Google malicious content – hints on how to remove it

Google malicious content – hints on how to remove it

Why was my site blacklisted by Google?

Unfortunately, the majority of blacklisted websites are in reality legitimate websites into which hackers have inserted malicious content. Here are some popular reasons:

  • your HTML or PHP code was hacked.
  • the redirects to harmful and infected sites were inserted through iframes or JavaScript.
  • flash .swf files were added to your website.

What is Malware?

It is malicious software specifically created to gain access or damage a computer without the knowledge of the owner. Viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are examples of malicious software that are often grouped together and referred to as malware. Malware can open access to your personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers or alter your search results without your knowledge.

How to fix the issue

Below are some suggestions how to resolve this issue if it is happening to your site:

1. Scan and remove the malicious content from your site.
2. Scan your PC.
3. Register and verify your site in Google’s free Webmaster Tools.
4. Sign into Webmaster Tools and check the Security Issues section to see details of sample URLs that may be infected.
5. Find the cause of the security issue and fix it. Otherwise, your site is likely to be reinfected.
6. Request a review in the Security Issues section in Webmaster Tools when your entire site is clean and secure. Once Google determines your site is fixed, they will remove the malware label.

Facebook Page VS Website which to use

Facebook Page VS Website which to use

A strong digital presence is key to success in our tech-oriented society. Maintaining a website, however, requires time and money that small business owners don’t always have in great supply.  If you’re looking for ways to simplify your online efforts, Facebook’s recent updates might seem pretty appealing. But are they good enough to stand in for having your own small business website?

New and Improved Business Pages

Facebook rolled out some significant updates to Pages, including new sections that business owners can add to Pages as well as a bigger call-to-action button and improved page layout on mobile devices. They’ve also added ability for page owners to make updates pages from mobile.

Could these more customizable Pages take the place of maintaining your own small business website? Here are the four main issues to consider so can decide what works best for your business.

  1. Easier and Cheaper

Since so many people use Facebook for personal social media, it’s often easier and more familiar than using a website builder or blog. And Facebook is free, whereas there’s a cost involved if you hire a firm, a freelancer, or an employee to build and maintain a business website.

The ability to both reduce the time and money cost of digital marketing is, understandably, appealing to many small business owners. Using a Facebook page as both social media tool and business website can make the work of building an online presence simpler, easier, and cheaper.

  1. Built-In Limitations

However, while Facebook allows customization of your page header, your store sections, and of course, the content you share, that’s the limit of the branding and personalization you can do on your business page. Your business branding is subordinate to the blue Facebook brand, and your content, including offers, promotions, and updates, must stay within the guidelines established by Facebook. Any content you post on Facebook can be used by Facebook for their own purposes (until you delete it from Facebook), so you lose the appeal of exclusive, unique content.

More Traffic

With 1.4 billion active monthly users, Facebook brings what small businesses need the most: access to a growing customer base. This may seem like a no-brainer as far as making your decision: go where the people are.

However, it’s important to remember that millions of people using Facebook does not mean millions of people seeing your page and your updates. Your fans will see what you post to Facebook, but not all of your fans will get all of your posts on their newsfeed. You’ll still have to work hard to gain an audience, just as you would with a website or blog.

  1. Mobile Friendly

Since Facebook is a huge company with billions of people using their platform, you can count on regular updates and continual mobile optimization of the Facebook app. Having a big company take care of mobile optimization for your digital marketing is a huge relief, for example; you know you shouldn’t ignore mobile consumers, but keeping up with mobile requirements can be a real headache. Using Facebook guarantees that your efforts, on the Facebook platform, anyway, will be mobile optimized and kept up-to-date.

  1. Facebook Dependency

There’s a built-in problem with depending on a big company to do your optimizing and updating for you, however. That problem is twofold: lack of control and lack of accessibility.

When you pay a small firm, a freelancer, or an employee to build and maintain your website, you have input over the look, the content, and on which features are a priority and which are not. Similarly, when you experience technical issues, you can get to a real expert, on your payroll, to help you solve the problems.

When you depend solely on Facebook, you have very limited control.  You have little, if any, input on priorities and decisions made with each new update or improvement. And you have no direct line to call when Facebook is down, when an upgrade doesn’t work, or when there’s any sort of technical issue with your Facebook page.

Facebook still may be the best tool for your online efforts, but it pays to understand what you give up in exchange for an easy-to-use, popular platform. If you’re comfortable with the dependencies and lack of control, Facebook can definitely simplify your digital outreach, especially if you’re a new company. However, if you want to have more say in your branding, your content, and your priorities, keep that website going; use Facebook as part of your online strategy, but not your only tool.

Does dedicated IP affect SEO?

Does dedicated IP affect SEO?

Sometimes SEO consultants recommend their clients to get a dedicated IP for better SEO. However, it is not completely true that having a dedicated IP improves your position in search results

Let’s take a closer look at this question.

Performance and Speed

The speed of your website impacts your search result essentially. So, you always need to strive for making your website as fast as possible.

If your account is located on a shared hosting server, your website most likely shares the same IP with another website handling high traffic. Especially if the site has a lot of visitors and heavy content, which can a bit slow down your website. And the speed impacts SEO as it influences search engine ranking position with Google.  However, it doesn’t mean that getting a dedicated IP will speed up your website.

Luckily, there are numerous optimization methods to speed up website loading time significantly. If you have a WordPress website, you can refer to this guide about optimizing and speeding up the website. You can check your website with online tools such as Google Page Speed to track the website speed results after each step and optimize recommended items.

server with SSD disks read data faster than a standard HDD or a hybrid system that includes several servers which all share one external SSD powered storage. SSD disks are more resistant to drops, bumps, g-forces and run quietly, have lower access times, and less latency comparing to HDD.

Improved performance is achieved by higher read/write speeds on SSD disks, which allow websites to load faster. With a SSD a server can handle more read/write requests in general before becoming unstable, which confirms the stability of the server and uptime. Even during peak activity the backed up I/O requests can be served.

Security

On the shared server, your website can share an IP address with another website that has been marked as malware. In such cases some network security programs can “null route” requests to these IPs and it will make your website unreachable. Also some anti-virus software may mark all websites with the same IP as malware, which will cause false alerts against your website and such kind of alerts can be displayed in most of modern browsers (for example, ‘This site may harm your computer’ or ‘The website ahead contains malware’). So having a dedicated IP can be a good way out.

SSL

SSL Certificates encrypt  traffic to your site. Usually it’s required by e-commerce website and websites, which store personal information.

With the cPanel version 11.38 and higher, SNI technology that allows to install multiple SSL certificates on a Shared IP address. So, a dedicated IP is not a must for installing SSL Certificate. However, having a few SSL certificates on a shared IP address may cause issues with older versions of some rare  and/or old browsers. In this case, all the visitors of such websites will receive a message containing information about untrusted connection, indeed the website is going to be available via HTTPS protocol. Dedicated IP address helps to avoid such issues. Here is a list of browsers supporting SNI:

Desktop Browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 7 and later on Windows Vista and later
  • Internet Explorer (any version) on Windows XP does not support SNI
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and later · Opera 8.0 (2005) and later (TLS 1.1 protocol must be enabled)
  • Google Chrome:
    • Supported on Windows Vista and later
    • Supported on Windows XP on Chrome 6 and later
    • Supported on OS X 10.5.7 on Chrome v5.0.342.1 and later
  • Safari 2.1 and later:
    • Supported on OS X 10.5.6 and later
    • Supported on Windows Vista and later

Mobile Browsers:

  • Mobile Safari for iOS 4 and later
  • Android default browser on Honeycomb (v3.x) and later
  • Windows Phone 7

This doesn’t affect SEO directly, but is should be mentioned as well.

SEO and Shared IP addresses

The real thing you should take into account is Google penalties due to links or malware.

It may happen that your website  is hosted on a shared server with a website considered as ‘spammy’ and your website could be negatively impacted in this case.

Google understands that the website can be on the shared hosting and you can’t control websites, which share same IP or IP subnet. However, if there are some ‘spammy’ websites on the same IP and only one is ‘normal’, that looks rather bad and it worth to be worried about. On the other hand, when there is a mix of ‘spammy’ and ‘normal’ websites on the same IP (like on most of shared hosting), there is nothing to worry about.

For example, you have a website yourwebsite.com and it shares a host and IP with a big WordPress Multisite that is used as a ‘link farm’ to generate links to ‘spammy’ websites to try and gain position in search engine ranking positions. In this case, your website takes a risk to be penalized for sharing the same IP as this ‘link farm’ because of the violations, which involves other thousands of sites on the network.

Penguin update by Google improved their search ranking algorithm and takes into account websites participating in a link network.

Monitoring Your Website for Issues

  1. Utilize a Reverse IP Lookup

You can always look up and see who is sharing your hosting IP address. There are many free tools to do a reverse IP lookup in the Internet. For example, this one.

  1. Monitor Google Webmaster Tools

You can add your website to Google Webmaster Tools and enable email alerts to be sure you will be get a notification from Google Webmaster Tools if they send you a warning.

Here’s an example:

  1. Resolving Link Warnings

If you discover a problem on the website or are notified by Google in Google Webmaster Tools you can do following steps:

  • Contact your hosting provider and ask to provide you with another IP.
  • Submit a Reconsideration Request in Google Webmaster Tools.

Conclusion

There can be exceptions to the rule, but in general it’s not a must to have a dedicated IP address for improving SEO. Always check your website by Google Webmaster Tools and monitor your co-hosted sites in order to protect your website and pay attention to security and optimization of your own website.

There are much many other SEO related things you should focus on before considering a dedicated IP address. For example, you can check Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for more information.

If you still think you need a dedicated IP address, make sure you understand ‘WHY’ so that you and your hosting provider can find a solution that works for you.

Difference Between Add-on and Plug-in

Difference Between Add-on and Plug-in

Whenever we buy software for our computers, we always want the one that has the most features that are already included. But oftentimes the problem with software is either they don’t have the right functionalities that you are looking for or they have too many features that it is impossible to find the one that you are looking for quickly. In order to customize the look and feel of their programs, software makers have allowed the use of plug-ins or add-ons.

Plug-in and Add-on are two terms that are pointing to the same functionality; they are simply extensions that extends the usability of the program. It just depends on the software maker on what to call the software extensions of their programs. These extensions could be made by other companies, individuals, or by the software makers themselves.

Plug-in is the term that is usually used when referring to third party software that is meant to interact with a certain program. Take for example your web browser; you would need to install a plug-in called flash player in order to play videos. Flash player is not native to any browser but is made by a separate company altogether. It is also compatible with all of the popular web browsers like IE, Firefox, and Opera.

An Add-on also extends the functionality of a certain program but they are usually meant to function on a certain program. Taking the web browser for comparison, add-ons that are meant for Firefox would only work with Firefox and so would for other browsers. These are usually not full blown software but are simply pieces of code that you can use to modify the interface. The most common add-ons for browsers are toolbars which take a little bit more space and give you instant shortcuts to certain online services. Add-ons are also very prominent in online games like World of Warcraft, where players who have a little know-how can create their own add-ons to help other players.

The separation between an add-on and a plug-in is not really that clear. They are both made to do specific functions that are suited to a certain user’s preference. The primary reason why these codes are not embedded into the program in the first place is that they are not really that essential and while some people might appreciate having that, others might not and find it a nuisance. These are also tools that a software maker can utilize to motivate the members of their community to get involved in improving the software.

10 Things to Look for in a Web Application Development Company

10 Things to Look for in a Web Application Development Company

Whether it is for working with your vendors, your clients and customers or even internally with your employees, chances are your business already uses web applications every day. Web Applications are a necessity in today’s business world because they offer so many benefits like easy deployment, availability of data, and direct access to  up-to-date information, just to name a few. They come in the form of social aggregators like Hootsuite, file transferring tools like Dropbox, customer service tools like Zendesk and many more. We can easily conclude that due to the incline in web application development in recent years, the amount of industry providers has skyrocketed. Now, when looking to outsource your development project the issue is not finding a partner, but rather finding the right partner in a saturated market. If you are looking for how to effectively choose an agency to develop a custom application for your company, you have come to the right place. These are the 10 areas to look into when analyzing prospective providers.

  1. The Company Itself
    Today, the power of opinion is truly with the user and within minutes you can understand a company’s culture, success, personality and much more with a few simple searches online. Simple attributes such as age and location can give you a quick idea of whether or not this is a web application development company for you. Take a deeper look into the company’s social channels and overall website to see if the culture, interests, and business solutions are in line with your needs.
  2. Track Record
    To find the best web application development company suited for you, look at where a company is headed and if that is in the direction you want to go. One of the most effective ways to see where a company is headed is to see where they have been. Research what clients the prospect has worked with and continues to work with. Look into projects they have taken on in the past and what has come of them. These findings will give you a better idea of what kind of projects and people this company caters to.
  3. Expertise
    This may seem like a very obvious attribute, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate. Expertise can come in many shapes and forms in web application development, but the most important, is that it comes in a way that is beneficial to you. See what verticals the company has developed expertise in and compare your industry and business focus to those verticals. Has this company worked with businesses similar to yours? Just like in your Track Record research, review past projects and look for measurable success and similarities to your project.
  4. User Experience
    Make sure the company you choose has the tools to get you where you want to go. A commendable UX is very important in web application development and should be considered when looking for a partner. Companies that have a strong team skilled in graphic design, user experience and interactivity ensure optimal functionality and tend to produce better results.
  5. Technology
    There are some relatively basic necessities to look for in a web app development company overall, but usually the most recent and up-to-date technologies are desired, given they fit your need. Make sure the company uses a platform that delivers and has the capabilities necessary to build your web app. CSS, HTML, PHP, JavaScript and ASP.NET are just a few examples of technologies used to build web applications. Learn and ask about the company’s capabilities and compare them to your need.
  6. Process
    Each prospective company should walk you through a proposed process of the project and how they intend to carry it out. The process must be thorough and proven. A strong web application development process may look something like this: Discovery and Planning, Statement of Work, Development, Testing and QA, User Acceptance Testing, Production Launch, and Maintenance. Make sure that the process laid out is one that fits well with your company and expectations.
  7. ROI
    This is clearly a no-brainer. Of course we all would like to make the money back that we spent and more! Many development companies will actually include a proposal including possible ROI. Make sure to review thoroughly and ask about any questions you may have. Remember, Cost Effectiveness and ROI does not mean cheap or low price services only! In most cases, paying more for the right service will make you more in the long run.
  8. Agility
    Agility is sometimes forgotten when looking into a vendor. It sometimes can only be achievable by smaller, younger companies who are willing to modify processes midway because there are not as many relative actions effected. A good example is how much better a small speedboat can navigate through the water compared to a freightliner. Very large companies may not be able to adapt and adjust to unexpected changes in the web application development process like smaller providers can. The key is to find a happy medium in between with a mid to large size provider that can still navigate successfully through the process.
  9. Timeline
    Turnaround time can absolutely be a deal-breaker. Do your research to ensure that the development company has proven success with reasonable timelines. Every web application project is different, so just ask! Almost every company offers free quotes that include timelines, so take advantage of it. This can be referred again back to Track Record where knowing some past project details can help you make a decision. Similar past project timelines can give you a good idea of whether the time goal is a possibility or just a number thrown out there to impress.
  10. Maintenance and Support
    All activities post-project launch are as important as those carrying the initial process. If you are looking to have continued support, make sure and ask how maintenance and support is carried out with the company. Updates and bug fixes are inevitable no matter what web application vendor you choose. The last thing anyone wants is to be given a one-time service and left without the support or knowhow to maintain necessary activities.

Conclusion

Today, web application development is no longer exclusively for fortune 100 companies, but rather is available and necessary to any sized business. The growing amount of options, however, makes the deciding process a difficult one. The key is to find a partner that fits your specific needs and expectations. Research the areas above and you will find that some companies fit your needs much more than others. Good luck with all of your future web application development projects!

10 Simple Steps to Optimize Your Web Pages for Search

10 Simple Steps to Optimize Your Web Pages for Search

  1. Keyword Research

While it might be a dream come true, it’s not realistic to think that your site is going to rank for every keyword you could ever want. Many are simply too competitive, and a new website must do proper keyword research in order to find the right keywords. The ones you select should bring in traffic but also have an appropriate amount of competition.

Ever since Google released the new Hummingbird update, SEOs have started the shift from individual keyword phrases to topics. Hummingbird focuses more on the intent of the phrase with a better understanding of what the context means. This allows search engines like Google to answer questions with web pages even if that page is not optimized for that phrase.

That said, doing keyword research with the Google Adwords tool can still give you some good ideas for keywords. You want keywords that have low to medium competition in an area.

  1. Great content (the longer, the better)

Great content is now a requirement to rank well. Search engines rank pages with bad grammar and spelling lower. This means that sites with well-written content are finally starting to get the ranking they deserve.

“How long should my content be?” is a question many people ask. While there really isn’t an exact answer, most people agree that 500 words is a good minimum length for your normal blog post.

It’s also a good idea to mix in longer authority posts. Research has shown that longer posts (over 1,000 words) tend to rank better—keep in mind, Google really likes authoritative posts with 2,000+ words.

Starting in August 2013, Google introduced in-depth articles as a new type of search result. Google separates these articles by placing them in a special box on the right side of the search results with other highly authoritative articles on the subject.

To improve your chances of getting an in-depth article status in the future, it must have the highest quality content, be over 2000 words, and not be promotional in any way.

One final tip: Length isn’t the only thing that matters. Make your posts fun to read. Avoid boring, stuffy content that looks like a legal document. Instead, opt for more conversational, amusing content when writing reviews, essays and guides.

  1. Natural keyword usage

The primary rule for mixing your keywords into your content is to make sure they sound natural to the reader. When you write for your reader and use natural keyword placement, you can actually rank better with search engines.

  1. Page titles

Your page titles should have the keyword phrase you’re targeting but also be descriptive for the reader. For example, if your article is about “SEO” then a good title might be “SEO in Six Easy Steps.”

The page title should not exceed 70 characters. Although search engines will index longer titles, they will be truncated in the search results.

  1. Header tags

It’s generally a good idea to include the keyword phrase in an occasional header tag, but don’t overdo it. If you’re going to include a keyword phrase in a header tag, it is best to use the first heading on the page (H1) because Google will pay more attention to it.

  1. Optimized URLs

One of the most basic search engine optimization techniques is in using SEO-friendly URL structures. A good structure can help the indexation process of your website, but, unfortunately, there are plenty of websites that use incorrect, suboptimal URLs.

When it comes to choosing a good URL it’s all about usability; if it’s good for users, it’s good for search engines. That’s why you should use keywords instead of random words and numbers. If you want to split words, always use hyphens in your URL instead of underscores or plus-signs. And when it comes to dynamic URLs; Google can still read and index them.

  1. Page load time

According to WebProNews, when Google added page speed into their algorithm, sites that had slow load times saw a drop in traffic from Google. Page load speed is a ranking factor for Google.

In order to fix page load speed problems:

  • Measure how long a page takes to load.
  • Optimize your website to improve performance.
  • If you are using a shared hosting server, you can try switching to a different hosting provider to see if it makes a positive difference.
  • After making changes, measure performance again.

If you use WordPress, make sure you keep plugins to a minimum, as they will only bog down your site if there are too many. Also, stick with a lean code (such as Thesis and Genesis) or a website builder that allows you to customize and tweak the code.

It’s a good idea to periodically check your page load on a few random pages to make sure changes to your site have not affected performance.

  1. Internal linking

Make sure you link your content with other internal pages that would be beneficial to your readers. This will help improve your site’s SEO and will make it easier for your readers to navigate and find more of your useful content.

  1. Google authorship

Google authorship is easy to set up in your content and your Google+ profile. It allows you to establish yourself as an authority in your niche and as a result, Google will rank pages higher for your site.

  1. Responsive (mobile) design

Most of people are now buying smart phones and browsing the Internet with them. This is why it is critical that you use a responsive (i.e. mobile) design for your website so that pages easily show up on the small screen.

Google also recommends a responsive design because it makes it easier for visitors to have a single URL. Your web pages will load faster because your website doesn’t need to be redirected to another page for a mobile device.

Conclusion

Finding the right keywords first can save you a lot of wasted effort in the future. After you pick your keywords, create the kind of outstanding content that Google wants to see. Internal linking can help improve your visitor’s experience on your site as well as allow Google to find your content more easily.

Periodically checking and improving web page load times will also help your site rankings. Having a responsive design is now more of a requirement than an option. Expect users to access your site from mobile devices, so make sure your site is ready to accommodate them for success.

Now you: What are your best strategies for website optimization?

7 Best Techniques to Promote Your Website for Free

7 Best Techniques to Promote Your Website for Free

You can have the best product in the world, but without effective advertising no one will know about it. Just because you have launched your website on the Internet doesn’t mean that everyone will come flocking to it. In fact, nobody will know it exists if you do not get out there and promote it. There are several services available to help you get the word out there, but they cost money. However, there are several ways to get the word out for free. Here are seven website promotion tips you need to follow to get your page up to the top of the search engines.

  1. Focus on Website SEO

Before you begin working on your website content, you need to know the SEO tools that will go into it. Use the Google keyword tool planner to help you find the best keywords for your niche market. Remember to focus on long-tailed keywords versus short keywords as you can struggle to rank for a broad keyword. Focus on the keywords that have low competition and high search frequency to help you create blog posts that are compelling, and will get noticed. Using the right SEO strategy will help you as you focus on promoting your site. The keywords you select must be added to the title, headings, content, and Meta description. If you add images, remember to include the keyword in the picture title tag and the alt tag. Promoting your website by using traditional SEO is one of the best ways to gain natural traffic, and a higher ranking.

  1. Social Media Marketing

The world of social media has completely changed online marketing. Creating a social media account, and interacting with the customers often is the best way to promote a website. You will be able to create connections with the customers, and you can gain instant results as a result of your communication with them. Different social media accounts provide businesses with an excellent platform to advertise their business to the right audience. The promotion of websites on social media accounts can have branded imagery. Consider running contests and giveaways with unique landing pages to gain new “likes” and customer contact information. Facebook and Twitter remain the dominate forces of social media, but Pinterest and Instagram are starting to catch on with businesses as other ways to promote a website.

  1. Search Engine Listing

A simple way to start getting traffic to your website is by using the search engines. Submit new content to the search engine directories like Google, Yahoo!, Bing etc, so it can be indexed. The major search engines offer this free service, and you can acquire it with smaller search engine directories as well. This is one of the first things you need to do to promote a website if you are adding fresh content weekly.

  1. Signature Branding

Your brand image is how people will recognize your company. Spend some time working on making your brand easy to recognize, and compelling enough to get people’s attention. Create a signature for your email account, text messages, and forums that include your website URL. This is a great way to get people to recognize your brand, and it will get people to click on the URL. It is vital to have a mobile-friendly website if you choose to add your URL to text messaging and other mobile advertising options.

  1. Reciprocal Linking

One way to show the search engines your website is trusted is by having other websites link to your site. If you want promotion, website options include; guest blogging, forum posting, link exchange, and news articles. Do not start linking your site to a number of low-ranking, low-quality sites. The search engines want to reward you with a higher website ranking when they see your website is linked to higher ranking, authority sites. Focus on creating links that are relevant to the readers, and use quality keywords or phrases to gain a link. Inbound links are an important part of the SEO world, but you must be careful in the way you create them. If you do too many at once, your website can be banned from the search engines. Slow and steady is the best way to go when you are working on quality inbound links to your website.

  1. Focus on Quality Content

Out of all the website promotion ideas you will read about online, the best one is to focus on quality. Why are you writing blog posts for the readers? Are you giving them information they want, or are you only focused on getting something “fresh” on your website? Creating quality content is vital to your website, and to your overall ranking. Write the kind of content that other people want to read and promote on their own blogs/websites and on social media.

  1. Use Google Local Business

To gain a local audience, submit your site to Google Local Business. Not only will Google provide website promotion ideas, they will allow every business to register their information for free. You can add pictures, include promotional offers, and even submit mobile ads. The great part of the Google Local Business page is how the information is displayed. It will show up right above the rest of the normal search result information, giving your business a larger online presence. Google even provides directions to your location, and they allow customers to call right from their mobile device.
If you are still asking how to promote my website after using these seven tips, it is a good idea to contact online marketing agencies for help. These seven website promotion tips make it easy for anyone to focus on improving their website, and promoting it through the right channels. While it can take time to learn how to promote a website, it is important to focus on being patient. It can take a few weeks, or months, before you notice a significant increase in traffic and your online ranking.

5 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Is Important

5 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Is Important

The whole marketing landscape has changed with the introduction of Social Media. New avenues were opened for marketers that before did not exist or were too complicated. Now we have an easy and powerful tool at our finger tips that can share a piece of content all over the world in seconds.

Many people use Social Media for personal reasons but now if you are not using it for business reasons you’re already behind. You will be surprised how using Social Media can reach into other parts of your marketing strategy.

Driving Traffic:

Every website owner wants to increase their traffic; Social networks top the list of site referrals.  Not to mention that they triumph in time spent on site, as well.

Search Engines used to be the sole focus for driving traffic and marketers allocated all their resources there. SEO still exists but it has now become more social.

SEO:

With every coming update to a search engine, more social results are being integrated. Whether it is being using Facebook or Google using Google +, algorithms are not taking social results into account.

Even Social networks themselves are becoming search engines. For example Facebook’s graph search or Twitter being a real-time search engine.

Your efforts though social will become more significant in your SEO strategies. You can no longer do one and not the other without compromising your results.

Engagement:

Communication is important for any business but positive engagement with the customer base can really lead to improved reputation. Social networking allows brands and user to interact freely and quickly.

The brand takes on a personal role and becomes a member of a conversation. Resulting exposure can develop a quality brand image.

Branding:

With every profile being unique, businesses can give brands a personality on social networks. How they interact, the look and feel of the profile, all encompass the general characteristics of the brand. For many businesses your social profile may be more important than your website.

Mobile:

Mobile is at the forefront of social networking , because most of the social activity that is being done is being done through a mobile device. Remember that most internet activity is being done through mobile devices; plan accordingly when developing your social strategy.

Everything on a mobile device can be shared with any social network, take that into perspective. Your website most likely will be viewed through a mobile device, be sure it is compatible and offers the viewer a positive experience.

5 Quick Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

5 Quick Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

No one likes waiting around for a site to load, so much so that 40 per cent of people abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load.

Slow page load speeds are especially crippling for eCommerce sites. Almost 80 per cent of shoppers who are dissatisfied with a site’s performance are less likely to buy from the same site again, while a one second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16 per cent.

Even Google factors site speed into their algorithm when ranking websites. So if your site loads too slowly you can expect your Google rankings to fall, and in turn attract less traffic to your site.

So what can you do to make your site faster? Here are a few simple ways to keep your page load times low and your visitors happy.

Use a Great Caching Plugin

If you’ve got static images, CSS and Javascript on your website that rarely change, browser side caching can help make your site snappier.

Caching involves storing parts of your site so they only need to be loaded once instead of every time a user visits your site. Caching is especially helpful for your return visitors, as well as others who visit several pages of your site.

W3 Total Cache is a popular caching plugin for WordPress used by sites

WP Super Cache is a more user-friendly alternative and you don’t need to be a server expert to set it up.

Compress Images

Images are usually the largest files on a site so if they aren’t compressed they can take ages to load.

Luckily there are some great tools out there to help you compress your files.

WP Smush.it, now managed and supported by WPMU DEV, automatically strips meta data from JPEGs and removes unused colors from indexed images.

Tiny PNG is another great tool, which allows also strips un-used colors for lossy compressions.

If you use a lot of images on your site, you might want to implement lazy loading. The Lazy Load plugin allows you to only load images above the fold when a new visitor arrives at your site. Images load once a user starts scrolling down the page. This technique not only speeds up page load times, but also saves bandwidth for users who don’t scroll all the way to the bottom of your pages.

Minify HTML, CSS and Javascript

In other words, remove all white space from code where possible.

While spaces and tabs make code more readable for humans, servers and browsers couldn’t care less as long as it’s valid and executes without error.

Rather than manually sift through your code with a fine tooth comb, plugin’s like WP Minify and W3 Total Cache can handle this at runtime.

Cut Down on HTTP Requests

Every time someone visits a page on your site, the corresponding files must be sent to that person’s browser, including images, CSS files andJavascript library references. So if you have a HTML file, two CSS files, five Javascript files and eight images, that’s a total of 16 files that need to be loaded.

By reducing the number of objects in your site’s pages, you can minimize the number of HTTP requests that are required to render a page, speeding up load times.

One way to do this is by simplifying the design of your site, and combining files such as scripts and CSS. The minify section in W3 Total Cache allows you to add your CSS and Javascript files so you can easily combine them into one file.

Optimize Database Tables

Optimizing your database tables is like defragging your computer or changing the oil in your car – it will help free up space and keep your database running smoothly.

You can optimize your database tables manually using phpMyAdmin or with a plugin.

WP-DBManager allows you to optimize, repair, backup and restore your database.

There’s also WP-Optimize, another database cleanup and optimization tool. This plugin also lets you remove post revisions, comments in the spam queue, un-approved comments and items in trash.

Conclusion

This is a quick round-up of simple measures you can put in place to speed up your pages.

Optimizing your site can make a big difference in site speed, encouraging them to stick around and engage with your content.

These tips shouldn’t take very long to put in place and for the effort you put in you’ll get a speedier site and happier visitors.

5 Fast Ways To Get Traffic For A New Website

5 Fast Ways To Get Traffic For A New Website

When it comes to the long-term traffic potential of marketing strategies, content marketing and SEO will usually offer you the biggest return on your investment. They naturally lend themselves to compounding returns over time, and have virtually no risk—as long as you execute them correctly. However, there’s one major disadvantage to these strategies; they take a long time to set up and start returning a positive ROI. Building SEO momentum takes months or years, and when you’re launching a new site, you want traffic fast.

So what do you do if you want to get traffic fast? There are a few options, each with advantages and disadvantages. These are some of the outright fastest:

  1. Guest Post. Guest posts serve multiple functions, but there are two which make them a selling point for those after fast gains. First, guest posts connect you with authorities who already have established audiences. Take TechCrunch as an example—its readership is in the millions, so if you can get your brand featured there, you can lean on that visibility. Unfortunately, the more visible the publisher, the harder it is to get featured, so set your sights on something smaller to start.

The second selling point is the possibility for direct traffic; as long as your content is authoritative and valuable, you’ll wind up with a strong flow of users to your site. Plus, as a long-term advantage, guest posts will help you in both content marketing and SEO—because of that, it’s the favorite of the five on this list.

  1. Build Your Social Media Audience. Social audience building can be unpredictable, but if you have your priorities in order, it’s an effective and fast way to scale your potential user base. Here’s why: on social media, you can engage with users publicly and directly. You can use content to start attracting an audience naturally, or ads (more on those in a moment) to funnel traffic directly, but more importantly, you can actually engage with people.

When you engage with social users—by liking or sharing their posts, or just by engaging them in conversation—you introduce them to your brand. It takes some upfront work, but in a matter of weeks you could theoretically build an audience of thousands to serve as a platform for even further growth.

  1. Leverage Influencers. Remember what we said about high-profile publishers being a shortcut to a wider audience? Influencers basically work the same way, except you’ll be engaging with an individual rather than hosting your client on an external site. You can find influencers in your industry by crawling the social media world or finding one through search.

From there, you’ll need to build a relationship, which could involve sharing their work, asking them questions, or otherwise showing them you’re interested in their work. From there, they might share your content on their own, or you could ask them for an interview opportunity for mutual visibility—just stay respectful of their time and don’t ask for free publicity directly. If successful, you’ll instantly gain an audience of thousands, and from there, you can continue to nurture the relationship or find new influencers to tap as resources.

  1. Use Paid Ads. Paid advertising is my least favorite of the strategies listed here, but it’s an important option to mention. Why is it the least favorite? Because it has the lowest long-term potential. You’ll pay upfront for a guaranteed stream of inbound traffic to your site, which may be valuable, but once you withdraw that budget, the ads are turned off and your stream becomes defunct.

Compare that to something like influencer leveraging, which gives you a new relationship to draw upon in your industry, or social marketing, where your audience sticks around (practically) forever. Advertising is a good strategy that’s both fast and profitable, but it just doesn’t have the potential growth or gains that organic strategies offer. With that said, here are some good options for fast paid traffic:

  • StumbleUpon ads
  • Reddit ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Twitter ads
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Google Adwords
  • Bing ads
  1. Run Contests and Promotions. Contests and promotions are somewhat like paid advertising in the sense that you’ll have to make an upfront investment—usually in a hot consumer product, a gift card, or something similarly valuable. Then, you ask your users to engage in some behavior to be entered into the contest (such as liking or sharing your post on social media).

Contests are powerful because they naturally spread themselves—users like to share these opportunities, and it’s a good way to get widespread visibility quickly. You might even have a long-term benefit if the social users who engage with your contest end up following your brand. The key is to find the right contest—one that’s original, valuable, and interesting to your key demographics.

Remember that “fast” traffic isn’t always good traffic, and it doesn’t always mean you’re getting a good return on your investment. When it comes to the long-term return on every dollar spent, SEO and content marketing beat paid advertising almost every time (assuming proper strategic positioning). Think of it like buying seeds to grow your own vegetables versus buying the vegetables directly from the store; with the right time and care, your garden will return far more riches to your initial investments, but sometimes you need a shortcut to tide you over. Try to keep these short-term methods in balance with your long-term strategies to reap the benefits of both.