SEO and Content Marketing: Is there a Difference?
Oct 24th, 2015
SEO and content marketing have been some of the hottest buzzwords on the Internet today. Often the two overlap onto each other, and sometimes the terms are even used interchangeably. But is there a difference? Or has content marketing just become the new SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” That is, optimizing your site for the search engines so that when people are searching online, they can easily find you and your website. SEO involves a number of strategies including using keywords, links and backlinks, and one of the newest, being mobile-friendly. Even images and video are optimized for SEO so that search engines can recognize them and place them higher in the page rankings.
SEO does have a lot to do with the content of your site. After all, you can hardly write keywords and long-tail keywords without having content to place them in. And any links and backlinks you have on your site will also be nestled nicely somewhere in the content of your site. But SEO focuses on advertising your site to the search engines, letting them know you’re there and using them to get higher page rankings and therefore, more people to your site.
Content marketing, as its name suggests, is also another form of advertising your site. But instead of advertising to the search engines and letting them know you’re there, you’re advertising to people, letting them know you’re there and attracting them to your site. Visitors don’t care so much about keywords and links, but they do care that the content they view on your site is relevant, engaging, helpful, and useful.
If the content on your site is of no value to the visitor, they’re going to leave and find another site that is. This is why you need to not only focus on SEO, but also content marketing – tailoring your content to the reader and making it as dynamic as possible.
It’s important to understand that content marketing doesn’t necessarily mean pushing your products or trying to sell directly to the customer. It’s about giving them information that is useful and that they can learn from. In doing so, you’ll gain a strong customer base that rewards you by giving you their business and that remains loyal.
Although the terms SEO and content marketing are sometimes considered one in the same, they’re really not. While they both involve the content of your site, they have very different purposes. While one targets actual customers, the other targets the spiders of the search engines.
SEO and content marketing do have one other thing in common however. In order to be successful using either of them, each needs to be done consistently. Your site must have regular, updated content that is not only of real value to the reader, but can also easily be found by the search engines.
How to Sell Your Website
Sep 07th, 2015
If you’re unsure of how to take your website to the next level and are tired of maintaining it, don’t simply let the domain expire and cancel your web hosting account. Instead, make some extra money from it and sell it to the highest bidder. This has become easy to do thanks to websites such as Flippa.com, one of the sites where “website flipping” has not only become one of the quickest-growing industries, but also an extremely profitable option for website owners.
Sites such as Flippa hold auctions that focus on the sale of websites. The auction on a certain listing will last for a certain amount of time at the end of which, the website will be sold to the highest bidder. While the process is relatively easy, there’s a lot to know and you’ll need to be very active before, during, and after the sale.
Things to know before selling your website
You might think you already know everything about your site. After all, you’re the one that created it and that’s been maintaining it, right? While that’s probably true, you’ll still need to know two very specific figures before listing your website for sale – traffic and revenue.
Traffic. You’ll need to know how much traffic is coming to the site on a regular basis, and you’ll need to have exact figures. Buyers are going to determine whether or not they’ll buy your site based on its revenue potential and website revenue is dependent on one thing – traffic. Make sure that Google Analytics is installed on your site (it should have been since launch), and have those numbers ready for buyers.
Revenue. Keep in mind that websites typically sell for one to three times their yearly profit so, in order to sell your website, it should be making substantial revenue. If not, your site might not be ready for sale just yet. If your site is producing revenue, keep accurate records that are provable, and keep separate accounts for web businesses.
During the auction
Once your site has been listed and is officially up for auction, you’ll need to do more than just ride out the auction time and wait to collect your payment. The chances are that buyers are going to have lots of questions. Make sure that you’re available to respond to them, and to be as active as possible with buyers – you’re not only selling your website, but yourself, too.
Also make sure that you don’t get discouraged if your listing doesn’t get a lot of bids right away; most come within the last 24 hours.
After the auction
Just as you need to be present during the auction, you also need to be present after the auction, otherwise the sale could very well fall through. After the funds have been released from escrow (the gold standard of auction websites) you can then transfer the site to the buyer. Remember that the buyer may also ask for the name of your web host, graphic designer, content creator, or any other person that has been involved in the creation and production of your site. Always be sure to ask ahead of time if you can pass on that information, so you can have it ready when the buyer asks.
The process of selling a website can be a long and tiring one, and it’s important to know that there will be a lot of expected of you before, during and after. In the end however, you may end up enjoying the process – and the profit – so much that you become a professional website flipper!
How to Make Your WordPress Site Mobile-Friendly
Aug 12th, 2015
Did you know that last year, for the first time in history, online users accessed the Internet more frequently on their mobile devices than they did their computers or laptops. The shift from browsing the Internet at home to while on the go meant a lot of different changes needed to be made in the ways companies were portraying themselves online. This year, Google announced that it would be taking mobile-friendliness into account when assigning page rankings, making it even more important that websites be clearly visible and easily navigated when being viewed on a mobile device.
If you run a website or blog from WordPress, there are many things you can do to improve the mobile-friendliness of your site and they don’t take much time at all.
Choosing your web hosting provider carefully
Of course if you choose a bad web host, you’ll naturally be dealing with slowness and unreliability along with a lack of knowledge about how to make your WordPress site mobile-friendly. But if you’re going to have a WordPress site, you need to make sure your web host is well-versed in this platform. Only then can they make recommendations about how to best make it mobile-friendly.
Choose your theme carefully
In WordPress there are themes that load quickly and others that aren’t, leaving the user staring at a blank page waiting for it to load. When choosing your theme select one that is tagged as having a “responsive layout” to ensure that it’s responsive and that it will load quickly.
Make content mobile-friendly
Remember that if people are viewing your website on a mobile device, the chances are good that are on-the-go and don’t have a lot of time to scroll through pages and pages. Use short paragraphs, subtitles, and bulleted lists to make text readable and easy to scan. Also include lots of whitespace on each page to avoid making it look cluttered.
Use plugins wisely
WordPress has a host of plugins and website owners can become so enamored with them that they end up collecting a lot of them over time. While they may be useful to the PC user, all of those plugins will only slow down the load time of your site and frustrate the mobile user.
Don’t forget about your images
If you simply upload an image to your site and don’t optimize it in any way, it’s going to be very large and again, slow down the load time and mobile-friendliness of your site. There are a variety of plugins that will help customize your images. They are: Image Pro, CW Image Optimizer, Imsanity, Hammy, EWWW Image Optimizer, and PB Responsive Images.
While you manage and edit your site from your PC or laptop, you might not be giving a second thought to the mobile-friendliness of it, but ignoring it is a big mistake. You’ve taken so much time making sure your website is already perfect, for the intent of making it easy for users to visit and navigate. Not making the extra effort to make sure your site is mobile-friendly will make all of that work for naught and worse, will have visitors leaving your page to find something else.
How to Get the Right Kind of Traffic
Jul 20th, 2015
So you have a website and the whole point is to get as much as traffic to it as possible, right? Everyone knows that traffic equals revenue and what difference does it make whether that traffic comes from one post that’s gone viral, or a steady stream of high-quality posts? It matters. While this all might be traffic, what kind of traffic is it? There are different types and if you’re focusing on the wrong kind, your website simply won’t be reaching its full potential.
What is the right kind of traffic?
While traffic and owning a website is largely a numbers game, you must focus on the right kind of traffic. This is one area where quality really is better than quantity. The right kind of traffic includes users that visit your website often, browse through multiple pages while there, and spend a good amount of time digging around your site.
What makes these users so desirable is not only that they boost your page ranking within Google (because they do), but that they’re also the users that are most likely to give you direct revenue. They’re the most likely to purchase your product or sign up for your email list, and this is the audience that you really should be tailoring your website to.
What is the wrong kind of traffic?
While even the “wrong” kind of traffic will still build the overall traffic numbers for your site, that’s all they’ll do. These are the visitors that only visit your site once, leave almost as soon as they get there, and not go anywhere else but the landing page. Even with the boost in numbers, these visitors aren’t going to do too much for your website or your bottom line, so it’s important not to place all your focus simply on building numbers.
This type of traffic often comes when you’ve had a post featured on sites like reddit.com or tumblr.com. The exposure your site will receive on these sites is invaluable, and will increase the popularity of your page overall. In the best case scenarios, this initial exposure leads to visitors that come back again and again after hearing about it. However, the revenue generated from that one specific post won’t likely be enough to greatly boost profits, and no website owner should ever rely on one of their posts going viral in order to turn a profit.
Website traffic is important and generally the more you have, the more beneficial it will be to your site. However, it’s important that you don’t put all of your efforts into making your traffic numbers as high as possible without giving a second thought to the quality of that traffic. There is high-quality traffic and low-quality traffic and you want to make sure that every visit counts.
9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Data Center
Jun 09th, 2015
Data centers are starting to revolutionize the IT industry and there are more start-ups today than ever before, with more coming onto the scene every day. Whether you’re one that’s just starting out or you’ve been operating a data center for a while, you might be making some of the most common mistakes found in data centers. Find out what the top nine are, and how you can avoid them.
1.) Not having a high-quality pocket flashlight on you at all times
Your fluorescent lights do a fine enough job lighting the office, right? And in case of a power outage, your generators will kick in and provide enough light for you to get around. So why would you need a pocket flashlight? Because you’ll need to be crawling into racks, checking for serial numbers and ports on the backs of servers, and do your fair share of searching in the dark. Don’t rely on your phone that’s awkward, will get scratched, and won’t provide sufficient light anyway. Spend a couple of bucks to get a pocket flashlight and have it on you at all times.
2.) Not knowing your cables
You’ll be having equipment delivered to your office on a regular basis and not every cable, wire, or cord is the same. Make sure you know what cables come with it, and if it will fit into your standard rack power strips, because not all of them do. If you can fix this problem at the time of delivery, you’ll save yourself some grief in the long run.
3.) Failing to keep a copy of all documents
This is common sense, right? Right, but not everyone does it. Your diagrams and reference sheets will already be on the fileserver, but if you can’t access them when it goes down, they do you no good. Keep a copy on your laptop, Google Drive, or SharePoint Workspace so they’ll be accessible when you need them.
4.) Messy racks and server space
Neat cabling, with wires all nicely running parallel in cable management attachments, don’t just like phenomenal (because they do), they also make it easier to trace cables, install new ones, and remove the old. They’re a must. You should never have cables knotted into nests beside or behind racks.
5.) Neglecting to check things out for yourself
You’re the expert so if something goes wrong you’ll be the person that’s called. When you are, take the time to check the problem out for yourself. Otherwise you might waste a lot of time trying to fix a “faulty” printer that’s really just had the network cable accidentally knocked out of it.
6.) Failing to double-connect everything
Double-connecting everything to the network is valuable insurance that your servers will remain accessible even if something goes wrong. Pair the adaptors with LACP/EtherChannel, or use teaming software to run the ports as a team in active/passive mode. Also remember to have two NICs to prevent the server from being disconnected from the network.
7.) Making changes without thinking it through
Decisions will need to be made about certain changes that the data center may need, or that may just enhance the data center, hardware or software. But making changes without considering things like dependencies can be dangerous. Always know if one change will affect anything else and then consider whether or not you should make the change after all.
8.) Assuming things will always go the way they should
It’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming complacent about things because you’ve done them a hundred times and things have always gone smoothly. However, complacency breeds mistakes so always take as much caution the hundredth (or thousandth) time you do something as you did the first.
9.) Not keeping the vendors happy
The relationship with your vendors is important. Not only must you make sure you’re always very professional and courteous with them, but you should try and go one step further. Schedule them to come in around lunch time and then offer them some pizza you ordered for the office. Or, hold off on non-urgent issues when you know your vendors are swamped. Going the extra distance will reap valuable benefits in the free advice that’s given while you’re chatting up the vendors.
Avoid these most common mistakes and your data center will run much more smoothly, and you’ll run into far fewer issues.