4 Ways to Ensure Your Website is Mobile Friendly

Mobile Friendly Website

Gone are the days of the dial up connections and old desktop PCs. The online world is now faster and it is mobile. People prefer to access the internet through their smartphones more than any other way. With the world going mobile, businesses also have to make sure that they are not left behind. Excellent web design is important to ensure relevance in today’s world. More importantly, to keep up with the mobile world, it is imperative that your web designing is done considering the need for your website to be accessed on the go.

Importance of Having Mobile Friendly Website

There are several advantages of having a mobile friendly web design for your company’s website. For starters, it means that your website will be operating much faster. The accessibility to your company’s website will drastically increase with mobile accessibility. It is also important to note that when a website is made to be mobile friendly, it is also easier to navigate. This increases the chance of engagement. Here’s a look at a few simple ways you can ensure that your web design is mobile friendly.

  1. Reduce Content

No, this does not mean that eliminate everything. It means that you should have only the amount of content that’s necessary. Having too much content on your website is bad for two reasons: Firstly, it becomes too complicated for visitors to navigate. Ease of navigation is crucial. Secondly, the complexities of a website chock full of content will mean it is going to be slower to load.

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Tips On Keeping a Traffic-Friendly Website

Traffic-Friendly Website

Tips On Keeping a Traffic-Friendly Website

While any name-brand web hosting service offers digital marketing and SEO services, there are some simple common-sense tips which anyone can follow to at least get on the radar as far as the World Wide Web is concerned. In addition, once you’re set up with the initial traffic optimization, there are things you can do to ensure that your website keeps growing. These tips will both ensure that your website appeals to both visitors and search engines alike.

Have Plenty of Content

It is very difficult to optimize a site for a search engine when there’s almost nothing on that site. And by content we usually mean *writing*. Written text is still the main thing that search engines see – after all it’s what web searchers type into Google to find your site in the first place. So remember, just images or just having Flash won’t do the job. You should at least be able to have a couple of paragraphs on a page explaining what your site is for.

Follow Internet Standards

Search engines prefer to crawl sites which adhere to standards. While it is difficult to have a site be 100% in compliance, the better you follow good mark-up standards, the better. Check your HTML, XHTML, CSS, and RSS with the relevant W3C services, and check back periodically to make sure that your site is still easy for search engines to navigate.

Market Yourself

Every day that you have a website, you should be thinking of what you can do to promote your website. Do all of your business partners and family know about it? Are you joining social media like Facebook, Twitter, Meebo, or MySpace, and if so is your website in your profile? And while you shouldn’t link-spam your site to social news websites, it is perfectly acceptable to post a link to a section of your site if it’s particularly relevant to a forum topic. You can also submit your site to good quality, genre specific directories, such as Slinky Directory.

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4 SEO Techniques That Will be Effective in 2018

SEO Techniques

The world of digital marketing is an ever evolving space. The necessity of having a good presence in the online world is imperative for businesses today so that they can enjoy continued success. One of the most important aspects to have a good online presence is the need to generate more traffic from search engines like Google. How can that be achieved? According to the experts at SEO Perth, through Search Engine Optimisation. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing in a bid to improve user experience.

How SEO was being done in 2016 was different from how it was being done in 2017. Here are 4 SEO techniques that will be effective for your business in 2018.

  1. Google RankBrain

Google recently made the announcement about their new RankBrain Algorithm. It is a revolutionary new algorithm which uses AI to power the internet giant’s first ever machine learning algorithm. The ranking that you get using RankBrain is determined by how satisfied the users of Google are with the content you have online.

You should optimize your website for Google RankBrain as it is one of the three key signals that indicate a good SEO ranking according to Google. For instance, you can look to optimize your website for RankBrain by improving the CTR (click through rate). The easiest way to improve your CTR is by adding numbers to the title and description tag. People feel more inclined to click on links with content that contains a number.

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Building An eCommerce Website With WordPress

eCommerce Website

eCommerce is a growing industry, and there are numerous ways to build an online store in the modern world. However, WordPress remains one of the most popular, and most effective online store builders – but only if you know what you’re doing.

Luckily, there are a lot of great resources out there to help you build your own eCommerce store. I’ve drawn on a few of the best to put together this ultimate guide to building an online store with WordPress. Although it’s short, it includes all the basics that you need to know.

Start By Choosing A Reliable Hosting Provider

The first thing you want to do when you’re building an online store with WordPress is find a hosting provider which is both reliable and which can cope with the needs of an online store. Don’t be tempted to go with a base-level shared hosting plan. Instead, look for something a little more expensive. In the case of hosting, you definitely get what you pay for.

Then, Choose A Design

Unfortunately, your store design will depend on your budget to a large extent. If your budget is limited, then you will probably have to use a free or cheap premade theme. However, if you can afford it, I’d definitely recommend paying a developer to put together a custom theme for you.

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Why Should You Use WordPress?

Wordpress

WordPress must be one of the most talked about websites in the world. It would have to be up there with sites like Google and Wikipedia. It is the most popular website building platform in the world, and lets people customise, create, and edit their own websites simply and free of charge.

There are plenty of reasons why you should use WordPress. According to some internet experts, over 25% of the web is now built on the WordPress platform. The sheer amount of number here speaks for itself – WordPress must be doing something right.

Some of the reasons why you should use WordPress include:

You don’t need any coding experience:

One of the best things about WordPress – from an inexperienced web developer’s point of view at least – is that it required zero coding knowledge. Sure, there is room for you to put your knowledge to the test if you want to, but it is absolutely not necessary.

All the code for your website is automatically installed and maintained when you use WordPress. Creating posts is as simple as dragging, dropping, and/or typing new content. If you want to code your website then go for it – but there are probably better options than WordPress out there that have better coding support.

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Disavowing Links: What is It and Do I Need to Worry About it?

Disavowing links

If you know anything about SEO, you probably know that your backlink profile is a crucial ranking factor. What you might not realise is that low quality or spammy backlinks can actually have a negative effect on your ranking.

With this in mind, you need to know what Google’s disavow tool is and how it works. In some cases, it can be a good idea to disavow, or ‘disown’ certain backlinks, especially when they are coming from obviously spam-related websites.

In this article, I’m going to cover some of the things you need to know about disavowing links.

What Is Link Disavowing?

To put it simply, disavowing links involves telling Google that you want it to ignore certain links back to your website. There are a number of reasons why you might do this, but usually it’s because the links are coming from a low quality source that negatively affects your SEO rank.

The Google disavow tool – Basically, if you identify links that you don’t want, you can use Google’s disavow tool to tell it to ignore these links. It can be tricky to figure out which links to ignore and which to keep, but we’ll get to that in the next section.

What Links Should I Disavow?

Now, the exact situation around link disavowing is actually a little bit cloudy. Some people believe that Google already ignores spam links, and that there’s no point in using the disavow tool to ask it to ignore them.

However, it’s better to be safe than sorry – right?

Personally, I’d still recommend using the disavow tool to tell Google to ignore low quality links. Ultimately, it’s not going to cause any problems, but it could result in great search rank improvements if Google wasn’t already ignoring these links.

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How Can I Learn Basic Web Development Skills?

Web Development Skills

If you’re a technological sort of person who enjoys learning new skills, then you might be considering learning web development. Alternatively, you might be trying to build your web development skills so that you become more skilled and employable to open up your career options in the future.

Fortunately, the rapid increase in the size of the internet means that it’s easier than ever to learn web development, with a huge range of resources available.

With this in mind, I’ve put together this short list of the best ways to learn basic web development skills. They include:

Take An Online Course

There is a huge range of online courses teaching basic web development skills available today. Platforms like CodeAcademy and Udemy contain complete web development courses which will teach you both front and back-end coding skills.

If you’re serious about learning basic web development skills then I’d definitely recommend paying for a course. There are plenty of free courses out there, but in my experience paid courses tend to offer much more support and a better overall learning experience including team building exercises.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Once you’ve learned the absolute basics of web development, the best thing to do is to just keep practising. For example, if you’ve worked through a HTML/CSS front-end development course, consider building your own website from scratch to make sure that you’re familiar with everything.

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What Costs Do I Need To Consider When Using WordPress?

WordPress Website

So you may have thought about starting a new WordPress website, but have been put off by the perceived cost. A lot of people are confused about how much it actually costs to start and maintain your own WordPress website, and a quick internet search does nothing more than add to the confusion. So, what does it actually cost to start and run your own website?

To answer this question, we have broken the main costs down into their components below:

Cost 1: Domain Names

Cost – Free to thousands of dollars.

Once you have decided on a website name, you will have to rent or buy a domain name which is close to or the same as your website name. Most WordPress beginners decide to rent a domain name yearly. For basic names, prices start from just a few dollars per year. However, more sought-after domains can sell for tens of thousands. Some domain name providers do special offers, including free domain name rental for the first year.

Cost 2: Website Hosting

Cost – Anything from a couple of dollars per month to thousands.

If you want to build a website, you need to have somewhere to store it. Although many people don’t really understand where websites “come from”, they actually do have a physical location. While it is possible to host your own website, most people choose to use a specialist hosting provider. When you do this, you pay a hosting company to store your website and data securely on a server. For small websites and blogs, this will only cost a couple of dollars per month. However, prices for larger sites can easily run into the thousands.

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HTML5 Roundup For Web Designers

HTML5 Roundup

Web designers, here’s some more HTML5 links that you’ve just got to see. If you’re still plugging along on an XHTML (or mercy forbid, HTML4) site, this will be your last call to leave the Stone Age.

html-five.net – The HTML5 Showcase – This is the first we’ve seen of design showcases similar to the ones that popped up after CSS3 and AJAX hit the mainstream. Only this time it isn’t just about being pretty, but having powerful functions, such as sites with drag-and-drop code builders and interactive art galleries.

html5blog.org – HTML5 blog – So far, the closest thing to a guru we have. A rich resource of book reviews, tutorials, and industry news about HTML5.

html5video.org/blog/ – HTML video blog – One of the chief capabilities of HTML5 is to easily manipulate video content without relying on painful third-party plugins. Kaltura, the world’s first open source online video platform, is leading the charge to publicize this aspect.

html5games.net/ – HTML5 Games – If all of the above doesn’t whet your appetite (or you feel a little overwhelmed), head here for a refreshing break and a demo of yet more HTML5 capability. Again, HTML5 is poised to replace Java and Flash as the web gaming platform of choice.

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Importance of SEO in 2018

Importance of SEO

We’re into the last month of 2017 and SEO consultants like Peter Brittain are now finalizing the strategies they will be using for their digital marketing for 2018 and beyond – and thus setting their goals. The most important aspect which everybody is considering is the SEO. Everybody wants to understand more about SEO and how important it will be for their businesses to be more successful this year than the last.

It goes without saying that SEO is of the utmost relevance now than it has been ever before. With every passing year, more businesses are realizing the importance of SEO and how it is capable of driving their success in an internet-centric world. This is why more investment is being made into SEO and improving it.

Google has been striving to improve the algorithm it uses which is in turn pressuring businesses all around to improve their websites in a bid to keep up with the latest SEO trends. With the constant improvements, SEO is a practice which will continue to grow and evolve.

Marketers will need to realize that there are new elements to factor in when it comes to SEO with every passing year. Here are some of the main SEO trends to keep in mind in 2018.

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Using TV Mysteries As Inspiration For Your Emails

Email Marketing

Whether you are young, old or somewhere in-between one thing that people of any age enjoy is a good story especially those that leave us on the edge of our seats. This is certainly true in the case of TV mysteries, but what, you might ask, does this have to do with email marketing?

Good question and we will reveal the answer at the end of this article.  Only kidding…we’ll reveal it now, but make sure you read to the end to get the full story.

This is a tactic that all the very best TV shows employ to keep their audience waiting in suspense for the next episode. You must have seen those programmes where each episode ends in an exciting climax, but just as you are about to see how the hero gets out of what seems an impossible fix, the titles start to scroll. You are told to tune in next week to find out what happened and if the producers are being especially mean you get a sneak peek at next week’s episode, without them revealing how our hero escaped, if or even if they escaped at all.

This is a classic technique, and the great news is it is one which you can use to great effect when crafting emails to your subscribers. It is based on a psychological phenomenon that exists whereby people do not like having situations or scenarios which are not resolved. in other words, when we have a puzzle or a story which has no conclusion or finish, we strive to find one and are impatient to do so.  This is why TV producers end episodes with cliffhangers because their audience will be so desperate to see what happens next, they are certain to tune in the following week.

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Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

social-media-marketingSocial media marketing is something that many businesses do because they know their potential customers hang out on social media sites. In fact, social media plays a big part in how your company is perceived, such as exposure from Facebook Ads. However, it does take quite a lot of time and patience, something that not all business owners have a lot of.  The work can be outsourced, but there are pros and cons that you need to be aware of. Here are some of them.

Pros

  • You will have a lot more time to spend on other aspects of your business, something that most business owners will appreciate.
  • Outsourcing to an experienced professional will ensure the job is done properly and regularly. Plus by working with them you’ll gain valuable knowledge about marketing that can be used in other ways, or may be used later on should you decide to take the reins again.
  • Small businesses often lack manpower. Outsourcing jobs such as these gives you access to more’ muscle’ for less cost than hiring an employee full time to do the work would.
  • If you are not a ‘people person’ you may not like being on social media sites, it will be difficult for you to get it right. Some people thrive in and around others and have a natural ability to add to their professional one.
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Six Random Moments Of “Aha!” In Web Design

Aha In Web Design

We thought we’d share a few silly little tricks or ideas that solve a lot of problems in a small amount of time, or just look knock-out cool for very little effort…

#1. Using a “position:relative;” div tag on the outside of a “position:absolute;” See, normally, the ‘absolute’ attribute in CSS makes the element stay stuck to a spot on the web page as if it were nailed there. And that happens no matter how many nested floating divs you stick it in. Until you make the div just outside of that one say “position:relative;”, then your absolute element finally says “Ooooh, so THAT’S what they want me to do!”

#2. Git cures cancer. We’re talking about the distributed version control system software. It isn’t just for kernel developers; it’s great for any code project anywhere by anyone. It isn’t even just for teams; learning and using Git will help just one developer stay organized and focused. That’s because it has the ‘branch’ and ‘checkout’ features, so it acts like a nice code maid and handles the mundane tasks of patching your source code for you.

#3. CSS animations, shadows, and gradients. Used sparingly, they’re a little dash of panache in the otherwise dull sea of whitespace and text. Don’t let the fact that too many design majors overuse it stop you from appreciating when it’s tastefully used.

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7 Successful Business Blogging Tips for Boosting Brand Visibility

Blogging Tips

Blogging, especially business blogging, is the in thing these days; just about every business with an online presence is into it. It’s something that everybody is doing, and why not, after all a blog not only brings to a website an added sense of credibility, but also improves the brand awareness of your business and its products and services.

But, it must be remembered that blogging just for the heck of it, and because everybody is doing it, doesn’t work. It must be purposeful in order to succeed. To make you job a little easier, you need to keep a few business blogging tips in mind, to ensure that your blog is successful.

Let’s take a look at the various facets of a successful business blog.

1.    Identification of blog purpose

Blogging-vs-Threaded-Discussions-in-Online-CoursesYou will first need to zero in on the purpose of your blog. There are some blogs that offer ancillary information about the products and services being offered on the business’s website. Then there are others that are doing a bit of hard-selling where their sole purpose is to market the products and services sold by the business. And there are others still that act as problem solvers, where they target the problems experienced by the audience of a particular niche. So, if it’s a company offering web design services, the blog can be about the various problems experienced by web designers during the course of designing a website and offering solutions for the same.

2.    Figure out your Audience

Who is your blog’s audience? That is the essential question that needs to be answered. Who is going to read your blog – Is it your existing customers, your potential customers or both?  Which is the demographic that your audience belongs to, their age group, gender, profession? What are their interests and preferences? The answers to these questions will help you write blog posts that are in perfect sync with what your target audience expects from your blog.

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OldSchool Aesthetics That We Miss

Gopher-protocols

Even though we’re very progressive about web design, sometimes we do look back and have to admit that we kind of miss some of those outdated bits of online culture. Here’s a little list for those of you who want to wallow in nostalgia with us:

GopherGopher was one of the old Internet protocols before the WWW. It imposed a much stricter hierarchy on content, which had to be placed in folders and indexed with a text menu. It only lasted from 1991 to 1993. here is a list of still-functioning Gopher servers – amongst others, Firefox has a Gopher protocol. And here is an Ars Technica writeup on what the Gopher-heads are up to now.

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