Category Archives for Online Tips

How Is Your Website REALLY Performing?

Tracking Website PerformanceLet’s go and check out your website performance, do yourself a favour and go to www.alexa.com. Then type in your URL (domain name) and see what your ranking is.

Think of a book, when Google is 1 (page 1), YouTube is 2 (page 2), Facebook is 3 (page 3), Amazon is 11 (page 11), Twitter is 12 (page 15), Instagram is 18 (page 18), LinkedIn is 25 (page 25) eBay is 37 (page 37) etc; you’ll know that if your site is in the millions – you’re a long way from the first page in Google’s book!

To have any chance of getting onto Google’s first page, you need to be ranking well under 500,000. This is not difficult to do when you apply a couple of simple techniques – like inserting titles and description with a primary keyword in the content in your SEO; inserting relevant keywords throughout your content; and getting links to your site from relevant authority sites.

The biggest drop in ranking that you’ll ever experience will be inserting a Blog into your website regularly which attracts comments from visitors – this turns your ‘dead’ site into a ‘living’, dynamic, interactive entity which Google absolutely loves!

Your online sustainable success depends ENTIRELY on keywords, content and links. Your aim must be to “own” the topic that your site relates to on the Internet.

Now, whilst you’re in Alexa, check who’s linking to you. Insert their URL’s into Alexa and if they have a low ranking – great – because you’re ‘piggy-backing’ on their traffic success and Google will see this. You could also have irrelevant sites linking to you, which can penalise you too! If this is the case, send an email to the Webmaster of this URL and kindly ask them to delete their link to you.

Something else to check, either through Google Analytics and/or your web stats is to see how many UNIQUE visitors you receive – subtract this figure from the TOTAL visitors. This will give you an indication of how many visitors RETURN to your site. You also need to check how many page views, how long visitors stay on your site and the bounce rate. Forget about ‘Hits’!

If you have any questions, just ask by leaving a comment below, so that more people can share their knowledge via the comment threads.

Caio for now!

Domain Ownership

Domains – Do You Own Your Online Presence?

Imagine typing in your website’s URL or domain name into your browser and you get an error message or your emails suddenly stop coming through …. How will this impact your business?

Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by simply ensuring the ownership of your domains are yours. If you have a .co.za domain, go to http://co.za and if you have a .com domain, go to www.whois.sc.

In the results, look for the name of the “Registrant” – this must be either your name or your Company’s name – non-negotiable! If this is anyone else’s name, you have a potential problem because that person/organization can shut you down immediately – particularly if you have a fall-out!

You can’t even move your website or emails anywhere else, unless you are the Registrant – it’s that important.

The other recommendation is that you control the “Billing”. You pay the annual subscription to the registrar. In this way, you ensure your domains doesn’t get suspended for non-payment. You can also set your domains to auto-renew for convenience.

The administration and technical areas can be left in the control of someone else.

Now, if you need to get the Registrant name changed, send off a VERY polite email to the registered Registrant and ask for the change to be done – hopefully he/she is still in business! If you get no joy, dig in your heels and make this happen. You can force the change through the registrar but this will take time and a lot of ‘red tape’ to go through.

One major client of mine, thought they were safe – until their website went down. Then they discovered that they weren’t the Registrant, their web hosting had changed and their domain had not been renewed. It was a .com domain and someone ‘bought’ it when it became available – yes, there are ‘scaly’ people lurking on the internet. To cut a long story short, it cost my client over $90 to buy back the domain name and it took 3 months to get back on line. The loss in earnings were affected by this.

So you are warned – don’t be too trusting. You can go directly to Uniforum or a reputable .com domain registrar, like Namecheap (the one I’ve used for a few years), to register your domain names. You don’t need a third party to do this.

By the way, it’s advisable to have a unique domain name ie not john@mweb.co.za or pam@telkomsa.net. Mweb or Telkom can still host your unique domain name. Tell the marketplace what you do in your domain name eg info@the-marketing-guru.com or info@fpkeynotespeakercom!

I’d love to have your input and questions … as I’m sure many others would, so let’s have your comments below.

Web Stats: Hits Are Misleading You!

The web stats you should be looking for and analysing are …..

  1. No of Unique visitors
  2. No of visits = returning visitors
  3. Where visitors are coming from
  4. Length of time spent on your site – goal = 2 minutes
  5. No of Page Views – which pages are being viewed more often; where are your visitors exiting – fix these pages, particularly if it’s the call to action page – eg buying, downloading, etc
  6. Bounce rate = visitors landing and clicking away quickly – needs to be low. High = there’s something wrong with your site eg taking too long to download; not what was expected eg incorrect keywords used (misleading); difficult to navigate; too busy, etc
  7. How are visitors arriving on your site eg which search engine, social media, mobile, etc

You can get this information from …..

  • your webhost
  • access to a control panel from your webhost; or
  • sign up to Google Analytics for free and insert the code onto your site.

With all the cyber hacking taking place, I also like to check the IP addresses of my visitors, particularly the bandwidth usage they’re using. As my website is targeting English speaking visitors, it becomes very clear which IP addresses are ‘trolling’ their spybots in my website. Consequently, through the free iThemes Security plugin I have installed, I’m able to ban these IP addresses.

I use a control panel together with Google Analytics because the results will be more accurate. The control panel pulls the web stats from all the search engines, whereas Google Analytics pulls only the web stats from Google. However, if you don’t have access to a control panel,  you can rely on the Google Analytics web stats because Google, being the largest search engine, can give you valuable indications.

With my control panel, I have all the information I’ve mentioned plus the days and times when visitors are on my site – which is very helpful when timing my email marketing campaigns.

I’d love to have your input and questions … as I’m sure many others would, so let’s have your comments below.

To your continued success!

Is Your Website Legal?

by Fran Piggott

It won’t be long before South Africa follows the US and Europe in introducing new laws to combat spam, porn and other ‘undesirable’ websites.

To help you become legal, I’ve set up files which you can download and amend with your details. These you can find here.

But remember, these documents are not a substitute for legal or other professional advice. Consult an attorney to address specific legal issues and your financial planner and certified public accountant to discuss specific financial and tax issues.

You have 2 options were to insert this legal info:

Using a ‘legal’ tab in the navigation bar; or
in the footer

The documents you should have, non-negotiable, are:

Privacy Policy
Antispam Policy
Terms and Conditions of Use
FTC Disclosure of Material Connection

I like to include a Disclaimer and because most of my sites usually sell affiliate products or generate some form of revenue, I have to include Disclosure of Material Connection.

I recommend you include your own terms and conditions for doing business with your Company.

Lastly, remember – Don’t forget to always have an UNSUBSCRIBE link for any commercial emails you’re sending. If you don’t have software like AWeber or Getresponse to automate this process, then make sure you manually remove the unsubscribers from your mailing lists. If you don’t do this and there are enough complaints from unhappy recipients, your ISP can or will shut you down – so goodbye emails and website!

To your continued success

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