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Some DIY SEO Tips for Business Owners

If you run a business online, you need to understand and appreciate the importance of SEO. The days are gone where a site could grow organically, due to the number of sites competing in almost all niches.

SEO Services which you pay for can be complimented with in-house SEO. Here is a brief list of some of the things you should expect your SEO provider to undertake on a monthly basis;

  • Social Bookmarking
  • Article Posting at Article Directories
  • Backlink Building
  • On-site optimization
  • Analysis of visitor statistics
  • Keyword analysis

If you do not perform these on a regular basis you will be significantly limiting your chances of success. However, one key area is becoming more and more important; content!

Content is an area you can specifically work on using your own time. You obviously may wish to out-source it if you do not have time, but it could certainly be done in-house. For example;

Social Networking: Make sure you are running active twitter and Facebook accounts.  The two should be linked as tightly as possible, and you should look to not only make regular posts, but identify other twitter and Facebook users who may become customers.  For example, if you can make your customers become fans of your Facebook page, there is a strong likelihood that they have friends or family with similar interests, who in turn could see any content you post onto your fan-page or twitter account.

E.g. You create a Facebook comment with a photo of your latest product. One of your customers sees it and clicks LIKE. That person has 1,200 friends on Facebook….so your new product instantly becomes visible to 1,200 Facebook users. Powerful!

Blog Posting: More important now than ever is writing good blog posts to your site. Google has never been so smart, and it can identify fresh unique content using its complex algorithms. If Google sees you site is alive with fresh content, it will affect your ranking.  A mid-size website should look to have around 500 words of fresh content per week, which obviously should be relevant to the target audience.

Backlinks: Your SEO provider would normally provide backlinks as part of your monthly service. However, it is something you should also be doing yourself. You probably have business-links with other business owners, maybe some of which you are not in competition with. If you can gain backlinks from these other websites it will improve the quality of your website in Google’s eyes.  For example; If you run a website selling jewellery, and you were to obtain a link from a jewellery manufacturer, Google would see this as a highly relevant link.  There are quite a number of other factors which will be considered, but if you work on the basis that ‘any publicity is good publicity’ i.e. ‘any link is a good link’ it will help the overall standing of your website. Some SEO experts believe that linking can sometimes be a bad thing and then poor quality links can degrade your standing. I have never seen any evidence of this, and have never seen any leaks from Google that this is the case.

Trends: Always keep an eye on the Google Trends site, and monitor what trends may be emerging relevant to your business.  There may be new pages you can create on your website or blog to target a new trend and grow your business into a new niche.  You can drill into trends over the past 7 days, and alter your twitter and Facebook campaigns accordingly for instant results.

Some DIY SEO Tips for Business Owners

Google Trends Powerful Stuff

Most importantly, don’t become complacent. Keep in mind that there are probably hundreds of other websites working to compete with you on a daily basis, so try to keep one eye on them at all times, and alter your strategy accordingly.

Good luck with your websites!!

Cheap Web Design Tips

Many people who want a website for their businesses always seek for a cheap web design. In order to get this, many people think of creating the website on their own without thinking of the fact that it is still possible to get cheap web design from professional web design companies. People are always concerned about the cost of putting the website up and prefer to go it alone. However, they don’t know that the cost of hiring a web design company is always lower than creating the website themselves.

Here are the ways to really have and enjoy a cheap web design:

1. Realistic Expectations – A website with multiple features can be of great benefit to a business. Of course, the cost of web designing is generally based on the number or type of features of the website. However, it is very important for you to have a clear goal in mind concerning the type of website you need. The type of your business should determine the type and features of your website. For instance, if your business would involve handling many customer support issues, it is very important to have that feature in your website. In case your business is to sell products and services through the internet, you should also have shopping cart built into the website.

2. Hire Web Designers – Your brother or uncle may say he knows how to build a site. That is what everybody claims today. However, not everyone can create a website that will represent your company online. You should not let anybody do your site based on friendship. A website is your eyes on the internet. Therefore, make sure you give the job to web designers to handle for you. This way, you would be able to have a website built at a cheap price.

3. Web Hosting And Other Costs – You may find that some web design costs include the cost of hosting. In most cases, that is included as part of the cost of designing a site. Some other services may be addition of new features as your business grow. All these new features add up to giving you a cheap web design.

4. Content Management System – Having a content management system enables you to edit, modify and add new content to your website. Requesting for this feature is a very good way of getting cheap web design. For people without HTML knowledge, having to call on the web designer everytime you need to add or modify simple content would cost you more money.

You can get cheap web design at very affordable prices. Just make sure you start the whole process from your business. After determine the type of business you have, then you would be able to identify the type of website that would fit that business to make it profitable. Do not build sites because your friend has an attractive one. Build websites based on the needs of your business and customer satisfaction.

Tips To Social Bookmarking Success

Web-savvy analysts and SEOs can’t say enough about just how social bookmarking sites like Newsvine, BEENclicked, Reddit , del.icio.us or StumbleUpon etc are very important when trying to increase traffic to a new blog or website. Often times however, many great articles go unnoticed on social bookmarking forums and sites since their front pages or headlines are not catchy enough.

Creating a good impression on web users has got to start foremost with the way your headline sounds. A site’s headline is the first, and most often the main thing users will see from your article, so if you don’t make the effort to provide a catchy headline, your chances of getting to the main page are nil.

Create Attention-Grabbing Headlines

Crafting the headline is crucial in drawing web traffic. However, if you want to keep that attention always, create a meaningful description. The description must be slightly stimulating since this draws more attention but still, never use lies and false facts to provoke interest. For instance, if your write “This article will reveal to you the 10 sure ways to deal with stress once and forever and live a relaxing life from now on.”, visitors will hardly think that your story is true and facts-based.

A simple example of this would be:

Original headline : The Two Types of Cognition

Improved Headline : Learn to Understand Your Own Intelligence

Craft Interesting First Paragraphs

You could also might be lured to using long tell-it-all paragraphs to describe your masterpiece; however bear in mind that many users will not bother reading anything over 100-150 characters.

Maintain Good Content

However, the first paragraph is not key to everything. Going further along the chain of attracting, as well as retaining the users’ attention, is key to top-level content. If your articles are just trash or plain bland, then bookmarking them would be useless. You might get away with it and cheat users once, but don’t count on them coming back for repetitive visits. To make things worse, you can get your site banned from social bookmarking sites, when you persistently post useless trash.

Make Full Use of RSS Feeds And Newsletters

SS feeds, newsletter subscriptions, affiliate marketing are all forums wherein the traffic from social bookmarking sites could be of great help. A lot of people who come to your site and like it, will subscribe to RSS feeds and/or your newsletter.

Don’t Rehash Old News

Submitting old news will not help you in becoming a respected user. Yesterday’s news is history. However, if you still need to re-submit old stuff, consider placing feature articles, howtos and similar pieces that would remain up-to-date for quite some time.

Despite the differences in the likes of the different social bookmarking forums and communities, there are striking similarities. You will soon discover that if a post is well-liked inn one of the major sites, this generally drives it up on the other major and smaller sites. An example would be that usually it is posts on site like Digg that become popular on StumbleUpon or Reddit; however there are many other examples. To use this fact to your best advantage, you may want to concentrate your efforts on getting to the front page of the major players only, and take chances on the snowball effect to drive you to the top on other sites.

 

The importance of social bookmarking

Every single way to make money online – whether it’s an online business, a website, internet marketing campaign or a blog, requires traffic in order to succeed. There are several factors in obtaining traffic, probably the most essential of which is the number of visitors from search engines. So the higher your page rank the more traffic and visitors your site gets. One of the most commonly used tools for improving traffic is social bookmarking. In this article I’ll show you how to increase your page rank and traffic with social bookmarking, and also other ways social bookmarking can benefit your website.

So what is social bookmarking? It’s a method of creating and sharing links from your website to a social bookmarking site such as digg, reddit, StumpleUpon, and del.icio.us. These websites let their users share all kinds of information, be it a whole website or just individual pages, articles, videos, etc. When you market your website on social bookmarking sites, people will be able to share it with each other thus creating more and more traffic.

This tactic is called viral marketing due to the self perpetuating nature of what is being marketed. This is one of the best ways of advertising in my opinion because it’s free, effective and targeted. The cost-effectiveness stems from the fact that users promote the product on their own making this internet marketing campaign free. By using social bookmarking sites you can seed your content and then watch as the popularity of that content explodes as more and more people share it.

Internet marketing through social bookmarking uses the same tactics as word of mouth advertising and what’s more, it promotes a setting in which millions of people have access to. Anyone who’s looking for a way to promote their product or content should seriously consider viral marketing – in the age of MySpace and Facebook it’s a must. Social bookmarking sites allow you to gain maximum exposure for your website for a fraction of the cost of regular advertising.

 

Massive Traffic With Social Bookmarking!

I’m sure you have heard much Social Bookmarking. What is it exactly? When you list a site in your bookmark list, anyone looking for that same type of information can do a search at the bookmark site and find the sites that you have bookmarked. It is like a search engine without all the trash.

For Social Bookmarking: if you have a category on your browser for clothing and you come across a site you might well bookmark it and place it in that category. One of the other great features about these bookmarking sites is that your social bookmarks are with you wherever you go and not just on your own computer!.

While social bookmarking is a good hobby imagine if you could replace the website option with blogs?. There are many different types of online communities that you can join and most will help you get a certain amount of traffic to your site. Social bookmarking is a way of showing what interests you share with the rest of webkind.

According to http://del.icio.us your page goes on the front page (I’ve yet to see any of mine though) and also is filed away under sub-indexing using those all-important tags. If you have a site there are plenty of interesting tools that will help you make it easy for your visitors to bookmark your content. Social Submitter is a good one I use.

But by organizing your bookmarks online you can help yourself (getting organized/ getting my content exposed) and help others at the same time to finding great content. All social bookmarking sites have a list or cloud of the tags created by users – and each user has an individual page with his or her own tags. Social bookmarking sites also help you to meet other people who are interested in the same topics you are and who may also have knowledge of web resources that you don’t. Put Social Bookmarking on Autopilot!

 

Benefits of Hiring Search Engine Optimisation Consultant

There are many benefits in hiring a search engine optimization consultant. A website is used to represent a business on the internet. Without a website, nobody knows your business exists. People would also not be able to know you have products that could be of great benefits to them. Therefore, a search engine optimization consultant is needed to make maintain and help your website become discovered by internet users from any part of the world that is of interest to you.

Many business owners still make mistakes. They believe that the only thing required is to just throw a website online. They do not know that they still need to take steps to boost the chances of people finding their website. This is where the services of a search engine optimization consultant comes in. Here, we shall discuss the benefits of hiring one.

1. Keywords – Doing keyword research takes a lot of time especially if your business is focused on a niche that is highly competitive. Most businesses fail because they do not know the importance of keyword research and even think they can handle it without the services of a search engine optimization consultant. An SEO consultant is the best person to handle keyword research for your business in order to achieve the required online goals for your business. A consultant will help you to choose good keywords that are well related and targeted to the type of business you run. This will then enable you to create good PPC campaigns that will give you good results.

2. Optimisation – in order to fully optimise your website for good search engine ranking, skill and time is required. On-page optimisation of your website involved choosing the right content, H1 and H2 tags, navigation and keyword density for the articles. All these take skill from a person who is a professional to fully help you to position your site for free search engine traffic. An SEO consultant will help you to do this and you can be saved a lot of money from running PPC campaigns all the time.

3. Backlinking – Most search engines give priority to sites with backlinks. Therefore, your business website will be well placed in the search engines if you have good quality backlinks from other sites, especially sites that are highly respected. This is where the services of a search engine optimization consultant is needed. The consultant will help you to choose sites from which backlinks would be of benefit. Also, the consultant will help you to negotiate with those other sites so that the backlinks you get are really right for the type of business you run. This is something that is not advised you do alone unless you really know what you are doing. Most business owners always overlook this until they realise their websites are not ranking well in the search engines.

4. More time to manage your business – Hiring a search engine optimization consultant means you would be able to focus on managing your business. As said above, the SEO aspect of a business requires skill and you should let a professional handle it for you. This helps you to face other things on how to deliever high quality products and services to your customers. Let a professional handle the online aspect while you handle the offline area.

A search engine optimization consultant is necessary if you really want your business to grow. Do not always think you could do it alone. Of course, a the consultant would charge you some fees for what he is doing. But at the end of the day, those services would save you a lot of money on having to pay more for PPC campaigns. The services of the consultant would also bring you more business because more prospective customers would find your website easily.

Social Networking The Ultimate Viral Marketing

Social Bookmarking could be one of the best things that ever happened to websites and blogs in terms of search engine optimization.

Basically Social Bookmarking sites allow users to create a set of content bookmarks. These bookmarks are organized by tags, which are (usually) arbitrary words or phrases the user can assign to content. This gives the user a way to classify, rank and organize content using tags. The most popular Social Bookmarking Site is del.ici.ous, which has millions of users.

Social Bookmarking sites have an intrinsic advantage over search engines and other bots — people choose what to bookmark rather than relying on a program to categorize and qualify content. There is an implied quality in something that someone has taken the time to select.

Social Bookmarkers read other people’s bookmarks and add them to their own if they like them. There are also RSS feeds so people can see what others are tagging, which I think is really cool, and a textbook example of viral marketing.

About 4% of my referrers this month are del.icio.us related, including .8% off the home page, meaning that people click on my link when they see it pop up in their RSS feed. I get a goodly amount of traffic from technorati as well, but I would call that site a business bookmarking site, so I’m not going to mention it here.

There is a terrific WordPress plugin called Sociable that allows direct tagging for tons of Social Bookmarking sites. If you don’t have it as part of your blog you should get it and install it today. This blog is being redesigned and should be done in a few weeks. The new design will incorporate Sociable.

So…what can YOU do to get the social bookmarking virus ramped up? I see two basic considerations:

1. Write good content. Darren Rouse had an interesting observation about del.icio.us items that make it to the top of the site. You can take a look, but basically he observes that lists, how-tos, technical articles and humor get to the top faster.

2. Give people the tools to bookmark easily. If you have a blog, use Sociable. It’s terrific. If you have a site, there are plenty of interesting tools that will help you make it easy for your visitors to bookmark your content. AddtoBookmarks.com is a good one.

There are Social Bookmarking sites popping up all over the place. Here are the Top 10. Where did I find them? In someone’s bookmark list on Listable, of course.

Del.icio.us
Listible
Digg
StumbleUpon
BlinkList
Spurl
Magnolia
Furl
BlogMarks
Reddit

 

Web Design Services for Small Businesses

Website design services are available for people who operate small businesses. Having a website is no longer for big companies and you can take advantage of the internet to help in the growth of your small business. It is very good to design a very good website because this can affect profitability of small business owners because website visitors judge the quality of the products of a company through the quality of its website. Remember that people from any part of the world can visit your website and the impression they have about your company through your website can make a lot of difference.

Search engine optimisation is a very important part of website design services for small businesses. This means that the appearance of your small business website is not enough. You need to also make sure that your website is designed in a way that you would be able to get good traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. In most cases, you would need to get more website design services for your website in order to achieve the main goal of having people visiting your website. Most web design services include things like formatting of text, graphic design, website layout, etc. However, some additional web design services you may include for your small business website are:

1. Creation of banners

2. Applications for calendar

3. Template design for dynamic website

4. Design of logos

5. Creation of ecommerce website which includes shopping cart, shipping gateway, credit card payment processing system, online catalog and so on

6. Creation of 2D and 3D animated images

7. Photo slideshow and flash header

8. Programming for javascript

9. Video and audio streaming

10. HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) coding

11. Optimization for digital photos

All or some of the features mentioned above help to make a good small business website because experts are involved. Experts in content writing, graphic designing, HTML and flash coders and search engine optimisation. All features may not be needed by you. Therefore, it is very important that you look at your business requirements in order to let the website design company develop a website that would meet your needs. For any type of web site you choose, common things most web design companies put in mind are navigation and web page loading because these affect the experience of website visitors.

Small businesses can really succeed with a good website. If you are able to get one, these are some of the benefits to be received:

- good traffic from search engines

- improvement in brand quality

- ability to compete with big companies

- more sales and more profit

- opportunity for more growth

A small business needs to have a website even if it is a restaurant with business restricted to a small community. Having a website gives that business an opportunity to expand and be able to serve more people who are in need of its products. This can be done only through a website with a good website design.

Web Inovations For 2011

Already this year we have been working hard with our custoemr’s to move their websites forward with the latest web technology.

Event Booking

One of our customers had a requirement for an online Event Booking System. This allows their customers to view available dates for events, and make a live booking request. Ideal for the customer, and ideal for the mechant.

Mailing List

Keeping in touch with your  customers is crucial, especially if you have interesting news to provide them. We have created a mailing list system for two customers so far this year, allowing their customers to subscribe and unsubscribe without intervention…. and allowing the business to send mailshots out at the click of a button.

Social Networking

We have been working hard to integrate our customer sites with Facebook and Twitter and get everyone moving with their blogs.  Content is king in 2011, and a static website with no new content is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.  Link your content across multiple networks, and you really will start to roll!

Selling

We have been working hard with the ever improving Magento shopping cart system. We are more and more impressed by it every day. Whilst the inital config can be tricky, once it is stable it represents the best open source shopping cart solution their is….in our opinion.

It’s going to be a busy 2011!

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