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Promoting your business online: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

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SEM-SEOTodays topic in our series Promoting your business online is certainly a more complex one and we feel it might be a good idea to start with some basic information. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is what you need to do to get your website found on platforms such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, to name a few.

Depending on who you are talking to the opinion on what kind of work is involved varies. Some will see the implementation of keywords in your website, listing your business on search engines and some other more technical aspect as what SEO is about. Others might see everything to drive traffic to your site as SEO.

Beside the definition there are also many different ways to actually get your site up in ranking and there are even reasons why you may not want to do it. Yes this may sound strange, but you may not want to increase the traffic to your site and we will try our best to explain why.

Lets say you are selling products on your website you also manufacture. The traffic to your website is decent but not amazing. Now imagine the traffic to your site suddenly increases so much that the amount on orders you are receiving exceeds your production capacity. Soon you will find yourself in the unfortunate situation that you can not satisfy your customers anymore. They start to leave bad reviews all over the internet and the entire experience did hurt your business more than it helped.

A much better approach is to increase the traffic to your website slowly so that you have time to adjust and to decide if you need to hire more people and invest in new equipment. This is why you may want to consider getting help from an agency or hire someone to help you in this regard.

Now the problem is that anyone can call themselves SEO Expert and the unfortunate truth is that there are so many bad once out there. To find a good one is very important. We therefore encourage you to shop around before you decide who should support you and we hope some of the following tips will help you in your decision.

  • Be sceptical if someone promises you to get you on top of every search engine in just a few weeks.
  • A good agency will not only explain what they want to do, but also involve you in the decision process as much as you want
  • A good agency will explain everything in terms you understand and will try their best to secure you feel included and be able to ask any question you may have
  • A good agency will provide you with a long term plan and will inform you if adjustments are needed
  • We here at teccrab will secure you have access to your Google Analytics Reports so you can check your traffic anytime you want. Even if other agencies prefer to use a different software to track the traffic to your website, you should get frequent reports regardless.

We had the unfortunate experience to meet some business owners who got burned by some “experts” who promised them to be on the 1st page on Google. This may sound strange but we as well get frequently Emails from “experts” who tell us our site needs help and promise us to be on the 1st page of Google. They claim to have analyzed our site meticulously without realizing we offer SEO services as well.

The problem as we see it is that good agencies have not only to comped with those “experts” but also get harmed by their business methods. We had clients who raised their eyebrows the moment we mentioned SEO, just because they get flooded with junk Emails. An even bigger problem is when you trust your website to the wrong SEO expert. Because it can be much more dangerous than trusting a bad printer or designer for example. Even if you have to pay for an awful designed website, a brochure or business cards you probably won’t be out of business. Trusting the wrong SEO expert can put you on the so called Blacklist and getting your domain off this list is very time consuming and to repair the bad reputation you may have received online can cost you even more.

Good agencies and experts will support your business with so called white head SEO. They will inform you about changes and advise you what to do. The process to increase the traffic to your site will be managed in a way that is beneficial to your business. A good agency will become a valuable partner you can trust.

We offer free consultations and encourage you to take our offer and compare it before making a decision. To learn more about us please feel free to check out the following links:

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube

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Mobile-Friendly Website

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Mobile-Friendly-300x300In our series Promoting your business online, we have talked about building a website and website structure. We as well posted a general article about online marketing and hope each of those articles were helpful. Today we want to inform you about a very important change from Google. We are sure you are well aware that Google is the most used search engine today. It is therefore important to get your website listed via Google and to make sure you are building your site based on the latest Google standards. To help users to get the best possible search experience Google had changed their search engine over the years many times. Certain standards are required to secure that your website is in good standing with Google and it is advisable to check them out if you are going to build a website.

One of the latest and very important changes is related to the increasing use of mobile devices. In the last couple years users have changed their behaviour when searching for information. Many are suing their mobile phones instead of their desktop computer to look up information. With this in mind Google has announced to change their algorithm in a way that would benefit those website that are mobile friendly compare to those that aren’t.

What does that mean for you?
Based on the information we have, mobile friendly websites will benefit from this change, if users are searching via mobile devices. Apparently the desktop search is not effected. However we have noticed a significant traffic increase to one of our websites in the last couple weeks. It is of course possible that this increase is due to the fact that Google is testing their system. We also would like to mention that we have not noticed the same change on other websites we maintain.

How to check if your site is mobile friendly?
It is very easy to check if your website is mobile friendly. Google is providing a tool to check your site for free. If you want to try it just follow this link:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

What to do to get a mobile friendly website?
If you are working with a professional website developer we are confident you will be in good hands. Especially if your website was build in the last couple months, we are sure your developer team has taken care of it. If your site is a little older you may want to talk to your developer. It is possible that simple changes can improve your site and if they are easy to implement it is very likely you will get them for an affordable price. In case you have build your website yourself and don’t know how to get it mobile friendly, we can offer you to take a look and to give you an estimate. If you are planing on building a new website we would be happy to take care of your project.

How much does a mobile friendly website cost?
The cost for a website depends on so many factors. We have build a tool to calculate the cost for a website which you can find here:

http://www.teccrab.com/index.php/website-development-cost-calculator

It is important to mention that the calculator was designed to help you to get an idea how much a website can cost. To get a real estimate you will have to talk to a developer about your project. A good developer will not only take the information and put them online, but will also advice you which elements are necessary and what you can add later.

We offer free consultations and work with many creative developer together. If you want to talk to us about your project we are happy to assist you. Hopefully this article was useful and if you like please feel free to share it. If you would like to learn more about us check out the links below.

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube

Promoting your business online: Website Structure

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WWW-Promo-IconWe hope you enjoyed our first two articles Promoting your business online: Website and Promoting your business online: Online Marketing. In this article we would like to go a little deeper into the structure of a website. Certain pages are needed in order to have a successful site. Also pages need to be structured in a certain way to make it easier for search engines to scan the content of your page. We will try to be not to technical in our post and to give you an overview what to look out for.

About Us Page
An About Page will help visitors to learn more about your business. If you are a small business you may want to have the people listed who are working in your company. A mission statement and a little history about your company will give visitors an idea what your business is about.

Contact Page
Beside the About Page the Contact Page is in our opinion essential. You want that visitors become clients and therefore give them options to contact you. The address, phone number and a general Email address is enough, but if you have the opportunity to add an info form we encourage you to add this too. If you are running a home business and don’t want to have your address on your website we recommend getting a PO Box. Another option is to use a office sharing service where you can also get a separate phone number.

Product / Service Page(s)
Since you want visitors to know what you have to offer you of course also need pages to showcase your products and or services. Depending on the nature of your business this can be one page or multiple pages. If you want to build an online store you also need a checkout system.

Privacy Policy and Disclaimer
Some countries have strict rules when it comes to do business online. Some may even charge you a hefty fee if you don’t have such a page on your website. The content of the site has some main elements such as Copyright and Privacy Statement, how you handle Personal Information and Security.

Sitemap
This will help search engines to scan pages on your site. It might not be the first thing on the list of pages you consider adding to your site, but should be on your to do list regardless. It is also not necessary to have a link in your navigation to this page.

The pages mentioned above are in our opinion the essential pages you should have when developing a website. Keep in mind that you might be able to create a one page site that includes all the details mentioned above, but we encourage you to consider building a website with many pages at some point. Beside the content of a page we also would like to mention some more technical things to think about.

Content
You may think that this is obvious and not worse mentioning, but we saw websites were simply a flyer was scanned and uploaded. Some other mistakes are poor descriptions, not using keywords or having to many of them. We suggest writing articles for your audience and to keep in mind that even if Google and other search engines need to be able to find certain keywords in order to list your website you shouldn’t consider them your main audience.

Images
Even if writing is very important, pictures can help visitors to put an images to the text. Try to optimize your images to reduce loading time. Make sure that your images have an so called Alt Text so search engines know what this images is about.

General Structure
Some SEO experts will tell you that Meta Keywords aren’t important, some will say they are. We think as long as you have just a few and not an endless list of Keywords you will be fine. The so called Meta Description is in our opinion much more important. The Meta Description is a short description what your business is about. Try to keep it under 160 characters because some search engines will cut your description short if you have more. You also need to secure your site with so called <H1> to <H6> tags to define HTML headings. The <H1> tag is for the most important heading and <H2> to <H6> for the lesser important. Depending on what kind of website you are building you may have to consider familiarizing yourself with the so called “.htaccess” and how to configure your so called “robots.txt”. Some platforms such as Joomla will have standard files already included. Also some of the “ready to use” website builder are taking care of this for you, but you may want or need to make some modifications.

We hope this article was informative and that you enjoy our series. Some of our upcoming topics are Online Advertisement, Social Media, Blogging and Videos. As always if you like to talk to one of our experts, we offer free consultations to help you making the right decisions for your business. Visit http://teccrab.com to learn more about us.

Promoting your business online: Online Marketing

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WWW-Promo-IconIn our previous post in our series of “Promoting your business online” we talked about some steps you should consider when you are going to develop a website for your business. Today we would like to talk about Online Marketing and like to give you an overview what to do after your website is ready. Online Marketing starts more or less already when you are developing your website. You may have heard the term SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization and is important to make sure that a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo actually finds your site.

But Online Marketing is so much more and includes developing strategies for your Social Media Activities, Online Advertisement, Videos and your entire Public Relations you do online. So where to start you may ask and we would like to try to point you into the right direction with this post.

1st Question: Your Website
Remember that you won’t have any traffic to your brand new website, except from yourself and your developer in case you have one. A good idea is to make sure the content on your site describes what your company has to offer. Make sure your website is optimized and easy to navigate. If your site is ready start submitting your website to search engines to get listed. Make sure you have important information on your site such as a sitemap, disclaimer and contact details. Google as well as Bing have so called Webmaster Tools which are very useful. You also should think about using Google Analytics to keep track of your traffic.

2nd Question: Budget
Make sure you have a budget for Online Advertisement and other Online Marketing Activities. If you have a developer on your site you may already have a starter package included to help your site getting a boost. If you want to try it yourself we recommend starting with a small budget to collect some data and increase the budget a little bit after the first month. Be aware that you probably won’t get any new clients when you run an ad for just a few weeks. But you should see a return after running an ad for 3 month. Many small business owners are not aware that Video Advertisement isn’t as expensive as it seems. Our CEO has published an article about this topic on LinkedIn which you can find here: “Why you should consider Online Video Advertisement

3rd Question: Platform(s)
There are several platforms that might fit your business better than others. Make sure you are investing in the right once but be open to experiment with other options if you have the budget for it. Diversity is the key and better than putting all your money into one platform and hope for the best. If you are not sure which platforms are the best for your business we offer free consultations to help you finding the right once for you. Running a few ads on Bing or Google is for sure a good idea as well as starting building an audience via Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

We hope our tips helped you to get an idea what to do. If you have any questions or would like to see what we have to offer visit http://teccrab.com

Social Media – Possible Game Changers in 2014

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SocialMedia2013vs2014Before we all go into our well deserved Holiday Mode we would like to encourage you to take a moment to read this post with our opinion on the topic Social Media in 2014. If you follow the changes some platforms made or announced in 2013 you can maybe already guess what will become important for your business in 2014. But for those who are not following every single announcement or like to hear what we think, please read on to see our prediction for 2014.

Let us start with online videos. We think this will play a much more important role in 2014. Some social media experts pointed already last year out that 2013 is the year where you need to start a YouTube Channel and we think everyone who did will have an advantage in 2014. Not necessarily because of subscribers but because they already know what works for their business and what not. How much they need to invest in 2014 and how often they need to produce videos to keep their audience entertained and informed.

videoWhen talking about videos we need to talk about video advertisement too. Video ads will also become more important in 2014. But we think you should be careful because video ads can also become an annoying factor in 2014. You may have seen the announcement from Facebook regarding video ads in their newsfeed. We are sceptical and would like you to imagine the following to understand why we are not sure that this is a good idea. Imagine you login to your Facebook account and suddenly hundreds of video ads play their message at the same time. Well, even one or two at the same time will be annoying don’t you think? Now imagine your target group will get your video message on Facebook and the reaction might be that they are annoyed by it and do not buy your product or ask for your service just because of an automatically played video ad on Facebook.

prSince we are on the topic. Did you noticed that the Rating System on your company Facebook Page is now much more visible? The rating system was implemented a while ago and is around for some time now, but was never really a big part of a company Facebook Page until recently. Now the problem is, and we know that as a fact, if you have only a few followers and even fewer rate your site just one bad rating and you end up with a low overall score. Bigger companies with many ratings may not need to concern themselves with this, but small business owner should. Because one bad rating and you suddenly have to deal with a two star overall rating and this can become a problem to encourage new customers to try your product and services.

SEO and SEMWe are sure you have noticed that videos are the main thing that will become more important in 2014, but we also would like to mention copyright issues on YouTube. If you create a video, upload this to YouTube and include any kind of footage, sound effect or music that is not 100% yours, it can happen that suddenly an ad, even if you are not monetizing your videos, is playing in front of your video. This is because of the Copyright ID system from YouTube which became an important debate in the YouTube Gamer Community. We posted about this in one of our previous posts which you can find here: “Google / YouTube Copyright controversy

We hope that our post gave you a few ideas what to do in 2014 with your Social Media and Online Marketing Strategy and Budget. What do you think will become important and to watch out for in 2014? Leave a comment below and we wish everyone a Great Holliday Season.

Your teccrab Team

Google / YouTube Copyright controversy

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VideoProductionThis topic won’t be an easy one. Let us start with an important information. We are no copyright lawyers, we provide Public Relations and Marketing Services. We advise and remind our clients to create and use their own images, content, music, video footage and explain them the risks when using material from other sites. Our support and advise is based on our own experience and certainly not a legal advise.

In this post we will express our own opinion and we hope to support some healthy discussions that have already been started. For the purpose of this post we will refer to videos created by video content creators on YouTube. We also want to mention that we try to keep this post simple and advise that you should keep in mind that this topic is actually more complicated as expressed in this post. However we hope it will still help to get an idea what is happening at the moment on YouTube.

Let’s get started.

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The teccrab 2013 Online Marketing and Social Media Management Seminar

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2013-OnlineMarketing_SocialMediaManagementPromoting your product and services can be challenging. For many small businesses and startups the internet seems to be a good and cheap way to do advertising. But before investing a lot of money in the wrong platform, you should know a bit more about the many different ways to promote your business, product and services online. Often a combination of more than one platform leads to a higher success than just putting everything into one online advertisement campaign.

Our weekend seminar is designed to help you to find out which platform is the best for your business. We will talk about Online Marketing in general and also talk about Social Media integration into your Online Marketing campaign. To secure that you will get the most out of our seminar we keep our groups small, only a max of 10 participant per weekend. We also decided to offer this amazing two day seminar for a very discounted price. Only $129.00 for two full days.

Included are the following topics:

Online Marketing
We will talk about Online Marketing in general. Mention the most popular platforms to promote your business, products, services or events online. Plus talk about possible combinations.

SEO and SEMSEO and SEM
You may have heard a lot about those two. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and SEM for Search Engine Marketing, but what does it mean? We hope we can help to get a bit more light on this subject for you in our seminar.

Blogging (Public Relations Services)Blogging
In our experience Blogging is especially for small businesses a great way to inform customers about your business, products, services, special offers and events. A Blog can be a very powerful tool to help you reaching your goals, even with a very low budget.

SEO and SEMKeywords / Tags
To help your customers finding your Blog or website you will need to add keywords so that your site pops up when someone uses a search engine. Let us guide you a little by explaining how important Keywords and Tags are.

Social Media – Overview
Our second day is all about Social Media. We will start with a little introduction and we will also combine things we learned the day before into this topic.

facebookFacebook
What is the difference between a Facebook Profile, a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group? How can you integrate them into your Online Marketing Strategy and more important should you?

twitterTwitter
Telling a storey with only 140 characters is not easy. Is Twitter really the right platform for you? Or is it just a waste of time? Let us help you to find out.

linkedinLinkedIn
We like to call it the professional Social Media Platform. You can find here professionals from around the world, but can also use it to introduce not just yourself, but your business, products and services.

google_plusGoogle Plus
The Social Media Platform from Google. Some love it, some like it, some think it is not worse spending time and money on it. We would like to introduce it to you and maybe you will be surprised that you can find your audience here.

youtubeYouTube
Videos are a great way to introduce your products and services to your audience. Let us show you how you can use YouTube as a fantastic advertising platform.

We will close each day with an hour for your questions. We believe, because our groups are small, you can be sure that your questions will be answered. We are offering this seminar for this amazing price only until the end of December 2013. If you are interested check out our Event Calendar to find which weekend is best for you. The location of the seminar will be our consultation location in Downtown Vancouver.

We are looking forward to see you soon.