Sunday, 18 December 2011

Six Simple Steps: *S*S*S*: How to make a successful online business website

How to make a successful business website? is a question most people wants answer for. When planning a online presence for your business you want to develop a website for audience with a simple and yet most fabulous design, with great navigation, with the best information and content you can provide to your visitors and your objective is to whether to sell something through your webpage literally or sell your visitors on an idea or concept.

I have written this six part tutorial to explain all the steps involve in setting up an online business website and provide tips on planning and creating a successful and winning web presence. There are six steps to start an online business venture and it obviously starts with a planning.

Proper planning and thoroughly examining every aspect of the project is always a crucial factor in the success of a business website. Whether you want to do it yourself and hire a team of professionals to develop a website for you, it is always good to be part of every step. This seven parts tutorial explains the key steps involve in starting an online business venture and how to make that a successful website.

1- How to make a Business Plan: Planning a successful website project, Making key decisions and Taking control over the project.

Sometimes developer and project managers ignore the fact that how important is the plan phase of a business website, Planning is the essential part of the development process of a successful online businesses.
Like every other business venture or organization planning is consider to be the first and most important step. Webmasters often got themselves trapped in things like what design to go with, what programming language they should use to maintain the database (asp, php etc.) and other operational demands. They forget the planning part which is as important as any thing else in the initial steps of the business.

Starting a website without a proper plan is like constructing a house with out a map or a blue print. You will not get the desired results and in the end it will be a big mess. For a webmaster or a project manager the planning process of a site starts from setting goals and choosing a web site topic.

Planning Your Website and Setting goals:
Setting goals is always an important part of planning process of any business. Most online ventures fail because of lack of planning and decision making. The process starts with asking yourself what is the reason for your website, whether it will be the face of your new business or it is just a way to share pictures with your friends and family.

When you are planning to start a website from scratch, starts with setting goals and timelines. It is always good to know what to do and who will do it from the very beginning. Planning process starts with sitting down with all the persons involve in the project and assigning tasks to participants according to their expertise.

There are three key factors for the initial plan phase of the website.

a - Defining users:

All your efforts and planning is to attract and impress the people to your website. Your main goal is to understand:
  • Your audience.
  • Men or women and what age group they belong.
  • They Education level.
  • They profession.
  • How often they use internet. Etc.
The customer defining criteria mentioned above might be different for every website. Some websites might put more emphasis on educational background of the users or some sites might go with the usability level of the customer, but it is always good to achieve understanding of your customers before starting your project, because you can easily guide your customer and answer their questions regarding your product or service.

b - Choosing topic and buying domain

Getting a right domain for your business website is a step toward your online success. Planning process starts with defining your customers and topic for your website. When you plan all these things, it is time to buy a domain name. During this process it is always good to do a little bit research and understand all the necessary components of choosing a domain. It represents your business and your name on World Wide Web, So must be chosen carefully. It is good to have your product or service name included in the domain. For example: It has the business name and also explains the service you provide.
c - Setting a Budget:
Setting a budget for your website project is important. It helps you to go through all the future expenses in advance and helps you spend your project money more effectively. Setting budget for an online website is not as hard as one might think but it is still the largest restriction you can put on a website. Sometime it stops you to put all the bells and whistles on your webpage. When you are setting budget for your online business you should work out everything, from hosting and domain fee to paying the working staff.

Planning your website is the most important step, so take deep breath, clear your thoughts and do some brain storming. It will help you to choose a website topic according to your customer’s choice and help you to buy the domain which represents you business accurately. Set your website budget and start with the next step of online website development.

2 - Content is King, Creating unique and original content for the website.

Common mistake made by developers and project managers is that they under estimate the power of content. Fresh, unique and original website content can attract and keep the audience more than a beautifully design layout. Web content should be search engine friendly with sufficient amount of targeted keywords, target your customers and describe your product or service in the best way possible.
Web is full of information now a day, so peoples wants quick, unique, interesting, easy to read and relevant content. Website material must be full of interesting facts and related details to keep the user on your page. Best way to write content is to put your self in your audience shoe and see if your content is convincing enough for your self to buy the service or product offered. There are lots of things you should consider while writing content for your website, few of these are as follow:

Keeping it Simple

Always keep your content simple. Use good grammar and avoid any spelling mistakes. Instead of using fancy and five syllable words try writing the material which is understandable to any one. Make it attractive with bullets, numbering and subtitles and always keep in mind people like lists. Short 400 - 500 words in tight and coherent information without any grammar or spelling mistake is best.


Titles must be catchy and informative and attract people to click on them. Instead of writing misleading words, use clear and to the point approaches. A best title should have multiple and descriptive keywords, and able to tell the audience what is the nature of your product or service.

Write Interesting Material that’s easy to scan

People never read a webpage word by word, they prefers to scan the information given on the pages. Creating a visual hierarchy by using bullets, numbering, colors and sizes with an appropriate font can really make it easy on the eyes. Always avoid hyped sales pitch instead try to be more appealing by using interesting facts and a little bit of humor. Be careful with the humor because sometime people might not get your sense of humor and get offended.

Avoid Plagiarism

The most important thing to consider while writing content for your web page is to avoid any plagiarism. Search engines never likes duplicated material so if you try to copy someone else's content there is a big chance that they will ban your website from the SERPs. Coping others web content is stealing someone hard work and it is an unethical practice, must be avoided at all cost.

Creating content is a process of writing interesting, unique, grammatically correct material without any spelling mistakes to attract audience to sell your product or a service. Sometimes it becomes difficult for project managers and developers to write contents, so it’s always good to hire a professional content writer or uses the services of the Freelance content writer. Writing web content is as same as writing in a newspaper, magazine or a book. It must have:

  • Good Title with descriptive Keywords
  • Correct use of grammar and no spelling mistakes
  • Interesting and amazing facts
  • Small paragraphs and lists with bullets and numbering to make it scan able
  • And always end it with a good summary.

3a - Project Development: Do it your self.

Project development phase starts with designing and creating a website architect. Some people like to do it themselves because they have resources, ability and required education for the task. Some prefer to go with the pro. DIY website design is a term used when a webmaster or the project development team starts creating their website on their own. Usually when a team of professional starts an online business venture they make sure they have a person who knows about the designing and the development of website. This versatility sometime help them with the budget and save lots of money and time, But it is only effective when you are qualified enough to do it yourself.

Website Builders:

It is good to decide it in the planning phase of a website project that whether you going to do it your self or you will be hiring a Pro. Sometime people go with Do it yourself website builder, which is available with lots of hosting services now days. These softwares are the next best thing when it comes to designing the basic website. They make it easier for person to get your website up and running with just few clicks, replacing some text and images with your own. Most of the time, these online builders are free to use or have a free trail and given as a bonus feature with a hosting service. The best thing about the website builders are the design libraries. They have template libraries with hundreds of pre made home page designs. You can use any design and include any feature from their library and save lots of time.

Content management system:

Content management system or we call them CMS is another example of a do it yourself or diy website designing. These are the softwares either available with your hosting service or you can just upload them to your website with the help of ftp. Content management system allows you to make changes to your website, add new features and create database without having to learn HTML, asp, php or any other programming language. They are easy to use and full featured systems which can be install and use with a very little technical skill. They improve site navigation and reduce the website maintenance cost and even if you don't have a budget to hire a pro you can still build a website with all the features and good design.

When you are setting up an online business sometime it is good to go with do it yourself website builders or CMS. It definitely saves you time and money and if you have the right qualification and knowledge about the website you can do the updates and changes in the future. Website is crucial for the success of an online business because they are the only way your potential customers will be able to reach you. A bad website with no architect, navigation and horrible design can drive customers away. So choosing a good website builder or content management system can really help you create a user friendly website and with right promotion your website will be a success.

3b - Project Development: How to hire a web professional for quality custom web design.

For a good quality custom website designing you always want to hire a pro. Professional web development for you online business can be a decision that put your website on the right track. When you are trying to do it yourself web designing you still need website design tutorials to know what you are doing and where you are going with it. Sometime learning a little bit about websites and trying to make a webpage can be very overwhelming, so it is time to go with the pro. Hiring professional web development staff can help you launch a beautiful design web page with a lot of features to attract audience toward your website.

When you need a website for your online business and have no idea what to do then hiring a pro will be the answer for you. Professional web designer can provide you with the beautiful and professional interface, search engine friendly site map and easy to navigate pages, in short a pro can create for you a user friendly website which you can promote successfully.

Professional web development process helps with cost management of the project and also provides some custom features which are difficult to get when using content management system or a website builder.  Usually cms have default features and you have to know the programming language to make any change and customize it according to your requirement. Pro web designer can handle this problem for you and change any current feature in the cms or add new ones to make your website user friendly and have all the bells and whistles.  

Although for some peoples it is hard to not able to have all the control over the things but at the same time when you hire a pro it take loads of your shoulders. You don’t have to draw diagrams and spend time in figuring out the layout and design of your home page, you just explain a pro what you want and when the project is completed you will get a quality website with a beautiful design.

A website is the most important thing for the online business. You are going to create an online brand with your website, so when you are choosing a website designer for your project keep these points in mind:

-         Web design experience
-         Professional Approach
-         Familiar with all the latest trends
-         You can contact the pro any time with your queries regarding the project
-         What programming language and what design and development tools they will be using because one, you want all the latest development tools to be used for your website. Second the page design must be according to latest trends. And third they must be able to write the code instead of using WYSIWYG software like front page and dreamweaver.
-         Programming language (asp, php) they use must be supported by your hosting service.
-         They have some good reviews from their previous clients.
-         Able to provide you with the working sample before starting the project.

Project Development is an important phase in the process of creating an online business. So if you want to hire a pro you have to take your time choosing the best designer for the job. A good professional will be able to design a user friendly interface and a website with all the features you need.

4 - Usability testing: Finalizing the Design which is Easy to navigate and user friendly

Whether you design it yourself and go with pro web designer its time to finalize your website and test its usability. Finished project must have all the features you desired and bells and whistle you planed for the website. It should have the Beautiful and a quality web design which is easy to navigate and user friendly.

The website has many forms of interaction. Navigation is an important example for that. Good navigation helps you browse your ways to desired pages with ease. To keep your visitors on the site it is good to have website navigation that keep them engaged. You can always have an option to have your website tested like any other software or game testing process.

Finalizing process for the website starts with gathering few independent peoples and let them view your website and browse the pages. In the end they give you their feedback, which will help you go through those pages once again and correct the mistake to make it more user friendly and create a positive experience for the visitors. We call it usability testing, a process to check and find out whether the users are using and interacting with your website as it was anticipated by the web designers.

You are not going to buy a shoe which does not fit in your foot right? A user is not going to be attracted to your website until it fits the requirements. Usability testing is the best way to discover how the visitors will perceive your website and whether they going to like it or not. Getting the desire audience for your online business website is critical for the success and usability testing helps you get your website to that point, from where you can attract users to visit your website and show interest in what you are offering.

It is a known fact that to get user attention, websitedesign must be easy to navigate and looks beautiful at the same time. Quality website always has these features and has a power to engage users. Usability testing is not a focus group or a process to validate your designing skills; instead it is used to find out which parts of your website are not easy to understand and what you can do to make it more users friendly.

5 – Website Promotion: Marketing and optimizing your website for search engines

When you complete the design and development of a website, test and finalized it now its time to start optimizing this website for the search engines. After the completion, promotion phase for your website starts which is equally important and crucial part of online business success. Search engine marketing helps to promote your online business and become a critical step in your online business process. Some people would call it an art of getting visitors for your website from different search engines.

Search engine marketing combine two techniques:
1-     Search engine Optimization
2-     Pay per Click

Search engine optimization is organic or a natural way to generate traffic from search engines for your website. Its is a process of making changes to your web site so that it will appear on top position in the search engines. There are few tips and tricks that help you create your seo strategy and get you to desire top position in the search engine result pages.

-         Check where you are standing. You should know your website current position on search engines and its competition.
-         Right amount of Keywords and a good description for your Meta tag.
-         Always choose the domain that contains word from you primary keyword phrase. Keep your domain name and urls user friendly and easy to read.
-         Good and sophisticated use of keywords in title, h1 tag and in the content.
-         Good navigation and internal linking within your website.
-         Always use original and quality content because “content is king”.
-         Sitemap is an important and always have one because it let search engine knows about each and every page of your website.
-         Always remember search engine spiders can’t read the images or flash movie So always use alt and title attributes for the images in HTML and try to avoid flash.
-         Social media
-         Link building

Pay per Click:

Sometime you want quick results and need a desire number of daily targeted visitors to your website, you will be purchasing sponsored links in the search engine. Using those sponsored links to generate target traffic toward your website is Pay per click or Pay per view. You pay search engines for every click or a view you get for your ad. Google adwords is a major pay per click system.
Main purpose for the search engine marketing is promotion of a website. With the help of SEM you use right keywords to get a best sponsored links, take your campaign to a shopping search engine or directory, get paid inclusion in the directories and optimized your page to get a top position in a search engine result page.

6 - Keep feeding your website with new contents

Creating an online business website is a difficult process. When you go through all the steps and work hard to get every thing done, it is time to launch the website. This journey doesn’t stop here. You have to keep the design and website architect up to date. And keep feeding your website with the new contents.
Fresh content for the website means you are giving new material to your users and the search engines. So whether you are updating new contents, doing seo work or making changes to your design, it is good to be continuously working on the website and looking the ways for improvement.

Development phase is sure a hard process and is over but still website maintenance is important to keep your online business running. You have to make sure site data including the user information, is secure and if there is an error or a bug in the system you remove instantly.

Keep updating the existing links and content of the website and always add new links and contents on the website. Never stop your search engine marketing, because it is important to keep it going. A continuous work on SEO guaranteed you to get more and more visitors and keep working on other techniques of search engine marketing as well because it is good to continuously promoting your website through SEO and ads.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Bloggers Sitemap: is it Possible to create xml sitemap for the blogspot blog.

Sitemaps are comprehensive and good way of displaying all the post on your blog and important for promoting your website. When you are doing search engine optimization of a website you have to submit your website sitemap to different search engine because it will help them crawl all the pages on your website.Word press gives their users option to create automatic sitemap but there is no such option available at blogger. So you won’t be able to create an xml sitemap for the blogspot blogs.

rss feed can be used as sitemap for blogger. All you have to do it is to get your rss feed url which will be like the following:

But the url above will not have all the entries from your blog, just few new ones. So to add all the entries to the rss.xml sitemap you have to add parameters and your new url will look like that:

And this will include 500 blog post feed entries to your xml sitemap. 
Please replace “coolvirgocool” with your blog name in the above urls.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Find out the unexplained mystery of link building strategies and how to get quality back links

To improve rankings in the search engine result pages also known as SERP, one should know how to get the quality backlinks. According to seo experts, Backlinks or link building strategies are the techniques when one website is linked on another website with relevant content. This is totally different from the link farming technique of black hat seo, which is unethical. In the Link farming group of sites is hyper linked together even they don't have relevant content.  Back link generation is a popular practice in a seo world to increase the page ranking of a website. Search engine specially google puts a huge emphasis on link building and always gives high page ranks to the site with quality backlinks from the site with relevant content. Therefore, it does play an important role in getting high page rank and top  search engine placement.

Why does Search engine love the page links to high PR sites? Answer is simple, if content is appealing to people, they will like it and obviously interested webmasters will be starting to link it. When sites with high page rank link a page, search engine believes its authenticity and takes it as a useful site for the user. To determine the all over popularity of a website and to check if the content is good and relevant, Google and all other search engines depend on the back links. It makes sense because if hundreds of websites link a website, then it must be doing something right. So the main thing is that in order to get a high page ranking and place on top in a search engine one must be validated by the others, and back links provides that validation.

Link building consumes lots of time, and it is hard work. It is very frustrating and confusing sometimes, but still it is a high-ranking trump card and cannot be ignored during search engine optimization of a website. Back link generation should be considered as a marathon, not the sprint. It is good to get 100 quality inbound links in three months rather than getting 1000 in just a week. There is no shortcut, and it cannot be done over night. Patience and handwork are the main requirement for generating quality back links but when a website with great content gets high page rank links, it pays a huge dividend.

We can get quality back links by?

a - Submitting Articles:  Article Submission is the process of writing articles relevant to the website and submitting then to popular article's directories. It improves search engine ranking by increasing the quality of back links and page rank. Writing article portrays the expertise and knowledge of the site owner in that particular field. It should accurate and precise with unique and original information about the topic. Best article writing practices are to start with an attractive and good title line, include subheading, bullets and numbering to make it more presentable and readable for the readers.

b - Submitting to Directories: Web or a link directory links other websites in different categories and subcategories. Directories allow site owners or their representative to submit their urls along with descriptions, and their editors review the submissions. It is considered being basic step and the best way of getting quality back links. Directories serve as a direction for the search engine spiders and more frequently these spiders see a link, more they will get to that site.

c - Commenting on the blogs: There is always an area under the blog page where the visitor can post comments. They make blogs more interactive and serve as lifeblood. Bloggers always encourage their readers to join in the discussion and leave their comments regarding the topic. Sometimes readers leave related links along with their comments. These links usually traces back to that reader own blogs and thus making blog comment a great resource for the visitors to find new blogs on the same topic.

d - Social bookmarking: It is a method of tagging favorite websites and saving them online on the web to share it with the friends. Visitors can also view the bookmarks made by other users based on popularity and inclusion date, to get the relevant and recent websites. These social bookmarking sites are a great source for the link juice. Backlinks generated by these sites are very powerful with an unmatched indexing ability.

f - Edu and Gov sites: Edu means education sites, and Gov means government sites. Getting links from these websites can considerably improve search engine ranking. Google gives great value to the links coming from these sites. But ordinary .edu and .gov won’t help the link building process. They should be authority websites.

Link building is never simple, and it can be very difficult to process to create back links, especially for the newbies. Above mention, techniques can serve as agreat help to start a link building process, these are few other tricks that can be agreat help like posting on wikis, press releases and forums profiles links. One thing that must be mention here, is forum profile links are totally different from blasting your urls on any forum. Forum profile's links can only be found in the profiles of active participants on that forum.

There are no shortcuts and easy ways to get the quality backlinks. Good link building strategies always start with hard work and then getting good content for the site because quality of the content always a key factor to attract website's owners to link other sites and in the end generated backlinks must be from high Pr websites because quality is always better than quantity.