SEO – Search Engine Optimization.
Search engine optimization ( SEO ) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
Now what does that magic look like, and why does it even matter?
Like I said earlier, the vast majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, and nearly 75% of searchers start their searches on Google.
Combine that with the fact that the first five results on Google get 67% of all clicks, and you get an idea of why search engine optimization is so important.
There’s a joke going around the web that highlights how crucial it is to hit the first page of Google:
If you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of Google search results.
If your blog post, article, or product is on any other page of the Google search results than the first, then it’s the equivalent of it not ranking at all.
But to understand how to show up first in the search engine results, you first need to know how search even works.
How Search Works:
Now that you have an idea of the basics of SEO, I’ll take a look at some of its components in detail.
While Google guards their search algorithm pretty well and not all of the over 200 determining factors are public, Backlinko did a great job of compiling as many of them as possible into one big list.
But first, I need to get one thing straight. There are two sides of the SEO force, and you need to choose yours right now.
White hat vs. black hat
As you know, I’m playing the long-term entrepreneurial game instead of just trying to get a quick buck out of it.
It’s the same with search engine optimization. Some people are in it to make a few grand really quickly while others are in it for the long haul.
If you want to work SEO like a get-rich-quick scheme, you’ll probably end up doing black hat SEO.
This type of SEO focuses on optimizing your content only for the search engine, not considering humans at all. Since there are lots of ways to bend and break the rules to get your sites to rank high, these are a prime way for black hat SEOs to make a few thousand dollars fast.
Ultimately, this approach results in spammy, crappy pages that often get banned very fast. It will often lead to severe punishment for the marketer, ruining their chance of building something sustainable in the future.
You might make a few grand this way, but you’ll continuously have to be on the lookout for search engine updates and come up with new ways to dodge the rules.
White hat SEO, on the other hand, is the way to build a sustainable online business. If you do SEO this way, you’ll focus on your human audience.
You’ll try to give them the best content possible and make it easily accessible to them by playing according to the search engine’s rules.
Online marketing is all about awareness and visibility. Most of the time, people find your small business online in one of three ways:
- Your company comes up early in search engine results,
- You’re mentioned or recommended by another person or website they visit, or
- They already know about your company and go looking for you
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of strategies with the broad goal of bringing more people to your website the first way, by improving your search engine rankings. Social media optimization (SMO) can be one part of SEO—but it also contributes to all three ways people find you online.
Obviously, SMO has to do with social networks and their growing importance to the business. This aspect of optimization deals with enhancing your company’s presence and online reputation through interactive communities—not just Facebook and Twitter, but also blogs, forums, and anywhere your business is mentioned or linked to socially.
Working with SMO can help you strengthen your brand and boost visibility, as well as generate leads and increase sales. Optimizing your social media builds both familiarity with and trust for your business because consumers will see you not only mentioned, but recommended by others.
What SMO is Not
If you’re looking to improve your SMO, it’s important to keep in mind that having huge numbers of links to your website scattered across social networks is not optimization. Joining every Facebook industry page, Google+ Community, and Lthe inkedIn group just to seed links to your content is actually counterproductive, to both SMO and SEO.
Social shares carry a lot more weight when they’re coming from someone else. In addition, indiscriminate link-spreading without engagement and participation will get you unfollowed in your social networks—which in turn drives down your authority.
In order to improve SMO for your small business, you should focus on engaging with relevant social audiences, contributing to conversations, and posting your own shares of authoritative content for your industry.
Google Hummingbird: Why You Need SMO
In the last month or so, Google quietly launched a major overhaul of their search algorithm. Dubbed Hummingbird because of its speed and precision, the new algorithm changes the way Google interprets search terms—and changes the weight of some factors that drive search rankings.
Social shares are more important in calculating rankings now, and they’re apt to contribute even more in the near future. The Hummingbird algorithm values quality content that is relevant, authoritative, and shareable. So the more your content has been shared across social media, the higher its perceived quality—and the better you’ll rank on Google.
How do you factor SMO into your online marketing strategy?
P.S. Wishpond’s Facebook Contest Apps make it easy to create sweepstakes, photo contests, Instagram hashtag contests & more. Looking for inspiration? Check out 25 Creative Facebook Contest Ideas You Can Use Today.
Social Media Optimization (SMO)
Definition – What does Social Media Optimization (SMO)mean?
Techopedia explains Social Media Optimization (SMO)
What is Web Design?
WEB • DESIGN
Design is the process of collecting ideas, and aesthetically arranging and implementing them, guided by certain principles for a specific purpose. Web design is a similar process of creation, with the intention of presenting the content on electronic web pages, which the end-users can access through the internet with the help of a web browser.
Elements of Web Design
Web design uses many of the same key visual elements as all types of design such as:
Layout: This is the way the graphics, ads and text are arranged. In the web world, a key goal is to help the view find the information they seek at a glance. This includes maintaining the balance, consistency, and integrity of the design.
Colour: The choice of colours depends on the purpose and clientele; it could be simple black-and-white to multi-coloured design, conveying the personality of a person or the brand of an organization, using web-safe colours.
Graphics: Graphics can include logos, photos, clipart or icons, all of which enhance the web design. For user friendliness, these need to be placed appropriately, working with the colour and content of the web page, while not making it too congested or slow to load.
Fonts: The use of various fonts can enhance a website design. Most web browsers can only read a select number of fonts, known as “web-safe fonts”, so your designer will generally work within this widely accepted group.
Content: Content and design can work together to enhance the message of the site through visuals and text. Written text should always be relevant and useful, so as not to confuse the reader and to give them what they want so they will remain on the site. Content should be optimized for search engines and be of a suitable length, incorporating relevant keywords.
Creating User-Friendly Web Design
Besides the basic elements of web design that make a site beautiful and visually compelling, a website must also always consider the end user. User-friendliness can be achieved by paying attention to the following factors.
Navigation: Site architecture, menus and other navigation tools in the web design must be created with consideration of how users browse and search. The goal is to help the user to move around the site with ease, efficiently finding the information they require.
Multimedia: Relevant video and audio stimuli in the design can help users to grasp the information, developing understanding in an easy and quick manner. This can encourage visitors to spend more time on the webpage.
Compatibility: Design the webpage, to perform equally well on different browsers and operating systems, to increase its viewing.
Technology: Advancements in technology give designers the freedom to add movement and innovation, allowing for web design that is always fresh, dynamic and professional.
Interactive: Increase active user participation and involvement, by adding comment boxes and opinion polls in the design. Convert users from visitors to clients with email forms and newsletter sign-ups.
Toronto web design professionals create excellent User Interface (UI) Design for a satisfying web experience. They use critical planning and analysis for the design and they pay attention to individual client specifications, converting the intricate process into a simple and elegant piece of art.
What is Web Design?
Web design refers to the design of websites that are displayed on the internet. It usually refers to the user experience aspects of website development rather than software development. Web design used to be focused on designing websites for desktop browsers; however, since the mid-2010s, design for mobile and tablet browsers has become ever-increasingly important.
A web designer works on the appearance, layout, and, in some cases, content of a website. Appearance, for instance, relates to the colors, font, and images used. Layout refers to how information is structured and categorized. A good web design is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, and suits the user group and brand of the website. Many webpages are designed with a focus on simplicity, so that no extraneous information and functionality that might distract or confuse users appears. As the keystone of a web designer’s output is a site that wins and fosters the trust of the target audience, removing as many potential points of user frustration as possible is a critical consideration.
Two of the most common methods for designing websites that work well both on desktop and mobile are responsive and adaptivedesign. In responsive design, content moves dynamically depending on screen size; in adaptive design, the website content is fixed in layout sizes that match common screen sizes. Preserving a layout that is as consistent as possible between devices is crucial to maintaining user trust and engagement. As responsive design can present difficulties in this regard, designers must be careful in relinquishing control of how their work will appear. If they are responsible for the content as well, while they may need to broaden their skillset, they will enjoy having the advantage of full control of the finished product.
What is Website Design?
When you’re ready to build a website, you have several options. If you are not familiar with HTML programming language and Web design applications, there are a number of other options for creating your Web design:
- Hire a professional website design expert to create and build a unique Web site.
- Create your own website design using off-the-shelf software such as FrontPage® or Dreamweaver®. (These software packages do require technical expertise.)
- Use online website design tools with pre-set and/or customizable Web design templates to customize with your company colors, graphics and text.
The degree of customization included in your website design will determine the speed and cost of getting your site up and running.
How Can Professional Web Design Help My Online Business?
As important as having a great domain name, professional web design can help you:
- Satisfy customers. Professional Web design meets the needs of your visitors – telling them quickly what they want to know without unnecessary and confusing design items. Making sure the navigation in your Web site design is predictable, consistent and easy to understand will help build a positive relationship with your visitors.
- Attract search engines. No matter how appealing your Web site design looks, it won’t show up on the search engine results pages if it’s not coded in a way that the search engines can read.
- Avoid technical glitches. It doesn’t take much to turn a customer away. Lengthy loading times, broken links and dropped images are just a few of the web design issues that can be remedied by a professional Web design service.
By reaching out to customers and search engines alike, Web site design serves an important dual purpose that has a great impact on your online sales.
How Can Network Solutions® Help Me with Web Site Design?
Network Solutions provides customized, professional Web design packages that allow you to have a professional website design worthy of representing your company. You may choose to work one-on-one with a professional Web design expert to design and build your website using the latest Web site design techniques, or you may take a more hands-on approach and use customizable Web site design templates to build the website yourself. Either way, Network Solutions professional Web design tools and Web hosting packages can help to ensure that your Web site design looks great and does exactly what it is meant to do: meet the needs of your customers.
What is website design?
Briefly, website design means planning, creation and updating of websites. Website design also involves information architecture, website structure, user interface, navigation ergonomics, website layout, colors, contrasts, fonts and imagery (photography) as well as icons design.
All these website elements combined together form websites. Often, the meaning of “design” is perceived solely as a visual aspect. In reality, website design includes more abstract elements such as usability, ergonomics, layout traditions, user habits, navigation logic and other things that simplify the using of websites and help to find information faster.
In classical terms, design describes the visual appearance of a website. Traditional approach involves contrast, coloring, balance, emphasis, rhythm, style of graphical elements (lines, shapes, texture, color and direction), use of icons, background textures and general atmosphere of overall website design.
All these elements are combined with the fundamental principles of design in order to create a superb result that meets the goals set for the website.
How to Learn Website Design?
If you would like to learn more about modern web design techniques, good website practices and web design standards – all in simple and understandable format, then perhaps it is best to start from guidegook “Learning Web Design“, which offers simple design exercises and builds your skills step by step. Most importantly, this book offers both ideas and exercises how to start and build your skills incrementally.
Find Reliable Web Hosting Provider
You are planning to build a new website and need to find a great web hosting provider? There are many to choose from, and finding the best web hosting for your website may be quite a challenging task.
In our 10 years of experience, reliable web hosting – better server uptimes, ergonomic control panels, up-to-date operating systems, systematic backups, fast databases and professional technical support – has also made our routine business of creating flawlessly working websites a lot easier.
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We are been using iPage because they provide a reliable service, and it includes all kind of extras – Website Building Software, Advertising Tools, Power Plugins, Multimedia Features and many useful E-Commerce tools. Technical support is great and the domain is also included in the affordable price. But the most important thing is, that account panel is very easy to use even with your first websites. Read more about iPagequality services here.
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Our experience shows that Dreamhost provides a excellent quality hosting service because they have very fast server hardware and SSD (solid state disks) for faster data handling. No wonder that their quality hosting is suggested also by PC Magazine’s Business Choice Award team. Read more why they are most reliable web hosting provider, beating out other top hosting companies. See more about DreamHost here.
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If you are great fan of open source website software, InMotion provides excellent hosting services for a web programs such as WordPress, Drupal, Prestashop, Joomla & Gallery Scripts. Very fast data drives and web server software accelerators offer lightning fast experience for accomodating your website. Take a more detailed look of InMotion customer care and their investments in web hosting technology.
Many our clients use HostPapa, because it is one of the oldest and most reliable web hosting companies around. Great story is, that they are been developing their web hosting services since then and are offering drab and drop website builders and extremely user-friendly website hosting account management access. HostPapa is very good web hosting company, take a look about HostPapa website hosting serviceshere.
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Easily usable cPanel and very straight web hosting is why we like JustHost, reliable website hosting provider. They offer all you need for hosting any great website – domain name registration, site builder with templates, e-commerce shopping carts, instant setup and even $100 Google advertising account to bring massive traffic for your new website. If you are looking reliable hosting, read more about JustHost hosting provider here.
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Server provider SiteGround has its sights set on the future: they have new server systems which work unbelievably fast. They have been our first choice for all the clients who need flawless and well-crafted functionalities. This company’s modest price, $3.95, includes modern management panel, unlimited e-mail accounts, easy configuration of databases and domain registration. If you need flawless server for your website, take a closer look at SiteGround packages.
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Web development refers to building, creating, and an maintaining websites. It includes aspects such as web design, web publishing, web programming, and databasemanagement.
While the terms “web developer” and “web designer” are often used synonymously, they do not mean the same thing. Technically, a web designer only designs website interfaces using HTML and CSS. A web developer may be involved in designing a website, but may also write web scripts in languages such as PHP and ASP. Additionally, a web developer may help maintain and update a database used by a dynamic website.
Web development includes many types of web content creation. Some examples include hand coding web pages in a text editor, building a website in a program like Dreamweaver, and updating a blog via a blogging website. In recent years, content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla have also become popular means of web development. These tools make it easy for anyone to create and edit their own website using a web-based interface.
While there are several methods of creating websites, there is often a trade-off between simplicity and customization. Therefore, most large businesses do not use content management systems, but instead have a dedicated Web development team that designs and maintains the company’s website(s). Small organizations and individuals are more likely to choose a solution like WordPress that provides a basic website template and simplified editing tools.
Web development is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the early 21st century. The term web developer is used ubiquitously throughout the tech industry, yet unsurprisingly — to those not already a part of the development community — it isn’t always clear what web development is or what a web developer does. To answer these questions effectively we must first delve a tiny bit into the realm of websites themselves: How a website recognizes when a user visits the site and performs the necessary function to display the appropriate page to the user.
Digital Ping Pong: The Inner Workings of a Modern Website
While every website is built slightly differently, there are a few fundamental components that handle every interaction between a user and the site:
- Client: The local computer (desktop/laptop) or device (phone/tablet) the user is interacting with to access the website.
- Server: The remote computer that “physically houses” all the files (and thus code) that make up the website.
- Database: A sub-component of the remote server, the database is a large series of data tables used to store all the dynamic information generated or used within the website. For example, the account information of a logged in user would be stored in the database.
With our three fundamental components identified, we can briefly examine how a website recognizes a visiting user and ultimately displays the appropriate page for viewing. The following diagram provides an approximate illustration of the process.
As an example, let’s imagine Jenny wishes to visit google.com.
- Jenny first enters the URL of the website (google.com) in the browser on her local computer (the client).
- Jenny’s computer generates a request that is sent out to the server computer, which then accepts the request.
- The server runs (or executes) the back-end code, usually grabbing data from (or querying) the database.
- The database sends the requested data back to the server.
- The server takes the data and executes the front-end code to produce a response.
- This response is sent back out to the client where it is then displayed (or rendered) on the client computer as a standard web page.
The end result is that Jenny is now looking at the Google homepage as expected, all within a matter of milliseconds in most cases.
What’s My Line?: Where the Web Developer Fits In
Now that we’ve explored the fundamental process of how a web page is displayed to a user, we can dive into the deep end and discover where web development comes in and how it is applied to allow that magical ping pong-process to occur. As a broad definition, a web developer’s primary purpose is to create a functional website that performs a set of particular, defined functions. Accomplishing this goal breaks down into three core phases.
Phase 1: Planning During this preliminary phase, a web developer will work closely with the client and other developers to plan the structure and core concepts of the site. This first phase is an ideal time to decide how the various pages and components of the site link to one another (also known as a sitemap). While the sitemap can take on many forms, it should effectively outline how a user will navigate around the site. During the planning phase, it is also vital to determine how the client will interact with the site as well. If the client will be posting blogs or adding products to the online store component, it is the planning stage that should specify exactly how these tasks will be performed.
Phase 2: Design The design phase is when the visual look and feel of the site is determined. This entails everything from color palette and fonts to page width and static image placement. If the planning phase determines what the user will do with the site, the design phase determines the where and the how. Typically a mockup for each page or component of the site is created in Photoshop by a designer or multi-disciplined developer. This mockup should typically include every visual element that is expected in the final page and is thus representative of what the client wants to see when visiting the website. Throughout the design process, it is critical to consider the target audience and demographic of the website. The design should closely correspond to both the appropriate user base the site is marketed toward as well as the intended use of the site.
For example, Google is intended for all audiences and emphasizes speed and efficiency of search results, which fits the minimalist design Google uses, including a visual look comprised of almost exclusively text. Netflix, on the other hand, is all about audio and visual content and thus focused on a very colorful, full-screen design to highlight the multitude of shows available on the platform.
Phase 3: Development The development phase is of course the most crucial for web developers involved in the project, and where the majority of time and energy will be spent producing the final product. For most modern websites, the development process is broken down into three architectural components that the web developer will intermix throughout the procedure.
- Application Logic: Often referred to as the model component, this represents the majority of the back-end code a developer will write to make the site function as expected. This logic is also where a developer must understand and utilize the connection between the site and the database that powers it.
- Presentation: Commonly known as the view component, this is where the mockup that was created during the design phase is used by a developer to recreate the look and feel of the mockup image utilizing the basic building blocks of HTML and CSS, such that the end result is a webpage that looks identical to the mockup.
- Connection: Also referred to as the controller component, this code defines the connections between the back-end business logic that handles the grunt work of the site and the front-end pages that users will access: It connects the back- and front-end code together.
Choices, Choices, Everywhere: Learn Which Web Development Disciplines is Right for You
The exciting thing about web development as a field is the multitude of differing disciplines that a newcomer can focus on, depending on his or her particular skillset and desires. While the core of web development is generally considered to be from a coding perspective and thus an education in coding is expected, there are numerous disciplines within the web development field with slightly varied focus.
- Graphic/Visual Designer: The visual designer is often well-trained in the arts, utilizing Photoshop and others tools to create mockups for pages or entire websites that will please the client and appeal to the audience. In some development shops these positions are “codeless,” while often in others, visual designers would be expected to convert visual mockups into workable front-end code.
- Back-End Developer: A back-end developer writes all the code necessary for the core logic of the website: Grabbing data from the database and molding how that data is appropriately used and displayed to the user through the front end. Languages commonly used for back-end development are varied, but a handful among the most popular are Ruby on Rails, Python, PHP, and Node.js.
- Full Stack Developer: A much-lauded position, and rightfully so, the full stack developer is one who is adept at all aspects of the development process and is capable of contributing code and functional solutions every step of the way, from planning and design to both front- and back-end coding.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post on why now is the time to get started in web development!
Web Development Overview
There are two broad divisions of web development – front-end development (also called client-side development) and back-end development (also called server-side development).
Back-end development controls what goes on behind the scenes of a web application. A back-end often uses a database to generate the front-end.
Here’s an example. Say you log into your Facebook account, and you are greeted with the latest updates in your News Feed. They’re not going to be the same updates that you saw yesterday.
How did the page change? Did a Facebook employee manually edit the page to update your news feed? Of course not. A script on the Facebook back-end would have received the updates and re-generated the front-end accordingly.
Back-end scripts are written in many different coding languages and frameworks, such as…
Without going into more detail, that’s really all there is to web development. So now, here are the best ways to start learning it.
Ways to Learn Web Development
The traditional way to learn web development is to enroll in a university or trade school course. However, it can be costly – and what’s more, the web evolves so fast that schools often can’t keep up!
Luckily, there’s plenty of good quality coding training available here on the Internet. What better place to learn web development than the web itself?
A particular training recommendation is Treehouse. This is because it has a focus on web development, is recommended by many of the world’s most trusted and recognized web developers (such as Chris Coyier) and most of its teachers are themselves web developers.
Teach It To Yourself
You could also learn web coding by researching it on your own, tweaking website templates and inspecting the source code of other websites. A lot of coders learn HTML and CSS this way, using website editing software to tweak a website template and figuring out the code.
However, this method is not ideal. It takes a very long time, and you don’t even know what there is to learn. It’s like having to first find the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle before you can assemble them. You’re better off with training like Treehouse.