The Ins and Outs of SEO

The golden egg to marketing is targeted traffic. Targeted advertising is when your marketing efforts reach the actual people you are going after. Newspapers, radio, television and similar advertising are not really targeted because they basically cast a wide net and will get some people you are interested in. There are things they can do to make it more targeted like advertising a sporting goods store on a sports talk radio station, but there is a more targeted method and that is using the Internet and search engine optimisation.

Search engines are the sites we go to find things on the Internet. The popular ones include Google, Yahoo and Bing. There are other ones out there, but those three are, by far, the biggest. And, Google is perhaps the king of those three. Search engine optimisation is the practice of creating a website in a manner that helps the search engines read the site and understand what it is about and how to rank it on certain terms. So, if you want to rank on the term “poodles for sale” then you tailor your web page around that term.

That is a simple explanation of what SEO is, but it is much more complicated than that. There are many steps to properly optimising a site. And, there is a thin line to walk too. If you over optimise or try to hard you can actually trip a wire in the search engines algorithm where they know they are being manipulated and may exclude you completely from their results. This is known as gaming the search engines. The makers of the search engines like for websites to grow organically and naturally. They do not like to think that people are doing unnatural things to help their sites rank fast. However, due to the competitive landscape, this is just not the case. There has been a whole cottage industry created around helping websites rank in the search engines.

This mainly has to do with the targeted advertising mentioned earlier. If someone has a plumbing problem, goes to Google and types in “affordable plumber in Chicago”, and your site shows up in the first position then you have a really good shot at getting a phone call. That is the epitome of targeted advertising. People recognised this long ago and ever since then have been trying to manipulate their sites to rank on all manner of keywords and phrases. Thus, SEO company was born.

Proper SEO, however, takes patience and lots of time. You need content for the search engines to find. You need links pointing to your site so the search engines understand that your site is one that needs to be paid attention to. You need proper keyword research to make sure you are ranking on words that have merit. You want to rank on words that have high search volume because if you rank on words no one is searching for there is no point in all the effort. As you can see, there is a lot of work that needs to be done with SEO, but the results can be amazing.

Ways To Properly Evaluate A Potential New Web Designer

how-to-identify-a-good-designer

Whether you agree with it or not, first impressions can make a difference and with online web properties, this possibly holds more true than other mediums. With the increase in technology plus the continual improvements in broadband speeds and the prevalence of ads in almost every place we look, attention spans have been reduced to practically non-existent. Web visitors have analyzed your website in under 8 seconds so assuming the demand for your product or service is enough will leave you scratching your head with all the bounce rates. Understanding this, hiring a web designer is an important part of your business. In the following paragraphs we’ll discuss critical skill sets you need to analyze to make sure you’ve chosen the best designer for your company.

Making Certain They Are A Web Designer

This may sound obvious however after interviewing a few candidates, you’ll come to realize that there are two major types of designers. Those focused on print media and others who are specialists on the web. Of course both skill sets blend together but a true web designer will have abilities that many print media designers will be lacking. The latter can modify templates and have a basic grasp of more complicated skills such as PHP or JAVA (types of web programming), but when a project requires some more complex web integrations they will be clueless on the solution versus a more experienced professional.

Ways to confirm this would be to check their credentials to see if they’ve been through any specialized education that highlight these abilities. One could require the potential candidate to take one of the available online assessment tests to help you gauge their ability. Last but not least, you can have them do a quick project for you that incorporates some of these elements. This has the benefit of seeing firsthand how they handle direction while also getting a better look at the next important factor.

How Do They Handle Time?

A huge problem with web designers is their ability to manage their time effectively which is not something limited only to this profession, however jobs that require “artistic” input is wrought with individuals full of these types of excuses. This in part has to do with the creative process involved with designing however a true professional will understand that working through problems is the best way to get inspired. Less than capable ones will constantly be behind schedule and be more of an expense than an asset to your company. Only problem with this metric is you may only discover this problem after hiring them. Just be aware of this and monitor carefully.

As you can see, we’ve only talked about two areas to help analyze a potential designer better. Of course there are many other factors, a major one being does their style match your company’s? A good designer will take your feedback into consideration but will also be strong enough to demonstrate why they are the experts and design something even better than you expected. That is exactly who you’d want to have on the team.

How to make a living as a Blogger

Making a living as a blogger is a dream that many people share. If you are like most people, the thought of being able to work from home, set your own hours and write about a topic that inspires you is incredibly appealing. Unfortunately, most people who start blogging for profit never reach their goals. There are two main reasons for this.

First, many people overestimate how quickly their traffic will grow. When they don’t see immediate results they get frustrated and give up. Second, many bloggers fail because they didn’t start with a plan. Just like any other business, blogging needs to be approached with a solid plan for how you expect to reach your goals. Otherwise, it is easy to get sidetracked before you start to turn a profit.

The key to blogging success is growing a large readership. Unless you have substantial traffic, you won’t be able to demand high enough advertising dollars to earn a living. Unfortunately, getting traffic isn’t as easy as it used to be. Today, having a successful blog involves far more than writing excellent, engaging content. You also have to find innovative ways to market your blog and grow your readership.

If you make the mistake of focusing only on your writing and neglect marketing, you won’t see the results you want. Even the best writing is worthless if no one ever reads it. Instead, you have to take a two-pronged approach. Along with writing excellent content and providing regular updates, you also have to invest a significant amount of time in marketing.

Regular updates are important. However, don’t feel like you need to update your blog every day. Instead, try updating it several times a week. Make each post the absolute best that it can be. Then, spend the rest of your time focusing on marketing.

There are quite a few effective marketing techniques that you can employ. One of the most popular is writing a guest post for another blog. Look for high-traffic blogs in your market. Contact the blog owner and ask them if you could do a guest post in exchange for a link back to your blog. As long as you provide high quality content, many blog owners will be happy to accept your post. After all, it is essentially free content for their blog.

Guest blogging benefits you in two ways. First, it allows you to reach out to the other blog’s audience. If your content is engaging enough, hopefully they will click through to read more on your blog. Additionally, it also provides a link back to your site, which helps boost your standing in the search engines.

If you are stuck for ideas on how to proceed, take a look at some of the most successful blogs in your industry. Try to determine what they are doing that is different than what you are doing in terms of marketing. Once you have an understanding of what you want to achieve, sit down and write out a plan for how to get there. Determine how many days a week you plan to post and how much time you want to commit to marketing.

Taking the time to market your blog can mean the different between success and failure. If you develop a plan and stick with it for the long haul, you can successfully m