Categories: Design
Tips for Running a Simple Ecommerce Website

Thinking about selling online?

Not sure why you’re existing ecommerce site isn’t bringing in sales?

Here are a few tips for how to set your online shop up to compete with local, regional and international brands.

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Categories: Design,Social Media
3 Reasons Why a Facebook Shop Also Needs a Website

The trend is for people to just set up a business Facebook Shop and start selling, but their website is getting lost in the shuffle. Either there isn’t one, or if there is – it’s being neglected.

Are you depending on Facebook to make all the magic happen?

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why businesses need to have a website along with a Facebook Shop.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
5 Image SEO Tips to Increase Organic Traffic

Visual marketing has become an important bridge to connect with those seeking what you’re offering.

Why Has Visual Search Become So Popular?

  • Has become essential in most digital shopping experiences, and is especially important for e-commerce Brands.
  • Many people don’t know what they want but “will know” when they see it. Some know what they want, but don’t know what it’s called.
  • Is a growing opportunity with the potential to push significant organic traffic and conversions.
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Categories: Design,Marketing
Customer Loyalty Tips

Most seasoned shoppers have their own mental list of go-to places they buy from.

Where and why we repeat shop from a particular company usually falls under a handful of reasons:

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Convenience
  • Customer Service
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Categories: Design,Marketing
How Search Pulses Can Generate Business Sales

Depending on resources and budget, many businesses don’t commit to systematic market research to determine what current and potential customers need, want, and are actually buying.

A good portion of business owners operate on a “if I like it, everyone will buy it” mentality - and that’s just not how to turn profits or grow a business.

Smart business owners will stay on top of what people are looking for, then diversify to meet current demand.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
Tips to Increase Your Online Sales

We’ve got a few proven tips that help to increase website sales.

Let’s see how many you already use!

TIP: Display Trust Icons on the Checkout Webpage

With so many questionable vendors online, it’s more important than ever to build trust with potential buyers with their first visit to your website. On your checkout page, briefly describe your site’s security measures. Include a link to the full Security disclosure.

Display a Certified Trust badge (sometimes referred to as a Seal). Trust badges most often indicate security features are in place to keep credit card information and personal information safe.  When you’ve shopped online you’ve seen icons for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which indicates encryption of certain information sent over the web.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
Is Your Website Optimized for Voice Search?

More and more people are making use of mobile personal assistants (voice technology) such as Bixby, Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.

Voice Search is becoming more prevalent because a voice query is much faster than typing words, and the results are returned rapidly.

Businesses need to focus on Voice Search to make sure they’re not left out of search results.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
5 Ways to Improve Your Google Ranking

You want your website to rank well in Google. But how can you improve yours Google Ranking? From Keyword Research and Page Optimization to Paid Search Ads and Social Media. Check these five ways to improve your website and improve your Google Ranking.

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Categories: Design,Social Media
Float to the Top with these Tips for Better Business Local Search Results

There’s huge competition for Businesses to rank well for organic Local search results. Here are a few Tips to follow that will help your Business rank higher.

Make Your Blog / Website Content Relate to Local Search

Your goal is to create Web and Social content with a Local twist!

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Categories: Design,Marketing
Is Your Business Compliant with the CCPA New Law?

We’re here to help you better understand this new law and how it may apply to your Business.

The CCPA, which  is short for the California Consumer Privacy Act, is a law designed to enhance privacy rights for consumers in California and to encourage transparency regarding how businesses collect and use personal information. Businesses subject to the CCPA are expected to be in compliance with the law by January 1, 2020.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
Let’s Analyze SEO vs SEM? … Download Our SEO vs SEM Helpsheet

As an Internet Marketer, you see the terms SEO and SEM all over the internet. Many of you may not be sure  exactly what these terms mean, let alone what the difference is between the two.

Let’s Delve Deeper:

What is SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing)?

SEO is referred to as Organic search results.

SEM is referred to as Paid search results.

Historically SEO has been regarded as an integral piece of SEM enveloping both Organic and Paid strategies.

However today - the term SEM is used when speaking exclusively about Paid search. The term SEO is regarded as the process of capturing website traffic from natural search results which are free and Organic.

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Categories: Design,Email Marketing,Marketing
How a Magic Landing Page is Like the Perfect Cheesecake

People Will Click for that First Bite!!!

While the term "Landing Page" gets thrown around a lot in online Marketing, not all that many people really understand what it means - much less how it differs from a website or homepage, or even why Landing Pages are necessary.

Many website owners have no idea what a Landing Page is, so if you’re not familiar with the term, don’t feel alone. At the very least - everyone needs a custom Landing Page for list Sign-ups, Social media posts and product/service campaigns.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
Is Your Business Floating or Treading Water??… 5 quick questions - see if you know the answers!

If you don’t know the answers to all of the questions below - you may need to refine your Business online marketing strategy.

#1:  How Do New Customers Find Your Business Online?

#2:  How Do You Build Relationships with New and Existing Customers?

#3:  How Do You Get Customers to Come Back and Make Repeat Purchases Again and Again?

#4:  How Do You Encourage Existing Customers to Share Your Business with Friends and Connections?

#5:  How Do You Evaluate Your Business Success and Make Smarter Choices?

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Categories: Design
Google Stops Support of NoIndex Directive in Robots.txt File

On September 1, Google officially ends support for the "noindex" directive within the robots.txt file.

You'll want to:

  • Identify if your site is using the "noindex" in the "robots.txt" file.
  • If it is, you'll want to switch over to another method to control crawling of specific webpages.
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Categories: Design
Tips for Getting Rid of Garbage Website Traffic

You most likely spend a lot of time doing all the right things to promote your website, but if you're receiving low or no quality traffic to your site, then your site statistics will be skewed – making it difficult to determine if your hard work is paying off.

Check out this tutorial on "How to Block Sites that Contribute to Misrepresenting Website Statistics Using the Awstats Tool within Your Control Panel (CPanel)".

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Categories: Design,Marketing
4 Tips for Creating a Strong Online Brand Identity

How strategic have you been in defining your online Brand identity?

If you're a company without competitors - then everyone will buy from you because there’s no other choices. However, a company without competitors is virtually non-existent.

There are so many businesses competing for the same customers, it's imperative to make your Brand unique, relatable and trustworthy.

Many times small businesses overlook the important factor of separating themselves from the crowd. Strengthen and separate your Brand from the crowd by kicking up your Brand identity a notch with these helpful tips.

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Categories: Design,Mobile
What are Image Thumbnails in Google Mobile Search Results?

Google began displaying Mobile Image Thumbnails back in 2016 but they appeared infrequently. Now it's 2019 and over 45% of mobile search results will show an Image Thumbnail.

When a person types a search term into the Google browser on a mobile device, an Image Thumbnail may appear in the organic search results next to a Description text snippet, along with the Title and URL.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
7 Tips for Business Webpages

A website is your primary business marketing tool, yet some people don't develop their site to it's fullest potential - and then wonder why their bounce rate is so high, why they aren't making sales, etc, etc.

Often times, business website owners spend their time focusing on areas that ultimately won't pay off if their website is lacking. Social Media, Instagram, YouTube and other platforms can drive visitors to your site, but once people get there, if they feel let down - they won't explore the site long enough to make a purchase.

While there are the rudimentary webpages and elements all sites should have such as good navigation, quality content, great photos, purposeful logo and tagline, etc, - there are ways to enhance basic pages so the website performs better overall.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
How Many Domain Names Does One Business Need?

Many business owners feel registering one domain name is sufficient. However, there are many reasons why multiple Domain Names using several different extensions should be registered for one business.

The primary reason is to Protect Your Brand!

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Categories: Design,Email Marketing,Marketing,Social Media
Tips for Creating Irresistible Headlines

Whether you're creating a Headline introducing a new product, running a sales or Adwords campaign, posting to social media, writing an article or organizing a newsletter - the Headline is the magnet that initiates the click.

People will not take the time to read anything you've written/posted unless the Headline is intriguing to them. You want people to feel they have no choice but to satisfy their curiosity and read further.

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Categories: Design
How to Compress Image Files

Reasons You Should Compress Your Image Files

Optimize Website:

Websites with uncompressed images most often have a longer load time. Slow page load speed affects SEO and search result placement. Site visitors will click away when they have to wait too long for a page to load.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
Tips for Optimizing Your Business on Google Maps

What Is Google Maps Marketing?

Google Maps marketing is utilizing Google Map functions to allow your business to be found easily by those performing a search.

Big businesses are expected to be found immediately on Google Maps, but small businesses can leverage Google Maps to their benefit with strategic optimization for both search result positioning and visibility.

As a small to mid size business owner – your goal is to push for the highest placement possible within local business Google Map results, as well as on related search engine result pages.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
3 Free Online Brand Reputation Monitoring Tools

Everyone’s jumped on the “Brand Reputation” bandwagon the past few years … and with good reason.

It’s important to know what people are saying about your business, products and services.

  • Is someone using unauthorized images of your products on their website?
  • Is someone bad-mouthing you and your company?
  • Is someone using your photo on social media without your knowledge?
  • Has someone left a negative review?
  • Has a Blogger mentioned you in their post?

Wouldn’t it be nice to receive alerts each time your Brand name is being searched or mentioned?

Fee based subscription Reputation monitoring tools are useful and sometimes absolutely necessary to protect your Brand. If you don’t subscribe to a monitoring service yet – you may want to try out these Free monitoring tools.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
1 Easy Backlink Marketing Method Google Won’t Penalize You For

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks are any link on or in a website page pointing (linking) to your website.

Back in the day, link exchanges were a common way to build backlinks to and from websites. People started building site highways and interconnecting them with hundreds, and in some cases – thousands - of reciprocal links that lead to Google dropping the proverbial hammer.

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Categories: Design
How to Link/Unlink Google Analytics and Adwords

Linking Adwords to Analytics allows you to see metrics such as pages per visit, percentage of new visits, average visit duration, and bounce rate - all within the AdWords interface.

You'll discover which keywords generate visits and the length of time spent on those visits. If people are spending ten seconds on a page, and others are spending three minutes on another page - then it's a flag indicating you'll want to adjust either your keyword(s) or the landing page.

Linking Adwords to Analytics will give you insights for re-allocation of your marketing budget based on conversion and performance metrics.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
Will Chrome Mark Your Website as Unsecure?

Google is trying to make sure that the web sites you visit are secure. That’s why in July, their Chrome browser (version 68) will start marking sites without an SSL (security certificate) as Not Secure. To make sure the 75% of web users who use Chrome don’t see your site as Not Secure, you need to buy and install a security certificate. Just email support@hostingct.com for assistance.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
Tips for Conversion Rate Optimization

What is a Conversion Rate?

Most commonly, the conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors.

Example:
An e-commerce website logs 400 visitors per month and has 100 sales – the Conversion Rate would be 25%.
(100 divided by 400 = 25).

A conversion can refer to any specific action you want the visitor to take, and can include clicking a button, making a purchase or becoming a repeat customer.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

In internet marketing, conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. It is commonly referred to as CRO. (Wikipedia definition)

Increasing your conversion rate increases overall profits for a business, so it’s crucial to optimize.

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Categories: Design,Social Media
Cheatsheet - Twitter Image Sizes as of November 2017

Awful images vs great images can be the difference between getting viewer attention, and being totally ignored.

Bringing attention to you and/or your brand is why you post on social media - so make your images work for you by making sure they're optimized using correct dimension and resolution criteria for each platform.

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Categories: Design,Marketing,Social Media
Cheatsheet - Facebook Image Sizes

Awful images vs great images can be the difference between getting viewer attention, and being totally ignored.

Bringing attention to you and/or your brand is why you post on social media - so make your images work for you by making sure they're optimized using correct dimension and resolution criteria for each platform.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
How to Submit a Sitemap

A Sitemap is a file containing a list of all your website's pages.

The Sitemap provides search engines with information about your site's pages, and can improve the ease for search engines to crawl and index. A Sitemap should be submitted each time you publish new changes to any page on your site you want indexed.

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Categories: Design
How SSL Affects SEO

Google has always been a strong advocate in protecting user personal information. It wasn't a surprise when they announced in 2014 they'd be handing out a small ranking boost within their overall ranking algorithm to HTTPS sites utilizing an SSL Certificate.

Beginning October 2017, Google Chrome now labels HTTP sites as Insecure, warning the connection is not secure. This may cause visitors to click away from your website for fear their personal and location data are not secure.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
How to Sign Up for Google Analytics and Add Code

What is Google Analytics?

Launched in 2005, Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google providing website statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes.

Google Analytics helps you understand your site and app user patterns to evaluate content and product performance.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
29 Days to a Better Website

SEO is not a one time quick fix.

SEO starts when a website is being created.

SEO is a forever task of consistent monitoring.

Effective SEO is strategy refinement using proven best practices.

Check out our SEO task schedule for websites displaying lackluster search result performance. All may not be applicable to your situation, but utilize as many tasks as necessary to ensure the foundation of your site is SEO ready.

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Categories: Design
FTC is Cracking the Whip on Disclosure

If you promote, endorse, sponsor, place affiliate links or testimonials on your Website, Blog or to Social Media - the FTC is becoming Real about cracking down on offenders to the Disclosure of Promoted Content issue.

It was in 2009 when the FTC initially released their Guideline relevant to the use of Online Endorsements and Testimonials. The intention was for Consumers to know when a Blogger, Affiliate or Celebrity was receiving any form of compensation from recommending a product to their audience.

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Categories: Design,Marketing
All Backlinks are Not Good Backlinks

Using the Disavow Tool in Google and Bing

It’s recommended that website owners periodically perform a backlink audit of their site, because there are Good Backlinks and Bad Backlinks … if you don’t know who’s linking “to” your website – then you may be setting up your website for low search results. If you’re inexperienced with a deep, manual link audit, then it’s best to have a professional perform one every six months, or at the least – annually.

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Categories: Design
Tips on Using Images for a Higher Conversion Rate

Conversion rates can be measured in a number of different ways on a website. Conversion rate goals differ from site to site, as it depends on what your website specific focus is.

Your conversion rate goal may be for:

  • signups to your newsletter
  • product sales
  • member registrations
  • ebook downloads
  • service inquiries

Any activity beyond simple page browsing is considered a conversion rate.

Using complimentary images along with your text can bring a webpage to life, and appeal to the perceived personalities of your shoppers. We’ve all heard “a picture is worth a thousand words” – and it is.

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Categories: Design
Tips and Tools for Choosing Website Colors

It’s interesting how Color is a factor in successful Branding, Recognition and Customer Sales.

What do the colors on your website tell visitors about You, and your products/services? Have you ever placed a Poll on your site and asked people if they like and enjoy your website colors? Have you ever encouraged your site visitors to send you their Comments and Opinions of your website color scheme?

Probably Not. Even though you may really like the colors on your website – maybe others don’t. Maybe they don’t stick around long enough to know what your site really offers, because the colors are a big turn-off to them.

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Categories: Design
Amazing Timeline Facts of the Internet and Web Design

Did you know that the first event to plant the seed for global communication was in 1957.

Who knew?

Read our timeline of amazing facts on the evolution of what we know as the Internet, as well as interesting year landmarks in Web Design protocol.

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