Why start a blog?

Everyone likes the concept of having a blog, but to actually be dedicated enough to continue is the difficult part. What makes the blog worthwhile? The obvious reason is to communicate information to your viewers. Information about your services and the industry you are in are always helpful for clients. What is the best hidden reason to start a blog? That would beef up your Google 0r Bing rankings. When you write blogs and increase your websites informational value search engines will eventually take notice. When a blog is submitted it will be picked up by these engines and eventually allow your website more opportunity to be hit on a search. The only drawback is it isn’t a clear science. It isn’t like if you have over 200 blog entries you are guaranteed to be ranked. The better way to look at it is write topics that people will search on and those particular blogs may be found. It is also good to write blog topics that integrate the main keywords you would like to be searched on. For example if you are Chicago based website design company, it would behoove you to write an article here and there regarding your experiences. Include the words such as “Chicago” and “website” and “design” to your blog so they can also be searched on through the different engines. Another important factor is to try and get links. Links from bigger sites to your website is the best, but I find it is not a bad idea to have links to other sites from your blog articles. Once you got a handful of blogs you can submit your blog articles to various online publications such as ezinearticles.com or goarticles.com. This way you will have articles out there that can lead back to your website. Overall spending a few hours a week on writing a blog can be well worth it in the long...
read more

Website Sponsorship or Paid Ranking using Google Adwords

Paid keyword advertisement is such a foreign world to most business owner, but the basics should definitely be understood by them – so one can determine if they should pursue it further. The main thing to understand about Google Adwords is that it allows you to generate potential customers to your website using targeted keywords. For example if you keywords are “Chicago Dog Grooming” – if you are a paid Adwords business, your website will be seen on the first page for that search.  Does this type of advertisement using targeted keywords work? Absolutely, it is a given that if your site ranks high on Google searches it will be clicked on and it will generate business.  What is the difference between Google Adwords sponsorship and regular search results? The sponsorship comes before the organic search results. It is a slightly different section, but definitely prominent on the top and right side of the results page. The sponsorship has a slightly pale backdrop. Sponsorship ranking is paid for, whereas organic ranking is not paid for.  What is the cost of Adwords? The cost is determined by a bidding process for the particular keywords. For example if hundreds of companies are bidding on the same keyword the cost of it will be higher, but if only a few bid on it the cost will be relatively low. Just to show an example, it might be normal to pay for $10 per click for a set of keywords. This may seem like a lot to someone but if that click means a long term business with that potential client, it may be the best investment you make.  How are Adwords paid out? As mentioned it depends on the number of clicks. If your ad is clicked thousands of times at a rate of $10 per click, your cost may start to escalate. However you can set a budget for your Adword campaign which will limit you whatever cost you are comfortable with. Once that budget is set for the month they will deliver your sponsored advertisement spread out over the month to match your budget. How to get started and see if it is worth while? There is a keyword tool provided by Google that will allow you to determine how many times those keywords you are interested in has been searched on per month. Those are real numbers and can...
read more

Websites Management – A Long Term Consideration

There seems to be always an immediate reason for creating a website. This can fall in the category of getting something up there to appear as an established business or making sure the proper logo and services are displayed online. The thing that is usually not thought through is the long term consideration. Mainly that being the website content management. There can easily be a situation where not much changes are needed except for the occasional updates in personnel or maybe changing a particular product or service that becomes out dated. Sometimes a website can stay the same for years. This blog is written to make a case for a longer view regarding your website. It is critical that the website content be current, but for many businesses their importance is not very high, it is more or less just a necessity that can be checked off and forgotten. One thing that business my not consider is a longer view on trying to rank their website through various search engines. It may not be within days or months but maybe after a year if your website is properly tended to, it can slowly move up the rankings for certain keywords. How do you make this happen? One smart idea would be to start a blog or an online newsletter that you constantly update, perhaps 2 to 3 times a month. This may seem like a lot of work, but just a few hours each month may be all that is needed to slowly move your website into a better ranking position. The secret is to try and use keywords that relate to your business and that you can write various online blogs or articles regarding. For example if your business is based around “dog grooming in Chicago” – try to write various articles about dog grooming. It is important to mention your location and develop useful information that people might search for and find helpful. It may seem crazy to spend your time providing free information, but as long as it allows the traffic to slowly flow towards your website, ultimately website search engines such as Google will reward you with better rankings. Another long game would be to try to syndicate your information to other website that publish and have readership that is larger than yours. Once you have a collection of various topics you have written about,...
read more

Website design and social media footing

Can social media replace traditional search engines when it comes to promoting or getting click-throughs to your website? I think it is a definite possibility with consumer based products or services, but I have more doubts with business to business products or services. When a consumer likes or dislikes a product and they are and active participant in social media, they will definitely relay this information to their friends. Also information that is collected in the social network can be farm properly by companies to display the correct desired products to the end consumer. Both these scenarios seem like logical events where social media can become a dominate player in the chain of making a final purchase. When it comes to B2B or Business to Business, I wonder how this works. Their usually is not a particular person who is on such a social media networks. Also unless it is a very small business, any usage or updates to a social media site would probably require a committee which would probably make the process not viable. Most Chicago business we have worked with see very little need to setup a social media website and in addition have very little resources to do so. These are people that in their private lives are pretty active using Facebook or Twitter, but in relation to their business they see very little reason to participate. Now there are talks of all search engines just going through a social media portal, such as Facebook. For example, some where down the line, instead of getting on to google.com or bing.com you would just get into your Facebook page first to start the search for products or services. In this case I can see the power of social media exploding where the control of Internet can be shifted to a more social media driven experience. The best stance to probably take is to be a ready for change. If there is enough rumbling about social media revolution, it is prudent for any business – especially those that cater to a consumer base to be prepared for the social media tsunami to...
read more

What are the 5 most important things to consider for a website design in Chicago?

1. Chicago business’ website has to be seen The most important purpose for a website is it has to be seen, without being seen it seems to defeat the purpose of even having a website. How do you get seen? You must load up your website with great content and also clearly state your geographical location for example Chicago if you are local Chicago based business. This is done by having text within your website that contains your keywords that relate to your business and also make clear the location of your business. This is an over simplification but the end goal is to be content rich and location centralized. If you complete this goal you are sure to rank better in the keywords you search for. 2. It has to pass the professional website design test The design has to be up to par, a bad or outdated website will give a first impression that may cause potential clients to bypass your website and move onto the next one. Let’s face it if you have 2 websites and one looks better than the other – just aesthetically – it might sound superficial, but the viewer may never bother to read the content. 3. Ability to keep the website fresh The difference between a website that ultimately will work for you and one that will slowly start losing in ranking and relevance is the ability to update and revise your website. A content management website will allow you to constantly update your website with new information that will reap great benefits in the long run, the most important benefit being able to rank better in various search engines such as Google. 4. Make sure website is organized and friendly The basic mechanics and sitemap layout needs to be organized and easy to navigate. Over complicated websites have a few drawbacks: One it can befuddle the viewer to the point of annoyance. Secondly it causes issues with search engines, whereas there can be missing links, or incorrectly structures. Also simple issues like having Flash or not optimizing images may impair the speed and viewing of your website. 5. Website should get to the point Many websites try to be and do too much. We believe it is best to just have a simple message of exactly what you do and leave it at that. The focus will allow you to...
read more