Archive for the ‘Small Business Website Advice’ Category

Case Study: A Professional Logo Makeover

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

As part of our website makeover for this client, we suggested a professional update and redesign for their logo.  The client agreed that their logo needed a fresh and modern makeover but was hesitant to make major changes because this logo was being used on business cards, truck decals, company shirts, etc.  We aimed to keep the overall structure the same and at the same time, create something more fresh with cleaner lines.  What we created was true to their original format / layout but we updated the graphics, font, and colors to give it a more polished, modern look.

How to add a Facebook Plugin to your website

Monday, February 4th, 2013

If you have a Facebook page setup for your business, make sure you have the Facebook plugin integrated on your website.  I often see websites with only a Facebook icon or a “Please find us on Facebook” graphic that links to their Facebook page, but that doesn’t allow someone to “Like” your business without having to leave your website.   You want to make it EASY for people to connect with your Facebook page – not have to take extra steps to do so.

Integrating the Facebook plugin is very easy and you can also customize how you want it to appear on your site.  The most basic widget (no faces, no stream, no header) would contain a thumbnail of your profile graphic, your business name, and the Like button.

To install, you would first go to your Facebook page and copy your entire Facebook URL.  You would do this by right clicking on your business name in one of your posts and copying the link.

Next, go to:  https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like-box/ and paste that URL in the first box.

Customize as you see fit and then click the button to “Get Code.”  You will need to be able to copy/paste the HTML code into your website.  Either send the code to your web developer or if you have a content management system that allows you to insert HTML code within the body, you can choose the IFRAME code and paste where you want it to appear.

By:  Beverly Calzada, Owner of eMerge Solutions, a Houston Web Design & SEO Company

Another client loses their domain name – how to avoid this disaster!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

I have had 2 clients in the past month run into a very unfortunate situation that has caused a complete shut-down of their website, email accounts, and virtually their online business. It’s a situation that could have been completely prevented but because of an innocent mistake, they lost complete functionality of their website and emails for more than a week.  Here’s what happened and what you can do to ensure this doesn’t happen to you:

These clients thought they were doing everything right.  They were keeping their web hosting account current for their website and emails and taking great care to keep their site updated for their site visitors.  But they neglected to keep their current contact information with their domain registrar for their domain.  Because their domain registrar’s had an outdated email address for them (both had purchased their domains many years ago), they weren’t receiving the alerts to let them know that their domain was about to expire.  So, one day – boom – everything crashed.  Their website showed a 404 error and their email accounts were no longer functioning.  Every email sent to them was bouncing and they called me in a total panic.  A quick WHOIS search quickly indicated the problem – their domain had expired and they were now going to have to contact their domain registrar and hope and pray no other person/business had been able to purchase their domain name.  (This can happen if the owner of the domain doesn’t contact the domain registrar within a certain time period after expiration to claim the domain.)  In both cases, it took many days to get the situation addressed and to get their domains back under their control. Needless to say, the business suffered countless hours of lost productivity as well as a major inconvenience in running their business.  Don’t let this happen to you!

Takeaway:  Contact your domain registrar TODAY and make sure they have all of your current contact information.  If you ever change your email address, make sure you always update with your registrar.

By:  Beverly Calzada, Owner of eMerge Solutions, a Houston Web Design & SEO Company

Should you respond to that reciprocal link request?

Monday, October 18th, 2010

We’ve all received those email requests, right?  The sender says they found your site and think that your site would be a good fit for a reciprocal link with their site.  Should you respond?  Our advice?  No.  Here’s why:

1.  Google views 1 to 1 reciprocal links with a very, very low importance.  This means that even if you create the links between your sites, it is not helping you from an SEO standpoint in any big way.  Google much prefers one-way inbound links to your site because that scenario is considered “neutral” and holds more weight with Google.

2.  Google is can actually penalize your website for participating in these linking schemes designed for the sole purpose of increasing your site’s ranking.  You should always ignore requests from web spammers who most likely will link your site in one of these flagged sites and that association could decrease your ranking.  Don’t take the chance.  It’s simply not worth the penalty of losing your ranking.

3.  Spend your time and resources creating a great site with great content.  That’s the best advice I can give you because if you do that correctly, then people will naturally link to your site over time and this will provide the greatest benefit to your site’s ranking.

Remember that the risks of cross-linking and link exchanging far outweigh the benefits.