Thursday, December 4, 2014

Web 101

Domain registration and web hosting are two separate processes.  Both need to be completed in order to create a live website.  A domain must be registered by a domain registration company and then that domain name must be hosted on the internet through a web hosting company.

You must type an “address” into your computer to look up information.  For example, to go to google you would type in “”  These addresses are a name or a number called domain names.  Every domain name has to be completely unique so that the internet knows the correct website to pull up for the user.  A domain registration gives you the rights to use that specific domain name.  Registering a domain name allows you to secure a name, but it does not allow you to host a website or utilize your email.  A site visitor uses your domain name to access your page or website directly with an easy to remember address instead of using a numeric IP address.  Before registering a domain name with a domain registrar, verify that they are a credible domain registration company.  One way to verify credibility is by making sure the domain registrar’s website is featured on the ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Accredited Registrars List.

Many companies offer both domain registration and web hosting, however some offer only web hosting or domain registration.  You can choose to register your domain and host your website with the same company or register your domain with one company and host your site with another.

Web-Hosting is simply a powerful computer, constantly connected to the internet that manages data and processes user on-line queries around the world.   The computer called a “server” is managed by the hosting company so the hosting customers do not have to worry about server maintenance, upgrades and configuration.  Your hosting is the actual location which holds your page or website.  You must have a hosting service as a place for your site files to reside.  The site files are what your site visitors actually see when going to your site.  A web-hosting server knows how to read these files, which explain how the webpage looks or instruct the server to do a series of computations.  These computations are things like figuring out what blog article it’s supposed to send back to the viewer, or what forum post it’s supposed to send back.

Reliability and customer support are crucial to quality web hosting.  You should expect 99.9% uptime and also know that your host has a functional business model and that it is a stable company that is not just going to disappear someday.   Your hosting company should offer prompt customer service and provide expert technical support.

Each hosting company differs in the hosting features they offer with their hosting plans.  Some standard features that are usually offered: 
  • A specified amount of web space depending on your chosen package
  • Easy to use web site control panel
  • Online account management facility
  • Full 24/7 ftp access to upload your web files
  • Free domain transfer
  • Unlimited domain aliases
  • Webmail
  • Send and receive emails using your own email program

Friday, October 31, 2014

Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?

The majority of web traffic is driven by the major search engines – Google, Bing and Yahoo.  Search techniques used by these search engines are becoming more and more complex as humanity, technology, lifestyle and everything about our world becomes more complex.  There are now more categories than ever before for search engines to compile and categorize.  Implementing effective Search Engine Optimization SEO within your site can increase the number of visitors to your website.

Search engines are smart, but they still need help.  Google, Yahoo and Bing are using Schema, special code that makes it easier for search engines to identify what a site, or even a paragraph, is all about.  It is applied to the content of a web page to define exactly what it is and how it should be treated.  Schema elements and attributes are added directly to the HTML code (the markup language used to create your web pages) of a page to provide the search engine crawlers with additional information.  Schema markup is extremely important to SEO because it helps search engines better identify the type of information on the pages of your website, and in turn, increase your visibility.

Including Schema structured data in your web pages provides richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web.  One of the benefits to using Schema markup is that it can lead to enhanced search engine result listings called “rich snippets,” like the one below from the Internet Movie Database that shows user ratings for the Hobbit movie:

Here is part of the html code with the schema code highlighted that creates the star rating for this Hobbit post:

<div itemtype="" itemscope itemprop="aggregateRating">
Ratings:<span itemprop="ratingValue">8.0</span>
<span itemprop="bestRating">10</span>

The  itemprop="ratingValue" assigns the rating and the itemprop="bestRating" assigns the highest value.  So 8 out of 10 translates to a 4 of 5 star rating and google applies this math and comes up with a graphic to display next to the listing.

Investing in SEO can have an exceptional rate of return compared to other types of marketing and promotion.  A study by ComScore found that 93% of all internet traffic comes from a search engine.  Another study by Optify, Inc. showed that the top ranking website has an average click-through rate of 37% while 60% of the clicks go to the top three results.  People search for anything and everything on search engines and ensuring your website is capable of ranking high in the engines is crucial to your company’s marketing efforts.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Power of Video Marketing

With video marketing, your message stands a far better chance of being heard.  There is a lot of compelling evidence suggesting that online video marketing is the single most practical use of your marketing time and energy.

Videos are captivating.

Video Marketing can…

SELL:  Convince people to buy your product

ENTERTAIN:   Attract with enjoyable content that creates brand awareness

EDUCATE:   Teach viewers about your particular cause or product

  •      100 million Americans watch online videos
  •          55% watch videos every day
  •           70% of online marketing campaigns now use video advertising

TWO MINUTES is all it takes… On average, a website visitor will stay two minutes longer on a site when they watch a video.

After 72 hours of visiting a certain website, people only remember…

  •    10% of the text
  •  65% of the images and visuals
  •  BUT a staggering 90% of the VIDEO

Videos speak far more than words…

  • 1.8 million words = one 60 second VIDEO

  • 4 out of 10 shoppers will visit a store, online or in person, as a direct result of watching a promotional clip

Web video reaches more people than text, and dramatically improves your website's search result ranking.

  •           50% greater chance of ranking on the first result page than any textual page
  •       70% of the top 100 listings in Google employ video marketing

If you’re not using video marketing, you may be losing customers to those who do. 
Harnessing this powerful tool can lead to higher engagement rates, increasing your leads and sales.

Forbes Insight
Online Publishers Association
Dr. James McQuivey, Forrester Research
comScore Report