“Should My Business Be on Facebook?”

0 Comments
“Should My Business Be on Facebook?”

“Should My Business Be on Facebook?”

Maybe and maybe not. Let’s ask some different questions. Feel free to use this same logic for LinkedIn, Twitter, FourSquare, or pretty much anything else.

I’ve noticed that the “herd” mentality starts to come into play more with social media than with other things. The reason seems simple. Most people don’t really understand it, but everybody seems to be doing it. Plus, it’s free. The innate human tendency: when in doubt, follow the crowd.

Not every business is on the internet. In fact, there is still a huge segment of the population that doesn’t particularly like computers and prefers to use them as little as possible. I hear generalized statements like “everybody’s going to the internet these days – that’s where you have to be!” I think to myself, “not necessarily.” Not everyone thinks the same way.

If you’re considering putting up a Facebook page for your business, you’d do best to keep this in mind. While you don’t have to pay for a Facebook page (at least not yet), time is money. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Why (specifically) do you think your business would benefit from being on Facebook?
  2. What specific measurable goal do you believe that you can achieve on Facebook that you can’t achieve anywhere else?
  3. 90 days now, how will you determine whether your idea proved to be correct or not?
  4. How much time per week are you willing to commit to spend learning how to use Facebook for your business?
  5. Do you know of any businesses like yours that are currently making more money because they use Facebook?

You might think that just because it doesn’t cost any money, you have nothing to lose. The risk, when it comes to free things like Facebook, is spreading your time too thin. When you see a way for Facebook to produce measurable results (preferably direct revenue), you’re ready to pull the trigger.

If you’re not clear about how Facebook will make you money, but you still want to start playing around with it anyhow, that’s fine. Just do it on your personal time and don’t think of it as a business activity.…

Have We Become Too Internet Dependent?

0 Comments
Have We Become Too Internet Dependent?

Have We Become Too Internet Dependent?

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I were having a friendly banter over some obscure celebrity fact in which he proclaimed, “Don’t make me take this to the Internet!” And truth be told, it made me realize how incredibly dependent we have become on the Internet, almost treating everything we read on it as fact. Scary.

Since its inception, the Internet has quickly developed into this vast resource upon which we send and receive endless amounts of information. Now, my profession is centered almost entirely around using the Internet, but just for kicks- I decided that it would be fun to see how often I use the Internet on any given day for things that are non-work related. Below is a sampling of a typical day:

A Day in the Life of an Internet Junkie

  • Wake up and check weather online
  • check email (s)
  • check Facebook
  • check Twitter & TweetDeck
  • begin work- but first check and respond to any emails
  • During breaks, check email again
  • correspond w/ various friends and/or co-workers via AIM or Yahoo Instant Messenger
  • periodically check news
  • check blog feeds for anything new
  • log into Facebook & play Tetris for a bit
  • check weather for tomorrow
  • maybe watch the latest episode of the Simpsons or Family Guy online
  • look up recipes for dinner
  • maybe watch a movie on YouTube

Ridiculous isn’t it? These are just some of the inane things that I do online, but I’m am sure that I am not the only one out there. Half the time, when my boyfriend walks in the door, he’ll head straight for the computer. An avid classical guitarist, I’ll look over and notice him surfing the net in search of sheet music or watching YouTube videos of famous classical guitarists. Other times, he’s looking at Wikipedia, checking his email accounts or watching the Simpsons.

How the Internet Plays a Role in Business Today

Enough about our personal obsessions with the Internet; now the question becomes: “Are businesses too dependent?” When asked this question, I don’t think that it’s a matter of businesses becoming too dependent on the Internet. Rather, I think that the methods for marketing have changed to where the Internet is simply more appealing to a wider consumer base. If you take a look at people like my boyfriend and I, statistics show that the majority of households have at least one computer and that increasing numbers of people spend their free time surfing online. So, what better way to reach consumers than where they spend the most time?

What do you think about the Internet? How does it affect your personal life? Do you think that businesses will continue to benefit from Internet growth?…

The Things We Hate: 10 Web Design No-Nos

0 Comments
The Things We Hate: 10 Web Design No-Nos

The Things We Hate: 10 Web Design No-Nos

Last week, we talked about five of the things that we do (or don’t do) to our web pages, which annoy those who are trying to look at them.  And now to continue on with our list from last week, here are the last five things we need to be aware of when considering web browsability and design:

Ten Web Design No-Nos (Last 5)

  1. Opening New Windows– Cross-linking is great because the thought behind it is that it keeps the user on your web site.  However, if when people click on a hyperlink, it opens up a new window, things can get hairy fast.  I don’t proclaim to be a web designer by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re using a laptop or a computer with a smaller monitor/screen, having too many windows open can add up pretty quickly.  In most cases, when someone clicks on a hyperlink, it should refresh the page so that the new content appears on the same page that they’re looking at- not in a separate window.  Get it?  Nowadays, most Internet users are savvy enough to know that if they DO want to have something open up in a different window, all they have to do is right click on the hyperlink and choose the option to do so.
  2. PDFs–  If there’s anything Internet users hate coming across, it’s a PDF file.  If you’ve ever seen those commercials for the Visa checkcard then you know what I’m about to say.  Coming across a PDF file while your out and about on the Internet is akin to what happens in the Visa commercial; it interrupts your flow of web browsing! Often, if you are brave enough to open up a PDF, it will take a little time to load and then once it comes up, it is often not formatted properly which means that you will have to resize it so that you can actually read the text. Whenever you have the chance or option, convert PDFs so that they are readable on the web.  It’ll keep your readers happy!
  3. Scannability– Most people reading things on the Internet don’t actually read everything; they scan it.  Keeping this in mind, it is important to remember when you are writing web content (i.e. blogs or actual content pages), make sure that you include bold text along with italicized or underlined (whatever is appropriate).  Remember the rules that you learned when you were in elementary school about how sentences and paragraphs are formed?  Now would be a good time to use these rules.  Know how, where and when to recognize that a sentence is getting too long or when a group of sentences need to be broken up into two paragraphs.  All of these things contribute to the usability and readability of your web page and will make it easier on the reader.
  4. About Me– I certainly can’t speak for everyone out there, but one of the first things that I look for whenever I visit a new site or blog is an “About Me” tab or link.  If your web page doesn’t have one yet, I highly advocate creating one.  The “About Me” section should include a little more in-depth information about you and your site and what it’s all about.  Some people choose to disclose more personal information here although it is certainly not necessary.  Sometimes, I will click off of a web site if it doesn’t have an “About Me” section because it raises suspicion as to ownership and what the intentions of the site/person/persons really are.
  5. Linking–  When it comes to website design and usability, the attention truly is in the details.  This brings me to hyperlinking.  When linking to other pages, ALWAYS make sure that the link works and that it is linking to the page you intended.  Additionally, it is sometimes helpful (although certainly not necessary) to have the links change color once the person has clicked on them.  This sort of acts as a reminder to the user that they have already looked at a particular link (just in case they forgot).

If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it

0 Comments
If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it

If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it

Quite a few times lately I’ve seen postings on various search engine forums, and I’ve gotten questions from prospective clients, wondering if they should change their page file names, or worse, their domain name, to be more “keyword-rich.” For some reason, the myth of the “keyword-rich URL” refuses to die.

If your site is already indexed in the search engines — and even more if it ranks well for any phrases you’d like to rank well for — you’re simply shooting yourself in the foot to change your URLs, especially if you’re doing it because you think there’s some kind of magical benefit to having keywords in the URL.

Any time you change your file names, you’re looking at a minimum of a month or two (possibly longer) of reduced rankings, perhaps even dropping out of the index entirely for a time, while the search engines spider your new pages and figure out the impact of the changes. And that’s even if you redirect all the old URLs to the new.

If you make the huge mistake of changing your actual domain name, you are potentially looking at up to a year before your new domain ranks as well in Google as your established domain did — if the site ever recovers fully.

And for what?

If there is any benefit to a keyworded URL (and no one has been able to prove conclusively there is), it’s very, very slight at best. Many say the only potential benefit would occur if someone happened to link to you using your actual page URL as the anchor text of their link (which often does not happen). Is it worth it to see a 20%, 30% or greater drop in business for a few weeks — or potentially a near-total loss of search engine traffic for a period of months — to gain an immeasurably small — and quite likely nonexistent — boost in the search engines?

I would say no. That’s really throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Don’t toss away all the work you’ve put in. Starting over is hard to do (and unnecessary in almost every case). Keep your URLs — just make the pages associated with them better.…

SEO

0 Comments
SEO

SEO

Micrositez are a Leading UK SEO that are now bringing their services to the US shores. Micrositez UK have been the leading SEO Company dealing with huge names such as The National Health Service & Global Christian charity TearfundTM. Born in the UK we have tailored our services to the needs and requirement of any business, providing quality & ethical SEO that’s perfected in the USA.

Search Engine Optimization really does fall into two major categories, these being on-page & off-page. On-page SEO is a mixture of our specialist knowledge that setups your website to target profitable keywords on the internet. Changes are made to the content of the website along with the meta descriptions, title tags and also other back end and Google friendly information like sitemaps and Robots texts.

As a leading SEO Company we understand that on-page SEO accounts for around 20% of any SEO project and the remainder of the project boils down to making more noise internet marketing wise then your competition. The more nose internet marketing wise that you make the further your rankings appear on the search engines.

We specialise in link building. Links are made in a number of different fashions, however always being built by hand and always using ethical techniques. We make your internet marketing look as if your customers are talking about your products and services.

Once we have completed your SEO project we upload your reports to our bespoke on-line ranking suite that allows you to see where your website is ranking, how far away you website is from the hotspots and also what work we have complete from your package.

We really do go the extra mile for our customers and this is the reason we are the UK’s number 1 link building company, voted by TOPSEO’s the internets only search vender.

Search Engine Optimization and Web Design from Micrositez… born in the UK perfected in the USA.…

“Get Money from Google” – Get a hard copy for FREE Shipped to You – Read More Below:

0 Comments
“Get Money from Google” - Get a hard copy for FREE Shipped to You - Read More Below:

“Get Money from Google” - Get a hard copy for FREE Shipped to You - Read More Below:

I have a sealed brand new hard copy* of “Get Money from Google” waiting for one lucky reader.  Here’s the catch..

We are in the pre-launch phase of a new website www.seoforanaveragejoe.com.  You’ll either need to link to it from your website on a page that is cached in Google or better yet… write about it in your own blog with a link to the site.

One lucky reader will be chosen at random on March 1st (extended if less than 20 entries), all you have to do is email me David [at] Unlimitedwebsolutions [dot] com with either your site link or blog post to get your name entered also put “SEO JOE” in the subject.  That’s it!  Pretty Easy!  You’ll love “Get Money from Google.”…

Google Takes Social Media Seriously

0 Comments
Google Takes Social Media Seriously

Google Takes Social Media Seriously

Social media and social networking just gained A LOT more importance. The next time you hop on Google and do a search, pay closer attention to the search results. When you do, you may notice that weaved into the search results are social media results from friends, family and other people you may be connected to out there in the blogosphere.

For instance, if you type in a search for “canoes” or any search term you choose, you may notice that someone has tweeted about it, written a blog or posted a video related to it. So, what does this mean for you? You may want to spend a little more time giving your YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or other social media outlets a boost.

After all, you never know what may turn up in Google’s search results. Take a look at the video below for more information.…

QR Codes: Business Asset or Shiny Object?

0 Comments
QR Codes: Business Asset or Shiny Object?

QR Codes: Business Asset or Shiny Object?

You’ve probably seen plenty of QR codes by now, even if you didn’t know what you were looking at. “QR” stands for “quick response.” The basic idea: it’s a two-dimensional bar code that can easily be scanned by “smart” phones. They are an easy way to grab people’s attention. When a shopper scans a QR code, their phone displays a web page. The theory: QR codes create a means of instant interaction with ads and printed media for people who might have been too impatient to type a URL into their handheld device. (Sad but true: attention spans are dwindling to microsecond durations these days).

In theory, putting QR codes all over your direct mail pieces, fliers, store window, and other marketing materials will drive more people to your web site and help your e-mail marketing efforts.

The million-dollar question: does this really work for small businesses? And can QR codes be implemented profitably with the time and money available to a local mom-and-pop operation? While I can’t answer that question universally for every business, I can give you some simple questions that will give you pretty clear idea whether or not QR technology is worth considering for your business.

  1. Do you regular advertise with print media of any kind?
  2. Do you regularly track and monitor the stats on your web page?
  3. If yes to #1, have your web pages gotten enough traffic in the last 30 days to give you an accurate reading of the current conversion rates? (You should have an average of at least 5-10 unique visitors per day from a single traffic source).
  4. If yes to #2, are you getting an acceptable conversion rate from at least one traffic source?

If the above questions made no sense to you, you’re probably not ready for QR codes. But even so, stick with me. I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you run a coffee shop. Let’s say you got 5 visitors to your web site who all saw your sign out front, 6 visitors from your Facebook page, 3 visitors from Twitter, 8 visitors who clicked on the link in your monthly newsletter, etc. These are all different traffic sources. (If your web site doesn’t tell you where the visitors came from, you made need to have your web developer install a new statistical software tool).

Suffice to say, the first step is to stay on top of your stats. That’s not your web designer’s job, by the way. As the business owner, it’s yours. Don’t even think about implementing QR codes or any new technology until you are comfortable with stats.

Stats aside, QR codes do offer a lot of promise for marketing. The real payoff: it’s possible to measure real-time ad impressions from print media (something that has been impossible until now). However, that advantage is only as valuable as your ability to track your site’s real-time performance.…