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Websites 101

Search engine optimization glossary

December 12, 2011 9:53:40 PM EDT

Search engines play an important role in marketing a website to internet users. They are responsible for majority of the traffic to a typical website. So it makes sense to take advantage of the exposure of search engines can bring.

Attracting traffic through search engines is not a difficult task because many concepts have to be understood and applied correctly. To make that task easier for website owners, we have developed this glossary to highlight the important terms relevant to any search engine optimization project. We use terms when we talk to our clients. Our clients can use this reference to understand what we really mean when we use those terms.

Ways to create your first website

November 10, 2011 8:38:25 PM EDT

Creating and launching a quality website successfully is no easy task, especially if you have little or no experience with web technologies. Creating a website is not just about HTML coding. It’s more than that and essentially about:

  • Understanding it is the central online hub for your business. Your business, promotions and advertising efforts will point your customers to your website.
  • Providing exceptional experience to your customers
  • Having the site ready for search engines and customers
  • Helping customers find what they are looking for
  • Having the website project a professional look and feel of your business

When it comes to creating and launching a website, there are three options: do-it yourself, create it using off the shelf product, or hire a professional web design firm.

Key website tracking terms to know

October 13, 2011 9:49:36 PM EDT

Website tracking is used to determine how a particular website is performing. To better understand whether the website is performing well or poorly, one need to understand the key terms used in the web tracking analysis.

Briefly, website tracking is about analyzing web traffic to a website. When a visitor comes to view a website, the web server (or a web analytic tool) records some piece of data from what the browser sent. For instance, when you requested to view this page, our web server recorded (other website servers may collect more information):

Avoid common mistakes website owners make

September 25, 2011 3:26:00 PM EDT

With more than a decade in business of developing and maintaining websites, we have observed a number of common mistakes website owners make. This is especially true for new website owners. They are new to internet and often start their business website with inadequate preparation. The good news is that the common are avoidable. This is easier said than done, however.

  • The common mistakes are:
  • Failing to see the full potential of a website
  • Its live the job is done
  • Creating or maintaining the website alone
  • Falling for the latest and the greatest technologies
  • Having very high expectations
  • Ignoring web analytics
  • Web content is provided by the web agency
  • It is okay to duplicate content

Do you know what you want your web visitors to do?

September 16, 2011 8:34:21 PM EDT

You advertise online. You print your website name on your business card. You have featured section in a buyer's guides. You do all this and more in an effort to drive traffic to your website. But do you get the result you want? It turns out it takes much more than just advertising to obtain the desired results.

So what are you missing? It is not that obvious as raising your web sales with your advertising efforts. If that was the case, all websites or business advertising would be making money tons of money. It is a simple mathematical formula for business profits, as a business, you want to make more than you spend. We are not going to turn this post into making profits online although it is a potential outcome for a small business when the business owner establishes a clear picture of what he/she wants his web visitors to do.

Making your website a success

September 3, 2011 3:25:16 PM EDT

Successful websites are successful for important reasons not because of random events. A success of a website is not guaranteed with a particular technology, software, hardware, or any combination of these. It rather has everything to do with planning of the website. Successful people take the planning seriously to continuously improve their website for better results.

In this post we will discuss a number of techniques you can use to make your website a success. Before we go any further, let's be realistic about success. Before you know whether your website is a success or failure, you have to have to know what success looks like. You should define certain measurements defining success of your website. Is it that you consider increase in monthly visitors count a success or is it the amount of time they spend on a website?

Types of content pages

August 21, 2011 3:24:35 PM EDT

When you are considering writing content for your website, we think it would be helpful to know the different type of content that is out there. If you regularly browse the web, you probably have experienced all or most of these types. If your web presence is in just the planning stages, you have better control over what type of content you need most or you don't need at all. On other hand, if you have already launched your website, this post may help you evaluate the existing content.

We have noticed there are seven types of content pages:

  • Workflow based
  • Chronological
  • Alphabetical or numerical
  • Dynamic
  • Generated by web users
  • Legal
  • Needs based

Don't just browse the web, find opportunities

August 14, 2011 3:23:49 PM EDT

When a business owner visits a website, he is just doing so typically to complete a particular task. For instance, the owner may wants to order supplies, place an advertisement, or something else. Every minute the owner spends online is for the sake of completing the task he has in mind. But we believe he should be doing more to find ways to grow his own business website.

It is no mystery there are many opportunities online for any business out there. If as a business owner you are not actively looking online for opportunities, who will for your business? In this post, we hope to help you think and do more than just browsing.

A checklist for writing content for the web

August 9, 2011 8:31:18 PM EDT

If you are a small business owner, you probably could not afford to buy content from a professional writer for your website. Instead, chances are you have to write this on your own. There are no shortcuts. Copying of content from existing websites (or your competitor's website) won't help your business online. In fact, stealing content from other websites can be more costly than if you created the content on your own from the start. If you don't write any content, your website won't get much traffic and anyone who views the website won't be particularly impressed.

So you have to include some content for your website. Use the following checklist to decide what you need to write on or present to your web audience.

Making a website run: requires web hosting

July 30, 2011 3:21:06 PM EDT

Successfully running or serving a website for your small business involves more than web designing and development. Website hosting is very important to a business's online success. Choosing the wrong web hosting provider or plan can quickly result in lost online business and reputation. We hope by reading this post you develop a better understanding of what is really involved in web hosting.

If you have been using the internet for a while, you probably are familiar with website domain names and website content. The reason we mention those two items here is because they are related to website hosting although the relationship is not apparent at first. Think about it if you just have web hosting but no content or web domain, web hosting is not doing any good for your business. So serving a website on the internet requires minimally:

Website success secret: keep your website fresh

July 20, 2011 8:34:21 PM EDT

It's not enough just to have a website launched and forget about it. Businesses that take this approach can expect to witness lost visitors and which in turn means lost revenues. As your website ages, it becomes less and less relevant to present. Unless, of course, you take the control of ensuring the website is up-to-date and relevant.

In our experience, we have seen companies showing discontinued products on their websites. This is not done intentionally, however. Overtime, the site managers or owners simply don't realize they have outdated information on their website. Of course, the customer does not know this. The customer simply places the order for the product or makes an inquiry on the product. If the business lucky, the customer might reveal he/she has seen the product on the company's website. Otherwise, the company simply is clueless about what generated the inquiry or the order. So the company is left explaining the product is discontinued and at which point the customer may not be interested in the new product.

Understanding static websites

July 17, 2011 3:19:42 PM EDT

By definition, a static website implies it does not change over time. More precisely a static website is free of programming. In other words, a static website does not have a built-in programming capability to change on its own or with minimum amount of effort on the part of website owner or manager. In terms of what a static website does or supports, is limited to just presentation of the information. It won't let your customers order online or perform other activities without some programming enhancements.

Static websites present the same general information to all web audiences. There is no personalization involved. A static website does not serve a specific content to specific targeted people. Everyone seeing a static website see the same information. Think of the last time you mailed coupons to your customers. The coupons are not personalized to an individual; for instance, the coupons just read take "10% off purchase" of your product or service. Your coupons don't read "John, take 10% off purchase" of your product or service. The difference obviously is that the former is intended for everyone while the latter is reserved specifically for John. Similarly, when your website content is not personalized, it is considered a static website, like your coupons intended for anyone's use. On the other hand, a personalized website like a personalized coupon - is considered a dynamic website.

Understanding dynamic websites

July 1, 2011 9:53:40 PM EDT

One of the notable characteristics of dynamic websites is that they change or support the capability to change website content with minimum amount of effort. Don't assume dynamic websites will change or adapt to your changing business needs. Remember what we said in the first line of this post about dynamic websites: they let the website's administrators easily change the site content. This of course is not possible with static websites. Updates to static websites require help from a web development agency.

Keep in mind, however, a dynamic website, regardless of who sells it or builds it does not do everything to replace a professional web development team. With a dynamic website, your staff can perform activities such as:

Choosing the right web hosting for your website

June 19, 2011 3:10:31 PM EDT

When it comes to choosing a web hosting provider (or web host), there are certain important considerations that cannot be ignored. Choosing a wrong web host can result in under performing website or non-functional website. Why? Remember web hosting is a means for your business to rent some hardware and software resources (collectively known as web server) from a web host. It is true you can have your own web server but the expense and the extra complications may prevent you from doing so. When you are choosing a web host, you not only want the right and reliable web host but also the right web server. Here we present our advice on helping you choose a suitable web hosting provider for your business website or blog.

If you have done any searching on web hosting, you probably have discovered there are so many choices. But this does not mean you choose a plan at random. While we don't recommend a specific web hosting provider, we explore certain evaluation techniques that you can use to find a suitable web hosting provider and plan for your website.

What do websites do?

June 10, 2011 8:34:21 PM EDT

As a business owner, why would I care what websites do? If a website has what the user (or customer) wants, it simply is a money making machine. Think of the money Google.com, Amazon.com, and walmart.com and other websites make. There is not a moment in the day when a businesses or people are not spending money on these websites!

It should not ignored websites don't just start making money out of blue. It takes hard work and the right ideas. You might also say it has something to with timing and luck as well.

Driving customers to your website

May 29, 2011 3:07:59 PM EDT
Driving customers to your website

As we have been stressed in number of posts in our blog, website owners need to do more than just launch a website to be successful online. It used to be that website owners and managers assumed customers will come just because they have launched a website. This led to the phrase "if you build it, they [customers] will come." It does work although it has in past.

Now days, there are not just one or few websites for a particular product or services. Actually there are many and many more. Websites today are counted with automated or software tools because counting websites by humans is not practical any more. What this means is that people have many website choices, whether they realize it or not, and they cannot understandably be expected to visit all or most of the websites out there.

Top reasons for having your own website

May 10, 2011 6:57:44 PM EDT
Top reasons for having your own website

No luck finding an answer to why should I have a website or do I even need a website? Hopefully, our discussion will get you closer to an answer. Now days the proliferation of technology helps people communicate online without having their own website. Think of the social networks. If you have a small business, you could easily set up a publicly accessible web space that functions and looks like a web site. So why would you want your own website?

It is a valid question to ask. The best person to answer this question is probably you than anyone else. This is because no one else better understands your business than you do. To help you find an answer consider for your business (or hobby – if it's a personal website) consider these reasons:

Crafting a website plan that works

May 7, 2011 2:50:40 PM EDT
Crafting a website plan that works

If your small business does not yet have a website, you may find this post helpful in gaining understanding of where and how you need to start and what to expect. With today's heavily digitized society, it is no longer enough to just have a yellow page or newspaper listing. To gain new customers, your business will need some dedicated presence online. Otherwise, most online users won't know if you have a business.

What we going to suggest may sound like a lot of information but it is necessary to prepare yourself an effective plan for your website. Planning is everything. Without it success is left to a chance. Who runs a business based on random events? Any website owner who wants to succeed online will need a plan that promises success. A successful plan will give you a clearer direction of accomplishing your online business objectives.

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