Posts Tagged ‘Website’

MORE Free Tips to Make Your Website Standout!

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Welcome to 2010!  A whole year has elapsed since I last blogged about the importance of keeping your website content fresh and relevant.  My previous post – Website Tune-Up – focused on strategies to keep your website current and favorable to the search engines.  Today, I hope to share some equally important tips to optimize your website and online presence this year.

1.  Make the most of social media. Over the last twelve months I’ve enjoyed a significant increase in traffic to my website and blog as a result of social media.  Active participation in Facebook and Twitter has reinforced our web presence and generated many new leads and relationships.  If you have social media profiles, be sure to link those profiles to your website.

2.  Blog! Blogging offers great benefits due to easy to index regular content. Add a few basic SEO skills and you’re ready to go! Take your blog a step further: Host your blog on your own website instead of using a free hosted blog. Why? When you host your own blog your blog posts supplement the content of your website, thus increasing the quality and vibrancy of your site. RSSbuttonAdding an RSS feed button to both your website and blog will make it easy for readers to subscribe to your feed and keep up with your posts. Additionally, RSS features can help make your online (internet) marketing strategies more effective.

3.  Don’t be anonymous. One of the primary goals of your website is to build trust and credibility. Does your website give potential customers the information they need? Is your name, photo and contact information prominently displayed? If you are a service provider you should make every effort to make a personal connection with your visitors.

under construction-fix website4. Never underestimate the power of a well designed website. If your website is more than two years old, a revamp alone could boost your SEO ranking. HTML and CSS are the most common technologies used in making web pages, but there are also other ways to go. Flash is known for it’s excellent multimedia capabilities but is generally believed to be less search engine friendly than CSS. Some businesses have even abandoned traditional websites in favor of blog-based sites.

5. Use high quality images. Website images should be carefully selected; ideally they should represent your own work and style to help you connect with your audience (target market). Some vendors may use stock photography as part of their start-up promotions, but in the wedding and event industry I’d advise moving away from this option as quickly as possible (or risk possible damage to your reputation). By the same token, amateur photos will not adequately show even your best work – so select images with a discerning eye.

webdesign-youtube5.5 Upgrade to Video! If a picture is worth a thousand words than video is worth a million. Video is fast-rising as the newest ‘must-have’ feature because it helps build brand, it’s more engaging than static, printed text, and it’s easier to effectively demonstrate your product or service.

There is virtually no cost associated with these tips – especially if you have the ability or capability to edit your own website. Many resources and tutorials are available online if you need additional information. Otherwise, consider hiring someone to assist with migrating your blog or updating the look of your website – it will be money well spent.

© 2010 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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03

02 2010

Website Tune-Up

Excuse me, but I am taking a few minutes to pat myself on the back: I just completed my first website tune-up of 2009!

I won’t go into any long winded explanations or step-by-step instructions, but I can certainly recommend some key points to freshen things up for the new year! (Some of these tips may not work well for flash websites.)

5.5 FREE TIPS:

1. Check the expiration of your domain name. Tell the search engines you plan to be in business for a long time by pushing your domain renewal back for at least three to five years.

2. Update the dates and links referenced on your site. If your website footer reads “Copyright 2006″ it need to be updated immediately. Ideally you should list a span, such as: Copyright © 2001 – 2009. Also, delete references to past events that might date your site (with obvious exception to your history of work or resume of experience). Test all the internal links on your site to ensure that navigation is fully functional. Delete any outbound links that are ‘dead’.

3. Have you checked your stats lately? There’s a multitude of ways you can do this. One way is through Google’s product “Analytics“. Analytics is free and I was able to get it up and running myself. If you have some general knowledge of reading html code, and you have access to edit your site, you can probably do this yourself too, and it will cost you nothing. Otherwise, you can ask your webmaster to implement this technology on your behalf. A second option would be through your web host. Some hosting services offer tracking as part of the hosting package, or as an add on service. Statistical information regarding your website traffic is usually easy to decipher from these types of sources. There’s nothing for you to set up, per say, you just log in and review the info.

Checking your stats will give you key information about the most visited pages on your site, how long visitors spend reading or reviewing the info, how many visitors by day, week, month, etc.

4. Take a look at your page titles; that’s the information that pops up at the very top of the browser and provides the primary description for your product or service. You may want to lengthen them or shorten them. First things first: Each page on your website should have a unique title or at least be customized to reflect the content of the page. If the title bar on every page of your site reads the same, you should make the appropriate revisions to differentiate them, thereby increasing the relevance of your keywords, content and search results.

5. Purchase multiple versions of your company name. Why? For starters, this will prevent the brand confusion that results when a start up company selects the same or similar name to yours. Also, it helps customers find you even if they spell your company name incorrectly or can’t recall the exact web address (this happens ALL the time!). Think about the way you use the web and how you search for others, then reverse the process to create additional avenues for customers to find you. Then, be sure to “point” all the secondary domains to your website.

5.5 BACK UP YOUR SITE !! If you can’t do it yourself, ask your webmaster to do it for you.

One final recommendation: Don’t’ forget to run a Copyscape scan to document and protect the integrity of your content. If you are the true and original author of the content, you will surely want to know if someone has plagiarized your work. Also, plagiarizers beware: website content can be authenticated all the way back to the launch date of a site.

I welcome any comments you may have. And please feel free to share your favorite, fast & easy tune-up tips as well!

© 2009 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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01 2009
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