Online Stepping Stones

Affordable website solutions

Simple affordable web seo partners

If you wish to advertise on this page please click here and fill out the form provided, otherwise you can return to the partner's category page.

Thank you for visiting online stepping stones the provider of simple affordable web solutions and please enjoy the content and links below.

Seo partners, articles and solutions below

Online stepping stones - Related Articles and News

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - Link Building: Where Should You Even Begin? Basic Guidelines to Link Building

The world of SEO seems to be constantly in flux. With each Google algorithm change comes an existential crisis for the industry, although hopefully we are over the worst excess of that era and the present zeitgeist is one which is likely to be around for a while. Link building is the bread and butter of good SEO work, but is something that people often mess up. Below is a handy guide to how to make sure your link building is top quality.

Definition of link building

Building high-quality links is an arduous job that requires high quality content, website partners and well-optimized keywords.  Hyperlinks direct traffic from other sites to your own and are used to navigate around the web. Google uses crawl data to assess which links register most for key terms and uses this to position its search result rankings. Therefore, good linksmanship is an essential part of the SEO trade.

The importance of link building

Search engines need links to determine rankings and to identify the new kids on the block that need to be ranked. Google published a short videowhich breaks things down pretty nicely. While search engines identify key terms on a site, they also look to external sites to see how many are linking back to the original site. Google provides weight to different sites and getting a link on a clean, well- respected site is going to do you a lot of good when it comes to ranking. That’s why time needs to be spent on ensuring that links are getting built in the right places.

When you link to relevant and high quality sites that has been crawled by spiders and has made a correlation to your website, there will be a great possibility that Google will consider your site a prime candidate to appear on Page 1 on Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs)

The anatomy of a hyperlink

A handy article I read recently provided a great breakdown of how the link building process works and how Google reads it in order to rank a site. This is basic stuff, but it’s good to know how the nuts and bolts of the process works.

Anchor. This comes at the start of the hyperlink and lets Google know that link tag is about to follow that is going to need to be ranked. Link Referral location. This is the link address which you click on to take you to wherever you need to go on the information superhighway. Visible/anchor text of the link.  This is the text that users see on a page that guides them to a link. Think the ‘contact us’ phraseology as an example of this. Link tag closing lets Google know that the anchor is at an end. Weighting of thematic clusters of ranking factors in Google

A number of different factors affect Google rankings and there is a good breakdown of that here. The algorithms are ever more complex, but quality is the key to Google search success these days. What this means has been discussed in-depth elsewhere.

However, finding quality partners that fit with your brand and that Google considers as ‘clean’ certainly helps, as well as ensuring that what you produce is informative and can generate organic traffic that is linked to from a variety of places is certainly the main factor affecting rankings.

Benefits of link building to your business

To rank well, there is no substitute for high-quality links to high-quality content. However, there are more than just SEO benefits to consider when building links. There are a number of intangibles that can help any business. One of these is that of building up business contacts that can reciprocate. By borrowing, partnering and generally working together, there are benefits to both sides in the short and long term.

The key thing to remember though, as I have stated multiple times already, is quality. Once you find a potential partner they need to find what you do worthwhile in order to encourage their audience to give you a chance. Quality content is key to quality partnerships and the rankings follow.

Social Media is always there to help

While it is still debatable as to the true impact of social media with SEO rankings, there are still many who insists that Social Media does add to the organic success of a website even if it is not directly obvious.

But, it is widely accepted that there is a relationship between SEO and Social Media. Some experts think that by appearing and being mentioned on a post in a social media site like Facebook can be a ranking factor. Even without a hyperlink, just by having your brand appear in a site is a signal to Google. Here we see the effectiveness of Social Media in giving your product an increase in brand awareness and promote more social mentions and conversations about your brand. Think of it like a snowball effect as its signals grow.

Lastly, believe it or not, Social Media can increase your website’s traffic which is a big factor in rankings. The most popular items we see in Facebook are informative and interesting content, funny or tragic videos, intriguing blog posts and other compelling content. You could get higher rankings especially when users read your entire blog post or watch the whole video before moving on to another site. This is measured by search engines: bounce rate, new visits, return visits, pages per visit and time spent on a website. The more engaged a user is measured, the higher the ranking could be.

The post Link Building: Where Should You Even Begin? Basic Guidelines to Link Building appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | Link Building: Where Should You Even Begin? Basic Guidelines to Link Building | 21 Nov 2014, 3:40 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - How to Build More Targeted Traffic to Your Blog

Admit it, at least part of the reason you choose to write for a blog is to increase your traffic. Maybe you are a business trying to push your brand, or you might just rely on your content itself to produce revenue. Either way, you won’t get anywhere without plenty of people reading what you write. You can never have too many readers.

The truth is, some of this is going to come down to time. It takes a few years to really build brand loyalty, especially for a blog that deals entirely on interaction between the blogger and the audience. But in the meantime, you can definitely do many things to start increasing your traffic and so improve your chances of hooking the ever-sought long time reader.

Begin Narrowing Down Your Readers

One of the biggest mistake people make in any kind of content campaign is trying to appeal to everyone. Believe it or not, casting your net too wide will actually hook you less readers, and bring is far less traffic. Without a plan, you will just to blindly attempting to find people in an endless crowd, and most will not have any interest in your blog.

Ask yourself: who are you writing for? What kind of person will be most likely to read and enjoy your posts? Are they male, female, young adults, middle aged, in North America, in Europe, in Asia? Once you know who you want to write for, it will be easier to find out what content gets the most attention.

Further reading:

Understanding Audience Demographics with Google Analytics 5 Tools to Research the Demographics of Your Twitter Followers Start Researching What Those Readers Like

Now you have an idea of who you are targeting. It is time to start looking into their common interests. If you already have a following, even a small one, this is even easier. Most social accounts and blog commenting is connected through services like Disqus, or using social sign on with Facebook, Twitter, ect. You can just follow the line and see what catches their eye.

There is a fair chance you will actually be within your target demographic, and so will have a personal sneak peek into what they might like. If that is the case, take some time to consider what content you have looked at, saved, read through or shared lately. What gets you excited?

Further reading:

3 Ways to Discover Most Shared Pages from Any Site Begin Reaching Out To Other Blogs

Reach out to other blogs – or individual bloggers – and see about potentially writing a post for their site, invite them to contribute to yours or set up an expert interview with them. All it takes is one post on a single blog with regular traffic, and you can see a serious increase in your own blog’s traffic.

Not only that, but it boosts your own visibility and authority around the web. The more of an expert you appear on your niche, the more people will seek you out to find your opinion.

Further reading:

HOW TO: Use Social Networking to Effectively Build Media & PR Contacts (Tools and Tips)

3 Rules of Relationship-Powered Link Building #pubcon from Ann Smarty Build a Social Media Presence

This is one of the single most important things you can do as a blogger. Social media is the perfect compliment to a blog, because it allows you to both share your content and to engage directly with your potential readers.

Become well known on at least one social network, building up your followers there and really beginning a conversation. A well rounded social strategy is best, with different accounts for different types of interaction (Pinterest for sharing images connected to posts, Twitter for finding influencers, Google+ for connecting with others in your niche or microblogging, ect).

Further reading:

BEST Social Media Tools: Are You Using Them? (Collective Mastermind) Use Viral Content Buzz for more shares and exposure!

Find Out What Is Popular From Competitors

Your competitors are another great place to see what is popular with your demographic. You can take a look at their highest performing posts, what is being shared, and on what networks. Read through the comments and get a feel for what people are saying, and what questions they might have.

While you won’t want to directly the topics of their posts, a competing blog can give you some inspiration, while pointing you in the right direction.

Further reading:

How to Create a Social Media Strategy By Spying Your Competitors  Get Comfortable With SEO

SEO is as much a part of search ranking as it ever was. But there is a right way and a wrong way to doing it, and you need to learn the difference to properly optimize your content. Having the right keywords to target, including them naturally in your posts, using tags and descriptions, meta-data and image optimization…this is all a part of it.

Further reading:

Search Engine Land’s Guide to SEO, or The Advanced Guide to SEO by Quick Sprout. Make Sure Your Site Flies

Nothing is worse than spending weeks and months on building the traffic and then losing your peak moment because your server is down.

Besides, your site performance and load time also affects your user experience and hence rankings.

Further reading:

Make sure your server is reliable. Site Geek is my top source of hosting reviews and uptime reports.

Track Your Site’s Analytics

Once you start to produce content, it is time to watch how it does. Tracking analytics, both those from your blog itself and on social networks, is a key to doing this. Seeing what is most popular, and what drives traffic more, will give you an idea of what to write about in the future.

It will also show you what content to re-promote later on, or repackage as other forms of media to further exploit.

Further reading:

Get the most out of your reports Conclusion

Increasing your traffic in a more targeted way takes work. But it is also very rewarding, and over time using these tactics and a bit of consistent content writing/sharing, you will begin to really see results.

Have any advice to offer others searching for a way to boost their blog traffic? Used a particular method that has worked wonders for you? We would love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments.

The post How to Build More Targeted Traffic to Your Blog appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | How to Build More Targeted Traffic to Your Blog | 19 Nov 2014, 7:38 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - The Easiest On Page Optimisation in the World

A Simple Graphic for On Page SEO to maximize your search position in Google.

All the basics are covered.

SEO tactics come and go, but the bed rock of all good SEO is right here. Make every page this clean and clear and the battle for Google search results is half won.

Content Style and Design Keyword Optimization and placement Site Speed Optimized images Alt, title and description tags Internal and External linking Strategies

Everything a small business needs to consider when optimizing their site is written in to this, the easiest SEO Infographic check list ever written!

I prepared this info graphic to help clients just starting out online. However, the infographic also keeps the seasoned site creator and content marketer on their toes.

This infographic doesn’t guarantee you first place in Google, or any other search engine. But it does tell you what you need to do if you want to be in the running.

If you want to rank first, both in Google’s eyes and in the eyes of your website visitors, follow these simple steps.

Source: Mallee Blue Media

The post The Easiest On Page Optimisation in the World appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | The Easiest On Page Optimisation in the World | 14 Nov 2014, 11:14 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - 5 Ways to Go beyond Links and Shares and Actually Generate Profits for Your Clients and Yourself

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could charge your SEO clients 100% or 200% more than you’re charging now while at the same time making them 100% or 200% happier?

Well…

It is very possible!

And today you are going to discover how.

Plus … when you apply the techniques we’ll discuss today, not only will you be able to charge more for your services … but you’ll be more attractive to new clients.

How you ask?

Well… getting paid more is simply a matter of providing more value for your clients.

The problem is, that right now… when you engage a blogger or a website owner, your aim is to get one specific thing: a link for your client.

And once you’ve scored that link… you move on.

But by doing so you are leaving 90% of the value that ‘linking partner’ can provide on the table.

For example…

Let’s say your client is a Boston-based crossfit gym.

And you’ve managed to get it featured on a “Top 10 Crossfit Gyms in America” article in the prestigious “Men’s Fitness” magazine (the following screenshot is for illustration purposes only)…

This is an awesome accomplishment by itself.

And the link is worth gold!

But what if you could arrange for the Gym owner to be interviewed by Men’s Fitness?

And get a 10 page article that only promotes your client?

Would that be valuable?

You see…

Stopping after getting the link is like digging a 100’ mine only to stop when you’ve found the first ounce of gold…

Instead, you should dig an additional two feet and hit the mother lode.

What to do after you’ve secured the link

Once you’ve achieved your main goal, use the trust and the relationship you’ve just created to set up a promotion for your client.

Depending on who the ‘link partner’ is, you can set up different deals.

There are more than 12 types of deals you can arrange for you client. And today we’ll discuss 5 of them…

#1 – Have your client interviewed by the linking partner

We’ve already touched on this…

Quite a few bloggers, podcasters and website owners regularly conduct interviews with experts in their niche.

If you spot such an opportunity… you can try to arrange that your client be interviewed by the linking partner.

This can result in

Additional links Traffic Leads and sales A stronger endorsement from the linking partner

And can pave the way to bigger deals.

#2- Build your client’s mailing list by having your “linking partner” promote a training you’ve prepared

Have you ever heard the expression – “The money is in the list”?

Well, you can provide a very valuable service to your clients by helping them build their mailing list.

You do this by creating a thorough report or a high-level training video for your client and have the “linking partner” promote this valuable information to his mailing list.

Set it up so the traffic from the linking partner’s list is sent to an opt-in page on your client’s site where the visitor needs to enter his details (email, name, etc’) in order to get the training you’ve prepared.

And voila… you’ve just helped your client build one of the most important assets in his business… his list.

For example…

One of our partners has a popular newsletter for life-coaches.

We’ve created a specific training for his audience titled ‘Guest Blogging for Coaches’ and he promoted this video training to his mailing list, by sending them to this page…

And this has been an exceptionally successful promotion that generated a ton of traffic, leads and sales

Note: The key here is to create a training so valuable, the linking partner will improve his relationship with his audience when he sends them to this training. In which case you’ll be providing value both to your client and to the linking partner.

Plus… Once you’ve prepared the training, you can reuse it with many partners.

#3 – Set up a “Lead generation webinar” for your client

After you’ve created a relationship with a group of thought-leaders in your client’s field, you can set up a one-hour webinar where each expert (including your client) gets an equal amount of time to reveal their best tips and strategies on a specific subject.

This creates a friendly competition where every expert tries to outdo the others and results in an entertaining and useful event.

At the end of the webinar each participant can promote his own product or opt-in page and the only condition to participating is that every participant promotes the webinar to his audience as best he can (mail it to his list, post on social media accounts, blog about it, etc’).

Done right, this can result in thousands of visitors to each participant’s website.

This traffic will also convert well to leads and sales since the visitors were pre-sold on the product or service in the webinar

#4 – Set up a product or service promotion for your partner

This type of promotion usually requires a greater level of trust between your client and the ‘link partner’. That’s why we’ve only listed it as the fourth possible promotion.

You can usually arrange this type of a promotion after you’ve gone through one of the previous promotions we’ve mentioned… because, while technically this type of promotion is perhaps the easiest to implement, it does require that the promoting partner be willing to endorse your client’s product or service.

#5 – EVERGREEN PROMOTIONS

These are the highest level of promotions you can arrange for your client and they are usually worth their weight in gold.

For example…

If a linking partner has a mailing list, you can “convert” a one-time promotion you performed with the linking partner to a permanent follow-up message on his auto-responder sequence.

This means that every new subscriber that joins his mailing list will be exposed to this promotion, guaranteeing and endless stream of pre-sold traffic to your client’s site.

Additional types of promotions

The promotions we’ve discussed so far are usually referred to as ‘joint ventures’ and while this post is not the place, I’ve created a free training that not only expands on what we’ve discussed here but will also introduce you to additional types of joint ventures you can create for your clients. And make a profit for them and for yourself.

At the end of the post I’ll show you how you can get this training.

Turning these promotions to an income source for yourself

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you know that getting a new client is 10 times harder than selling additional services to an existing one.

You can (and should) charge handsomely for every promotion you set up for your client as well as any content you prepare for them in the process of setting up those deals.

And finally… as you grow more confident in setting up and executing those promotions, you can start charging your clients on a performance basis (on top of the flat promotion fees.)

For example you can charge your client

For every new email subscriber you add to their list A small percentage of the sales your promotions have generated Why this makes you more attractive to clients

Because you’ll be creating deals and profits for your clients, eventually, you’ll reach a point where your service pays for itself and even generates a profit.

And then … hiring you becomes a VERY easy decision to make.

What to do next

If you’re interested in learning more about joint ventures, how to set them up and how to profit from them.

You should consider signing up for the free joint venture training we’ve created.

The post 5 Ways to Go beyond Links and Shares and Actually Generate Profits for Your Clients and Yourself appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | 5 Ways to Go beyond Links and Shares and Actually Generate Profits for Your Clients and Yourself | 4 Nov 2014, 3:32 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - How to Make Your Content Discoverable to Earn Editorial Links

I’ve already done a very useful round-up of how one can still build / attract solid backlinks to your site. Today I’ll follow up with a few more general, yet resourceful tips on how bloggers can still earn backlinks to their content.

Bloggers can still build links, and those who have always sought out solid links in the first place will find much of the practice hasn’t changed. You are still aiming to provide quality, valuable content that explores a topic you are an expert in. You are potentially going to link to other sources – either your own, or third party – in order to further enrich that content. You create something of value, and you deserve links coming in – this is a short story…

Let’s look at that in more details:

Create Good Content

In the end, your best bet is always going to be creating good, solid and engaging content that people want to share. I won’t pretend that there is some magic formula to follow that will get you those links, or that will boost you into viral status… there isn’t. But the better your content, the more likely it will be seen and enjoyed.

Bookmark this blogging guide to get a better idea of what types of content you can create and how to do that right:

Get Your Content Out There…

There’s nothing wrong in being discoverable. There’s nothing wrong in being pro-active about being discovered. And I don’t mean asking someone for a link. I mean being pro-active about letting more people see your content (and possibly link to it at some point)

The most obvious is probably social media. You want influencers, or just others, to share out your work. Targeting your user base is one way, but jumping on someone else’s coat tails is a great boost for visibility, and increasing chances of even more social links.

Viral Content Buzz is a great way to put your content in front of eager social media sharers for wider reach. In most cases, this is the easiest (and free!) method to get your content discovered by bloggers as well!

A new term has been coined recently: “ego baiting”. This is the process of mentioning someone in your content, as well as quoting, praising or even scorning them. In theory, they should fall victim to their ego and choose to share out that content, or link to it as a reference for their own post. It sounds a lot shadier than it is; if you have a genuine statement to make about someone else or their work, there is no reason you should write about it.

3 Rules of Relationship-Powered Link Building #pubcon from Ann Smarty

Chances are, you have taken part in ego baiting without even realizing it. You know those top ten lists you make that link to people’s content or websites? Those mentions potentially catch their attention, leading to those “Hey, a shout-out to (Your Name) for including me in (Article)!” social media posts.

MyBlogU is a great way to attract people to your content who will then help you promote your content on social media and link back to the articles they got featured!

If you make one of these posts, or anything else that heavily features another blogger, send them an email letting them know they are in it. Maybe they will share the link, maybe they won’t. But at least you will have taken a shot.

If you have any ideas for building links as a blogger, let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you!

The post How to Make Your Content Discoverable to Earn Editorial Links appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | How to Make Your Content Discoverable to Earn Editorial Links | 3 Nov 2014, 2:34 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - When The Dumbest Idea Is The Best One

This post is an excerpt adapted by Brian Carter from the forthcoming book The Cowbell Principle: Career Advice On How To Get Your Dream Job And Make More Money, by Brian Carter and Garrison Wynn. Brian and Garrison will be giving away a limited number of digital copies at launch time. To get notified when they’re available, sign up at http://thecowbellprinciple.com/getnotified

Have you seen the More Cowbell sketch from Saturday Night Live? It’s more than just funny. Believe it or not, it’s a powerful metaphor for a successful work life. And it provides insight into the kind of people you need on your team, and what makes an effective team.

Everyone has at least one cowbell — it’s your unique, profitable talent people pay you for or your company’s unique offering. It’s something people have a fever for. When you discover it and give those people a ton of it, you gain success and happiness for both yourself and others. It’s a win-win.

A cowbell is simultaneously something you love doing and something other people really want as well (although, as we’ll see, you still will have detractors and critics). A cowbell creates joy for you and other people. It makes them yell for more. They can’t get enough.

Sometimes the Dumbest Idea Is the Best One

 “I’m telling you guys, you’re going to want that cowbell.”

— TheBruce Dickinson (Christopher Walken)

Garrison once worked for Hendee Enterprises, a company that came up with industrial solutions. When one customer approached the company looking for a way to prevent moisture from getting into its paint vats, Garrison suggested a simple alternative to the warping, leaking covers the customer was using: “Why don’t we put a giant shower cap on there and you can throw the caps away every day?” Five engineers said it was the dumbest idea ever, borne of Garrison’s lack of education and understanding of the idea. But the covers had to be disposable because any wood or metal fabrication would warp or degrade. And caps made of special plastic and elastic wouldn’t cause static electricity.

The customer bought 250 boxes of 500 covers each. Now every paint vat in the country is required to have this cover and it’s sold in 30 countries. Not bad for a dumb idea, huh?

“I’m telling you guys, you’re going to want that gargantuan shower cap.”

— slightly modified by TheGarrison Wynn

We often confuse simplicity with stupidity. It’s easy to think that if something is simple, it must not be the best or most effective. Wrong! Sometimes an idea seems dumb because you’rebeing dumb. Or snobby.

Ignore the Snobs… For the Most Part

There’s a big difference between what movie critics like and what the mainstream public will pay to see. In the 2000s, Brian often looked at Rotten Tomatoes to decide whether to see a movie, until he realized that he often disagreed with the critics whose reviews were featured on the site. Sometimes you want to see a mindless action flick, and most of those are disliked by movie critics. And some of the top-grossing movies are universally panned by the critics.

IMDB is a great resource, because it contains both mainstream viewer ratings and metascore, which is a measurement of critical response to the movie. If you’re in the mood for something mainstream, ignore metascore. If you want to have a great time AND have your mind blown? Look for a movie that does well with both metascore (over 70) and high user ratings (above 7.0).

Movie critics are, at worst, snobs. They want something new and unpredictable, but often what people like isn’t much different from what they liked 10 years ago. At best, because critics watch more films and think about them more than others, they have more insight than the average person.

What underlies snobbiness is nothing more than a kind of elite stubbornness. We have a way of doing things that has a tradition to it; it’s the “right” way to do it. If you’re doing something in a way other than that, we know it’s not as good.

A snobby high school girl says, in essence, “My situation is far superior to yours. You can’t make a contribution to me. By virtue of your birth, I should not even acknowledge your existence.” What is this? Nothing more than a defense mechanism. High school is tough, so to look unafraid and invulnerable —to prevent people from bullying you — you look down on others first.

For us, the question is whether snobbiness — whether it comes from outside or inside ourselves — helps you create things that tons of people like. Sometimes, you definitely need to have standards. But sometimes snobbiness creates an intellectual paralysis that leads to creating things that only a small number of other snobs like.

One thing we’re sure of: If your inner snob is causing writer’s block, you need to exorcise that self-judging demon.

Try Something Stupid

Is there something you’ve been afraid to do that you thought was a pretty good idea but you believe others would view as stupid?

Exercising through stupid ideas leads you to better ideas. Look at all the stupid contraptions we humans tried to fly in our quest to get airborne! Sometimes the onlyway to genius is through stupid.

We can guess that Formula 409 means the other 408 spray cleansers didn’t work. Number 17 probably sprayed dirt onto dirt. And Fantastik may have had had an earlier version called Purty Good. “How’s that clean?” “Oh, Purty Good… a lot better than Not Bad Spray!”

Are stupid ideas a good idea? Yes.

Since when is the first idea the best idea? If the first idea were indeed the best idea, then progress makes no sense.

Be Willing to Be Crazy

Every city has some local dealership with a crazy commercial. If you were an intellectual, acting like that would kill your career, but nobody cares about the sophisticated furniture guy. Crazy Eddie Furniture beats that guy every time.

Mattress Mack is one of the most successful businessmen in Houston, Texas – so successful he once lost a $7 million football bet. In his commercials, he held a big wad of money and yelled, “We’ll save you money!” Mattress Mack did, however, lose to chainsaw-wielding Hilton “That’s a Fact Jack” Koch in a Conan O’Brien contest for most annoying advertiser.

If you’re buying cheap local TV ads, it’s good to be crazy. Crazy can be an advantage in certain other industries too; it depends on the market. And even if you’re not the craziest person or company in oyur market, a little occasional craziness reassures your customers that you have a pulse. Which is good, because, most of the time, dead people don’t sell a lot of stuff.

The post When The Dumbest Idea Is The Best One appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | When The Dumbest Idea Is The Best One | 30 Oct 2014, 2:51 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - Load Balancing and Failover Improve Hosting

Everyone wants their traffic to go viral, but most don’t realize that if they do get mentioned on a major site or go viral on social media their hosting company is likely to take their site down. When this happens, they lose the benefit of having gone viral!

The reason for this is traffic limits on almost every hosting solution. If you go over your traffic limit, some hosting companies may charge you for the overage while others will immediately take your site offline.

This is only one disadvantage of typical hosting plans. Another is server failure. Your site is typically hosted on only one server. If that server has a hard drive head crash or any other technical failure your site goes down.

Content Delivery Network

By using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) also known as a Content Distribution Network, your site is hosted on multiple servers in diverse locations. This is the ultimate protection against technical failures, power outages, and internet slowdowns.

CDNs also provide caching in multiple locations closer to the end users, decreasing page load times. Other benefits are enhanced security and resistance to DDoS attacks thanks to high capacity networks of servers.

Server Failover

The best CDNs automatically reroute traffic from a failed server to the backup, ideally without human intervention. Some CDNs require the process to be activated manually while others provides automatic failover detection to immediately activate your preconfigured backup server and alert you via email.

Example of CDN failover in action

 

Load Balancing

With Google’s emphasis on page load speed, using a CDN with load balancing can be the easiest method to decrease delays.  The idea is to have multiple servers that can serve traffic and then use the CDN as the “middle-man” to distribute the incoming requests between these multiple servers. There are many load balancing methods. Legacy CDNs usually rely on Anycast routing while the more modern ones take it a step further with layer 7 load balancing solutions.

The benefit of the later method is that, while Anycast routing using the shorter path from user to server, the layer 7 load balancing is also able to route traffic to servers based on their current traffic load.  Using both helps you not only take the shortest path but also to choose the best recipient. However, with Anycast-only solutions you always run the risk of overcrowding the popular servers while leaving the un-popular ones un-visited and underperforming.

Security

CDNs are a very effective method of protecting your site from DDoS threats and other cyber-attacks because a CDN network of servers can handle vastly more requests at one time and because its servers are positioned on the edge of your network, where they can expect all incoming traffic.

“An effective defense against an HTTP flood can be the deployment of a reverse proxy – in particular collection of reverse proxies spread across multiple hosting locations. A reverse proxy is somewhat akin to a bouncer at a nightclub, deciding which guests are allowed into the party, where the real web server is. By deploying many bouncers in different locations, the crush of incoming traffic is split into fractions, lessening the possibility of the network becoming overwhelmed.”

Today some CDN platforms also provide websites with Web Application Firewall (WAF) and even offer the options to add custom security rules for organizations that want to tweak the default security policies.

Simple Implementation

Manually implementing your own load balancing or failover solution is extremely complex. Mistakes could lead to loss of traffic and other undesirable side-effects (i.e. temporary loss of Google rankings). Fortunately, implementing an existing CDN solution can be as simple as changing the DNS for your site at your domain registrar to route your traffic through the CDN.

How CDNs Work

When an internet user goes to your URL (such as www.yoursite.com), instead of the domain name server (DNS) pointing directly to your original server that hosts your site, the CDN will send the user to the server closest to their location (based on their IP address) or least busy instead. Depending upon the size of the CDN, there could be dozens of copies of your site each on a server in a different location.

Do You Need a CDN?

Huge sites with thousands of simultaneous visitors spread across the world need CDNs. Whether you need a CDN or not depends on the type of site you run and how critical it is for you financially for that site to stay online

Business focused websites will benefit from the security aspects, faster page load times and additional availability options. With commercial CDNs services available for just few dozen dollars a month, and freemium CDNs offering free plans and trial offers, any site owner whose income is derived from being online should consider upgrading to the use of a CDN.

The post Load Balancing and Failover Improve Hosting appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | Load Balancing and Failover Improve Hosting | 28 Oct 2014, 12:17 am

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - Boosting Your E-commerce Profits

Building an online business can be complex and tricky, not least as most customers now turn to the internet to make their purchases rather than physically go into a store. Imagine the frustration it saves around Christmas. With this in mind, websites are determined to make purchasing on their websites extremely easy for their customers.

One of the key things to consider when enhancing your e-commerce business is to ensure the customer has ease of use of the website to find the products or services they need.  While the website ease of use is extremely important, there are other factors you should consider when enhancing your e-commerce website.

Build product information

Customers want to have as much information about the product or service as possible. You need to highlight all the features and benefits to give them a reason to buy it. Alongside this, you should give customers a chance to review items they have purchased and having a representative respond. This will build up a

relationship of trust by having someone respond to reviews, either thanking a customer or offering to resolve a negative response.

Provide customisable options

If your system allows you, include options for your customer purchases such as personalised gift wrapping, engravings or handwritten notes. Adding this personal touch to your service will boost your reputation, maximise profits and possibly cause the customer to refer you to a friend because of your excellent customer service.

Provide contact details

If a customer is unhappy with their product, or if they are unsure about a method of payment (or any other enquiry), be sure to include contact details. For customers who are unhappy with their purchase order, providing a way for them to contact you can help resolve any negative situation. If a customer cannot contact you with a query, they may go to the competition for the same product or service.

Visual appeal

There is no point in having a well-written description of your product if you don’t put an image alongside it. Visuals are everything when it comes to selling a product. It is a great way to grab a potential buyers attention, especially if you have the product set out nicely and professionally photographed.

Provide examples of the item in use, or use it against other items, creating an outfit if you sell clothes is an excellent way to suggest other items the customer can purchase.

Further reading: Tools to create awesome visual content

No hidden prices

Make sure the customer knows the price of shipping before the final checkout. This will allow them to make a final decision rather than feel annoyed over hidden charges. Making them aware of the shipping costs will make them less likely to drop the purchase. Also, you should include as much information about the shipping as possible. Customers like to keep track of their order, so providing this information will excel your customer service. 

Managing an e-commerce store should not be overly complicated and allowing the customer to use should not cause frustration. Remember to be honest about your service and allow them the chance to contact you about anything regarding their product. For more advice on how to manage an efficient e-commerce store, a marketing specialist can provide information on systems that will make establishing your business online a lot easier.

The post Boosting Your E-commerce Profits appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | Boosting Your E-commerce Profits | 24 Oct 2014, 1:28 am

Microsoft
Dell

html

css