 years ago, it can still be hard to do. From owning your own domain name to having a social media presence, you can build and establish an online presence that will get you the customers you need to survive online. Here I’ll show you how to establish your brand online in three easy steps!

Get a Domain

If you have a company, use the name of it for your domain name; if you’re just working for yourself or are a consultant etc., you need to use your own name so people can find you online. Most domains are extremely cheap, and you can get them anywhere from $5 to $50 depending on what the TLD (top level domain) is. .TV and .Mobile domains can cost more, but .com, .net and .org are usually on the cheap side and you only have to pay for them once a year.

Once you have a domain, you need to create an email address to tie it all together. When you have business communications with clients and contractors, they need to see what domain is yours and how to contact you. Having your own domain goes a long way to establishing your brand identity online.

Create Your Own Website

You want to present a professional image to people checking out your domain, and to do this you’re going to need a website design. While you might be tempted to get a generic wordpress template and hope for the best, don’t do it! Your website is like your store front, it needs to be appealing to those coming to it and have a clear message and call to action for people to look at. Follow the AIDA principle: attention, interest, desire and action; if you design your site around these principals you’ll be able to get your brand up and running in no time.

Advertise

Advertising your domain is important; put it on all of your emails and printed materials! If people who are buying your products or reading your brochures don’t know your website, how are they going to find it? Advertising isn’t just about paying money and putting banners up on websites; it’s also about using what space you have wisely to communicate with your audience. In the signature of all your emails or forum postings, you need to put your web address so people can find you more. This will also give you backlinks and help get your site higher in the search rankings, so don’t neglect it!

Establishing your brand online can be tough, but it all starts with getting your own domain, having a website and getting the word out about your site, you and what you’re offering. It’s important to define your brand identity before your competition does it for you; work with a professional who knows your business and can help you rise to the top!

Internet Marketing Strategies for 2012

With 2011 coming to a close it’s time to start looking to the future. What will your internet marketing strategy for 2012 be? Do you know the latest trends to get attention and new business? How do you get noticed by Google? To stay competitive in today’s marketing, you’re going to have to employ all kinds of wizardry like social media, video marketing and even hiring affiliates who can help you spread the good word about what you’re offering. Here we’re going to go over the different ways you can promote your site, and how you can implement it into your marketing plan.

Giveaways

You don’t have to physically give away your products, but you do need to sweeten the pot a little! Think about free reports and e-books that will get people in the door, and move them towards the sale. With the world economy like it is, people will be more likely to buy with you if they have already seen a preview of what you can give them. Never underestimate the value of free stuff! When they sign up for reports, have them join your email list so you can send email blasts

Get Noticed

Backlinks are the chief way to get noticed online, but are you covering all of your bases? Every SEO blog out there is telling you to leave comments on blogs and forums, but there are article directories to use too! When you have commenters working on your backlinks, always create relative and informative comments that will get approved; don’t incite the ire of angry webmasters reporting your site to blacklists by leaving generic comments like “I like this site but this (link) has more information about the topic you might find interesting!” Article directories like EzineArticles and Associated Content along with blogs like Tumblr give you good links that will help with your article marketing strategies.

Use Social Media

Social media is quickly becoming the drug of choice for everyone from the young looking for great fashion to grandmothers trying to reconnect with old high school friends. Using video marketing to creative interactive content is a great step, as well as having a Twitter and Facebook Fan Page so people can leave you comments and ask questions.  People want that next level of interaction that social media gives them, so be sure to take full advantage to reach new audiences for free!

Affiliates

You only pay affiliates when they get you a sale; these are highly motivated sellers who know what they’re doing, and know how to target your audience to get them to buy. By using affiliate marketers, you’ll save time and money without having to spend more than you normally would on advertising.

Switch up how you’re marketing now, and in 2012 you’ll bring your company to the next level! Why spend time and money that you don’t have on ineffective campaigns, when you can use a multi-pronged strategy that’s proven to work?