Website Trust Building

Image Source: Creative Commons Flickr/vagawi

You may have the flashiest website online to attract customers, but can you keep them coming back? Trust building on your website is vital for the constant growth and development of your online presence. These online trust building tips can help ensure that visitors to your website aren’t one-time tourists but regular, active participants.

Keep it Authentic

When you pretend to be something that you’re not, your visitors can sense it. Don’t force wit or unfamiliar jargon to try to be hip or attract new demographics when it will only sound fake. Engage in trust building by simply being yourself. Just keep your tone friendly and inviting and visitors will feel welcome, giving you their trust and returning again and again for your refreshing authentic web presence.

Provide Simple Navigation

If your website is a mess, requiring an instruction manual to just get beyond the homepage, online trust building is going to be difficult. If you have to, pay a web designer to create simple, intuitive navigation on your site so your visitors don’t have to think about where to click—which will only make them want to leave. This basic, easy measure you can do will save you so much time and money in the long run, and it will keep your visitors happy, too.

Offer Open Transparency

Above all, do not lie to customers. It will shatter their trust and can cost you lots of money. Building trust with your website requires complete transparency. Be upfront about what you do, how you do it, and how much it costs. You don’t have to empty your closet of its skeletons, but be sure to only advertise with actual results, awards, and real customer testimonials. If customers discover that you have misled them, they may never return. This shouldn’t even be a tip, this should just go without saying.

Engage in Community Building

Give your customers a place to feel welcome where they will want to return on a daily basis. Provide them with engaging content that they can participate in, such as forums to have discussions on, videos or other media to engage with, or polls to take. Freebies that are helpful and aligned with the mission of your website are a good idea. A daily tip or quote is very attractive, too. Offer a takeaway every day that will get people excited about visiting.

Be Helpful and Timely

Ensure that your contact information is on the website and that it is easy to find. To promote trust building, you must be accessible in a timely manner to your patrons. If you may not respond for a day or two, be sure to create a canned response that can automatically be delivered if people email you. You can also post a notice on your contact page offering how quickly you will respond. A 48-hour window is good; a 24-hour one is better, when possible.

Add Regular Updates

Websites that feature stale, old content will lose user interest in a flash. Keep your content fresh by updating it daily or at least several times a week. Blogs especially should be regularly updated to foster online trust building. If you have a sale featured on your site, be sure to remove it, as well as any old dates, as soon as it’s over. Customers may think your site is dead if they return and find past specials featured on the front page.

Keep customers coming back for more every day by building trust with your website with these easy principles. Once you fix navigation errors, set up your canned responses, and schedule blog posts, this system will yield fast results in not only gaining, but maintaining trust. Be sure to keep these ideas in mind every day as you build your business.

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8 SEO Tools for 2012

To develop a website that attracts a lot of traffic, you need great Search Engine Optimization tools. The best SEO methods change frequently, which means you need the latest and best SEO tools to increase and maintain your site’s rank. Here are eight of the best SEO tools for 2012.

Microsoft SEO Toolkit

This free tool is excellent for tweaking your website and making it SEO-friendly. It checks out your page and proposes recommendations to make it rank better in search engines. Broken links, missing tags, and general relevance are examples of factors that Microsoft SEO Toolkit analyzes. In short, it offers recommendations perfect for fine-tuning how effectively your site attracts traffic, as well as how to improve consumer experience on the website.

Shared Count

Social media buzz weighs more than ever in SEO rankings. With that in mind, Shared Count analyzes social metrics by topic, for free, so webmasters can see which subjects have buzz and which seem to fall flat. Shared Count offers data about how much will people discuss a topic repeatedly, whether the topic is discussed positively or negatively, top users, the most popular hashtags associated with the topic, and the social media sites responsible for creating the buzz.

GTMetrics

Load time factors into how well your page ranks, so it is important to know if it is lagging. GTMetrics analyzes how quickly everything loads. If parts of your site are compromising its speed, this handy tool provides a breakdown of what is wrong and explanations about how to fix it. It also prioritizes these recommendations, so you can get right down to mending the most pressing issues.

Pingdom

This is another handy tool for testing speed. Simple enter an URL and it runs a full page test that calculates load time. It also gives data on the size of your page, as well as the size of page objects.

Google Adwords

While this tool is not new, it is still one of the best and most important SEO tools at your disposal. It helps find sought-after keywords that you can incorporate into your page to increase the chance it ranks well in search engines. It also points out which popular keywords have a lot of competition, which means your page is likely to get buried, and which have surprisingly little.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

This free SEO tools analyzes and reviews any site on the web. Screaming Frog SEO spiders CSS, links, images, and scripts, and also gathers SEO elements like meta descriptions and page titles. It is a powerful way to assess the SEO of your website as well as snoop on the SEO tactics of your competition.

Copyscape

This is another old tool, but it still has value, particular since many search engine updates have focused on slashing the rank of duplicate content. Up to ten times per month, you can check the originality of your website’s text. This helps ensure that the original content you are posting for the sake of rank is, in fact, original.

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer checks backlinks, up to three a day for free. It shows how many of these links a site has and, for free, a detailed description of the first 15. That description includes the page and domain authority of the back link.

To land on the first page of a search engine, you need powerful, up-to-date Search Engine Optimization tools. Their data and recommendations can make the all the difference in your search rank.

Author Bio:

David Kendall contributed this guest post on behalf of WhoIsHostingThis.com – see here for more information on their hosting reviews. David is a freelance technology writer who enjoys writing for various online marketing blogs.

Startup SEO efforts can be very daunting if you are entering a crowded territory. When it comes to search engine optimization if you have a fresh, brand new URL it is going to take some serious effort to break through the already existing clutter.

Below is a great slideshow created by Ryan Spoon who is a principal at Polaris Venture Partners and also Dogpatch Labs on the various important elements of SEO for the start up community.

I’m glad to see that Ryan actually presented some pay per click advertising information and social media because too often website owners assume that SEO is strictly rankings and it is not. Rankings are 1 element of search engine optimization. Good SEO is all about visibility online and that visibility can come through a variety of SEM activities.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter

Pinterest for Business

Pinterest is not just another website where you can look at cute puppies and baked goods. Pinterest has become the newest and hottest social bookmarking site the web has ever seen. Sure at first glance it might look like Pinterest can’t help your B2B business grow but you are not looking at it with a big picture mindset. Just because you pin a blog post regarding LINUX server hosting does not mean that you will not reap some sort of reward from it.

If you are serious about your search engine optimization efforts than you should be pinning your blog posts on Pinterest. Don’t forget that Google & Bing really like it when websites and businesses try really hard to grow their brand online. Google has repeatedly come out and told the business community to try and build good quality links through social channels that can help build your brand online. Pinterest is one of those channels that can do just that. Each pin is a link back to your site and you know how much good quality links can help the SEO power of a website.

Eventually boards will rank…better

When conducting random search queries we are already starting to witness Pinterest boards and pins starting to rank in the search space more and more everyday. As Pinterest grows in power so will its ability to infiltrate the search results. With a properly optimized board you could see your Pinterest account quickly generating traffic. Remember that just because you don’t see immediate traffic from your efforts on Pinterest does not mean there will not be some sort of positive residual bi-products that occur down the road.

Launch strategic product and service boards

If you have a business that sells multiple products, services or solutions and you like talking about those products through your company blog you should have a specific board dedicated just towards those products. Make sure the title and description of that board is always optimized and well written. Each board comes with the ability to have a description written and the more quality content you can put there the better off you will be in the future.

Read: 9 Tips: Boost Your Business With Pinterest

It is all about the images

More and more Pinterest images are quickly occupying Bing and Google image searches. Pinterest requires users to use images has the focal point of each pin resulting in a massive amount new images being indexed by the search engines, the better the image the better the visibility. With so many images making it into the search results your business has a good chance of generating visibility from the images you use in your pins if you require frequent quality images in your website content or data.

 

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Safe SEO

You heard it folks, now you can get a penalty for over SEO optimization which can be a big problem. Google has been trying for years to get website owners to take the right approach when it comes to search engine optimization. They recently announced that over optimization could generate a penalty so you have to really make sure you are conducting the safest SEO tactics possible.

Here is a nice infographic from the folks at SEO Peace that go over the right tactics to help you keep your SEO in the safe zone.

Over Optimization

 

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Your website or blog does not serve any purpose if the major search engines are not able to find it. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a method by which you can make your blog as well as your website search engine-friendly. You can learn SEO techniques easily by doing a research on the internet.

Listed below are 5 effective online resources that will teach you various SEO techniques:

1. Online Tutorials

Online tutorials that teach SEO techniques are a great way to start. Most of these tutorials are available free of cost and are written in a lucid manner. For a beginner, these tutorials are very helpful because some of these tutorials provide detailed steps on how you should apply SEO techniques to your website or blog. You can even download the tutorials on your PC or your e-reader and read them at your convenience.

2. E-books or paper books

SEO is a very common topic in the virtual world. Hence, you will get a host of e-books written on this subject. You will find both free and paid e-books dedicated on SEO techniques. If you wish to spend some money on real books on the topic of SEO then you can buy many of them from any of the online shopping portals.

3. Blogs

Look for blogs, which have content on SEO techniques. Type in the keyword like seo techniques tutorials in the search engine and you will get a list of blogs. In fact, it is very useful to choose the blogs that have appeared on the first page of the search list generated by the search engine. It shows that the writer of the blog does have proficiency in the SEO techniques and that is why, his or her blog has received a higher ranking.

4. Articles

The internet has many article directories that offer a pool of knowledge pertaining to any topic under the sun. These directories are accessible free of cost and provide a number of articles on SEO techniques. Hence, a good place to start learning SEO techniques is these article directories and you will get important tips on how you can optimize your website or blog in an effective way and get huge traffic.

5. Forums

Forums are live discussion portals, which come very handy when you are learning anything new. These forums are visited by experts and they use their knowledge to help the members of the forums.

You can start threads when you want questions or doubts regarding SEO techniques answered. In forums, whenever a person has a question, he or she starts a thread by asking the question. You too can join a forum and can start a thread. Soon, you will get responses for your query.

The web offers a huge reservoir of knowledge, which you can access and utilize for optimizing your website or blog. Use the above-mentioned resources to get started on learning SEO techniques. Soon, you will gain expertise in optimizing your blog or site and make these a favorite of the major search engines.

About the author: Claudia is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on luxury and technology. She recently read an article blog posts on that attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on social media devices.

Google 301 Redirect

301 redirects when implemented correctly can be a life saving effort when it comes to preserving the power of older web pages.

Google recommends using a 301 redirect when:

 

• You’ve moved your site to a new domain, and you want to make the transition as seamless as possible.
• People access your site through several different URLs. If, for example, your home page can be reached in multiple ways – for instance, http://example.com/home, http://home.example.com, or http://www.example.com – it’s a good idea to pick one of those URLs as your preferred (canonical) destination, and use 301 redirects to send traffic from the other URLs to your preferred URL. You can also use Webmaster Tools to set your preferred domain.
• You’re merging two websites and want to make sure that links to outdated URLs are redirected to the correct pages.

Google 301 Redirect Video

 

Coding Effects Website

Search engine optimization is a lot like making soup, you have to have all the ingredients in place for it to taste right. SEO tends to work the same way and that requires having clean coding holding up your business. Your sites architecture is the foundation to everything you do online and this Google video explains some of the myths on how good clean code or sloppy code can affect how your website behaves in the search space.

Critical Website Mistakes

Launching a new website today is not like launching a new website 5 years or even 10 years ago. Actually it is not even close. Things have changed quite a bit and often times new website owners really don’t understand the changes until a serious dose of experience has allowed itself to settle into the picture. Everyone who clearly understands how the pages of search work have probably made a few mistakes to get to where they are now, I have, most of you all have. Admit it.

Here are 5 critical mistakes new website owners often make:

Thinking Mass Submissions Will Grow a Business Online

Writing an article and paying someone overseas to re-write it into 10 versions and then submitting that article into a 1,000 different article directories is absolutely not going to grow your business in any possible way. Actually it might make your website move backwards if you understand how the search engines work. Do you really want your website to move backwards?

Looking For the Search Tricks & Loop Holes

There are no tricks with marketing a business online. It really comes down to being a good marketer and getting creative and utilizing all the resources that are available to everyone to your advantage. Trying to find loop holes online that might make your website stand out a little bit more is not going to lead to anything good for your website. The last thing you want is a penalty right out of the starting gate with the search engines. Removing a penalty once you have one is one project you don’t want to deal with.

Not Educating Yourself Enough

If you are going to be serious about marketing your business online a little bit of search engine education on your part will go a long way. If you even plan on trying to execute some of the efforts yourself it will take a little bit more than just a Facebook page, Twitter account and some keywords. There are many resources online to be able to find the best topics to read about in order to find the information that you need to make an accurate decision. Invesp has an amazing list of all the top blogs in the search marketing industry you could start learning valuable information from today.

Having Unreal Expectations

Growing a successful business online is going to take a bit longer than a month. Efforts like search engine optimization are long term efforts that take time to really start pumping how they should. With the ever growing busyness of the digital space competition is growing larger, wider and fiercer than they ever have been before. Be realistic about your potential growth online if you are getting started with a bootstrapped budget.

Relying On SEO from the Start

Don’t get me wrong we specialize in SEO but when launching a company online it is important to have multiple streams of traffic flowing into your website from the beginning. If you plan on sitting around and waiting for your SEO efforts to kick in it might take a little bit of time especially if your online search results are completely filled with competition. If you want to bump your competitors out of their parking spaces on page 1 it is going to take sometime.

Never Assume

When it comes to search engine marketing or virtually promoting anything online one thing you never want to do is make assumptions with your website traffic. Assuming something will happen or a website visitor will do something on your website is not a very wise choice. You want to make your website goals clear and visible at all times when it comes to leading your website traffic down a specific intended path. You want to have all your ducks in a row because you simply cannot predict how all your traffic will respond on your website. It is important take as much of the guessing game out as possible in order to build and manage a well-oiled machine online.

Never assume your traffic will look for a “contact us” page

Don’t ever assume that your web traffic will try and attempt to hunt down a lead form or a contact us page if they want to get a hold of someone at your company. You need to make the contact option clearly visible and easy for web traffic to find otherwise they might just end up leaving. Don’t make them hunt for a phone number but rather make it visible on every page.

Never assume your traffic will find your most relevant internal pages

Do you have some internal pages that are highly important but buried under endless drop downs? Make those pages a bit more visible to your audience. Let’s say you count on a competitor comparison chart to convert traffic but that chart is buried in your website. Sure people might find it through the search results but what up the traffic that comes direct? Create a link on your home page and your side bar so more people can find it. Never make your web traffic go fishing to find something important on your website.

Never assume your traffic will simply create an action

Most websites have a natural action flow that needs to occur in order for conversions to stay as healthy and consistent as possible. It requires being able to lead your traffic down a certain path on your website so they walk in the entrance, complete a conversion and exit quietly out the back without any hung ups what so ever.

Making assumptions with how your web traffic could and will interact with your website could lead to virtually no conversions or customer interaction. Take the time to really express your goals in the layout and design of your website in order to make the path as easy as possible for your audience to follow.