Carlos Caneja

About Carlos Caneja

With nearly two decades of career experience in IT and online commerce, West Palm Beach-based Carlos Caneja currently serves as President of C2 Consulting Group. Since its founding in 2010, the company offers customized, cutting-edge strategies to help clients achieve their goals—including branding, web design & development, SEO and online marketing. His company’s sophisticated strategies and unique understanding of client goals is driven by a one-on-one customer service-driven mandate, utilizing approaches that are fit best for every individual client. Carlos’ mantra for C2: “Open dialogue is a must when working with our clients, as positive input helps us better understand what they want from each project. It’s how we’re able to consistently deliver results that amaze and impress our clients.” He previously worked for 11 years as COO with Applied Innovations, which provides a wide range of enterprise-grade Windows Hosting services to the online marketplace.

SEO VS PPC

There has been the never ending debate as to whether SEO or PPC is the better option to bring you the highest amount of potential success and traffic. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) definitely have their own set of pros and cons which will be […]

Easy way to turn visitors into customers

 

Turn Your Web Visitors into Customers by Segmenting your Website’s Content

 

There are endless amounts of websites that aren’t receiving the proper amount of customers in relation to their web traffic, and the solution is quite simple; Segmenting Content. If you have been having trouble engaging your audience to proceed […]

What is a Value Proposition and Why Does Your Website Need One?

Do you feel that you could honestly and confidently state what your value proposition is for your business? Prior to establishing your business, it is essential that you take the time to determine what your value proposition is if you would like your business to succeed. The following exercise will help you learn what a value proposition is and how you can write your own.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for your business website

Increasing traffic to your business website is essential, but it’s not enough; once viewers make it to your page, you must engage them, so that they buy your products or services. In doing so, you’ve converted a viewer into a customer. Customer conversion rate, the ratio of converted viewers to the total number of viewers denoted as a percentage, is an important metric for the success of any business. Since this rate doesn’t take the value of the sale into account, it is a relative term.

Is Your SEO Agency worth its salt?

Getting the Most Out of Your SEO Agency So far, you've been constantly receiving excellent results from your SEO agency. For most people, the fact that the agency they've hired is doing what it's supposed to be doing is already enough for them.

5 easy things you can do to get Google to fall in love with your site.

Until your website appears in Google's search results, it's difficult to develop traffic and sales. And until you site is indexed multiple times by Google's web crawler, Googlebot, it won't show up in the search results. Frequent return visits by the crawler are necessary to advance in the rankings so your site shows up earlier in searches.

Want a CMS with that site?

Using a content management system (CMS) is a popular way for web designers to easily allow the addition and updating of content in a relatively simple package. In fact, there are plenty of web designers that believe that every website should use a content management system.

10 Questions To Ask Your SEO

Businesses spent more than nine billion on advertising last year, this exceeded what was spent on print advertising for the first time in history. More than ever, both large and small businesses want SEO vendors to provide exposure via both the Internet and more traditional marketing avenues.

How To Find A Good Web Designer

If you are building a website for the first time, it is imperative that you hire an experienced web designer. However, given the sheer number of prospective designers out there, the hiring process can easily overwhelm you. Here are some tips you can follow to help you hire the right professional.

Disable Personalized Search Results on Google

Google defaults are set to use your personal web history and browser information to personalize your search results.  This means that your search results could be a bit different from someone else searching for the same term.
britecode Carlos Caneja | britecode - Part 4

Carlos Caneja

There has been the never ending debate as to whether SEO or PPC is the better option to bring you the highest amount of potential success and traffic. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) definitely have their own set of pros and cons which will be broken down right now. You will soon be able to see which practice is the best option for you and your traffic goals.

The Pros of SEO

The first benefit of utilizing SEO is that the benefits that come from the investment will continue to increase, even after PPC has reached the peak. Since SEO is based on a consistently using the practices, the more you use it, the more successful your traffic increases, and the more specific the ads become related to your field of interest. In addition, 85% of clicks online come from a search as opposed to paid ads, and 86% of people searching online trust SEO listings as opposed to any sponsored or paid listing such as PPC.

The Pros of PPC

While SEO builds as you continue, PPC provides you with instant results and can ultimately generation a huge increase in visitors as soon as you complete the PPC action. You can also manage a budget and measure your return on investment much easier by utilizing PPC since you pay per clicks that you receive – Hence the name. In addition, 50% of people visiting a retailer’s site from a paid ad are more likely to buy than those who visit via a general link.

The Cons Of SEO

The biggest con of SEO is that you either have to invest your time or funds immediately, and wait for results. It can take awhile for you to receive the fullest potential of benefits that come from utilizing Search Engine Optimization. However, once you have bypassed that initial start up period with minimal results, they will continuously grow more and more. Another con that may determine whether SEO or PPC is for you is that if are any changes to what Google allows for SEO, you have to switch everything up. If you have invested a lot of time in a site that isn’t search engine friendly, you could be looking at a lengthy and costly process. You also can’t predict how you will rank in search engines by utilizing SEO. You can only follow the guidelines and continue to do so, in hopes to continually process on the ranking.

The Cons of PPC

Although you can budget when using PPC, clicks can become expensive, and bidding wars can frequently occur. Since you have to pay for clicks per month, if your budget is exceeded, the ads are gone and so is the traffic that you would have received from the search engine. In addition, you also have to investment a significant amount of time in order to monitor and adjust your ads on a constant basis.
Picking a practice that suits your needs is to imperative to your amount of success and ultimately, your increase in traffic. You need to decide whether you want instant results, or continually growing benefits. You also need to consider your field of interest and determine who your targeted audience is, so you can target them effectively.

 

seo vs ppc

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Turn Your Web Visitors into Customers by Segmenting your Website’s Content

 

There are endless amounts of websites that aren’t receiving the proper amount of customers in relation to their web traffic, and the solution is quite simple; Segmenting Content. If you have been having trouble engaging your audience to proceed with a sale, this is an effective way to make the difference that you need to further improve your business and more importantly, increase your sales.  Now before you try to market to every possible visitor to your site, take some time and consider segmenting your website’s content to turn your web visitors into customers by addressing your targeted audience appropriately and successfully.

 

Captivate Your Viewers

captiate viewers

Instead of bombarding your website visitors with tons of visual content on the landing page, segment the content to simplify the message that they will immediately receive. A clear, large image without anything surrounding it is a successful way of doing just that. As the example shows, a popular new website, Huffington Post, the main story captivates your attention, and all of the other options are much more laid back, and set apart from the rest of the main content which engages the viewers upon first glance on the page.

 

Be Direct With Your Audience

u-pods

It’s crucial that you speak directly to your audience, as if they are right in front of you. Deliver your targeted messages through valuable content that speaks to your viewers persona by creating blog posts and articles that they can relate to and by creating case studies that share your success stories and customer’s testimonials. Forget about speaking in third person, and speak right to your audience. An example of this can be seen in U-Haul’s service description as the context is full of “Your home”.

 

Keep It Clean

Although it’s tempting to share all of your content with your audience as soon as they click through your website, it’s crucial to resist bombarding them with too much information all at once. Your website visitors want a simple experience, and if you throw too much at them at once, they certainly won’t continue clicking through. They’ll click right off. Back to the U-Haul example, their service description is clean, basic and straight to the point. If you aren’t able to simplify your message, consider creating content that offers a short description, but with the option for your visitors to click further to read more.

 

Provide Different Options

chart

Your content may be targeted to a specific audience, but it’s imperative to provide different viewpoints and options for them because not all personas will be able to positively view everything in the same manner. Overcome this by providing content in a variety of different ways, such as in quotes, graphs, infographics and newsletters). Comprendia.com appealed their content to a wide range of individuals within their targeted audience by using text, bullet points and infographics.

 

Be Interactive

interactive

Creating content where you can interact with your visitors will promote brand recognition, customer loyalty and will keep your audience coming back for more. Social media profiles, blogs and even webinars can encourage interaction. RNB Designs, an architecture company, provides interaction through their social media sites and blog articles which can both be easily accessed on their landing page.

 

 

It truly isn’t difficult to have your website layout working to your benefit. All you have to do is place importance on the appearance of your content, and the segmenting of it as well. If your website looks anything like the following, you are in serious need for content segmenting on your Website because your web visitors are most certainly clicking right off of your website, and are certainly going no where close to becoming a customer. Segment that content and get your visitors to stay and become customers.

 

 

 

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Do you feel that you could honestly and confidently state what your value proposition is for your business? Prior to establishing your business, it is essential that you take the time to determine what your value proposition is if you would like your business to succeed. The following exercise will help you learn what a value proposition is and how you can write your own.

What is a Value Proposition?

According to Investopedia, a value proposition is “A business or marketing statement that summarizes why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. This statement should convince a potential consumer that one particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings.” http://www.investopedia.com/terms/v/valueproposition.asp#axzz2Jfhdr9gu

While this is only one of the many definitions available for what a value proposition is, all of the definitions available agree on two key points:

1. Definitions should be done from the customer’s perspective.

2. Value propositions can give your company the upper hand in the competitive
market.

Why Do You Need a Value Proposition?

A value proposition assists you and your company to understand both the customers you are specifically targeting and the value that you can offer in the marketplace. If you and your clients both feel that you are receiving a mutually beneficial exchange, then you can expect long and established relationships with those clients.

The Customer’s Perspective.

 

The overall value of the product or service a customer receives from your company is linked to the quality of products and services you are able to provide them. The majority of customers feel that they are receiving a good value when the benefits of your goods or services outweigh their overall cost or inconvenience. Ultimately, it is your customers who will determine what value to give your business’s offering.

Because your customers will define the value of your company, you need to develop your value proposition around their desires. Once it has been developed, it is your job to explain the product or service you are offering while putting emphasis on the strengths of your company to create a competitive advantage.

Your value proposition should address each of the following components:

What can your company offer?

Who are your target customers?

Why should your customers purchase from you as opposed to other competitors in your market?

How will your product differ from the competition?

In order to get the most use out of your value proposition, the answers to all of the questions above should be clear, concise, and poignant.

Once you have addressed all of the questions discussed above and have a firm grasp on the concept of value propositions, you will be able to increase your perceived benefits, decrease the perceived sacrifices your customers will have to make, focus clearly on your resources that are greater than others in your market, and continue to tailor that what you have to offer is different from your competitors

 

To make this all stick better we’ve put together some great examples of other companie’s value propositions. Some of the companies we list below you may not recognize but you’ll be sure to know what service or product they offer just by reading their value proposition:

 

Freshbooks – www.freshbooks.com

 

MailChimp – www.mailchimp.com

Basecamp- www.basecamp.com

Magento- www.magento.com

PayPal (Business segment)- www.paypal.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Increasing traffic to your business website is essential, but it’s not enough; once viewers make it to your page, you must engage them, so that they buy your products or services. In doing so, you’ve converted a viewer into a customer.

Customer conversion rate, the ratio of converted viewers to the total number of viewers denoted as a percentage, is an important metric for the success of any business. Since this rate doesn’t take the value of the sale into account, it is a relative term.

Each business owner needs to determine his/her target customer conversion rate. If your business suffered a low customer conversion rate in 2012, using these 5 tips can help increase the metric for your business in the New Year.

1. Give Customers Immediate Buying Incentives

While potential customers are making up their minds about your products, be proactive and grab their attention with an announcement of a short-term sale or discount offer available for a limited period only. No one can resist a good deal, and this urges them into immediate action. The key is not to allow them too much time to think it over lest they decide to go away without making a purchase.

Design a catchy campaign on the homepage of your website to bring this sale or special offer to your viewers’ attention. A large banner can be placed at the top of the screen or right in the center of the homepage.

2. Call them to Action

Keep your notices simple for maximum effectiveness. There should be no chance for consumers to get confused. Tell them exactly what you are offering them and how they can get it. When providing call-to-action buttons that say Buy – Add to Cart – Proceed to Checkout or Sign Up, do not feel shy to display them prominently; a large font size and a bold color that stands out from the background usually works well as a call to action.

3. Pictures Speak a Thousand Words

The pictures you use on your promotion campaign are very important. Besides the choice of an image, make sure you do not compromise on its resolution. The last thing you want is to turn off potential customers with blurry or extra-small pictures that requires squinting to view. Online consumers are very particular; since they cannot see the product in person, they need to get a clear three-dimensional close-up look at what they are buying.

Actual photographs of your product are the best, but if these are not available, you may choose stock pictures. In this case, take the time to find the most suitable pictures that closely resemble your products. If you can include functionality that allows viewers to zoom into pictures and rotate them, that’s great; otherwise, upload multiple pictures of the product from different angles. Additionally, a short descriptive video of your products will add a personal touch.

4. Keep the Payment/Sign-up Process Simple

Many customers who decide to buy a product or signup for a newsletter change their mind at the last minute simply because the process was too tedious. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes; wouldn’t you want to get it over and done with as soon as possible?

Don’t make it mandatory for them to create a user account on your website before making a purchase. A guest login should be fine, and you can ask them to later when they may be more receptive.

Don’t advertise any unrelated products at the payment stage; this amounts to hounding the customer. For example, it may be alright to suggest an anti-virus package to a customer who is buying a laptop; however, showing them your range of cameras at this stage makes no sense.

When asking viewers to sign up for your newsletter, only require necessary details. Consumers cherish their privacy, especially with the increasing number of online scams. A sign-up form that requires too many personal details could scare potential customers away.

Simplicity is the best approach to increasing your customer conversion rate. Design your website so that viewers have a great user experience in navigating the pages from start to end. Use simple fonts and colors, and use plain language in your text.

5. Be Smart with Symbols That Invoke Trust

As mentioned before, consumers find it hard to trust a business website that they are interacting with for the first time, especially if they don’t have any reviews from friends and family. So how do you win their trust?

Tell them about any respected organizations that you are a member of or any big company that you partner with. Place this information in a prominent location on your homepage. Seeing these familiar names will help take away any doubts that your readers had about the credibility of your business. What’s more, they’ll spread this trust in your business to their peers, which is the most effective form of
advertising.

This New Year, as you continue your efforts to drive more traffic to your business website, make a resolution to simultaneously increase your customer conversion rate. By incorporating these 5 tips, you can soon see an upward trend in sales and revenue

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Getting the Most Out of Your SEO Agency

So far, you’ve been constantly receiving excellent results from your SEO agency. For most people, the fact that the agency they’ve hired is doing what it’s supposed to be doing is already enough for them.

But

Should You Be Satisfied With This?

As a member of a trusted organization and/or company, it is your job to ask questions. Reputation is a business’ most important investment and you have the right to know whether your SEO supplier is engaging in practices that can compromise it.

There might be no predefined standards when it comes to SEO – but still, deceitful optimization techniques and methods that are contrary to the guidelines set by most search engines can spell dire consequences for any business.

Demanding A Clearer Look

Aside from reputation, your money is also at stake here. The SEO agency should be able to explain how their tools work, even if it is proprietary.

And to keep yourself abreast of the latest developments in your SEO campaign, it’s best to set up meetings and other forms of communication with your agency regularly. This way, you have more opportunities to share ideas and strategies which, in turn, could help them produce faster results.

Playing The Same Language Game

Like any other kind of industry or academic discipline, the world of SEO is full of technical terms and jargon that might confuse the average Internet user. To avoid getting their clients overwhelmed, some SEO agencies resort to dumbing down the terms and technicalities in an act of uncalled for patronization.

This is wrong. They must sound like they know what they are doing; technical terms should be left as is. If you need further explanation into the details, they should be able to give it to you at a drop of a hat.

Watch out for red flags: if they can’t provide definitions for their jargon or if they say that they have some sort of a special relationship with a search engine, then it’s probably time to look for another supplier.

Transparency Is The Key

Transparency is the number one characteristic to look for in any transaction. For example, most SEO agencies would provide their clients with a representative sample of the links they’ve placed instead of the whole list. They do this to save time on reports and to let the clients see the big picture instantly. But if you want to see the whole list for yourself, they must be able to provide it wholeheartedly. If they refuse, you should walk out of the door immediately.

What’s Fresh Today, May Turn Bad Tomorrow

It’s hard to justify prying into your SEO agency’s services when they’ve been constantly producing excellent results. But think about it in long-term. The SEO services that they are supplying has a huge impact on your business; it can make or break your business’ credibility. If at any point, you are unsure how your supplier is doing its job, take your time to review their practices

 

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Until your website appears in Google’s search results, it’s difficult to develop traffic and sales. And until you site is indexed multiple times by Google’s web crawler, Googlebot, it won’t show up in the search results. Frequent return visits by the crawler are necessary to advance in the rankings so your site shows up earlier in searches. The objective of maintaining a website is to generate traffic, so an organized process to make sure your site is crawled frequently is a priority. The good news is that the techniques to get that job done are conventional SEO practices. Taking these steps will both get your site into the search results and, once it’s there, improve your position. The method to keep Google crawling your sites consists of just five simple steps.

1. Add additional content. Fresh content on your website is a magnet both for users and for search engines. The Googlebot loves fresh content and every time it visits your site it looks for it. If there’s nothing there to hold its interest, it might be a while before it comes back to check again. If it detects new stuff, it will return more often. A good example of this are newspaper websites where the content changes consistently, enticing Google to crawl the sites multiple times per day. Update the site whenever it’s logical to do so. Never add content as an end in itself. Always consider the quality of what you’re adding.

2. Use original content. Duplicating content to fill space is counterproductive if you’re seeking to improve your status on Google. The crawler detects duplicate material and may avoid your site if it finds enough of it. If there’s a compelling reason for duplicating information, place the duplicate material on a different page and utilize redirects to refer users to it.

3. Speed up your loading. Just like you, the Google crawler gets impatient with slow-loading sites. When it encounters one it may simply move on to the next site without waiting to see what it missed. This can be very bad for your prospects to earn a decent position in search results. The loading speed of a site carries an increasing amount of weight in the Google algorithm that determines who makes it into search results and how high they are ranked.

4. Map your site. If your website contains a site map, it makes it easier for Google to access all pages of your site. This results in more comprehensive indexing, a great advantage in the competition for a favorable place in the search results. A sitemap simply contains URLs to all the various pages and information on your site. HTML sitemaps are generally favored by Google over the XML equivalent.

5. Cultivate links to your site. The more times the Googlebot stumbles over links to your website incorporated in other sites, the more it will make a habit of returning to crawl your site. These return visits translate into more favorable positioning in search results. Of course, spreading your links far and wide on the web also increases user traffic and sales at your site.

 

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Using a content management system (CMS) is a popular way for web designers to easily allow the addition and updating of content in a relatively simple package. In fact, there are plenty of web designers that believe that every website should use a content management system. However, a CMS shouldn’t be taken as a “one-solution-fits-all” approach to design and content management. Being able to edit your own content with a CMS has plenty of benefits and drawbacks that can easily affect how your website ultimately looks and feels to your users.

Why Go With a CMS?

One major advantage for having a content management system on your website is that it offers plenty of useful plug-ins and add-ons that allow a great degree of customization. Instead of developing your own individual scripts for shopping carts, photo galleries and other features, the average CMS already offers those features as add-on installations. Although many of these add-ons have been tested to work for the CMS they were designed for, you can still run into compatibility issues that can cause anything from minor issues to catastrophic outages.

The key thing to keep in mind about a CMS is that it still requires ongoing maintenance and updating, despite appearances to the contrary. Like just about any website, a CMS still needs upgrades, patches and other forms of maintenance to function properly. In fact, you probably factor in the cost of having your web designer or yourself maintaining the website as needed.

Can My Website Do Without a CMS?

Your website can do without a CMS, but you have to be prepared to put in plenty of effort to make this work. For starters, you’ll probably end up having to learn a great deal about web design in order to replicate some of the features offered in the average CMS package.

Plenty of web designers go out of their way to include a CMS within their client’s websites, mainly to decrease the possibility of the client breaking their site in the process of doing something as simple as updating their content. In these cases, a CMS works fine since most clients only want to update text content and quite possibly a few images to go with said text content.

Not every CMS can work smoothly within the design of a website. In many cases, you’re probably better off not having a CMS if it severely compromises the webpage’s overall design. Nevertheless, many people opt to incorporate CMS into their websites regardless of how it impacts design.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, having a content management system is not a mandatory requirement. In fact, not every website needs a CMS. The choice of whether or not to use a CMS depends on what you want out of your website. If you’re looking for a feature-rich website, then a CMS might be a better option than having a web designer at those features on individually. In other cases, you might feel that your website will be better off aesthetically without the use of a CMS.

 

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Businesses spent more than nine billion on advertising last year, this exceeded what was spent on print advertising for the first time in history. More than ever, both large and small businesses want SEO vendors to provide exposure via both the Internet and more traditional marketing avenues. If your work involves SEO, whether you are doing it on your own (consulting, or for your own sites) or as a part of a team, there are certain questions that you should be able to answer. How about if you are looking for an SEO vendor? You will need to find one who is able to carry out an effective strategy to make sure that your website becomes highly ranked. Do you know what questions you need to ask? Below are questions to which every competent SEO professional should be able to offer answers. These may be useful in helping you decide who is qualified and who is not.

 

Q 1. Which of these linking strategies will have a more positive effect on our website’s rank, getting 10 links back from 10 different websites, or having one site link to us 10 different times?

 

Multiple linking domains provide the best SEO result in Google, possibly because the search engine sees it as a more valid endorsement.

 

Q 2. A high ranking on Google Local is extremely important to many small businesses; also important is the ranking in Google Places, and Google Maps. Give me the three most important reasons why these search engines play such a significant role in a website’s success or failure.

 

The consumer’s reliance on Google for its ability to recommend local businesses and the emergence of location-based social networks, are among the acceptable answers. Google Places also allows consumers to rate the local businesses they patronize.

 

Q 3. Which two search engines receive the highest number of queries in the United States? Tell me the top two search engines for China, the United Kingdom, Russia and China as well.

 

Baidu is the most widely used search engine in China, with Google ranking second, in the UK the top two are Google and Bing, the same as in the US. In Russia, Yandex is the most popular, and Google is in second place.

 

Q 4. Other than getting a website linked to directly from social sites, in what other ways would you use them to improve our website’s search engine rank?

 

Simply put, it helps to build awareness of a brand. It is a tool of promotion. Social marketing can be used to mold perception of a product or service.

 

Q 5. When it comes to placing keywords on a page, give me five places on a page where using a keyword will provide a positive benefit to that page’s search engine ranking.

 

The domain and sub-domain name as well as such elements in the page as the title and body are all good parts of the page to place keywords. The answer given may include any of these.

 

Q 6. Why should we use your services? What makes you better than another company (or individual)? What do you bring to the table that another SEO expert will not be able to bring? Also, how would you manage our account?

 

An SEO professional should have qualities that you believe suit your company’s specific needs, perhaps due to experience, or knowledge of your industry.

 

Q 7. How does optimizing a page figure into your overall strategy? Follow up questions here would be: What percentage of pages on our website will be optimized? How will the flow of communication from the end user/client to the provider work?

 

Page optimization involves figuring out the visitor’s intentions, needs, and to create content that is relevant to their searches. You will want to be kept in the loop and fully informed, you will also want to be able to get in touch with them whenever necessary.

 

Q 8. How do you go about building links? You may follow this up with, would you alter your method of building links in your packaged solutions based on the client’s needs? What about your team, how are the work responsibilities divided among them? What type of leader are you? There are many ways in which backlinks may be built, these range from requesting links to submitting articles to directories. You will want to ensure that the SEO will be able to adapt his services to your needs.

 

Q 9. While we do not expect any crises, how well do you handle them? Do you have experience with handling situations where you had to perform damage control where a client’s reputation was at stake? Explain your reaction to the situation, the measures you took and how effective they were.

 

One way of addressing the issue is by using straightforward and informative blog posts on your sub-domains. These posts should directly deal with the cause of the crises. Ensure that your customers know that you are being open and forthcoming with information.

 

Q 10. What are the ways in which you would improve the ratio of pages on a website that are indexed by a search engine crawler? Do you understand the concept of topic modeling and how different forms of topic modeling are implemented?

 

Improving the quality of the content and the efficiency of the navigation can improve the ratio of pages crawled by search engines. Topic modeling is a method of using mathematical concepts to link a search engine query to a particular set of content.

 

Other Areas to Take into Consideration Consider the SEO’s previous experience, have they worked with clients who had needs similar to yours? Their knowledge of the less obvious nuances can make the difference between a solid business partner and one that is merely average. The key to an effective relationship will be each party’s willingness to learn from the other. Both clients and SEO vendors should be active listeners. Vendors will have to listen to the needs of their clients; clients should likewise be open to instruction from their vendors. Looking for an effective social and reputation management expert involves:

 

  •  Finding a partner. The word “partner” connotes someone who is more involved in your business, beyond the level of a mere “vendor.” Your marketing partner is more deeply committed to the growth of your business than someone from the outside. While they will have to take time to learn the ins and outs of your business, the amount that they will need to learn can be minimized if you know what to look for.
  •  Building a brand via using social sites. Social media is an important tool for building brand awareness, which can in turn lead to positive results when it comes to search engine ranking. The most easily recognized benefit of a strong social media presence are the links directly to your site from social sites like Twitter and Facebook. Also, brand associations on social sites may be used by search engine algorithms to decide whether a particular page is popular or relevant to the search engine query.
  • Considering the big picture. When looking for someone to handle your SEO and digital marketing, avoid those who place a stress on using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. While these sites are important elements in a social media strategy, they should only be parts, not the entirety of your game plan. There is also much more to the role of SEO than mere jargon, you will need an SEO expert who can provide a specific benefit via a clearly defined method.
  • Finding a vendor who can get your site indexed on Google. If you are not indexed on the Internet’s most popular search engine, then your site will likely not be found by customers using Google for searching for products/services in your niche. Part of the work of an SEO professional is getting your site on Google, and getting the links back to your website indexed. A SEO vendor should be able to explain to you how they go about getting links back to your website indexed.
  • Identifying the trends. While certain aspects of SEO are fairly easy to carry out, one that requires a fair amount of skill and knowledge is trend-spotting. The ability to spot and use trends in link building can make a huge difference in how fast your site gets indexed.

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If you are building a website for the first time, it is imperative that you hire an experienced web designer. However, given the sheer number of prospective designers out there, the hiring process can easily overwhelm you. Here are some tips you can follow to help you hire the right professional.

First off, you must never replace experience with low rates. If a web designer is asking for dubiously cheap professional fees, you might want to be careful when decidng to get the service. It might be wise to ask for some samples you can evaluate before making a decision. If you are a business owner who depends on his website for sales and other business transactions, you cannot settle for something that was poorly designed because your business will ultimately suffer.

Ask a prospect designer how many websites he had already designed. It would be best if your designer was able to work with a business website like yours in the past. This way, you know that he already has an idea about how to make a design fit for the website of your business.

When meeting a prospective designer for the first time, immediately ask for a work portfolio. Examine the designer’s style and determine whether your target market group will be able to connect with the styles of your designer. Keep in mind that it is not enough that you like your website—your customers should respond to it.

Your designer must also cover all ends of the project. Thus, it is important to ask about the process the designer uses to test the website. Browser testing is important in order to find out if your website works properly on all known browsers and operating systems. This process will take some time in order to work out the bugs, but it will be worth it. If done right the first time, it could spare you from future headaches once the website is launched.

Aside from the aesthetics, your designer must fully understand why you are building a website. He must have a good grasp of your business objectives. This will enable him to come up with styles that are in-line with your business themes and goals.

To make sure your designer will produce a design that would suit your taste, don’t hesitate to throw in your suggestions or what you would like to see in the design. This goes without saying that you must find a designer who is easy to work with. After all, coming up with a great design for your website does not solely depend on your designer but also with how you are able to work together.

All these pointers will help you identify the right web designer for your business website.

 

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Google defaults are set to use your personal web history and browser information to personalize your search results.  This means that your search results could be a bit different from someone else searching for the same term.    Most people are fine with the personalized web results, but others may want to edit the settings or stop it completely.  There are several different ways to do this:

1.  Simply sign out of Google.  If you aren’t logged in, Google can’t access your history.  This is best for people who only  need the personalization default turned off sometimes and don’t need to be logged in to Google to access other applications.

2.  You can follow Google’s instructions for the official way they recommend for disabling personalization.  You will first need to sign out of Google while searching.  You will see “disable customization” under the “web history” tab in the top right corner of the search results screen.  Click the box to disable the customization feature.

3.  If you use FireFox, download an add-on called Google Global.  This add-on allows you to stop Google from personalizing all of your web searches.  It also allows you to see the results other countries receive to your web searches.

4. If you are a Google Chrome  user you can use the Disable Google Personal Search plugin.

5.  Finally, you can always insert the parameter “&pws=0” in the URL bar of your browser after performing a search (you’ll have hit the enter key or the search button again).  This will remove the personalized web results feature for that search only.

disable personalized search result

 

So there you have it! Here’s how you can stop big brother from watching every step.  In addition to that it’s a also a great way to track site rankings if you are running an SEO campaign.

 

 

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