Small Buisness Web Sites


Cyber safety in Today’s Online World

May 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Blogs No Comments »

Most people who spend time online today are aware of the threats and dangers of losing their identity or becoming victims of fraud. They have heard the terms such as “phishing” and “smishing” that did not exist a decade ago. We all keep our doors and windows locked to prevent thieves from entering. We have to employ similar techniques to ensuring that our cyber safety is also not compromised. Leaving your computer and online accounts exposed is an invitation to cyber criminals to take advantage.

The reality is that cyber safety has become an increasingly problematic issue for anyone who spends time online, even if it is just to send emails. Online banking, social sites, etc are all candidates that are constantly under attack.

Tips for Cyber safety in Today’s Online World

Choose powerful passwords. Use multiple passwords on different sites, change them frequently and use ones that include a mix of upper case and lower case letters, special characters if allowed and numbers.

Avoid Phishing Attempts. Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for confidential information. Your bank will never send you an email to request information. Neither will the government. If in doubt, delete the email and call your bank directly etc.

Beware of the phish. Do not click on a link in an email, call a phone number, wire money or take any requested action, unless you first verify that a request is legitimate. Even emails sent to you by friends, family and associates should be suspect.

Minimize sharing on social media. Avoid including personal information online, on social networking sites and in emails.

Be cautious of public Wi-Fi. Use public Wi-Fi for browsing only. Avoid doing your banking online etc over unprotected Wi-Fi systems.

Personal information Privacy. Laptop and phone screens can easily be seen by the person sitting beside you.  Your side of a phone conversation can be heard by everyone around you and speakerphone conversations are heard by everyone.

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Why Small Businesses Must Invest in a Blog

December 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Blogs No Comments »

why small businesses must invest in a blogThis post is about why small businesses must invest in a blog. The primary benefit for Business to have a blog and website is to drive more sales to your company. It is particularly important if you have an online company that depends on traffic over the Internet to drive sales.

For example a company with a blog will get more search traffic and build a more loyal audience. Your website ranking will improve and you’ll have a higher level of engagement via social media which many people are embracing. It is important to build an online brand with useful content for your readers and customers. Loyal readers will generate more leads and you will be able to convert these leads into paying customers. Finally your blog is a media channel that advertises your business, your services and products which will give you long-term results.

Why Small Businesses Must Invest in a Blog – Key Steps

  • Choose the right platform
  • Location
  • Define the objective
  • Blog posting strategy
  • Create a checklist for blogging
  • Create a promotional strategy

Details

Choose the right platform – A content management system like WordPress makes your job easier in the blogging world. It is optimize for search engines, there are many themes and plug-ins to provide various functionality that you may need. It is important to also have your own domain name that represent your business. You can build your firms authority in the business area that you represent.

Location – attach your blog to your existing domain name as a sub folder. This provides flexibility and allows you to actually run several blogs if that makes sense for your business, each in its own sub folder.

Define the objective – it is always important to know what the objective is for your blog. You can measure results against the objective and determine the value of the investment that you are making. Objectives could include building awareness about your product and services, building more subscribers, presenting your expertise in your business area and developing your blog as a source of qualified leads.

Blog posting strategy – each blog post should have it’s own objectives and strategy. You might be announcing new services or products. Your company could also be providing information on frequently asked questions by customers. You should establish a schedule for each post and a schedule for keeping those post up-to-date as your business changes and products and services are updated. A blog without any new posts on a regular basis will not attract readers and customers.

Create a checklist for blogging – here’s a general checklist for blogging however it should be customized for each company in the objective set for the company.

  • Every post must add value of unique for the reader.
  • Each post should be a minimum of 300 words and deliver a specific message to address readers needs. Some posts will be as long as 1000 to 2000 words based on the subject.
  • Add appropriate images to add color and to contribute to the subject.
  • Add links to other post on your blog that relate to the subject you’re discussing.
  • Insert share buttons that allow readers to share a link to your post on Twitter, Facebook and other social media engines.

Create a promotional strategy

Developing a blog is step one in your promotional strategy. You need to think about sharing links to your blog from other social media engines. Add social share buttons to each post. Build email distribution lists and newsletters. Develop your promotional strategy based on what makes sense for your business.

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Nurture SEO and Blog Content Relationships

December 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Blogs No Comments »

Nurture SEO and Blog Content RelationshipsIf you are writing strictly for SEO purposes i.e. the search engines, then you are most likely missing out on actual customer  contact relationships. If you write strictly for your customers, there is a really good chance they will never see the content because the search engines will not refer them to your pages. The message we want to pass along is that writers and bloggers as well as web site owners is that they need to nurture SEO and blog content relationships to enable the best of both worlds. Writing blogs is really meant to provide your customers with information using keywords that they typically would search for if they were looking for products or services that you provide. Blogging every day or at a minimum weekly will increase traffic to your site as well as sales from added contacts with customers. For this reason alone, blogging must be part of your marketing strategy along with traditional marketing activities.

Nurture SEO and Blog Content Relationships

Here are ten steps to nurture SEO and blog content relationships to achieve the balance that makes most sense for your business:

  • Develop your marketing program with blogging as one of the tools
  • Establish writing standards that meet SEO guidelines
  • Create a list of keywords with a solid query volume for your industry
  • Develop a writing schedule at least 2 months in advance that is reasonable and meets your needs
  • Determine the number of writers and editors you need and hire them part time or full time as needed
  • Create the pages with SEO in mind
  • Create internal links within your blog
  • Add social sharing links for your users
  • Cross promote related posts
  • Develop a marketing plan to promote posts using email and social channels

If you are able to achieve the above, then your website will have a much better chance at competing with others to bring customers to your website and your business.

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Promoting Blog Posts

September 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Blogs No Comments »

Promoting Blog PostsAs the picture to the left indicates, content is king, but even if you have really fantastic content, you still need to consider promoting blog posts to increase traffic and sell whatever products you have available on your web site. For this post we will assume that you have done all of the good things regarding creating your post in terms of well written content, original content and you solve a readers problem or answer his or her question. You have also addressed all of the SEO requirements to ensure that the search engines will index your blog post well. But there is more to ensuring that you maximize your traffic – promoting blog posts!

Promoting Blog Posts – How Do I do That

The best way to promote your blog posts really depends on the type of web site that you have and the products you are selling. There are lots of traditional methods of promotion as well as the online approaches to help promoting blog posts.

Traditional Ways of Promoting Blog Posts

These include placing your web sites URL on your business cards, all of your stationary, including invoices, advertising in traditional print, TV and radio venues. There are lots to choose from and they cost money so you will need to manage your budget well.

Online Methods of Promoting Blog Posts

Posting to Twitter, Facebook and other online social media areas that are related to your business interests is a good start. Submitting your URL to Reddit, Stumbleupon and other online news venues is also needed. Most are free, but some you will need to pay for as well. Google Adwords for example is one way of taking advantage of online advertising, although you must pay for each click. The more opportunities you have for your readers to become aware of your web site and your blog posts, the better the chance of them actually reading your posts!

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Promote Your Blog Posts

September 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Blogs 1 Comment »

Promote Your Blog PostsBlog posts need to have great content that answer readers questions. They must be unique from other content that can be found on similar web sites. They must also be SEO compliant to ensure that the search engines rank them well. Finally you need to have a great catch phrase.  Even though your on the first page of the search results, the reader may select some other post. They may go to another title because it has a great sounding title that is closer to what the reader is looking for. If you have done all of these things you may feel that your ready to move on to other activities. However there is another major step that many bloggers forget and that is promoting your blog posts.

Promote Your Blog Posts – How

There are many ways to promote your blog posts. However not all will apply to your blog, so choose them with the audience in mind that your after and also your budget. Some are free while others will cost something and you may not have all that much money to spend until your blog really gets going.

For example Google offers their adwords product which costs something every time a reader clicks on one of their ads. The amount depends on the competition and how much you have budgeted for each click. Others are free and you merely have to submit the URL of your blog post to the site in order to be listed and ranked. Sites such as Reddit, Twitter, Facebook etc can be used as part of the social media experience. These are methods of getting your post out to the people who follow you on social media.

Advertising on your business card, your invoicing and any other correspondence that you may routinely circulate are also good ways of getting your blog noticed. LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Scoop.it, Yahoo answers, etc  should also be included. There are other ways to get your blog noticed and more people coming to your site. Make sure you have buttons to easily allow them to share your site and posts to their social media contacts. Twitter, Facebook, etc. all have buttons that can easily be added.

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Web Blog Sites

January 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Blogs No Comments »

Web Blog SitesBloggers for many years got a bad rap due to the poor material that was included in blogs and the inability to follow much of the information. There were much innocuous ranting and rambling of ideas and thoughts and frankly no one really gave them much attention other than like minded people. Today search engines have de-indexed these sites due to poor content. You do not want your site to fall into this category. Make sure you have a content management system and provide quality original content that is interesting to your readers along with many other ranking factors that you may be considering.

Web Blog Sites – Content Management Systems

Blogs are moving into the main stream now that really high quality content management systems such as WordPress are available that help communications and marketing managers manage the content, add feature and content rich material without having to understand much about what is going on in the back ground. Although it helps you really do not need to understand HTML any longer to use a WordPress content management system. Now you can focus on what really counts and that is the actual content that will entice your prospective customers to contact you and / or to place their orders.

Excellent presentation, easy to use widgets and themes  that add a great deal of functionality and professionalism to the content management system that allows small business owners to craft their own web site and personalize it as well. Add logo’s, banners, images and videos to your site to truly enhance the web site and interest the customer.

Once Your Site is Set Up with Hosting and WordPress

Company owners and semi IT professionals can update and maintain content once it is set up on a hosting site with a content management system. In fact we can install WordPress for you, install the theme you prefer along with various widgets and even some of the initial pages. Then you are ready to go with your own content being added as time permits and services or products are updated.

Some owners will create pages and posts that represent their latest suite of services and products. They will also use the services of a marketing writer to help them add content that represents their company in the best possible way while being SEO optimized as well.

SEO optimization is what brings potential clients to your site when they are searching for services or products that you may provide.

Let us help you with your hosting and initial web blog design. We have a variety of options that are flexible and aimed at making sure that the web blog site you set up will be beneficial to your company and also enhance sales and service at your company. Call or email us today for more information.

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Content Creation Techniques

December 15th, 2013 ernie Posted in Blogs No Comments »

Content Creation TechniquesOne of the questions that many people ask is how do we know what content to add to a blog or to a website? In addition they want to know what happens when you have writers block and cannot find anything specific to write about? This situation actually happens to many people from time to time including our own writers. There are techniques to help you always have something to write about and keep the creative juices flowing so to speak. When you are able to write, write many posts and schedule them to launch in the future. This is one way to help you get over those periods when you do experience writers block.

We can came across an article that talked about 20 different techniques that can be utilized in terms of creating content when someone has what’s is called writers block. We decided to use these 20 items and put our own spin on these items based on our experience that we have had in terms of creating content for our websites as well as for customers websites. The objective is to create content that is useful and meaningful for the reader based on the context of the customers website. As you’re reading these 20 items try to think of them in the perspective of the content that you would need to have created for your website and for your customers. Remember to place the important stuff up front in the article.

Content Creation Techniques

Here’s our list:

1. Update outdated content – regularly review your older pages and update them with more current information.

2. Write about items in the news that pertains to your industry – always read the current news especially anything in your own industry

3. Develop a list of tips about your products – readers will find this information particularly useful

4. Interview a friendly client or customer

5. Write a case study about your product or service

6. Join group industry groups

7. Monitor Industry publications – look for ideas and perspectives that were not covered in the publication that can be discussed on your own site

8. Look for News and Magazine Article Titles – for the same reason as above.

9. What is hot on Twitter and FaceBook – you may also want to have your own social media program as well

10. Customer Testimonials

11. Ask colleagues for ideas

12. Compare products and services

13. Publish expert material about solutions your products provide

14. Write a how-to article for the do it yourself handyman

15. Share some history about your company, people, products etc

16. Solutions: Before and After that cover typical situations that your customers run into

17. Make a checklist for your customers

18. Add a definitions page

19. Add a resources page where customers can find more information about your products, services and your company

20. Publish statistics about your products, improvements etc

We provide inexpensive hosting and content management systems to help your company with your website and blog. If you need information or would like some help please give us a call or send us an e-mail with your contact information. Our phone and email is at the top of the page. Many of our customers ask for help in setting up a web site and then proceed to develop their own content.

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