Having good fresh content for your site is vital for keeping people coming back to your site and to make your site relevant. Google gets this pretty well. So know they have Google Web Elements. Essentially web elements lets you take different content from Google and display it on your site.
Since Google excels at search, I decided to see how difficult it would be to integrate Web Elements into a page at Educyber.com. Our Social Media Marketing Page hasn’t been updated in more than a month so at the Web Elements home page I clicked on News. Choose the size I wanted typed in Social Media in the Create one field, copied the code, pasted it into www.educyber.com/web/educyber-social-media-marketing.php, uploaded it and “Ta Dah” I was done. (Go ahead and check it out – scroll to the bottom of the page)
Now I don’t really like this kind of integration because if anyone clicks the link that Google displays, they go away from my site and off to someone else’s. That can’t be good for business, can it?
But there are some useful features that can work for your site. For example, you can embed a Google Calendar onto your site. So, say for example you hold regular events, meetings or seminars. You can create a Google Calendar, make it public and then pull your calendar onto whichever page(s) on your site you want.
Or if you have a powerpoint presentation that would be beneficial to share with your web visitors, choose Presentations, upload your presentation (or link to someone else’s), then copy the code and paste into your web page – Presto! You have a web presentation.
All in all, Web Elements is a useful application – one of those “Why didn’t I think of this?” kind of tools that can help you engage your web visitors.
No, this is not about the Denver Nuggets (though they’re looking good this year). One of the nicest things about following blogs and social media is the way in which you can find useful nuggets of information. Starting out my year I have been catching up on some tweets (not using Twitter yet? – you should check it out) and some blogs and I came across these useful nuggets just today:
- A friend sent me a link to 56 of the best tips for growing a small business on a budget. I thought “56”? I don’t have time for 56! But I opened the list and scanned down it and number 12 caught my eye. Basically he says you can either increase number of clients, increase average sale price or increase number of purchases per client. And most people spend all their time on the first which often has the smallest impact on your bottom line. So look at how you can increase the average sale price or increase the number of purchases per client.
- I’ve been following Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound, for quite awhile now. Joan is the queen of helping people get noticed by the media. Again, not everything that comes from her pen or keyboard relates directly to me but I do get great ideas on how I can help my clients get noticed. As an Internet marketing firm, we promote our clients on the Internet and Joan Stewart excels at using tools like Twitter and Facebook to get the word out to targeted audiences such as actual reporters. One recent post was about Lynn Terry who wrote a report on how to sell information products without a web site. We of course don’t recommend that – we can build the site for you – but it was thought provoking anyway.
So is surfing the net a mindless endeavor or a business-building activity? I say it’s great for business if you do it with a purpose.
If you are contemplating boosting traffic to your web site and therefore sales in your business, the first question you need to ask yourself is whether you should use organic search or pay per click.
First let’s define the terms. Pay Per Click (PPC) is an advertising campaign where you pay the search engine (such as Google – their PPC is called AdWords) to show your ads when people search for key words. Organic Search is where you either do the work or pay a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company to get you ranked high in Google’s non-paid listings.
There are THREE key differences between PPC and Organic Search:
- In a PPC Campaign, you can create a campaign and be getting results quite literally within minutes. At Google it can be as simple as creating an account (1 – 2 minutes), creating a campaign (and giving your credit card information) in 2 – 3 minutes and then monitoring as you start to get click thrus to your web site. An organic campaign, on the other hand, takes more preparation as you make changes to pages throughout your web site and the results take longer as well. Depending on the site and the content, results can take as long as several weeks.
- One of the reasons an SEO campaign takes more work is because you don’t have control over which page the search engine will link to so you have to make sure all of your pages are both optimized and linked in such a way that people can get to the page they want even if they click a search engine link that takes them to a page you didn’t intend them to go to. With a PPC campaign, you get to tell the search engine EXACTLY what page to link to so you can just focus on that one page and focus on the marketing content of that page.
- The third key difference is that, according to SEOmoz, people searching on the Internet are 8.5 times more likely to click on an organic search listing than on a paid ad.
Some of the trade-offs then are between SEO which over the long term is likely to have a bigger pay off vs. a paid search campaign which can have an immediate impact on your bottom line and having a very focused ad in paid search vs. needing to continually focus on the whole web site in organic search.
Tough times got you worried? Is the recession sending you into a depression? I’ve been asked quite a bit lately about how what EduCyber does can help a company through tough times.
This is undoubtedly one of the unique times when smart business owners will position their web site to capture market share and solidify their position so that when the recovery takes off, they’re in a position to benefit. So what can you do? First take a good hard look at your web site. What is working? Do you have a strong call to action on each page? Have you updated it lately? Does it look fresh?
Take some time to go through your site yourself. If you’ve had your site for a year or more, there will undoubtedly be pages that you haven’t looked at in awhile. Make sure that any old data is removed and that you have current information about your products and services.
Then you are ready to start. Search rules. Get your site ranked for your key words now and keep them there. Doing that will pay benefits far into the future. If you carefully define the key words that you wish target, you might find that it is not as difficult as you might believe to get ranked.
Visit Google’s webmaster tools to learn how to do it yourself or contact EduCyber if you’d like assistance to start your new year at the top of the search engines. In fact you can come to our seminar on December 11th to learn how to “Start your (search) engines”.
Putting a newsletter into email is easy. Reaching people that want to be reached by you is so easy it feels thrilling! Really it does! Give it a try. Here are five reasons you should try it if you aren’t already:
- Low cost distribution: Sending out a hard copy newsletter can cost anywhere from $0.42 to $10.00 depending on how much work and postage you put into it. An email can be sent for nothing or next to nothing.
- Less focus on formatting: Instead of having to make the content fit the available space, you can just focus on writing good content.
- Ease of distribution: You don’t have to spend time folding and stuffing envelopes nor do you have to lick stamps and take it to the post office. Simply click send when it looks right and off it goes.
- Easy to post to your web site: Once you’ve taken the time to write good content, you should always post it on your web site so the Search Engines can index your content. In the same way you should always archive your newsletters on your site to keep that good content available.
- Easy to link your newsletter to your web site. For most folks, getting people to visit their web site is their goal. If someone visits the web site, they are more likely to make a purchase so why not put the first three paragraphs of your nine paragraph article in the newsletter with a Continue Reading link that goes to your web site?
So get off your backside and start writing. And start getting permission from people to send them your newsletter.
Search engines from Google to Accona (yes, there’s a search engine called Accona) to Yahoo like to look at the URLs on your site. So you should pay attention to what is happening with your URLs. But let’s start at the beginning. What is a URL (sometimes pronounced U – R – L and sometimes pronounced like the name Earl)?
www.educyber.com/edunotes-blog/index.php is a URL. It is what appears at the top of your web browser when you are on a web site. www.educyber.com/edunotes-blog is another URL from our site. One thing to note is that for most sites, either index.htm or index.php will be a default page that shows up if you don’t type a file name. So www.educyber.com/edunotes-blog/ is the same as www.educyber.com/edunotes-blog/index.php.
So now that we know what a URL is, let’s take a look at how it can help you. As mentioned above, index.htm or index.php will be a default page that you need to have. After that you can name a page anything you want. You do NOT want to name a page index2.php or indexb.php. That tells you nothing at all about the content of your page.
Telling the search engines and your web site visitors about the content of the page helps them to understand what they will find on the page. This information is much more useful to the search engines than to visitors but then you’re more likely to get visitors if the search engines understand you.
Now let’s take another look at the EduCyber site for an example of what I’m talking about. Our navigation bar has a link that says Web Site Design. If you click that link, you go to this page: www.educyber.com/web/design.php. Notice that you’re in a folder called WEB and on a page called DESIGN.PHP. Those two pieces of information help search engines understand that is what the page is called.
As a final example, take a look at the URL in your browser as you read this blog. The last part of it reads /search-engines-and-urls/ which is also the title of this post. That helps to tell the search engines what this blog post is all about.
The moral of the story is to use meaningful file names and paths when you create web pages and web sites.