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Tidbits & Quick Notes

Short Tips & Tricks

The following excerpts are quick and short articles on web, design, programming, marketing & advertising related topics:

Making The Website The Central Focus For SEO

Focusing Efforts On Website & SEO

For best SEO (Search Engine Optimization), all online and offline advertising efforts, should support the company’s website as the main hub. Unlike most brick and mortar stores that require staff with limited hours, a website helps businesses the most as a reference point, and selling platform available 24/7 with limited staff involvement.

Outside efforts (such as paid ads, social media posts, other channels, and external platforms) should all link to, utilize, and support the main website as the company’s central focus and hub. While paid advertising has its benefits, and is of use in certain situations, (such as new businesses needing immediate exposure), the majority of focus should be on supporting the website’s natural/organic SEO, and directing all prospects to the website for conversion.

By using all outside channels to support the website as a main hub, the site's overall SEO will intrinsically be improved. These incoming links from outside sales channels, (in addition to other standard SEO practices) will help to increase ranking in the organic/natural listings accordingly.

Make all avenues, posts, blogs, external advertising, flyers, postcards (anywhere the company is mentioned online or offline) direct and lead the consumer to the company’s website. Such funneling and direction from all sales channels helps to control the sales process, manage client expectations, while at the same time providing valuable SEO.

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Keep 'em Coming Back

How are most people using the Internet? For information, and according to Google, over 80% are accessing the Internet from their phone or mobile device. People want their information fresh, fast, free, easy to navigate, and most of all, mobile.

Websites providing valuable, free information will keep people coming back, again and again. Everyone's heard the studies that say that prospects will see an advertisement 5-7 times before actually purchasing a product or service.

"But what can I offer to keep them coming back?"

This depends on what you're selling:

  • If your target market is, fishermen, you could offer brief news updates on the best fishing holes, and perhaps "free bait or a lure for filling out an online survey".
  • If you're a florist, perhaps offer tips on making bouquets last; or even tips on how to dry the flowers for saving later.
  • If your business is retail, you probably get free samples from vendors; pass the promotions on to your customers as free incentives for visiting and shopping.
  • The possibilities are endless.

Whatever your business, you probably know quite a bit about it. Simply write your own articles and news briefs just like you were writing a letter to a friend.

If you want ideas, simply surf the web for other sites in your industry. Most likely there's a competitor offering your same type products and services are already doing something similar!

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Web Surfing with AOL

Many people use AOL to view the Internet. However, while some may know, many AOL users are not aware that the AOL web browser limits the view one has of a many websites and related contents. However, the solution to the problem is already sitting on many desktops. If it's not, it's easy to find.

To view websites as they are meant to be viewed, simply logon to your AOL service as usual. Once connected to AOL, look down at the Windows Start Menu. There you will see a little blue "e". This little blue "e" icon is what will launch Window's Internet Explorer (IE) browser. Whie IE is not always the best browser to view websites, it is arguably better than the AOL browser.

Some other browsers that are often considered better than IE, and are easy to download and install on most any PC or Mac are:

Once using another browser in place of AOL's built-in browser, users will be able to surf the webs and see websites as the creators intended the websites to be viewed.

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Get More from Your Hosting

Most websites do not use near the amount of space they have allotted for hosting on the website server. The average informational, business website is only a couple MB in size. However, most hosting accounts are 10-100MB+ in size, if not larger. This extra room in your hosting account can be utilized to store many essential files that your company may like secure access to outside of the office.

For example, a company might have several Word documents that they would like outside sales representatives to have access to from a secure browser. Or perhaps an Excel file that has a spreadsheet and formula that an outside accounting firm needs access to remotely.

A secure web hosting account is an excellent place to store such documents and files for easy access where ever you have internet access. Really, the options are endless.

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Three Step Rule in Designing a Site's Navigation

A web site's navigational structure is one of the most important factors to consider when designing a website so that visitors and search engines can easily find the information needed. One very important rule that comes into play in making a site's navigational structure effective is the "Three Step Rule".

The "Three Step Rule" basically states that a visitor should be able to get to any section of a website by following no more than three steps or clicks. For instance, from the Home Page, a visitor looking for Product X should have to make no more than three clicks before getting to the information about Product X. This means that when designing a website, the designer must take a good amount of time to plan how the website is laid out so that nearly any portion of the website can be found within three clicks from the Home Page.

This can sometimes be difficult when dealing with a large amount of information, products or services. A great deal of planning must be put into the website layout in order to achieve the "Three Step Rule". One must take appropriate time to plan out your major categories of information, and then break this down into subcategories with your final destination beneath the subcategories.

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Email Campaigns

Many businesses participate in email campaigns today. Whether sending out the company newsletter or special promotions, "how" the email campaign is sent is of great importance when it comes to email privacy. Many people are aware of the BCC field in email programs and often times will use the BCC field to send out a mass email in hopes of getting the email out to as many recipients as possible without showing all the recipient email addresses.

However, what many people don't know is that even by using the BCC field to send out an email campaign, the recipient addresses are still compromised and available for any spammer to view and capture. Even though the email addresses are hidden from Normal View when sending BCC, the addresses are still available by looking at the Email Headers. Therefore if you BCC 1,000 newsletters, literally all 1,000 of your recipients receive a copy of each other's email addresses. In today's day and age of spam awareness, that's a frowned upon practice.

Often a better tool is to utilize an eBlast software. These softwares allow you to input your list of recipients, and then the software sends out individual emails to each address on the list so each recipients receives a single personalized email of your newsletter or promotion. Some such eblast solutions (such as those offered by Advertising Solutions) integrate with your website, CMS or shopping cart allowing you to create your newsletter page on your website, and then email out that exact website page as your newsletter or special product page, event page, etc.

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Search Engine Ranking

Clients often ask what "search engines" are and how "search engine ranking" affects a website. The answer is rather simple:

  • Google, Bing and Yahoo are some of the more well known "search engine" websites.

  • These websites have programs called "spiders" that search the internet for websites.

  • Each time a search engine comes across a website, it looks at the hidden code called "HTML," and compares this to the content and text that one actually sees when viewing a website.

  • Each page and its HTML code get indexed (read and reviewed in its entirety) by the spiders and stored in the search engine's database.

  • The more times that a search engine finds a match between "keywords" in the HTML, and "keywords" in the content and text of the website, the better the ranking that website will get with that search engine.

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