Every month, I will feature 5 words and provide its definition. The words will be terms that I think small businesses should know, but find that many of them do not!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of using different techniques and methods to improve the visibility of a website in search engine result pages (SERPs) with the aim of increasing the volume of targeted traffic to a website. Such high ranking is important since Internet users hardly browse through pages and pages of search results. Without visitors, a website is like a product that cannot sell. It is therefore important that a website properly integrates with SEO so as to rank highly in search engines, and therefore generate the desired targeted traffic. Some effective SEO practices include keyword research, SEO copy writing, and link building.
Citations are references or mentions of a company’s name and address on other websites. Citations on third-party websites may or may not include a backlink to a website. Citations on directory websites are important as they are one of the key ranking algorithms used by major search engines. Businesses that have greater citation numbers have higher chances of ranking highly on search engines result pages as compared to those with fewer citations. Citing your business on well-established and indexed portals will improve your high-ranking chances as search engines will have greater certainty about your contact information and classification. Citations or web references are mostly important in less-competitive niches such as electrical or plumbing, where service providers may not own websites.
Cloud storage is a networked online storage model where third-party hosting companies maintain, manage, and back up data in virtualized pools of storage. Cloud storage hosting companies run huge data centers, and they sell or lease storage capacity to people or businesses who want their information to be hosted. Such services can be accessed through a web-based user interface or a web-service API (application programming interface). A business can either choose a public, private, or hybrid cloud storage model depending on its storage needs. The advantages of cloud storage services are it eliminates the need of installing a physical data storage device in a business premise, the service provider takes responsibility of storage maintenance tasks including purchasing additional storage, data replication and backup, companies are only required to pay for the storage capacity they are actually using, and cloud storage hosting companies provide their users with direct access to a wide range of applications and resources that are hosted in another company’s infrastructure through a web-service interface.
Today, Internet users access information from various platforms including desktops, tablets and mobile phones. A website that has a responsive design is able to automatically adapt to any platform used, based on the size of the browser and not the type of device used. Unlike a dedicated mobile site that needs to be customized for different devices such as iPad or iPhone, a responsive website design effectively adapts to any type of platform. With a responsive design, you can share links across different platforms, for example, from a desktop browser to a mobile site. In case of future changes in the designs and sizes of devices, you will not need to adjust your website as it will comfortably adapt to platform changes, thus making it future-proof.
Success in Internet marketing is not fully achieved by simply ranking highly on search engines and generating heavy targeted traffic to a website. This is because such achievements are of no use if the website does not convert visitors to leads or customers. Conversion rate optimization is the process of enhancing a website to lower visitor “bounce rate” and instead, lead a visitor to take a desired action with the aim of increasing leads and sales. Conversion rate optimization can be achieved using various methods such as usability analysis and landing page optimization. When a website attains a high conversion rate, it is able to generate more leads and sales and spend less money on advertising, which will in turn lead to high profits.