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10 Steps to Improving your Website (SEO Stuff)

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) requires a lot of time to research and implement.  Add to that the making of  your page  iPhone and  iPad friendly, plus maintaining a presence on all the social networks out there, you may not be up to speed with all the nuances of what it takes to maximize your business exposure.

The list below courtesy Website Magazine [1]  will give you a quick look at some of the mistakes you may be making –  and offer a few ideas of what you may want to try to help boost your website’s traffic – as well as increase  your business profit.

1.   Take advantage of using the local listing information service offered by Google, Bing and Yahoo. (Not the same as the Directories.)  This gives pertinent information about your brick-and-mortar store(s) as well as providing a link to your website.  If you have more than one location, make sure each store has its own separate local listing.

2.  Offer customer testimonials either on a dedicated page or  one of the website pages, i.e., home page, squeeze page or product page.  Future clients and customers like to know what others think about your business.

3.   Don’t abuse keywords.  Choose good keywords as well as using some long-tail keywords (LTK).  The LTK give you a chance to include specific search strings such as, ‘what is the best  Chinese restaurant in Dallas’.   In this case, ‘Chinese restaurant’ would be replaced with your product, and ‘Dallas’ with your city.  Reminder:  Don’t stuff keywords.  They should be used naturally at a level of around 2 percent.

4.  Not fun – but necessary so don’t skip it.  Competitive analysis should be used to find good keywords with your reviewing the top 10 competitors in your field.  A link to help out with this is http://webmeup.com/tools/backlinks/html  or you can use Google Analytics.

5.   Content – content – content …. can’t say it enough.  But it should be fresh content as it seems everyone is looking for something.  Fresh, accurate content that is documented will be appreciated.

6.  Don’t overlook  the power of images.   Use images as a means to introduce keywords.  For example, you might name your image for your Chinese restaurant in Dallas –  LeesChineseRestaurantDallasTexas.jpg. Says it all.    And don’t forget to use the Alt= portion of the image code as a means to insert additional search information.  Remember this is what the visitor will see if they are unable to view the images or have them turned off.

Samples:

Poor:   ”

Better:   ”Lee’s

7.  Be consistent when providing location and phone information on your pages.  Using different addresses, phone numbers (office, mobile, order department, etc.) on the pages  or an inconsistent presentation can be confusing.   This can not only impact your search engine ranking but also confuse your visitors.  In the samples below,  a potential client might wonder why the phone number in the second listing would show Houston phone number for a restaurant in Dallas  . . . even if it is the owner/manager’s mobile number is registered in Houston but he will still answer all the calls in Dallas.

leesrestaurant

8.  Optimize your pages to load FAST.  Check with Kissmetrics.com for help with this.  Also, make your pages easy to navigate.  If your visitors have to search around to find links to your websites information, services and  content – they are going to  leave and go elsewhere.

9.  Have you made sure your visitors can get in touch with you if they want?  Include contact information on all your pages.  Don’t want to talk to people?  Then set up an email link or  contact form they can fill in to get in touch with you.  People like to know who they are dealing with.  And, then when you receive a contact message. . . . ANSWER IT.  People are not comfortable dealing with a business that doesn’t respond.

10.  The next recommendations for improvement are pretty much self explanatory:

  • Make your site(s) mobile friendly
  • Take advantage of the social media platforms
  • Use Videos to showcase your business and sell your products
  • Be consistent in what you do  – stick to a schedule and keep information current.
  • Stick with it – it may take up to a year for you to realize benefits and an increase in ranking from these measures.  But,  if you don’t get started,  you’re likely to not seen any improvement in your website traffic or sales ever.

To read the complete article with associated graphic, links, etc., visit this link

[1]  http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2014/03/25/21-local-seo-mistakes-you-didn-t-know-you-were-making.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

3 Ways to Increase Online Sales

Find your online sales slumping due to a sluggish economy?

wpshoppingcartConverting sales online can be challenging especially since you can’t see the prospective buyer ‘eye-to-eye’ to close the deal nor can you answer any questions or concerns he might have about the product.

And while there are no guarantees, there is one thing you can do that might just help you increase sales.  That is to associate a sense of urgency about  the item(s) you are selling. [1]   This same type of urgency should be associated with any and all marketing channels you have available including:

  • Direct website sales (main home  page and any category home pages)
  • Email  (mailing lists, personal communications & weekly/monthly newsletters)
  • All social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Offline (brick & mortar store sales)

There are basically three (3) approaches to use when implying urgency.  We’ll take a brief look at each one below.

Limited Offer

We’ve all seen limited offer sales in the stores and online, particularly around holiday time or for a special event, i.e., Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, etc.  These can be event specific or time specific.  In other words, the sale can be for a weekend – Memorial Day Weekend Sale, or it can be time specific – Special 24-Hour Sale.  Each one of these implies a set time to take advantage of a product.

A ‘limited offer’ can also be used to offer a reduced price on an item – or Free Shipping.  After the ‘limited offer’ expires – the price  goes back up and/or shipping charges are added back in.

Limited Inventory

This phrase can be used to create urgency by letting shoppers know there is a limited number of items available or  there are only a few of a popular item left in stock.

When using this method, the copy/graphics should include a reference to the fact that the shopper should take immediate action or miss out on.  Some good catch phrases to use might be:

  • Limited quantities available
  • While supply lasts
  • Only 5 items left in stock (where the number is the quantity of items left)
Order Now Bonus

In addition to getting a really good price, shoppers like to get something for free.  Offering a bonus – either real or digital –  is a good way to accomplish this.  This is a particularly effective method when selling digital products.

Another approach to the ‘Bonus’ method would be to offer something for Free if the shopper buys a set amount, i.e., $50.00.  This bonus doesn’t have to be an item but might simply  be Free Shipping, upgraded shipping  or a nice discount (50%) on their next purchase.

Conclusion

Regardless of the method you use to imply urgency, the same approach should be targeted in both copy and design so that the promotion  is not  missed by the  visitors.  Information and graphics should be very specific as to the following: abovethefold

  • Type of sale with appropriate details (depending on which one of the 3 methods you are using)
  • End date  (day and/or time – there are JAVA Script countdown clocks that can be used for a visual  aid)
  • Location of copy/graphics – above the fold just like the newspaper headlines

 Shopping Carts

Looking for a good shopping cart to use on the Internet?  Depending on how you plan on selling – website or blog; one or multiple products – there are some good programs ready to go.  All you have to do is install, set-up and add the inventory.

There are different shopping carts for both websites and Word Press blogs.  Some to consider are:

For Websites

  • Zen Cart
  • Open Cart

 For Blogs

  • Word Press eStore
  • Word Press Simple PayPal Shopping Cart

If you plan on using a shopping cart on a blog, we recommend that you search the Plug-ins offered through Word Press  and select an ‘e-cart’  with a high rating (4-5 stars).  Read the reviews to see what others have to say.  And,  look for one that not only has the features you need but also is easy to use.

To Your Success !!

[1]   http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2014/02/17/3-ways-merchants-can-create-a-sense-of-urgency.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

Windows: 64-bit vs. 32-bit

Had someone call me the other day. They had purchased a new 64-bit computer (their old computer was a 32-bit). This presented a conflict in that their new computer could not see some of their old files nor were they able to print using their old printer. The operating systems did not mesh.

32bit64bit

The difference between a 32bit and a 64 bit refers to the way the computer’s processor handles the information.

Looking for the following information and answers to FAQ’s such as . . .

  • How can I tell if my computer is running a 32-bit or a 64-bit version of Windows?
  • Which version of Windows 7 should I install: 32-bit or 64-bit?
  • How do I tell if my computer can run a 64-b8t version of Windows?
  • Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or from a 64-b8t version of Windows 7 to a 32-bit version of Windows?
  • Can I run 32-b8t programs on a 64-bit computer?
  • Can I run 64-bit programs on a 32-bit computer?
  • How can I find programs and devices that work with the 64-bit version of Windows 7?
  • If I’m running a 64-bit version of Windows, do I need 64-bit drivers for my devices?

. . . then you may want to check out the page at  this link. You’ll find all the answers there.

 What could they do other than buy new programs and equipment? Since they did not want to purchase a new printer or new programs was there a way to use their 32 bit applications on the new 64 bit computer? Yes there is . . . but be prepared to do a little work.

Rather than take you through the steps to make this work, you can visit the link below for detailed instructions on how to make this happen.

Link:  http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/how-windows7-vista64-support-32bit-applications.htm

Might add that this site offers a lot of other types of  help, free downloads and security information. It was recommended to me and I think you’ll find it of interest.  Visit the home page at http://www.techsupportalert.com/

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