16Apr
0

google-penalty

Google’s rules for successful search engine optimization are always changing. As its webmasters work to keep its searchers happy, that often means taking away a few of the freedoms traditionally enjoyed by those seeking to optimize their websites in the form of a penalty.

Oftentimes, companies don’t realize their website has been hit with a penalty until they see a drastic decrease in rankings or sales. That’s why it’s very important to stay up to date with Google’s policies.

In order to make the most out of your optimization strategy, you must be able to first identify any penalty you may have received, and then take the proper steps to overcome the penalty. To begin with, know the difference between a manual penalty and an algorithmic penalty.

Manual Penalty

The definition of this penalty is suggested in it’s name: A human member of Google’s team will manually reach out to your website to let you know you’ve made an infraction in the way you’re optimizing your website. Generally, they’ll send you a notification through your Google Webmasters Tools account. It’s very important to check this account frequently so you lose as little time as possible in fixing the error.

A team member will reach out to your company to inform you of this infraction, which could be a result of several reasons and the intensity of the penalty will depend on how bad the team member deems the offence.

Oftentimes these penalties involve linking scams, such as the paid links scandal headed by J.C. Penney. They found a way to cheat their way to the top of the page through paid links, and only a manual penalty stopped them from taking other websites’ rightfully earned rankings.

In order to overcome this penalty, you must first make the requested changes to your website, and then submit a reconsideration request that may or may not grant you a full recovery.

Algorithm Penalty

Algorithm penalties are a little more difficult to detect because, as the name suggests, they’re determined by an algorithm rather than a human being. Most people fall victim to an algorithm penalty simply because Google updated their algorithm unbeknownst to their strategists; they don’t notice they’re falling victim to a penalty until the drop in rankings hurts their bottom line.

Algorithm penalties generally fall into two categories: Panda (problems with the content on your website) and Penguin (poor use of keywords and linking). Algorithmic penalties will usually be the result of one or more of the following:

  • Thin, low-quality content

  • Duplicated content

  • Poor usability

  • Lack of credentials within content

  • Over optimization on landing pages

  • Keyword stuffing

  • Spun content

  • Cross-domain linking schemes

  • Excessive anchor-text links

In order to identify and assess which penalty or penalties you’re experiencing and how to correct them, you can use tools provided by Google.

Your return to a clean bill of website health is dependent on your fixing these errors and beginning again with a renewed, rule-abiding optimization strategy.

09Mar
0

If you want to increase your online presence for your business, you will need to employ various marketing techniques to do so. One effective way to get help generate more traffic to your website is by writing blogs. Before tackling this task, it is ideal to know some tips that will help get your content read, rather than neglected.

Tip #1: Be Informative

There is so much content online these days, you will have to set your blogs apart from the others. This means you should only provide quality content that is full of facts for your readers to digest and absorb.

Forget the fluff and fill your blog with facts that can be backed up with specific sources that you provide.

Tip #2: Be Interesting

No one wants to read boring content. It is critical to your marketing success to be a writer who engages the audience. This can be done easily by writing in the active voice and in a conversational manner.

Consider writing as if you were speaking to this individual face-to-face. This will help your readers stay motivated enough to read through the blog.

Tip #3: Keep it Short

People are in a hurry these days and want to get to the information that is needed fast. Regardless, if it’s learning how to change the oil in the car or invest in mutual funds, you need to get to the point.

It is ideal to keep your content around 250-1000 words to avoid losing the interest of the individual reading your blog.

Tip #4: Create Lists

Do you have specific information about how to do something or the requirements that are necessary for certain procedures? If so, you may want to create a list that will allow the reader to quickly scan through the content and find the answers to any questions immediately. Consider using bullet points or numbers when formatting your lists to make it easier to read.

Tip #5: Be Original

When writing your blogs, you should only use original content. This means taking the time to write new ones on a regular basis. This is the only way you can land and keep readers over time.

You may want to write on the latest product addition you have, or any other updates that can make what you have to sell more user friendly and interesting.

Finally, blog writing can be very useful to your website. The key to getting your blogs read will depend on what you write and how you write it. Your success in this area is only a few keystrokes away, so you should consider getting started today to help you gain more clients tomorrow!

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11Oct
0

Responsive design is an umbrella term that means a website is designed to “respond” well no matter what browser or device a person is using. A subcategory of responsive design is mobile readiness, which became a reality in 2014. This means that the majority of people use mobile devices to access the internet, which makes responsive design even more critical. Make sure your website(s) are responding well and mobile ready before the end of the year.

The reality is that responsive design will never be permanent; it will evolve as needs and devices evolve. Looking forward and predicting the future of responsive design can save you time, money and trouble in the long run. Here are some of the best, easiest and cheapest ways to improve your responsive design before the year comes to a close. Tick as many off your list as possible to ensure a prime website.

1. Ditch the flash, bells and whistles

The more accoutrements you have on a website such as mega-sized images, videos, pop-ups and ads, the slower your page load speed. Even one second longer of waiting will have people clicking away from your site. Plus, this can also lower your SEO success rate since it reads as spam and slow sites aren’t in keeping with quality designs.

2. Consider a mobile website version

While responsive design in and of itself should ensure that your site looks great no matter what device it’s being accessed on, it might be easier to have a mobile version created. Your consumers will have an option of going to the mobile version or “regular” version when visiting on a mobile devices. Mobile websites are simpler, cleaner and faster.

3. Think about an app

Does your website need a complementary app? It doesn’t work for every field or every business, but when it works it can really take off. This allows consumers to get the nuggets they need right on their device’s desktop and they can even access it offline. Apps are easier to create than ever, or they can be designed for you at a competitive rate.

4. Embrace neutrality and sans-serif fonts

If you use bright colors and kitschy fonts, your site will be outdated within a year. Instead, stick to classic designs that you can see lasting a lifetime. Responsive design is also about mass appeal, and it’s easy to go off track.

Is your site responding like you want? If not, it’s time to change things up.

14Sep
0

DIYawesome-Domo

Thanks to the Internet, anyone can take on DIY projects that they might not otherwise attempt due to lack of skill or experience. With an abundance of videos, step-by-step articles, and forums, you can get instructions on how to do almost anything. In many cases, you can also order the parts or components you need online. Often, you’ll save money by shopping for your DIY project needs on the Internet. You may also meet others who are project experts that can give you sound advice.

Make Your Own Gifts

You don’t have to be a whiz with a sewing machine or paintbrush to make attractive gifts for others. The Internet is full of Websites that will show you how to make gifts for everyone on your list. They can be as simple as filling a jar with a special mix of goodies or as complex as woodworking projects. By watching videos, looking at pictures, and reading instructions, you can learn to make just about anything for any occasion. Get a jumpstart on gift-giving by searching for the types of projects that interest you.

Perform Minor Repairs or Renovations

Homeowners can save money by performing minor repairs or renovations themselves. Instead of calling a handyman or a contractor for these jobs, consider which ones you might be able to do yourself. Most of the large home improvement stores are staffed with knowledgeable people that can help get you started and show you what you need to buy. Their company Websites also contain videos and information that can help you with a lot of projects. Whether you’re considering painting a room of your home or installing a new commode, you’ll find all the help you need online.

Save Money on Installations

While you can pay someone to install almost anything, there are a variety of things most people can install in their homes. Although there are times when you definitely should let a professional handle the installation, doing it yourself when it is practical can save you a lot of money.

For example, you may be able to install your own home theater system, security system, or flooring. Many people who have never installed floor tile before are able to do a beautiful job after watching a few videos online. The same goes for installing shutters and window treatments. You would do well to stick with a licensed contractor for electrical and plumbing issues, but there are many things around your home you can install yourself.

Become a Gourmet Cook

It is easier than ever to become a gourmet cook these days. With the popularity of television cooking shows and online videos that provide step-by-step instructions, almost anyone can prepare gourmet meals at home. Suppose you just want to learn how to cook on an outdoor grill? You’ll find a wide variety of videos online that will teach you how to cook on almost any kind of grill. If you’re struggling with how to put together an animal or character cake for your child’s birthday, chances are good that you’ll find a video that will show you exactly how to assemble the cake.

 

11Sep
0

suehofman

As wine lovers know, vintage wine matures with time. Some wine varieties reach maturity and “peak flavor” after a couple of years. If given as much as a decade to hibernate, rich, red wines can morph into brilliant tongue-tingling delights.

To help your wine grow to “realize” its top flavor potential, you need to store it. Continue with this article to learn about ways you can store your valuable wines.

Store Your Wine in a Cave

Most caves will do for wine storage. Caves keep out light, which is wine’s mortal enemy. Natural or man-made, wine caves also regulate temperature. Well-built, climate-controlled wine caves give wines the best chance at preservation and flavor-maturity.

Constructed wine caves run large and are typically the domain of wine producers. Private wine collectors are more likely to choose the next option over a cave.

“Cellar” Your Wine

You say you do not have a cave for your wine? As you might imagine, you are not alone! Wine caves are rare, but you can still store your wine below ground and grow its character in a climate-controlled room.

Under the ground, temperatures fluctuate less than above it. This means you can “cellar” your wine in a root cellar or a basement, or you can construct a cellar built specifically for storing wine.

If your comfort zone does not include cellar carpentry, find a company that specializes in wine-cellar design and construction.

Turn A Room in Your Home into a Wine Cellar

You do not need to embark on a major construction project to acquire adequate wine storage. Consider instead, a “wine room” that fits inside an existing room in your home. Most wine rooms cost less than adding a cellar onto a structure. According to Vintage Cellars, consumers can easily assemble a wine room without expert assistance.

Have You Heard of “Wine Furniture”?

Another way to think of a wine room is as a large cabinet that holds wine. In fact, furniture manufacturers make a variety of climate-controlled wine cabinets. This wine storage option has a foothold in the marketplace and comes in a range of sizes. Most private wine collectors can find a cabinet size that fits their collection.

In addition to cabinets, “wine furniture” also includes credenzas with incorporated wine refrigerators.

Dig a Hole

The most low-tech method of wine storage is to dig a hole. Though unrefined, storing wine in a hole can certainly keep it cool, especially when the hole resides in a full-time shaded area.

Only use the “dig a wine hole” method to store wine while you gather the resources and knowledge necessary to build or acquire another wine storage option. Investing in wines, even if just for the flavor experience, also requires an investment in the way you store it.

Now that you have read about storing your wine to help it mature, you can pop a cork, pour, a glass and consider which of the above storage options you will choose for your wine collection.

Cheers!

28Aug
0

divorce2

Dissolving a marriage is sometimes the best option for a family, but this does not make the process easy. Spouses can greatly disagree on child custody, alimony and dividing property, and settling a divorce in court can be time-consuming, messy and expensive. Partners who can make choices together and want to avoid the court process have other options at the end of a marriage.

Uncontested Divorce

When both parties agree about getting a divorce, the couple can make arrangements outside of a courtroom with an uncontested divorce. Both partners need to agree about issues like parenting time, spousal support and asset division. The couple must provide the state with proper documentation, and couples complete a consent decree that must comply with all statutes in a state and be drafted and filed correctly. Couples usually still need a lawyer when filing for an uncontested divorce because the documentation process can be complicated.

Collaborative Divorce

While this process is similar to an uncontested divorce, a collaborative divorce uses guidelines designed to keep communication open between spouses and help couples come up with solutions that will benefit the entire family. Each person in a couple must share all pertinent information with the other and form joint goals, and either party might work with an expert in fields like finance or child development to ensure a party is prepared for certain tasks after the divorce.

The final part of a collaborative divorce involves both partners using a separate attorney, and both attorneys agree to avoid litigation. Having separate lawyers makes sense to make sure each party has fair representation, but there is some worry that this method puts the focus on creating a settlement without litigating. Trying to force a resolution to wrap up the process could mean that both parties do not have an agreement in their best interests.

Mediation

Mediation shares some traits with the collaborative divorce approach because both parties must exercise full disclosure and focus on creating a plan for ending a marriage. Both parties work with one mediator who listens to each client and helps foster open communication. A mediator can help a couple develop skills for making decisions after the marriage is over, and this is useful when a couple must interact and make decisions together because of children. Both parties have control in this process while the mediator can intervene to facilitate conversation and solve disputes, and the mediator can also prepare the necessary paperwork for a divorce that the couple must approve.

When thinking about how to handle the end of a marriage, spouses must consider their situation and the needs of their family. There are benefits to divorcing without a court process, but a couple must be willing to work together and agree that divorce is the best option. Those who do want to use an alternative to the courts can have control over important decisions about their future and work to come up with a beneficial arrangement for everyone involved.

21Aug
0

If you can do pretty much anything online, why are you still leaving the house? It’s true: The internet is a dream come true for agoraphobics and those who prefer their own company to that of others. Of course it’s healthy to go out and be social, but at the same time why should you leave the house if you don’t have to? Plus, you get good karma points by lightening your carbon footprint, saving money on things like gas or public transportation and you can save the most precious commodity of all online: Time.

Sure, you might have a job that doesn’t offer a virtual environment, but you’re probably still leaving the house for unnecessary reasons. If you want to maximize your time and save money to boot, check out these things many people don’t realize they can do online:

1. See a doctor

There are certainly instance where a virtual check-in (even with video) isn’t going to work for your medical needs. However, for many routine check-ins or even a virtual session with a psychologist, it’s just as effective to do it online. Plus, with lower overhead your bills might even be lower if you’re paying out of pocket. If you have insurance, many reputable online doctors might be in your network.

2. Deal with the drycleaners

Check out your local drycleaners and you’ll likely find one that doesn’t just pick up and deliver, but lets you choose the dates and schedule online. That means no more scrambling for parking, leaving the house just to get your suit cleaned, or otherwise wasting precious time.

3. Taking the kids to school

You already know an online degree is a great option for adults, but did you know virtual schools are becoming more common for kids, too? With overcrowded schools, cyber bullying and classmates who are at different levels, many kids benefit from taking online courses. Just make sure they still get plenty of socialization, too.

4. Getting pampered

Who has time to drive across town to the salon? There are mobile salons gaining in popularity, and you can schedule one to stop by your house by making an online appointment. These are more common in major metros.

From scheduling online package pickups to scouring the internet for the perfect gift, you can do virtually anything online. It’s easy, you can find more affordable options, and you maximize the hours in the day.

01Aug
0

Earth-Security-icon

It is a well-known fact that private information on the internet is not necessarily secure. Data continually travels from one location to another via computers and a series of network links. This vulnerability allows hackers and scammers to intercept, collect, change and reuse information daily. Whether operating a blogging website or an online business, users must keep up with potential hazards and implement safety precautions.

Viral Invasions

Viruses cause a number of disruptions in computers, programs and networks, and hackers can easily create them. Some malicious attacks rewrite codes that make programs unusable. Others are designed to damage or destroy existing data. The attacks are meant to alter or steal information or damage a system to the point that it can no longer function. While most internet users install anti-virus software, experts also recommend backing up and updating websites regularly to prevent damage from possible intrusions.

Database Attacks

Hackers gain access to websites in a variety of ways. One of these is known in computer tech circles as the SQL injection. This type of intrusion occurs when a hacker finds a code vulnerability on a server. Whether you are blogging for fun or running a professional online business, a server intrusion provides access to your site. Once inside, the attacker collects log-in information and other valuable data stored in the server. In this case, you might enter your site and find unfamiliar postings, altered data or missing information. The chances of a website falling to a malicious invasion largely depend on the services used to maintain it.

Website Mistakes

Before choosing a hosting company, ensure that the organization makes continual updates and offers client services in the event that hacking should occur. If you are running your website on a budget, security may not be at the top of your priority list. In addition to host providers, consider using hosted web services. Web service providers have the means to protect the interests of all who make use of their sites. If determined to construct an independent site, avoid cheap hosting providers. These companies notoriously host numerous sites on one server. In the event of an invasion or a server crash, the small businesses using it greatly suffer.

Bot Invasions

Bots and web crawlers may provide site owners and web servers with an abundance of helpful analyses. However, when in the wrong hands, these tools serve no one but the hacker. Once a computer or server becomes infested with a bot code, the attacker has access to information using keylogging or screen-capture programs. Passwords and other private information become available for the taking. Hackers might send spam, initiate denial-of-service attacks or inject other types of malware. Online business owners using pay-per-click advertisement campaigns may become the hapless victims of outlandish expenses as malicious software causes click fraud. Regardless of the type of website you are running, it is important to ensure that it remains safe for you and everyone else. It is a good idea to use proper coding, anti-malware/virus software and other precautionary measures.

23Jul
0

onlinemarketing

With so many companies turning to online marketing to reach new customers, it seems like many businesses forgot about the importance of offline marketing. While many people now shop and search for information while on the go from their smartphones, tablets and laptop computers, there are still offline marketing techniques that can help you gain more business. Before letting yourself focus solely on online marketing, think about how offline marketing can help you.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing includes some off the wall, unique and unusual forms of marketing. The rock band Nine Inch Nails skipped online marketing for one of its recent albums in favor of leaving small drives with the album attached in various locations for fans to find. The Duct Tape Marketing blog recommends leaving sticky notes behind, using chalk on sidewalks and placing business cards in random locations. According to this site, you can use banner stands of different sizes and leave those banners placed around your city to get more traffic.

Use Your Car

According to marketing blogger Brian Carey, vehicle wraps can work just as effectively as direct mail campaigns, launching a social networking page or creating an email newsletter. Carey points out that while a vehicle wrap can cost up to $3,000 upfront, once installed on your car, those wraps can last for up to five years. You can add your logo, company name, address or phone number to the wrap, and some companies will even let you completely design the wrap based on a design of your choosing. Everywhere you go, people will see your company name on display. If you run your own business, you can even write off a portion of the cost of your vehicle wrap on your taxes.

Combine Online and Offline Marketing

In today’s modern world, it’s nearly impossible for a business to succeed without some form of online marketing. Blogger Mark Krenn recommends combing online and offline marketing to drive more business to your company. Offering mobile check-in is one of the easiest ways to reach new customers. Those customers can use their smartphones to check in when they stop into your business, write a review on Yelp and even share a status update on Facebook. Krenn also suggests offering digital rewards and using hashtags.

Hashtags are small identifying comments that you place at the end of Facebook updates, tweets on Twitter and other social networking posts. When users search for that same hashtag, your post comes up in the search results. Digital rewards let you thank customers for shopping with you. You can give customers a digital coupon when they check in or treat them to an email discount for registering an email account with your company.

It sometimes seems like online marketing might take over the world. You see email newsletter offers, digital coupons and store apps everywhere you turn, but online marketing alone won’t help your business succeed. Using some simple offline marketing techniques and using some techniques that work with your online marketing will help you reach more customers.

20Jul
0

writing

As a web content writer, it’s not just about how good you are putting words on paper; it’s also about your search engine optimization (SEO) prowess. While not all web content writing jobs will require SEO or LSEO, the high paying ones will. It’s not easy to organically and naturally place keywords within content, especially when it seems like the phrases just aren’t a match for the requested article, which is why SEO writers get paid the big bucks. However, some of those old school writing hacks are actually great fodder for mastering SEO.

Whether you’re a trained writer with an advanced degree in creative writing or you’ve just always had a knack for it, the true test is whether you can succeed in writing content rich in SEO. You might be charged with creating brand new content for a website re-design, but the client is adamant that their SEO ranking stays the same (at worst) or improves (at best). If that seems like a daunting task, or you simply want to up your game, consider these “basic” writing tips that are SEO gold.

1. Read it out loud

Sometimes what seems natural to you (such as putting in a keyword like “endangered panda” into an article about auto manufacturing) just doesn’t read “right.” Always read your end product aloud to make sure the flow in on target. This is one of the easiest ways to spot red flags.

2. Have someone else read it

If you’re lucky, you have a partner or roommate you can bribe into reading your articles for you. Don’t highlight the SEO keywords or phrases, and simply ask them if anything seems out of place. If they can spot it, so will your editor and readers.

3. Put it to bed

When you’re struggling with a piece of writing, it’s always best to put it to bed (assuming there are no looming deadlines) and tackle it fresh in the morning. It’s amazing what a few hours away from a piece can help you see, and you might make your job a lot easier in the process.

4. Less is more

Some writers are really good at writing fluff, and that can be tempting when you’re facing a certain word count. However, this comes down to quality vs. quantity. If you do a bit more research, include a few more quotes or otherwise just try a little harder, it’ll show (and it’ll also appear in terms of your pay rate).

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