Increase Your Website Rankings with Search Engine Optimization Strategies

SEOSearch engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing traffic to a website by increasing its visibility in search engine results. It includes techniques that aim at improving the rankings of a website so that it appears in the top few search engine results. Search engine optimizers target different kinds of searches that web users conduct. This includes image and video searches, text-based searches, as well industry-specific ones. The process includes keyword research, website traffic analysis, and web content optimization. Content optimization involves the inclusion and right placement of keywords and links in the content, and the use of optimized HTML code.

Keyword Optimization: Search terms, or words and phrases that are frequently searched by web users are known as keywords or key phrases. They are used to describe the purpose and content of a website. They enable a website to rank higher in the search results. A good search engine ranking depends not only on the choice of keywords but also on their placement on the page, as also their density. Keywords should best describe the topic and content of a web page. If they generate lesser search results, it means that they have less competition on the web and thus have higher chances of ranking better. But lesser search results could also indicate that their search is less. It means that targeting them may not bring much traffic. Thus, we can see that keyword optimization is of help only when the right search terms are targeted. It is important to place the keywords in the title and in the description of a web page. They should also be present in the content, and their placement should be natural.

Link Building: A link is a navigation element that directs a user from one web document to another. A hyperlink from one page to another is treated as a vote cast by it to the page it links to. Links from popular websites are treated as votes with greater weight, and thus help boost the ranking of the page being linked. Relevant links in content make the page more useful to a reader, further boosting its ranking. The use of dead links, those which direct a user to an inaccessible page, should be strictly avoided. Google considers outbound links from a website as determinants of the quality of its content. Internal links (links between pages of the same website) help search engines understand the size of that website, thus making it a strong contender for higher rankings.

Website Design: The design of a website has a role to play in its ranking. It should be easy for the search engines to navigate web pages. According to experts, search engines prefer text over graphic or multimedia formats. Websites using Flash or Javascript should make an HTML version of their website available to the users. Search engines read the contents of a left navigation bar before they read the main content. It is important for website developers to avoid placing excessive content on one page. Instead, they should distribute the content evenly across well-structured and internally linked webpages. It is advisable to use topic pages containing articles that focus on a particular subject. Websites that have more number of pages on a subject have higher chances of ranking better than the competitors. Also, it is important for a webpage URL to correspond with its content. According to experts, it is essential for every website to have a site map. A site map is a page that has links to all other pages of a website, thus helping these pages rank in prominent search engines.

Use of HTML Tags: Besides gathering user attention and improving usability, HTML tags also play a vital role in search engine optimization. Title tags are used for displaying page titles, which are the most visible elements of a web page. Heading tags can be used for prominent display of content. Meta tags help a search engine in listing a website in its index. These tags are inserted in the beginning of a web page code, following the title element. The meta description tags are used to influence search engine crawlers that support the tag. Meta keywords tags are used to reinforce certain important terms in the web page content.

Avoid Black Hat SEO: Attempts to improve search engine ranking in ways not approved of by search engines, are known as black hat SEO techniques. Using hidden text or hidden links in order to manipulate the relevancy of web content is an unethical SEO strategy. Excessive use of links, or the embedding of unrelated links in web pages is another example of black hat SEO. Webmasters should refrain from following such practices as they hamper a website’s rankings.

Search engine optimization strategies are central to online marketing and Internet advertising. They help increase a website’s visibility in search results. But they should never overshadow the importance of good and useful content. The quality of web content should never be compromised. Content that appeals to the readers earns greater popularity and the chances of it ranking, increase.

How to Choose a Web Host

How to choose a web host should not be a hard task, it all depends on what kind of website you’re going to host.

When I first begun to build websites I was relying more on the price of the hosting than its quality, that’s why I decided to write these 3 tips to help you choose a web hosting that will not let you down.

How to choose a web host – Rule #1 – Liability

Choosing a web host should not be like choosing paper, they are not all alike, so the first tip here is to choose a web host which is responsible and haven’t had too many complaints from old customers, it more often happens when the websites get offline because of a spike on its traffic, when it happens your website go offline and you need to contact your hosting company to make them fix it for you, but what if it is an affiliate website and every minute your website is offline you’re losing customers?
Which lead us to the next tip.

How to choose a web host – Rule #2 – Support

You want to know how good it is their client support, how long do they generally take to reply to a question from you, if you they have an online chat service which can help you sane your doubts right always, because we all know how frustrating it is to have an issue and having to wait until the next day in order to solve this!

There are many web hosting providers that also provides you with a Toll Free phone number which can be really handful when they don’t reply your messages and/or the chat is full and you are like the #20 on the line to talk to their support team.

How to choose a web host – Rule #3 – Additional’s

There are 3 things that I find paramount when choosing a web hosting additional’s:

Bandwidth: If your web hosting offers a low amount of bandwidth, prepare to get in trouble, once you have an increase of your traffic and let’s say your bandwidth is only 2000 Mb, what is going to happen is that your website will get offline, and you won’t know it, because they don’t tell you your website is offline due to Exceeded Bandwidth. And you’ll have to pay more for additional bandwidth. So keep it in mind before you choose a web hosting that is “cheap”, in the end, you’ll have to pay more anyway.
Databases: Unlimited Databases, if they don’t offer it, I just skip.
Disk Space: Unlimited as well, is not like you’re going to use all the space they offer, but you never know, I’d rather choosing a web hosting with loads of disk space than choosing one that is limited.

Web Hosting Tips When Acquiring Free Services

For small-scale businesses wanting to jump-start their ventures through a website, getting free web hosting services can be very ideal. Small businesses can take advantage of this really good deal as they wouldn’t need to worry about additional operational costs just to afford the services of an excellent web host.

If you are already thinking about getting your own website and subscribing to a web host, you need to carefully consider the factors that you need to deal with when you acquire a free hosting service. Some hosts offer free services because they gain profit through advertising. Though this is a very cost-effective decision, there are matters which directly affect your website functionality because of the limited tools offered in a setup such as this.

First and foremost, identify the main focus of your website. Is it to gain profit or do you want to establish a really good foundation in the online business to ensure that your business will run smoothly and gradually increase your profitability? If you wish to generate sales at the soonest possible time you have to consider the option of paying for your hosting services because of the certain features that you need to add to your website in order to make it very effective.

If it is mainly about generating sales and you want to consider free hosting services for your website, you may want to think about your target market’s expectations. This is because free web hosting services offer limited functionalities that may not be able to satisfy a user’s needs. To be specific, free hosting may fail you in terms of technical support as you may not be able to get the assistance of qualified experts at the soon as technical difficulties bog down the site.

Free hosting service also controls most of the content which will be provided in your site. Your web design may be limited and certain advertisements will be inserted in your web pages, some of which are irrelevant to the theme of your website. This is something which you may not be able to control, as advertisements are what keep your service free of charge.

Search engine optimization is one of the vital elements in keeping a website alive. But in free web hosting services, this element may lose its functionality as it could be hard to attain an acceptable ranking in search engine results pages. This is because a website hosted on a free server is provided with a sub-domain name which is added to a portion of the site’s URL.

If you want to ensure that you get a secure, accessible, and reliable service you may really need to shell out some money. Getting something for free entails limitations and less site functionality, so it is important to carefully assess the web hosting services available and determine which one can offer the best functionality to help you maintain a really powerful website.

Establish a really good website by carefully planning your web design and hosting services. Web hosting service is the main pillar of a website and this can make or break your website success, so take the time to assess which service will help you get where you want to be.

Web Hosting Tips For A Newbie

Seeking advice for a good web hosting provider is not very difficult nowadays with the amount of information that you can get though the internet. However, you must bear in mind that the only type of advice that you can trust is the advice that you get from people who already have some experience.

You see, for them to have experience, they must have gone through the process of choosing a bad hosting service before. So, can we trust their advice on this matter? With so many hosting companies out there, it is really difficult to choose just one. There are some that are more reputable and some that are new but all of them may be able to provide you with disk space and bandwidth in order for you to host your website.

With the tough competition in the industry, most of the top hosting companies have changed their packages to offer unlimited storage and disk space. This means that they are not fixing any limit to their packages. From a customer point of view, this is a good thing as you do not have to worry about the limit that you can do with your hosting account.

Web hosting companies may place thousands of websites in one server to save on their operational cost. Therefore, the question about the transfer speed that you get is always questionable. Most websites will be able to sustain with a speed of few megabits per second. If your website require a lot more than that, your web hosting provider will not like it very much and might even stop doing business with you if the condition worsens. You cannot blame them for this because they have to think about the importance of all their clients and not just you alone. In addition, it is not far to endanger other websites just because of one website that is creating the problem. Of course, when these things do happen, the hosting provider will seek a clam and respectable procedure to handle the situation correctly without jeopardizing their relation with the client.

So, it is often a good practice for webmasters to sign up with a provider that do not ask you to commit for a long period. This way, you can change your provider once your term is up with them if you find that their service is not what you can accept. Practice this and you will be able to use it well as the learning exercise when signing up with a hosting company.

Wrapping Things Up

Web hosting is undoubtedly a must-know subject for all modern business owners. As you are checking out my article here, chances are you need a hosting plan.

How to Avoid Website Downtime

How can we define website downtime? The time when your website is down? That could be appropriate but putting it in order words, it is the period when your website goes offline. No matter the type of web hosting you choose, if you are running a business website, this can be very frustrating because so much money could be lost during that period. But if you are able to know its causes, you would definitely be in a better position to avoid it.

Downtime could be caused by so many factors but I will try to treat the most common ones. The most important agent of website downtime is bandwidth inadequacy and this is common among shared hosting subscribers who are not well tutored on bandwidths. A lot of them put up a lot of complicated scripts and graphically-enriched designs which have the tendency of using up their bandwidths unnecessarily. I’m an advocate of splendid web designs but moderation should be the watchword especially if you are on a shared server.

It is important for you to know how a bandwidth is calculated so that you can use it to plan your online venture. To put it in a simple way, anytime someone types your URL in the address bar of a browser, that person is asking your web host to transfer that particular page to his/her computer. Your host will then honour the request (of course, if your contract is still valid) and calculate the size of the data transferred. The size of the data transferred is called a bandwidth. For example, if the size of your homepage is 15 kilobyte and someone requested for it, as soon as your host honours the request, you have consumed a bandwidth of 15 kilobytes. If ten people make the request every day, I’m sure you know the mathematics.

Another cause of website downtime is the incompetency of a web host. If your host is not competent, website downtime would be your favourite song. That is why it is imperative for you to carry out an in-depth investigation before picking a host. There are so many web hosting companies out there promising 99.9% up-time but if you don’t verify this, you may be in for a shoddy service. That’s why I always advise that you should sign up for a trial service before you actually part with your money. That way, you will have the taste of the pudding by actually eating it.

Web Development Mistakes To Avoid

If you want to ensure that your website constantly runs smoothly and is always available for use by your clients, you will need to ensure that you have some effective web development services behind you. No one is perfect, however, and even the best developers in the company are prone to making a mistake or two every now and then. The following list comprises some of the most common mistakes made across the industry, as well as some tips on how to avoid them:

Include copyright information on your web pages to protect your content and design from being stolen by others. If your website is effectively stolen, it can actually lessen the number of visitors (who may think that you were the one who stole the design!).

Limit the amount of web development technologies that you use in your work. Whilst it is great to use the latest and most up to date technologies, it is important to remember that these can actually distract visitors. Instead, use only a few of the latest technologies.

Don’t post a visitor counter on your website. Let’s be honest here – no one, other than you, actually cares how many visitors your website has had. And the counter could come back and bite you in the butt – numbers that are too low are a deterrent, whilst many visitors will not believe numbers that are too high.

Make sure that your navigation is user friendly and that all links work. Having unfriendly navigation and broken links are the biggest no-no’s in the web development industry. You need to make sure that visitors can easily find the information they are after.

Make sure that each web page features a call to action. Every single page should provide visitors with instructions on what they should do next, whether that’s “order now” or “sign up”. Only putting these calls to action of select pages will actually lower your sales.

Don’t produce long pages of content. Your visitors aren’t actually all that interested in reading your whole life story – they want all of the information they require to be presented to them in the shortest form possible, like dot points or mini headings.
When working on your next web development project, making sure that your website does not include any of the above mistakes will go a long way towards ensuring the site’s success. When your developer sends you the prototypes for checking, make sure that you keep an eye out for broken links, calls to action, excessive web development technologies and all of the other elements that could affect your traffic flow.

Tips to Improve Your Web Development Services

If your site is unique, it is but obvious that people would wish to revisit the site time and again. This is the essential reason why improving your web development services is indispensable for the purpose of a recurrent Internet subsistence.

There are certain things which must be adhered to, when you are planning to improve your web development services. If you can follow these tips, success is assuredly yours.

Remember that the end result is dependent on the things which are incorporated within the site. The more you aim at constructing a website which would be frequently browsed, the greater would be the advantages which you can seek from it, in the long run. In case your site incorporates aspects of Ecommerce, it is but natural that you would render the relevant changes to it, on a regular basis, as this would assist in enhancing the level of customer fulfillment as well as endorse new products and services.
State certain fundamental site necessities. All that you would be required to do is to put down certain aspects pertaining to the elements which must be incorporated within the site, as well as its essential presentation. This would assist you in framing a source as to the things which are vital for the construction of the site and this would assist you in improving your site
By suitable utilization of web development services, you can categorize the content you wish to utilize on your site and congregate it into documents. Doing this would render it simpler for you to systematize the information when it is time to formulate content plus layout verdict. This would additionally assist you in prioritizing your site. In the long run, this would aim at determining the total number of pages which are necessitated which would render a distinctive configuration to your website.
By optimum use of web development services, you can design your website in such a way that it incorporates essential elements of your business. Your website is a part of your functioning business, thus it should epitomize your essential company ideals, quality, and additional characteristics that have made it flourishing.
When you are constructing a website with the assistance of web development services, ensure that your site has provisions for effortless navigation. If people are perplexed when they are in the process of seeking relevant information, it is quite probable that they would go somewhere else to initiate their online business. If your site ensures effortless navigation, your probable customers would be happy to return to your site to avail its services, as well as bring in additional business for you.

Tips To Select Web Developer For Your Website

The market today is flooded with lots of web developers. There are no licensing norms in the field of web designing nor there is any barrier kept for entry into this field. Individuals and web developer companies are many. To select the most appropriate developer for your website is not an easy job. The skills and capabilities of developers are varied. Here are few very important tips to select developer as per your requirements.

Always it is beneficial to have specialized people working for you. Website development primarily consists of graphic design and programming. Website developers having expertise in both the aspects of web development are rare. When looking for developers better look for company that has different individuals working on these two aspects. In case the company has same individual working for both then its better to look into company’s portfolio for more details.

Based on your requirements for your website, look into portfolios of those website development companies who have worked previously on websites that are similar to your needs. You can put faith on those web developers who have delivered similar types of website in the past. Simply having great website is not enough in present competitive scenario. The web developer to be selected should be well versed with search engine optimization. The development of your website has to focus on the marketing aspect. The better developed website will have higher ranking in the search results of search engines.

After completion of website development, your website is to be hosted. You should know who will host the developed website of yours. If website developer and web hosting company are different then in case of any problem encountered in making your website online will not be dealt properly since the two may accuse another for the problem being faced. It is always better to give responsibility of web hosting to your web developer so that any problem can be sorted out without wasting precious time.

It is always advantageous to have long term developer so that with passing of time whatever problems that you face can be taken care of. However you should make clear how you will be charged for maintenance and day to day problems that you come across with the web developer hired. The domain name has to be registered in your name or your company’s name so that if you want to leave web hosting company in future that can be done without the assistance of your web developer. Also you need to keep copy of your website.

You should ask for references from developer and should find to call those references personally to know the feedback of the company to be hired for your web development work. You will have idea of how the web development company maintains relationship with its clients. The company with unprofessional attitude towards its customer needs to be avoided. The reliability of the website development company to be hired can be gauged.

5 Basic Web Development Tips

Here are 5 basic web development tips that may help you fine tune you website.

KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid: Keep your visitor’s attention by not overcrowding the page. Do you have more stuff then you need to? Do you have too many boxes, colours, lines and any other “pretty” stuff without functionality that you don’t need? Too may navigation options? How about typefaces? Have you used more then 2 basic fonts? Simplify and strip out everything that is not needed.

Think of every page on your website as an ad: Each page is an advertisement either for the information on the page, a function, info capture, or for information on another page. That is the purpose of a good web page. When your page works well, visitors will continue to engage with the web site.

Design Is Important. Or Is It? Coming from a web designer this will come as a surprise. But tests have shown that sometimes very basic, ugly, cheap-looking designs can outperform slick professional design. Why? The main job of a web page is to facilitate communication and an attractive design done for the sole purpose of “looking cool” can get in the way. The design will either support the message you want to share by drawing attention to the message, or it will detract – by drawing attention to itself. You don’t want visitors to your website to stop and look AT your web design. You want them to interact with the information on it.

Saying It Clearly: What can you do here? What is this page about? Why am I looking at this picture? Whatever it may be, just clearly say it! Make sure there are no surprises. If the link says “Contact Us”, make sure it goes there. It sounds obvious, but it happens very often, especially in navigation, that links are misleading. Don’t let visitors wonder where they are. Take them by hand and guide them through the website.

Relevance Is The Key: In order for Google to rate your web page, it will look at the its relevance: how relevant is the information on the page, and how relevant it is as far as the rest of the world is concerned. The really important factor is what the rest of the world says the page is about. And this is based mainly on one thing – inbound links. But creating your own links is very time-consuming. And if you go chasing links from immaterial and low PageRank pages, you are wasting your time. That’s why the information on your web page has to be relevant to your site as well as interesting and impactful enough for visitors to come and link to it on their own.

Web Design Tips For Absolute Beginners

As a new web designer a lot of your design ability will come through practise and research, knowing what is “in” and knowing what will always look good. However, if you’re just starting out and don’t quite have a hold on the nuances, here are a few things to consider.

1. Practise creating suitable graphics

Before you ever try to design something yourself, you need to know how to create suitable graphics and effects. If there’s one thing that will ruin a beautiful concept it is substandard graphics.

If you’re not familiar with the current trends you can get a feel for the prevailing wind in web design by simply visiting a few CSS galleries. Copy buttons and menus and any snazzy effects you particularly like the look of until you’re confident your graphics are top notch.

Once you have a few tricks up your sleeve..

2. Actually design

“I know how it should look in my head, that’s enough”

There are people who prefer to “design in the browser” but until you’re more confident this approach is unlikely to yield favourable results. If you can’t afford Fireworks or Photoshop consider GIMP, it’s free Open Source and doesn’t have all the features you’d ideally have at your disposal, but it’s a good starting point.

3. Don’t be afraid to copy

Obviously I’m not suggesting you steal someone’s entire site design, but if you see a navigation style or a texture that you like, use it as a starting point for a design of your own. There are always certain “looks” that are more prevalent than others, and there is absolutely no shame in using something tried and tested.

4. Design for appropriate resolutions

There’s no hard and fast rule where website width is concerned. Depending on the site in question your users could be a completely different demographic. Generally speaking however 1024 resolutions are still considered appropriate to design for. 960 is a common width for modern sites, take a look at the 960 grid system. Using a grid will help you achieve a nicely proportioned design, making it much more pleasing to the eye.

5. Get your layout sorted first

Leave any color decisions for now, and just mock up the main elements of the design in shades of grey. Make sure content is given an appropriate position and size relative to it’s importance. If it works well without color, you’re onto a winner. Once the layout is finalized you can start to make the more “exciting” decisions.

6. Choose your colors carefully

It shouldn’t need to be said, but don’t choose colors that look hideous together. If in doubt, there are many color scheme sites and applications out there, when stuck for inspiration my tool of choice is usually Kuler.

You should also know about the pros and cons of light vs dark designs. Light text on dark backgrounds are as a rule more difficult to read and can cause eye strain, so are not a great idea to use for magazine or content-heavy sites.

7. Pay attention to fonts

Typography is a complex subject in itself, but for a beginner it is enough to know that it exists, and that font choices are important. While the majority of your website’s content will need to be an easily-readable websafe font, a lot of the time you can go a bit wild with headings to give your design some extra oomph. Investigate Font Squirrel or dafont for something appropriate. For the love of God, do not use Comic Sans.

8. Whitespace. It is good.

Whitespace is, as the name suggests, the space between elements in your design. A cramped page can look overcrowded and messy, while the same page with slightly more space between elements will look completely different.

You can also use whitespace to indicate the importance of an element. A common use for this concept is call to action buttons (a button encouraging users to take an action such as sign up or buy something), surrounding a button with plenty of space ensures nothing detracts from it.

9. Be subtle

I know you want to go crazy with gradients and drop shadows. They’re just so cool.

For the most part a subtler, more natural approach will look infinitely better than a bright blue to pink gradient or a solid black drop shadow. Colors aren’t the only way to misuse these effects either, make sure your gradients are long enough to change steadily, rather than jumping suddenly from one color to the other, and make sure your shadows blend into the background rather than ending abruptly.

10. Prepare yourself

Your first designs aren’t likely to be dazzling. As with any skill, over time you will improve. Keep practising new techniques and looking through the CSS galleries for inspiration. With a few carefully chosen design elements from various other sites you can create something beautiful, and the confidence to design something bold and original will simply come with time.