You wouldn’t believe how many free resources are available that offer suggestions on how to improve your business’s website and online presence. Even if your website just recently launched, chances are there are areas for improvement, especially if you aren’t utilizing a search engine optimization (SEO) service.
For those business owners who are looking for any type of edge over their competition, we’ve put together a list of some of the most useful free Google tools available to improve your website and, in turn, your placement in the search engines. We encourage you to use these on your own website today!
One of the most popular websites in the world, YouTube, is one of the web’s greatest ways to consume content. YouTube boasts over 1 billion users and has an average viewing session of 40 minutes on mobile devices, so you can clearly understand why video content is so important in today’s market.
Adding a video to your website has numerous benefits not only for your brand and your message, but for your website’s ranking capabilities as well. Whether you’re a small startup looking to get in front of more customers or a Fortune 500 company looking to improve the bottom line, videos are a great way to invest in your business.
We often hear discussions about making English the official language of all government business in the United States. Maybe we should also think about making plain, understandable English the official language of business websites and all business writing.
Businesses frequently write in jargon that’s specific to their industries, and if they’re selling to a general audience, that’s not good for sales. If I can’t understand your website’s writing, I won’t know how you can improve my life, so I probably won’t call you. With that in mind, take a look at this copy from a website and see if you know how the business will improve your life:
Unleash your team by releasing them from all the administrative functions that technology can now provide. We specialize in technology integration solutions in very large enterprise applications or small custom web solutions including the web design & dvelopment*, SDLC, process redesigns, contact center technologies, digital commerce, and social media.
*Yes, the “e” is missing on the website.
Huh? Even after reading this several times, I don’t have a clear understanding of what the business does. I can figure out the first sentence, although “performs” would be a more appropriate verb than “provides”. That second sentence, however, is a real mystery, and a writer who assumes that I know what SDLC means certainly doesn’t know me.
You have heard about someone offering free (as in beer) website certificates (aka SSL certificates) for your website. Whoever told you this was not lying. It’s actually quite true! With the revelations regarding shady dealings with intelligence agencies, law enforcement, ISP and black-hat crackers (i.e., your “cyber-thieves”), there’s been an industry-wide push to secure communications. Letsencrypt.org was founded to help address some of the issues in the web industry that led to the widespread failure of website owners and operators in obtaining secure certificates.
HTTPS/SSL in a nutshell
The average website you visit is typically accessed over HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol). Accessing a site over HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) is a different process from HTTP. Accessing a site over HTTP makes your traffic visible to everyone on the network. Using tools like WireShark, if you were to park yourself at the point where your network meets the internet, you’d be able to see all the traffic (URLs, content, form data) of people on your network. This is how people perform Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks. In a MITM attack, someone sits on the connection between two networks and just eavesdrops on the data going back and forth. Also, by being in the middle of the communication stream, the attacker could modify the contents going back and forth, sending you malicious data and changing what you are transmitting to the server.
With more and more website visits coming from mobile devices, speed becomes a vital piece of your website’s efficiency, even more so than with a desktop computer. Google has recognized this need for speed as mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches, and mobile usage continues to grow at a rapid rate.
That’s why popularity is building for a new web technology known as Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP HTML. Google announced the new initiative back in early October and has championed it heavily as we close out 2015 and head into 2016.
Google has recognized this fact as mobile searches surpassed desktop searches, and mobile usage continues to grow at a rapid rate. With more and more visits coming from mobile devices, speed becomes a vital piece of your website even more so than with a desktop computer.
The growing use of mobile devices led Google to implement changes to their algorithm on April 21st, 2015 to use mobile-friendliness criteria as a ranking signal, and those who’ve made their website a positive experience for mobile visitors were awarded a “mobile-friendly” label in the search results. Bing followed shortly afterwards with their own “mobile-friendly” label, and this focus on mobile for both major search engines remains true today.
Christmas is coming, and Christmas means gifts. People will be giving, and people will be receiving. Recently, I was discussing gift-giving etiquette with some business colleagues, and it turned out to be an interesting exchange, particularly when the conversation turned to the proper etiquette of receiving a gift.
Because of the hyper-sensitive attitudes of many people these days, one business owner asked how she can be sure that she won’t offend anyone with a gift that she gives. I said that my belief is that the person who should be concerned with not offending anyone is the person who receives the gift. It is, after all, a gift, and no one gives something with the intention of offending a person.
When transferring a website from one host to another or putting a brand new website live, there’s one step that tends to confuse people. It’s called DNS which stands for Domain Name System. Explaining how DNS works can be a little complicated, but the concept by itself is fairly easy to understand.
For a website to be accessible on the internet a few things need to happen. The website files need to be hosted on a file server somewhere, usually accessed via FTP. The files then need to be accessed by means of a Domain Name which is the URL or address you type into your browser to get to that website. Google.com is a domain name, for example, as is sharpinnovations.com. But how exactly are these domain names linked to the servers that are hosting the website files? That’s where DNS comes in.
The DNS is essentially an address book for domain names that your computer uses to convert a URL that is easy to remember to an IP address, which tells the computer where to go to access a particular website. Think of it like a latitude and longitude of a business taken from the street address. 3113 Main Street is much easier to remember than the latitude and longitude. The URL you type in, such as sharpinnovations.com, is the easy-to-remember street address. The DNS then tells the browser the exact place to go to access that website.
A request for a quick project turnaround is not unusual for clients who are in the process of building a new website. The excitement and anticipation of a website that is more user-friendly, aesthetically appealing, and new can create a desire to push the web design process along at a record pace.
How can you achieve the quickest turn-around on your new website project? We wanted to offer a few tips we’ve found helpful over the years that we’ve gathered since we started back in 1999. Keeping these tips in mind will ensure there are no speed-bumps in the process, and will keep the project moving along as quickly as possible.
If you are actively involved in your website’s marketing, you likely understand that there is no one method that will cover everything. In order to successfully market your website or brand you need a mix of services that might include search engine optimization (SEO), social media and blog management, paid advertisements, and email marketing. Just like your offline advertising, certain online advertising methods work best depending on your target audience and their preferences or needs.
The good news is there are some proven tactics you can follow, no matter what industry you are in or who your client base may be. We’ve gathered a list of four of our favorite ways to enhance your online presence by complementing the marketing strategies above, and we encourage you to get started on them today.
When did you last update your blog? If your answer is along the lines of, “I think it was 2013, but it may have been 2012,” then it’s time for you to do something about your blog, and we’ll give you two good choices of what that something should be.
First, you can simply take down your blog. That’s not the ideal choice because blogging is an excellent marketing tool and a good way to keep your clients updated on all the exciting new ways in which you can help them improve their lives. It also can help improve your search rankings as fresh content helps your website keep up to date, and adding quality content can enhance your website’s user experience.