Content For Your Business Website

Everybody likes fresh items. We look for fresh food, fresh air, fresh baked good, etc. So why would be go to a website that does not have fresh content? The answer is that we don’t. More importantly Google, Yahoo, and MSN do not like stale content either. They will crawl the website less often. They will rank the website lower or not at all.

Therefore, it is very important to have new content all the time. Some websites are built very beautifully with sharp designs and animation. These sites are great to look at, but generally are not very dynamic in content. These sites are static and stale. In order to have new content for a website, the website owner needs to be able to add new content regularly. A content management system (CMS) is what is needed to facilitate this requirement. CMS software have administrative portal for content providers to add content. Some can even be updated via email such as WordPress, a blogging software. This type of software allows a writer to type in content as if they were using Microsoft Word and will not need to change any HTML code just to update content.

So, please take a look at your business website and ask yourself if it is fresh or stale and start adding content if you have not recently.

Google Analytics

Google has made life easier again for website owners by improving their Google Analytics. The new beta was just released recently and it has a lot of very important information for understanding how people get to the site and navigate through the content. The new features added allow you to target a page on your site to see what keywords, internet ads, or referral site landed the visitor there. Then you can see where the visitors go from there by drilling down through different possible pages and ending on a third page. With this valuable information and another Google tool for optimizing your site page by testing different versions of the same page, you can start to systematically improve your site content to what your visitors are actually looking for while surfing through your pages.

Crawled by Google fastest with an old domain name

Test:

I did a comparison a month ago between starting a new site using a newly registered domain name and using a domain registered two years ago but never had content except for a Godaddy default parked domain page. All pages and content were the same across both sites. They were both submitted to Google in the same manner. The only difference was the domain names of the two sites.

Result:

The site using the pre-existing domain name got indexed after one month while the site using the newly registered domain is still not indexed by Google.

Explanation:

It could be that the default Godaddy page was indexed by Google therefore their crawlers are already scheduled to crawl the existing domain while the newly registered domain just get placed into a queue when it was submitted to Google. At any rate, if you are thinking about starting a new website, it would be worth your while to look through any of the existing domains you have registered before going to a registrar to get a new domain name.

WordPress trackback

What is trackback?

Trackback is a ping to a server notifying the author of a blog that you have written something that might be of interest. It allows you to comment on someone else’s blog post by posting to your own blog. The trackback mechanism will create a link back to your post on the other author’s blog post. It is a great method for open commenting across blogs.

How to trackback?

When you find a post on the web that you would like to comment on and link to from your blog, find the trackback URL. In your WordPress admin area, create a new post. Link to the URL of the post from within the text of your post. In the field that reads ” TrackBack a URI: (Separate multiple URIs with spaces.)”, type in the trackback URL to the post you are commenting.

NOTE: URL to the post and trackback URL are usually different. URL to the post if typed into a browser will bring up a page with the blog post. Trackback URL is only used for pinging a server. In WordPress, the default setup would generate trackback URLs as the http://www.domain.com/some_post/trackback/.

Different ways to sell online

There are different methods of selling online and each comes with different levels of complexity. In general, the more control you want over your internet store front, the more complicated it would become. The most popular ways to sell online are the following; Ebay, Amazon, or your own site.

The simplest is using Ebay which is an auction site. All you need is an account with them then start posting auction listings. Ebay will charge you different fees for different features like photos on the listing, highlights, etc. They do have very good instructions on how to create your auction items.

You can also use Amazon to create your store front called the Z-store. Z-store more like a retail store where you set prices to your items and people browse and purchase your items. They will handle all the transactions and credit card processing for you. They charge a fairly high percentage per transaction for their services.

The most robust way to sell online is having your own site. However, this is the most complicated. But, it will give you control over your customer experience, look and feel, and integration of your customer data with other
systems. This method of selling online will require a merchant account and web hosting. Usually, the monthly cost for having your own site is around $60 consisting of web hosting, gateway cost, and merchant account. Then all you pay per transaction is around 2.3% to Visa and MasterCard, 3.5% to American Express, etc.

The best way to determine which method best suits your business is to determine what your needs are for your online store.

Google adds blog search

Google just implemented another beta search engine that should not be ignored for internet marketers. With this new feature, Google is in a way stating that blogs are important enough to warrant it’s own search engine. Most blogging software will ping a blog service when there is a new post. Google is taking advantage of this feature and will list a blog and spider it for new content based on these pings. The result is that if a blog is updated regularly, it will be spiders and indexed regularly. This new search engine is making it ever more important to blog as a way to promote your website.

Google Sitemap

Google search engine has implemented a Beta version of their sitemap service in June, 2005. This allows the website owner to create a sitemap using XML and submit it to Google. When the Google spider crawls the site, the information provided by the sitemap will be used. With this sitemap, you can specify priority, last modified, and frequency of modification. This will help Google figure out how often to re-crawl a page for changes and its importance. This does not replace their old method of searching and indexing pages, but rather supplements.

At this time, the feature is new and the advantages and disadvantages of implementing a sitemap have yet to be determined. However, since Google is offering a new feature, it is in their best interest to make it an advantage for website owners in order to have this new initiative take off.

Website with Flash and frames

I just came across a website that is designed beautifully but will have a lot of problems getting listed on search engines. First of all, the site only uses Flash for navigation. At this time, search engines cannot read content in Flash files so most of the pages on the site are hidden. Secondly, all the content pages are displayed in a frame. The problem with this is that if the search engine found a content page, there would be no navigation to go to another page on the site as the navigation is not part of the content page. In effect, making it a dead end at the site and the user will have to hit the back button or type in another URL to leave the site. Not a very good eyeball retention technique.

How unfortunate that some very esthetically pleasing sites will rarely be viewed.

Plan site for marketing

A lot of websites are built before any thought is put into marketing. The fact is, a lot of what is needed to properly market a website are deeply tied to how a website is designed and built. The way links are used, the organization of data or information, the type of technology used, etc. It would be much more effective if a website was built with this in mind instead of an after thought.