Discover The Advantages Of Using Content Management Systems To Build Websites

Nowadays webmasters have different options for building websites. Among them, web creation software, Content Management Systems, HTML editors and plain text editors.

Content Management Systems (CMS) make sense for web developers, as well as for their customers. A CMS can free up much needed time for developers and save money for customers, simply by shifting routine content updating from the developer to the customer.

Perhaps the greatest advantage for customers is having the ability to decentralize web content maintenance. This is especially advantageous for large corporations and organizations. A content management system can offer the ability for customers to delegate roles throughout the organization, allowing the experts most qualified to write the content to actually update the web content themselves.

Another benefit content management systems provide customers and web developers is a mechanism for customers to make web updates without compromising the design layout and functionality of the site. Without a CMS, customers are often tempted to purchase web creation software solutions and have updates to their website done “in house”, often by non-technical staff. The results of this are often a broken web layout and a dysfunctional website.

A content management system eliminates this temptation while protecting the consistency of the branding, functionality, and design elements of the customer’s website. In turn, this alleviates the need for the developer to spend many countless hours fixing the customer’s misguided, however well-intentioned, website “redesigns”.

All this allows for customers to update their websites as quickly and as often as needed, keeping content fresh and relevant. This is a vitally important component to search engine optimization. Most CMS’s are also optimized to produce clean HTML code that is easily indexed by search engines, leading to a higher ranking in the various Internet search engines.

Another benefit provided by a content management system is that all content is stored in a database. This allows for content to be pulled into and formatted for any device, such as mobile devices and tablets. This flexibility permits its implementation on a wide variety of today’s digital mediums, as well as future technologies.

Content management systems allow customers to empower non-technical staff with the freedom and flexibility to update content when needed, eliminating the need to purchase expensive web creation software solutions and hiring in-house web developers. By turning over routine content editing to the customer, developers are able to devote more time to design and marketing. Customers save money that would normally be spent on website maintenance. These factors make a content management system a win-win for both web developers and customers.

Leverage Professional Expertise With Search Engine Marketing Companies

Managing and running a business website is never an easy task. Aside from the upfront website management tasks, it is also important to look into the search engine marketing aspect of your website. This will enable you to achieve organic ranking. This is when search engine marketing companies become a lifesaver for your business. They can perform a variety of services that will increase your business’ web visibility.

But first, you need to understand what a search engine marketing firm can do for you and how.

When To Hire An SEM Company?

The process of hiring outside help to handle the optimization side of your business website requires due diligence. After all, it is an investment of your money and resources. One of the most challenging aspects to address is deciding when to hire an SEO or SEM company.

Many experts believe that when it comes to hiring a search engine marketing firm, the sooner is better. You can expect more substantial results when you invest on optimizing your website from the very beginning, instead of incorporating it halfway through. It will also become more competitive with proper optimization from the get-go.

Another factor to use when determine when to hire an SEO company is the budget. Depending on the level of optimization required, the budget for it might also go up or down. Only you, the website owner, can decide though when is the best time to tap professional services for web visibility.

What To Look For

Finding the right firm to handle your search engine optimization and marketing is not a one-way street. There are several factors and procedures that you must consider. Thus, knowing what these factors are will make your job a lot easier when evaluating your choices.

Good Industry Presence and Reputation – You should begin with this particular qualification because even a qualified firm who lacks good reputation and reliable presence is not a good investment for you. It also reflects the principles of the business entity in general.

Methods Used – There are white and black hat SEO strategies that are used by business owners across the internet. However, you should stick to legitimate methods that produce organic results instead of spamming or other methods that might produce results but lack the integrity you need for your business.

Price Quotes – This is a practical factor to use when you evaluate a search engine marketing firm. You must therefore evaluate the size and scope of your SEM campaign to determine whether the price quoted by a firm is reasonable or too expensive.

Support – Search engine optimization and marketing is an ongoing process. Hence, it is important for a firm to establish relationship with their clients to ensure that they can be contacted on a regular basis or whenever assistance is required.

The final and most important rule before hiring search engine marketing companies is to learn about the SEO process yourself. Or else, you won’t be able to communicate to a firm what you aspire to achieve with your business and its SEM campaign. It will be like aiming at an invisible target.

The Mobile Impact on Social Shopping and ECommerce

It is undeniable that social shopping and mobile are two of the largest and fastest growing segments of eCommerce and digital engagement today. It only makes sense that the two would find a way to converge and leverage the strengths of one another. So far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg, but we anxiously anticipate what innovative developments are soon to be at our fingertips.

Their recent study surveyed 1,004 adults, with the majority falling between 35-44 years old with a nearly even split of men to women.

The survey found that 92% of users purchase products online at least once a month and that nearly 75% spend over $500 a year online. These figures indicate a strong rise in eCommerce over the last few years, but where does mobile come into the picture?

While the mobile commerce is still looking to define itself, the idea of purchasing products from a mobile device is becoming less foreign to smartphone users as the mobile web becomes heavily integrated into their everyday lives. In fact, Forrester predicts mobile commerce to grow to $31 Billion by 2016.

Currently consumers most frequently use their mobile devices for product research/reviews as well as interacting with in-store marketing such as QR codes. The overwhelming majority of mobile use relative to shopping in centered on competitive pricing through search and third party applications. Smartphone users love to use their phones to check prices on the go to quickly ensure they are getting the best deal. This could mean good news for your eCommerce store as the mobile industry continues to grow.

When asked about the ways consumers are using their mobile phones for researching products and businesses online, surveyors responded as follows. Roughly one third of consumers use their phones for checking sales & specials, store information (hours, locations, map, etc), product ratings and reviews, and price comparison through Amazon.com. 31% of consumers used their phone to browse online stores looking for products of interest while 24% did so with the intent of purchasing a product.

These figures tell us that currently the majority of mobile devices are being used by consumers to research a product or store rather than to make purchases. However, with 25% of consumers willing to purchase online we can definitely mark a major leap for mobile commerce. As the mobile web continues to develop and more stores expand their mobile presence, eTailers can expect to see a big rise in mobile visitors and sales.

Surveyors were also asked how they use their mobile phones for research while in a brick and mortar store. The results showed that the majority of consumers are using phones to access promotions, compare prices, read reviews, and interact with in-store marketing such as QR codes. This indicated the growing importance of social engagement on your website through customer reviews and interactive marketing.

Today’s shoppers are smarter than ever. They are knowledgeable about the products they want to buy and have the resources to ensure they get the best deal and the best service. In order to win the sale and the customer your business must be an integrated part of their online experience from start to finish. Social engagement has never been so important to eCommerce success, and the future shows no sign of that slowing down.

Ensure that your businesses is doing everything it can to connect with users by expanding your web presence, incorporating reviews into your site, leveraging promotions, and increasing social engagement through mobile and social selling on Facebook. It is important for consumers to see your products/services and from a variety of channels and to connect with them through reviews before they are fully comfortable making a purchase. This is where the value in a social and mobile presence for your business lies.

Visit our blog to read last month’s article about a Social Shopping Study on eCommerce, Social Media, and Customer Reviews from the e-tailing group.

Social Media for Small Business – How to Get Started

When it comes to owning a small business and having less than 20 employees, we often put marketing on the back burner. When it comes to Social Media Marketing we definitely do not have the time. But, should we make the time? Businesses have found (both small and large) that social media marketing is something that everyone should be paying attention to. This gives you a direct line to your clients and customers. More then 50% of the population will have a profile on a social network. More and more of our customers and clients are coming to us through digital means. Posting on a regular basis to social media sites and updating your blog holds great value to business and even greater value to small business. Informing clients and customers about sales, specials, and other promotions helps to promote customer loyalty. It also gives a cool new way for the best marketing tool there is to bolster your business (Word of Mouth Marketing). Customers can easily share your information with friends and followers giving you a direct line to new prospects.

So, how much time is enough? Well that really depends on you. Many experts say that you should devote five to ten hours a week to social media marketing. I say, if you need to, start off slow. Devote at least two hours a week to posting on social media sites and/or updating your blog. You can post information that you have found on other websites that you think will be helpful to your customers on Facebook or Twitter even if you don’t have an article or something else to post yourself. Once you start, you will get the hang of it. You do not have to have complete articles for each post. You can even post a favorite quote or an answer to a question that you recently received from a customer. This creates a dialogue between you and your customers. This also shows how involved you are with your customers and that you are dedicated to making sure that they receive the level of service they deserve.

Social media will not be immediately beneficial for everyone. It takes time and dedication to see a result from using social media as a marketing tool for most. It really depends on the services or products that your company offers. Do not use social media to Sell Sell Sell! It should be used to inform and keep in contact with your customers and prospects. You will find that an open dialogue will go a long way with future sales and customer loyalty.

What Should Your Email Autoresponder Say To Your Subscribers?

If you want to build a following or even make sales and get traffic online, you need to build an email list that it’s simply unavoidable. So you create a landing page, also called an opt-in page or a squeeze page where someone can come to your site and fill in their name and email address to get something for free, and now they have opted in to your email list and can receive emails from you unless they have decided they want to unsubscribe.

So, you’ve done half of the work. You’ve created a landing page, you send people to it through backlinks, through articles, forums and other forms of traffic and now you need a way to talk to these people and now you need something to say on a somewhat regular basis.

When you’re thinking about what blog post to send people to or what offers you want them to buy from or what affiliate links to click on, what should your emails really say? I want you to remember that there are three kinds of emails you sent. They are notifications, they are reminders and they are value.

You need to send very short emails. This makes it easier for people to read them but also makes it very easy for you to write them. If you think of sending emails as simple notifications then your job is much easier. Look at the emails that Facebook sends to its subscribers. They might send some news about the site but usually it’s just that someone has posted on your Facebook wall or added you as a friend. Likewise, Amazon.com sends emails and they will send a weekly update of what new products are available that you might like.

Think about what do you want to notify your subscribers about. Maybe you’re recommending a link and you want them to be aware of something that’s happening in your industry. Maybe you’re showing them a URL to your blog post because you’re notifying them that you made a new blog post or that you setup a new webpage and they should check it out right away.

The second type of email you can send is a reminder. This is even easier. You already sent them a link in an earlier email so you’re just making sure that they clicked on that link and saw what you had to say. Sometimes these are things that you notify them about change.

For example, you made a blog post, people looked at it and commented. Now you can send an email telling people that people left comments and that they should now join the discussion which is taking place there. If you sent a link to something to buy, you can deliver different reasons in different emails why they should click and buy right away.

The third type of email to send is an email that demonstrates some kind of value that teaches them something and this is as simple as taking your articles and putting them in your email follow-up sequence. You can put blog post, maybe abbreviated forms of blog post, lists or something that gives people really powerful advice, tips, rants or tutorials in the form of email.

I hope that helps you decide what to put in emails and what kind of emails to send on a regular basis to your email opt-in subscribers. Send notifications so that people know about something new, send reminders sending them back to links that you shared before and value where you might share some kind of content in that message and even have a link below that. So, send those three types of emails and let me know how it works out.

The Difference Between SEO and SEM

Are you interested in successfully marketing your website on the internet? Have you thought about how people find out about your website and where visitors might come from? You could put out an ad in a magazine with your website address or a more effective option might be paid online advertising.

Internet marketing is normally comprised of two categories. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). These are commonly confused terms in the website industry. Sometimes website owners think that only SEO is needed when in fact it is also important to use SEM techniques to ensure the success of a website.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the process of improving a website’s visibility by actually modifying the website itself. SEO is normally done by a website developer, copywriter or the website owner. An example of SEO would be using descriptive page titles on your website. Page titles help the directory pages determine what your content is about and direct properly direct people to your website.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) refers to the process of driving visitors to your website by using paid advertising on other websites. This involves paying a company such as Google or Bing to list your website at the top of their search results. You can list your website on Google for free, but the free methods will not guarantee you will appear at the top of searches. When you pay for online advertising you can normally use a Pay Per Click, or Pay Per Impressions pricing structure.

Some common online advertising systems available today are:

Google – AdWords
Microsoft Advertising – adCenter
LinkedIn
Facebook Ads
Other Website Advertising Networks

Some other useful things you can do to improve your website’s visibility online include regularly updating your website content, blogging, creating XML sitemap file, submitting your website to major searches, adding clear pages titles and adding keywords.

When you add an XML sitemap to your website it helps the search engines list what is on your website easily. Daily little programs called “bots” run from the search engine companies which come and visit your website. These bots sometimes need to be told what to do. Helping them classify and categorize content on your site can increase how available your website content becomes on the search engines.

Be aware that sometimes it can take months for search engines to completely index your site. It is also sometimes possible if you have a lot of content for the bots to overload your website resulting in poor website performance.

Internet Marketing Approaches And How They Help With Your Business Success

Internet marketing plays a vital role in the lives of so many people, most particularly those with online businesses. Advertising online is one of the cheapest ways to let the public know about your products and that you are a serious online seller as well, though there are still some who actually don’t understand what internet marketing is all about and there are still some who doesn’t know how to do internet marketing effectively. There are approaches that must be learned by individuals who want to take advantage of internet marketing, and here are some of those internet marketing approaches that they must be aware of.

The first thing that you should do is to properly design your ads online and make sure that they are meant for easy reading of the target audience. Your ads will speak on your behalf so you need to be able to express yourself to the public through the ads that you will post on your website. You should always keep in mind that internet marketing is one of the best types of advertising tools that you should use these days especially if you are not good in convincing the public about the products or the services that you have. Internet marketing can be very helpful and useful for you at the same time.

Another thing that you should know about internet marketing approach is email building. By simply building a list of your target audience, you will be able to get the sympathy or the attention of your target audiences. They may be your regular customers later on. Making a research first of important things that you need will also be helpful to equip you with all important information that you need to gather. Through the email lists that you have, you can send the information to group of people and this may be another internet marketing approach that you can use these days. It is so simple and easy as well.

If you are creative and you know you can get the attention of so many people through advertisement why don’t you use your creativity to make online ads? Ads can also be one way to express yourself and let others know what you have in mind. With ads you can also easily convey your messages to your clients and let be able to boost them to buy from you. A banner can also be another way to let others know that you are into something. You can post the banners that you have made to various websites today.

You can also make a blog or website of your own and post the banner there. You don’t have to spend any amount of money in this method because there are blogging sites and website domains that are free of charge. You can just take advantage of the internet and enjoy what is there that you can use. There are lots of tools that are available today when it comes to internet marketing approaches so there is nothing to worry when it comes to finding one that will work for your needs.

Code Igniter (PHP Framework)

Code igniter is a form of development application framework which can also be referred to as a toolkit for developers or individuals who construct websites using PHP. The purpose of function of using the code igniter is to make it possible for you to develop and complete projects in less time when compared to coming up with codes from scratch. This is achieved through the code igniter giving an excellent set of commands for frequently required tasks. It also provides a straightforward interface with consistent structures for easy access to these libraries. It is therefore clear that when using a code igniter you will be able to innovatively concentrate on your project by reducing the number of code required to accomplish a given task.

Code igniter would be most suitable if:

You are looking to create a framework with a tiny footprintYou require outstanding presentation of performanceI case you require extensive compatibility when dealing with regular hosting accounts which manage different PHP versions as well as configurationsYou need a specific framework that can function with almost zero configurationsYou are looking to create a framework which can function without the use of a command lineYou require a framework which will not limit you to working with specific coding rulesYou wish to do away and g on with your project without using any restrictive libraries such as PEARYou don’t wish to study a templating language( however, you can make learn and make use of a template parser if you so wish)You require comprehensible, systematic documentation

Similarities between code igniter and cakephp:

These two are examples of MVC and can be compared in regards to strengths and weaknesses. To begin with code igniter and cake php are very similar in how they deal with a number of things which would include PHP4 support. The mention of one of these web programming languages will definitely lead to the mention of the other. There similarity also comes in their attempt to construct MVC architecture since they both take apart the model from the controller and finally from the view which is what is seen by the viewer.

They are both known to make use of routing which involves taking a URL and mapping it to a certain task inside a controller. In regards to regular expressions support for routing, code igniter and cakephp are both enable to do carry out this function. Both of these programming languages support scaffolding which is best described as a computerized way of creating a view based on a specified model. Although this function is usually reserved for less complicated prototyping, code igniter goes a step forward by inputting a keyword in the URL which will assist in accessing the scaffolding. This however is optional since some people work on private projects not meant for the public, therefore making use of a keyword would simply be a bother and would be of no use.

Why to Choose Joomla Over Other CMS?

Joomla is an open source content management system which is very popular among the website developers for developing highly functional and secure websites. The popularity of Joomla is reflected by the fact that clients can easily hire dedicated PHP programmers from India who can work proficiently on Joomla to create simple as well as complex websites. Joomla means “all together” and this is clearly visible in the working and development functionality of this CMS. Most of the times clients and budding developers ask “why to choose Joomla over other CMS”. Well, my answer would be because it allows the developers to build websites quickly, with a wide range of features and at a comparatively lower price than most of the other CMS.

Let’s discuss in detail why developers choose Joomla over other CMS:
Joomla has one of the largest communities, consisting of supports and developers, which makes it even more popular in the development community as PHP programmers can always take the help from this massive community if they have any issues. None of the other content management systems have such a big following.
Joomla has a very wide and diversified feature set that’s allows the developers all over the world to create a highly functional and robust website without using extensions. The built in WYSIWYG editor is highly user friendly and provides a highly flexible development platform to the developers. The content layout and the extensions library enhance the ease of development using Joomla.
Joomla provides a strong set of more than 4000 plugins and extensions that provide endless functionalities and perfection to the websites developed using Joomla. The endless sources of communities provide a strong support and high-end templates for Joomla development. Joomla has more Templates than both WordPress and Drupal combined together.
WordPress is a great CMS. Very easy to use and operate. But when it comes to developing complex websites then nothing compares with Joomla. WordPress must be used only for blogs and informational websites. Achieving much functionality with WordPress is time consuming, costly and mostly does not ends well.
Drupal is a serious contender of Joomla but by installing a single free extension, K2, a CCK (content construction kit), all the flaws of Joomla are removed and it towers high above Drupal. Drupal’s admin functionality is painful to operate and the frontend, backend distinction very unclear and confusing. Joomla is very clear and user friendly in all these criteria’s.
The most important and significant reason to choose Joomla would be the availability of resources. Although you can find many developers for WordPress and Drupal but the huge number of dedicated PHP programmers in India who are more than willing to work on Joomla will surely change your mind. As the learning curve of Joomla is not very long and once you learn it you can go on experimenting on it forever. This has made it an instant hit and a sort of craze among the developers. This has produced so many skilled, talented and innovative PHP programmers in India that finding the one perfectly suitable for you is always easy.

As more and more clients are looking to Hire dedicated PHP programmers from India therefore it is required from the clients to know what they want from their dedicated PHP developers before they go looking for one. If it is a complex website or a website with wide features and functionalities then going for a dedicated PHP programmer who is also an expert in Joomla would be the best option for clients.

SEO Hosting Services

A great web hosting service today in the market is very difficult to find, therefore one must look at all the options in order to get the best service providers for their business requirements. The main reason a marketer uses this form of service is due to the fact that it is inexpensive, widely used and very effective. Hence most of the webmasters today can opt for this type of service to bring footfalls for their main website and get higher SERP on search engines as wells as sell their products.

What does this technique do for a webmaster in terms of SERP and PR, the following are a few points it can provide the webmaster if done correctly.

• Multiple Class C IPs, create a greater chance of a higher rankings for a SEO host on all search engines through SERP rankings.

• Class C IPs tend to create mini networks that in turn, work as a web for the main website by bringing the clients through them to it and also giving relevant information through blogs and informative articles, helping the clients get more out of their web search for information important to them.

• In expensive SEO hosting is wide spread in the market today and helps new and upcoming web hosts to get the best service package with all the required and add-on features; at costs that are acceptable and not exorbitant for new webmasters.

• A web site should have key word rich content which in turn helps a search engines’ crawlers to easily go through a web site, pick it easily and give it better SERP.

• Simple coding in HTML also boosts the websites’ chances to get, rankings higher than most of the competitors.

• Technical support provided by the SEO host should be 24/7; and should take up all types of queries and even cater to potential clients. This only gives the web hosting service a good reputation in terms of being webmaster friendly.

• The SEO hosting service should be cutting edge in terms of updating itself with the latest hardware and software. This would only keep the webmasters at the fore front of SEO hosting.

• And finally a SEO hosting service should have bandwidth at 90% on average through the term of the package paid for by the webmaster. This would only give the hosting service a reputation of being stable and trust worthy.

These are few things to remember when you as a webmaster decide on a SEO hosting service to give the best results and bring your business to new heights.