Why Should I Use a Professional SEO Agency?

If you’re serious about marketing your business online, you’ve probably considered search engine optimisation. Ranking your website at the top of search engines such as Google can mean much more traffic, and this can convert into massively increased sales of your products or services.

To call in the professionals though, you’ll have to make an investment. Let’s take a look at why you should make the decision to use a professional SEO agency.

SEO is a complicated process

Keeping up with the latest developments in the field of SEO is a full-time job in itself, and it’s almost impossible to do it alongside running a business. Activities that were commonplace just a few years ago can now result in your site being penalised, so it often isn’t worth trying to do it yourself. UK SEO services will help you to rank without any of the headaches.

Your competitors are doing it

Try searching Google for products or services just like yours. If you haven’t carried out any SEO activities, it’s likely that you’ll find dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands, of businesses which will be found first. To get a competitive advantage, you need to think about where you’re ranking. And if your competitors aren’t doing it, it simply means that there’s even more potential there for you!

It’s cheaper than employing an SEO expert

Unless you’re running a massive corporation, it’s unlikely that you’ll need someone to look after your SEO efforts on a full-time basis. As such, taking on an employee will be costly and unnecessary. An agency will often operate on a much more flexible basis, giving you the option to choose the level of service that you require. Whether it’s a few hours a week to keep your site ticking over, or a full-blown campaign from scratch, there’ll be an agency out there that can help.

Your investment will last a long time

For the best results, you might need to carry out some SEO activities on a regular basis. Once your site is optimised by a professional though, you’re likely to see high rankings for quite a while into the future. In this respect, it’s a much wiser investment than pay-per-click advertising or social media marketing. The same can be said for offline advertising in newspapers and magazines.

As you can see, using a professional SEO agency can be a wise decision for any business owner. If you’re determined to up your marketing ante and start seeing higher sales, it’s something that you should certainly consider.

Have you ever considered SEO for your business?

This article was brought to you by Ruth Hinds on behalf of WebSearch SEO. WebSearch is based in London and offers risk free, ‘pay on results’ SEO services including link building for online synergy and success.


Express Yourself by Blogging

Express Yourself by Blogging

Blog is basically an informational website. Blog is the term derived from weblog. Blogging is about writing and updating the blog. Anyone with internet access can blog. Blogs are used by celebrities to interact with their fans. Blogs are also used by different companies to stay in touch with their customers. Articles in a blog are called posts. The posts are in reverse sequential order. The latest appears on top. Each post may have its own link which is known as permalink. Readers can also post comments in reply to posts. Writing in any other form than this is not blogging. Blogging has become a search engine optimization tool because updated content is increasingly indexed in search engines.

Blogging Characteristics

The most important feature of a blog is its genuine content. Blogging has no value if the content you post is not actually yours. The purpose of blogging is to inform or to augment the information about something, to entertain and to teach people. Blogging is a two way communication process. People comment on your posts and can also receive replies on their comments. They can even write their own blogs in response to your blogs. The blog is not restricted to a particular website. Your blogs can appear on social networking sites. Blogging for others rather than yourself can attract more people. Most people might not be interested in reading in personal diaries. Blogging doesn’t necessarily mean writing. Blogging may be in the form of images, audio, video or e-books.

Considerations for Blogging

There are legal issues to consider while you are blogging. You might end up in a law suit against you for plagiarism. You must be aware of the guidelines related to blogging and take steps to minimize your legal problems. A blogger must disclose any material relationship with an advertiser or brand. A manufacturer may give financial or non financial incentives to you for writing about their products. Relevance is an important factor in blogging. Your blog should be relevant to the audience you intend to target. Irrelevant posts will result in loss of audience. Time is crucial. If you don’t have the required time to update your blog then the purpose of blogging is not achieved. Flow of the blog is also important. A blog should be well organized.

What Blogging has to Offer?

Blogging is an effective and affordable advertisement medium for small businesses and start ups. You can reach a large number of consumers cost effectively. To write a blog you have to read and conduct researches. This improves your own learning. Blogging gives you the opportunity to be visible to people if you want to be an expert on a particular subject and you have a desire to become so. You can become a published author. Publishers are reluctant to take chances on new writers. If you are an established and well known blogger then you might well get a chance to become a published author. Blogging connects you to different people. You can even become friends with people who follow your blog.

Author Bio:

Maria Bennett is a regular guest blogger and graphic designer. She is working for Next Day Flyers an online printing company where you can order for 11 x 17 glossy posters and promote your business.


Link building tactics – What lessons can we learn from Interflora?

As you may already be aware the large UK Florist Interflora have been hit by a Google penalty, wiping out the search positions. Interflora have done a great job to cover the gaps left from the drop in organic search traffic, although it may never become clear how much impact the drop had. So what lessons can we learn from Interflora, how have they maintained their success despite the drop and why did they get the penalty in the first place?

Why Did Interflora Get The Penalty In The First Place?

Although it has not 100% been confirmed yet, it is believed that the penalty has been as a result of paying for links. Interflora have tried to get around the penalty by awarding people gifts offline when they blog about their products. Google do state that this is against their advertising policy and are fairly hot on things like this. Google pride themselves on delivering quality search results and although some results are questionable at times, they do have a web spam team dedicated to fighting low quality sites that rank high due to using unnatural techniques.

The reason that the alarm bells started ringing after Interflora had been hit was when bloggers started to tweet that they had been told to remove any links they have pointing to the Interflora site.

Dont Try to Cheat the System

Unfortunately, no matter how much you try you will not out smart Google. The Google Algorithm is constantly changing but the fundamental rules are there to be seen in black and white, you cannot pay for links. The act of giving gifts off line is just the same as paying someone in cash to link to your site.
The only way you can get quality links is by offering a good service and by creating quality content.

What Other Areas Of Marketing Should You Consider?

You may want to consider looking at other areas of marketing. One of the reasons why Interflora did not worry too much about the drop in organic positions is because they had already established their brand using offline material such as print material. Businesses like Interflora that offer gifts that are bought annually rely a lot of repeat customers. Having already got a postal address from the customer and with the person already being the customer you will expect a repeat purchase. This works well in industries such as travel insurance which is a very competitive market.

One area that Interflora do well is social media, this is another area that works well especially as people trust companies their friends have bought from before. Google are trying to get into the social media market with Google+ although at the moment their is not enough users to be essential. Promotional Products and Bags

A great way to market your business is for other people to do it for you. By producing promotional products such as promotional bags customers will put your brand in-front of people that are outside your business.

Article By Daisy Burgess – Professional blogger for offline marketing companies including Bag Store


Do you need better webhosting to get better SEO results?

A quality web host plays a critical role in search engine optimization (SEO) results. For a website to rank highly in Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, it has to have speedy servers. Webhosting can either make or break your online ventures. Without a proper and sustainable webhosting plan, you may well end up in the hands of quacks.

linuxwindows

A reputable and high quality webhosting service provider will always ensure that your website is up and running 99.99% of the time which is crucial in SEO results. If your website is down when search engines want to index it, they will just skip it. Though the search engine will come back to your site, if your site continues to be down you are sending a red flag.  It is a clear sign against the credibility of your site which will lead to lower ranking. A good webhosting provider has high quality server machines that ensure that your website is online most of the time. This will give your site more value to search engines.

Your site should also load pages in seconds; if you have a slow loading site, then you will have a problem with search engines. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines rank a page in terms of user experience, and a good site should load pages very fast. If a site takes a century to load, it irritates the visitors who opt for other sites. The search engines, then, do not want to put such pages at the top of their result pages since the sites at the top of a page should be the ones that provide the best information quickly. You should also put your fabulous and quality content at the top of the page so that it can be catalogued by search engines. Also, if your site has many graphics, which can slow the loading process, it is of utmost importance to optimize them.

The location of your website is also crucial in SEO results. Good webhosting providers are aware of this fact and take the necessary measures to ensure that this issue is addressed appropriately. For instance, if you want to rank highly in a certain country, then you should be seen to be hosted in that country. Your webhosting provider should provide credible and efficient information that will help in ranking your site accordingly. Regardless of where your service provider is located, it should be in a position to employ expertise and strategize for your site’s appropriate location.

When search engines start ranking your site which is being hosted on a quality hosting service provider, they will also give priority to your blogs and contents. This helps you to achieve a competitive edge in the market over those who use cheap and low quality hosting services.

Imagine your site ranking page one on Google. This will mean that the chances of receiving commercially viable online visits are high.

Quality webhosting plays a pivotal role in making your site successful and increasing traffic since most people, experts and marketers included, use search engine indexes to analyze the credibility of your products and services. You should make sure that your site is always up to date, contains fresh content, is available for search engines and, more importantly, is optimized for search engines.

If you want to expand and grow your business in the online platform, you have to invest wisely to secure the services of a proficient webhosting service provider. It might cost you hundreds of dollars, but it is a worth investment in the long run.

Author Bio

This article is the contribution of Leo Preston who describes here the necessity of web hosting for SEO result. She is a technology blogger and already wrote about web design, iPage guide, web hosting etc.


Linux or Windows Hosting – What You Should Consider Before Choosing One

Linux or Windows Hosting –  What You Should Consider Before Choosing One

 linuxwindows

You already know that you can talk to the entire world through the Internet, and many types of people use many different websites to entertain and inform themselves. Each person has their own type of service, application and even search engines.  There are some who choose Google Chrome while others may prefer Firefox or Internet Explorer instead.

The issue that is raised here is related to the idea of compatibility. It’s really important to understand that if you create a website for your business, you need to make sure that your particular website is compatible with as many programs and applications as possible. Is Linux a great choice when it comes to the hosting platform or should people use Windows instead?

The answer to this question really depends on the needs of the ones that raise the question. Basically, the language in which the code is written and the database where the data is stored are the main differences between the two names above. In addition, the operating system that has been used for the hosting domain will not have any effect on the one that the user has at home. This is strictly a back office aspect that website owners need to have considered.

An issue that should be illustrated here is the idea of security. There are companies that argue the fact that Linux is more powerful when it comes to handling hacker attacks, while Windows is much more vulnerable..  Research of security is up to the person choosing the right server for them, as both Windows and Linux have different strengths and weaknesses.

It’s really important how the information is secured and does not necessarily have to do with the server OS chosen. There are examples of Linux hosting platforms that have been attacked as well because hackers have used Linux in their attack and have knowledge on how to infiltrate the system.

Another aspect to think about is the idea of accessibility. Believe it or not, Windows is a more popular operating system, therefore there are more applications available for Windows than for Linux since that’s the system application creators know about and use. It might be an issue of opinion, but there are many examples in which programs developed for Windows didn’t work on Linux. This is another issue to think about when it comes to choosing an operating system.

Furthermore, there isn’t any real proof that one is easier to use than the other one when it comes to accessibility and user-friendliness. Both of them have proven themselves worthy of the attention that hosting companies offered over the years because they delivered a high quality service.

The web editor is something that you should be thinking about when it comes to the choice that you need to make when it comes to server OS. This is because some web editors work splendid with a certain operating system while others are not that compatible. It’s really something that you need to think ahead about as it can make all the difference in the world when the design company creates your website.

In conclusion, it doesn’t really matter which server type you choose as long as you know what you’re looking for in the end. There are some differences between how each of the operating systems, but neither Linux nor Windows reigns supreme just yet. It might be just like Samsung and Apple, Mercedes and Audi – here are some differences, but the service is the same in the core.

With all these said, details make all the difference in the world, so you need to see how these environments have helped other companies. Having a little research done can turn your head in the right direction. The role of testimonials and feedback from others is to prove that something was good or of poor quality.

Author Bio:

This article is about Linux and window hosting, where writer Leo Preston elaborates, which server is better and what factor should consider before choosing one. She express her gratitude’s Kate’s Best Web Hosting for their ideas.


Web Hosting Secrets You Must Know about

Web Hosting Secrets You Must Know about

 Web hosting companies offer a wide array of services today, some which come at a price and others which are free of charge. The free service is mainly sponsored by advertisements placed on the website; therefore you get to pay indirectly for the service. At the most basic level, web hosting entails small scale file hosting where files can either be uploaded either through an interface or using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The files require very little processing for them to be delivered to the cyberspace.

Web hosting is basically used for simple and small websites but complex corporate websites need a very sophisticated and high level of database support as well as platforms for application development e.g. PHP, ASP.NET, and Java. It further has an interface panel like cPanel, Plesk, and Hosting Controller which make it possible to have manageable e-mail service that will make it easy to install scripts and manage the web server more adequately.

In other cases, web hosts specialize in a particular service or software, hence are hired by corporate establishments and organizations to outsource work to a certain company. Web hosting further entails hosting uptime which is the total percentage of time that the host is reachable, or rather, accessible to surfers on the cyberspace. Most companies aim to offer a hosting uptime of up to 99.99%. In interpretation, this will mean that in a year, the downtime will be circa 8 hours and 46 minutes. Be advised though that planned interruptions for whatever reasons together with server maintenance and restarts are a reality and shouldn’t be ignored altogether.

 

Web hosts can at other times run internet hosting services. There are some web hosting services that are strictly limited to the internet, and which have their own share of merits and demerits. They include:

 

–          Virtual dedicated server

–          Dedicated hosting server

–          Reseller hosting

–          Shared web hosting

–          Free web hosting

–          Clustered hosting

Specialized web hosting services include on the other hand include:

–          Image hosting

–          Video hosting

–          Blog hosting

–          Shopping cart software

The web hosting business has become a very competitive one; no wonder the industry players are becoming more and more creative when advertising their products and services. They put together very many client benefits into their user-friendly packages, inclusive of free services. Granted, if the services are free, why would anyone bother to pay for the same service? Well, the old expression you get exactly what you paid for becomes more valid in this instance.

For one, free services offer very limited services and secondly, because they don’t charge you to host your website, they will need to generate some revenue off it. This they do by maybe placing advertisements on your website. Chances are you will not have any control of the kinds of, and number of ads placed on your site. Such free services are also known to restrict the kind of content put on a website. In some cases, you may not even be able to have videos or music on your site, or even sell any products. Needless to mention, the ads placed maybe competing with your products, but it’s a matter of take it or leave it.

Author Bio:

Josh D. is blogger and writer. He currently writes for digbacklink.com, which is a backlink checker tool for webmaster.


Start-Up businesses

5 ways technology will save you cash in those initial stages of business

Starting out as a new business can be tough. Expenses, maintenance cost, staff wages and more, all amount to a looming big number of cash you’ll find difficult to keep hold of. Luckily there are ways to reduce these costs, and the growing importance of technology can help with this. Thanks to the growing networks of technology now available, there’s an app or a type of software out there that tends to almost every function imaginable- in a much more budget friendly way. Here are 5 of the ways in which technology will save you cash in those initial stages of business when starting out;

1. Business travel is one of the main sources of business cost! Keeping track of your outgoing and incoming finances is crucial in staying afloat as a business. Organization is key, so make sure you’re aware of any money coming in, any money that hasn’t paid and vice versa. Expensify is a smart and efficient app that takes the stress out of calculating the expenses for business travel. Presenting you with an expenses report as well as being able to track your spending via GPS technology, you can connect the app to your credit card or bank account! This app is also free- making it very worth while your time.
2. Face to face meetings cost you crucial time. More often than most, video conferencing is the preferred alternative for everyone concerned – it enables you to fit in a meeting without the hassle of travel and losing time. Make sure you’re using a free video calling server- there are many free videos calling service available, such as Skype, Google Hang Outs or freeconferencecalling.com. All of which let you have that important meeting – whilst staying behind your desk.
3. Get familiar with budget friendly SEO tips that won’t require a brutal denting to your bank balance. Search Engine Optimisation is frequently used to promote businesses across the internet- enabling smaller business that aren’t aided by a massive budget, to achieve a higher ranking on search engines by simply using a few tricks of the trade. An important point to remember is the importance of quality content! With great quality content you’re demonstrating your value to customers, and effectively presenting them with something that will keep them coming back for more. In addition, keywords are also a great way to divert traffic towards your businesses website! Keywords are what search engines will pick up on, so choose wisely and make sure you’re meta titles aren’t too clumsy and long, remember to be concise, short but informative.
4. Set up your website on WordPress and you’ll cut the costs of hiring a web designer, coder and all sorts of other hefty costs. WordPress is a smart Content Management System – and not just for bloggers – but for businesses too. Set yourself up on a decent server first of all to make sure your site runs smoothly (you can find reviews here which might be helpful if this is new to you) and then choose a premium theme (don’t go for a free one as they can be a little generic looking) to personalise your website. The money it would cost you to do all of that with a web designer of development would be in the thousands, so you’ve definitely saved money here.
5. Potentially the most obvious tip, however no less important, is the way the in which technology makes paper costs unnecessary. With the rise of technology and media, virtually every company loyally stick to communicating via email rather than through letters. Not only does it save you ink and paper, it’s also a great deal faster and comes with a lot less hassle. E-books and online reports also save you from incurring a massive cost that simply isn’t necessary. Try and avoid producing paper documents as much as you can, and you’ll seriously notice the difference in saving.
6. Open source software. Embrace the wonders of Cloud software, like so many business who have saved much needed cash by making use of this easily accessible medium to access data for employees. Cloud brings with it flexibility, improving efficiency and productivity, by allowing employees to access the database where they are only requiring an internet connection to do so. The main advantage is of course the lowered IT costs- Cloud software won’t require any of the hardware costs that come with the maintenance and upgrading.


Grouped Repeater .net

A neat solution to allow group headers on repeaters without using much code or nested repeaters. Rick Strahl provides a good example of this stragegy in C# i have modifid this slightly and converted to VB.

  <asp:Repeater ID="RPContent" runat="server">
                  <ItemTemplate>
                       <%# Me.RenderGroup(Eval("theyear")) %>
                     <div class="headline">
                    <h3><a href="<%# Eval("url  ")%>"><%# Eval("description") %></a></h3>
                       <p><%# Eval("thedatestr")%></p>
                    </div>       
                  </ItemTemplate>
  			</asp:Repeater>

Whilst the last closing div may look out of place it is required to close the last repeater item. the eval RenderGroup function passes the vasriable that you wish to group the repeater by. This function then returns a header div if the item in the repeater is part a new group or nothing if the next item in the repeater matches the same group as the preivous one.

I’ve added the active class to the div for the first group to be selected automaticaly with the jquery paging plugin this then pages the repeater list based on the group.

 Public LastGroup As String = &quot;@#@~&quot;

    Public Function RenderGroup(Group As String) As String
        If (Group = Me.LastGroup) Then
            Return &quot;&quot;
        Else
            '// *** Group has changed
            If LastGroup = &quot;@#@~&quot; Then
                'start group
                Me.LastGroup = Group
                Return &quot;&lt;div id='pane&quot; + Group + &quot;' class='tab-pane active'&gt;&quot;
            Else

                Me.LastGroup = Group
                Return &quot;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div id='pane&quot; + Group + &quot;' class='tab-pane'&gt;&quot;
            End If
        End If
    End Function


Thanks to Rick for his orignal work.
http://www.west-wind.com/weblog/posts/2007/Aug/23/Creating-a-scrollable-and-grouped-Repeater-Layout


How to Painlessly Negotiate Cheaper Broadband Prices

If you’re paying more than you’d like to pay for your broadband service, you may be able to negotiate a cheaper deal if there’s at least one competitor in town. It doesn’t even take great negotiating skills or a long list of justifications, just a few easy steps that will result in almost sure fire lower prices.

Ideally, you have two major ISPs who tend to fight over customers in your area (often sending flyers is an indication), as this means both will be willing to discount the cost of your broadband internet. Here’s a step-by-step process for negotiating cheaper broadband prices.

1. Gather information about your current rates

Find your last three bills and take a close look at them. Know what you’re paying for the plan itself and what your fees are. For instance, you might pay $80/month altogether, of which $65/month is for your broadband internet not including fees and router rental cost. When they tell you they can cut it down to $60/month, you can ask whether this is the broadband cost with or without fees to know if you’ll be paying $75 or $60 per month.

2. Consider bundling services

You might get a discount by simply bundling broadband services with other services like home phone or TV, if you aren’t already, to save money on all of them. It can mean being locked into a particular feature set, however. Look up information on your ISP’s website and the competitor’s website about the available bundles and promotions.

3. Have an idea of how much you want to pay

If you settle for anything they give you, you might not save much. Have an idea of what a great price for your broadband internet service would be and what you’re willing to accept. If you know what you’re aiming for, even a moment of silence and uncertain sound as you consider an offer the representative just made can do wonders. You should also keep in mind what services or add-ons you’re willing to give up in exchange for a lower price.

4. Call the competition and ask for a better price

Now that you know how much you’re paying for your broadband, call your ISP’s main competitor and ask for a better price than you’re paying right now. Be sure to give them the price without fees and taxes included and tell them that this is the base price. Listen to their offer and decide if it sounds reasonable according to what you’re looking for, and ask if it’s a promo rate or permanent.

5. Sign up for the new service or let them know you’ll get back to them

The most effective way to get your current ISP to pay attention is to actually sign up for the competitor’s service. You may even want to go ahead with the switch! If you really don’t want to go with the competitor, let them know you’ll call them back. You can be sure they will keep a note on your file – probably attached to your current phone number – with the price they offered you, so keep a note for yourself, too.

6. Call your current ISP and see if you can get a better price

You may have to call to cancel your service with this internet provider; if so, this is the perfect opportunity. You will likely speak to a representative who asks you why you’re leaving. Tell them the offer you received from another company (you can mention the name or not, it’s up to you). They will probably try to beat it, and it’s up to you whether you want to accept this new price from your current ISP or actually switch to the other provider.

Negotiating by calling a competitor is a very easy way to save money on your broadband internet, and you don’t even have to be pushy or know how to negotiate! By simply considering other options and asking for a better price based on what they offered, you can often get a significant discount on your monthly broadband bill.

Attached Images:

Laura was disappointed with her broadband service so spent time calling over providers in her area.  She soon switched to a cheaper and better provider.


12 Great Tips for Using Pinterest for Your Business in 2013

Many businesses today are turning to social media in order to better promote their products and Pinterest is one of those Medias. So, if you are interested in getting your product into the eyes of millions of people and gaining new customers for your business at the same time Pinterest is the way to go.

1. Get Connected If you really want to boost ratings or gain customers through Pinterest you should link your new Pinterest account to your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

2. Put A Button On It Adding a Pinterest Pin It button will make it easier for people to follow your product line or to show off the products that they have pinned. The buttons are free to use and easy to add to any page.

3. Follow Your Followers Keeping your company in the eye of the public can be done by following those who are following your products. The next thing that you want to do is follow the big guys because they in-turn will almost always follow you back.

4. Keep It Interesting Adding material that is interesting to your Pinterest page is a great way to keep folks coming back. You can even add photos and videos to your page. You want to keep followers interested in your products never put material on your page that has nothing to do with your products.

5. Don’t Forget To Link Back Pinterest doesn’t give the option to sell your products therefore it is very important that you always link back to your own website.

6. Likes and Re-pins Visit other Pinterest pages, make comments, and be sure to follow the pages that get lots of Facebook likes, Pinterest re-pins, and Twitter Follows.

7. Picture Perfect You must have high quality photos on your page and keep all of your photos about the same size. Fuzzy or out of focus photos don’t get pinned.

8. Proper Tags Tagging photos is with words that are directly related to or describe your product correctly is how they get indexed and later found during searches. Take your time and carefully consider each tag before you enter it.

9. Help Your Virtual Neighbors Everyone needs a little help from time to time and when they get it are quite grateful. Grateful enough in fact to follow your page and recommend your products.

10. Keyword The Keys To Being Found Adding keywords to the end of you product descriptions can help people to find your products more easily.

11. Browser Bookmarklet “Pin It” Easy to install the Bookmarklet Pin It button can be added to your Internet Browser in seconds and it makes keeping up with things that you like easy to do.

12. Mind Your Manners Often referred to as etiquette minding your manners and being polite are all very important to any type of business. Another good idea is to keep a positive attitude about your followers even if you don’t agree with their comment or content.

Citations:
Featured images:

Ben Sawyer is an Social Media Marketing consultant for Arverne, well known real estate company from New Yowk These are some of his tips about Pinterest, based on his own experience.