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Having a quality website is critical for your online success. After all, your website is, or should be, the center of your online presence. The best way to do this is to create a user friendly website that your target audience will enjoy. In the interest of analogies, your online presence is the same as if you were to be hosting an event. When you host an event, you need to find the right location for your event. Regardless of the amount of time you spend planning your event, the success of an event can all come down to location, location, location. The right venue can make a good event great. On the other hand, a bad venue can make an otherwise well planned event, fail. So to is your website! If the center of who you are is not well chosen and thought out, your business may not do as well.

If you already have a website, the first thing you should do is spend some time really looking at it. While doing this, ask yourself some key questions: Does my website serve the purpose I originally it to do? Does my website convey the purpose of my business? Who are the people I want visiting my online business? Am I providing the content my target audience wants? What is my website really being used for? These are some of the most essential questions to ask yourself about your website in order to make sure that it is user-centered and effective. In other words, is your website user-friendly and does it give its viewers what they want?

The end result of all of your hard work on social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and online ads is to get customers, and potential customers, to your website. Your website is where your potential customers can be converted into paying customers. It is also where current customers can find what they need.

If you don’t have a website, it is in your best interest to use the following steps to help your website be exactly what your customers — both current and future — are looking for. However, we also encourage you to make sure that you are not spending all of your budget on a website that nobody can find. Be sure to hold back some budget for marketing your site.

Have Good Web Hosting

When it comes to your site running well, hosting makes all the difference. In fact, even the search engines want your site running smoothly. A slow site will often-times rank lower than better running site. In our opinion, some of the best hosting sites are:

Bluehost
Siteground
► GoDaddy
► Amazon Web Services

You may be wondering, what a hosting site does. In short, a hosting service keeps your website up and running. In other words, your site cannot survive and thrive without them. The hosting platforms mentioned above have different strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to do some of your own research to determine which hosting service is right for you. Looking back to our event analogy; strong hosting for your website is a direct correlation to the environment, location, and resources of a venue. Picking a hosting platform that provides the right resources for your business will set the stage for your website and your business in the digital realm. Using a good venue (i.e. hosting service) makes all the difference in the world for your guests. In a business situation, the hosting platform will take care of essentials that are otherwise difficult for you to do on your own — file storage, email hosting, server space, databases and much more. They provide these types of resources so that you don’t have to provide them yourself.

Basic Metrics to Look For:

► An uptime of 99.9% — this means your website will be up and running, on their servers, 365 days per year. Anything less than that can, and will, damage your business.

► Unmetered/Unlimited Bandwidth

► Unmetered/Unlimited Webspace or Disc Space

► Quality Customer Service

► High Ratings/Feedback

Additional Questions to Consider:

► How many domains can you have as part of their services?

► Do they support e-Commerce capabilities?

► How much does it cost?

best web hosting image

Web Hosting

Choose An Effective URL

A URL, simply put, is commonly referred to as your web address. It is what people use to locate your website. The URL is basically a global address for specific documents, pages, or other resources on the World Wide Web. In fact, the word “locater” is even in the name — URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater. Best SEO Masters URL is http://www.bestseomasters.com/. If you will follow these tips, you will be able to create an effective URL for your business.

Make It Relevant

Your URL should represent either your company name or what visitors will find on your website. It is common practice to use your company name with no spaces followed by a domain name like .com or .org. However, there are times when it makes more sense to have a URL that is related to what you do instead. For example, if you sell kitchen supplies, your URL could be, http://www.kitchensupplies.com/. Either way, your URL should be relevant to your company. If you choose a URL that is not readily associated with your business, you may need to pursue a variety of branding opportunities to connect your web address to your business in people’s minds — making your URL relevant to your company.

Keep It Simple

There are a lot of good reasons to keep your URL short and simple. Of course, short is relative but you need to make sure that your URL is short and simple enough to be typed without difficulty. Long and/or difficult addresses can cause problems for users and introduce opportunities for typos to land people in the wrong place.

Things to Avoid:

► Words/Names that are difficult to spell

► Excessive and/or irregular repetition of letters

► Long strings of words

► Hyphens and underscores

When listing your URL on both physical and digital assets, you may choose to capitalize the beginnings of words to help separate them in people’s minds. For example, if your URL is something like happygoluckytime.com*, you may want to think about listing it as HappyGoLuckyTime.com*. The capital letters won’t affect people’s ability to get to your site, but it will help separate the words in their minds.

url on computer screen to demonstrate the need for a quality website url

Make It Effective

Your URL will be present in many different locations. In order for it to be effective, you’ll need to think about how your URL will be used on your social media platforms, on other websites, and even on signs and other physical assets. As mentioned above, you may choose to use capital letters to delineate words within your URL. Whatever you decide, however, make sure that you are being consistent in your use. To really be effective, it needs to be both clear and memorable. You should also determine whether you will pursue your URL as a keyword for search results because this will affect how you use your URL on your site and elsewhere.

A URL, simply put, is commonly referred to as your web address. It is what people use to locate your website. The URL is basically a global address for specific documents, pages, or other resources on the World Wide Web. In fact, the word “locater” is even in the name — URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater. Best SEO Masters URL is is http://www.bestseomasters.com/. If you will follow these tips, you will be able to create an effective URL for your business.

Keep the User in Mind

When creating and branding your URL, you need to keep the user in mind. People are more likely to visit your website directly when your URL is memorable and easy to type. That is because strong URLs make it easy for users to get to your site.

Examples of Strong URLs:

► color.adobe.com — Very simple and highly relevant to the site’s content especially since Adobe is already branded in most people’s minds.

► www.idahofallsdental.com — This URL has strong ties to both an industry (family dentistry) and a location (Idaho Falls), making this a very strong URL.

Examples of Weak URLs:

► www.a4pt.org — This URL is so simplified that it could lose all meaning without strong, targeted branding.

► www.commoncompanyname.com — Using a common name for your URL gives no indication as to who you are and what you do. It can also me confused with other common company names.

Build A Strong, Effective Website

As we already mentioned, a strong, effective website should be at the center of your online presence. Everything you do — all of your social media outreach, search engine results and online advertising — should be geared toward directing qualified traffic to your site so that you can sell your products or services. In order to accomplish this, your website needs to be built on a strong foundation. You need to have a strong Content Management System (CMS). Some of the best, and most commonly used, CMSs are WordPress, Wix and Joomla.

A STRONG, EFFECTIVE WEBSITE SHOULD BE AT THE CENTER OF YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE!

Finding the right CMS for your website is the key to effectively managing your time while still having a great website. Even if you know how to code, manually coding your website can drain a large amount of time and energy that could be directed more effectively elsewhere in your business. One of the main benefits of these CMSs is that they do most of the background coding and programming for you.

If you don’t have any web design or coding experience, we strongly suggest that you have your website designed by a web design company. However, you’ll want to make sure that they build your site with a CMS that you can learn how to update yourself. You generally don’t want to be responsible for making big changes to your site, but being able to make small updates without working through a third party can be very beneficial under specific circumstances.

Most hosting services will allow you to connect your website directly to your chosen CMS, but it’s important to make sure that you can use the two together. The whole point of your CMS is to make website creation easier, not more complicated.

Additional Ways A Good CMS Can Help

Pre-Designed Themes

wordpress logo with blue gearsA pre-designed theme is a template that can be used with a specific CMS to build a strong, attractive website more quickly. Some of these themes are available for free. If you would like to find specific features or designs, you can also purchase themes ranging from $50 to $100 depending on the developer and the features that are included in the theme. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for so it can be a good idea to invest in a quality theme. ThemeForest*, TemplateMonster* and Wix Templates* offer many attractive, effective, and mobile friendly templates that can be used to create a strong website. Many of these themes are also designed to be responsive and look good on a variety of mobile devices as well as in web browsers.

CMS Plugins

Most CMSs offer a variety of plugins that can be used to help you create landing pages, slideshows, and more. Most of the plugins are quick and easy to install, but you may need to take some time to learn exactly how to use the plugins to your advantage. Also, be sure to read any feedback and reviews that the plugins have so you know whether its functional for what you are trying to accomplish.

E-Commerce & Back Office Options

If you are looking to sell tangible products and need some ecommerce functionality, or any other back office options, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a CMS that is designed to support these functions. This will allow your website to function correctly without having to spend a lot of time on custom coding.

Provide Useful Content

Once you have the right hosting platform, a solid URL, and a strong website to send your users to, it’s time to fill it up with content. If we go back to our event analogy, content correlates to the drinks, appetizers, entrées, and desserts that you serve in order to satisfy your guests once they are at your venue. But you may be asking yourself, what is content? To put it simply, content is information that you present in order to help your clients and prospective clients. Content comes in a wide variety of forms from onpage text to infographics and videos. This section is not intended to be a comprehensive look at content marketing, but it should help you understand the basic idea.

digital marketing funnelIn our experience, content should be used to strategically funnel your website visitors toward the actions you want them to take. To this end, we suggest creating a variety of content that fits into different sections of what we call the content funnel. Each piece of content should be designed to help your website visitors in some way. The main portions of the content funnel — and the ways you can help your visitors — are to: Inform, Instruct, Solve, & Sell.

Depending on their needs, visitors to your site may enter at different points in this funnel. The best results come when you provide content that addresses their specific needs at the point at which they enter your funnel. Users are generally looking for a solution to a problem for which you are able to provide an answer. As with any other strategic funnel, the upper levels are designed to expose a large number of people to your information. The trick is to use upper level content to help create more qualified traffic to your lower level content. Content can take a wide variety of forms, but it’s your job to make sure that it is the relevant solution your users are looking for. And, yes, one piece of content can sometimes fill more than one of these needs.

Having a quality website is critical for your online success. After all, your website is, or should be, the center of your online presence. The best way to do this is to create a user friendly website that your target audience will enjoy. In the interest of analogies, your online presence is the same as if you were to be hosting an event. When you host an event, you need to find the right location for your event. Regardless of the amount of time you spend planning your event, the success of an event can all come down to location, location, location. The right venue can make a good event great. On the other hand, a bad venue can make an otherwise well planned event, fail. So to is your website! If the center of who you are is not well chosen and thought out, your business may not do as well.

If you already have a website, the first thing you should do is spend some time really looking at it. While doing this, ask yourself some key questions: Does my website serve the purpose I originally it to do? Does my website convey the purpose of my business? Who are the people I want visiting my online business? Am I providing the content my target audience wants? What is my website really being used for? These are some of the most essential questions to ask yourself about your website in order to make sure that it is user-centered and effective. In other words, is your website user-friendly and does it give its viewers what they want?

The end result of all of your hard work on social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and online ads is to get customers, and potential customers, to your website. Your website is where your potential customers can be converted into paying customers. It is also where current customers can find what they need.

If you don’t have a website, it is in your best interest to use the following steps to help your website be exactly what your customers — both current and future — are looking for. However, we also encourage you to make sure that you are not spending all of your budget on a website that nobody can find. Be sure to hold back some budget for marketing your site.

Have Good Web Hosting

When it comes to your site running well, hosting makes all the difference. In fact, even the search engines want your site running smoothly. A slow site will often-times rank lower than better running site. In our opinion, some of the best hosting sites are:

Bluehost
Siteground
► GoDaddy
► Amazon Web Services

You may be wondering, what a hosting site does. In short, a hosting service keeps your website up and running. In other words, your site cannot survive and thrive without them. The hosting platforms mentioned above have different strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to do some of your own research to determine which hosting service is right for you. Looking back to our event analogy; strong hosting for your website is a direct correlation to the environment, location, and resources of a venue. Picking a hosting platform that provides the right resources for your business will set the stage for your website and your business in the digital realm. Using a good venue (i.e. hosting service) makes all the difference in the world for your guests. In a business situation, the hosting platform will take care of essentials that are otherwise difficult for you to do on your own — file storage, email hosting, server space, databases and much more. They provide these types of resources so that you don’t have to provide them yourself.

Basic Metrics to Look For:

► An uptime of 99.9% — this means your website will be up and running, on their servers, 365 days per year. Anything less than that can, and will, damage your business.

► Unmetered/Unlimited Bandwidth

► Unmetered/Unlimited Webspace or Disc Space

► Quality Customer Service

► High Ratings/Feedback

Additional Questions to Consider:

► How many domains can you have as part of their services?

► Do they support e-Commerce capabilities?

► How much does it cost?

best web hosting image

Web Hosting

Choose An Effective URL

A URL, simply put, is commonly referred to as your web address. It is what people use to locate your website. The URL is basically a global address for specific documents, pages, or other resources on the World Wide Web. In fact, the word “locater” is even in the name — URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater. Best SEO Masters URL is http://www.bestseomasters.com/. If you will follow these tips, you will be able to create an effective URL for your business.

Make It Relevant

Your URL should represent either your company name or what visitors will find on your website. It is common practice to use your company name with no spaces followed by a domain name like .com or .org. However, there are times when it makes more sense to have a URL that is related to what you do instead. For example, if you sell kitchen supplies, your URL could be, http://www.kitchensupplies.com/. Either way, your URL should be relevant to your company. If you choose a URL that is not readily associated with your business, you may need to pursue a variety of branding opportunities to connect your web address to your business in people’s minds — making your URL relevant to your company.

Keep It Simple

There are a lot of good reasons to keep your URL short and simple. Of course, short is relative but you need to make sure that your URL is short and simple enough to be typed without difficulty. Long and/or difficult addresses can cause problems for users and introduce opportunities for typos to land people in the wrong place.

Things to Avoid:

► Words/Names that are difficult to spell

► Excessive and/or irregular repetition of letters

► Long strings of words

► Hyphens and underscores

When listing your URL on both physical and digital assets, you may choose to capitalize the beginnings of words to help separate them in people’s minds. For example, if your URL is something like happygoluckytime.com*, you may want to think about listing it as HappyGoLuckyTime.com*. The capital letters won’t affect people’s ability to get to your site, but it will help separate the words in their minds.

url on computer screen to demonstrate the need for a quality website url

Make It Effective

Your URL will be present in many different locations. In order for it to be effective, you’ll need to think about how your URL will be used on your social media platforms, on other websites, and even on signs and other physical assets. As mentioned above, you may choose to use capital letters to delineate words within your URL. Whatever you decide, however, make sure that you are being consistent in your use. To really be effective, it needs to be both clear and memorable. You should also determine whether you will pursue your URL as a keyword for search results because this will affect how you use your URL on your site and elsewhere.

A URL, simply put, is commonly referred to as your web address. It is what people use to locate your website. The URL is basically a global address for specific documents, pages, or other resources on the World Wide Web. In fact, the word “locater” is even in the name — URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater. Best SEO Masters URL is is http://www.bestseomasters.com/. If you will follow these tips, you will be able to create an effective URL for your business.

Keep the User in Mind

When creating and branding your URL, you need to keep the user in mind. People are more likely to visit your website directly when your URL is memorable and easy to type. That is because strong URLs make it easy for users to get to your site.

Examples of Strong URLs:

► color.adobe.com — Very simple and highly relevant to the site’s content especially since Adobe is already branded in most people’s minds.

► www.idahofallsdental.com — This URL has strong ties to both an industry (family dentistry) and a location (Idaho Falls), making this a very strong URL.

Examples of Weak URLs:

► www.a4pt.org — This URL is so simplified that it could lose all meaning without strong, targeted branding.

► www.commoncompanyname.com — Using a common name for your URL gives no indication as to who you are and what you do. It can also me confused with other common company names.

Build A Strong, Effective Website

As we already mentioned, a strong, effective website should be at the center of your online presence. Everything you do — all of your social media outreach, search engine results and online advertising — should be geared toward directing qualified traffic to your site so that you can sell your products or services. In order to accomplish this, your website needs to be built on a strong foundation. You need to have a strong Content Management System (CMS). Some of the best, and most commonly used, CMSs are WordPress, Wix and Joomla.

A STRONG, EFFECTIVE WEBSITE SHOULD BE AT THE CENTER OF YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE!

Finding the right CMS for your website is the key to effectively managing your time while still having a great website. Even if you know how to code, manually coding your website can drain a large amount of time and energy that could be directed more effectively elsewhere in your business. One of the main benefits of these CMSs is that they do most of the background coding and programming for you.

If you don’t have any web design or coding experience, we strongly suggest that you have your website designed by a web design company. However, you’ll want to make sure that they build your site with a CMS that you can learn how to update yourself. You generally don’t want to be responsible for making big changes to your site, but being able to make small updates without working through a third party can be very beneficial under specific circumstances.

Most hosting services will allow you to connect your website directly to your chosen CMS, but it’s important to make sure that you can use the two together. The whole point of your CMS is to make website creation easier, not more complicated.

Additional Ways A Good CMS Can Help

Pre-Designed Themes

wordpress logo with blue gearsA pre-designed theme is a template that can be used with a specific CMS to build a strong, attractive website more quickly. Some of these themes are available for free. If you would like to find specific features or designs, you can also purchase themes ranging from $50 to $100 depending on the developer and the features that are included in the theme. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for so it can be a good idea to invest in a quality theme. ThemeForest*, TemplateMonster* and Wix Templates* offer many attractive, effective, and mobile friendly templates that can be used to create a strong website. Many of these themes are also designed to be responsive and look good on a variety of mobile devices as well as in web browsers.

CMS Plugins

Most CMSs offer a variety of plugins that can be used to help you create landing pages, slideshows, and more. Most of the plugins are quick and easy to install, but you may need to take some time to learn exactly how to use the plugins to your advantage. Also, be sure to read any feedback and reviews that the plugins have so you know whether its functional for what you are trying to accomplish.

E-Commerce & Back Office Options

If you are looking to sell tangible products and need some ecommerce functionality, or any other back office options, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a CMS that is designed to support these functions. This will allow your website to function correctly without having to spend a lot of time on custom coding.

Provide Useful Content

Once you have the right hosting platform, a solid URL, and a strong website to send your users to, it’s time to fill it up with content. If we go back to our event analogy, content correlates to the drinks, appetizers, entrées, and desserts that you serve in order to satisfy your guests once they are at your venue. But you may be asking yourself, what is content? To put it simply, content is information that you present in order to help your clients and prospective clients. Content comes in a wide variety of forms from onpage text to infographics and videos. This section is not intended to be a comprehensive look at content marketing, but it should help you understand the basic idea.

digital marketing funnelIn our experience, content should be used to strategically funnel your website visitors toward the actions you want them to take. To this end, we suggest creating a variety of content that fits into different sections of what we call the content funnel. Each piece of content should be designed to help your website visitors in some way. The main portions of the content funnel — and the ways you can help your visitors — are to: Inform, Instruct, Solve, & Sell.

Depending on their needs, visitors to your site may enter at different points in this funnel. The best results come when you provide content that addresses their specific needs at the point at which they enter your funnel. Users are generally looking for a solution to a problem for which you are able to provide an answer. As with any other strategic funnel, the upper levels are designed to expose a large number of people to your information. The trick is to use upper level content to help create more qualified traffic to your lower level content. Content can take a wide variety of forms, but it’s your job to make sure that it is the relevant solution your users are looking for. And, yes, one piece of content can sometimes fill more than one of these needs.

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