Strange Things That Can Affect the Popularity of Your Website

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People who create websites want them to be popular. This basically goes without saying. But the things that can affect your website’s popularity is definitely worth highlighting. Especially when there are a lot of factors you may not have even considered. Here are some of the strangest things that can affect your website’s popularity!

How long you’ve owned that domain

This is one of the most underrated factors when it comes to website development. Sure, a domain that was created a year ago won’t have automatic precedence over a six-month-old domain. But how long you’ve owned the domain isn’t necessarily how old the domain is. If there have been previous owners, then this can definitely result in changes to search engine rankings. Google isn’t too keen on a domain that has been “passed around” a lot.

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Photo credit Medith IT

Of course, a change in domain ownership isn’t always going to negatively affect your popularity. Someone looking for the website that used that domain in the past will come across your website – that’s technically a free visitor!

HTML

You may not think that the HTML skeleton of your website would matter all that much. Of course, you know that it is important because it’s part of what dictates what appears on your website.

But clean, clear HTML and messy, undetailed HTML can produce the same front-end website. What your website code looks like won’t affect the visitor’s enjoyment much. But it will affect how well search engines can read your website! It’s vital that you understand exactly how HTML and search engines interact.

The location of your business or web host

Wait, what do web users care where you’re actually based? As long as it works the same way, people wouldn’t care all that much if the Facebook offices moved from, say, California to Fort Payne.

But, yet again, it’s not the front-end visitors you have to worry about. It’s the search engines! Your precise location in a city is relevant. Your proximity to other businesses is relevant. Where the searcher is in relation to where you are will also be taken into account. Google Possum, a recent update to its algorithms, have made it easier for smaller businesses in this regard.

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Photo credit Tammy Strobel

Content length

A lot of people are under the impression that really short videos and articles is the key to success. After all, don’t we live in a time where everyone has a really bad attention span? Well, actually, this isn’t really true. Both people and search engines have shown a preference for longer content as opposed to micro-content. Videos and articles that take around four to seven minutes to read or watch seem to be the most popular.

Spelling and grammar

Exactly how important this is is often disputed. It’s fair to say that not every website with atrocious spelling and grammar is severely penalized when it comes to popularity. But search engines aren’t particularly fond of it, and will take it into consideration if you don’t meet other quality criteria. Plus, people who are actually looking at your website are bound to be a little annoyed if you fail in this area!

Vital Steps To capitalising on the online side of your business

Taking your business online is a step that’s expected nowadays if you want to compete on any meaningful level. But it’s a big step, and a step that can have costs high enough to require serious consideration. Although luck can be a factor in your success, there are many things you can so to give yourself the best possible start online. That’s why we’re going to look at some of the things you need to nail down when getting into online business.

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Web hosting

Websites require more than just design. Before launching it, you need to consider what type of web hosting you need. You can host a site on your own servers if you’re big enough, but a lot of businesses simply aren’t. Web hosting companies have plenty of these servers and plenty of space you can use. There are a lot of different options on packages, as seen on websites like this one. You may have need of one domain name or several. Perhaps you need email addresses to go with it. Have an idea of what you’re going to need from your website and your domain name when making your choice.

The website itself

It’s time to look at the site itself. What is your site supposed to do for you? Is it to provide information? Or do you need to be able to sell direct from your site? The answer to this question will determine how you design the site and whether you need a shopping cart. If you want your site to sell for you, every part of it should be leading visitors to a call-to-action. This can be done in many ways, including providing useful information to help buyers make a decision,  displaying deals prominently or placing testimonials strategically on your site. Put priority on the simple facts visitors need to know about accessing your product and what it does. The more in-depth stuff can be a click away for those interested.

 

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Social media

It’s not just the people coming into your website that you need to market to, either. The art of social media marketing is about targeting the right people with your content. Start building links with like-minded people in your industry and learn from them. Think about what value your content delivers and to whom before you launch it. Depending on what kind of business you run, you want to target people on different platforms. LinkedIn can be a good step for B2B marketing. Instagram is great for lifestyle, food or fashion businesses. Twitter is good for just about any business. Do plenty of research on how to successfully use social media and learn all the tricks of the trade.

The power of data

One of the ways to get your marketing right, online and offline, is to know your customers. The internet is particularly good at helping you divine just who your demographic is. Data on your sites and social media accounts can tell you all kinds of things. Surveys can help you build an even better understanding. Find which pages are popular and use that data to better funnel traffic towards sales. Through social media, you can follow those following you. In doing this, you can learn a lot more about the kind of customers your products attract. Using that information, you can then go on to make marketing that is even more specific in its targeting.

The networking potential

It’s not just customers that the internet gives you a lot more opportunity to connect with. Partnerships on the internet are easier to find than ever before. Getting in touch with those in industries related to yours is as easy as an e-mail. Businesses can collaborate in cross-promotion online with a lot less effort than through traditional media. There are also the middlemen who can help you build your brand. The influencers, the bloggers and the Youtubers. There are a few different ways to get them on your side. Sponsorships are one of the most popular methods. There are others who will simply be happy to review or feature your products for free access to it. Just make sure you’re offering just as much in the partnership as the others. Otherwise, things might sour quickly.

Online business is about knowing how to situate yourself and make the best use of what the internet has to offer. Mostly, this means new methods of presenting your services and finding the right people to connect with. A great online presence can have significant real returns with the right effort.

 

Is your website prepared for the worst?

board-1004128_640In the early days of the Internet, the ‘worst-case scenario’ for a website was suffering from a server outage or exceeding its bandwidth limit. But today, the ever-present threat posed by hackers is much more serious, which can have far-reaching consequences for your business.

With the cost of cybercrime projected to reach $2 trillion by 2019, it makes sense for any organisation with an online presence to prepare their website for the worst. But how do you know whether you have ticked all of the right security boxes? Well, you need to have introduced or implemented the following…

The right web host

The first thing you need to address is your web host. If the servers that your site is located on don’t have defiant defences in place, hackers will have complete freedom over its data and documentation. So, look for web hosting services that prioritise security.

Features and technologies that are somewhat essential include SSL certificates, hardware firewalls, two-factor authentication, and protection against DDoS attacks.

Tight access control

In order to access sensitive or confidential information, several hackers will target the administration level of your website, which is easy to infiltrate if unprotected. Along with strong usernames and passwords, you should change the default database prefix to something random and hard to guess.

It is also a good idea to limit the number of login attempts and password resets within a certain time, as cyber criminals may target email accounts as well. Login details shouldn’t be sent over email either in case an unauthorised user has gained access.

Tight network security

Just like the admin level of your website, members of staff may also be inadvertently allowing hackers to access site servers via their own computers. Therefore, it is imperative that passwords are changed frequently, never written down, and contain a strong combination of letters and numbers.

You should also make logins expire after a short period of inactivity and ensure any device plugged into your network is scanned for malware each and every time.

Updated software and systems

Seeing as software updates cost vendors an untold amount of money to develop and release, you should take them seriously. By failing to install an update that was designed to address vulnerabilities in your operating system or web application, you could be leaving the door wide open to hackers.

Don’t assume that one little update won’t make a difference either. Cyber criminals are constantly scanning thousands of websites looking for weaknesses and won’t waste any time telling other online offenders where to strike.

Regular back-ups

Even with these security steps and protective precautions, your website will never be completely impenetrable to an attack. However, preparing for the worst also means having a recovery plan in place, which will ensure your site is up and running again in no time.

Whenever someone creates or saves a file, it should be automatically backed-up in multiple locations both on- and off-site. That way, if a physical hard-drive fails, you can still recover crucial documentation from the cloud.

Key qualities your business’ website needs to have

Any business owner worth listening to knows how important their web presence is. While, at one time, it would have been a happy add-on, now it is essential. Your web presence, for the most part, is your brand image these days. That’s why you need to work hard, from the outset, to ensure that it is solid. The main aspect of your web presence is, clearly enough, your website itself. The truth is, many business owners forget just how important it is. Often, they end up skipping over many of the details. The result of this is that they have a half-finished or half-thought-out site. And that is no good for a business which wants to survive in the modern era. However, all is not lost. There are some key qualities your website needs to have if it is to have the desired effect. To find out what those qualities are, read on.

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It Is Easy To Find

People are, in all honesty, growing more and more impatient with the Internet. This, of course, is a result of increasing demand. As things speed up, we come to take it all for granted. What this means for you and your business is that you need a website which is easy to find. To achieve this, get in there early and find a decent domain name. Your domain name should reflect the business accurately. But that doesn’t mean it has to be your business name word for word. A close approximation is fine, as long as the site itself makes it clear. After that, it is a matter of improving your site’s pagerank. Employ the help of SEO specialists to help you achieve that.

It Is Fit For A Global Audience

It is amazing how many businesses seem to forget about the global nature of the business. Yes, the majority of the information available is in English. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore other cultures altogether. When it comes to designing your website, make it as global-friendly as possible. Use business translation services so that you can offer translated versions of your webpages. Make the content make sense for whoever may be reading it. Try and keep cultural vanities to a minimum. All this helps when you are facing a global audience – which you are.

It Is Easily Navigable

Just as well as being easy to find, it is also important that it is easy to navigate. Nothing is more frustrating than a website with a clunky layout. To achieve this, plan out your site’s layout early on. Make it as simple and straightforward as possible. To keep things simple, include a navigation bar at the side or top of each page. That way, no matter where someone ends up, they can always get back to where they were. Also, consider having your contact details on prominent display on each page. The majority of visitors will be looking for this. Make it easy for them from the outset. After all, this is just another way of offering exemplary customer service.

How to promote your company’s new product

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You’d be amazed by how many companies fail to show off their latest product. Of course, they tell people about it, but they don’t go the extra length to really promote it. As a company, you won’t always be in a situation to enjoy the benefits of having something new to promote. It’s an exciting time, and a chance to gain lots of new custom from buyers and clients alike. If you don’t take advantage now, you’ll be putting the future of your business at risk. So, let’s go through a few ways in which you can promote that brand-new product, getting it into the public eye for relatively little cost.

Word Of Mouth

If you’ve got something to brag about, don’t be afraid to shout about it! This opportunity doesn’t come along every day. Tell people about your business and the new, exciting product that you’ve got in store. Ask your friends to tell their friends about it. Don’t be scared to ask people to pass the word around. There’s no better way to get people talking, especially if it’s a product or service that the general public will be interested in. Get working on those communication skills; you’re going to need them.

Press Releases

Don’t underestimate the importance of sending out press releases. They don’t take much effort at all to put together but reach a huge audience. Seek the assistance of a press release service company that can distribute to a wider range of people. This way, your new product will be seen by thousands of potential clients and customers. Keep your press release to the point and professionally written. You want some high-quality images in there, and a link to a professional produced video wouldn’t go amiss.

Social Media

If you aren’t promoting your new product on social media, what ARE you doing with it? Maybe you haven’t got a social media page set up just yet? Well, it’s definitely time to start. Not only are you missing out on a potential way to promote your business in general, but it’s a great way to generate some hype. Create a post about your new product and how people can obtain it. Tell them what’s so good about it, and why it should be a crucial purchase for them. You could even pay a bit of money to reach a bigger audience with Facebook marketing.

Video

Speaking of video, in today’s digital world, creating one could be of huge benefit to your company. While we’re used to seeing adverts at 3 am in the morning on those home shopper channels, now we’ve got the power at our fingertips to do whatever we want. All you need to create something engaging is some professional equipment and a good idea. Put it on YouTube, emblaze it across your website and promote it on social media. Make sure it looks professional or it could have the exact opposite effect. If it’s quirky enough, you may even find that it goes viral!

Leaflets & Brochures

While word of mouth is a good way of grabbing attention, people normally want some solid material to take away with them. It’s not always easy to remember the name of your product, so having it on a leaflet with some basic facts can be very useful. You can also go round local businesses and homes posting them through the letterbox, or simply giving them out on the street. Always keep some at hand in case the opportunity presents itself to give one out.

Create An App

Woah, don’t get scared now! Creating an app doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. There are plenty of companies out there who are willing to help you with this. Get inventive, and create a new game or puzzle based around your new product. Reward those who can answer questions about your new offering with discounts or something similar. Whatever you can do to draw attention is going to pay off in the long run.

For something as simple as promoting a new product, it’s amazing how many different ways you can go about it. The best companies out there will incorporate as many of these ideas as possible. They’ll also think outside the box, implementing new techniques to get ahead of the competition. At the end of the day, I can’t tell you what will work in your situation. Instead, plan ahead and make informed decisions based on what you believe will bring you success. You’ve put in a lot of work to get to this stage; promote that work effectively.

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