As the owner of a small business In the Internet age, you have a decision to make. It seems like everyone and their brother is online, and you’re being pressured to be online, too. Many marketing firms and web design companies we looking to use you to increase their bottom line. Honest firms will give you honest advise.
You may not need to have your own website list because a web design company that specializes in selling Its services thinks you should have a web site with full interactive pages and a shopping cart doesn’t mean that it’s the best return on your investment for your business You need the facts to make an informed decision.
If you’re reading this article, you’re wondering if you need a web site. You may think of any page on the Internet as a “web site”. It’s a bit more complicated than that. Your online presence can be as simple as listings on local search pages or as complex as a web site with multiple sub-domains a shopping cart, image gallery, Flash, and more
Your Presence Should Suit Your Business.. And Your Goals.
What are you hoping to accomplish by having an online presence? Do you want to attract new customers? Serve existing customers better? Serve your own employees? Make a million dollars selling your products? There has to be a reason. You have to have measurable goals and an intention in order to decide what you need. A web design company needs your direction. The first piece of homework for you Is to sit down and write out your goals
There is an old joke, ‘What if architects were treated like web designers”, that is a shining example of what not to do. Just as you would look for an appropriate house for your family and an appropriate building for your work, you need to have an idea of what an appropriate web presence is for your small business.
- What is your Industry or area of focus?
- Is your business a one-man show or a medium-sized incorporated body?
- What is driving you to consider having a web site?
- What is your target demographic?
- Do you plan to sell your products online?
- What is the maximum budget you can plan for?
Whatever your reason for deciding on a web presence, it involves your bottom line. You certainly want to recoup your investment in time and money. The bigger the site, the more money it will cost you, both in original development and in maintenance. Planning and goals are essential for good ROI. Choosing A Package That Is Right For You. So what is it that you truly need? Here are some of your options
Local Search Listings
Getting a simple listing on major local search engines such as Google Maps or the Yellow Pages is often free or low cost and doesn’t require that you have a dedicated site or domain. They simply list your business’ address and phone number when people search for local results. You might also want to provide incentives such as coupons or pay for more prominent listings so your business appears before your competition.
This option is ideal for small local businesses such as independently owned gas stations and comer stores You would pay only for the work done to get you listed and keep you current on all the main sites, saving you a lot of time
Simple Page (No Domain)
It’s a snap to get a simple page going on a free site like flogger, MySpace, or Facebook. You don’t get your own domain name, although you could purchase one separate! and have It redirected to your page. Some free sites allow you to customize the layout extensively, although if you fed the need to do this, you may do better with a full hosting package Design and maintenance of the page could be done as needed with minimal budget.
There are literally millions of these small pages on the Internet. This option is not for those looking for extensive SEO (search engine optimization), nor Is it for those looking to sell product. If you just need a URL to direct clients to and a simple page with a picture or two, some contact information, and possibly examples of your work, this option may work for you.
Full Web Site (Static Content)
A full web site contains multiple pages and has at least one domain name. Hosting packages range all over the board In capability and price. Most include registering your domain name, have set limits on bandwidth, and are on shared servers. A simple hosting package for a small business that only needs a few simple pages in their site can cost as little as $5–11 a month after the initial design cost, as long as you keep your bandwidth in check.
Owning your own site allows you to have full control over what it looks like. 5E0, branding, and marketing become possible. This option is ideal for a small business that is not looking to sell much product online and that won’t require a lot of updates such as a restaurant or boutique.
Web Site (Dynamic Content)
If your site will sell products on Its own or get any of its content from a database, your hosting package will have to include this option. Blogging platforms such as Wordpress and Drupal, image galleries such as Coppermine, and any site that uses its own shopping cart will need a database to store information. As blogging has become so prevalent, most hosting providers have a database option available for a low additional monthly cost.
Once you add a database to your site, someone has to design pages for you to interact with that database. Trying to directly update it without administrative pages is about as much fun as eating glass While the initial cost for these extra pages is more, it can make updating the site a breeze In the future, decreasing maintenance costs. You wouldn’t need to have a contractor add a product to a product page; you would add It yourself using the provided Interface.
Aside from the variety of hosting options, if you choose to have a web site, you must also decide how much technical expertise is going to be required to create and maintain it. Some questions to consider are:
- Does the site need to be optimized for performance?
- Does it need to be 100% standards-based, CSS-compliant, and cross-browser?
- Will you use a template (preexisting design) or do you want full customization?
- Does It need to be SEO friendly?
- Will it have Flash content?
- Will it need customized server-side code?
- Want need updated by someone with technical knowledge?
The single most important decision you have to make is who you will trust to help you make informed choices about what is necessary to accomplish your goals at a price that won’t break the bank. Someone who won’t sell you products or services that you don’t need, but who will be honest about what you do need. Are you ready?
When a business begins to grow, the next logical step Is to set up a professional website. Whether you are looking for an international market or are trying to connect with your clients or customers, a professional website can ensure that your business is seen by the right people. Here are nine tips to consider when choosing a company to host your business’ website.
Choosing Your Domain Name
Since your website is part of your marketing strategy, you will want to keep your business in the minds of your potential customers. To do this, make sure that your domain name matches either your business or the product that you are selling. If not, your customers may go to your competition simply because they don’t remember your UR L
Deciding on a SW Friendly Domain Name
More people will find your website if you have a high ranking in a popular seach engine like Google or Yahoo. One way to achieve this is by Including your main keyword In your domain name. There is no need to stuff your domain with as many keywords as you can. For proper search engine optimization, It Is only necessary to Include your main keyword.
Buying Multiple Domain Names
Snatching up domain names that are similar to your own can prevent competitors from benefiting from your branding efforts It will also bring in additional traffic from people who type keywords in the address bar instead of using a search engine. Another trick to boost traffic is to buy common misspellings of your website address. This way, people who make a typing error will still be able to find your website. If you decide to buy multiple domain names, each webpage should automatically redirect users to your main URL.
Using Local Web Hosting
Search engines match their results to the geographical location of their users. For this reason, It’s Important to match your web hosting to the location of your business’ clientele. By doing this, you are more likely to attract people who will be interested In your business
Buying Enough Space
When you are looking for web hosting, you will have to decide on how much space your website will need. The amount of space you should buy depends on the size of your website and the number of images that you will have on It.
It also doesi’t hurt to have extra space to expand your website if needed.
Choosing Cluster Servers
If your site gets a lot of traffic, consider using cluster servers to get more reliable service. This will balance the load placed on the servers when a large amount of people visit your website at the same time. If high availability is important to you and your business, then duster servers is an option to look into.
Choosing a Dedicated Server
A dedicated server Is another option for websites that get a lot of traffic. In this case, you will rent a server dedicated to your website alone. It costs much more than to share hosting with a number of other websites, but it will ensure that your site will be able to handle the amount of traffic that it receives.
Benefits of a Virtual Server
If you are looking for the reliability of a dedicated server, but need something that is more affordable, a virtual server may be right for you. By choosing a virtual server, you will be sharing it with other websites. The difference however, is that the traffic from these websites will not affect the per-Forma-ice of your own. This Is a cost effective way to host a website while eliminating the problems of a shared server.
Understanding Your Email Needs
It Is Important to consider your email needs when choosing where to host your website. Some businesses may only need a few email accounts while others will need many more. There are two things to consider in choosing your email hosting: the security provided and the reliability of your clients’ email accounts. Most companies will offer the most basic email hosting package at no additional charge. If your needs are more complicated, email hosting and storage may be an additional cost to factor into your budget.
Rnding the right place to host your website is pivotal in marketing your business online. it can be the deciding factor in whether your website attracts potential customers or Just becomes another site collecting dust on the Internet. Making sure you have the right web hosting is as easy as knowing your email needs and the amount of traffic your webstte Is likely to receive. Wtth these nine tips, you will be well on yotr way to setting up a website for your small business.
Top SEO Tools for Backlink Analysis
Even today, after many search algorithm updates by Google, back links are very important for SW. In order to boost the ranking of your website, you should create high-quality, relevant back links to it; you should also analyze the quality of your site’s existing back links. You can use some of the tools mentioned In this article for an In-depth back links analysis.
Google Webmaster Tools
If you are serious about getting high ranking in Google search, you should have a Google Webmaster Tools account. Plenty of information about your site can be gleaned from Webmaster Tools, and the most Important piece of Information concerns the links to your site. On the index statistics selection of Webmaster Tools, you can download the most Important links your site gathered in the last few days. The link list can be downloaded in MS Excel format. Also, Google provides a link disavow tool that lets you nullify the negative effect of a link from a bad neighborhood.
If you want a serious link analysis tool completely free, you can use Rank Signals. This service also provides a Google Chrome extension for quick link analysis. The tool provides you all the important details of your site’s baclinks, such as the anchor text and the value of the link. You can also find out details about “nofollow” links. According to the creators of Rank Signals, the service will be made available completely free for life; they may come tip with additions features for a price though, In the future.
Moz Open Site Explorer
Moz is one of the premier players in the Industry. Their metrics such as Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) are highly valued by search engine professionals. Moz provides an extensive link analysis tool known as Open Site Explorer. A basic analysis of links is provided free of cost, and for in-depth analysis you need a paid subscription to the tool. Domain Authority and Page Authority help you identify where your site stands in your niche.
Majestic SE0 isa premier paid link-analysts tool in the market. This widely known SEO tool provides highly detailed analysis of your link profile. Majestic SW has a free edition that comes with limited capabilities. Its features include a vast index, competitor analysis, anchor text analysis, the ability to export to Microsoft Excel, etc.
Advanced Link Manager
Advanced Link Manager Is a tool not only for link analysis but also for link building. The application is available for both Windows Ks and Apple Macs. With Advanced Link Manager, you can send automated link requests to a number of webmasters in your niche. Advanced Link Manager does not have a free edition.
Bing Webmaster Tools
You probably know about Yahoo Site Explorer. This tool used to be popular for 5E0 analysis. Now within Bing. you get Bing Webmaster Tools, which gives detailed analysis of your website and its incoming links. The Bing Webmaster Tools allows you to get link statistics of up to six months back.
It Is free, provides anchor text analysts, and lets you export the reports into Excel. In many ways, this tool is the Microsoft counterpart of Google Webmaster Tools.
Search engines have changed quite a bit and they are relying much on social signals to rank sites better. However, the links are still very Important for SEO. The more links you have, the better your ranking will be. This is the reason why SEOs and webmasters are still engaging in link analysis and building.