Web Hosting Hub Blog

Featured: Quality Hosting at a Great Price & Future Improvements

Web Hosting Hub has continuously delivered quality hosting at a price point that keeps start-up companies and small businesses in mind. Recently, HostingAdvice received the latest updates from our Brand Manager, Tim Evans, about the bright future we are building for our customers at Web Hosting Hub. Quality Hosting Services and Support As more and more small hosting companies have been eaten up by larger organizations, the quality of service and support has seen a downfall. However, Web Hosting Hub remains a web hosting company that you can count on for optimal website performance and a support team that will guide you to success. Our staff is always up to speed on the latest technologies so that we can ensure a great experience – whether you are just getting started, or already one of our loyal customers. Loyalty Builds Better Business Tim Evans honed in on the key to our success, which lies in those loyal customers: “The only way to keep our price points low is to have successful customers that stay with us year in, year out”. and we’re proud to say we’ve been able to do just that.  Our clients don’t just launch and let go of their sites; they are constantly managing their businesses online and growing because our knowledgeable support team is there to help 24/7. A Bright Future for the Hub Family Web Hosting Hub is always looking for areas to improve on our hosting services. For example, to make things easier for our WordPress website owners, we offer a free website builder called BoldGrid. This empowers our customers to build their own sites with an intuitive interface – and helps to eliminate  the need to hire web designers, developers, or spend money on additional outside resources. Beyond this newly offered feature, we are updating our order process in the near future to improve user’s shopping experience.. Ultimately, our core goal is to simplify every step of the process of building the site of your dreams. Hosting Advice’s Full Story To learn more about how Web Hosting Hub is staying ahead of the curve and connect with our brand, check out what Hosting Advice had to say about our initiatives. The post Featured: Quality Hosting at a Great Price & Future Improvements appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

8 Easy SEO Best Practices for 2018

A new year is right around the corner and it is time to start thinking about how to improve your website and how your audience finds it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process you can apply in the creation of — or as ongoing maintenance to — your website. SEO affects your site’s online visibility in organic (unpaid) search results. To help you improve your website’s search optimization we put together these 8 Easy SEO Best Practices for 2018 that you can apply to your site today. 1. Clean Up Duplicates On a regular basis, search engines like Google or Yahoo, run a “crawl” across websites. During these crawls, they analyze content and keywords to determine how a page should rank in search results on the internet. Of these crawlers, often known as “spiders” or “robots,” Googlebot is the most active bot and the most popular search engine. For those reasons,  most SEO goals focus on improving results for Google. If not already familiar with search engine crawlers, you should check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Also, it never hurts to refresh yourself; the algorithm for site rankings changes often. Many of these crawlers take looking for duplicates very seriously. To the robots, at least, duplicate content looks like you purposefully copied material to increase your ranking. To find out if you have any duplicate titles, meta descriptions, header tags, or URLs, run an SEO Audit on yourself. You can use tools like Screaming Frog (at cost) or Visual SEO Studio (free) to receive a report easily identifying these issues. Then, review and clean up those duplicates quickly so your site does not get penalized. 2. Consolidate Title and Meta Description Lengths A simple rule to follow: keep your SEO Page Titles and Meta Descriptions at the length Google suggests. While a title can be up to 150 characters, Google recommends using only 70 (the amount of text that appears in the search engine results). Meta Descriptions can actually be as large as you want – but you should avoid that. Keep them below 160 characters, with your most critical information and keywords within that character count. Again, this matters because Google limits the displayed characters in its search engine results page (SERP) to 160 characters. You see an example of this in the following image: There are always exceptions to the rule. For example, support centers tend to have very long, detailed questions submitted by customers. Sometimes, this creates long tail answers, as well. Do your best to consolidate those questions or answers, making it apparent that you have a great solution. However, these longer, more specific questions and answers can sometimes serve you. If the information pertains to a very niche market, and cannot be found on another site, longer questions and answers may appear higher in search rankings. 3. Write Concise Meta Descriptions Now that you know the best practices for character quantities in a good meta description, we should talk about its quality. Within those 160 characters, you want to provide as much clear and useful information as possible. Your meta description sets forth what information your page contains, and will display as an excerpt or “snippet” in the search results to the user. If you format your meta description clearly and concisely, Google will reward you by making that information the “featured snippet” at the top their results. They love lists, tables, graphs, and question-and-answer formats because it makes extracting relevant content easier. Proper tagging of key information like date of publication, author, and category will also help your site in search results. However, Google will penalize you if you try to manipulate your content to play into this algorithm while creating a poor user experience. Getting to the top of the results is a great feat, but if your website visitors bounce shortly after their arrival, then you may have provided misleading information or a bad user experience. High click-through rates (CTR) from that landing page to other relevant pages on your site should top your list of primary goals. Once you get a visitor to your site, you want them to stay! Start considering a user’s experience above all else when creating or updating pages. 4. Stop Keyword Stuffing Another reason search engines often penalize websites is for “keyword stuffing.” This occurs when a site overloads a webpage with keywords or phrases in an unnatural manner. While you should identify keywords for which you want your page to rank, Googlebot has become so sophisticated that it recognizes synonyms to relevant keywords. Write the way you would want to read information; do not worry about an exact keyword match. Also, do not cram your keyword(s) into your page in too abundant a manner, as in the following example: As mentioned before, consider the user experience. Today, when people search for an answer or item online, they tend to search in a conversational manner. “How close is the nearest X?” is an example of that natural prose. This relates to the two ways in which we finding information today: by typing it out or through voice search. Digital assistants, like Siri or Alexa, have become more popular as we move closer to a hands-free device world. Optimize your page’s meta description or content around how you would normally ask or answer a question. 5. Hierarchy Over H1 Tags Heading tags help define sections of content on a web page as topics or subtopics. Google has always recommended that websites use keywords or phrases within their heading tags. They can range from H1 to H6, in order of most to least important. However, these days, site builders typically use tags more for styling purposes. Google has become savvy to this trend. As a result, Google now considers how you format and place your information in the hierarchy of a page or post more important than the exact keywords contained in heading tags. Organize your content from most important to least important instead. Provide the answer your website visitor seeks toward the top of the page and as quickly as possible. Because crawlers consider the styling purposes of heading tags, you can place less emphasis on including the target keyword within (or as the first word of) the H1 tag. Just answer the question sooner rather than later, in that conversational tone, and you will move up in the rankings. 6. Quality Over Quantity “More pages” and “quality content” do not mean the same thing. See how brief we kept that point? Stop pumping out more pages or posts on your website in hopes of attracting more attention. Filler content can actually bring your overall site ranking down because the content becomes either too niche or simply useless. Consider revisiting old, popular articles or content from your site, then update them to continue to rank well. Make sure any new information provides something useful to your target audience and keeps them engaged during their visit. Just as important as the content you create, you should include quality links from one page to another. Do not load a page with irrelevant links to current content. Think about the user journey! Where would your users want to go next after reading or seeing that piece of content? More precisely, where do you want them to go next? Perhaps you seek to have them purchase a product, or share your content. Define those goals and it will pay off for you. 7. Images Matter, Too While the information contained in a title, meta description, heading tag, and the content itself is extremely important, do not forget about an image’s alt text. Properly using alt text, you can both explain the subject matter of the image and cause it rank in search results for the words it contains. Again, do not stuff the alt text with keywords, as search engines will penalize you. Instead, define the subject matter of the image as if describing it to a blind person. This includes context. Why does the image feature on this particular page? What makes it relevant to this specific content? Learn more about image publishing guidelines to start writing strong alt text. 8. Mobility Matters Most If your site lacks mobile-friendly formatting by 2018, Google will not like it. On April 21, 2015 Google updated their algorithm to prioritize sites that display well on mobile devices. This event came to be known as “Mobilegeddon.” At this point in time, you want your site to have responsive design. With a responsive design, your website detects the device used to view your site and its screen orientation, adjusting your site’s layout accordingly. Take Google’s  Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site passes. If you already have a mobile responsive design, start considering how your site’s elements display on these devices. Do you have a pop-up advertisement or module trying to capture data from a website visitor? If it gets in the way of a user accessing the content they clicked on from the search results, then you may have interrupted their visit, hampered engagement, and harmed your search ranking. Try using your site on several different types of devices to see what your users experience. Then, make changes that optimize that experience across all devices. Final Thoughts Search engines consider the user experience the most important factor in ranking pages in search results these days. As such, you should follow suit and make the user experience a top priority when considering any SEO changes. Stop trying to beat the crawler’s algorithms, and start adapting your strategy around the user journey. These 8 SEO Best Practices for 2018 merely represent the starting point for improving your site’s rankings. So, start your site on the right path today. The post 8 Easy SEO Best Practices for 2018 appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

8 Easy SEO Best Practices for 2018

A new year is right around the corner and it is time to start thinking about how to improve your website and how it is found by your audience. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process you can apply in creation of or as ongoing maintenance of your site to affect its online visibility in organic (unpaid) results. To help our customers with such, we put together 8 Easy SEO Best Practices for 2018 that you can apply to your site today. Clean Up Duplicates On a regular basis, search engines like Google or Yahoo, run a “crawl” across websites. During these crawls, they analyze content and keywords to determine how a page should rank in search results on the internet. Of these crawlers, often known as “spiders” or “robots,” Googlebot is the most active bot and the most popular search engine, hence why most SEO goals are set around their criteria. If you are not already familiar with search engine crawlers, check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and stay up to date, as the algorithm for site rankings changes often. Many of these crawlers take looking for duplicates very seriously. To the robots, at least, duplicate content looks like you purposefully copied material to increase your ranking. To find out if you have any duplicate titles, meta descriptions, header tags, or URLs, run an SEO Audit on yourself. You can use tools like Screaming Frog (at cost) or Visual SEO Studio (free) to receive a report easily identifying these issues. Then, review and clean up those duplicates quickly so your site does not get penalized.   Consolidate Title and Meta Description Lengths A simple rule to follow: keep your SEO Page Titles and Meta Descriptions at the length Google suggests. While a title can be up to 150 characters, Google recommends using only 70 (the amount of text that appears in the search engine results). Meta Descriptions can actually be as large as you want – but you should avoid that. Keep them below 160 characters, with your most critical information and keywords within that character count. Again, this is important because 160 characters is what is displayed in results as you see below. There are always exceptions to the rule. For example, support centers tend to have very long, detailed questions submitted by customers. Sometimes, this creates long tail answers, as well. Do your best to consolidate those questions or answers, making it apparent you have a great solution. However, these specific questions and answers can sometimes serve you well if  they are for a very niche market, and cannot be found on another site.   Write Concise Meta Descriptions Now that you know about the character quantity of a good meta description, it is time to talk about the quality of it. Within those 160 characters, you want to be as informative and clear as possible. Your meta description describes what your page is all about, and will be displayed as an excerpt or “snippet” in the search results to the user. If you format your meta description clearly and concisely, Google will reward you by making that information the “featured snippet” at the top their results. They love lists, tables, graphs, and Q&A formats because it makes extracting the content a user seeks easier. Proper tagging of key information like date of publication, the author, or the category will also help your site in search results. However, Google will penalize you if you try to manipulate your content to play into this algorithm, creating a poor user experience. Getting to the top of the results is a great feat, but if your website visitors bounce shortly after their arrival to that page, then you may have provided misleading information or a bad user experience. High click-through rates (CTR) from that landing page to other relevant pages on your site should top your list of primary goals. Once you get a visitor to your site, you want them to stay! Start considering a user’s experience above all else when creating or updating pages.   Stop Keyword Stuffing Another way a website can be penalized is for “keyword stuffing.” This occurs when a site overloads a webpage with keywords or phrases in an unnatural manner. While it is important to identify keywords for which you want your page to rank, Googlebot has become so sophisticated that it recognizes synonyms to relevant keywords. Write the way you would want to read information; do not worry about an exact keyword match. As mentioned before, consider the user experience. Today, when people search for an answer or item online, they tend to search in a conversational manner. “How close is the nearest X?” is an example of that natural prose. That is because we have two ways of finding this information: typing it out or through voice search. Digital assistants, like Siri or Alexa, have become more popular as we move closer to a hands-free device world. Optimize your page’s meta description or content around how you normally would ask or answer a question.   Hierarchy Over H1 Tags Heading tags help define a section of content on a web page as topics or subtopics. Google has always recommended that websites should use keywords or phrases within their heading tags. They can range from H1 to H6, in order of most to least important. However, these days, tags are mostly used for styling purposes and Google is privy to that. Instead, how you format and place your information in the hierarchy of a page or post overrides the importance of keywords contained in heading tags. Organize your content from most important to least important instead, by providing the answer your website visitor seeks toward the top of the page and as quickly as possible. Because crawlers consider the styling purposes of heading tags, it is less important to place the target keyword within (or as the first word of) the H1 tag. Just answer the question sooner rather than later, in that conversational tone, and you will move up in the rankings.   Quality Over Quantity More pages does not equal quality content. See how brief we kept that point? Stop pumping out more pages or posts on your website in hopes of attracting more attention. Filler content can actually bring your overall site ranking down because the content is either too niche, or honestly, useless. Consider revisiting old, popular articles or content from your site, then update them to continue to rank well. Make sure new information that you do produce is useful to your target audience, and keeps them engaged during their visit. Just as important as the content you create are quality links you include from one page leading to another. Do not load a page with irrelevant links to current content. Think about the user journey! Where would your users want to go next after reading or seeing that piece of content? More precisely, where do you want them to go next? Perhaps your goal is to have them purchase a product, or share your content. Define those goals and it will pay off for you.   Images Matter, Too While the information contained in a title, meta description, heading tag, and the content itself is extremely important, do not forget about an image’s alt text. This provides an opportunity to not only explain the subject matter of the image, but to have the image rank in search results related to the words in the alt text. Again, do not stuff the alt text with keywords, as search engines will penalize you. Alternatively, define the subject matter of the image as if describing it to a blind person. This includes context. Why does the image feature on this particular page? Why is it a part of this specific content? Learn more about image publishing guidelines to start writing strong alt text.   Mobility Matters Most If your site is not mobile friendly by 2018, Google will not be your friend. On April 21, 2015 Google updated their algorithm to give priority in search rankings to sites that display well on mobile devices. This event was coined “Mobilegeddon.” At this point in time, you want your site to have responsive design. Responsive design means that your website detects the device a visitor uses to view your site, as well as the device’s screen orientation, then changes the layout accordingly. Take Google’s  Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site passes. If you already have a mobile responsive design, start considering how your site’s elements display on these devices. Do you have a pop-up advertisement or module trying to capture data from a website visitor? If it gets in the way of a user accessing the content they clicked on from the search results, then you are interrupting their visit, hampering engagement, and potentially harming your search ranking.   Final Thoughts Search engines consider the user experience as the most important factor in ranking pages in search results these days. So you should follow suit and make the user experience a top priority when considering any SEO changes. Stop trying to beat the crawler’s algorithms, and start strategizing around the user journey. These 8 SEO Best Practices for 2018 are just the starting point to improving your site’s rankings or starting your site on the right foot today. The post 8 Easy SEO Best Practices for 2018 appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

What is Cloud Hosting (and Do You Really Need It)?

Over the last few years the “Cloud” has been a hot buzzword for technology. We’ve heard about how devices and things in our homes are now part of the Cloud, or able to access the Cloud, or store things in the Cloud… but what does that really mean? And when it comes to a server, is it best to get your site hosted somewhere on a cloud server? What is the Cloud? When you hear someone talking about the Cloud, they are possibly referring to a few different, but interconnecting technologies. In simplest terms, “clouds” refer to networks of servers connected across the Internet. They share resources with one another, provide redundancy, and distribute some functions across multiple machines, often in different geographical locations around the world. You should note that although people often say they are doing something on the Cloud, there are actually many different “clouds”, though they may interact in various ways across the Internet. Some Clouds are built for storage, like the popular Google Drive. Others perform services, like QuickBooks Online, Netflix’s streaming service, or even Yahoo’s email. The main thing these solutions share is that they exist on the Internet, can be accessed by Internet connected devices from any location, and they run across multiple physical machines. This makes them more reliable, speedy, and easy to access. They can also interact with one another, so you could store info in your cloud drive, use that info in a cloud-based application, and then send the results from a cloud email service to another person. Am I Ready For The Cloud? Because cloud solutions are so powerful and interconnected, some companies have begun moving their websites from more traditional servers into cloud platforms. That is an exciting trend for all of us, because it means some amazing applications, storage options, and online services will continue to get bigger, faster, and more impressive. However, it is also worth pondering whether a cloud solution is right for your current situation. Before making a choice, consider these five factors that may impact your move to a cloud server: Do you have the right technical knowledge Cloud hosting requires a greater amount of setup, configuration, and maintenance to function properly. Do you have this knowledge? If not, are you willing to hire someone who does to setup and maintain your site? Is the cost structure beneficial? Cloud servers charge based on usage, as opposed to shared hosting that charge a simple flat fee. Some cloud pricing models may scale up based on use, but not back down. Prices can vary unpredictably over time. Can you afford a cloud hosting? Will you see enough benefit from a cloud server to make the potential increase in cost worth it? Do you have enough volume to negotiate high-volume discounts with the web hosting provider? Will migration to the cloud cause outages or delays? Moving to the Cloud has significant technical challenges. Those challenges could affect your timeline for getting the server online, and early bugs could lead to outages. Not every application that runs smoothly in a shared hosting environment works as well on cloud hosting. Do you have a plan to address these problems, should they arise? How will the affect your timeline and budget? Why would you need it? The big motivation when moving to the cloud is usually the instant provisioning and other cloud-specific features. True, cloud platforms can deliver content and run applications that might consume too many resources on shared hosting platforms. But, do you actually have a popular, and resource-intensive mobile application (like a graphics-heavy video game) to host? If you have a straightforward site that loads quickly and runs smoothly on shared hosting, with minimal maintenance or setup, what would you actually gain by moving to cloud hosting? Who is responsible for managing the cloud? Unlike shared hosting platforms, many cloud solutions require the site owner to retain responsibility for making sure everything works correctly. There is a risk that you could inherit a problem from the server that you have troubles fixing remotely or without specialized knowledge. Is Moving to the Cloud Worth It for You? Cloud computing is an exciting new area of technology, sure to see a great deal of growth over the next few years. However, individuals and organizations that have more advanced needs from a web server (like hosting a popular application) currently have the most reason to move. Shared hosting, on the other hand, provides predictable, affordable billing. It requires much less technical knowledge, so setup and maintenance take very little time. For individuals and organizations with typical websites advertising a product or service, shared hosting provides power, ease of maintenance, and affordability that cloud hosting will not for many years to come. Web Hosting Hub has some of the best shared hosting plans on the web. With a wide range of free add-ons, industry-leading support, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee, our shared hosting is the right answer for most websites. Click here for more information. The post What is Cloud Hosting (and Do You Really Need It)? appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

What is Cloud Hosting (and Do You Really Need It)?

Over the last few years the “Cloud” has been a hot buzzword for technology. We’ve heard about how devices and things in our homes are now part of the Cloud, or able to access the Cloud, or store things in the Cloud… but what does that really mean? And when it comes to a server, is it best to get your site hosted somewhere on a cloud server? What is the Cloud? When you hear someone talking about the Cloud, they are possibly referring to a few different, but interconnecting technologies. In simplest terms, “clouds” refer to networks of servers connected across the Internet. They share resources with one another, provide redundancy, and distribute some functions across multiple machines, often in different geographical locations around the world. You should note that although people often say they are doing something on the Cloud, there are actually many different “clouds”, though they may interact in various ways across the Internet. Some Clouds are built for storage, like the popular Google Drive. Others perform services, like QuickBooks Online, Netflix’s streaming service, or even Yahoo’s email. The main thing these solutions share is that they exist on the Internet, can be accessed by Internet connected devices from any location, and they run across multiple physical machines. This makes them more reliable, speedy, and easy to access. They can also interact with one another, so you could store info in your cloud drive, use that info in a cloud-based application, and then send the results from a cloud email service to another person. Am I Ready For The Cloud? Because cloud solutions are so powerful and interconnected, some companies have begun moving their websites from more traditional servers into cloud platforms. That is an exciting trend for all of us, because it means some amazing applications, storage options, and online services will continue to get bigger, faster, and more impressive. However, it is also worth pondering whether a cloud solution is right for your current situation. Before making a choice, consider these five factors that may impact your move to a cloud server: Do you have the right technical knowledge Cloud hosting requires a greater amount of setup, configuration, and maintenance to function properly. Do you have this knowledge? If not, are you willing to hire someone who does to setup and maintain your site? Is the cost structure beneficial? Cloud servers charge based on usage, as opposed to shared hosting that charge a simple flat fee. Some cloud pricing models may scale up based on use, but not back down. Prices can vary unpredictably over time. Can you afford a cloud hosting? Will you see enough benefit from a cloud server to make the potential increase in cost worth it? Do you have enough volume to negotiate high-volume discounts with the web hosting provider? Will migration to the cloud cause outages or delays? Moving to the Cloud has significant technical challenges. Those challenges could affect your timeline for getting the server online, and early bugs could lead to outages. Not every application that runs smoothly in a shared hosting environment works as well on cloud hosting. Do you have a plan to address these problems, should they arise? How will the affect your timeline and budget? Why would you need it? The big motivation when moving to the cloud is usually the instant provisioning and other cloud-specific features. True, cloud platforms can deliver content and run applications that might consume too many resources on shared hosting platforms. But, do you actually have a popular, and resource-intensive mobile application (like a graphics-heavy video game) to host? If you have a straightforward site that loads quickly and runs smoothly on shared hosting, with minimal maintenance or setup, what would you actually gain by moving to cloud hosting? Who is responsible for managing the cloud? Unlike shared hosting platforms, many cloud solutions require the site owner to retain responsibility for making sure everything works correctly. There is a risk that you could inherit a problem from the server that you have troubles fixing remotely or without specialized knowledge. Is Moving to the Cloud Worth It for You? Cloud computing is an exciting new area of technology, sure to see a great deal of growth over the next few years. However, individuals and organizations that have more advanced needs from a web server (like hosting a popular application) currently have the most reason to move. Shared hosting, on the other hand, provides predictable, affordable billing. It requires much less technical knowledge, so setup and maintenance take very little time. For individuals and organizations with typical websites advertising a product or service, shared hosting provides power, ease of maintenance, and affordability that cloud hosting will not for many years to come. Web Hosting Hub has some of the best shared hosting plans on the web. With a wide range of free add-ons, industry-leading support, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee, our shared hosting is the right answer for most websites. Click here for more information. The post What is Cloud Hosting (and Do You Really Need It)? appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

3 Common Website Fails and How to Avoid Them

Millions of websites fill the Internet, but many of them provide just “so-so” experiences. Even some of the biggest websites could be better. Of course, unlike them, you probably don’t pump millions into advertising and brand development so everyone knows your company name, regardless of how bad your site experience is, right? That means you have to be smart, provide something better than the other guys, and avoid some common mistakes if you want to see your site (and business) take off. Here are 3 of the most common website fails, and how you can avoid them: 1.      Outdated and Slooooooooooooow Many small business owners figure “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. That folksy advice might be useful in some situations, but web design is not one of them. To compete, a site needs regular updating and maintenance. That doesn’t mean the site’s user experience (UX) has to be on the bleeding edge of design principles. But, it should always follow best practices for site navigation, layout, and design to maximize usability and SEO boost. As technology evolves, things can change behind the scenes of a website. Old formats may fall out of favor (like Flash giving way to HTML5), and these legacy elements of your site may appear broken in newer browsers. Possibly worse, they can also slow your site to a crawl, make it difficult to navigate, or prevent users from seeing important parts of the UX. Slow and infrequently updated websites also rank lower in search results, as search engines assume that infrequent updates equate to out-of-date information that’s less relevance to the searcher. How to avoid these issues? Update your site regularly. Start a blog on your site and use it to keep fresh content flowing. Update the overall look and feel of your site every few years to keep it feeling contemporary. Make sure images are large enough for modern, higher resolution devices and monitors (tiny pictures are an immediate give away of an outdated site). For a more in-depth guide to what Google considers best practices, check out their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. Remember, these guidelines change over time as technology evolves, so be sure to check back often. 2.      Not Friendly to Mobile Devices Speaking of outdated sites… Avoid building something that looks great on a desktop or laptop computer, but does not convert well on mobile devices. Although modern mobile devices are much better than their predecessors at showing content on non-mobile optimized sites, the experience is still pretty clunky. Content extends beyond the edges of the screen, gets too small to read, and may limit functionality (e.g., if menus only open on hover). The fact is, according to StatCounter, the number of people using the web via a mobile device is now higher than the number of desktop users, and it is growing fast. If your site isn’t mobile optimized, you may be discouraging more than half of your potential audience from visiting. The fix is fairly straight forward: mobile optimize your site. Once, this meant building a separate page your site would redirect users to when it detected a mobile web browser. Modern site building technologies, however, allow for responsive designs that automatically change site layouts to suit mobile devices. If you have questions, or need help building a mobile optimized site, check out Web Hosting Hub’s Custom Web Design page for more information about how we can help you reach your mobile audience in no time. 3.      No Useful Content or Hard to Understand Have you ever searched for something online, found something promising, but couldn’t understand what the author was saying? Maybe this was due to overuse of technical terms (jargon), bad grammar, or slang? Or worse, you visit a site looking for something specific, but there’s no relevant content on the site? It has happened to most of us. Meaning, you understand exactly why someone would immediately click the back button and look for something more useful. Take a step back and imagine that you knew nothing about your own industry. What might bring you to a site like yours? What problem is your site solving for that visitor? Is it providing information that both identifies the issue and explains how to solve that problem using the product or service listed on your site, or just jumping to the conclusion that they should buy? Did you write your content at a level that a novice could understand? Or, did you fill it with a bunch of technical terms? This is another place where a blog is useful. People searching the web are often in need of answers as badly as products or services. Just saying you have the greatest widgets in the world means nothing without some explanation of what the widget is useful for, what makes your widgets better than the competitions, etc. A blog can provide all that information, capturing significantly more leads, upselling others, and engaging your audience in a way that helps them see you as both an authority and a trusted advisor. Video and interactive content can be great tools for improving your site’s user experience. That is, as long as you keep them on point, useful, and short. Who wants to watch a 10 minute video if only 20 seconds of it are actually useful? Want to Know More? For more information about how to avoid these common website fails, and how to make your site truly remarkable, visit our Web Design page, and request a FREE website consultation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page. The post 3 Common Website Fails and How to Avoid Them appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

3 Common Website Fails and How to Avoid Them

Millions of websites fill the Internet, but many of them provide just “so-so” experiences. Even some of the biggest websites could be better. Of course, unlike them, you probably don’t pump millions into advertising and brand development so everyone knows your company name, regardless of how bad your site experience is, right? That means you have to be smart, provide something better than the other guys, and avoid some common mistakes if you want to see your site (and business) take off. Here are 3 of the most common website fails, and how you can avoid them: 1.      Outdated and Slooooooooooooow Many small business owners figure “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. That folksy advice might be useful in some situations, but web design is not one of them. To compete, a site needs regular updating and maintenance. That doesn’t mean the site’s user experience (UX) has to be on the bleeding edge of design principles. But, it should always follow best practices for site navigation, layout, and design to maximize usability and SEO boost. As technology evolves, things can change behind the scenes of a website. Old formats may fall out of favor (like Flash giving way to HTML5), and these legacy elements of your site may appear broken in newer browsers. Possibly worse, they can also slow your site to a crawl, make it difficult to navigate, or prevent users from seeing important parts of the UX. Slow and infrequently updated websites also rank lower in search results, as search engines assume that infrequent updates equate to out-of-date information that’s less relevance to the searcher. How to avoid these issues? Update your site regularly. Start a blog on your site and use it to keep fresh content flowing. Update the overall look and feel of your site every few years to keep it feeling contemporary. Make sure images are large enough for modern, higher resolution devices and monitors (tiny pictures are an immediate give away of an outdated site). For a more in-depth guide to what Google considers best practices, check out their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. Remember, these guidelines change over time as technology evolves, so be sure to check back often. 2.      Not Friendly to Mobile Devices Speaking of outdated sites… Avoid building something that looks great on a desktop or laptop computer, but does not convert well on mobile devices. Although modern mobile devices are much better than their predecessors at showing content on non-mobile optimized sites, the experience is still pretty clunky. Content extends beyond the edges of the screen, gets too small to read, and may limit functionality (e.g., if menus only open on hover). The fact is, according to StatCounter, the number of people using the web via a mobile device is now higher than the number of desktop users, and it is growing fast. If your site isn’t mobile optimized, you may be discouraging more than half of your potential audience from visiting. The fix is fairly straight forward: mobile optimize your site. Once, this meant building a separate page your site would redirect users to when it detected a mobile web browser. Modern site building technologies, however, allow for responsive designs that automatically change site layouts to suit mobile devices. If you have questions, or need help building a mobile optimized site, check out Web Hosting Hub’s Custom Web Design page for more information about how we can help you reach your mobile audience in no time. 3.      No Useful Content or Hard to Understand Have you ever searched for something online, found something promising, but couldn’t understand what the author was saying? Maybe this was due to overuse of technical terms (jargon), bad grammar, or slang? Or worse, you visit a site looking for something specific, but there’s no relevant content on the site? It has happened to most of us. Meaning, you understand exactly why someone would immediately click the back button and look for something more useful. Take a step back and imagine that you knew nothing about your own industry. What might bring you to a site like yours? What problem is your site solving for that visitor? Is it providing information that both identifies the issue and explains how to solve that problem using the product or service listed on your site, or just jumping to the conclusion that they should buy? Did you write your content at a level that a novice could understand? Or, did you fill it with a bunch of technical terms? This is another place where a blog is useful. People searching the web are often in need of answers as badly as products or services. Just saying you have the greatest widgets in the world means nothing without some explanation of what the widget is useful for, what makes your widgets better than the competitions, etc. A blog can provide all that information, capturing significantly more leads, upselling others, and engaging your audience in a way that helps them see you as both an authority and a trusted advisor. Video and interactive content can be great tools for improving your site’s user experience. That is, as long as you keep them on point, useful, and short. Who wants to watch a 10 minute video if only 20 seconds of it are actually useful? Want to Know More? For more information about how to avoid these common website fails, and how to make your site truly remarkable, visit our Web Design page, and request a FREE website consultation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page. The post 3 Common Website Fails and How to Avoid Them appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

10 Tips to Successfully Building Your First Business Website

You’re a business professional, a savvy entrepreneur, who knows how to make things happen. One of the first orders of business will revolve around creating and launching your first website. The good news is, even if you don’t know much about web design or coding in HMTL, you can still build your own website. Although it does take time and it does take effort, it is doable. Here are 10 tips to help you get your first business website successfully launched and off the ground. 1. Plan Your Website Before You Start One of the biggest obstacles to launching a business website is a lack of planning. Think about the layout and what functionality you want on your site in advance. If you’re a visual planner, map it out on paper, or with index cards that you can arrange on a board. Name each page and break down what needs to be on it. From services to resources, the more you can nail down a framework for your content, the faster it’s going to come together. If you’re in doubt as to where to start, look at your competitor’s sites and make notes on the items and features you like. This will come in handy, especially if you’re working with a web designer. After all, the first thing he/she is going to ask you is “how you want your site to look,” and it’s always good to have concise answers. Collect product images, copy, and other content prior to starting and the process will go much more quickly. 2. Set Realistic Goals Decide what you want your website to do. Are you after sales conversions or are you collecting leads? Is it just about boosting brand awareness? Do you need to integrate an app or two? The answers to these questions will help define the tone and functionality of your site. If you run a real estate brokerage, for example, it would be helpful to have maps integrated into your listings, and maybe a search module that allows potential buyers to find out what’s available in their ideal location. Restaurants should have menus and event calendars, but not necessarily eCommerce. Look at your website as a visitor would. What functions and features will bring them the greatest satisfaction? Do you intend to include a blog? Some features are as simple as integrating a widget. Others may require some custom coding. Make a list of the necessities and a separate list of the “nice to haves.” Discuss the specifics with your web designer to see what will best suit your budget. 3. Start Learning About SEO Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is one of the most important components of doing business on the web. SEO helps to boost your visibility with search engines and drive “organic” (unpaid) traffic to your site. A good SEO strategy will bring remarkable value to your marketing efforts, so understanding what it can (and can’t) do, is always a good idea. Do targeted keyword research by using Google Keyword Planner or Keyword Tool. Finally, read up on current SEO trends to find out about the specific do’s and don’ts of SEO. They change frequently, so it’s always a good idea to stay current. Not having an SEO strategy is akin to having a bad SEO strategy, and not knowing about the elements that could potentially tank your ranking will probably harm your business in the long run. 4. Check Out the Competition In order to stay on top of trends in your industry, you need to know what your competition is up to. You know this from a marketing standpoint already, but web trends are no different. Look at your competitor’s sites and take a page from their book. If there are features you like, chances are others will like them too. You don’t have to steal design elements directly (and you shouldn’t), but there’s nothing wrong with emulating certain features and functionality. What works for them can definitely work for you. 5. Use an Open Source CMS WordPress is one of the most powerful open-source CMS’s (content management system) on the web. The advantages to using an open source CMS is that there are thousands of developers all over the world who can work with it, so you’re allowing yourself lots of flexibility at the outset and going forward. Whether you want to build your own website yourself or hire a professional web designer, WordPress is one of the best ways to go. Even if you start with one web design company or designer and move on to another at some point in the future, you won’t have to go through the hassle of finding somebody who knows your system. WordPress is the most commonly used CMS on the web so there are plenty of designers and developers that know how to work with it. WordPress is also easy enough to learn by yourself. You will need to purchase web hosting and install WordPress onto your web hosting account. Web Hosting Hub is a great choice for hosting WordPress and you can read my full review on this host here. 6. Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly You may come across the term “responsive web design” here and there, which basically means that your website will need to be mobile friendly and be properly viewable on any device. Why does this matter? The majority of people today access the web from their mobile devices, and use them for everything from research to purchasing products. Search engines favor mobile-friendly sites, so it’s to your distinct advantage to make sure that your site is mobile-ready. Most CMSs like WordPress offer responsive themes/templates. If you are working with a web designer who is building from scratch, they will more than likely have the responsive end of things covered, but it’s worth making sure. During the design phase, always check your website on all of your mobile devices to make sure it looks great and functions as it should. 7. If You’re Using a Web Designer… While you’re browsing open-source platforms, templates, and various different web design tools – and realizing that this is going to take time and effort – you might be tempted to hire a web designer. When you’re deciding on a web designer, make sure that you’re impressed with the work they’ve done in the past. Ask your colleagues for recommendations (if you like their sites, of course), or browse freelance sites such as UpWork, Freelancer or Fiverr to get the job done. If you are looking at creating complex web apps, you might want to hire a specialist, but for most basic design and content creation services, there are plenty of cost-effective options out there, and hundreds of talented designers, coders, and copywriters that are ready to work when you are. 8. Plan Out a Budget While one person’s idea of “a lot of money” will differ from another’s, it is good to keep in mind that you will need to plan out a budget. Know that you will have to pay something – nothing good comes for free. If you’re building a website yourself, then you can literally save thousands. You will need to purchase a good WordPress hosting plan, a domain name, and likely a premium WordPress theme, which totals a couple hundred dollars at most. However, hiring a professional web designer, will cost a considerable amount more. You will need to shop around and determine whether you can afford hiring a professional web designer or not. If you go into the process with a budget in mind, you will more than likely be able to stick to it. 9. Don’t Use Flash Intros or Music Flash is a proprietary compressed animation technology that was developed by Adobe. It’s pretty slick and cool, but sadly it isn’t compatible with many devices, especially iOS (Apple, iPhone, and iPad). It is considered a dead technology. Many people have Flash disabled on their devices or computers, so don’t use it. Avoid Flash at all costs. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to create movement on your home page that don’t involve Flash, such as using full-screen video. 10. Keep It Simple There is nothing that looks worse than a busy, cluttered site that makes it impossible for the user to find what they are looking for. The last tip in this article is to make sure your website has a clean, easy to navigate design. Your site navigation should be at the top of the page, your contact information should be in the footer, and whatever your product or service is should be clearly represented on the home page. Keep it as simple as possible and let your business speak for itself. Guest Post by Jay Douglas of Howtogetonline.com   The post 10 Tips to Successfully Building Your First Business Website appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

10 Tips to Successfully Building Your First Business Website

You’re a business professional, a savvy entrepreneur, who knows how to make things happen. One of the first orders of business will revolve around creating and launching your first website. The good news is, even if you don’t know much about web design or coding in HMTL, you can still build your own website. Although it does take time and it does take effort, it is doable. Here are 10 tips to help you get your first business website successfully launched and off the ground. 1. Plan Your Website Before You Start One of the biggest obstacles to launching a business website is a lack of planning. Think about the layout and what functionality you want on your site in advance. If you’re a visual planner, map it out on paper, or with index cards that you can arrange on a board. Name each page and break down what needs to be on it. From services to resources, the more you can nail down a framework for your content, the faster it’s going to come together. If you’re in doubt as to where to start, look at your competitor’s sites and make notes on the items and features you like. This will come in handy, especially if you’re working with a web designer. After all, the first thing he/she is going to ask you is “how you want your site to look,” and it’s always good to have concise answers. Collect product images, copy, and other content prior to starting and the process will go much more quickly. 2. Set Realistic Goals Decide what you want your website to do. Are you after sales conversions or are you collecting leads? Is it just about boosting brand awareness? Do you need to integrate an app or two? The answers to these questions will help define the tone and functionality of your site. If you run a real estate brokerage, for example, it would be helpful to have maps integrated into your listings, and maybe a search module that allows potential buyers to find out what’s available in their ideal location. Restaurants should have menus and event calendars, but not necessarily eCommerce. Look at your website as a visitor would. What functions and features will bring them the greatest satisfaction? Do you intend to include a blog? Some features are as simple as integrating a widget. Others may require some custom coding. Make a list of the necessities and a separate list of the “nice to haves.” Discuss the specifics with your web designer to see what will best suit your budget. 3. Start Learning About SEO Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is one of the most important components of doing business on the web. SEO helps to boost your visibility with search engines and drive “organic” (unpaid) traffic to your site. A good SEO strategy will bring remarkable value to your marketing efforts, so understanding what it can (and can’t) do, is always a good idea. Do targeted keyword research by using Google Keyword Planner or Keyword Tool. Finally, read up on current SEO trends to find out about the specific do’s and don’ts of SEO. They change frequently, so it’s always a good idea to stay current. Not having an SEO strategy is akin to having a bad SEO strategy, and not knowing about the elements that could potentially tank your ranking will probably harm your business in the long run. 4. Check Out the Competition In order to stay on top of trends in your industry, you need to know what your competition is up to. You know this from a marketing standpoint already, but web trends are no different. Look at your competitor’s sites and take a page from their book. If there are features you like, chances are others will like them too. You don’t have to steal design elements directly (and you shouldn’t), but there’s nothing wrong with emulating certain features and functionality. What works for them can definitely work for you. 5. Use an Open Source CMS WordPress is one of the most powerful open-source CMS’s (content management system) on the web. The advantages to using an open source CMS is that there are thousands of developers all over the world who can work with it, so you’re allowing yourself lots of flexibility at the outset and going forward. Whether you want to build your own website yourself or hire a professional web designer, WordPress is one of the best ways to go. Even if you start with one web design company or designer and move on to another at some point in the future, you won’t have to go through the hassle of finding somebody who knows your system. WordPress is the most commonly used CMS on the web so there are plenty of designers and developers that know how to work with it. WordPress is also easy enough to learn by yourself. You will need to purchase web hosting and install WordPress onto your web hosting account. Web Hosting Hub is a great choice for hosting WordPress and you can read my full review on this host here. 6. Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly You may come across the term “responsive web design” here and there, which basically means that your website will need to be mobile friendly and be properly viewable on any device. Why does this matter? The majority of people today access the web from their mobile devices, and use them for everything from research to purchasing products. Search engines favor mobile-friendly sites, so it’s to your distinct advantage to make sure that your site is mobile-ready. Most CMSs like WordPress offer responsive themes/templates. If you are working with a web designer who is building from scratch, they will more than likely have the responsive end of things covered, but it’s worth making sure. During the design phase, always check your website on all of your mobile devices to make sure it looks great and functions as it should. 7. If You’re Using a Web Designer… While you’re browsing open-source platforms, templates, and various different web design tools – and realizing that this is going to take time and effort – you might be tempted to hire a web designer. When you’re deciding on a web designer, make sure that you’re impressed with the work they’ve done in the past. Ask your colleagues for recommendations (if you like their sites, of course), or browse freelance sites such as UpWork, Freelancer or Fiverr to get the job done. If you are looking at creating complex web apps, you might want to hire a specialist, but for most basic design and content creation services, there are plenty of cost-effective options out there, and hundreds of talented designers, coders, and copywriters that are ready to work when you are. 8. Plan Out a Budget While one person’s idea of “a lot of money” will differ from another’s, it is good to keep in mind that you will need to plan out a budget. Know that you will have to pay something – nothing good comes for free. If you’re building a website yourself, then you can literally save thousands. You will need to purchase a good WordPress hosting plan, a domain name, and likely a premium WordPress theme, which totals a couple hundred dollars at most. However, hiring a professional web designer, will cost a considerable amount more. You will need to shop around and determine whether you can afford hiring a professional web designer or not. If you go into the process with a budget in mind, you will more than likely be able to stick to it. 9. Don’t Use Flash Intros or Music Flash is a proprietary compressed animation technology that was developed by Adobe. It’s pretty slick and cool, but sadly it isn’t compatible with many devices, especially iOS (Apple, iPhone, and iPad). It is considered a dead technology. Many people have Flash disabled on their devices or computers, so don’t use it. Avoid Flash at all costs. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to create movement on your home page that don’t involve Flash, such as using full-screen video. 10. Keep It Simple There is nothing that looks worse than a busy, cluttered site that makes it impossible for the user to find what they are looking for. The last tip in this article is to make sure your website has a clean, easy to navigate design. Your site navigation should be at the top of the page, your contact information should be in the footer, and whatever your product or service is should be clearly represented on the home page. Keep it as simple as possible and let your business speak for itself. Guest Post by Jay Douglas of Howtogetonline.com   The post 10 Tips to Successfully Building Your First Business Website appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

How to Find and Use Long Tail Keywords For Traffic and Results

Keywords are an essential part of any SEO strategy, but they go beyond simple words. When researching keywords, you’ll always see those keywords with one or two words that have huge traffic numbers, and you’ll be tempted to target them for a slice of that volume. There’s just one problem: the competition for those keywords is too high. You might as well be jumping into a pool full of sharks. Instead of targeting the simple keywords with huge volume, you should be targeting long-tail keywords that narrow down your focus and put your content in front of the right people. Today we’ll take a look at the importance of long-tail keywords, and then I’ll show you some great tools for finding them so you can start writing content that reaches more people in a focused audience.   Long Tail Keywords: What’s the Big Deal? Long tail keywords are specific keyword phrases that are three to four words in length. They define a very specific subject, product, or service. These phrases a hugely important because they are used by customers who are ready to buy. They have a very specific idea in mind for what they want, and they are using these phrases to find a place that sells what they are looking for. Let’s say you have a food blog that shows people how to make gluten-free dessert recipes at home. You could try and shoot for a keyword like “dessert” or “recipes”, but what you’ll find is that these keywords could have high volume, and high competition right along with them. Even if you did manage to rank for these one word keywords, you may find that your bounce rate is through the roof because people land on your site and say “gluten-free, I don’t want that!” You’ll be targeting a broad audience instead of a focused one. One of the big things you need to know before starting a blog, is how to find the right long tail keywords. So, in essence, using long tail keywords affords you the following benefits: Easier Rankings Higher conversion rates More indexed pages in Google Using short keywords and small phrases can offer you a small piece of the entire internet. Targeting long tail keywords can give you a significant stake in a specific niche, and more profits as a result. Once you’ve found one phrase, you can vary the wording and insert other relevant topics into it. Instead of “gluten-free dessert recipes” you could also do “gluten-free thanksgiving recipes.” Each phrase ranks for a targeted audience. Now that you know why they’re important, it’s time to learn how you can find them. 3 Ideal Tools for Finding Long Tail Keywords Seeking out long tail keywords is something any SEO team with any level of budget can do. In most cases, it’s totally free! Creating pages that target these specific keyword phrases will grow your business much fast than reaching for rankings on short, high competitive keywords. Here are three tools that can help you find long tail keywords, and catch a glimpse of the ones your competitors are ranking for. 1. Ahrefs Position Explorer Guests can only use this tool once per day, but the Ahrefs position explorer a great place to start when you’re trying to figure out where you stand and which competitors you should be looking at. Beyond a list of your top 10 competitors, you can also catch a glimpse of your top 5 organic keywords which looks like this: This will help you see which keywords you’re already ranking for. This page looks the same for your competitors so you can see what’s working for them. Bonus points if you’re already using long-tail phrases. Notice the “personal blog post ideas” keyword. The website ranks #1 for this result. Sure, it has a lower search volume, but that #1 ranking is going to bring targeted traffic to the site. 2.  Google Keyword Planner If you want something, odds are you’ll go to Google for the answer, so why not do that with your keyword research? The Google Keyword Planner is a phenomenal (and free) tool that you can use to find tons of long tail keywords for your next post. Sign in and head to the “search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.” Here you can input the basic keywords you know apply to your niche. The results will show you other options, and plenty of options for long tail keywords. Let’s try our example from earlier: You’ll notice that if you decide to run a PPC campaign with keyword phrases like these, they tend to cost a lot less per click than the higher volume (and more competitive) options. 3. Keyword io If you’re looking for even more results, another free tool you can use is Keyword io. What I love about this tool is how diverse it is in providing results. Just searching “dessert recipes” gives me over 560 keywords, divided into various long-tail categories. That alone is huge! On top of that, I can download the full list to use at my leisure. I can also view trends, top ranking pages for that keyword, and relevant terms that are similar in nature. All of this information is a gold mine for SEO professionals looking for not only long tails, but also their synonyms and close variants. Making an account here is totally free and allows you access all of these features. Keep this tool handy in your blogger’s toolbox. I come back to this tool again and again to find all the resources I need for my long-tail keywords. Final Thoughts Trying to muscle your way into the world of SEO by targeting simple and short keywords isn’t worth the time or the trouble. Instead, bring targeted traffic to your site by seeking out specific and detailed long tail keyword phrases. Targeting these phrases is the secret to higher rankings, conversions, and results. How do you find and utilize long tail keywords on your website or blog? Share your own tips in the comments below! The post How to Find and Use Long Tail Keywords For Traffic and Results appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

How to Find and Use Long Tail Keywords For Traffic and Results

Keywords are an essential part of any SEO strategy, but they go beyond simple words. When researching keywords, you’ll always see those keywords with one or two words that have huge traffic numbers, and you’ll be tempted to target them for a slice of that volume. There’s just one problem: the competition for those keywords is too high. You might as well be jumping into a pool full of sharks. Instead of targeting the simple keywords with huge volume, you should be targeting long-tail keywords that narrow down your focus and put your content in front of the right people. Today we’ll take a look at the importance of long-tail keywords, and then I’ll show you some great tools for finding them so you can start writing content that reaches more people in a focused audience. Long Tail Keywords: What’s the Big Deal? Long tail keywords are specific keyword phrases that are three to four words in length. They define a very specific subject, product, or service. These phrases a hugely important because they are used by customers who are ready to buy. They have a very specific idea in mind for what they want, and they are using these phrases to find a place that sells what they are looking for. Let’s say you have a food blog that shows people how to make gluten-free dessert recipes at home. You could try and shoot for a keyword like “dessert” or “recipes”, but what you’ll find is that these keywords could have high volume, and high competition right along with them. Even if you did manage to rank for these one word keywords, you may find that your bounce rate is through the roof because people land on your site and say “gluten-free, I don’t want that!” You’ll be targeting a broad audience instead of a focused one. One of the big things you need to know before starting a blog, is how to find the right long tail keywords. So, in essence, using long tail keywords affords you the following benefits: Easier Rankings Higher conversion rates More indexed pages in Google Using short keywords and small phrases can offer you a small piece of the entire internet. Targeting long tail keywords can give you a significant stake in a specific niche, and more profits as a result. Once you’ve found one phrase, you can vary the wording and insert other relevant topics into it. Instead of “gluten-free dessert recipes” you could also do “gluten-free thanksgiving recipes.” Each phrase ranks for a targeted audience. Now that you know why they’re important, it’s time to learn how you can find them. 3 Ideal Tools for Finding Long Tail Keywords Seeking out long tail keywords is something any SEO team with any level of budget can do. In most cases, it’s totally free! Creating pages that target these specific keyword phrases will grow your business much fast than reaching for rankings on short, high competitive keywords. Here are three tools that can help you find long tail keywords, and catch a glimpse of the ones your competitors are ranking for. 1. Ahrefs Position Explorer Guests can only use this tool once per day, but the Ahrefs position explorer a great place to start when you’re trying to figure out where you stand and which competitors you should be looking at. Beyond a list of your top 10 competitors, you can also catch a glimpse of your top 5 organic keywords which looks like this: This will help you see which keywords you’re already ranking for. This page looks the same for your competitors so you can see what’s working for them. Bonus points if you’re already using long-tail phrases. Notice the “personal blog post ideas” keyword. The website ranks #1 for this result. Sure, it has a lower search volume, but that #1 ranking is going to bring targeted traffic to the site. 2.  Google Keyword Planner If you want something, odds are you’ll go to Google for the answer, so why not do that with your keyword research? The Google Keyword Planner is a phenomenal (and free) tool that you can use to find tons of long tail keywords for your next post. Sign in and head to the “search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.” Here you can input the basic keywords you know apply to your niche. The results will show you other options, and plenty of options for long tail keywords. Let’s try our example from earlier: You’ll notice that if you decide to run a PPC campaign with keyword phrases like these, they tend to cost a lot less per click than the higher volume (and more competitive) options. 3. Keyword io If you’re looking for even more results, another free tool you can use is Keyword io. What I love about this tool is how diverse it is in providing results. Just searching “dessert recipes” gives me over 560 keywords, divided into various long-tail categories. That alone is huge! On top of that, I can download the full list to use at my leisure. I can also view trends, top ranking pages for that keyword, and relevant terms that are similar in nature. All of this information is a gold mine for SEO professionals looking for not only long tails, but also their synonyms and close variants. Making an account here is totally free and allows you access all of these features. Keep this tool handy in your blogger’s toolbox. I come back to this tool again and again to find all the resources I need for my long-tail keywords. Final Thoughts Trying to muscle your way into the world of SEO by targeting simple and short keywords isn’t worth the time or the trouble. Instead, bring targeted traffic to your site by seeking out specific and detailed long tail keyword phrases. Targeting these phrases is the secret to higher rankings, conversions, and results. How do you find and utilize long tail keywords on your website or blog? Share your own tips in the comments below! The post How to Find and Use Long Tail Keywords For Traffic and Results appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

Get Blogging with WordPress & Web Hosting

Today’s online marketing strategies rely heavily on blogging. Both businesses and personal site operators use blogging as a means of bolstering the content on their site, highlighting their expertise on a particular topic, and engaging with their viewers. Blogging keeps site visitors coming back for fresh content. If done well, it can allow visitors to interact with the brand, keep abreast of current events, and feel as though they are part of that brand’s community. Regularly updated blogs also provide both a means to engage with visitors and a way to bolster rankings in search results.  Most companies and individuals, whether novice or experienced with blogging, will use a CMS (content management system) to build and develop their idea into a functional site. The most popular CMS, by far: WordPress. Why Should I Start Blogging with WordPress? WordPress is a free, open source blogging software that is easy to set up, use, and customize. In fact, almost 25% of all websites on the internet use WordPress. It is the most frequently recommended choice for building both blogs and other types of websites. To get started with WordPress, one only needs a good web hosting company, and an idea. Because so many people use WordPress, almost every web hosting provider should support it, and many even offer solutions that install it automatically for you. What Do I Need to Get Started? In order to set up a WordPress site, the user has to obtain a domain name. That way, web browsers will know where to go to find the blog. At Web Hosting Hub, we not only offer award winning web hosting plans that support WordPress and come highly recommended by industry professionals, but also provide a domain name for free with every hosting package. How To Get Online, a popular educational resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners, has even named Web Hosting Hub a Top Choice for WordPress three years in a row! What to Look for in a Word Press Web Hosting Package WordPress Optimization – Hosting companies that do not optimize for WordPress may provide sluggish page load times, broken page elements, and a host of other problems that can undermine your site’s success. WordPress optimization will make sure your site runs quickly and smoothly. High Uptime Percentage – If you have a busy blog you do not want it to become unavailable for prolonged periods. Look for an uptime guarantee in the high 90s or above. One-Click Installation – Ease of setup will be important, especially for your first blog. Key for beginning bloggers, one-click installation makes it possible for first-timers to build a site in minutes by automating the process. Robust Servers – While you may start off small if you have an interesting, well-presented topic, your traffic will grow. If you get to be too large, though, you may use a lot of the host server’s resources. This can degrade your site’s performance. A slow site becomes frustrating to visitors, leaving them frustrated and unlikely to stay on your site very long. Reliable and Fast Customer Support – If you ever have a problem, you need it addressed as soon as possible. That’s why providers like Web Hosting Hub provide highly trained, 24/7 customer support. Good Reputation – Good references usually equate to superior performance. Look for other bloggers who have used the WordPress web host you want to use before buying anything. If other bloggers had a good experience, you probably will too. Ready to Start Blogging? Now you know what you need to get started, so why not begin today? Here is a helpful step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog from HowToStartABlog101.com showing you just how easy it is to launch your own WordPress blog/site with our very own quality web hosting. Happy blogging! The post Get Blogging with WordPress & Web Hosting appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

Get Blogging with WordPress & Web Hosting

Blogging is extremely popular these days. Many businesses and personal sites use it for various reasons & benefits. For businesses, blogging is a great way to keep customers engaged and allow them to interact as a community. In addition, it keeps fresh content on the site and helps to increase search engine optimization by encouraging traffic and incoming links. The same holds true for personal sites that use their blogging as a means to make additional money with the use of pay per click advertising. Many personal sites also use blogging strictly as a means of entertainment, to write about interesting topics they wish to and share them with friends, family and any general public who stumbles upon them. Most people use a CMS (content management system) for building and developing their blog. There are many CMS blogging platforms available, but the most popular one is WordPress. Why Should I start Blogging with WordPress? WordPress is a free, open source blogging software that is easy to set up, easy to use, and is highly customizable. Almost 25% of all websites on the internet use WordPress and is the recommended choice for blogs & even websites by many professionals. To get started blogging with WordPress, you’ll need to find a good web hosting company. Because so many people use WordPress, almost every web hosting provider should support WordPress. What Do I Need to Get Started? You’ll need to get web hosting and a domain name for before you start. Here at Web Hosting Hub, we offer award winning web hosting plans that all support WordPress and come highly recommended by professionals in the industry. How To Get Online, a popular educational resource for entrepreneurs & small business owners, have awarded us as a top choice for WordPress for 3 years in a row. You can also get your free domain name from us when you sign up with a hosting plan. What to Look for in a Word Press Web Hosting Package If you’re not interested in our own web hosting, there are a variety of other web hosting services out there. Finding a good WordPress web host will help you later on with the success of your blog. If you don’t have any blog set up and want to start from scratch, one-click installation is probably a selling point for you. This makes installation and set-up of the software incredibly easy. Some web hosts specialize in catering to the WordPress community and also offer additional free templates that you can choose from to set up your blog. You don’t need to have any experience with coding or graphic design you simply plug in the template by following the directions. If you have an existing blog you will already know what resources you need. But if you are just starting out you may want to go with the smallest available package and make sure you can upgrade if you need to as you get more popular. Some other features you may want to consider include: High Uptime Percentage – If you have a busy blog you do not want your blog unavailable to your viewers for prolonged periods. Personal sites may lose viewers when they cannot see your blog posts and it may cause a loss of revenue for businesses. Robust Servers – While you may start off small if you have a topic that is interesting to people you may find that your traffic starts to grow. If you get to be too large, though, you may use a lot of the host server’s resources, causing degradation of services on your site as well as those sharing the server with you. Slowness on your site can leave viewers and customers frustrated causing them to leave. Reliable and Fast Customer Support – If you ever do have a problem you want to be sure your needs are addressed as soon as possible so you can get back to business as usual quickly. If you have a host with a highly trained 24/7 customer service staff you will likely get your needs addressed quickly. Good Reputation – One of the best ways to reduce the odds of a negative experience is to search for referrals. Look for other bloggers who have used the WordPress web host you are considering before committing to a package. If they have had a good experience with the host, odds are you will too because you are using the hosting space for similar purposes. WordPress web hosting is a great way to accommodate your blogging needs. WordPress is the most common and most popular blogging software today. Because of this popularity many hosts concentrate on ensuring they cater to the WordPress community. Many web hosts offer affordable hosting with one click installs of WordPress. Other hosts have WordPress specific hosting plans that allow you to blog at an affordable rate. Ready to Start Blogging? Now that you know what you need to get started, the next step is to actually do it! Here is a helpful step-by-step WordPress installation tutorial from How To Get Online showing you just how easy it is to launch your own WordPress blog/site with our very own quality web hosting. Happy blogging!     The post Get Blogging with WordPress & Web Hosting appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

Try Your Luck in our Giveaway of 5 Premium Themes

TemplateMonster gives our readership an exclusive opportunity to win ANY 5 premium themes from its enormous collection. The giveaway is targeted at owners of sites of almost any type, from online portfolios and stores to blogs and other news portals. If you are interested in such a cool offering, read this post to learn about the timeframe, prize details, and steps to take in order to participate in the giveaway. For your convenience, let’s check these points one at a time. 1. Timeframe The giveaway is being held over a weekly period, beginning on June 23rd and ending on June 30th. As you see, the deadline will soon be here, so don’t delay your participation in this draw. 2. Prize Each of 5 winners can pick one premium theme powered by ANY content management system and eCommerce platform, depending on the website type. As an example, here are quick links to various types of themes that you could choose from the TemplateMonster inventory. Go to this page with 2,000+ WordPress themes meant for a wide range of business niches. Click here to take a view of 1,800+ Joomla templates designed with the latest trends in mind. Follow the link to look through 1,000+ PrestaShop themes for middle-sized web stores. On this page, there are 500+ OpenCart templates for small-size web stores. Keep in mind that these are just examples, and you can select themes powered by any other engine, e.g. Drupal, Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, VirtueMart and many others. It’s up to you which one you choose. 3. Steps Visit the official site of TemplateMonster and pick any theme that meets your needs in terms of functionality and visual aesthetics. Mention the ID of the desirable theme in the comments section of this post. Check this example: “I want the theme #54045.” Write a valid email address to receive your notification in the comments section of this post. All posts are set to private and will not be shared with others. TemplateMonster Overview TemplateMonster is positioned among the leading developers of premium themes and, in fact, leaves most of them behind because of the multitude and diversity of their available designs. Launched in 2002, the company has built an extensive assortment of 30,000+ themes powered by different CMSs and platforms over 13 years, which means the choice is really extensive. To help you pick the most suitable design for your site, TemplateMonster’s marketplace is pre-built with filters. With their aid, you can sort themes out by the following criteria: category, functionality, ranking, compatibility, release date, style, and color scheme. Examples of TemplateMonster Themes Do you wonder what TemplateMonster offers to customers? Then, take a look at some of the company’s latest themes below. Real Estate Agency WordPress Theme Demo | More Info First of all, let’s take a look at one of the WordPress themes available in the TemplateMonster inventory. It is tailor-made specifically for real estate agencies, land brokers, construction companies, and interior & exterior design firms. However, this responsive theme is totally customizable and can, therefore, be adapted to any other business field. With a full-screen slider and large image gallery, the design provides an effective showcase of projects. Pixel-perfect icons, blue color accents and polygon background can enhance the style of your website, while a blend of parallax, lazy load and hover effects can deliver a livelier interaction for the site visitor. * * * Dufy Joomla Template Demo | More Info Dufy is a multi-purpose Joomla template designed in the flat style. With plenty of clean space and readable typography, it keeps everything simple and user-friendly. The template is easy to navigate due to a compact burger menu. Its categories come into view in the form of a sidebar on hover. The layout is divided into blocks, highlighting a lot of useful information, particularly services, team, blog post previews, testimonials, contact details and links to social profiles. Apart from the front page, this responsive template is also equipped with 4 standard and 11 extra pages (FAQs, Forum, Careers, History, Site Map, Pricing, etc). In that way, you will get everything you need for a ready-to-run site in one package. * * * Styler PrestaShop Theme Demo | More Info Styler is an ultramodern PrestaShop theme for merchants involved in the beauty and fashion industries. Use it to enrich your website functionality with a lot of handy options, e.g. social login, Ajax search, product filters, multilingual support, sticky mega menu, font & color customizer, and tabs. The latter will keep your new, popular, best-selling and special products within easy reach on the front page. What’s more, a subscription newsletter popup would be a useful addition to any website focused on increasing conversion rates. As for the visual side of this responsive theme, it boasts large slideshows, banners, mega footer, and custom block flavored with a parallax effect. * * * Existore OpenCart Template Demo | More Info Now check one of the latest OpenCart templates released by TemplateMonster. Existore is notable for parallax blocks with green buttons motivating customers to take action. Products are arranged in carousels that don’t occupy too much page space, but can still accommodate a lot of items. To indicate their status, you can make use of small badges and star ratings. Moreover, this responsive template is supplied with dropdown options keeping the layout cleaner, e.g. a currency converter, language switcher, and menu located on a sticky bar. * * * In the end, we’d like to remind you one more time that the themes listed above are just examples of what you could win. If you need something different, you are free to choose anything from thousands of unique options. So, we are looking forward to your comment, along with the ID of the theme you would like to win! Best wishes from our team! The post Try Your Luck in our Giveaway of 5 Premium Themes appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

960,000 until the center!

960,000. In the context of having a conversation about the solar system – our solar system – what do you think that number represents. Earths. That’s the number of Earths that fit into the sun! So, let us give you another number. Unlimited. Isn’t that a number too? Well, atleast it contains numbers  An endless amount of them. Unlimited is the “number” that dictates the space you get when you host with Web Hosting Hub. Why is that important? Because we know that blogs grow. We know that traffic increases when you do the right things. We know that with time, good business ethics, you will be successful, and you’ll need the ‘unlimited’ room provided by your web hosting service to provide you the space to do so! Web Hosting Hub has launched its Summer Solstice campaign to give your idea weight. To plug your idea into the Internet and let it reach boundless markets. We get that here! One day, that number, 960,000 will be the number of hits your blog, your eCommerce store, your website gets daily. And that journey will…. The post 960,000 until the center! appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

Social Media Strategies for Social Media Week 2015

Social Media. Do you still question if you need it or not? One way we like to  look at social media is as a set of tools rather than the foundation that your whole business relies on. Or perhaps it is the whole platform that your website relies on – fine. How then do you optimize your social media efforts to get the full force of traffic and share of voice? These strategies and questions are an example of what is going to be presented on at Social Media Week this upcoming June 6th to 12th. Try answering a few of these questions, and see the sub-questions that pertain to social media:  New and potential customers – who are you looking to reach? On which social media channel? How will you reach new customers? How will you convert potential customers? Do you have a “loyalty” strategy for current customers? Which social media channels do you see yourself being the most useful on to build customer loyalty?  What demographic are you aiming to target? Will social media broaden the demographic? To who and how ? What channels are your competitors on? What are their strategies for social media A suggestion: 1. Write out all social media channels (Facebook, pinterest, etc) 2. Find your competition on those channels 3. Answer for yourself what social media channel you have time to create content on a. Who is your content targeting? b. What questions does your content answer? c. What advantage does your content on social media have over your competition? Whatever it is, make sure that social media is an option that you consider while the growth of your website expands. About Social Media Week Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world. Human connectivity is being reimagined and SMW seeks to understand how humanity and technology will come together to change the ways we live, work and create. The post Social Media Strategies for Social Media Week 2015 appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

Social Media strategies for Social Media Week 2015

Social Media. Do you still question if you need it or not? One way we like to  look at social media is as a set of tools rather than the foundation that your whole business relies on. Or perhaps it is the whole platform that your website relies on – fine. How then do you optimize your social media efforts to get the full force of traffic and share of voice? These strategies and questions are an example of what is going to be presented on at Social Media Week this upcoming June 6th to 12th. Try answering a few of these questions, and see the sub-questions that pertain to social media:  New and potential customers – who are you looking to reach? On which social media channel? How will you reach new customers? How will you convert potential customers? Do you have a “loyalty” strategy for current customers? Which social media channels do you see yourself being the most useful on to build customer loyalty?  What demographic are you aiming to target? Will social media broaden the demographic? To who and how ? What channels are your competitors on? What are their strategies for social media A suggestion: 1. Write out all social media channels (Facebook, pinterest, etc) 2. Find your competition on those channels 3. Answer for yourself what social media channel you have time to create content on a. Who is your content targeting? b. What questions does your content answer? c. What advantage does your content on social media have over your competition? Whatever it is, make sure that social media is an option that you consider while the growth of your website expands. About Social Media Week Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world. Human connectivity is being reimagined and SMW seeks to understand how humanity and technology will come together to change the ways we live, work and create. The post Social Media strategies for Social Media Week 2015 appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

3 Ways to be Successful in Email Marketing

Web Hosting HUB was at the 5th Annual Constant Contact event for Small Business Week this May 2015. We attended a lot of the workshops and had a booth set up for the over 1,000 small business attendees. A lot of the questions we got had to do with the steps following the registration of a website with a hosting company, as well how one should go about promoting their business. Given that the event was hosted by Constant Contact and a lot of the workshops had to do with content and email marketing, we’d like to share with some tips on email marketing for new and established businesses.  Here is our list of ‘3 Ways to be Successful in Email Marketing.’ 1)  Start Small There is no reason why you should be confined to the idea that email marketing works when you have thousands of emails on your list. Just 10 emails is enough to start on your email marketing journey. Why? Because those are 10 people that opted in to receive messages from you concerning deals or your content. That doesn’t mean stop growing your list – but by no means do you have to wait for a threshold of numbers before you start emailing your list. Starting small allows for you to be short, concise, personal and to the point. 2) Be Useful A lot of articles mention “To be successful you need to be useful.”  Yeah – go figure. How about some strategies? Add an infographic Send lists with expert advice Depending on your industry, send tips that will be useful and help your clients If you sell leather bags – send them “ 4 Ways to Prolong your Leather” Offer web links to useful websites TIP: link to your blog if you have useful content Offer a Q&A via Survey Sometimes members on your list have opinions, suggestions, and questions. Just send out a simple – “Howdy! How what do you think about this?” This makes you better informed, and allows for your customers to tell you what they want 3) Have a Theme Think of a tool. Craftsmen didn’t invent the wrench because they were bored. They created it because it was useful, and served a purpose. The same thing applies in your email marketing campaign. You need to have a theme for your campaign, and each one should be different. The best way to break down purpose and theme is to first think of holidays, events, and geography. By inserting your campaigns with these three elements you cover a broad spectrum of space throughout the year. If you’re emailing because of a discounted deal – say so. If you’re emailing to send your customer list a great article of tips – say so. Just have a purpose behind each campaign otherwise you’ll be crowding your monthly newsletter with content that will never get your users passed the subject line.     The post 3 Ways to be Successful in Email Marketing appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

3 Ways to be Successful in Email Marketing

Web Hosting HUB was at the 5th Annual Constant Contact event for Small Business Week this May 2015. We attended a lot of the workshops and had a booth set up for the over 1,000 small business attendees. A lot of the questions we got had to do with the steps following the registration of a website with a hosting company, as well how one should go about promoting their business. Given that the event was hosted by Constant Contact and a lot of the workshops had to do with content and email marketing, we’d like to share with some tips on email marketing for new and established businesses.  Here is our list of ‘3 Ways to be Successful in Email Marketing.’ 1)  Start Small There is no reason why you should be confined to the idea that email marketing works when you have thousands of emails on your list. Just 10 emails is enough to start on your email marketing journey. Why? Because those are 10 people that opted in to receive messages from you concerning deals or your content. That doesn’t mean stop growing your list – but by no means do you have to wait for a threshold of numbers before you start emailing your list. Starting small allows for you to be short, concise, personal and to the point. 2) Be Useful A lot of articles mention “To be successful you need to be useful.”  Yeah – go figure. How about some strategies? Add an infographic Send lists with expert advice Depending on your industry, send tips that will be useful and help your clients If you sell leather bags – send them “ 4 Ways to Prolong your Leather” Offer web links to useful websites TIP: link to your blog if you have useful content Offer a Q&A via Survey Sometimes members on your list have opinions, suggestions, and questions. Just send out a simple – “Howdy! How what do you think about this?” This makes you better informed, and allows for your customers to tell you what they want 3) Have a Theme Think of a tool. Craftsmen didn’t invent the wrench because they were bored. They created it because it was useful, and served a purpose. The same thing applies in your email marketing campaign. You need to have a theme for your campaign, and each one should be different. The best way to break down purpose and theme is to first think of holidays, events, and geography. By inserting your campaigns with these three elements you cover a broad spectrum of space throughout the year. If you’re emailing because of a discounted deal – say so. If you’re emailing to send your customer list a great article of tips – say so. Just have a purpose behind each campaign otherwise you’ll be crowding your monthly newsletter with content that will never get your users passed the subject line.     The post 3 Ways to be Successful in Email Marketing appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

Roll Up Your Sleeves for #DreamSmallBiz

More Than Dreaming: Small Business  Sometimes… no, scratch that… anytime you want good results, it comes down to rolling up your sleeves and getting down and dirty. Even with tighter budgets, limited staff and resources, small businesses have a spark in them that keeps them motivated. And continues to motivate them to dream and dream BIG! This sentiment is shared this year by the Small Business Administration’s announcement of the “2015 National Small Business Week (SBW)” taking places from May 4th to May 8th. The theme of this year’s SBW is to “Dream Big, Start Small.” We couldn’t agree more! Tag your business posts with #DreamSmallBiz &  #BizHUB to show your support for small business or if you’re a small business yourself! Web Hosting HUB wants you to make your dream into a reality this week. The truth is that you’ve wanted to create your website for a while now. You’ve wanted to post about the proper new-age diet for tabby kittens, or create a small online shop to sell your hand made necklaces or maybe you have an idea for the next Facebook. But ideas stop at the door of reality when we realize the daunting task of all that starting a business entails. Not with us. HUB has always been dedicated to getting ma’ n pa’ shops,  bloggers, and innovators online as seamlessly and affordably as possible. We start our partnership with our customers by making sure they take full advantage of our 24/7 U.S based support team; because if you’re not as versed in the concepts of operating a website, you’ll need a hand – and we’re here to give it to you. So what are you waiting for? You have everything to gain by registering today and start building your online presence. You’ll receive more traffic, more authority within your industry and peers, and you’ll have somewhere to refer customers that you meet at events and trade shows. Don’t wait – success never does. The post Roll Up Your Sleeves for #DreamSmallBiz appeared first on The Official Web Hosting Hub Blog.

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