Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization

The Main Points of the Web Design Process

A web design project requires an intricate process from start to finish so as to fulfill all necessary requirements. Enumerated below are the main points that web developers (individual or agency-affiliated) take note of to ensure a speedy yet efficient workflow.

Stage one: Planning. Everything is laid down and decided upon. This includes an analysis of the client’s goals, requirements, target audience, and resources. The site’s main flow is planned out and refined; and IT requirements are secured.

Stage two: Design. The project’s “artsy” part. Using software like Photoshop or Illustrator, the designer outlines a mockup and sends it for approval. Trial-and-error for design elements ensue, and once the final result is approved, it’s coding time.

Stage three: Development. The designer puts all plans into reality. A huge amount of programming begins, with the designer taking note of all project requirements along the way. After the preliminary and final coding processes, the site’s tabs are tested out for full functionality.

Stage four: Launch. The website is now being prepared for public viewing. Design is polished, links tested, and the user interface evaluated in terms of navigation ease. The site is also tested on different platforms (mobile and desktop), to ensure top-notch compatibility. It’s also transferred to a live web server. The site is run for a specific period of time, after which it is evaluated for additional tweaks, possible bugs, and fixes.

After everything is done, alas! The website is now fully operational. 

Getting Started With Social Media Marketing

 “Social media marketing” is the latest buzzword being touted by many marketing gurus. It may sound intimidating, but it’s essentially using social media to generate interest in your website and your products. It sounds easy enough to do, but you can’t just whip up a Twitter account and spout things on it aimlessly and hope to get the traffic that you want.

There are several social media marketing companies you can consult with to craft your social media strategy. However, since you’re still starting out, here are a few tips on how to build the foundations that such companies often look for in their clients. First, establish a social media presence. There are several social media platforms that your business should have a presence in. It will be up to you to select which best benefits you, though Facebook seems to be the most popular option at this point.

Secondly, attract followers organically. Social media marketing’s foundation is the amount of followers you have. These are people that are interested in you and your product or service. Some people opt to just buy followers, but organically creating a following makes for a more honest and more productive approach.

Thirdly, develop content. Followers come to your social media profile for a reason and that’s content, whether original or shared from other sources. Making sure your followers are interested is a step in the right direction and assures the future of your social media marketing strategy.

Inside Google’s AdWords Wars

Securing an ad space for pay-per-click (PPC) marketing isn’t as easy as buying groceries. You have to outbid everyone else. If self-storage has Storage Wars, Google has AdWords Wars.

Prime estate for these types of auctions include insurance, loans, mortgage and attorney – all of which often enlist internet marketing services. Say you want to secure a space for “insurance.” An auction can commence if more than one interested party want the same keyword relevant to the search query. Broad keywords like “insurance” may enter multiple search query auctions.

You may think you have a higher chance of winning with more money. However, this isn’t your usual auction. Having the highest maximum bid is only half the battle; the other half determines how useful your ad is when hosted. It doesn’t matter if you’re the highest bidder; Google hardly favors a bidder with a really ineffective ad.

The product between the maximum bid value and quality score is called the ad rank. You can bid for less as long as the quality of your ad is solid. A $1.00 maximum bid for an ad with a quality score of 10 can win over an $8.00 maximum bid for an ad with a quality score of just 1. This is an advantage to businesses because they may end up paying less for every click.

Tips for Managing Your Business’ Online Reputation

People will always prefer to deal with a reputable business. This is why many consumers spend time to check the Internet for any reviews on a product or service they are interested in. With that in mind, remember how important it is that your business maintains a sterling online reputation.

Unfortunately, maintaining a clean online reputation can be difficult because there are so many places on the internet for both positive and negative reviews to hide. That said, here are a few helpful tips to make managing your online reputation a little easier:

Flaunt Positive Reviews

There is no rule that says you cannot direct people to where your positive reviews are. In your physical store, add a sign that informs people where your positive reviews can be found. At the same time, encourage existing customers to post their reviews on the same site as well.

Address Negative Reviews

You cannot please everyone and a negative review is bound to appear sooner or later. Avoid the temptation to lash out as doing so can make you look unprofessional and petty. Ignoring the negative review should also be avoided as this can give the impression of complacency and disinterest.

Instead, focus more on trying to politely address the complaints in the negative review. You do not have to resolve all the issues that pop out, but it is important that you show others that customer satisfaction is a top priority for your business.

Why your Business’ Online Reputation is Important

When customers are looking to buy a product or hire a business for one of its services, they often look at its reputation first. In the old days, this usually involved calling up friends and family and asking whether they heard anything bad about a particular business.

However, nowadays the Internet is often what they consult. The main problem with that is the Internet can be a source of a lot of bad information on your business, and can trash your good reputation. This can lead to lost sales and revenue that could have easily been avoided.

This is where online reputation management comes in. The first thing you have to understand about it is that you cannot choose not to engage in it. Your business will have an online presence whether you like it or not, via customer reviews and other feedback venues that help customers. The main problem for many is how to manage their online reputations.

Thankfully, many Internet marketing companies often have online reputation management as part of their packages to clients. Making sure that your business does not have a negative image often helps them do their job, so it is often in the cards when signing up with one. Ensure that your business has a spotless reputation to get the most of your Internet marketing campaign.

Taking Full Advantage of the “Social” SEO Trend

Social SEO is the newest trend to hit the web – which points out that social media platforms play a huge part in a web page’s search engine rankings. In fact, search engines consistently give higher rankings to sites with content that gets shared a thousand times, rather than those who have a thousand followers.

Communications expert Cheryl Conner enumerates several methods of taking advantage of this:

  • Brand names. Using brand names in posts can help Google associate the brand itself with your keyword-optimized posts.

  • Social profile linking. If your company maintains social media profiles, the links to these should be posted on your website to help Google consolidate them and give higher page rankings.

  • Be picky. There are sites which cater to a specific interest or groups of people. So unless your company’s nature fits the bill, don’t join it. Sites with the most traffic won’t always work if most of the people aren’t even interested in what you do.

  • Tweet. Twitter is one of the quicker-indexed sites on the cyberspace, and it’s sure to outrun your company site in the indexing race. Time-sensitive posts are best sent out thru Twitter for faster indexing.

Lastly, the more, the merrier. A larger audience talking about your company is certainly helpful. If more people know about you, the better the chances are for your posts to be shared and retweeted numerous times. Google provides higher page rankings if you’re consistently racking up viewership. 

How to Get Google to Index Your Website Fast

After you create a website for your business, probably the next thing you want to happen is for people to find it quickly. Of course, the first step for this to happen is for search engines like Google to recognize your website. Typically, however, it takes a while for a browser to find your website and add it to its index. So the question now is, how do you ensure this happens as quickly as possible? Here are some effective ways:

Create a sitemap

A sitemap is an XML document that tells search engines how often to check back for changes on specific webpages and when new pages have been added. If your website is built on WordPress, you can use the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. This tool automatically creates and updates a sitemap for you. You can also use other tools such as the XML Sitemaps Generator.

Submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools

Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools, then add your new site by going to Optimization>Sitemaps and adding the link to your site’s sitemap to Webmaster Tools to notify Google about it. Doing so will also inform Google about the pages you have published.

Submit your URL to search engines

To submit your URL to Google, sign into your Google Account and go to the Submit URL option in Webmaster Tools.

To maximize your use of these steps, feel free to consult a leading SEO firm.

The Ethical and Proper use of Keywords in SEO

Many companies are now relying on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to successfully market their products or services online. Whenever a customer searches for an item or a business, the search engine directs them to a list of suitable company websites through the right keywords. With the very tight competition among websites to get to the front pages of Google and other search engine search returns, certain methods have been put in place to make sure Internet searches stay reliable.

SEO groups utilize informative articles and attractive web designs to boost the online reputation of a business. These articles are usually optimized with keywords. Keywords make it easy for search engines to find relevant content when an Internet user makes a search for a particular topic or product. Unfortunately, some companies take advantage of these keywords, packing a single article with several mentions of these keywords. This practice sacrifices the quality of content, putting searchers and Internet users at a disadvantage. Avoiding this practice is one of the reasons for Google to change its algorithms, causing its search engine spiders to ignore content with too many linked keywords.

There are currently several “white hat SEO groups” devoted to proper SEO methods. With more and more businesses focusing on online promotions, conforming to search engine algorithms intended to uphold the integrity of Internet content is necessary for a successful SEO campaign.

Bloggers: The New Face of Endorsement

Looking for someone to endorse your goods or services but don’t have the money for a celebrity? Look no further; there are plenty of netizens on the Internet.

As far as Internet marketing is concerned, consumers look more to reviews by ordinary people than paid celebrities for goods and services. As they’ve dealt with the business in the past, the new generation of target audience is more likely to trust bloggers. Surveys support this; only a tenth of respondents say they were encouraged to buy by celebrities.

Bloggers don’t cost as much as celebrities in service fees, making them an economic boon for online businesses. Coupled with the fact that millions today take to social media for the latest updates in current affairs, bloggers relate to the target market more. As per a 2013 survey, the blog is the third most powerful tool of influence in marketing.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort for the brand to propagate across the market using the blog route. Even just a handful of bloggers creating content for a particular product or service can already make enough content to be read by over a million people in social media. When the content gets around via sharing, marketing has done its intended job.

Choosing the Right Online Marketing Service

The Internet has become a dominant part of people’s lives and it is no surprise that hiring online marketing companies is becoming popular. The problem is, how does a business owner know which online marketing service to put their trust in? The wrong choice can quickly result in lost revenue and wasted marketing money.

To know which company to trust, here are a few guidelines:

a) Look at their processes. An online marketing service thrives on how it understands the way search engines work and how they take advantage of this knowledge. Have them explain how they do this in a simple manner to learn how they operate.

b) Look at their clients. Every marketing service has a list of its clients it is proud of. Check on these previous clients to see how satisfied they are with the work provided by your candidate company.

c) Take a look at what your company’s strong suits. Online marketing covers a lot of areas, but usually companies have specific strengths. Confirm what your business requires in the online marketing arena and see if your prospective marketer can provide it.

d) Get payment terms quote. Knowing how much it will cost and how you can make sure the online marketing service you hired is doing its job should be a major concern.

Choosing an online marketing service can help define and shape your business for long-term, that’s why it should be done carefully.