Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category

RSS Your SEO

September 13, 2008

Every website owner and manager fantasizes about the day a flood of prospective customers hit Google researching product information and the site owner’s website site shows up in the top 5 search results.  This fantasy is soon crushed when the reality sets in that millions of other site owners accross the globe are also competing for that coveted spot in the search engine’s results.
 
One of the best ways to win search engine favor is to blog.  Blogs produce an abundance of a search engines favorite food, text. In addition, blog content updates can be distributed through RSS feeds (read definition) and if your feed is distributed through a service like Feedburner (see details), then search engines are notified of updates immediately vs the 4-6 weeks it normally takes for search engines to index your site in response to your direct request (more on indexing).  In short, a Feedburner enabled blog is exponentially more search engine sticky than a standard website, even if the site is tricked out with the latest rooty tooty fresh and fruity search engine optimization modifications.

Now if that blog of yours is integrated into your site vs operating as a stand alone entity, then your website proper can benefit from a traffic rush from Google searchers. The morale of this story is add a blog today so prospective customers can’t help but come your way.  That was a horrible rhyme but you get the point.

Related topics

  1. The Perfect Website Add On
  2. Consider This Before You Get a Buddy to Build Your Site
  3. For Website Success Dedicate a Resource
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

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Google Apps: Doing More With Less

September 3, 2008

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I swear Google with its rapid release of applications is moving to be the next Microsoft.  In it’s march to take over the online world a couple of years ago the company built upon it’s email service, GMail adding Google Calendar, Talk, Google Docs and Google Sites into an office application suite that Microsoft’s software-based model simply cannot compete with.

In addition to domain-branded email (yourname@yourcompany.com), in under an hour a small business can deploy word processing, spreadsheet creation, powerpoint-style presentations and website creation for corporate Intranets or related use all at no cost. That’s right, for free you can enable a global organization of up to 100 employees, contractors, business partners with just about every electronic office tool they will need to contribute to your organization’s output.  Create templated company communications, collaborate on documents in real time, remotely update projects and more from any connected PC. Did I say you don’t have to worry about software upgrades? 

Google Apps Quick Tour

My virtual office is powered by Google Apps and I push my web clients to consider this very powerful toolset.  Just curious, how are you using Google Apps?

Related Topics:

  1. The Perfect Website Add On
  2. Are You Missing Out on a Marketing Opportunity?
  3. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

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The Perfect Website Add On

August 20, 2008

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A friend recently asked me to suggest an online file hosting service and I thought why not share my suggestion and reasoning with you as well.  I can see your face forming a frown as you think to yourself, “what is this guy talking about and why should I care.”
 
Well, online file storage allows you to save and make available large files that might otherwise be impractical to store on your website. Storing these files on your website can quickly eat up your website hosting account’s storage allowance.  Add high resolution photos of you and your management team for the media to easily download.  If you blog like I do, online storage is a great place to host blog post images and files for readers to download.  You can also store and stream multimedia files including video and flash from your account. All of this and more is available without the need for expensive IT staff and confusing file transfer servers (FTP).
 
Now that we are on the same page about the value of online file storage services why is my choice, Box.net a good option? Here is the rationale I shared with my friend: 

  1. You can store a wide variety of files photos, video, documents, etc. 
  2. There is no bandwidth limit which is important if streaming hungry video and audio files. 
  3. You can enable rss feeds for files and folders notifying customers, clients or visitors of additions or changes. 
  4. Enable document collaboration so people you designate can modify shared documents.
  5. Box also offers a host of neat web widgets that allow you to seemlessly merge some of the service’s capbilites with your website.
  6. The cost is quite reasonable.

Related Topics:

  1. Consider This Before You Get a Buddy to Build Your Site
  2. For Website Success Dedicate a Resource
  3. Website Statistics: Turning Browsers Into Buyers
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

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IKEA to Sell Solar Panels, Who Knew?

August 14, 2008

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From the title of this post you might think I am trying to help spread the word for big box retailer IKEA about their strategy to start selling eco-friendly products like solar panels.  The idea is pretty cool, but I am more interested in illustrating a mistake I see a lot of firms (large and small) making by neglecting to use their website home pages to feature attention-grabbing company news blurbs.

The folks over at Inhabit and others are blogging about IKEA’s developing eco-strategy but there is no visible mention of it at the IKEA site.  I will be the first to tell you to repurpose your broadcast Television video on the web but tell me what is more interesting; the headline, IKEA the first retailer to sell solar panels in stores or watch all of my tv commercials?  The morale of the story here is to constantly comb your organization for interesting, cool ideas and when you find gold let the world know.  Don’t bury the news in your online newsroom for journalists who happen upon it.  Add a catchy headline to your homepage to advertise exciting news to the world. Heck, have your web developer add a little RSS code to the page to instantly ping search engines about your great news.

How do you use your website to spread the word?

Related Topics

  1. Search Engine Optimized Press Releases
  2. How to Get In the Charlotte Observer
  3. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

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This Weeks Web Marketing Roundup

August 5, 2008

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As website developers I and my staff are frequently asked how to better market the websites we create.  Below are some great resources to get some of the basics and to stay on top of new web marketing trends.

Web Marketing Today (Click Here):
This site is filled with a lot of very sound advice and the publishers are great at evaluating new trends.  With so much information it can be a bit difficult to navigate but the time spent getting familiar with the site’s content will pay dividends.

ClickZ Small Business: (Click Here):
While this site is primarily targeted toward managers within large firms, many of the principles are applicable to small businesses as well.  I took the liberty of pointing you to some of the small business focused content.

Duct Tape Marketing: (Click Here):
John Jantsch is a master online and offline marketer.  Following his insights and subscribing to his blog, you are sure to walk away with something usable with each read.

The Blog Squad (Click Here):
If you are not already blogging or using social media to grow your small business, here is the place to learn how to do it right.  I just picked up a great tip on feeding blog content through Twitter.

Pronet Advertising (Click Here):
Social media has emerged as an effective and inexpensive opportunity for business owners to participate in the groundswell by building relationships with prospective customers who might purchase products and evangelize your business to others.  At Pronet follow Neil Patel’s personal experience in online marketing and you just might learn something.

Related Topics:

  1. Finding Keywords for Great SEO Results
  2. For Website Success Dedicate a Resource
  3. To Get Google to Find You, Start Writing
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive

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