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HTML5 & CSS3: The Evolution of Web Design

By | Web Development, Website Design, Website Tips | 2 Comments

The Evolution of CSS3 & HTML5

There is an almost constant evolution occurring in the world of web design and web development. If you take a look at where web design has come from in the last decade, it’s nothing short of amazing, and the recent announcement of CSS3 and HTML5… things just keep getting better.

Before CSS3 and HTML5 There Was…

Before CSS was really developed, you really only had three options when it came down to the design of your website.

Option 1: Design it in pure HTML
This option was good for loading time and search engines, but terrible on the eyes. Most people resorted to the gaudy effects of scrolling marquee text, terrible page layouts, and no visual balance to break up the page design.

Option 2: HTML With CSS and Images
This option was better, and it allowed for far better visual features, but there were still too many visual aspects that required the use of images. Some of the features even included text – if it was outside of standard web fonts, and before you could reference fonts placed on your server. You also had to resort to using images for anything using a rounded corner, gradient, or special image effects.

Option 3: Flash, Java, and Moving GIFs
Ever landed on a web page that nearly gave you a seizure because of all of the flashing text and moving GIF images? Nothing will make someone click the red X faster than that.

If you wanted to make something more on your website, you were basically left to using flash, Java, or moving GIFs. All of which have “side-effects” of use.

You can create some awesome animation and movement effects using Adobe Flash, but it’s problems outweigh its benefits. Flash loads slow, it’s unreliable, and it is almost non-existent to search engines (especially when used alone). On top of that, you have to hope that the user has the most recent version of Flash installed on their computer, and isn’t using dial-up (or even some DSL connections), that will greatly increase the time it takes to load the Flash. Lastly… Flash is not compatible with every mobile device, like the iPhone.

Java has some great features, but you still risk people not having Java installed or enabled on their computer. This means that a lot of your cool features and design elements may go unused, or become dysfunctional to the user.

CSS5 and HTML5 Save The Day!

New Features of CSS3

CSS3 is vastly improving the way we present information on websites by simply making elements prettier to look at. Although it currently isn’t supported by all browsers yet, the newest major browsers have support for CSS3. In this section we are going to take a look at some of the new features for CSS3 and what you can use them for on your website.

Rounded Corners with Border Radius

This new feature allows you to create rounded borders for those divs with sharp corners without having to usd images with rounded corners. This feature is currently support in the Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer 9 Beta browsers.

Example:

#div {
border: solid 1px black;
-moz-border-radius: 5px;
border-radius: 5px;
}

Border Images

Instead of using a regular old CSS border, the new CSS3 allows you to upload an image and use it for a more attractive border style.

Multiple Backgrounds

Earlier versions of CSS did not allow you to have multiple backgrounds for a single element on a page. CSS3 changes this and allows a single element to have multiple backgrounds.

Opacity

Before CSS3, you would have to use an image or a css filter to get opacity on an element. Now, it’s as simple as one line of code to change an element’s opacity.

Example:

#div{
opacity: 0.5;
}

Color Options

Instead of using hex codes and have to remember specific codes for specific colors, you can now choose the amount of Red, Green, and Blue in a single element.

Greater Support for Fonts

You can now upload a font file to your server, link to the file from within the CSS file using @font-face, and create a family for it so you can use it within any element on your page.

Text Shadows

This allows you to add a drop shadow for texts on the webpage, giving elements a much more professional look that couldn’t be done before without using images.

Example:

#div p {
text-shadow: 0px 2px 2px rgba(0,0,0,.2);
}

Resizing Elements

This gives users on your page the option to resize an element on a page.

Example:

#div {
resize:both;
}

New Features and Elements of HTML 5

HTML 5 brings a lot of new features to the table, and some browsers already have limited support for some of these new features.

New Doctype and Charset

Possibly the best thing about HTML 5 is how easy to implement it is. It’s as simple as stating the HTML 5 doctype, which follows below:

<!doctype html></code>

This works with just two simple words because HTML 5 is no longer part of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), and is now a markup language all on its own. The character set for HTML 5 is very simple as well. It uses UTF-8 and the way you define it is:

<meta charset=”UTF-8″>

New Structure

HTML 5 now recognizes that a website will have a structure, similar to how XML documents or even books are structured. A website will generally have pages that all have a header, navigation, the body (content), sidebars, and a footer. There are also a few other structure elements this new feature accounts for, as seen below.

  • <section> – defines page sections
  • <header> – defines the pages header
  • <footer> defines the pages footer
  • <nav> – defines the pages navigation
  • <article> – defines an article or primary content on a page
  • <aside> – defines extra content on a page (IE, a sidebar)
  • <figure> – defines an image that annotates an article

HTML 5 Inline Elements

These inline elements are used to define some basic concepts, and keep them neat looking and properly marked up. Most of these deal with the time or date.

  • <mark> – indicates content that is marked in some fashion
  • <time> – indicates content that is a time or date
  • <meter> – indicates content that is a fraction of a known range
  • <progress> – indicated the progress of completion for a task

Dynamic Pages Support

HTML 5 was developed with web application developers in mind, and helps them tremendously to more easily create dynamic HTML pages.

  • Context menus – HTML 5 supports the creation and use of context menus
  • href is not required on a tag anymore, allowing you to use the a tag with scripts in applications without requiring you to send the anchor anywhere.
  • async attribute – when this is added to a script tag, it tells the browser to load the script in question asynchronously so it doesn’t slow down the loading and display of the other items on the page.
  • <details> – provides details about an element (similar to a tooltip)
  • <datagrid> – use this to easily create a table that pulls information from a database or other dynamic source
  • <menu> – this allows you to create a menu system
  • <command> – defines the action that should happen when a dynamic element is activated

HTML 5 New Form Types

The old standard form types are still supported, but HTML 5 adds a few more to make forms look more professional. These new form types are:

  • datetime
  • datetime-local
  • date
  • month
  • week
  • time
  • number
  • range
  • email
  • url

New HTML 5 Elements

There are few elements and tags that are completely new in HTML, giving HTML a whole new level of dynamics that wasn’t available before.

  • <canvas> – this element gives you a JavaScript drawing space on the page. This allows you to add graphs or images to tool tips, or to just create dynamic, built on the fly, graphs on your pages.
  • <video> – adds a video to your page
  • <audio> – adds sound to your page

Elements Removed from HTML 5

There are some elements that HTML 5 is no longer supporting that were in earlier HTML versions. Most of them are already no longer used, which doesn’t make them being removed very surprising, but some of them seem a little too useful to just remove, such as the underline tag. These styling tags that are being removed are most likely due to CSS now mainly being used to style fonts on pages. The following will no longer be support in HTML 5:

  • acronym
  • applet
  • basefont
  • big
  • center
  • dir
  • font
  • frame
  • frameset
  • isindex
  • noframes
  • noscript
  • s
  • strike
  • tt
  • u

The Best Search Engine Optimization Rule

By | Search Engine Optimization, Website Tips | One Comment

Search Engine Optimization:The Best Rule

Throughout the years, what is seen as the best Search Engine Optimization techniques has changed. When the internet first launched to the public in the mid 90’s, search engines relied on keyword tags and hyper-linking as the primary methods of ranking well. It didn’t take long for web developers and Search Engine Optimizers to find loop-holes in the methods used to rank websites, which led to the birth of what is now referred to as “black hat” SEO techniques. Black Hat techniques include methods such as keyword stuffing, meta tag hi-jacking, mirror websites, paid link farms and so on. As the evolution of these Black Hat SEO techniques grew, so did the search engine’s ability to filter honest SEO techniques.

Today’s search engine algorithms are so complex and they can easily spot the old Black Hat SEO techniques that once worked. But one ideology has never, and most likely will never change. That ideology is that Content is King.

Content is King… But What Does it Mean?

The phrase “Content is King” refers to the written content that is published on a website such as your welcome text, written content regarding your services, reviews, product descriptions, etc. At the end of the day, this is one of the most measurable substances on your website, and most would argue that it is the MOST measurable substance.

Now, you can’t just write a bunch of paragraphs and expect traffic. There is work, analysis and knowledge that is required in order to publish good content. Let’s break it down.

Writing Unique, Quality Content

The number one idea that you need to consider before writing your content, is making sure that it is going to be unique and quality content. Unique content would simply be content that can’t be found on other websites, or about a topic that is rarely discussed online. Of course, that content is pointless if the content is never being searched for. If I wrote about purple scallywags, I would probably have the number one article on the internet for purpole scallywags… but it would never get content because nobody is searching for purple scallywags.

You want to write about new stuff. Technologies, products or ideas that are not being discussed everywhere. If you intend to write content for something that is already widely published, then you’ll need to provide more details that your competitor. You can do this by allowing readers to ask questions on the page, post reviews, or vote on things regarding the topic. This will bring more readers to your page.

Google Likes Fresh Content

Search engines, especially Google, love fresh content. Adding new content to your website does several beneficial things for you.

Fresh content, means more content. Since Content is King, that means that you’re building your “Kingdom.” Fresh content also shows Google that your site has life. It’s not a stale, stagnate website that nobody pays attention to, and will therefore schedule to crawl your site more often.

Think of your website as a video store, or these days… think of it as Netflix. You login to Netflix to add a new movie to your que, right? For the first few months you are always able to find new movies to add. One day, you go to add some movies, but you can’t seem to find anything new, or anything that you like. You wait a few more days and go back, just to find that there still are not any good movies. A week goes by… still nothing new. Now you’re waiting even longer in-between each time you check.

You think that “there’s no reason to check today. There probably isn’t anything new.”

Google has the same perspective. If it visits your site and never sees new content up, or changes being made, it has no reason to come back every day. However, if there is new content every time it stops by to visit, then it’s going to come back tomorrow… maybe even later that same day.

In short, it’s important to continually add fresh content to your website. This is where experienced Search Engine Optimization companies really come in hand.

Checking Your Mac for Malware

By | Network Security, Technology News, Website Tips | No Comments

If you own a Mac, and have Java enabled on your system, then this is for you. The Flashback virus targets the Mac OS, through a vulnerability in Java, turning your computer into a zombie while stealing your personal information. Oracle, who runs Java, has released a patch to prevent such an attack, but because Apple issues their own version of Java, therefore needing to release their own patch, has only done so recently. Figures vary for the total number of infected machines, but seem to be around half a million. So what do you need to do now?

There are a couple of ways of you can go about the situation from here. First, would be to find out if you have the Flashback virus on your system. You can simply go to Flashbackcheck.com and enter in your UUID, from there the website will detect if Flashback is showing up in any of your system files. Or you can do it manually, checking for the Flashback virus using the Terminal app. Open up the Terminal application (it’s in the Utilities folder in your Applications folder). Use this line of code in the terminal and hit return:

defaults read ~/.MacOSX/environment DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES

The response back should look something like this:

The domain/default pair of (/Users//.MacOSX/environment, DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES) does not exist

If the message doesn’t say that the pair “does not exist,” than Flashback is present on your system. Assuming the message is negative, let’s keep going. Now check out this line:

defaults read /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment

That should generate the same “does not exist” message. Again, if it doesn’t then your Mac has been infected with Flashback. If it’s negative try this line:

defaults read /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment

Again, the message is (hopefully) negative. If it’s not, then you most certainly have the Flashback Virus. Which brings us to the next step, removal. Not to worry too much though, a special app made by Kaspersky Labs, found here, can remove the infection from your system. While malware and viruses generally hit Windows based machines more often, it doesn’t mean Apple’s OS X is anymore secure. Virus detection software only goes so far, it takes savvy computer use to stay ahead of the curve. Knowing how to avoid suspicious links and files are more useful in preventing an exploit than the top virus protection software can offer.

If you are concerned about the security of your network, or think you have a virus that you just can’t get rid of, you can visit us today at Vroooom to see what we can do to put your mind at ease.

 

Google Analytics: Introduction

By | Business Tips, Google Analytics Series, Internet Marketing, Marketing Tips, Website Design, Website Tips | No Comments

google-analytics-introduction

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free website tracking tool that can be installed on your website simply by creating a Google account and signing up for Google Analytics. The Google Analytics tool allows you to track virtually every important element and action that occurs on your website including visitors to your website, what pages have been viewed, how long a visitor stayed on that page, what keywords they types in, what search engine they used, what browser they use, what country they’re from, what state they’re from, what city they’re from, what page they landed on and MUCH MORE!

The data is almost endless, and there are very few questions that can’t be answered by analyzing your data from Google Analytics.

Do I Need Google Analytics?

If you don’t currently have Google Analytics installed on your website (or some form of website analytics), then you need to either hire an internet marketing company, fire your current one, or learn how to install and manage it yourself. One of the most beneficial reasons why internet marketing is so powerful and successful is due to the ability to precisely track it’s effectiveness using Google Analytics.

If you’re new to Google Analytics and are not sure exactly what everything means in the dashboard, how to understand it, or what the data means, then this series is just what you need. We’ll be discussing how to install it, how to use it, what everything means, and how to utilize the data to improve your website.

The Lasting Effects of a Bad Website

By | Business Tips, Website Tips | No Comments

The Lasting Effects of a Bad Website

Having a great website can create years of return customers for your business, but customers that stumble upon a website that leaves more to be desired can hurt more than just your online reputation. Your website should reflect the very best of your business – it is a 24-hour a day store front for potential customers browsing the web that communicates the purpose of your existence even when the sun goes down.

There are some small businesses that have a great in-store, or in-office experience awaiting their customers, but they lack the knowledge required to design and develop an outstanding, effective website that drives customers to your physical location, and produces an excellent ROI.

People are becoming far more web savvy than in previous years, and the percentage of people doing research online before ever deciding to get in their car or even make a phone call is growing exponentially. The last thing you want is for a potential customer to visit your website and be unimpressed by a bad website design or poorly developed online business.

If you are having any doubts that your website meets the same standard of excellence that you require for the other elements of your business, then it’s time to hire a professional website developer and online marketing company that can help you take your business website to the next level.

VRoooom Web is here to help.

VRoooom Web offers full-service website development, e-commerce, networking, and online marketing services for businesses of all sizes. Contact us today to learn more, or to get started on revitalizing the online presence for your business.

Tell Your Story

By | Website Design, Website Tips | No Comments

Every business has a story – a piece of history attached to its very existence. In today’s age of thorough consumer research, it is very likely that people browsing your website are going to want to read about the company they may potentially do business with.

Depending on the type of business, the industry, and the purpose of your website, you will want to determine what type of ‘story’ you want to tell.

If you run a smaller family-operated business, then it is important to tell your whole story, in as much detail as possible. It is likely that people will want to learn about the owners, where they grew up, their involvement in the community, how the business was started, and how long it has been around.

Some of these details might not be as important for larger businesses and corporations, but you still want to provide some history of the company along with a mission statement.

In tell your story, make sure that you outline the reasons why your company is better, or what sets it apart from other similar businesses.

It can be a great benefit to instill trust into your potential customers, and that can be more easily accomplished if they feel like they know who they are dealing with. If you own a physical store or office building, allowing people to read about your business online first may also make it more comforting for them to make a personal visit.

Website Design Tips: The Importance of Good Photography

By | Website Design, Website Design Company, Website Tips | No Comments

web-design-professional-photography-3

If there is anything that will make or break the professionalism of a website design, it is the photography used on the site. If you’re having a new website designed, there is no reason to short-change yourself by using low-quality, poorly taken photos from your point and shoot digital camera. If you are not going to have professional photos taken, then it is important to purchase professional images to use throughout your website.

Take the time, make the investment, and do it right.

Product Photography

If you are selling or displaying products on your website, the importance of having high-quality professional photos increases exponentially. The time and effort that you put into your products will likely directly reflect your sales. If you’re using photos that present your products poorly, then don’t expect people to be impressed by what they are looking at. Below is an example.

web-design-professional-photography-2

Here is the BEFORE photo of some hide-a-way cans

As a business owner, you should have high expectations for your company website and the message it is trying to get across. Below you’ll see a huge difference in quality from the professionally taken photos.

web-design-professional-photography-1

Here is the AFTER

Plan Your Photography

If you know that you’re going to be having a new website designed and developed, then you need to plan on either having some professional photos taken, or plan on spending some money to have some professional images purchased for your website.

Purchasing Photos

Purchasing photos is a great alternative to having professional photos taken yourself, and it is relatively inexpensive.

You can purchase photos from several stock photo websites like iStockPhoto and Foto Search. Make sure that you understand the licensing terms and policies with purchasing stock photos.

A professional website design company should already know the licensing polices, and should be able to explain the proper way to purchase and use purchased stock photos.

Top Reasons Why Businesses Don’t Have a Website

By | Business Tips, Website Tips | No Comments
reasons-why-you-dont-need-a-website

Do I Really Need a Website?

I Don’t Need a Website

I’m still amazed at the number of businesses that do not have a professional website. It’s hard to understand the mentality, especially considering that upward of 90% of Americans own either a lap top computer, a desk top computer, or a smart phone, 82% of Americans own smart phones, and around 85% of all product and services searches start online. Combine that with the fact that print advertising, house phones, and Yellow Pages are going extinct, and it gets even harder to justify not having a website.

Every business needs a website, and any business that thinks otherwise is missing critical sales opportunities and business exposure.

1. I’m not tech-savvy, and getting a website done intimidates me.
Have no fear. I understand your concern in diving head first into a new venture that you may not fully understand. Not understanding the entire process may leave you feeling vulnerable. VRoooom Web works hard to build a working relationship with each of its clients – ensuring that you understand the entire process, what you’re getting, and how it all works. Our goal is to instill confidence in you, and empower you to successfully run your business online.

2. We only do business locally. A website would not help us.
Size doesn’t matter. If you are selling candles in a local, small town shop, or selling cars for a nationally known dealer… you need a website. With internet access in the hands of nearly every American, even small, locally owned businesses will benefit from having a website. Being a small, locally owned business usually means that your client or customer base is primarily made up of the local community. Have a website allows you to reach people outside of your community, around the city, state, country, and even around the world.

3. I have a small website already. It will do for now.
It’s great that you have taken the first steps to having a business website. It never hurts to have another company go through your site and evaluate any potential areas of improvement. Most business will do a free quick review of your site and let you know where it needs work, and how it can be improved.

4. I wish I had a website, but they probably cost too much.
You should never sweep an idea or dream under the rug without fully exploring it. Websites are relatively cheap these days, and most companies will work with you in establishing a payment system to help fit your business budget. While it is always best to include all of the features possible in your website design, consider that a website is a dynamic, moving structure, and you can usually add on to it as you go. This will spare you from having to do everything at one time if you absolutely cannot meet the expense.

5. I’m not sure that a company website is worth the investment.
Having a website is the only way to virtually keep the doors to your business open 365/24/7. Not having a website also limits your user base. Think of how many people shop on their computers late at night, or work second or third shift jobs, or prefer to just stay at home to research the items they buy before heading to the store. You’re missing them all without a website. Also consider the fact that you don’t have to pay a working employee to stand by, open or close your website every day. It’s always open, and at a fraction of the cost that you would be paying an employee at all hours of the night and on holidays.

6. Websites are a pain to maintain, and they’re expensive.
This myth has been long busted. VRoooom Web offers one of the most innovative, easy-to-use, administration and editing system in the world. The VRoooom Web Suite offers maintenance and editing tools that make editing your website as easy as turning your computer on. Upload photos, add products to your online store, upload videos, edit text, create pages, maintain as calendar and much more at the click of a button, and at a very reasonable, one-time cost to you.

7. I don’t know how to market a website.
Have no worries. Marketing a website is extremely easy compared to conventional marketing. One of the best things about it is that your website and online marketing is the easiest to track in the success of, so you will know exactly what your return on investment is. If you aren’t comfortable taking on the task of marketing your website, then let VRoooom do it. We specialize in online marketing and social media management… and we have the results to prove it.

8. My business is not technology related, so we don’t need a website.
Let me present something to you. Below is data and research conducted by Nielsen’s showing the percentage of items purchased by online shoppers in a 3 month period of time. You’ll notice that the top purchased items are not necessarily “technology-related.”

1. Books 41%
2. Clothes & Shoes 36%
3. Videos/Games 24%
4. Airline Tickets 24%
5. Electronics 23%
6. Music 19%
7. Health & Beauty 19%
8. Hardware 16%
9. Event Tickets 15%
10. Software 14%
11. Groceries 14%
12. Toys 9%
13. Sporting Goods 8%
14. Auto 4%
15. Sports Memorability 3%

9. We already advertise the way we always have (print, radio, tv, etc).
Print is dying. Beside the fact that all aspects of life are moving into the digital sector, it is also far less expensive to do marketing online, and more importantly, online marketing is 100% traceable. No more guessing how many people read your ad, saw your flyer or used your billboard. Online avenues and analytically tracking will tell you exactly how much traffic your media has received, where it came from, what they look at, and more. This will help you decide where to put more money, and where to make cuts.

10. I want a website, but I’m not sure where to start.
Well, you can start by contacting VRoooom Web and speaking to one of our website consultants. We will guide you through every step of the way, ensuring that you can be confident in our services from beginning to end.

We understand that making a decision like this is important, and our goal is to win your heart in mind by building a relationship with you, and providing you with results that you can see and believe in.


Sources:

http://www.enterthenet.com/pew-research-generations-and-their-gadgets/
http://www.internetretailer.com/trends/consumers/
http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/875mm-consumers-have-shopped-online-up-40-in-two-years-3225/nielsen-global-ecommerce-most-popular-online-purchases-copyjpg/

The Importance of Having a Mobile Website

By | Website Design, Website Tips | No Comments

Mobile_Websites

Smartphone’s Will Soon Dominate the Market

There are dozens of reasons that could be listed for why a company should have a mobile website developed along side their main website. Let me start off with presenting some smartphone information from 2010.

2010 showed overwhelming growth in the smartphone industry. For the first time ever, smartphones outsold traditional computers, says IDC. Nearly every smartphone manufacturer posted gains in smartphone sales and distribution.

IDC estimates that a record-breaking 92.1 million computers were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010. Smartphones produced 100.9 million shipments over that same time period.

Traditional computers remained at the top for the entire year at 346.2 million, but smartphones aren’t far behind with 302.6 million being shipped around the world, up 74.4% compared to 2009.

With these statistics in mind, it’s almost a no-brainer that a mobile website is necessary for any business or organization. In fact, with the number of smart phone users coming onto the market, not having a mobile website is about as smart as not having a website at all.

24/7 Anywhere

The great thing about a website is that it acts as a store or point of contact for your business 24/7. Even after you close up for the night, people can still access your website to make purchases, get more information, or research your company. With the use of a smartphone, they can now do these same things not just anytime they want to, but they can do them anywhere they want to.

Mobile Websites Make You Cool

People live on Facebook. They think it’s cool. So, when they find a company they like, or a product they love, they always flock to see if the company has a Facebook where they can connect. Why? Because Facebook is ‘cool’. Similarly, people will sort of judge your ‘coolness’ factor by whether or not you have a dedicated mobile website. People will notice right away that your company or organization are up-to-speed with their website development and technology trends, thus building a new confidence that they might have.

4 Tips for Launching a New Website

By | Website Tips | No Comments

The launching of a new website can be a difficult and challenging experience for those who have never done it before. Inexperience and technical knowledge both play parts in this, and although the process is easy to learn, it may take some practice to get comfortable with it. We are going to offer some suggestions for those are who have yet to launch their first website. These are general tips for a wide variety of topics, but all of them will make the launching process much easier.

# 1 Install Analytics

It’s important to know how many visitors your website is receiving, so you can make changes to your site if no traffic comes. Tracking your visitors is a vital part of the marketing process, and should definitely not be left out. We recommend Google Analytics for beginners, as it is free and very easy to setup on your website. For advanced users with more technical knowledge, you may want to look at Piwik as an alternative. It’s very similar to Google Analytics, but offers a different perspective on things.

The Google Analytics Dashboard

The code for your tracking script needs to be placed on every page of your website. If the website is a static HTML site, then you’ll need to copy and paste the code to every page. If you use another language to code in, such as PHP, you can use includes to make a single template file (for example, footer.php) which will contain the tracking code. This file will then be included to every page of your site, making the process much easier.

#2 Sign up for Webmaster Tools

All three of the major search engines have a service that you can sign up for that monitors data about your website, and then lets you view it. Google’s and Bing’s are the best of the bunch, but we recommend using Yahoo’s too for the best results. Since the data you feed to these Webmaster centers will feed directly to the search engines, it’s highly recommended you do this. Create a sitemap.xml for your site and submit to these Webmaster centers to help the search engines crawl your site.

The Google Webmaster Tools Dashboard

Be warned though, the reporting tools inside these Webmaster centers are not always perfect; in fact, most of the time we find they are way off. Keyword and traffic data always seems skewed to us, so you should use other tools for these areas. The Webmaster Tools also offer crawl rate, spidering, and indexation reporting, which is usually more solid than the keyword and traffic reports, although it may not be completely accurate. They do however keep rolling out new features for the tools, and overtime, it seems the reporting has gotten slightly more accurate.

#3 Setup a Newsletter

After launching your site, include a newsletter signup box so that visitors interested in further updates and news can receive them. Email marketing is also an extremely valuable tool, if used correctly. It’s even better if you have a list of friends or clients that you can already use to email about your newly launched website. Be honest and polite in your email and ask for feedback about the website. It’s a good idea to say you will return the favor too, as this may get more people interested. Make sure to use Carbon Copies (CC) so everyone on the email list doesn’t see the email of everyone else on the email.

A Newsletter Signup Form

This will allow you to stay in contact with visitors to your site via email.

If you notice people aren’t signing up for your newsletter, you may want to offer an incentive to do so. This creates some trust between you and your website visitors, and makes you look knowledgeable about the subject your website on. Some things you could create to give away are e-books, videos, whitepapers, or any other content that is exclusive to your website.

#4 Signup Your Brand on Social Media Sites

Every year, social media becomes a more powerful and popular way for businesses to communicate with their customers. Every business in this day and age should be utilizing social media marketing, no matter what industry they are in. There are a couple of sites that you should, at minimum, have an account on. These are:

There are other sites we recommend, although these won’t be suitable for everyone. We say you should still go through and find out which ones are relevant to your business and industry. These sites are:

Take the time to fill out all the information fields when you signup for these sites. This makes your business easier to find. Change up the information slightly for every profile, and don’t just copy and paste the same information to each one. The descriptions and bios should be unique for each site, tailoring to the specific needs of users on that specific site. Empty social accounts are no fun and do virtually nothing, but an active account can create traffic, customers, and a ton of value for you if done correctly.