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How to Conquer On-Page SEO

Regardless of all the changes that have happened, it’s still possible to separate our SEO into largely ‘ON-PAGE SEO’ and OFF-PAGE SEO’. On-page, of course, refers to all the strategies that you can use within your pages to get Google interested in your site. This begins with content – and it begins with having a stronger understanding of the subtle changes Google has gone through in recent times.

How to Make Excellent Content

One of the first things you’re going to need to do is to fill your site with great content and to use your keywords throughout. There’s a fine line to be walked here: you need to repeat the phrase a few times to ensure that you create that association but at the same time, you also need to make sure that you don’t overdo it and thereby appear to be spamming.

Too vague? As mentioned, it’s now agreed that the optimum ‘keyword density’ for on-site content is 1-2%. That means you can use your phrase once per every 100-200 words. But you also need to use your common sense a little: some keywords are easier to use in a natural manner than others and making sure that your content sounds natural should always be the number one concern. Some keywords will be hard not to repeat 100 times! Others will never feel that they can come up naturally.

The user always comes first. So, if you can’t fit the keyword in naturally anywhere, just forget it and use it in your image alt-text etc. The length of your posts is also an important consideration. Back in the days of spammy-SEO, almost every post was 500 words long. Today, you’ll have the most success by writing posts that are longer and more in-depth. Imagine that your reader is going to sit down with a cup of tea and really dive deep into the subject – that’s the kind of experience that you should be delivering!

This has another advantage because it means that you can repeat your keyphrase a lot more while keeping your density low. If you repeat your keyword 100 times and your content is 1,000 words long then that’s a 10% density. If your content is 5,000 words long, that’s 2% density! Of course, 5,000 words is too long for most blog posts. Instead, the general consensus is that an ideal blog post will be somewhere in the region of 800-1,500 words.

But again:

remember that you serve your visitors first and foremost. These are the people that you want to impress and that means that you shouldn’t worry too much about length – do what comes naturally to your subject matter.
Oh, and while you’re at it – try to vary the lengths of your posts a little. This again looks more natural and suggests to Google that you’re not following a strict ‘formula’ of any kind!

Introducing a Conversational Google

At the same time, you also need to consider something called ‘LSI’ or ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’. This is basically a fancy term that explains how Google now understands actual meaning rather than just looking to match words. The way it does this is at least partly by looking for synonyms and related terms when trying to answer questions. In short, don’t just use the exact keyphrase but be sure to use lots of relevant and related language.

This is important partly because it can prevent a mismatch between searches. If someone searches for a homonym, like ‘duck’, how does Google know whether they mean the animal or the movement? Simple: by looking for related terms like ‘duckling’ and ‘feather’ or perhaps ‘dodge’ and ‘dive’.
At the same time, the use of synonyms and related language again shows Google that there is lots of content revolving around the same topic – it’s not just a case of having mentioned the search term a few times in an otherwise irrelevant piece of writing.

So if you’re writing about bicep workouts, then you need to make sure to include lots of related languages, like:

    • Arms Triceps
    • Dumbbells Training
    • Weightlifting

Doing this will confirm the subject matter of your site and will look a lot more natural and useful than if you just use the phrase. And for the same reason, it can also be a good idea to use variations on your keyphrase and to have
‘secondary’ search terms.

For example, if your keyphrase is ‘build massive arms’, then you should also try to include the terms ‘build big arms’, ‘build big biceps’, ‘get big biceps’ etc. Google now knows that this means the same thing but won’t be as likely to penalize you for keyword stuffing. It also makes you look like a better writer for your visitors! Essentially, try to keep in mind that Google no longer works by trying to match the search terms exactly in your content.

You can see this yourself when you search Google. Search ‘get big arms’ and many of the results that come up won’t actually include those precise words! Likewise, linking out to relevant resources might help Google to better understand the topic of your pages and posts, while also demonstrating that you are trying to provide extra value to your visitors.

SEMrush

Schemas and Structured Data

And on that same note, you should also look at rich snippets. Using ‘structured data’ you can highlight to Google certain key elements of your content: like recipes, dates, company names, scores etc. This helps Google show some of that information in the SERPs (search engine results pages) and thereby attracts more visitors to your site. There are plugins that will let you do this easily, or you can do it through meta tags.

Either way, you’ll use this to do things like highlighting the ingredients in a recipe, or the showtimes of play, or the score in a review. This is important because it lets Google understand your content even better than it is already able to. Google is no longer just a search engine but rather an Artificial Intelligence (AI) – this is the direction that Google is heading in and being able to understand and utilize this might just be the key to SEO success in future.

Right now, using structured data and rich snippets will allow information from your site to appear right in the SERPs. This way, if someone searches for a recipe, they’ll be able to see the ingredients for your version before they even click on your link! This means your listing will take up more space and demonstrates the value of your site. And all that, in turn, means that you’re going to attract more clicks than a site without that information.

Design and Layout

The next element of on-page optimization is the site design itself. Using breadcrumbs, for instance, can help a lot, as can using alt-tags for your images so that Google knows what they are of. More important is the actual function of your website: does the page load quickly? Is it mobile friendly? Mobile-friendliness, in particular, is something you absolutely cannot ignore in 2019 and beyond.

In terms of the actual design and function of your website, the main goals are to ensure your site will load quickly and that it will look great on mobile. Again, this helps to keep people on your site longer because it will be enjoyable for them to be there. Avoid using too many plugins which will slow you down and try not to inundate your visitors with adverts and pop-overs.

Did you know that using light colours, like light blues, can actually help to keep people on the page longer by making them feel more relaxed? Consider this when picking your theme. Likewise, choose a theme that will adapt to the size of the display viewing it and make sure that you take advantage of things like caching to keep your site nippy.

Themes that do this are called ‘responsive’, in that they respond to the shape and size of the display they’re being viewed on. This works by removing certain elements, by rearranging menus etc. and by shrinking images. Note that mobile-friendliness also means things like having large buttons (which are easier to click with a finger rather than a mouse) and also avoiding ‘mouse-over’ drop-down menus that again can’t be operated on mobile without a mouse.

The best way to ensure that your website is responsive, that it looks the part and that it will encourage the maximum engagement, is to use WordPress. WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) that makes it incredibly easy to build a responsive website and then add a custom theme that you have downloaded (free or paid) or made yourself. Using WordPress removes much of the guesswork and makes it very easy for you to implement new layouts and even to add things like rich snippets by downloading the right plugins.

There’s a massive online community to support your development and the tool is used by many of the biggest sites on the net – meaning that it is a ‘proven quantity’ as far as SEO goes. Seeing as WordPress is free, you’re really just making life harder for yourself by using anything other than it to build your website.

More On-Page Optimization

As mentioned, there are a few miscellaneous tips that can also help you to improve your on-page SEO. For example, it’s generally accepted that using copyright notices and legal disclaimers can be seen as a positive sign by Google as these will make your website look more professional and more like a ‘real business’. Think as well about how you’re going to help Google find the content within your site.

Having a site map can be very helpful for indexing for example. And you need to avoid using images that have text in them and definitely avoid the use of Adobe Flash, seeing as Google is unable to read that type of copy. You can also insert your search terms in your site’s code – by including it in file names (the file name of an image for example) and including it in the permalinks (the URLs of specific pages – which should match the title of your posts).

Then you have the behaviour of your visitors. In other words: how long are your visitors staying on your page? Do they click lots of internal links? Do they scroll down the page? Are they leaving comments? Google wants to see that your site is offering value to your visitors and the best way they can do that is by looking to see if people are actually enjoying the content you’ve created. Your site design is all about getting your visitors to spend long on your page then and to interact with it.

You can do this by using  ‘related posts’ and by making your comments section appear more interesting and easier to use. But you also do it by simply ensuring that your site looks great, performs well and is filled with interesting and relevant content. Try to avoid adverts or bad design elements that are going to instantly put people off and cause them to leave your website!

Remember: Google wants to see that people are spending time on your website and the best way you can ensure this happens is by making content that people want to read. Moreover, you need to ensure that that content is presented in a way that encourages people to stick around. Forget dense blocks of text with no images.

Instead, create content with lots of headers, that’s well spaced out and that uses large beautiful pictures throughout. In terms of the actual writing, try to use a narrative structure where possible to really pull people in. Tell a story, use cliff hangers and make it impossible for your visitors not to move down to the next line!

Ultimately, it comes down to making sure that you’re providing the very best experience for your visitors – but doing so in such a way that Google can see and understand that that is the case.

SEMrush

A/B Testing with Google Analytics

A/B testing consists of having two versions of whatever you’re testing like two landing pages that are very slightly different. You then divide the traffic between the two versions and see which one converts at a higher rate. It seems simple enough but most marketers don’t even do it, even though it has shown time and again that website owner who conduct proper A/B testing experience higher conversions and a higher return on investment than those who don’t. You can do this testing with Google Analytics.

Create the Marketing Collateral

Whether it’s a sales page, newsletter landing page or something else entirely, create the designs in twos. You want to create two landing pages (A and B) that are slightly different. For example, perhaps each page has a different image on it, or a different headline, or perhaps a different buy/call to action button.

Upload the Pages to Your Site

You’ll need the URLs of the pages that you want to test. Make sure when you collect the URLs that you name each test page so that you know which one each URL is assigned to. Keep track of it all to ensure that you don’t get mixed up so that your results will turn out accurately.

Set Your Goals

Obviously, your goal is to make more money and increase your return on investment. But, you will have many different conversion goals, such as newsletter sign-ups, freebie downloads, sales and more. Choose an “experimental objective” within Google Analytics to create your goals. You can find this under Behavior and Experiments. Just click “Create Experience” to get started.

Name Your Experiment

Choose names for your experiments so that you can identify which page is working best during the testing. Once you’ve done this you can set your goals under “objectives for this experiment”. You have several choices such as AdSense, eCommerce, and many other goal metrics. Choose the best one for your test.

Run the Test

Once you have it all set up and uploaded, you can let it run. Keep checking up on your statistics as often as you can; at first, you may want to do it daily, then maybe weekly. Let it run long enough that you’re positive on which test, A or B, worked better.

Pick the Best Conversion Page

Remember that conversions and clicks are nice but money is the point. There are always possibilities that the most clicked and trafficked page is not the one that makes the most money. Therefore, it’s imperative to run the experiment long enough with enough variables to notice. For example, don’t sign people up for the same list even if the series is the same; that way you know which list is filled with either A or B respondents.

When you know what your goals are, and test to find out how accurate you have been designing sales pages and landing pages for your audience, you’ll soon get better at converting and making more money. Testing with Google Analytics is free and well worth it.

Lead Generation Campaigns Used to Improve Business Marketing and Outcomes

Lead generation is a part of integrated marketing wherein one activity leads to another in a coordinated and effortless way. It begins with the core or central database. This database is constantly updated, improved, and used to determine the next marketing move. At the same time, it is used as a fallback option for reviewing changes that affected the outcomes of the strategies. It is certainly a part of a continuous cycle.

Using the database, one can then plan the kind of campaign strategy to be used. Campaigns are usually outbound or directed to the purchasers. For the message to be effective, it has to reach its prospects through a combination of different media. The first one is direct mail wherein expertly written letters or postcards with attractive offers and calls to action are sent to win new clients or to keep old ones. Second, is through the use of e-mails and web-based marketing.

This includes the use of specialized surveys and links that would direct the consumer to the product or message. Third, is through the use of outbound multilingual telemarketing where several telemarketing agents communicate with the prospect consumers using their native language. Fourth is through events, exhibitions, and online showcases. This helps direct customers and helps achieve data through landing pages and online registrations.

Now that all the messages have been sent, the next vital process is to have a response centre. There should be a virtual centre where all inquiries can be answered regardless of language. There should also be a web site they can look to for more details, a toll-free number they can call, and an email address that gives immediate responses. Business stats like sales, reports, and more should be immediately available when needed. There should also be enhanced customer care who can give support whatever time of the day, newsletters, and satisfaction surveys. All these give more information about how the business is doing and would also be instrumental in improving one’s services.

What keeps a business going is good communication. All the steps above cannot be done by just one person alone. It is usually in partnership with other companies. Partner communications have to be organized and coordinated in order for the business to work properly. Messages sent have to be confirmed to ensure that they were received. Deadlines have to be met. Each company one is working with should be committed to delivering the services required and should meet expectations.

These strategies are definitely not developed overnight. There are some sales and marketing agencies knowledgeable and experienced in doing all these. One can seek their assistance to give one’s business an edge in the key areas.

In selecting lead generation companies, one should look for one with compelling and targeted campaigns. One should see to it that their programs would help develop one’s business and market shares. Also, searching for a company that is focused on quality, delivers on time, and yet not too expensive on the budget should be done. Outbound marketing should also be combined with the inbound strategies to develop great solutions to business.

Businesses are now getting more competitive in terms of marketing. If one does not act now, his business could be overtaken by lead generation companies and other marketing specialists where strategies will be utilized by enthusiastic business-minded individuals.

Outbound strategies, partner communications, inbound services, and continued data collection, all help to ensure business goes smoothly in terms of marketing and outcomes. One can certainly relax and feel comfortable knowing everything is taken care of by efficient and genuine business experts.

How to build a Website

I’m going to recommend the use of WordPress to build a website, simply because it’s easy, quick, has pretty decent built-in SEO, and has tons of customization options available for appearance, security, functionality, etc. I’m not going to give you a step-by-step guide to building a site with WordPress, because there are thousands of those online already.

Just search Google or YouTube if you need a tutorial on how to build a site with WordPress. It’s a lot easier than you probably think!

You’ll need the following:

    • A domain name purchased through NameCheap or another registrar
    • Hosting purchased through NameCheap, HostGator, or other
    • WordPress, free and easy installation often included in hosting
    • A WordPress theme, free or paid

Once you have a basic website built, all you have to do is start adding content. You can create this content yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Just make sure the content is well-written, grammatically correct, and interesting because Google has become a lot more strict about the quality of the content it indexes. We’ll talk more about content creation in the next section, so let’s move on.

Content Creation

The content on your site is probably the single most important element of this system for many reasons. Because you won’t be focusing solely on getting traffic from Google and sending that traffic straight off to an Amazon product, the content on your site must attract the right types of traffic and grab and keep their attention and interest. We’re going to take a look at a few different factors regarding the content on your site.

Content Quality

The quality of the content on your site will have a lot to do with its success—more so than ever before. Not only are web surfers more in-tune with what quality content should be like, but Google also uses quality as a ranking factor.
Google does check the overall content on your site to make sure it’s relatively free of typos and errors, so it’s important to make sure your content is well written.

In addition to this, Google also pays attention to the average length of time a visitor spends on your site, and whether or not they visit other pages of your site. This is known as “bounce rate”. If you have a high bounce rate, it means people are leaving your site without looking at any other pages, which Google takes to mean your content isn’t what people are looking for. This will hurt your rankings.

Google wants to see the average user staying on your site for a good length of time, as well as visiting other pages. Make sure your content quality supports this! Keep in mind that visual content like videos and photo slideshows, along with interactive content like quizzes and surveys, are more likely to go viral and bring in a lot of traffic, as well as getting people to spend more time on your site.

Make sure you include relevant images in your articles, too. Images are vitally important these days. Not only do they make your article more interesting to visitors, but they provide a great way to let people share your content on social media and bring you more traffic. If you don’t include relevant images, you won’t see anything show up on social media, or you’ll see only your site’s logo or background, which could be worse than having no image at all.

Content-Length

The length of your content goes hand-in-hand with its quality, at least in the eyes of Google. While it’s been proven that the average surfer these days has a very short attention span, Google seems to think that very, very long content is “quality”, and short content is not.

It used to be that putting up ten 150-word articles would bring in far more traffic than putting up one 1,500-word article, but those days are gone. These days, content should belong—the longer, the better. Not only that, but Google seems to favour content that is actually updated on occasion—meaning it’s better to add a bit of content to an older article than to create a new one—at least once your site already has a good amount of content on it.

Generally, articles should be at least 500 words, and up to 3,000 (perhaps longer in some cases) is even better. Who knows why Google seems to be so adamant about longer content considering declining attention spans, but as it is length matters.

Content Variety

Another important factor is making sure you create a variety of content, including various forms of media such as videos, slideshows, and even downloads. You don’t actually have to create videos yourself. You can just embed other people’s videos in your pages. But if you can create your own, it will help you get additional traffic from places like YouTube and Facebook.

Having a variety of posts on your site will help you get more traffic and make your site more interesting, so try to include some different types of content for variety. Aim for having at least ten posts on your site before you attempt any type of promotion or add any affiliate links. This will help you rank in Google, as well as giving visitors additional content to visit, hopefully lowering your bounce rate.

4 Simple Yet Effective Tricks To Increasing Website Sales

An eCommerce site may rank high in search engines and get a high flow of traffic but have low conversion rates when it comes to online sales. Increasing online sales being the primary goal of every online business, knowing the simple tricks for increasing website sales is imperative. Here are four effective techniques that you can use to increase your website sales.

1. Improve your website navigation

In order to encourage users to purchase from your website, it should be well laid out, clear and clean. If visitors find the website cumbersome and difficult to find what they want, they will go and look for it somewhere else.

Keep everything consistent, professional and simple. Correct all spelling errors, for example, and keep things as intuitive as possible. You should use obvious sections for your form and keep reminding the visitors where they are on the site.

Also, minimize the number of clicks from the landing page to the checkout which means the purchasing process should be as quick as possible. Do not force the buyers to open an account before buying and if they have too, include only the necessary information.

2. Build trust with the website visitors

Online businesses do not have face to face contact with the clients which makes it difficult to build trust. However, there are other ways to convey that you are trustworthy such as including trade body and association membership. Also, try to get as many accreditations as possible.

You can also join a community group and include case studies and endorsement testimonials from previous customers on the website.

Personalize your website as much as possible and include real people.

Since there is no face to face contact, the human element on the website will help build trust

3. Be transparent

Openness and honesty are very important for any online business. Always be clear on all prices and delivery charges and include any other details that may be helpful to a buyer.

A FAQs section is a good way to answer all the customer’s questions. Be sure to also display your contact information and be easy to get hold of.

4. Think about the target market

You should remember who you selling your product to. If it is the older group, you only have to make them feel safe but the younger market is web savvy and it will take much more to convince them to order your products.

Make a point to analyze your website as well as your competitors, run user surveys, ask feedback from the customers and keep contact with them with helpful information, not spam.

Your aim is to create a process that enables you to find out the likes and dislikes of your customers.

Using LinkedIn As A Marketing Tool

Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive resume – on steroids. In addition, to information about your work experience and education, LinkedIn allows you to enhance your profile with the following Web 2.0 capabilities to showcase your expertise:

    • Status Updates: One of the best ways to keep your connections informed about your happenings is by posting ‘status updates.’ Status updates are brief statements that you feel your connections will find useful. In addition, they can include links to related content on your Website or third-party Websites. To appear active in the LinkedIn community, post useful and actionable status updates on a regular basis.
    • Blog Posts: LinkedIn allows you to easily syndicate your Blog posts to your profile. As you post to your blog on your Website, your LinkedIn profile will be automatically updated with your posts’ title, abstract and link to the full post on your Website.
    • Presentations: If you post PowerPoint presentations to SlideShare or Google Docs, you can display these presentations in your LinkedIn profile.
    • Events: Are you speaking at an event or sponsoring a training session? You can post a LinkedIn Event to help promote and generate interest in your event.
    • Tweets: If you are an active participant in Twitter, you can integrate your LinkedIn Status Updates with your Twitter Tweets to keep your connections and followers informed.
    • Recommendations: LinkedIn makes it easy for you to request recommendations from your connections. A collection of glowing recommendations that underscore your expertise and experience will significantly enhance your profile.
    • Reading Lists: If you want to share your reading interests with your LinkedIn connections, you can link your profile with Reading Lists by Amazon to display the books you are reading.
    • Polls: LinkedIn Polls are a market research tool that allows you to collect actionable data from your connections and the professional audience on LinkedIn.
    • Creative Portfolios: If you have a creative portfolio you want to display, post your portfolio of creative work to the Behance Network. Once posted, LinkedIn allows you to showcase your work in your profile.
    • Huddle Workspaces: Huddle gives you private, secure online workspace packed with simple yet powerful project collaboration and sharing tools for working with your LinkedIn connections.

On top of just having a profile, LinkedIn also provides a number of community features that allow you to communicate and collaborate with other LinkedIn users, including:

    • Groups: LinkedIn Groups help you stay informed and keep in touch with people that share your interests. You can create your own LinkedIn groups or join any number of groups that focus on your area of interest or expertise. Participating in LinkedIn Groups by adding value to the discussion is a great way to expand your circle of influence.
    • Answers: LinkedIn Answers is a great way to share business knowledge and connect with like-minded colleagues. You can ask pressing questions and get fast, accurate answers from your network and other experts worldwide. In addition, you can showcase your knowledge, expertise, and interests by answering questions.
    • Company Pages: Company Pages are a powerful research tool that you can use to find companies to do business with or research competitors. In addition, you can create a Page for your company to showcase your expertise.

You can publish your company’s description, headquarters address and Website address. To further your company page’s value, you can post targeted jobs, recruitment videos, information about products and services and company images.

An Affordable Website Does Not Mean a Cheap Web Design

For some ventures, especially ones that are just starting out in the United Arab Emirates, it’s not that easy to find affordable web design. Dubai, for example, is a city that is home to a lot of online businesses that need this kind of service. The design of a web site is crucial in presenting your company’s brand to the internet public. Similar to a regular office, a company’s web site should be well-designed to coincide with your company identity, but at the same time keep you within your budget. Companies based on the web have the idea that paying less for website design means that you’re getting bad service. This way of thinking could not be further from the truth. Many service providers employ professional and affordable website designers. Dubai is the most advanced city in all of the Gulf Region, so finding good quality web designers should not be difficult at all. The question is, are you willing to entrust your business’s success with the thought in your head that cheap web design means bad output? You’ve got to let go of this idea before you can even begin to realize the many advantages of choosing a more affordable web design provider.

There are a number of advantages in finding a cheaper web design alternative. The most obvious one is the amount of money you will be saving. With the current global financial crisis still affecting businesses everywhere, any amount saved can certainly go a long way. There are many parts in the United Arab Emirates where you can find affordable website designers. Dubai can provide you with plenty of talented designers that are quite exceptional at what they do and won’t charge you too much for their services.

Affordable web design also generally means that you’re getting service from smaller operations or firms. This should be considered a good thing, as smaller web design groups are capable of providing services that are a lot more personal or dedicated. There is more interaction between you and the designers, and you can more easily communicate exactly what you want done every step of the way. It is a lot more possible for clients to go one on one with smaller and more affordable website designers. Dubai has a handful of smaller web design providers that offer their services at lower costs but provide good results.

Smaller and more affordable website design groups also offer more flexibility in different areas. You can customize the type of service you’re actually getting from smaller web design groups a lot more easily than with larger and more expensive firms. Some large web design businesses will even require you to sign up for their hosting services before you can sign up just to have a web page designed. Some online businesses only need web designers or some other basic service for their brand. Smaller web design operations are flexible in such matters, and most will accommodate any project being offered, no matter how simple.

The bottom line is that you can also expect great service and output when choosing to get a package for affordable web design. Dubai is one place many online businesses should start looking into when trying to find the best service they can get at the most affordable price range.

What to Look for When Searching for a Web Host

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of online web hosting businesses seeking your business. Since so many exist, it is important to gain a good understanding of the features you should look for when choosing a web host. Here are the areas to consider.

Any provider you choose for your website should be reliable and fast. This web host should also guarantee you’re uptime, the amount of time that your website will remain alive, and they should be at least a minimum of 99 percent. In fact, the best web hosts actually guarantee a higher rate usually 99.9 percent. There should be some posted or contractual feature providing some sort of refund, whether it is a prorated refund or discount toward your next bill. They should be guaranteed if your uptime falls below that posted number.

There is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. Many busy websites have learned this the hard way after being billed for exceeding “unlimited” bandwidth. The traffic to your site is what is measured in bandwidth and busy sites, well-marketed sites, can use quite a bit. This is similar to using minutes on your cell phone. When shopping for a hosting plan, make sure any reference to bandwidth is carefully spelled out and understood. Then we can also be compared to electrical use. You may be renting space where your landlord pays the electric bill, but will generally get in touch with you if the power bill for that space you rent goes over the monthly average. Be wary of any hosting plan that offers unlimited data transfer.

To give you a good idea of what traffic requirements for a new website might be consider using less than 3 GB of bandwidth per month unless your site is a well visited and well-used e-commerce destination. Consider that if you are marketing an e-commerce site your obvious goal is to produce greater traffic. This greater traffic will hopefully turn into buying customers which, in turn, will increase your monthly bandwidth usage. Make sure there is a published charge for exceeding your stated bandwidth. It is also a good idea to find a web host who allows upgrades in the middle of the billing period if you start to experience increased usage. Get away from a host that requires you do pre-pay bandwidth usage based on either last month’s usage or any method toward predicting what this might be.

The same consideration taken when examining bandwidth should also be applied when a host offers unlimited disk space. Most sites will never need more than 50MB-100MB for space requirements without email accounts. Every email account you create on the server may need 25MB-50MB of space for the inbox. So, if you are planning to have 5 email accounts, you may need to buy 350MB (100MB Website Files + 250MB Email Accounts) web hosting space. Again, consider using a web host that allows you to upgrade during any billing. If the need arises. If your website starts to accumulate an archive of files for whatever purpose, you may need to consider upgrading your disk space since you are using your web hosting plan for storage purposes also.

The standard in the industry is to make available now a technical support function that operates 24 hours a day, seven days per week. And, it should be available year-round – even on weekends and holidays. Support should be universally available because bad things always happen at inconvenient times. Also, do not take a published statement that a host offers 24/7 support without first testing them. Try sending an e-mail late at night or on the weekend. Determine how long it takes the company to respond. Also, examine how if the response is accurate and competent. Many are hosts have autoresponders set up to answer your e-mail request with the statement that it has been forwarded to the appropriate party who will get back to you as soon as possible. This may just be a clever way to convince you that they are on top of helping you immediately. If your host does not offer competent and reliable support, as well as email ticketing system support, it is time to bail and find one that does. Many hostings are just asking you to call them on international numbers that end up in 15-30 minutes long distance conversation and hold time. Avoid signing up for them. Try to find local web hostings which can give you local support as well as proper technical contact person or account manager. These might be expensive but worth paying for peace of mind.

Paying for hosting a site should provide you with a number of server-side features including FTP, PHP, Perl, SSL, SSH, MySQL, .htaccess and crontabs. Many hosts prohibit you from installing your own PHP or Perl scripts. This is not good because it means you have to wait for the host to implement the features that you want on your site. Features like the use of .htsccess are important if you plan on customizing areas like error pages or you want to relegate access to certain areas using password protection. The need to maintain databases, providing interactive features as well as audio and video should all be included in your hosting program without having to pay for these items a la carte. Also, select a host that provides e-mail options – with all its own bells and whistles – so you have an address @yourdomain.whatever.

When planning to conduct business on your website, it is important to make sure that your host offers SSL (a secured server) for the inclusion of a customer shopping cart. Although these features may produce a higher priced hosting plan, when conducting business online is an important feature to make sure is in place before you purchase any contract. You can buy cheap SSL certificates with very compatible rates here.

How To Optimize Your Landing Page

Landing pages are the foundation of great inbound marketing strategies. These pages literally serve as the location of your prospect “land” on your website. If you are trying to generate new leads or sell products online, landing pages are the place to that happen. And in a world where the average attention span online is about eight seconds, it is critical that our landing pages are optimized for instant conversion.

With such a short time to make your first impression, you need to ensure every piece of your landing page is well-planned and working correctly. In addition to that, many repeat visitors will come across your landing page. Optimizing your landing page will ensure these folks continuously see the information they expect, helping them become your brand advocates!

What Is A Landing Page?

Even in an intermediate guide, it is best to start with the basics. Let’s begin with a quick review of some core concepts in landing page optimization. A landing page is a web page that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a lead form. It is where your visitor “land” after clicking on a call to action button. This is the crux of your inbound marketing strategy. It is the point on your conversion path where you collect the information that generates a lead.

As a rule of thumb, a landing page usually includes a compelling header, interesting copy, minimal navigation, and an optimized form. In addition to good design, a good landing page employs a great strategy. The best landing pages target a particular audience, such as traffic from an email campaign to promote a particular offer or visitor who clicks on a Pay-Per-Click Ad to promote a specific campaign.

It is important to build a unique landing page for each offer you create. You can build landing pages that allow visitors to download or opt-in to receive your content offers such as coupons, e-book, gift or sign up for offers further down the funnel such as free trials and product demos.

Why Is A Landing Page Important?

As I explained above, the landing page is where you capture your leads or sell your products. Therefore, designing an outstanding landing page experience is critical to effectively converting a higher percentage of your visitors into leads and sales. Landing pages make it much easy for your website visitors to receive an offer since they are taken directly to the offer itself rather than having to navigate around your website to find it.

Landing pages also help to clarify what visitors must do to receive your offer. The best marketing is about delivering the right information, to the right person, at the right time. That’s how you create marketing that people love. By directing your visitors to a landing page, the exact page with the offer and the form they must complete to get it, you increase the likelihood that they will complete your form and convert into leads.

Types Of Landing Page

Since landing pages play such a critical role in driving leads and consequently, revenue, many online marketing firms are building entire consulting arms with the sole aim of optimizing company landing pages. However, there is one thing you need to know. You need to know the type of your landing page that suits your website. Landing pages come in three main flavors.

Main Site

The landing page might be part of your main corporate website. Such pages have the same navigation and page layout as all of the other pages on your site. The specific landing page might be buried several layers deep within your site organization, or it might be your home page.

Microsite

The landing page is part of a microsite specifically designed for a single audience or purpose. A microsite usually has one main call to action and all of the information on the site funnels the visitor back to this desired conversion action. A microsite usually contains a few pages of supporting information that allows a visitor to make an educated decision about the topic in question, and request further information or buy something.

Such information includes a detailed description of your product or service, buying guides or wizards, downloadable whitepapers, comparison to similar products or services, case studies, testimonials, and other validation. A microsite can be branded as part of your main company or can have their own stand-alone brand.

Stand-alone

Some web pages are specifically designed for a particular marketing campaign. Such pages usually have specific information related only to the offer or action that you would like your visitor to take. Usually, there is a clear, single call to action. If the desired action is not taken, stand-alone landing pages may employ an exit pop-up window with a second desired action, or a repeat of the original call to action.

The type of landing page that you deploy is largely dictated by your traffic source, as well as the type of product or service that you offer. Ideally, your traffic can be specifically directed to a particular page and tracked in significant detail. For example, a PPC campaign allows you to specify the exact landing page for each keyword. This information can be tracked through the conversion process and allows you to calculate the ROI at the keyword level.

Such traffic should generally be directed at the goal-oriented, stand-alone landing page. The advantage of stand-alone landing pages is that they are targeted. They do not overwhelm your visitor or distract them with irrelevant information. This usually results in the best bang for the buck and highest conversion rates.

Understanding Your Landing Pages

So now, what parts of your site are mission critical? Mission critical activities on your sites can easily be identified. All you have to do is ask yourself the following question. Does the content create a meaningful transaction or deepen your relationship with the visitor? A meaningful transaction does not have to be your ultimate conversion goal. It can be a small incremental step that creates psychological momentum toward that goal.

Deepening your relationship means that you have been given a higher level of trust by the visitor. Tangible evidence of this includes spending more time on important parts of your site. So does increase page views of key content. Of course, the most important indicators are the sharing of information by filling out forms, calling or chatting; downloading written materials or computer programs; signing up for free trials and promotions or actually buying something.

Besides, this will be an important question that you will need to ask yourself which is, who is your target audience? Your business attracts a number of possible visitor classes to your site. These may include prospects, clients, current business partner or investors. The usual practice is to provide a comprehensive view of your company and to give each of these visitor classes equal billing.

The company is often portrayed along product lines or as client-facing functional departments. Your landing page should be modified to best serve the mission-critical visitor classes. Everyone may want real estate on the home page, but they do not necessarily deserve it in equal measure. Conversion actions are measurable events that move a visitor toward the mission-critical activities that you have identified. Examples of conversion actions along with their measurement and efficiency metrics follow.

Advertising

This includes advertising online, such as banners, text ads and sponsor links. Measuring advertising effectiveness usually involves tracking the number of times that an ad was seen or clicked on. Another measure is the average advertising revenue per page view for alternative ad page layouts.

Education

Some websites have ultimate conversion steps that require a lot of up-front education. They provide resources and online guides to fully explain their products and services. If the education of visitors is your primary goal, the key metrics are the time spent on your educational pages and the number of page views.

Purchase

Many companies measure sales efficiency by looking at their sales conversion rate, or their shopping cart abandonment rate. In many circumstances, the revenue per visitor and profit per visitor are more useful metrics. For example, if you sell multiple products at widely varying prices, you can bias the mix of products that you sell intentionally.

This may mean that you choose to lower your sale conversion rate to focus on higher-ticket items. Conversely, you may seemingly raise your sales conversion rate by emphasizing smaller-ticket items. The merit of the trade-offs involved in such situations can be evaluated by focusing on the revenue per visitor metric.

Understanding Your Audience

We are all familiar with the Golden Rule: “Do onto others what you want others do onto you.” This ethical guidepost exists in many variants the world’s major philosophies and religions. But it is missing an essential component by presupposing that everyone is the same. Moreover, it makes your behavior and believes the standard by which all conduct should be judged and measured.

“Do onto others as you would have you do onto them.” The Platinum Rule, by Dr. Tony Alessandra. I ran across this more powerful formulation at a sales training workshop many years ago and it resonated deeply for me. Here was the missing component: empathy. People are not all the same. If we want to understand them, we should try to step outside of our own needs and experience the world from their perspective.

Like a solid news report, you must understand the basics of the story and be able to articulate the following particulars about your audience. Let me further explain.

Who Is Your Audience?

The who of your audience is defined by their demographics and segmentation. Because you can’t meet every visitor to our site in person, you re limited to use aggregated information. You understand the traffic source hitting your website and the specific landing pages. Exclusive information is also available about these visitors and their behavior.

From a landing page optimization perspective, it is important to exactly determine what subset of your traffic will be used for the test. You should pay particular attention to its stability and consistency over time.

Where On Your Website Does The Interaction Occur?

As you learned in the previous chapter, the “where” of your landing page optimization test should occur on your previously identified mission-critical landing pages. Sometimes the where may be an offline call-to-action such as a phone call or an in-store sale, but the mechanism for it (e.g., displaying a special dedicated toll- free number, or creating a printable coupon for redemption in a store) is still part of the website.

When Do Your Visitors Make Their Decision?

The when should be seen not as a specific time event, but more generally as a position in a decision process. Some visitors feel a vague unease about a concern that they may have but have just begun to look around and try to formulate a response to their problem. Others know exactly what they want, and may only be concerned with completing whatever transaction is required to obtain their specific product.

Why Do Visitors Behave The Way They Do?

You do not have intimate and accurate information about your individual visitors. The “why” can be understood by imagining the categories of behavioral styles.

What Is The Task That You Are Asking Them To Complete?

The “what” is the specific task that your visitor is trying to complete on your website.
How Does Your Site Operate In Order For Visitors To Complete Their Tasks?

The “how” is the actual design of your website or landing pages. It is medium through which each task must be accomplished. Specific page elements include layout, organization, and emphasis of key information, text copy, the call-to-action and hundreds of other factors. All of them combined to influence the effectiveness of your landing page.

Information about your site visitors comes in two main flavors: objective and subjective. Because almost everything on the Internet can be logged or recorded, it provides a wealth of objective information. The goal of the effective online marketer is to determine which specific metrics are good predictors of success and to monitor them properly to focus your programs in the right direction.

As with all numeric information, you should treat demographics with proper respect and be aware of the following issues:

Data-gathering Methods And Limitations

Depending on the exact technology used, software packages will track the activities of your visitors differently and come up with different numbers for the same metrics. Be aware of the limitations of the software that you choose.

Gathering Enough Data

Many online marketers do not wait to gather enough data before making decisions. Just because one out of the first four visitors to your website bought from you, it does not mean that you have a 25% conversion rate to sale. Wait to gather enough data to get statistically valid answers.

All You Need To Know About SEO

With all the benefits the internet world has to offer several websites are launched every month to compete and capture the market share which much just desire for. Some get to the mark where their business objectives are met beyond survival while for some it is the fight between existence and survival. A good reason for such scenario would be the understanding of the terms that are used in an online world to make the difference when it comes to venture the online entity. Yes, that is right a lot of people concerned with online business know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but in reality, they are not sure what it can do for their business.

With several websites coming alive every month it is clear that the set keywords of competitors would be the ones that you would be focusing upon and in such a case it would not be that easy to make sure that you benefit from it and exercise such measures that while competing on high competitive keywords you are focusing on other aspects along.

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On the other hand, a normal important thing is to develop a website with all the attractive features as the design of the website, for which the unique rich quality content is essential but not enough and this is where you need to understand the importance of optimizing your website to make the real online difference.

Identifying and planning the right SEO strategies, tools and techniques will be required to rank well among popular search engines. This favored top position will help to derive more traffic volumes on your online existence which provides you the chance to convert your visitors to customers.

SEO should be understood before making it your final plan to promote your online presence and this is precisely where you are either recommended to make sure that you hire a professional firm that will ensure results or either appoints an expert to help you understand and work on productive aspects.

Do not try different online SEO strategies for which you are not sure of as certain aspects can hold you penalize and to an extent hinder your way to success.

Make sure you are not left behind when it comes to online market dominance and competing for the online market, it was never complicated as it is now, but still there are aspects which make a considerable difference for you to be successful. Consider the reason why would you want to undertake SEO and what benefits does it provide you to make it reasonable measures for satisfaction. This is where several online firms have promised to provide and were unable to achieve the very precise objectives.

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