Monday, August 9, 2010

Does Your Business Need A Website?

There are many reasons why your business no matter what it may be needs a website. Think about it this way, it will not have a negative effect only a positive towards your business.

Having your own domain ( online establishes credibility for your company. Having this domain can give you the freedom to have people know about your business on places such as the Yellow Pages. Being listed on the Yellow Pages could sky rocket your business being as more and more people like shopping from home.

On your site you have the freedom to put whatever you want. Your store hours or even a map to the store helping a Consumer and maybe even saving time from a few phone calls a day.

Consumers like to get the best buy and will research over the internet where they would like to buy. Why not be on the internet with your own site so you can have the chance to be in the running for selling to that person.

Website is never closed and always open. This lets any consumer find out information about your business 24/7. You could be selling products while you sleep, how great is that? Even if they arenĂ¢€™t decided on buying from your business at least now they will know the store hours and location for when they would like to come in.

Continue Reading Here: Niagara Web Design

Sunday, August 8, 2010

13 Things You Should Know About On Page SEO

1. Keyword in domain name: The most critical factor in getting the sites ranked in competitive niches is having the keyword in the domain name. Most of the times in less competitive niches you can rank well easily if you have the keyword in your domain name, even when you have very little content.
Hyphens in a domain name is not a great option . Pick the main keyword followed by something like review, scam, works, users etc.
So if the keyword was fat loss you would have something like fatloss
2. Keyword in title: this is one of the most critical on page factors. Including the keyword in the title is the primary on page factors. Almost every search engine JS insane amount of importance to this so make sure that you include your main keyword in your title tag.
3. Keyword in description: the description should include your keyword. What I like to do personally is to include the keyword first followed by a hyphen and then give the description. Try to squeeze in your keyword twice if possible.
4. Keyword density: the keyword density should be between 5 to 20%. It depends from niche niche but in most niches 5 to 20% is acceptable. Anything over 20% and your sites will never rank in the search engines. Search engines today are smart.
5. Main keyword density of 1% in top third of the page: this is a factor that most people miss out. Make sure that the keyword is included at least one percent in the top third of your article. So if you article is hundred words and has three paragraphs, then your keyword should appear at least once in first paragraph.
6. At least one heading in the page: you should also have one heading in your article. Make sure that you include your Main title in the H1 tag and that will solve the problem. This is an easy but often overlooked factor of on page optimization.
7. Total number of words in the article should be greater than 500: your articles should have at least 500 words for maximum search engine benefits. Most think that 250 word articles are enough but for maximum search engine optimization benefit you need an article that has at least 500 words.
8. Number of words in description should be greater than 20: I’m sure that most of you must have never heard of this factor but still would have been able to get away with it because most of our descriptions are anyway more than 20 words. Keep this in mind because even this is a factor that in get you rank high in the search engines than your competitors.
9. Include an image: search engines, especially Google, loves media. If you include videos, images, audio etc. Google will love you. I find including image is the easiest so I include a lot of images, at least one with each article to get the Google LOVE.
10. Alt tag of the image: including your keyword in the alt tags of your image is very important and should never be overlooked. Most of the people never even think of this factor but I have personally experienced a boost in the search engine rankings of my sites when I included an image with my keyword as the alternate text.
It is a way of telling Google that the image that you have included on your page is relevant to the search query.
11. Internal link structure: your internal pages should link to each other.Try and squeeze on at least two links in the article body to other pages on my blog/website. You can use WordPress plug-ins for this if you use WordPress. One of the plug-ins  is KB linker.
12. External links: you should include links to high PR websites on your blog. I personally linked to a Wikipedia page that is related to my niche . Include links to high PR websites even in the article body.
13. Number of tags: the number of tags should be greater than five.

Source: Niagara Search Engine Optimization

The Basics Of Search Engine Optimization

1. Create good content

You want to rank well in Google, but you need to ask yourself: why should you rank well? It’s more obvious why you want to rank well; you want more visitors, you want to spread the word on something that is important to you, you want to change the world, or maybe you just want to sell something, facing strong online competition. But why should you rank well? In the eyes of Google and others, you’re just another webmaster – but search engines first and foremost cater to the searcher. So you better make sure you deserve to be ranking well in Google for whatever it is you deliver to the searcher. Only if you do can you move on to steps 2 and 3. Here’s how:
  • Search engines mainly understand text. So you need to make sure you create interesting, in-depth content in the form of text. It won’t hurt to include Flash animations, videos, or lots of images – but it also won’t help the search engine. A good test of whether your text can be seen in search engines is to open the source of your page (right click your site and choose “view source”, or however your browser calls it) and then check if that text appears.
  • There’s a huge variety of search queries that may later on lead to your site. You better give up early on trying to optimize your content for each of those search terms. A more realistic strategy is to have lots of content on your site. If you sell dog supplies, well then write about dogs, dog food, dog coats, dog coats fashion, tips on putting on dog shoes, and throw in an article or two about dog breeding during Renaissance Italy (and then translate all those articles into as many languages as you can).
  • Let’s say you sell dog supplies, but your competitor does the same, and she also has lots of content on her site. There’s only one thing that will help you: you need not only to have lots of content, but you need to have original content. Create that special feed-the-dog game on your website. Show off interactive charts on the evolution of dogs. Provide a wallpaper download area for dog lovers. You get the idea – do something original no one else thought of. Being unique means that visitors have a reason to come to your site instead of your competitor’s site.
  • Creating lots of original content is almost the easy part. What’s much harder, and there’s no short-cut, is to become an authority in your field. It’s possible you already are – great, then I suggest you share your expert knowledge freely with the world. People will like your site more if they get the best tips from you, ideally, those that make a change in their life, however small (maybe you are showing them a more effective way to do something, or you answered one of their questions). If, on the other hand, you’re not already an expert in a given field, I suggest you start a blog – a knowledge and news journal for which you need to research an hour or so every day, learning while writing. Just wait half a year, and you’ll be an expert in you blog’s topic.

2. Make your content accessible

We’re now leaving the field of your expertise – dog supplies, or whatever it is you’re doing! – and move on to the technical part of making your content accessible. This part is technical simply because when search engines access your website, they won’t be seeing things the same way human visitors will. Instead of pictures and text, a search engine bot will see stuff like HTML tags, page titles, links, headers, and lots and lots of words. HTML is no rocket science, but you can also get many things wrong, so if you don’t want to tackle it yourself get someone who will; just make sure a couple of points are respected:
  • Every page should ideally be doing one thing only (and that one thing well). If you have a page where you sell dog coats, then it should have a header that reads “dog coats” along with a dog coat photo, your dog coat articles for sale, and a description of just what a dog coat is. Furthermore, there should be a (limited) set of links on that page leading to related areas of your site, like a page where all dog supplies are found, a page that describes your company (handing out contact info like your company address and your email address), a page leading back to your homepage, and so on.
  • Every page title should be unique to your site, and accurately & briefly describe your page’s content. If you sell a blue dog coat on the page, then your page title needs to be anything from “Blue Dog Coat” to “Buy a Blue Dog Coat at”, but it ought not be “” or “ coats shoes fashion outdoor indoor dogs cats buy for sale”.
  • Use proper markup, with tags like


    (headers), (paragraphs), (links) and so on, and make sure it validates as HTML4 Strict or XHTML1 Strict by checking with the “officials”. There’s a multitude of ways to display a header – using an embedded Flash animation, for example – and there’s a multitude ways of displaying links – using dropdown combo-boxes, or JavaScript, to name just two – but steer clear from any of that. Keep the HTML simple, and use JavaScript, Frames, or any of that only where you absolutely must, and use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to deliver a page layout.
  • Make each page rest on a simple, stable, and quick-loading place. For example, don’t move your pages to different URLs all the time, don’t create redirects, and don’t use overlong, complicated URLs. Simple & stable pages invite others to bookmark your pages or link to them, and it allows search engines like Google to assign a “trust” value to your page. If your page is about red dog coats, its URL should consequently be something like “” or “”.

Following these points takes a bit of trial and error, sometimes. But you don’t need to get it all right at once. Ideally, set-up a CMS (Content Management System) of some kind where you, or your developer, exercise full and direct control over tweaking templates and such. As a litmus test: if adding a new product or article, or adjusting the global headline size, or replacing the footer on all pages turns out to be a major headache, you know you’ve chosen the wrong system.

3. Tell others about your content

There once was a time when people could add lots of keywords to their page to optimize it for search engines. Today’s search engines – luckily for searchers – aren’t that easily fooled. Instead of looking at your site, Google and others mostly look at other sites to determine your site’s trust… specifically by checking the other site’s links to you. And the more trusted your site is, the higher it ranks for a variety of search queries. So how do you get others to link to you? Well, you already got great content (point 1 above), and you made it very accessible so it’s easy to link to (point 2 above). Now what’s left is to get the word out so others may feel inspired to link to you; not out of pity, not because you promise a link in return, and not because you paid them, but because they consider a page of yours just right for their visitors. So…
  • Get involved offline! Go to conferences, trade shows, and every other place where people might be interested to get to know about your website.
  • Get involved online! Sign-up for mailing list of your site’s topic, participate in newsgroups and web forums of your topic, look for online directories (like the Open Directory) dealing with sites like yours, contact webmasters and bloggers who maintain sites in your topic area. But don’t just get involved to promote your site, as such selfishness is deemed “spam”. Instead, take time to help others… for example, you may want to offer another site to write an article for them. Just pasting your URL everywhere you go is littering the online world – and you may end up being permanently kicked out of the places in which you littered.
  • Get involved everywhere else! Maybe there’s a TV show which discusses websites? Well, it won’t hurt if you drop them an email, introducing them to your site. Be creative in finding people that might be happy to hear about your site, be it a newspaper, radio show, magazine, and what-not. To get a mention in any of these places, it always helps if you do something wacky (run across the football field naked, your site’s name printed on your back) or otherwise noteworthy (write a book, dressed or naked, whichever you prefer). To stick with the topic of dog supplies, you might want to train your dog to bark the name of your web site, and then upload the whole thing to a video sharing site like YouTube.
  • If you got some money to spare, buy ads on search engines, like Google AdWords. While they’re never as effective as ranking well in the real search result, they can help get the word out while your site is still in its infancy.

What, there’s more?

OK, if you did all of the above – if you created good, accessible content, that starts to become widely known – you can take a break for a while. And then get back to continue to grow your site. But don’t worry about Google results for the first couple of months, in fact, don’t worry about Google results at all. Your site might not appear in search engines in the beginning, and maybe once it does, your competition will rank higher than you… but these things take time. (Don’t forget to ask yourself not why you want to rank higher, but why you ought to – and if your competitor is a large, well-known, well-working and trusted site maybe it deserves to be ranked higher than you.)
What you can do, though, after a couple of months, is to supervise your site and check what kind of search queries people entered to find you. To do so, get a web statistics program like Google Analytics. They’ll ask you to insert some tracking code into your website, and after some days you’ll be able to check which of your pages are the most successful, and which receive the most traffic from searchers. Using this data you can fine-tune your approaches for the future.
For example, when you find out that searchers just love your dog shoes fashion tips, then maybe you can create some dog coats fashion tips as well, and add a visible link to “buy dog shoes” from your dog shoes fashion tips page.
As another example, maybe a large group of people everyday finds your site searching for blue dog coats, but the page they end up on only sells blue dog shoes and red dog coats – in other words, you’re getting the wrong kind of traffic due to a “misunderstanding.” But maybe you do offer those blue dog coats somewhere else on your site, so having learned about this misunderstanding, you can now add a link to this page from the place where people accidentally arrive at.
Of course, once the search engine optimization basics are all done, you can dive deeper into the topic and read more search blog news, or hire a search engine optimization consultant. However, be careful, as some of the advanced tactics you’ll read up on are known to backfire… as may hiring the wrong SEO consultant. Here’s a quick checklist of “optimization” approaches you should avoid:
  • Don’t stuff too many keywords into places where they don’t belong
  • Don’t optimize for search engines at the cost of human visitors; if someone told you adding a dash to the domain name helps your rankings, but you feel that dash might confuse your customers, then don’t add it
  • Don’t trust people who promise you “instant #1 rankings”, “guaranteed top 10 positions” or anything of the sort
  • Don’t link to others from your site just because they promised a link back to you
  • Don’t link to others just because they paid you, unless you know exactly what you’re doing (i.e. you know about “bad neighborhoods,” the “nofollow” attribute, PageRank, JavaScript-ads vs text links, what it means to get googleaxed and so on)
  • Don’t create multiple pages with exactly the same content
  • Don’t “litter” your URL on other people’s sites (and don’t let others people “litter” URLs on your site; if you have a web forum, keep it spam-free)
  • Don’t invest in a cheap server that won’t be able to cope with your traffic; don’t build your whole site on free website tools only – if you want to have a high-quality site & server, you need to pay for it
  • Don’t worry about a page’s meta descriptions, meta keywords and such; your time is better spent creating content
  • Don’t use tools that automatically submit your site’s URL to directories, search engines and such
  • Don’t present different content to search engines than you present to users; for example, don’t hide your text to visitors and show it to search engines
  • Don’t “over-optimize”; relax, if search engines required webmasters to heavily optimize, they’d be doing a very bad job
  • In general, don’t try to outsmart search engines (unless perhaps you intend to dedicate your life to that task); those maintaining search engines are paid to outsmart webmaster tricks, so in the long run, chances for successful tricks are low
With all that in mind… good luck!

Source: Niagara Web Design