A word from iDesign-Sites
By: Bob Hamilton
When it comes to designing your website, it is not only about the website graphics, the decorations and the like. It is not only about the graphics, themes and concepts. It is not only about the backgrounds, the color, or the final website graphics you’ve chosen for the many things you will put in the site. The other features of the site you are making are also important pieces of your elaborate final website design. The next step other than deciding the theme is deciding about the layout. But first, what is a layout?
As you might have heard or seen in other publications like magazines, newspapers, or in presentations, the layout plays a very important role. The layout dictates what goes where and how it will all look when put together. When it comes to layout, you are to decide which part of the site goes where. In the layout you too have to decide on what items need to be place in the front page as well as subsequent pages. But how will you decide on these things?
The first step in website design is to determine what your site is all about. When you have made that decision, think of what is the purpose of the site itself. Whether it is for personal or business use, this goes a long way in making your design decisions, whether it is about website graphics, how things should be placed on the site itself and really every other design aspect of the site.
Next comes defining the most applicable layout. These days, the most common kind of layout being used has navigation bars on either side, even on top and bottom. These navigation bars have tabs and lists of the main pages on the site. This helps the visitors find their way in and out. The lists in the navigation areas are lists of the many items on the site or topics that would take the main interest of the visitors as they browse around. These lists and navigation tabs help the visitors to come in and out of the site. They help them find whatever it is that they are looking for.
Remember; good website design dictates putting all the important and relevant details right in front – put this information front and center so the visitors will be able to find them right away. Remember lay out is very important. Choose well! Don’t forget to check and double check each of the important pieces of your website. Whether it is website graphics, content, or layout, you want everything to come together in your website.
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(ArticlesBase SC #3647914)
Give It Time To Mature!
By: Mark T H
Do you have a new website? Are you new to internet marketing and still in the information overload phase? Don’t worry. This is not uncommon. If your website is less than one year old, odds are, it is not earning money online in any great quantity, if at all. One of the most discouraging things for many new webmasters is that fact that due to the sheer level of competition on the internet, earning income online is tough, very tough. If one is looking to earn income online, one has to understand that this is a race of endurance rather than a sprint. A web-based business, like any brick and mortar business requires time to build it self and it’s reputation. That being said, there are several things to consider before throwing in the towel from frustration.
Is Your Site Lean On Content? Odds are it is lean. When I say lean, I am referring to unique and original content. If your site is new, it is probably not a trusted resource in the eyes of the search engines yet. For this reason you need unique content. Content that is syndicated or duplicate can rank well in search engines, if your trust rank or page rank is high but if it is not, you need information to be indexed that is unique and only owned by you. The real question to ask yourself is: Is my level of unique indexed content growing? If it is, you are headed in the right direction.
Do You Have A Small List? This question is for those building lists using autoresponders. Odds are if you are building a list it is quite small at this point. Despite all of you efforts to tempt prospects to subscribe to your list you may very well be getting only one to two subscribers per day if any. But, there are two questions to ask yourself before you get discouraged. Am I even building a list? Is my list growing, even if it is growing slowly? If so, you are heading in the right direction.
Does Your Bottom Line Suffer From Low Traffic? Are you annoyed by your low daily unique visitor count? Are you getting only ten to twenty unique visitors per day? This is standard for new websites depending on your niche. Traffic comes with unique and well optimized content and lots of it, the list you are building and links, lots of links pointing to your site like in-roads. If you are continuously adding unique content, building your list, and building your backlinks, you traffic will grow. You must give it time.
Are You Continuously Adding Value? In other words, are you giving people a reason to come back? Is your “unique” content fresh and up to date? Is it well written? Is it interesting? Is it valuable to your visitors? Would you visit your site to read it? Would you visit your site over and over again for your content? These are important questions? If you content provides no value, then your business will suffer for it in the long run.
Time Is A Must. Rome was not built in a day and your business cannot be built in a day either. Most businesses take one to three years to be profitable meaning it takes one to three years for a business to make more money than it spends. You have to be willing to invest this much time in your business. Otherwise, you may never give it the chance to reveal it’s potential.
That being said, there is a certain tried and true step-by-step procedure for getting your business up and running properly and earning money online. If you are interested in learn how, sign up for my free Search Engine Marketing (SEM) course below.
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What Are Your Options?
By: Shawni jGroezinger
Every expert has an internet marketing strategy to recommend. For new entrepreneurs, this can get a little overwhelming. It is easy to think that one has to use everything to successfully market their products and services. Doing so would not only result to overblown expenses, but it would also require unnecessary time on your part. The best thing to do is to select a set of strategies to integrate in your marketing plan instead.
Here are some of the most popular choices. Choose the ones that can effectively help meet your business goals. Aside from that, apply the strategies that can give back the highest monetary return.
1 Websites are a must for every online business because this is where you sell your company and goods. Not only should the consumers know what you are selling, but they should have a general profile of the company as well. Invest in a good website. Aside from fully functional features, it should also have a neat interface and an easy-to-navigate layout.
2. One of the most common yet effective ways to market products and services is the use of blogs and articles. There are many sites and e-directories to choose from. You have to keep in mind that aside from the actual product promotion, one must hold the interest of the readers by writing interesting articles that do not oversell the goods.
3. Search engine optimization is the internet marketing strategy king. Most consumers use search engines to look for their options, and you should aim to be one of their primary choices. You can do so if you would be able to get a high page ranking among search results. The better you do, the more likely will they find your page on the web.
4. Online marketing is not just about expenses. There are many free strategies one can use. If you want an almost free yet entirely effective way to find leads, think about applying an affiliate marketing program. By offering affiliates a chance to earn a commission, one would substantially reduce their own operational costs. One can either offer this for free, or charge a small membership fee to offset some of the expenses.
5. Banner advertising is a popular marketing tactic. Though they are inexpensive, they may not reach your specific target audience. The best approach to implement if you want to use them is to utilize the right websites on which the banners appear.
6. Email marketing is an internet marketing strategy that will promote your new goods and services directly by means of email. This is also a perfect way to strengthen ties with your consumers. The challenge in using this is its unsavory reputation because of massive spamming. To make sure emails won’t be marked as spam mail, have a clear schedule and consistently send out emails accordingly. Write the emails to be helpful and informative.
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(ArticlesBase SC #3281546)
By: Nick Yorchak
Why You Need A Facebook “Profile” (If You Don’t Have One Already)
Over the past few years, social networking sites enabled by Web 2.0 technologies have dramatically changed the way we use the Internet. What was once a one-way connection has transformed into a dynamic connective medium, allowing users to share a wide range of content including blogs, photos, videos, and much more.
Yet how have social networking sites like Facebook changed the way online marketers advertise online? For one, they’ve made our jobs much easier. Facebook is the ideal medium for advertising within an environment that’s viral by nature. These online social directories use an interactive format that allows users to create a personal profile, connect to other users, and share content.
In a sense, these users have already effectively segmented themselves, coming together through like interest groups and connecting through content. These behaviors, which are inherent to social media and enabled by Web 2.0, create valuable networks of targeted and specific demographic groups. Now more than ever, the “Net Generation” is becoming involved in social media and presenting online marketers with the chance to market to predefined segments of online users, positioning branded messages on sites where these users spend time online.
Moreover, these social networking sites are growing at an exponential rate, adding more and more users from more diverse backgrounds. Initially, Facebook was created only for college students, but last year, it was opened to anyone with an email address. According to Microsoft, Facebook is the sixth most trafficked site in the U.S., and now has over 73 million registered users in 40,000 different collegiate, high school, work-related, and geographic networks. This represents a 530% growth rate over one year alone.
The tactic through which advertisers communicate with these segmented online audiences is known as Social Media Marketing (SMM). SMM has become a popular tool for search engine optimization (SEO) thanks to its unique ability to improve website visibility, name recognition, and brand awareness among specific online audiences through the acquisition of a network of relevant links.
So what opportunities does Facebook present for targeted online marketing efforts? Among Internet users ages 18-24, Facebook placed first on the list of favorite sites in Youth Trends most recent survey. Over 70% of females ages 17-25 indicated that Facebook was their favorite site in terms of time spent online. For males, this figure was still a powerful 56%. These demographic is clearly technology-driven, thanks to their growing up in a culture that considers time online an integral aspect of daily life. More than half of those surveyed visited Facebook at least once a day, logging an average of 35 minutes on the site.
Furthermore, these users are familiar with online environments and are adept at seeking out and finding specific pieces of content they’re interested in. Thus, social networking sites, especially Facebook, present online marketers with the opportunity to engage users with advertising messages at critical moments of relevance.
So how can we utilize social media marketing to effectively engage these elusive audiences of young adults? Below are several ideas on how to utilize social media marketing on Facebook.
Connect Through Groups:
Facebook has an infinite number of shared interest groups which users join for a myriad of reasons. These groups cover an unlimited number of subjects and interests, from marine biology to snowboarding to politics to rap music to Italian food. No matter what your interest or target market, there is a group for you. Take it from me. I’ve been a registered Facebook user, or “Facebooker” since 2003, and I’ve seen a group for everything, literally. Many even have a local focus, like Denver Broncos fan groups or Denver Chinese Students Group. Each of these groups has its own page with a forum, discussion board, photo gallery, etc. This is the best place to position messages meant for specific niche audiences, as you’re almost guaranteed everyone who sees it fits your target profile. In the past, when I was trying to drive traffic to a video site I was working for, I placed descriptive and enticing links to relevant videos on the group’s “wall,” or discussion board. I saw great results as many of the members of this particular group, which was devoted to skiing, followed these links to watch videos about their favorite sport, skiing.
Connect Through Applications:
Recently, Facebook has opened up its platform to outside developers who have created innumerable applications, ranging from fantasy stock picking simulators to video games of “beer pong” to world maps marking desired travel destinations. Users can add as many of these applications as they like to their profiles, creating opportunities for marketers and developers alike to subtly integrate marketing messages into these applications and their functions. Many developers have already done so and are not doubt reaping some major benefits, not only through increased brand awareness but through traffic driven from Facebook, which many have bridged to their own sites.
Connect Through Content:
Because Facebook allows users to post videos, images, links, photos, and more, advertisers can seamlessly utilize social media marketing strategies to connect with these groups through content. By positioning your content where your target audience is, you can be assured your brand will be right in front of their eyes as they interact with your message. Facebook is a repository for an endless amount of consumer data, what many experts have dubbed “a community in a box.” So why not leverage this data by getting involved? Connect through content.
Connect Through Events:
As Facebook has grown, it has added an “Events” section where users can post information about upcoming events and then invite their Facebook friends to attend. The entire section of events is searchable, and users can quickly locate events they’re interested in, find the host’s name, location, time, and even a description of the event. What’s more, Facebook gives each event its own page, where users can RSVP, decline to attend, or even post information on the event page’s public discussion wall, like what to wear, what to bring, etc. This presents social media marketers with a valuable opportunity to post events and then invite people that are most likely interested in attending. In my own experience with this medium, I’ve created events for clients and then posted information and invites within groups that align. For example, when promoting an upcoming reggae concert or college football game, find as many groups related to reggae music, college football, music and sports that you can, and post the event information on their group discussion boards to ensure that anyone who’s interested now knows and attends.
Connect Through Mobile Devices:
Just this week, Facebook announced that it has partnered with RIM, or Research In Motion, and their BlackBerry device. In addition to BlackBerrys, Facebook is accessible to a wide range of other mobile devices. This presents valuable opportunities for advertisers to reach potential customers on a local level, positioning their company presence at the moment of relevance.
Still, Facebook’s explosive growth hasn’t been without challenges. In response to criticism from a plethora of groups, Facebook recently added additional security measures in an effort to better protect private information. In addition to assuaging privacy fears, this is sure to encourage more users to join the site and share more information about themselves. Yet this will also force social media marketers to be more innovative and creative when identifying and locating target audiences.
As you can see, Facebook users have taken care of the segmentation process, connecting themselves through content and shared interests. These behaviors, which are inherent to social media and enabled by Web 2.0, create valuable networks of targeted and specific demographic groups. Now more than ever, the “Net Generation” is becoming involved in social media and presenting online marketers with the chance to market to predefined segments of online users, positioning branded messages on sites where these users spend time online.
The company I work for, Fusionbox, uses social media marketing to combine the objectives of Internet marketing with the capabilities of social media sites and Web 2.0 technologies. Click here for more information on social media marketing.
Essentially, our SMM services create powerful forms of viral marketing that leverage the large audiences and user communities of social media sites. Whether on MySpace, YouTube, Digg, Facebook, Del.icio.us, Flickr, or any number of others, SMM revolves around the creation and connection of users to companies through unique content.
For this reason, SMM can be utilized to build a network of links, spread brand messages, increase visibility and awareness, and even manage your company’s reputation online. After all, these social media sites each have millions of registered users, grouped into like-interest communities. Now all you have to do is discern where your target audience is congregating online. What more could a marketer ask for? No other channel allows companies to declare their identity, service offerings, value proposition and location within such a targeted environment.
Our team of experienced and innovative social media marketers will effectively position your website content in a targeted digital space where it will be seen by those you want to see it.
Fusionbox is a leader in applying Web 2.0 technologies to the Internet marketing domain. Our services have been aptly deemed Web Marketing 2.0 because of our ability to connect clients to customers by engaging the market and initiating conversations through social media.
About the Author
Nick Yorchak is an SEO expert and Search Engine Marketing Specialist at Fusionbox, a full-service Denver Internet marketing, web design, and web development company. He can be reached at his Fusionbox email or at (303)952-7490. Click here to check out his expert SEO blog.
(ArticlesBase SC #253711)
As a culture, we have been programmed not to ask too many questions – especially questions that will make us uncomfortable. Your website can lead customers to most of the answers they need without having to ask. Some may feel stupid asking the basic questions, but the truth is that frequently we get clients that really don’t know how to register a domain name or that don’t know what a host provider is and why they need one. Those are not things that every user has encountered or has ever needed to know. In any business, there are experts and there are the people that need the experts help… Use your informational site to answer frequently asked questions and to outline your terms of service. It will shed light on a lot of unknowns and perhaps lead to more business.
You are viewed as someone who is knowledgeable but don’t presume that your clients will understand your lingo. Make sure you tone it down in your site.
Here’s some important areas you should cover on your informational site:
- the site should introduce your business and give some background and history
- it should give some of those details mentioned above that customers just won’t ask
- include a page for those long terms and conditions that know one can remember- put it on your site for future reference
- it should give an idea of your rates (if you sell something)
- a testimonial section where customers can write feedback for services or products
If a customer writes you a letter raving about your store, or an aspect of your business, make sure you can put that somewhere on your site so others can see what a great job you’ve done!!!
Many people think that once they have a website their business will take off. Your website, even with the best search engine rankings will probably not generate most of your business. Instead your website is a way to validate your business. You will still need to drive people to your site so they can see what your all about. Once they are there they can learn all about the products and services you provide.
Here is an example of how you can use a website to get people to learn more about your business. If someone calls you to ask for directions to your store or a price for a particular product, you can refer them to your website to view the directions and see pictures of your shop. Once they are on your site they can take a look around and find out some more information about how you do business, products you sell, how long you have been in business,, etc. Once people put a picture in their mind it validates your business.