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  • The Conversion Friendly Website Design Checklist

    Conversion is the ability to take your prospects and turn them into customers, and this is made easier with a website that has been designed, navigated and presented specifically for your target audience. A Website can be a Business's most Powerful Asset, or its own Worst Enemy Too many businesses think of their website as an online brochure or business card. The fact is, the Internet has changed; there is more competition and the average consumer demands more from the sites that they visit. Is your Website Conversion Friendly? Here is the Checklist: 1. Does it Load Fast? Customers are impatient! We've all done it; a site doesn't instantly load and we hit the back button. Don't be fooled into thinking that your website is the exception. Conversion friendly websites should also load well (no broken images, glitches etc) and appear in all browsers such as Internet Explorer and Chrome, and on all platforms including tablets and Smartphones. 2. Does your Website Theme   read more...

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  • How Much Do SEO Services Cost?

    Check out our SEO service pricing page to get an idea of what our services cost. If you have been shopping for an SEO firm you soon discover that prices range from “Free,” to ridiculous, sky-high fees.  Then of course, there is every price in between.  So how do you determine how much SEO services cost, and if you will be getting the value that you are paying for? This article will help you to choose an SEO service that meets your website’s needs and budget, and to avoid costly mistakes that can slow down, or completely derail your SEO marketing campaign. Why do SEO Companies Not List Their Prices? The majority of SEO firms do not list their prices. The reason for this is because every website is unique.  There are no two businesses that will require the exact same services, and it is difficult to determine an approximate price range for every business, all at once. The problem with this approach is that until you contact an SEO firm for a quote or consultation y  read more...

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  • How to Add a User to Google Analytics

    Granting someone user access to your Google Analytics reports is easy, and we hope that the following step-by-step guide will make it even easier. First, go to http://www.google.com/analytics/ to log-in to your Google Analytics account, and then follow these 5 easy steps: If you don't see some of these tabs and options, it probably means that someone else set up the Analytics account for you and set your access to User instead of Administrator. Only Administrators can grant access to other users, so whomever set up your account will have to increase your access or follow these steps on your behalf. Note that if you add someone as an administrator, it will give them full privileges to modify anything in your Analytics profile. This level of access may be necessary for what you want them to do, but if you only want them to view your reports then you should set their access to "user". Sharing your Google Analytics reports in this way will allow anyone you're working   read more...

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  • The Benefits of a Website Analysis for Improving Strategy

    A number of SEO services offer free consultations but a site analysis is a different service. It involves research and data to determine your strategy’s, successes and obstacles. Why Try an In-Depth Website Analysis? SEO Second Opinion We love second opinions. One expert is not always enough! A site analysis will let you know what your current SEO firm is working on and will tell you where they are proving their worth, and areas that you, as the customer, should be asking about or checking in on. Improve Strategy on a Budget If you are a website DIY (do-it-yourself) kind of person, an in-depth analysis will offer the direction for handling your business's web marketing campaign.  This way, you will not waste time on Social Media, for example, if your business would benefit best from a pay-per-click campaign. By discovering your website’s strengths and limitations you will have a clear understanding of where your time and money needs to be invested for the fast and eff  read more...

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  • Online Business: 5 Characteristics of a Highly Effective Website

    Back in the 90’s all a business had to do was have a website to stand out, receive high rankings in popular search engines and sell their products and services online.  In the 2000’s the competition became fierce but a well-designed site and some Internet marketing helped a business to soar past their competitors.  So now we ask; what about 2012 and beyond? Your Website IS your Business - Not an Extension of It With the growing popularity of mobile apps and smaller, faster computers, shopping from anywhere is easy. Customers buy big screen TVs from the lineup in the grocery store because they have already done their research and read reviews from the convenience of their home or office. There are many families working multiple jobs and encouraging their children to attend extracurricular activities, so who has time to comparison shop in person anymore? No one! The habits of the average consumer have changed. More people are turning to online storefronts before they visit  read more...

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SEO Pricing – How Much Should I Pay for SEO Services?

SEO PricesWhen searching for SEO service prices, you’ll notice two things: That SEO fees vary wildly, and that often they are not listed at all, requiring you to request a price quote. SEO prices range from “free” at one extreme to ridiculously expensive at the other, with a broad spectrum of seemingly arbitrary fees in-between. When you’re searching for SEO services that meet your needs and your budget, it’s helpful to be aware of what’s being offered and what the various pricing methods are all about so that you can choose wisely and avoid any costly wrong turns in your website marketing strategy.

Unlisted SEO Fees

Many SEO firms don’t list their prices, instead requiring you to contact them for a price quote. In some ways this makes sense since all websites have different service needs, but it is also often intended as a tactic by SEOs to have you get in contact with them so that they can begin a conversation with you with the aim of convincing you to engage their services. Talking about your site with you before offering a price is certainly not a bad thing and it’s always important to determine what will be required to get the site the visitor traffic that it needs but, when you contact an SEO with unlisted prices, be sure that the focus of the discussion is on identifying your specific requirements and that you are offered pricing and services which are well-suited to your needs and your budget. Often, SEOs with unlisted prices turn out to be priced very high, usually unjustifiably so.

“Free” SEO Services

As the saying goes, nothing in life is free, at least not really. Some SEOs offer “free” or “pay for performance” services which require you to pay only if they achieve agreed results on search engines for your site. That sounds great, a real, risk-free “no-brainer” of an offer, right? The problem however is that, to offer their services in this way, SEO’s need to handle the project in ways which might not be in their clients’ best interests.

They may need to enter into a contract with the client in which specific benchmarks must be achieved in terms of certain keywords or keyphrases acquiring agreed rankings on search engines, goals which will then be targeted to the exclusion of all others. The SEO will target keywords which they know will perform well in terms of rankings on search engines, but not necessarily the most effective keywords in terms of delivering quality visitor traffic from people who are seeking what your site offers. It’s one thing to boost rankings on search engines, but another thing entirely to boost website sales, sign-ups and conversions. With that service model, the SEOs focus is more on getting you to pay for their services than on getting visitors to your site to pay for yours. They may work hard to acquire the agreed rankings for the agreed keywords, but there is little incentive for them to do more than that or to explore and capitalize upon other opportunities to advance the aims of your website. And, if they do offer more comprehensive services beyond what was initially contracted, these services will generally be charged outside of that agreement.

SEOs with “pay only for rankings” services also need to account for those clients who, despite having their site optimized and seeing its rankings and traffic improve, may simply choose not to continue with the SEO beyond the free stage. That is, they may choose not to pay the SEO even if the agreed goals have been met, perhaps simply because the resulting improved rankings did not convert into increased sales or conversions. The SEO needs to account for these losses and you can bet that it doesn’t come out of their pocket, but is instead embedded in the fees that their ongoing clients pay. This results in higher than necessary fees for those clients who do continue paying.

While “free” SEOs seem like a safe and obvious choice, it’s important to realize that nothing is free and that engaging one of these services is not necessarily as wise or risk-free of a choice as it might seem on the surface. This is also the pricing strategy preferred by SEOs who are new to the field and have not established themselves with a large number of happy customers, or are not specialized in the required skills and offer the services only as a sideline to their main field of business, and that is all worth bearing in mind when you’re considering this option.

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SEO – A Lifestyle Change For Your Website

SEO - a lifestyle change for your websiteOne of the hardest points to drive home is how important it is to make SEO a constant priority.

You want a steady stream of organic search traffic, but don’t want to redesign your website, create compelling content, build links, or spend any time social networking. It’s a lot like like losing weight. You want to lose 20lbs, but don’t particularly want to change your diet or devote any time to exercise.

Think about Oprah. When she wants to lose weight she hires a personal trainer and a personal chef. They’re paid to ensure that she works out and eats right. She loses weight, feels great, and then fires them. What does she need them for now? 6 months later, she’s gained weight, is out of shape, and feels lousy.

You looked at your under-performing website and decided to outsource in the same way. You hired an SEO firm, they did extensive…
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How Do I Get My Website Noticed?

As long as there’s been the internet, there’s been this question – how do I get my website noticed fast online? Unfortunately there’s really only three answers to it – spend a TON of money, do something excellent and outstanding, or do something shocking, unique, or hilarious. Whether the last idea is the right step for your business is your call, most business owners are going to shy away from trying to be too outrageous.

So, suppose you do create something that is excellent and outstanding. What good is it going to do if nobody sees it? This is the conundrum that’s usually ignored by people proclaiming that “Content Is King”. Yes, content is IT. Without it, you’re nothing. But without eyeballs on your content, it might as well not exist. (If remarkable content is posted in the forest and nobody is around to…) Creating great content is not enough – you also need to create a way to get it noticed.

In the video above, Matt Cutts (Google guy) suggests inventing a gadget (?) or being a cartoonist, which are… approaches I hadn’t considered for website promotion. All joking aside, the point he’s making here is solid. If you want to get your business noticed quickly, you need to do something beyond what you normally do. Something that makes your business stand out. Something nobody else in your niche has to offer. The answer to this question may be YOU. If YOU are your business, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Nobody’s suggesting you make a spectacle of yourself, just don’t be reluctant to use your strengths and your personality.

How many sites do you visit every day that you’ve never visited before? Probably not many. What compels you to visit new websites when you do? Look at your answers to that question and start thinking about how that could work for you.

How Does Google Determine How Old A Website Is?

While the question Google’s Matt Cutts is answering here is about site age (how Google determines website or domain age, and how much that matters) what’s fascinating to me about this clip is something he mentions as an aside.

But let’s cover the question first. Google determines a site’s age based on when it first crawled it, or when it first found a link to it, not when the domain was purchased. In typical Google fashion, Matt doesn’t really answer the question about exactly how important a site’s age is, and mentions quality content and links again (Oh Matt!). He mentions that Google acquired a patent on using historical data in search results 5 years ago, which might lead one to believe site age really matters to them. Though Google has acquired an awful lot of patents over the years…

Either way, we do know that site age IS an SEO factor. Having a domain that’s been up and running for 10 years is a definite boon to rankings. Though not enough to cancel out the big two – lots of good content and quality back links. Without those, the age of your domain is insignificant.

What particularly interests me is how Matt suggests buying your domain 2 or 3 months ahead of time and putting up a placeholder before putting your website live. As you can easily buy a domain, upload your already completed site, and find it crawled by Google in a matter of days with no effort on your part, this is peculiar. It almost seems like a validation of the much disputed “sandbox” for new sites theory that still rears its head from time to time. This theory being that new websites would be indexed but were unlikely to be ranked for a period of time, which they would spend in a metaphorical “sandbox” created by Google. Whatever it means, I think we should probably follow his advice on this one. “2 or 3 months” ahead of time for new domains.

Marketing In The Age Of Google : A Review

If you’re doing any kind of business online, there’s something for you in “Marketing In The Age Of Google” by Vanessa Fox. If you’re a business owner ready to get serious about your internet marketing, this book is the perfect place to start. If you’re a seasoned SEO, it will give you fresh eyes and help you communicate better with your clients.

If you maintain a business web site, you owe it to yourself to check this book out. It’s a fantastic non-technical guide to online marketing and search. Vanessa discusses every aspect of search marketing, how search engines work and how web sites can be best optimized to help them do their job. Online market research through search, finding niches, optimization, pay-per-click strategies, designing pages for conversion – it’s all in here. And, it’s all written in understandable, jargon-free language. Yes, SEOs and internet marketers will often pepper articles and conversation with bizarre buzzwords and acronyms that make everything we’re discussing confusing for the layman. There’s none of that here. This book, while certainly not “for dummies”, will help anyone who knows their business and their customers to succeed online.

If you’re looking to hire an SEO company, reading this book ahead of time will put you in a great position to make the right choice. You’ll know what questions to ask and what to expect. You can easily outsource the research and technical implementation confidently if you know and understand the basics of what needs to be done. Plus, your educated input will enable the SEO to better help you accomplish your goal – making conversions.