The Top 10 Best Language Learning Apps to Use When Traveling

Everyone wants, or dreams of, learning a new language, but it is difficult. You have to find a teacher, go to class and that can be difficult if you have a busy lifestyle. Besides, it may even be difficult to find a teacher in your area that instructs the language you are interested in. But with cool language apps you can learn from home. Language apps make it is so much easier to learn a new language. However, finding the right language apps that can teach you effectively can be a “Shot in the Dark” process, just because there are so many apps available. So we took a look at some of these language learning apps and put together 10 of the best language learning apps to help you along with your goal.

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  1. Anki

Anki is Japanese for memorization. This is a flashcard app that has been around for a while but is still very popular. It focuses on vocabulary memorization. The app displays a word, phrase or image and you need to repeat it, and commit it to memory.  Anki works well for Japanese but also works with equations, names, faces and diagrams. Anki is free and cross platform.

  1. Memrise

This language learning app offers more than just vocabulary and new words. It also refers to history and science. It uses flashcards, memory tricks and images to help you remember the new language vocabulary.

  1. Duolingo

This is an interesting approach to learning a new language. It allows you to learn as you translate information from websites. The app also comes with lessons and activities. You learn to read and speak the language you’re interested in by hearing how native speakers read and analyzing the way they write.

  1. Pimsleur Method

This is an audio app that focuses on participation in speaking and sound. It uses memorization and flashcards. The method also uses reading and vocabulary but primarily focuses on speaking and learning to speak the language.  Livemocha.

  1. Babbel

Babbel has several apps that let you learn different languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish and many more. The program uses a combination of repetition and phrase completion. Set custom learning goals and stay on track. Your progress is synched between all of your devices, and at $11 a month, the value can’t be beat.

  1. Living Language

Living Language, made by Random House is an app that covers many different languages. The interface is easy-to-use, and the language focuses on completing sentences and vocabulary acquisition.

  1. Chinese by BrainScape

Need to learn Chinese? Then this is the option for you. A beautifully designed app that makes it easy to learn to draw the symbols that helps you draw easily and teaches you the different stroke patterns.

  1. Busuu

A relatively new app that lets you practice speaking with native speakers, an activity that can be fun and offers a real learning opportunity.

  1. Google Translate

This is not really meant as a learning tool but many users feel this helps them learn their language of choice.

  1. iHandy Translator

This is an app that translates phrases or sentences into 52 different languages. Track your searches and history when you need to find a certain phrase.

The Art of Choosing a Domain Name (Infographic)

Choosing a domain name for your business and/or website will be one of the most important decisions that you will ever make. In fact, this should be one of the first steps that you take before launching a website or new company. Often individuals rush through the domain registration process and later realize that they should have put more thought into the decision originally since it is so hard to change a name once your brand is established.

In today’s age, your domain is more than just a way for someone to visit your website! It is now the foundation for your entire site’s brand! In the past we wrote an article discussing different ways to increase traffic to your website. A common theme in all of the articles I write is the importance of “BRANDING” and choosing a domain name should be no different.

Our researchers and designers have put together an awesome infographic and some amazing tips to help you through the process of choosing a domain name.

Choosing a Domain

5 Tips to Remember When Choosing a Domain Name:

  1. Think About the Big Picture: Your Brand!
    Websites that focus on a long-term Branding Strategy are the ones that are the most successful. Your domain name is the foundation of your brand and will always be your site’s identifier. Your domain should be creative, memorable, and easily recognizable at first glance. [br] [br]
  2. Domain Does Not Have to Include Keywords!
    A common misconceptions is that the domain name should include keywords describing your product or service. Although, there is nothing wrong with this strategy some of the most popular websites created their own memorable name focusing solely on Branding. (Example: Ebay, Google, Facebook) [br] 
  3. Keep it Short.
    With millions of domains on the web, sometimes it is hard to find an available “short” domain name. Finding the perfect domain takes time, do not rush, and focus on creating the shortest/most memorable domain possible. You want your visitors to be able to remember and share your domain name; hence, the importance of keeping it short and sweet. [br] [br]
  4. Be Original… Watch Out for Other’s Trademarks & Copyrights.
    Before you choose a domain name take a second to make sure you are not infringing on a protected name. You can perform a Google Search, Free Trademark Search, and Copyright Search to get a really good idea if someone else is using the name or something similar. Be original stealing someone else’s idea is simply not cool. [br] [br]
  5. If You Can’t Find an Available Domain You Like, Consider Buying One!
    Each an every day it becomes increasingly harder and harder to purchase a quality and memorable domain name. If you can not find an available domain name that you like, consider investing in a quality name. Good domain names are like real estate and can hold and gain value with time. If you can find a great domain for sale within your budget, I would not be afraid to INVEST in it.

Good Domains Make Great Investments!

If you invest in a nice house and hold on to it until until there is a high market demand you can make a nice profit on that piece of real estate. The same is true for domain names; however, the potential profit is actually much higher than a house. There are over 252 million registered domain names in the world and that number continues to increase on a daily basis. It is becoming increasingly harder to register a “quality” domain name that has not been previously registered by someone else in the world. The shortage of quality domain names have pushed the private market domain prices to all time highs. The cost to register a new domain from a registrar runs between $10-$20 and great domains sell privately in the millions… I’d say that is a pretty good return on investment.

Take a Look at the 5 Most Expensive [Non-Adult] Domain Names:

  • Insure.com sold for $16,000,000 in 2009.
  • Fund.com sold for $15,194,520 in 2008.
  • Fb.com sold for $8,500,000 in 2010.
  • Business.com sold for $7,500,000 in 1999.
  • Diamond.com sold for $7,500,000 in 2006.

These figures will blow your mind, especially when you consider that someone originally purchased each domain for around $10. I am not suggesting that you go out and take a loan to buy a domain name; however, I did want to press the fact that a GOOD domain name actually holds & gains value with time so you should not be afraid to invest in a good name.

 Best Ways to Find a Quality Domain Name:

  1. BestWebHostingGeek’s Domain Search Tool:
    Recently we launched a Domain Search Tool that allows you to search the name of any domain name to see if it is available for registration. This tool allows you to use trial & error to quickly identify if someone else owns the domain name or not. If the domain HAS NOT been registered our tool will give you a one-click option allowing you to easily register the name with Bluehost (our top ranked host). [br] [br]
  2. Buy Premium “Brand-able” Domains:
    If you are not having any luck creating your own “brand-able” domain name you may consider investing in one from the private market. There are many sites on the web that allow you to buy and sell premium domain names including: Sedo.com, BuyDomains.com, and SnapNames.com. Although these are all great services our personal favorite place to purchase quality domains is BrandBucket.com. We have used this service in the past to purchase QUALITY and BRANDABLE domain names (they have a great selection). One of the most interesting parts of BrandBucket is that each domain comes with a custom and well-designed logo. [br] [br]
  3. Get Creative — Make Your Own Name:
    Looking to get creative? There are several tools on the web that can help you create a memorable domain name. Our personal favorite sites to use include: NameBoy.com, BustAName.com, and DomainsBot.com. [br] [br]
  4. Register Expired Domains:
    Domain names expire each and every day and periodically some really great domains names are not renewed by their owner for one reason or another. One great way to find a quality domain name is to search lists of expired domains and register them as soon as possible. It would be hard to discover expired domain names without the use of some quality resources. If you would like to look into registering a quality expired domain name we suggest using one of the following services: StuckDomains.com, ExpiredDomains.net, or Dropping.com.

 Best Domain Hosting Service:

If you are looking to start a website or blog you will need quality web hosting along with your domain name. The team at BestWebHostingGeek.com believes Bluehost offers one of the top domain hosting services on the web. Bluehost offers unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and a whole lot more at an exceptional price point. Bluehost also offers several “domain” related features that other hosts do not including:

  • Free Domain Name:
    Most hosting services require you to purchase hosting and the domain separately. Bluehost gives you one free domain registration with every hosting purchase (only $3.95 a month).
  • Unlimited Domain Hosting:
    Save money by hosting an unlimited number of domains on one hosting account.
  • Free Domain Based E-Mail Accounts:
    Get free custom e-mail addresses with your domain as the root.  (Example: yourname@yoursite.com)
  • Domain Name (Whois) Privacy:
    Bluehost helps you to protect your identity from others on the web including whois services.
  • Free Website Builders & 1-Click Installs:
    You will gain access to a variety of free and easy-to-use tools that can be used to create your very own website.


**EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT* *

Interested in Bluehost Domain Hosting? We have partnered with this great host to bring you an exclusive discount. Simply click on the Bluehost $3.95 banner below to automatically enable this special savings!

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What Makes Bluehost.com the Best Host? (Infographic)

Bluehost.com is named the “Best Web Hosting Provider” by BestWebHostingGeek.com! With thousands of hosting providers on the web, choosing just one host as THE BEST is actually a very challenging task. We actually put a lot of time, effort, and research into our decision and understand that our credibility is on the line each and every day as we make hosting recommendations. In this article we wanted to give you a full and detailed explanation as to why we believe Bluehost is the best web hosting provider on the web. Our team has put together an amazing infographic explaining the features and functions that makes Bluehost superior to other hosts. Discount on Bluehost Web Hosting: We have partnered with Bluehost.com to provide you with an exclusive discount on their hosting. If you click on our $3.95/month promo (aff) link you will automatically receive this special discount!

Bluehost (infographic)

Bluehost Compared to Other Hosts:

Recently we conducted research comparing the best web hosting companies on the web. In the study we compared hosts based on four different criteria and Bluehost won three out of four of the categories. Our study found that Bluehost was overall the best hosting provider closely followed by iPage. We highly recommend reading the hosting comparison study before making a final hosting decision.

Bluehost.com History:

Bluehost was founded in 1996 by Matt Heaton in Provo, Utah. This great web hosting company has grown over the years into one of the largest shared web hosting providers in the world! In the past few years Bluehost has experienced some of the fastest growth in its history. As you can see from the infographic as of (July 30, 2013) Bluehost has significantly more websites hosted on their servers than other well-know large hosts:

  • Bluehost: 1,859,792
  • Dreamhost: 1,242,946
  • Hostmonster: 702,076
  • Justhost: 349,995
  • Fatcow: 284,231
  • InMotionHost: 236,487
  • GreenGeeks: 38,625

This great web hosting provider has led the industry with many innovative changes positively effecting the way shared web hosting works. In addition to this innovation, Bluehost can accredit much of its success to all of their senior management and support staff who have maintained the “customers first” mentality for years! I personally know James Grierson, the VP of Marketing and Business Development at Bluehost, and can assure you that much of their growth is a direct result of the work and expertise of this very talented individual.

Bluehost.com – Different Types of Hosting:

After years of solely offering shared web hosting, the management at Bluehost decided they wanted to offer their customers a wide range of hosting options. A few months ago Bluehost made the huge announcement that they had officially launched VPS and Dedicated hosting. This important step was a game changer and allowed Bluehost to cater to websites of all sizes; whereas, before they only focused on small to mid-sized sites. This great host offers four different types of hosting and a variety of price points within each type. I will outline the different types of hosting that Bluehost.com (aff) offers their customers:

  • Shared Web Hosting –  The most affordable type of hosting allows you to share a server and the server resources with other Bluehost customers. Shared web hosting is ideal for 80% of websites on the internet and perfect for small to mid-sized websites. The shared hosting plans at Bluehost start at only $3.95 a month. [br] [br]
  • VPS Hosting – We loved the VPS hosting at Bluehost so much that we actually recently purchased this plan for BestWebHostingGeek.com.  VPS hosting gives you much more control over your website since there are much fewer sites being shared on the server. Bluehost will allow you to have your own IP address and you will notice much faster speeds with VPS hosting. This type of hosting is PERFECT for mid-sized websites and plans start at $29.99 a month! [br] [br]
  • Dedicated Hosting – This option is ideal for large websites who receive thousands of visitors per day. Dedicated web hosting grants you complete control over a server and allows you to customize it completely as you see fit.  This type of hosting is the fastest; however, it is also quite a bit pricer. Dedicate hosting plans at Bluehost start at $149.99/month. [br] [br]
  • Reseller Web Hosting – Reseller Hosting is for those looking to run their own mini-web hosting company without having to worry about the technical aspects. You are allowed to sell hosting to clients and Bluehost will handle all of the hard work (such as billing, technical, etc). Bluehost offers an exceptional reseller hosting plan starting for only $19.95 a month!

TIP: Unless you own a VERY large and popular website we highly suggest you purchase a shared or VPS hosting plan. Most of the sites that we own are hosted on a shared hosting account and we have never had any issues what-so-ever.

What Separates Bluehost From the Pack?

As we previously mentioned there are thousands of web hosting providers in the world; however, Bluehost tends to lead the entire industry in innovation. There are four characteristics that we believe makes Bluehost the best hosting provider in the world:

  • Web Hosting Resource Protection – Bluehost was the first to develop a comprehensive script that protects their shared hosting users from server-overload (a common shared web hosting problem). Many features are comparable to VPS hosting and give users a consistent and fast server experience regardless of what others on the same server are doing with their accounts. [br]
  • Mojo Marketplace – This is a game-changer! Not only does Mojo Marketplace have the largest collection of 1-click installs available on the web, but they also allow developers to add scripts, themes, and services to their directory. With Mojo Marketplace you can instantly and automatically install popular scripts like WordPress, Joomla, etc. to your Bluehost server. [br] [br]
  • World Class Support – No one likes to purchase a product and realize after the fact that it is a major challenge to get support. Bluehost has one of the fastest and most helpful support staff teams on the planet! Support is provided by: telephone, e-mail, support ticket, live-chat, help desk, etc. [br] [br]
  • Blazing Fast Servers – Google now uses “website speed” as a ranking factor; therefore, it is essential to keep your websites running fast. A variety of factors such as their new state-of-the-arch datacenter, perfect server-optimization, VPS protection, and partnership with CloudFlare ensures your website will be one of the fastest on the web!

Freebies! Freebies! Freebies!

Ok, I want to do some quick math for you guys to show you how on the financial end you come out way ahead with Bluehost.com! The basic (and most popular) hosting plan at Bluehost will set you back only $3.95 a month ($47.40/year). Bluehost is one of the few hosts that will give you a FREE domain name when you sign up for hosting… That alone is a $15/year expense given to you for FREE! Also, there are a variety of FREE marketing credits that Bluehost offers their users. Credits to advertising services like: Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook add up to well over $200 in FREE money/credit.  When you sign up for Bluehost hosting you will actually financially come out ahead several hundred bucks and you will still get high quality hosting as well!

Bluehost Reviews:

Prior to signing up with any host we encourage our visitors to research the host and read a variety of reviews. BestWebHostingGeek.com editors have reviewed Bluehost and allow other users to share their experience as well. Feel free to check out our Bluehost Reviews before you decide to purchase hosting.

Bluehost $3.95 Promo Rate:

Normally Bluehost web hosting pricing starts around six bucks a month for a basic shared web hosting account; however, we have formed a partnership with Bluehost that allows us to offer the exact same hosting plan for only $3.95 a month. Should you choose Bluehost.com for your hosting needs, feel free to take advantage of our exclusive partner discount. In order to enable this savings simply click on our Bluehost $3.95 Promo Link (aff) or you can click on the banner below.

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Web Hosting Comparison – Real Facts & Figures

There are plenty of web hosting comparison sites on the web but in our opinion very few of them really take the time to conduct thorough research to compare and contrast popular hosts. Our goal was to use a variety of  reliable metrics to truly find “the best web hosting” provider.

Before conducting our experiment we went out and found the five largest hosts that consistently are being named as the “best host” on top hosting review sites like BestWebHostingGeek.com. Our research found that on average Bluehost, Hostmonster, iPage, FatCow, and Justhost ranked higher than all other hosts on the web. For today’s quest to compare the top hosting providers we will study these five hosts.

Our researchers found that these top-tier hosts often offer users many of the same “Features & Functionalities” so we decided to look deeper at four-specific metrics not normally compared to determine the best host.

We will be examining the follow:

  • Total Number of Customers Hosted on Servers
  • Price Comparison
  • Amount of “Search Traffic”
  • Poll-of-Polls – Massive Study of User Reviews

    Reported on: July 29, 2013
    Reported on: July 29, 2013

Total Number of Customers Hosted:

For today’s research we are going to be utilizing a variety of assumptions. The first being, “A company that has historically grown faster & larger than other companies must be producing an overall superior product”. This assumption is based on the common marketing strategies that say, “Word of Mouth is the Best Advertisement” and “A Good Product Sells Itself”. If a company provides a GREAT product than naturally it will gain more exposure and ultimately grow larger and more successful than its competitors.

On July 29, 2013 our researchers utilized the research tools from WebHosting.info to determine the total number of clients that these top five hosts have in total. The results were as follows:

 

  1. Bluehost  – 1,895,702 
  2. Hostmonster – 702,076
  3. iPage – 567,293
  4. Justhost – 349,995
  5. Fatcow – 284,231

By an overwhelming margin we found Bluehost to have the largest client-base followed by Hostmonster, iPage, Justhost, and lastly by FatCow. Bluehost and Hostmonster are sister companies and we believe it is no accident that they rank the highest in total number of clients.

Price Comparison:

BestWebHostingGeek.com researchers had a in-depth discussion to determine if “Price Comparison” should be a factor when attempting to find the best host. Our team decided that out of the four categories price was actually the least important to determine “HOST QUALITY” but was still very significant if the true goal is to fully compare hosts.

price comparison

    1. iPage $1.99/mo. – Out of the five hosts iPage was the most affordable hosting option. There appears to be a special promotion running for limited time. 
    2. Justhost $2.95/mo. – Justhost came in as the second most affordable host; however, their rate was nearly one dollar more per month than iPage.
    3. Fatcow $3.15/mo. –  Slightly behind Justhost was FatCow who advertised a rate of $3.15 a month.
    4. Bluehost & Hostmonster $3.95/mo. – Bluehost and Hostmonster tied for 4th in the affordability category. Both of these hosts have 3.95 rates; however, you must click on one of our promo links to enable this discounted rate.

Sometimes individuals have a really low budget when starting a website and price plays the biggest role in choosing a host. However, with less than $2/month difference between all the hosts we put little weight on this category.

Amount of Search Traffic:

This is one metric that many ignore when determining the overall quality of a web hosting provider. Our team researched back several years to determine how often users searched for the brand name of each of our hosts on Google. (For example, “Bluehost”, “Hostmonster”, “iPage”, “Fatcow”, “Justhost”.)

An upward trend in search traffic could signify that the host is doing something right and growing while a significant downward trend may signal a host that is diminishing/not growing. The graph below should give a clear visual as to how each of our five hosts have grown throughout the years.

searchtraffic

(Click to enlarge)

 The results of this particular category were very interesting! Out of the five hosts only two had strong signals of groth, one host was steady, and two hosts were gradually losing momentum.

  1. Bluehost (GROWING) – The fastest growing host and also historical most successful host of the five was by far Bluehost. As a whole Bluehost has shown steady growth since 2005 and is currently at its peak signifying successful, long, and steady growth.
  2. iPage (GROWING) – Another host that has shown significant growth signs is iPage. Similar to Bluehost this host has continued to grow since day one and is currently near its all time peak.
  3. Fatcow (STEADY) – This host is not growing or dropping, from what we can see Fatcow has maintained pretty consistent traffic over the last five years.
  4. Justhost (DECLINING) – Justhost seemed to have peaked in 2010 and has since witnessed a gradual decline in exposure and traffic.
  5. Hostmonster (DECLINING) – The largest decline in traffic has been witnessed by Hostmonster. This host has been around for many years and grew steadily but in 2009 things started going downhill. Since this time Hostmonster has witnessed the largest decline in search traffic.

Based on this graph it is clear that Bluehost and iPage are the only two hosts out of the group that are showing significant signs of growth. This could be caused by a variety of factors including: Customer Satisfaction, Innovation, Word-of-Mouth, and Quality of Products.

Poll-of-Polls – Massive Study of User Reviews:

In any scientific study the larger the study sample the more accurate the results. Our team of researchers decided that utilizing and reading user reviews was by far the best way to determine the QUALITY of a host. A host that was working hard to innovate and provide great customer service would ultimately have more satisfied users than a host only focused on their bottom line.

In order to provide the most accurate results in this very important category we calculated and converted user-reviews from ten large hosting review sites and averaged the ratings to determine the most accurate score of satisfaction (10 = most satisfied, 1 = not satisfied).

averageuser

Overall average ratings for all five host were impressively high; however, there was a clear winner in this category.

  1. Bluehost – Users clearly scored Bluehost as their best host, the company’s average rating checked in at an impressive 9.37/10.
  2. iPage – The second highest average was achieved by iPage.com who also had an average rating over 9.
  3. Hostmonster – Hostmonster squeaked by Fatcow and had the third best user rating.
  4. Fatcow – The fourth highest user ranked host was Fatcow who achieved an average rank of 8.75/10.
  5. Justhost – In 5th place with the lower customer satisfaction rate was Justhost with 8.67/10.

 Summary & Analysis:

BestWebHostingGeek.com set out to compare web hosting providers and attempt to determine the overall “best web hosting” provider. Instead of simply comparing features and functions of each host we attempted to dive-in to deeper research to determine which host is truly the best at gaining & keeping satisfied users.

Our team analyzed four different categories: Total Number of Customers Hosted, Price Comparison, Amount of Search Traffic, and a Large Collection of User Reviews. In each of the categories we were able to determine which hosts were the best out of the group. To determine an overall winner (best host) we decided to assign a numeric score to the winner of each category (5 points for best, 4 for 2nd, and so on). After adding up the scores were able to determine two clear winners:

resultsBluehost – 17 Points

iPage – 16 Points

Hostmonster – 10 Points

Justhost – 9 Points

Fatcow – 9 Points [br] [br]

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Best Strategies to Increase Website Traffic! (Infographic)

Every website and/or business owner share a common goal of increasing traffic to their website. I’m not talking about [junk] traffic that can easily be achieved by paying some “traffic-sales” company. I am referring to QUALITY traffic.

We spent a LOT of time on this article trying to provide you with a huge list of strategies. Gladly we put our reputation on the line saying that if you utilize a combination of our suggested methods you will witness a HUGE growth in traffic.

BEFORE WE GET STARTED: It is important to understand that the internet is rapidly changing. If your goal is to achieve long-term/reliable increases of traffic to your website, you should pay close attention to this next VERY important piece of advice.

*Increasing traffic requires a special kind of mindset! To properly achieve this goal you must always have the mindset of growing and increasing your Brand. I would highly recommend staying away from any traffic schemes that do not promote your businesses’ brand in any way.

“The goal of all successful sites should be to drastically increase traffic for a long, reliable, and sustainable period of time. To achieve this you must dedicate all of your time, efforts, and resources towards building a quality and recognizable Brand. Having a memorable website name and logo plays an essential role in long-term Brand recognition.”
 – BestWebHostingGeek.com

The team at BestWebHostingGeek.com wanted to provide you with a quick & detailed visual outlining the different ways to increase traffic to your website. The infographic below will give you a full outline of what we believe to be the most effective strategies. Below the infographic we will touch on each method in greater detail.

(Infographic) Proven Strategies to Increase Traffic to Your Website: 

Increase Traffic to Your Website (Infographic)

There are essentially three different places that you should turn to if you wish to rapidly increase traffic to your site. First, you should focus on on-site steps that will help prepare your site for success. Next, you should turn two the remaining two off-site methods (free & paid). We have broken down each category further in order to provide you with a complete guide to achieving website growth.

Essential On-Page Strategies:

  1. Regularly Publish Content:[br]The most important thing you should be doing if you wish to increase your traffic is give others a reason to want to visit your site. You should be regularly writing content related to your niche (expertise). When you publish content on your site there are a few things that you should keep-in-mind. All of the content should be original, it should be well written (little to no errors), should be informative, and most importantly you should ask yourself if the content adds value to the internet. [br] [br]Every successful website should have a blog and be actively publishing on it. Research clearly shows a link between actively blogging and traffic increases to websites. We’ve outlined the simple steps to creating a blog in a previous article. Take the time to publish only QUALITY content. I would rather publish one well researched article than five low quality ones. [br] [br]
  2. Optimize Website For Search Engines: [br]In order to optimize your website for search engines it is important to understand exactly what they want and don’t want. Google is the largest search engine and their rules should be your primary focus.[br] [br]In order to give you a clear understanding as to how you should operate if you wish to receive traffic from Google, the company has written several documents called: Webmaster Guidelines.[br] [br]Reading Google’s guidelines is essential if your desire is to increase traffic through natural search; however, many website owners fail to even take the time to read this important document. Our research team decided to ask 50 random webmasters if they have ever read the document provided by Google. To our surprise only 26% of those interviewed claim to have read the entire set of guidelines.[br] [br]There are a few easy steps that you can focus on immediately to optimize your website. First, you should use accurate and descriptive Titles to describe your pages and content. NEVER use short or misleading titles. Next, when you add tags to posts please make sure the tags accurately describe the content in the post. The purpose of tags are to help users find content thus [like the Titles] should be very descriptive. Another great way to optimize your site is to make sure you have a clean permalink structure. For example, a website with the following structure “www.yoursite.com/post-about-you/” is much more clean than “www.yoursite.com/493/434234/ga3/post/about/23493.php”. If you are using a service like WordPress they make it extremely easy to adjust your permalinks. Lastly, you should take the time to make sure your website is fast. In the past Google has admitted that speed plays a role in their rankings and that website’s should be fast in order to improve user-experience. There are many way you can speed up your site and so far the best free tool that I have seen to help with this process is called, “GTMetrix“. [br] [br]
  3. Incorporate Social Tools: [br]I have always heard the saying, “The best advertisement is word-of-mouth”. As a website owner you should make it as easy as possible for your readers to share your site and content with others. Most popular search engines have tools & widgets that you can place on your site to allow users to share your content. The most popular among them all are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn buttons. [br] [br]We found some interesting research that showed just how much these social buttons can help a site gain traffic. ABCNews reported that after adding the Facebook like button their site’s traffic increased by 190%. Similar to ABCNews, Gawker reported a 200% increase, and most impressively SportingNews.com reported an astonishing 500% increase in traffic. [br] [br]Google has provided a few tools called, “Rich Snippets” that you can add to your website in order to improve the look of your search results. Authorship, Reviews, Music, and Movie Listings are just a few of the snippets you can add to spice up your search results. You can see a full listing of snippets on the Google Webmaster page. [br] [br]
  4. Start a Newsletter/Mailing List: [br]Recently we decided to start our own newsletter as a way to share our best and most popular content with our followers. If you are looking for a great way to keep visitors returning to your site we suggest signing up for a nice mailing service (like MailChimp) and allowing your visitors to register for your e-mail newsletter. Your newsletters should include the titles of your best content and a brief summary of the content. When users click to read more they will automatically be taken to your website.

Best “Free” Ways Increase Traffic:

  1. Utilize Social Media: [br] A large portion of a successful website’s traffic should come directly from free social media sites like: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. You should create a profile for your website on each of these sites and work to grow your network of followers on each site. There are a variety of ways to grow the number of followers on your pages. Our favorite strategies include: inviting friends & family, interact on others’ pages, and hosting contests to gain more followers. [br] [br] You should regularly be sharing content from your website on as many social media sites as possible. If you really want to see rapid traffic growth you should be focused on creating content that is “Shareable” that could potentially go viral. Videos, research, case-studies, infographics, and e-books all had a strong track record in being “shared” by others. [br]
  2. Gain Strong Links From External Sites: [br] The best links you could possibly gain are received naturally from authority sites in your niche. We do not recommend purchasing links as a method to improve rankings because that directly violates Google’s guidelines; however, some “NoFollow” advertisement link purchases can help drive targeted traffic to your site. The best method to gaining links to your site is to create content that is so good others want to share it. [br] [br]
  3. Guest Blog Writing: [br]Often popular sites in your niche will allow for “Guest Blogging”. If done properly this can benefit you and the other site. The perfect scenario of Guest Blogging allows for you to create well-written and informative content that will help drive traffic to the other site; however, in the content you may naturally reference your website a few times which will also increase your traffic as well. [br] [br]
  4. Participate in Online Forums & Communities: [br]Again, this strategy is great because it can benefit everyone if used properly. If you register at a forum in your niche and help others within your expertise you not only help them but it also gives you a chance to share your website/brand. Following the rules of the community you should gain permission to place your website’s link into your profile page & forum signature. I often find that these forums/communities are great mediums to share and ask for feedback regarding new content.  [br] [br]
  5. Utilize Free Press Release Services: [br]Press releases have long been a way to make an announcement of some sort and gain media exposure to your brand. There are many press release services on the web, some that cost, and a few that are free. If you do not have a huge budget but still looking for great results I highly suggest promoting your announcement through a service like PRLog.org, Newsvine.com, or PitchEngine.com. [br] [br]
  6. Sharing Quality Videos on YouTube: [br] Millions of people turn to YouTube each day and not only to watch something funny or listen to music. For example, “How-To” videos are extremely popular as it allows experts to demonstrate a skill or knowledge with someone needing information in that area. Utilizing free video creators on your computer and a simple web cam or video camera you can create your own videos regarding topics in your expertise. Once you publish this to YouTube you can reference your site/brand in the video as well as the description.

Best “Paid” Ways to Increase Traffic:

  1. Pay-Per-Click Networks: [br]If you have a budget and looking for a quick way to bring in targeted customers you may want to turn to Pay-Per-Click networks. When you use these networks you agree to pay a set fee for every click/visitor the network sends you. Google Adwords is by far the largest and most used pay-per-click network; however, there are several others out there to choose from including but not limited to: Clicksor, Yahoo Advertising Solutions, DigitalPoint, and BidVertiser. [br] [br]
  2. Banner Advertising: [br]Another great way to increase branding and traffic to your website is to purchase banner advertising on sites related to your niche. My favorite banner advertisement network is BuySellAds; however, there are a few other good ones out there including: Adroll.com and BuyAds.com. [br] [br]
  3. Sponsored Reviews: [br]Sponsored reviews are another great way to increase traffic to your website. You can use these services to promote your website and brand to other visitors on the web. In order to follow Google Guidelines make sure you have the writers clearly label their posts as a “sponsored post” and use “nofollow” links. Two sponsored review services that have been around a while include: SponsoredReviews.com and Reviewme.com.  [br] [br]
  4. Sponsored Social Media Advertising: [br]Want to have celebrities or other popular companies promote you to their followers? There are now a few services out there that allow you to purchase a “Sponsor Tweet” or “Sponsored Post”. This is a great way to get some high profile notoriety to your website. Using a service like SponsorTweets.com or IZEA.com will not only increase your traffic but also will promote your Brand which should always be your goal. [br] [br]
  5. Direct Social Media Advertising: [br]Another great medium for advertising your website is on social media sites. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have ways that you can buy advertisement on their network. If I am spending money for traffic I like to receive targeted visitors to my site and Facebook allows for VERY targeted advertising. [br] [br]
  6. Premium Press Release Services: [br] Previously I touched on how press release services can drive traffic to your site. There are free and paid services our there; however, if you are looking to get the most exposure to your announcement or news it is good to consider a premium press release service. The most widely known and best premium press release services are: PrWeb.com and BusinessWire.com.

Summary:

Driving quality traffic to your website should be a primary goal of all webmasters and business owners. When developing a long-term strategy to consistently increase website traffic you should focus on anything that promotes your brand as a whole. We encourage you to utilize the different methods outlined in this article if you want to see rapid growth in traffic to your site.

Currently we are working on a HUGE case study to show the effects these methods have on website traffic when combined. We will release our results in a few months; however, in the meanwhile if you enjoy this content please share it with others!

Also, the team at BestWebHostingGeek.com pay our bills from commissions earned from our site when someone signs up for web hosting. If you would like to help us out and also get a discount on hosting please consider purchasing or switching your web hosting provider to Bluehost. In our opinion Bluehost is the best web hosting provider in the world and everyday we put on reputation on the line promoting this great company. If you click on the banner below you will have a special $3.95 Bluehost promo rate enabled which will save you on your purchase and will also help us to continue offering our services and great content well into the future. Thanks for your help!!

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How to Use WordPress: Features and Functionalities (Infographic)

WordPress is the most powerful Content Management System (CMS) in the world. In fact, the popular platform is used not only to create blogs but also widely used to create a website. Over 100,000 new WordPress sites are created each day making it the most popular CMS platform ever made.

Out of all the popular content management systems available Wordpress overwhelmingly owns a majority of the market share. Take a look at these astonishing numbers that our researchers uncovered.

Popular Content Management Systems – Market Share:

    • WordPress ( 58%)
    • Joomla ( 10.2%)
    • Drupal (6.2%)
    • Blogger (3.5%)
    • Other (221.%)

These statistics (first reported by W3Techs) show that overwhelmingly WordPress is the website design platform of choice for millions across the web. Personally, I believe WordPress’s dominance can be closely correlated with how easy it is to use and how nice of sites can be produced. BestWebHostingGeek.com, is just one of many sites we own that are completely built using WordPress. In a previous article we showed readers how to easily install WordPress using Bluehost, to follow up we decided to release an infographic that explains the different features and functionalities of WordPress. Take a look.

How to Use Wordress (Infographic):

How to Use WordPress

How to Use WordPress – Features & Functionalities:

Our talented graphic design team put together this awesome infographic that gives an organized and clear visual breakdown of the features and functions of WordPress. The graphic can serve as a valuable resource to anyone new to WordPress.

Typically once you install WordPress on your hosting account you can log into your account/admin panel by visiting: “www.YourSiteName.com/wp-admin”. Once you login as an administrator you will see a variety of tabs on the left sidebar. These tabs give you complete control over your entire website or blog. I will discuss each tab in detail below so you can understand each function’s role.

  • Posts: The “Posts” tab is broken down into three sections: Add New, Categories, and Tags.[br][br]The “Add New” button allows you to create and publish new dynamic content to your website or blog. Often owners use “posts” to publish articles, rich content, news, promotions, etc.[br][br] The “Categories” button allows you to organize and structure your posts by their type. For example, if you have a website about cars you may wish to organize posts into categories by car brands. [br][br]The “Tags” section allows you to assign certain keywords to posts. The keywords should accurately describe the content within the post and is used to help readers search for content about a certain keyword.[br][br]
  • Media: The media tab allows you to view and edit media documents that can be embedded into your posts and/or pages. Currently there are four categories of accepted media including: Images, Documents, Audio, and Video.[br][br]
  • Links: The links area gives you complete control over the links that you wish to link to from your website. You can organize links into categories and add them into your site’s sidebar using widgets.[br][br]
  • Pages: Pages are very similar to posts in functionality; however, pages are used more for static pages. It is common for pages like the Homepage, About Us, Contact Us, etc. to be build as pages because the content is more static and rarely will be changed.[br][br]
  • Comments: From this category you can approve, edit, approve, disapprove and administer comments left on your blog by your visitors. Often times many of your comments will be left from spam-bots so be sure to review each comment before approving. You may also consider downloading a free comments filtering pluggin from the pluggin section.[br][br]
  • Appearance: The appearance section is perhaps one of the more important sections within WordPress and what sets it apart from other content management systems. With WordPress you can easily control the look and functionality of your site by utilizing themes and widgets. I will outline the different sub-categories within the appearance section below.[br][br]Themes: In my opinion one of the coolest features of WordPress is the ability to easily change the look and feel of your site INSTANTLY without having to change any of your content. Simply search for and install the WordPress theme of your choice.[br][br]Widgets: Widgets allow you to drag and drop a variety of cool features and functionalities into your website’s sidebar.[br][br]Menu: This section allows you to easily control the link navigational structure of your website.[br][br]Background: Want to change the background of your website? Simply upload your desired background image here.[br][br]Editor: Manually edit and update the PHP code for your website. This will give you 100% control over your website/blog’s appearance; however, I only recommend adjusting code if you consider yourself an advanced user of WordPress.[br][br]
  • Pluggins: There are literally thousands of WordPress pluggins available to you for free. From the Pluggins tab you can search for and install pluggins into your website. Pluggins are awesome because they allow you to incorporate advanced features and functionality into your website without having to manually code them.[br][br]
  • Users: The users section will display a complete list of all of your site’s registered members. You can add, edit, or delete members and assign certain permissions to each user. For example, you can make a specific user an administer, subscriber, guest blogger, etc.[br][br]
  • Tools: This tab includes a variety of tools that you can use for your website. Sometimes when you download a pluggin the settings for the pluggin can be control within the “tools” area or within the “settings” area.[br][br]
  • Settings: This is another VERY important tab and you should take the time to manually click on every button within this section and review each setting. You can manually control all of your website’s settings including but not limited to: Page Title, Description, Permissions, Permalink Structure, and much more. Often when you download a WordPress pluggin you will need to control its settings from this area.

How to Create a Post or Page on WordPress:

In order to get content on your blog or website it is important to add quality content over time. If you look at the bottom of the infographic (above) you will see a demonstration of the add post/page section and an outline of its features.

The first (top) box is where you will enter the title/name for your page or post. The name should directly and accurately describe the content in which the post with cover.

The second (large) box directly below the title box is where you will enter your website’s content. There are a variety of tools and buttons that you can use to control the look and feel of your content. The functionality is actually very similar to most word processors; therefore, very easy to use.

On the right sidebar you have the ability to select/add categories for the specific post. Again, these categories are important because they allow you to organize your website’s content.

Directly below the categories section you will find the “Tags” section. In this area you will type words and phases that describe the content on your page or post. These words will help users locate articles about a specific topic later on.

Finally, on the top of the right sidebar you will see a button that says, “Publish”. After you finish typing your page or post content simply hit this publish button and it will automatically add the content to your website for users to read.

Summary:

WordPress is the most powerful and most used content management system in the world. The layout of the admin area makes it extremely easy to customize your site’s look and content. We hope this article and infographic will serve as a great reference to you while you are learning how to use WordPress.

If you have not yet purchased web hosting or installed WordPress, we highly recommend Bluehost! Bluehost makes it extremely easy to install WordPress and when you click on our exclusive promo link you will receive a special $3.95/month promo discount on hosting. Simply click on the advertisement banner below to enable the discount.

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How to Rank Well in Google (Infographic)

How to rank well in Google

The Google Penguin 2.0 update was released on or around March 22, 2013 and since this date many webmasters have really felt the sting of lost rankings in Google. It is now common to read articles with a title similar to, “Is SEO Dead?”. It is understandable that individuals are frustrated, concerned, or upset about ranking losses, after all, how well you rank in Google could potentially control your livelihood.

Personally, I do not think SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is dead at all; however, I do believe that the days of trying to cheat the system is over. For years website owners have been able to take low quality content, point a bunch of low quality links to that content, and suddenly achieve high rankings. Those days are over. In order to best optimize your website for Google the number one secret (and it really is not that big of a secret), is to follow the rules Google has provided us all in their Google Webmaster Guidelines.

It is always ironic to me that individuals will search hard for articles explaining how to improve rankings (like this one) before they will even take the time to read the Google Guidelines. I have seen some of my websites affected by Google’s Penguin and Panda Updates; however, instead of complaining I have started taking steps to correct the issue and make my website focused around my visitors. I can only hope in time I will be rewarded for following these rules.

Our distinguish research team have released a great infographic demonstrating some do’s and don’t if you want to rank well in Google. After the latest Penguin 2.0 update we wanted to provide you with some updated and relevant tips that could help you rank well in Google. Remember, achieving great rankings is a process that takes time, building a brand, etc. Do not grow impatient and give up, follow the rules exactly as outlined by Google and you will slowly start to see results.

How to Rank Well in Google (Infographic):

How to Rank Well in Google-01

Simple Rules to Follow to Improve Google Rankings:

  • Rule #1: Content is King. You have heard this many times but go ahead and let it sink in now. Sites that consistently produce quality and informative content will be rewarded in the long run. Content can include but not be limited to: Articles, Infographics, Videos, PDF files, Guides, etc.
  • Rule #2: Freshness. It is important to keep your website content “Fresh”. This can mean a couple of different things including: Regularly posting new quality content, Content should be relevant and up-to-date, and Content should be unique giving readers added value.
  • Rule #3: Unique Content. If someone else has already published the information you are about to publish what added value are you giving the internet? Google rewards those who give added value to everyone on the web.
  • Rule #4: Social Media. More-so now than ever social media plays a role in rankings. It is important to build a brand for your image and this requires a strong presence on sites like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Rule #5: Free of Technical Errors. A site with fewer technical errors can be crawled more easily by Google, users can have a better experience on your site, and the site will be faster. Therefore, making sure your website is w3 compliant is very important.

Google Panda Victims:

If you fell victim to one of the Google Panda updates there are a few possible reasons. The Panda updates historically have related closely with site’s content; however, who you link to from your website could potentially be considered under the “panda” update. I will outline just a few reasons you may have been hit by the Google Panda Update in the past.

  • Reason #1: Thin Content. Too many websites in the past had very generically written articles that had little to no real substance. Your content should be rich and full of quality content.
  • Reason #2: Duplicate Pages to Target Keywords. If you are in a niche and have found yourself writing separate articles solely focused around the main keywords in the niche, you most likely were hit by the Panda update.
  • Reason #3: High Ad Ratio. If your website is cluttered with ads or promotions than it is obvious it is not centered around providing a great experience for your readers. Therefore, you will see a penalty.
  • Reason #4: Empty Webpages. Having short or low value-added content is not acceptable anymore.
  • Reason #5: Purchased Links. You should never spam your website with purchased links. If you do sell an advertisement spot to another business be sure to label it with the rel=”nofollow” tag and clearly let your readers know it is paid advertisement.

7 Important Things to Know:

There are several things you should have learned after the latest Google updates. Old techniques for getting rankings will no longer work to improve SERPS. Remember these seven tips when you begin working to improve your rankings in Google.

  • Tip #1: Bad Links = Counterproductive. In previous years individuals swould go out and try to purchase links from low quality sites, this will no longer work. The perfect link is one that you achieve naturally when someone enjoys your content.
  • Tip #2: Hackers Get Revealed. Google has found a way to identify sites that are used to hack, phish, or deceive internet users. Please do everyone on the internet a favor and make decisions that are ethically and morally correct.
  • Tip #3: Niche Authorities Get Better Rankings. Sites that focus on a specific niche and become an authority brand in that niche tend to rank higher in Google. It is important to work on building your brand/image and become an expert in your niche and Google will reward you for your efforts.
  • Tip #4: No more cliffhanging. You may be confused what we mean by “Cliffhanging” so I will try to explain. In the past website owners would attempt to deceive users with article titles, false meta descriptions, etc. Users would then click to read an article and be sadly disappointed that the site had nothing to do with what they were researching. Google has found a way to catch this so it is important to be honest and keep everything relevant to the information on your site.
  • Tip #5: No More Clustering in Google Serps. In the past website owners could attempt to take over multiple top spots in Google Search results. With the latest updates you will see far fewer results from the same site in the results for a specific keyword.
  • Tip #6: Multiple Languages are Affected. It is not only sites from your country being affected by Google’s changes, the changes are global.
  • Tip #7: Guest Blogging Effectiveness. After the initial Panda and Penguin updates many site owners turned to guest blogging to gain links back to their site. Unfortunately, like many techniques people found a way to abuse the guest blogging system; therefore, the lastest update has taken away some of the effectiveness of guest blogging articles. Sponsored/Advertising links should clearly be marked with rel=”nofollow” as previously mentioned.

Summary:

Our researchers have spent a great deal of time working to not only tell you but also visually show you how to rank well in Google and how things have changed over the past few years. The most important tip I can give you though if you wish to improve your rankings in Google is actually pretty simple, read and follow the guidelines set forth by Google.

How to Setup a Website – Guide for Beginners (Video)

How to Setup a Website

Having a website and social media presence has become an absolute necessity in today’s day-in-age. Recently, our researchers put together an interesting infographic demonstrating the benefits of having a website.

The most common excuses for not having a website include:  Too Expensive, Too Complicated, Lack of Technical Abilities, etc. Although these are common beliefs it actually is quite easy and very affordable to start a website. There are many different ways to build a site and many different hosting providers; however, we wanted to create a guide for beginners that would take you step-by-step through the process.

If you follow our detailed guide you will be able to have a nice looking website online in a matter osf minute. The process of starting a website is actually quite similar to starting a blog; however, Bluehost offers a variety of free web design tools so today we will cover how to setup a site using Weebly. Time Magazine named Weebly one of the 50 Top websites on the internet and described the site builder as, a “website building tool for non-techies that offers a one-step process” for setting up a website.

(Video) Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Website – Beginners Guide

How to Setup a Website – Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Step 1:  There are several hosting providers that you can use when creating a website.  BestWebHostingGeek.com outlines and reviews several different web hosting providers.  Our team of experts consider these to be (in our opinion) the best web hosting providers on the web.
  • Step 2:  Although the choice of host is ultimately up to you, we highly recommend using Bluehost! We have partnered with this great web hosting provider and are able to offer you an exclusive discount as a result. To enable this $3.95/month promo rate simple click on our exclusive Bluehost partner link. (partner link)
  • Step 3:  We wanted to be able to show you and walk you step-by-step through the process to eliminate all possible confusions and used Bluehost in our guides. Should you wish to follow along, we highly suggest you sign up for Bluehost hosting. After clicking on the Bluehost partner link above you will be taken to their website. Click on the big “Sign Up Now” button to start that process.
  • Step 4:  Under “I Need a Domain Name” you are welcome to create your own unique website name. This name can be anything ranging from your business name or a new brand name (ex. SocialCoaster.com). As long as the domain is available you may choose any name you wish. After doing so you may continue by hitting the “Next” button.
  • Step 5:  Fill out all the required account and billing information. Bluehost.com is one of the largest and most reputable companies on the internet and secures your private information so you can rest assured your confidential information is safe and protected. Hit the “Next” button to continue.

    Tip:  No need to pay for the extra upgrades. The basic $3.95/month hosting plan will give you everything you need.  Hopefully this tip will save you a bit of $$.

  • Step 6:  After completing this easy registration process Bluehost will e-mail your account details to the e-mail address that you used while registering. Please remember/write down your username and password. We will use this information to login in future steps.
  • Step 7:  After receiving your account information, visit Bluehost.com and click on the “Control Panel Login” button in the upper right hand corner. Once you click on this button you will have the opportunity to enter your unique username and password and then hit “Login“.
  • Step 8:   You have now successfully logged into your hosting account and are very close to having your new website online. At the top you will see a button that says, “Hosting“, please click that button. Your control panel will now be displayed and you simply need to click on the button that says, “Weebly” to begin building a website
  • Step 9:  Weebly designed their website builder in a way that people with no technology experience can build a site in a matter of minutes. Simply follow the on screen directions and custom the site as you wish and your site will automatically be added.
  • Step 10:  Once you finish completing your website you can share it with friends, family, and/or customers. Your site will be viewable on the domain name that you sign up with.

    Tip:  Building a website is fun and there are always ways new things you can add to your site. I highly recommend you dive right into the process and build your first site. Overtime you can make changes and improve your site as you continue to learn.

Summary:

As you can see it actually is very easy to create a website. If you follow our guide step-by-step you will have your site up and running in a matter of minutes.  Should you have no desire to create your own website and want to hire a top-notch web designer, I always recommend LouderThanWordsDesign.com!  Heather is one of the best designers I know and if you let her know that Jonathan Burdon sent you, she may even give you a small discount 😉

Also, don’t forget about our exclusive Bluehost partner link. (partner link). Clicking on this link will enable a discounted rate and will save you during this process.

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How do Social Media and Blogging Affect the Way an Organization Handles Customer Feedback? (Full Research Paper)

In the lastest series of posts we have attempted to explain (using a great deal of research) why it is extremely important for businesses and individuals to have an online presence.  This may include but not be limited to:  Websites, Blogs, Facebook Page, Twitter Account, etc.

Our team of researchers came up with some interesting facts when researching for our article about the Benefits of Websites and Social Media Use for Businesses.   This interesting information discussed how websites give business owners greater control over customer feedback which is VITAL to maintain positive branding.

When looking at these facts I started flashing back to my college days when I wrote a research paper on How Social Media and Blogging Affect the Way an Organization Handles Customer Feedback.  I started digging around and I actually found the old paper.

This was written several years ago and there are a few gramatical and spelling errors throughout and I apologize for that; however, I decided to go ahead and post on here since this information is very informative and relavant to the content we have been discussing.

I believe any business owner struggling to see the importance of online marketing should read this paper.  It includes many real-life stories (both good and bad) about how organizations have been affected by Blogging and Social Media.

Click to Download Research Paper (.PDF)

Social Media / Blogging - Affect on Customer Feedback

Interested in having better control over your image/brand?  Creating a blog is the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to do this (as you can see in our research).   We recently wrote an article with a video that explained how you can create a blog in literally a matter of minutes.  We encourage you to check it out!

Benefits of Websites & Social Media for Businesses (Infographic)

Over the past decade things have really changed in the world of business! Almost every field of business has seen a rapid and drastic growth in competition. We no longer live in a society where large corporations completely control the market; in fact, society in general seems to be pushing back at these large organizations. The changing economic climate can 100% be associated with World-Wide-Web.

The internet has turned into a hub for consumers to research businesses, services, and products. No matter if you are from a large city or a small town, people use the internet to make purchase decisions. As a result, many small businesses are able to compete with larger businesses in specific niches when they master and take complete control over their online presence.

If you are a business owner and do not have a website or social media presence (no matter what field you are in) you are going to be left behind and perhaps even watch your business slowly fade profitably. Having a web presence is simply no longer an option; in fact, even having a mediocre web presence is no longer optional. You MUST take time and resources and develop a GREAT/INFORMATIVE website and take control over Social Media branding.

Our team of researchers searched to find the top excuses business owners gave for not having a website. Take a look at some of the results they came up with:

  • Business Currently Does Not Need One (41%)
  • Too Costly (19%)
  • Lack of Time (16%)
  • Other (10%)
  • Too Complex (9%)
  • Business Will Never Need One (4%)
  • Not Sure (1%)

When I looked at the results of this study I was seriously astonished. For the most part business owners are very smart individuals but too many fall victim of their own success and believe that adaptation is no longer needed. Anyone who takes the time to research will see that businesses without a web presence perform drastically lower than their competitors with a strong web presence.

I understand that many individuals believe that it is costly, takes a long time, or even too complex to create a website but honestly these misconceptions could not be further from the truth. In fact, with increased technology individuals with little to no technology experience can create a website or create a blog. And the cost of having a website or blog is actually extremely low, our partner web hosting company Bluehost offers web hosting for as low as $3.95 a month when you use our exclusive Bluehost Promo Link.  (AFF).

The benefits of having a website and a social media presence are endless! Take a moment to examine this infographic and research our team developed to give you a visual on how important the web is for your business.

(Infographic) - Advantages of Websites & Social Media for Businesses

Benefits of Social Media Presence:

Over the past 4-5 years Social Media as a whole has become essential to business marketing. Failure to develop a strong identity and brand on social media sites such as Facebook & Twitter can spell disaster for any business. Social Media sites are free to use and when used properly can provide some huge boosts to your sales and brand recognition.

Some other great benefits that businesses receive when they utilize social media sites include:

  1. Increased Brand Awareness
  2. Increased Traffic to Business Website
  3. Greater/More Favorable Perceptions
  4. Greater Ability to Monitor Business Conversions
  5. Ability to Better Target Marketing
  6. Better Understanding of Customer’s Perceptions of the Brand

85% of all internet users have Facebook. No other website in the world has ever or most likely will ever achieve this feat.  Facebook no doubt is the number one place that businesses can turn to for marketing. With the ability to market locally and/or globally Facebook has produced trillions of dollars of revenue for companies world-wide! Sadly, there are still hundreds of thousands of business owners missing out on this important revenue channel.

1 in every 5 Facebook users report that they have purchased a product solely based on a comment they have witnessed while on Facebook. This is astonishing and should be a major eye opener for all business owners out there. Our researchers also have found that 67% of twitter users report that they are more likely to purchase products from brands that they follow on the popular social networking site.

The last few years have been particularly interesting for business owners in a time of a struggling economy. A study by New Charter University shows that large populations of people world-wide actually make purchase decisions based on coupons and discounts that they see from businesses. Businesses have been able to capitalize on this trend; in fact, the most successful businesses have turned to Social Media to promote exclusive discounts and coupons. Our team of researchers found that 80% of individuals prefer getting and finding these great savings from brands on Social Media sites like Facebook.

Setting up a Facebook Page is extremely easy and marketing your page can actually be quite fun. Businesses that have their own private website and/or blog and use it in combination with Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter cash in on the biggest financial and branding gains!

Benefits of a Business Website:

Numerous times we have stressed the importance of having a business website; however, it is almost equally as important to have a nice looking and informative website or blog. Creating a website or blog is actually quite easy and can be completed for very little cash in a matter of minutes. We produced a few videos that show how you can easily setup your own blog and another video on how to setup a website! Utilizing these step-by-step guides will get you up and running in no time.

If you absolutely are set in your ways and have no desire to build your own site, you can always turn to a professional web designer to give your business website a cutting edge look! Even if you pay a couple thousand dollars on the high end site, I will personally guarantee you that your business will make 10-20x your investment into the website.

If you want to go this route and are looking for an amazing website design I suggest you turn to LouderThanWordsDesign. I am very close with the owner (Heather) and will stake my reputation on her work, you will not be disappointed. Just as you can tell the difference between a house built by a good contractor, you can tell the QUALITY difference when Heather builds a site or logo for you! Tell her Jonathan Burdon sent you and she might even cut you a small discount ;).

Our researchers came up with some of the top benefits of having a website:

  1. Cost Effective Advertising – creating a website has a few minor startup costs; however, once you get it up and running the cost to maintain it is VERY LOW. Thus resulting in one of the best and most cost effectives means of advertisement.
  2. Analysis of Customer Behavior – when you have your own website you can use popular free analytics tools to monitor customer behavior. This data can be used to improve marketing and customer relations.
  3. Round-The-Clock – Having a website allows you to communicate and advertise to your customers 24/7, even when you are asleep. For example, if someone’s air conditioner goes out at night they may research HVAC companies online that night to decide who to call the next morning.
  4. Customer Feedback – Several years ago in college I wrote a research paper on How Social Media and Blogging affect the way an organization handles customer feedback. Perhaps one of the biggest examples of a company underestimating the power of the internet and IGNORING customer feedback was United Airlines, when an upset customer had his guitar broken. Being able to monitor and control customer feedback regarding your business will help your maintain a positive brand image.
  5. Niche Markets –  Perhaps one of the most obvious and largest benefits of having a website is that it allows small and mid-sized businesses the opportunity to cater to the needs of niche markets. This not only is an advantage for the customer but also for the business! The cost is relatively low to start a website but the reward is very high!
  6. Business Profile – The internet gives small businesses a chance to create a brand for themselves and the potential to directly compete with large corporations for customers.

If you were to site down and ask 10 random individuals from your local community if they search and research businesses online before they make a purchase decision, I would venture to guess 7 out of 10 would say yes! Personally, I base many purchase decisions and decide who to hire solely on their online presence. It is simply the new trend! If you do not have a website or blog, it is time to get one!

Conclusion:

There are many advantages to having a website and a strong presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter! Despite what preconceived notions you may have had, creating a website/blog, is actually very easy and affordable.

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