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Your new website just went live. Congratulations. It’s a big step that goes towards growing your business. One thing, however, that is absolutely essential for you to know is that there is one more step needed before you can take your foot off the gas pedal.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” This means work that is consciously done in an effort to have your website show up in Google searches. Up to this point, Google and other search engines still have no idea that your website even exists. Even when they do start to take notice (which without any work done on your website, can take at least 3-9 months), it will pull up information based on their “best guess.” You do not want this. You want to be able to directly communicate with Google:
In the most basic of terms, there is too much work to do in order to get your website completed. You paid for a website design, and all focus must to go towards getting that completed, flawlessly. This includes things such as good layout design, photos, good navigation, mobile design, setting up your hosting, and taking your website live.
SEO on the other hand, is an entirely different line of work, one worthy of it’s own service, even in it’s most basic of forms.
The problem is, hearing something like this can come off as a cheap sales pitch. It’s not.
Below are a list of things that:
Here’s an analogy: Imagine you’re a motorcycle enthusiast. You just saved all your money to purchase one of the nicest bikes on the market. You then had it customized so that it stands out from others of it’s kind.
The problem is, you don’t have a license to drive a motorcycle. So your new bike just sits there in the garage, not appreciated or seen by anyone.
If your website doesn’t have the basics of search engine optimization, how will anyone find it, or even know it exists?
By default, your meta page titles will look something like this:
Page Topic | Name of Your Company
While this may seem just fine to the naked eye, there are so many ways to take advantage of this section to improve your search results.
Additionally, meta titles also display in your search results. See photo below.
It's been established many years ago by Google that they would use Meta Titles to figure out what your page is about. In fact, it's one of the first things they crawl through.
Most websites, by default, will use the name the page was given, and finally, the name of the website, as “default” text for your meta titles.
When a website designer is busy creating your website, or webpage, filling in a meta title on the backend is not on their priority list. A website designer has many other things they need to be focused on.
That is usually why this type of work is categorized as a different service. When optimizing your meta titles, an SEO expert does not have to worry about the website's design.
Meta titles present the perfect opportunity to put in important keywords that matter to your business. Knowing that this is one of the first areas that Google crawls through when landing on a website page, SEO experts take advantage of this by really communicating with Google exactly what we want them to understand.
By default, your meta description is left blank or in other words, not optimized. When this happens, Google takes the initiative. They will try to grab the first few they find on the page. This is never a good idea.
Meta descriptions help Google answer the question of what your page is about. Meta descriptions also display in each search result. (See image above).
For most website designers, it's not exactly easy to figure out where to put meta descriptions so that they display properly.
Even if they did, it's not a requirement when it comes to designing and building your website. It takes time and extra work to fill in the page's meta-data. A website designer also wouldn't know what keywords to focus on. That type of work requires research.
So most website designers leave it alone or leave it to an SEO expert.
As stated above, if this section is not filled out at all, Google will just use the first few words on the page. This is never a good idea, that is, to leave it up to Google. This is because the first few words on your web page could have nothing to do with the subject of the page.
This also gives you a great opportunity to use your meta description with good keywords and a great call to action in order to entice a searcher to click on your website.
Similar to a Newspaper Article
Imagine seeing a newspaper stand from a few feet away. You spot a newspaper on top of the stack, and it has a big bold title. So big, that you know instantly what the story's about. You look below it, and you see a smaller title. This title also indicates what the subject below it is about. It's the same thing with web pages. The only difference is that this is a Google ranking factor. These page headers help Google know what the topic is.
Additionally, these “titles” or “paragraph headers” need to be marked as such on the back end. If not, then they are just regular words, like the rest of the page.
To mark these paragraph headers for Google, one has to do so on the backend.
Below are some examples of what paragraph headers are and what they look like on the backend.
This goes on all the way to H6. H6 being the least important title on a page. It should be noted that an H1 paragraph header should only be used once per each page, and should have all the rest spread out a bit.
As mentioned above, Paragraph Headers help the reader understand what they are about to read. It's the title before a paragraph.
An SEO expert would use these titles as opportunities to speak to Google using good keywords that are relevant to the topic.
This is done because we now know that Google looks for Paragraph Headers in order to get a stronger idea of what the page is about.
When a website designer is creating a page, they will eventually come to the part where content is added to the page.
While titles are most likely added, a website designer is not preoccupied with what kind of Paragraph Header is being used for any given title.
Their main focus is to make the webpage look and feel clean and consistent.
It all begins with what's called “keyword research.” The research is needed in order to know what the focus is when it comes to optimizing the website.
These strong keywords are then cleverly weaved into the titles so that they not only make sense to the reader, but they also speak to Google.
These are things only an experienced SEO professional should handle.
Think of Rich Snippets as Another Tool in Your Arsenal
Over the last few years, you may have noticed a lot of changes in Google search results. You may have noticed that the search results do a lot more. Whenever you ask a question, you see more “like-minded” questions long with answers. You get suggestions on other ways of phrasing your question, along with answers. The answers are done with Rich Snippets, and your website could be hosting one of those answers.
Rich Snippets come in many other varieties as well, all to which is a win-win for Google, the website, and the searcher.
When Google throws you a bone, you go get it. In this case, they give you, the website owner an opportunity to make your website an authority in your industry.
The implementation of Rich Snippets is done by an SEO professional, and not a website designer. A lot of configurations must be created on the backend. These are things a website designer should not have to focus on.
As mentioned above, Rich Snippets come in many other forms. If your website does not have Rich Snippets, or they do have them but they are not set up properly, you are missing out on an opportunity that your competitor surely has taken advantage of.
You most likely offer some good services. These service pages on your website could use a boost with the help of internal hyperlinks. We do this by creating links on OTHER pages that point back to any given service page.
This tells Google that the page must be important if other pages are talking about them. It's not just about creating these links on other pages, but it's how you do it. It's a difficult process to explain. It's best left to an SEO professional.
Internal Hyperlinks matter to search engines because they send signals to Google that if there are other pages (within your website) pointing to it, then it must be pretty special, or worthwhile to read about.
Internal hyperlinks is an SEO tactic or strategy, that is made for the purpose of boosting your website rankings.
This action has nothing to do with having your website designed by a website designer.
As stated above, if this section is not filled out at all, Google will just use the first few words on the page. This is never a good idea, that is, to leave it up to Google. This is because the first few words on your web page could have nothing to do with the subject of the page.
This also gives you a great opportunity to use your meta description with good keywords and a great call to action in order to entice a searcher to click on your website.
Along with many tools Google offers for website owners, one in particular is vital if you want to have any sort of web presence in Google searches. It's called Google Search Console, and you would be doing yourself a favor having it set up for you.
Any website designer will tell you that creating a Google Search Console account for your business is the last thing on their mind. Their focus is to deliver for you a stunning website. It is not their job to worry about your website on Google searches.
For one, it's very difficult. Part of the process of creating your own account is that you have to “prove” that you are the owner of:
Proving this is not very easy for the average person. It requires tampering with what's known as the domain's DNS settings and adding a piece of code to it. That is one way of proving ownership.
Another way is to add a .html page to your server, and then having Google verify that you've done it correctly.
That's only half the fun. The other half comes in once you have already proven ownership. This is because there are a lot of other things that now need to be setup in order for Google to understand more about your website.
Setting up Google Analytics for your website is no simple task for the average person. Having it track things that matter to you requires the expertise of a Google Analytics expert, preferably one who has passed their certification exams.
Your average website design agency is not focused on monitoring the analytics or user-behavior of your website. This is an entirely separate subject and should be handled by an Analytics certified expert.
The average techie could probably help connect Google analytics to your website so that they start communicating with each other, but that would be as far as the road goes.
A certified Google Analytics expert can do so much more than just setting it up for you. They can ask you about your goals with the website, what kind of traffic you want to monitor, how to get alerts and notifications, and so much more.
As you can see, without these most basic of SEO implementations, your website may not stand a chance against your competitors. In fact, your website may not show up at all in searches.
If you are convinced that it's time to give your website some basic SEO, webstuffguy.com offers a convenient package where we can knock all of these out for you. It's called our SEO One-time Setup. Get in touch if you're interested.
You've completed the website-build phase and your website is now live. That has to be a great feeling. At this point, you can do things such as:
Normally, that would seem like plenty of things that you were unable to do beforehand. This is one of the reasons why having a website for your business is so essential.
There are other things to consider. Some could be categorized as “must haves” while others are personal preferences. We have created a handy list of things to consider or check off, now that your website is live.
It's the difference of your URL appearing from this: “http://www.etc..” to “https://www.etc..” It also displays a small “🔒” icon next to your URL. This is a symbol of “secure and safe.” This is what people want to be assured of when visiting anyone's website, especially if they are making a purchase, filling out a contact form, or any other sort of communication with the company.
Meaning that Google has openly announced that websites that are not secured with an SSL Certificate will unlikely be recommended by Google inside of Google searches.
To get an SSL Certificate, you have to sign into your hosting account. That is, wherever your website is hosted. This is not to be confused with where your “domain” is hosted. (although sometimes your domain and hosting are all under one roof, which is fine). Your hosting company should offer it.
Most hosting companies offer one for free for the first year, and usually comes packaged with a new hosting account. Some don't though. Either way, after the first year, you're looking at around $98 a year.
This should be left to a professional, if you want it done correctly. Many things can go wrong if not done correctly, such as having a “mixed content” error. This is when half of your site is protected, but half of it is not. If you need assistance in setting up your SSL Certificate, see our package here.
Inside of your hosting and/or your domain account, you will want to make sure you set your products to renew automatically every year. This will give you peace of mind, as you won't have to ever worry about your products expiring. This could lead to not only your website going down, but to losing your domain, which would make it available to the public.
It's also a good idea to set a reminder to update your credit card information on your account anytime your card is due to expire.
While you're inside of your account, go to your account settings, and just make sure you have the option enabled to receive important notifications regarding your account. With this option activated, you will receive PLENTY of warnings before something expires.
A lot of business owners are still using emails such as “Gmail” or “Hotmail” or “Yahoo” for their business email. An example of this would be: “email@example.com.” Where it could now be something like: “firstname.lastname@example.org.” See the difference?
It's just not a professional look and it could be the difference of you being able to charge more for your services. Sounds like a stretch, but it's true. This is because you appear more established and professional. Below are some reason why some business owners are not willing to let go of their personal emails in exchange for one ending in their own domain, followed by a solution.
I couldn't tell you how many times having a backup of my website saved my life, not to mention my time. There are so many things that could go wrong, so having a backup shouldn't even be an option. It should be mandatory. We tell you how to go about this below:
If your website were to go down, how would you ever know it? How bad would that be for business? More importantly, how unprofessional does it look when a client has to call you and tell you that your website is down.
I've seen cases where a website has been down for weeks, before the owner caught it. No lie. Another negative impact it makes is that Google will make sure to stop showing your website in search results. This is because they do not want to bring their searchers to websites that don't work. Below is an easy way to avoid all of this.
UptimeRobot is the easiest way to monitor your website for downtime. Registering is free. Simply create an account. Once logged in, enter your website and adjust the settings to make sure it knows how or where to notify you should your website go down. Here is the link.
Once you get an alert saying that your website is down, it's time to figure out why it's down. Contact your website designer or your hosting company to get it resolved.
If your contact forms weren't working correctly, how would you know? Funny things can happen to websites. Sometimes doing maintenance updates on your theme, on WordPress or on your plug-ins can cause conflict with your contact form plug-in. When this happens, your contact form may no longer be working properly.
Take the time to visit your website, and fill out a form. Be sure to check that you received it. If you haven't, be sure to contact your website designer so they can troubleshoot the issue.
Your website looks great and you are proud of it, but have you checked it on your mobile phone? Did you REALLY REALLY check it?
Most people are now finding your website via their mobile phones. Just because your website looks great from your laptop, it doesn't mean that the mobile experience is just as great. As website designers, we have to make sure that things “break down” properly once the screen size goes down. This is known as having a “responsive” website. Meaning, the website is responsive to any screen size.
Visit your mobile website and go page by page. Click on buttons, navigate to other pages, fill out forms, click on buttons. You may just discover that something is not working as it should. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Is it easy to get the information they are seeking? Are the words easy to read? Are the images fitting within the screen? All these things can have an impact on your customer's experience.
It's an everyday threat, and the weakest of websites fall prey to Malware. Malware does not discriminate, it has no idea who you are. It just goes from site to site hoping a website lets them in. Once the website is injected with Malware, you are unlikely to know right away.
Malware can create new pages on your website filled with spam, and you will never know it. Malware can cause things to break, and detecting or fixing it can become very difficult once the damage has been done.
For a yearly fee, your hosting company may offer a Malware protection plan. This plan offers a worry-free service, by monitoring for Malware, creating backups, and eliminating harmful files injected into your file folders.
Plug-ins such as Wordfence and Jetpack are great options to take care of your website. If you have reason to believe that your website is already infected, such plug-ins can scan your files for you and find them. The last thing you want is to have to deal with a virus in your website, believe me.
If you have a WordPress website, chances are that there are a number of plug-ins that were used to build the site. Plug-ins are great. They solve so many problems and can really enhance the website experience for your viewers. But plug-ins are updated by their creators regularly, which means in turn, you have to update them once the creator has made changes.
A lot of the updates that are given to WordPress users deal with site security. Since hackers are always finding ways to break into your website, developers have to find ways to prevent it. By not updating your plug-ins, you are leaving your website vulnerable to hackers and malware. The same goes for the theme/template used to build your website and for WordPress itself- all offer regular updates.
Your website designer may offer affordable monthly maintenance plans, where they can make sure your site is always updated, amongst other things.
A large misconception is that once your website goes live, Google (And other Search Engines such as Bing and Yahoo) will somehow magically discover it and decide to bring your website to their search results, making it easy to find your website. It doesn't work that way.
Many, many things have to be done just to get your foot in the door. There are so many things, that I will explain it all in another article. What's worse, a lot of website designers are not skilled in this area. Their main focus is on the design and layouts of your website. So you cannot leave this up to them.
Another misconception is that optimizing your website should go hand in hand with building the website. Wrong again. Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short) is a science all in itself. Therefore, it requires a lot of work that is completely unaffiliated with the website build.
As the saying goes, “What good is a website if no one can find it?”
After your website is completed, find yourself a reputable SEO agency or technician who has at least 5 years in the business. Make sure to ask them for examples of their work, and be sure to read their reviews.
Stay away from agencies who offer contracts only, as you do not want to be locked in with an agency who does not deliver.
Finally, be sure to understand what all is involved, how long it takes to work, and what the process is like. SEO is not an overnight service. There is no “instant gratification.” Your competitors took many years to establish themselves before they got to be number 1. You'll have to start where they did. If you have a reputable SEO agency on your side, you may get there faster than you think.
Learn more about our Search Engine Optimization Services.
Recently we had a business owner reach out to us because the number of phone calls they were used to receiving suddenly took a nose dive. It was something they were aware of, but it took them a long time to actually do something about it. Since they never set up analytic tracking on their website, they were unaware of the cause and blamed the lack of business on other things, such as their marketing and customer service.
They then decided to do a Google search for their business and to their horror, nothing showed up! For many years, they enjoyed good search rankings and perhaps took it a bit for granted. Now that their focus was on the subject, they were looking for answers and solutions.
We took on the case and began monitoring the website to find deficiencies. From the outside, everything seemed fine. The website was there, it was running and everything seemed to work.
We then began monitoring the site for a period of 10 days, checking for any kind of activity. By doing so, we discovered that the website would “blackout” every few hours or so, but very consistently. As an example, the website would crash (go offline). It would go down for about 15 minutes, then it would go back up again. After we pulled our reports, we were surprised to find out that the website would crash, and come back on, about 30 times a day!
This kind of problem is hard to detect, because at any given time, you can visit the website and see that it was working. But when you weren’t on the website, it would be easy to miss that the site would go offline, then back online, multiple times a day.
With so much disruption, it was no wonder that Google eventually caught on, and decided not to list the website into their search results. After all, Google only wants to show the best websites to their searchers. If a website is flawed, or is causing errors, they leave it up to you to fix it, but in the meantime, they will blacklist you until you figure it out.
We reached out to the website hosting company and found out that their servers were having problems which they thought they resolved, but apparently forgot about our client. After some time, they were able to resolve all the issues, and the site was no longer having disruptions.
If you are not monitoring your website, things like this can happen to you. Your website could be down for a few days, and you may not even know it’s happening. We were eventually able to get the website back to good ranking positions on Google searches, but a good lesson was learned.
There are tools out there that help monitor your website. But even if you discover that your website is down, you most likely wouldn’t know what to do about. At Webstuffguy, we can take over the burden of making sure your website is always running at 100%. We offer monthly maintenance packages that include online monitoring, as well as upkeeping your website with plug-in updates and much more.
Remember learning about the color wheel and ROYGBIV in elementary school?
Turns out that understanding primary and secondary colors, and the emotions each color evokes, can help you select the right colors for your website and brand. This is key when communicating with your Atlanta website design company. Let’s head back to art class to learn about the psychology of color.
Blue, yellow, and red are primary colors. Secondary colors, orange, purple, and green and created by combining primary colors. For example, green is created by combining yellow and blue. Adding more blue than yellow adjusts the shade and creates tertiary colors like teal.
Complementary colors are directly across from each on the color wheel. These opposites create the greatest contrast when used in conjunction to create brand logos, retail displays, or websites.
On the basic color wheel, a line is created to separate warm and cool colors. Green, blue and purple make up the cool side whole red, orange, and yellow represent the warm side. The theory is that color affects depth perception in our eyes and warm colors advance ahead as opposed to cool colors that recede.
Each color conjures a different feeling and emotion. For this reason, it is important to consider the impact of color when designing your website or brand.
In general, warm colors remind us of sun or fire. These colors are energizing, passionate, and reflect energy and enthusiasm.
Red: It should not be a surprise that red is associated with fire or danger. The color can also represent excitement, passion, and power. The truest of reds can be overwhelming when used as the foundational color for design. Red is best reserved for a dramatic accent color.
Orange: Similar to the changing of the leaves in fall, orange denotes movement and even creativity. The color orange reminds us of the fruit by the same name and therefore can be used to represent health and vitality. Orange is strong without being as overbearing as red.
Yellow: Channeling the warm of a sunny day, yellow represents happiness, light, and sunshine. Including yellow in your designs adds a bit of cheerfulness.
Cool colors remind us of refreshing water or serene relaxing feeling of grass between our toes. These colors tend to be more soothing and relaxed than warm colors. The inclusion of cool colors in your website can add a touch of professionalism.
Green: Combing the warm of yellow and coolness of blue, green provides stability and balance in design. This harmonizing color is often used for websites relating to nature or wealth.
Blue: Blue signifies calmness or responsibility, but the exact meaning can vary based on the shade. Dark navy blue is popular with corporate designs to represent strength. By contrast, light blues evoke calm and relaxation.
Purple: For centuries, deep purple has represented luxury and wealth. Inclusion of light purples, such as lilac, in your design adds a bit of romance.
Utilize neutrals in your website design to set the backdrop. From formal powerful black, to clean white, to wholesome brown, neutrals help to balance out your focal colors.
Be deliberate when selecting colors for your website or logo. What impression do you want to send to your target audience? Use the psychology of color to select your primary website colors.
If you need help selecting coordinating colors and shades, use the Coolors color scheme generator.
Combine the science of the mind with the art of color to design your perfect website.
As an Atlanta website design company who works hand in hand with many small business owners, we see first-hand the strain this virus pandemic has put on all of us. Small business owners right now have no choice but to lay-off employees and even close down businesses for an unforeseen amount of time. One client in particular, a bankruptcy attorney in Atlanta, has seen an influx of new cases and thinks it’s only going to worsen.
According to Chase, the average business holds cash reserves to cover only 27 days of expenses. If this is you, you already know that the clock is ticking and soon you will run out of money to pay your bills and mortgage.
The CARES act (an acronym for Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) is a stimulus package that can help small business owners going through financial hardships. The key here is to figure out which one you qualify best for:
EIDLs were created in the event of a natural disaster. The Coronavirus was recently declared a new type of disaster. Now businesses nationwide are eligible to apply for ‘Economic Injury Disaster Loans.’
Here are some quick notes on it:
To apply directly via the SBA go to www.SBA.gov/disaster. When applying, be sure to apply for Economic Injury for the Coronavirus rather than physical damage due to a disaster. You have to have been in business since January 21, 2020 to qualify. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus.
As of now, there is no guaranteed timeline as to how fast you’ll receive the money, so the best advice is to apply now.
Time and time again, I will have a concerned client forward me an email, and it always seems to be the same culprits. If you have several domains in your domain/hosting account, you have probably seen these yourself. I hope this article gets shared enough so that small business owners understand what this is and how to avoid them. We are going to walk you through it all. After each confusing message, we will translate it in highlighted text. Please share this article with your colleagues and friends who own domains.
This message is to inform you that your invoice no. 815082095 to be due on 2020-03-28 is SUSPENDED. In this first paragraph they are doing several things. First they invent an invoice number as if you already have an outstanding balance that is due, and about to be suspended somehow. They want you tho think that your domain (Since they mention it so many times, will expire and be available to the public. There is no such invoice so don’t worry.
Please ensure that you make payment AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid any TERMINATION of service to yourwebsite.com. Termination of what services, exactly? They are trying to make you think it’s about your domain. They are also making it sound as if you have an account with them that will be TERMINATED. There is a 100% chance that you have never done business with these con artists.
More scare tactics from a scam company. Here is ‘legally’ what they are telling you. That if you don’t pay this scam company, they will delete your information from their systems. 1st off, they won’t delete you, they will keep scaring you year after year. However, this isn’t how they make it sound. The idea is to have you think that your domain company (who they are trying to falsely perpetrate) will have no choice but to let your domain go and erase any of your information- so basically, your domain is free to anyone who wants it….if you don’t send them that check. Dirty scumbags.
https://domainwebstation.com/?n=yourwebsite.com&r=a&t=1585364304&p=v1- Here, they conveniently give you a link, personalized with your domain, to make a payment.
Disclaimer notice: We can not be held legally liable for any claims, damage or loss that you may incur because of the cancellation of yourwebsite.com. So this is the shameless part. Here we go again with the term, ‘cancellation.’ Nothing is getting cancelled, but the fact that they have all your information, and are trying to perpetrate themselves as your domain company could make it seem really scary. Scary enough to fork over a payment to the scam artists.
Any such damages may include but are not exclusively limited to: monetary losses, deleted data without backups, loss of position in search rankings, missed appointments, undelivered email and any other service, business or technical damages that you may incur. Gotta give them credit for their creativity of things that will happen if you don’t pay the scam artists.
For more information please refer section 19.a.3.f of our Terms of Service. As if it really existed (wink wink).
This is the final renewal message that we are required to communicate in regards to the expiration professionalofficesuitesllc.com. They say it’s a renewal message, although you never had a contract with them to begin with, so using this term is probably unlawful.
SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT: https://domainwebstation.com/?n=yourwebsite.com&r=a&t=1585364304&p=v1 Their fraudulent website seems pretty straight-forward, but you’ll notice there isn’t a whole lot of information about them. They do have an address on there but who knows if that’s real.
All online services will be restored automatically on professionalofficesuitesllc.com upon confirmation of payment. We thank you for your cooperation and continued business. In other words, services that never existed to begin with will be restored.
This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Your Company Name (http://yourwebsite.com)
Your domain is sitting in your actual account. That could be Godaddy, Bluehost, Host Gator, SiteGround, or any other legitimate domain company. If you’re not receiving an email from any of the above, then everything else is garbage and spam.
If you are not sure exactly where your domain account is, then you really should make a note of it, so you could avoid scams like this. In case you don’t remember, do a search in your inbox or ask your website design company, who helped you set everything up.
Once you do access your account, be sure to check your settings so that you will always receive important messages from them. Set your products to auto-renew every year. This way you never have to worry about your domain every expiring. Also be sure to check the expiration date of the credit card on file.
Make it a habit to sign into your domain account every once in a blue to make sure everything looks as it should.
Solution 1: Pay for Domain privacy in order to hide your personal info:
If you are receiving these fraud emails, it probably means that you declined the offer. Should you decide not to purchase the privacy add-on, you are choosing to expose all your information to opportunists, such as annoying web design companies who want to build you a website, or a graphic designer who wants to create your logo.
They now know your name, your domain, your phone number and maybe even your address. You will also expose yourself to scam artists who try to make you think that your domain will expire.
The easy solution is to pay the $10-$15 a year to privatize your personal information and do away with all the marketers and online scam artists.
Solution 2: Add Google ReCAPTCHA to your contact forms
When these companies cannot find access to your email, they resort to filling out a contact form on your website. So even if you do pay for domain privacy, you are not in the clear. To prevent spam bots from blowing up your contact forms, use Google reCAPTCHA. You’ll need a Gmail account to set one up.
Solution 3: If you’re still unsure, it’s best to contact your website designer. Personally speaking, we have been connecting domains, transferring domains, renewing domains for our clients, adding dns text records and much more. Therefore, we also usually know who you are, and who you’re not hosting with.
Ready to fight back and put these dirt bags in their place? Report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Here is a link to their page. Click here.
A long time ago, it was easy to manipulate a website so that it got to the top of Google searches. I hear it all the time, “Ish, our website used to be number 1 all over the state or even the country, and now we have plummeted.” Since then however, Google has changed it’s stance on what matters and what doesn’t. Websites that are using the same formula from years ago that have awarded them in the past, are now being left behind in the dust.
Google has now adopted a formula that makes total sense in my opinion, and essentially, it’s this: The more love you put towards your website, the more Google will take notice.
As someone who builds websites for a living and offers search engine optimization (SEO) services in Atlanta, I can attest that this is truly the case, because I have seen it for myself. I have clients who ask for a website and once it’s done, they never bother to update it. On the other hand, I have clients who are always sending me new material to add to their site. Which person are you?
Instead, do something that’s much easier– fall back in love with your old passion. You know what i’m talking about- your job, your profession, the business you run. Remember the early days when you discovered you were really good at that one thing, and you decided to leave your 9-5 to pursue your own business? And now years later, you’re running your own business doing what you love, but perhaps it has become a bit mundane. If this is you- then you’re not the only one who has taken notice- so has Google.
Google has learned to think the same way a person would think when they visit your website. The ultimate goal now has become- the longer we could keep a visitor on your website, the more Google will take notice.
The more content you cook up, the more you enhance your website and your visibility. Me personally, I am ALWAYS ALWAYS thinking of topics to add to my website. I keep my phone as a handy device for when an idea quickly surfaces. I grab my phone and make a note of it before the idea leaves my head. By the end of every month, I have 2-3 new topics to discuss that I think people will find useful.
Most of my ideas spring into mind when I’m in the middle of performing my job.
Think about a typical work day for you. How many clients do you talk to? How many prospects call you asking questions. After a while, do you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again? Bingo- you’ve got a good topic.
How about a funny experience that occurred while on the job? Would that make a good article topic? Of course it would, do you know why? Because that’s a better topic than no topic at all. It also demonstrates to your visitors that you’re human, and not this big corporation.
Keep adding to your website. Think of new sections to add. Compose an FAQ page. Talk about an experience you had. Talk about common misconceptions. Sound like a human being, because this is what draws people to you. Always be alert for new topics you could add to your website. The more you do all of the above, the longer people will stay on your website, and perhaps they will keep returning for more. In the end, Google will take notice of the engagement your website produces, and in 2021, that’s what it’ll be all about.
I see a lot of business owners making the same mistake. They purchase dozens of domains and then they forward all of them to their main website. As an Atlanta SEO company, this is the equivalent of scratching a chalkboard with your fingernails.
When you ask them why they are doing that and what they are trying to achieve, they usually respond by saying something like, “It’s probably good for SEO…..Isn’t it?”
Wrong answer: If you’re doing it because you have very keyword-friendly domains (such as ‘atlantawebsitedesign.com) and you think, by having them forward to your main website, it’s going to help your SEO, then I feel bad that you’ve spent so much money and time. You should have spoken with your Atlanta website design company first! More on this below.
Correct answer #1: “I purchase dozens of domains because they are just variations of my website’s main domain and I don’t want anyone else to have them.”
Correct answer #2: “I buy a lot of domains and I create landing pages or websites with original content for each of them.
Correct answer #3: “I buy and sell domains for a living. This is my business.”
The bottom line is no. So long as the domain is doing nothing but just forwarding, it’s considered completely obsolete to search engines. Forwarding your domain to a website does not give instant power to that domain. It’s nothing more than a “parked” domain that is being told to direct people to a different destination. So why would Google want to make these domains with “no home” relevant?
If someone does a Google search that matches word for word with the domain that you are forwarding, Google is not going to list your domain in a search result and then take the visitor somewhere else. How would that make Google look?
Also, think about it. If this did work, then everybody would be doing it. Google is too smart for that.
If you are forwarding a bunch of domains to your main website, let’s just say that you are muddying the waters and making it difficult for Google to understand who your true identity really is. You are essentially masking your website with the 20 domains that are forwarding to it. Let’s not confuse Google, okay?
The only time forwarding a domain to another website is a good idea is if you had an old website, and for one reason or another, it was time to shut it down. You can then funnel anyone who was aware of that website to your new website. Or, if Google had that website indexed, you can send that traffic to the new site or new business.
Well if you don’t want anyone else to have them, I suppose you could just hold on to them. You could try to sell them perhaps, but that’s a hairy business. Your only other option is to create websites for them, or maybe landing pages. Will they rank on Google searches? Only if you give them the same time, dedication, and love as your main website- or else, it won’t stand a chance against all of your competitors. Also, don’t forget to give it 100% original content. Perhaps you are starting to see all the work that you would inherit by doing it this way. That’s why Google will tell you that the best thing to do is to give your main website 100% of your focus.
It’s time that someone talks “normal” language when it comes to website hosting. Too many times we feel like we’re at the local mechanic getting are car fixed and having to take the mechanic’s word that “there is a problem with your vehicle.” We don’t know what they’re talking about, never heard of that part before, not sure if they are ripping us off or charging fairly, you get the point. We are here to talk to you like a human, so that you are aware of your options. We will also give you some great advice that will save you lots of money, because a lot of times you will be talked into buying a bunch of add-ons that you don’t really need.
Too many times we feel like we’re at the local mechanic getting are car fixed and having to take the mechanic’s word that “there is a problem with your vehicle.”
Founder of Webstuffguy.com
A topic we have to explain to owners of a new website. Your website needs a home. That home is a server. This special server talks to the internet via a unique DNS address. This is how your website is displayed anytime someone types in your domain. (We’ll discuss domains in another article) When your website designer builds you a website, it comes in the form of thousands of files. These files must sit in a “server” where it “hosts” your website files. These files speak a language that forms a beautiful website, but it cannot be seen on the world wide web if you do not have hosting.
If you want your website to display on the world wide web, then yes, you need hosting. Even the largest companies in the world cannot escape this truth. Every website you visit is paying for hosting, so it’s not just you. While some of this sounds confusing, your trusted website designer should be able to handle all of this for you. But just understand that your website NEEDS hosting period.
Along with the fact that every website needs hosting, there is another truth. And that is that you will pay YEARLY for your hosting if you want it stay live on the internet. There is not a one time fee for hosting. Most people or companies set their hosting to auto-renew every year just in case they forget to pay by accident and their website shuts down. Most hosting companies offer incentives to sign up with them so you may save money your first year of hosting. After the specials all go away, expect to pay anywhere from $115 to up to $300 a year in hosting- all depending on who you decide to go with and what matters to you. Keep reading.
If you do not decide to renew your hosting after a year of it being live, your hosting company will discontinue the service and cut off your website’s connection to the internet- meaning your site will go down. If this happened accidentally, then you have a reasonable amount of time to pay what you owe and get it connected again no problem. If you wait too long to renew it, you may lose all the files in that server and you will be blindsided with costs as you will not only have to pay for a new server, but your website designer (assuming they have a backup of your site) will have to re-upload all your files back to the server. You will surely have to pay them for that. So bottom line is- don’t ever let your hosting expire. Keep an updated credit card on your account every year to avoid your site going down. Also keep an updated email address on file as well, as most companies will give you several fair warnings well before your hosting expires.
This is a very important question, and an area where people make the most mistakes. It matters where you host your website. Our advice is that you go with a 3rd party hosting company, and avoid the hosting packages that many website design companies “throw in” as part of their packages. This is because any website design company that offers you hosting will give you the same server that any 3rd party hosting company will offer you, only they will jack up the price to make a profit on top of it. You are paying for the same thing.
Apart from the warning above, another negative is the following: When your website designer hosts your website, you are essentially tied at the hip for as long as your website exists. This means that if things don’t work out between the both of you, you still have to deal with them because YOUR Website is on THEIR servers. It’s sort of like an ugly divorce when kids are involved- you will always be in contact with your ex-spouse.
When building a website and the topic of hosting comes up, make sure to let your website designer know that you want the site hosted on your personal hosting account. Create an account with a Godaddy, Host Gator, Blue Host, or any of your favorite hosting companies and put a credit card on your account. Once that is done, give permission to your website designer to pick out the best hosting for you. Now you are keeping them honest- they have no dog in this fight. They will pick out the hosting you need and can’t worry about any commission they make on top of it. Also, when things no longer work out with your website designer, you can walk away from them freely knowing that your files are safe on YOUR hosting account. Be sure to change your passwords though and remove any permissions they have to access your account or hosting.
Let’s go over some of them here and give you a description followed by a recommendation:
Everyone has their own preference, and every website designer has already dealt with numerous companies and may be able to recommend a good one for you. The bottom line is make sure to do a little research. But here are some things to consider for those times when your website goes down unexpectedly.
We hope we helped you in making a choice of who will host your website. Stay tuned for more advice. Have a topic? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comment section below.