Danconia Media Blog
At Danconia Media, we spend a lot of time researching marketing and web design trends so we can always stay current. Most of what we encounter is written for industry professionals, not regular businesspeople. This blog is meant to help business owners and managers seeking marketing and design information free of jargon. If you'd like to recommend topics for us to cover, please shoot us an email.
When you're dealing with an outside firm for your web work, it's very important that you maintain ownership of your domain. If you plan to launch a website and don't yet have the domain, buy it on your own before contracting with a web development company. In a perfect world, this wouldn't be an issue, but contractual relationships can turn sour and not having control over your domain could seriously hinder your business's progress.
Purchasing your own domain name couldn't be much easier. There are a wide variety of sites – including GoDaddy, NameCheap, Network Solutions and Yahoo! Domains – where you can purchase the domains within minutes using your credit card. Pricing varies, but it's usually in the $10 range. You can purchase ownership for several years at a time or be charged a small amount annually. Domain ownership is not the same as hosting.
While the purchasing process is simple, finding a decent domain that's available can be quite frustrating. For some of our clients, we research domains and then recommend they buy them on their own so they can be sure they'll maintain control no matter what. If a firm has a problem with this approach, you really have to wonder whether it's wise to do business with them.
Today, very few businesses can get away with having a static site that never gets updated. If you want your website to generate revenue, rather than just look pretty, it's essential that yours is able to be easily updated. You can pay a firm by the hour or on retainer to do the updates for you, but the easier, and more economical, way to go about it is to invest in a content management system (CMS), which can be used by novices to add, modify and remove content.
Why is keeping your site updated so important?
If your site has seen a decrease it traffic in the past month, it may be because of a Google algorithm update that's been dubbed “Mayday" by the search community. The change, which took effect around the beginning of May, especially impacted large sites that get a sizable amount of their traffic from so-called long-tail queries. While some sites have been impacted minimally by the change, other webmasters have been reporting near-catastrophic drops in traffic.
Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team, says the tweak “changes how we assess which sites are the best match for long-tail queries.” The algorithm update went through a vetting process, according to Cutts, and it is not tied to the long-awaited infrastructure change known as “Caffeine.” At Search Engine Land, former Googler Vanessa Fox noted: “Before, pages that didn't have high quality signals might still rank well if they had high relevance signals. And perhaps now, those high relevance signals don't have as much weight in ranking if the page doesn't have the right quality signals.”
Even though business networking is increasingly going virtual, physical business cards are still very much important. As long as you're still meeting potential clients in person, they're worth taking seriously. You want your business card to stand out in the stack because of its design and paper quality so you're more likely to be remembered down the line. The more your business card stands out, the more likely you are to do the same.
When you're handing someone your business card, you're making an important first impression. The quality of your business card is a reflection of your professionalism. Homemade cards are never acceptable. They scream of amateurism. You might be the best at what you do, but to a new prospect there are only a few ways to judge: by your word and how you present yourself.
This week, Google began implementing a new, colorful layout that provides more options for searchers than before. Instead of typing a search query and going through pages and pages of results, you'll now have the option of slimming down your choices. As The Register points out, the change is an obvious attempt to stay competitive against Microsoft's Bing, which touts itself as a user-friendly alternative to Google.
The change has already taken effect for many Google users, though it is apparently not across the board yet. If your Google searches look the same as always, expect to see the new layout within the coming days. The sorting options that now appear – by news, images, videos, maps, shopping, books, blogs, updates, discussions, time frame – were previously available, but most users did not know about them.
Here are some ways you can use the new layout to make your searches more efficient: