GROW

Update your Website 3: Adding new images

Learn how to add and insert new images to your website

GROW

Update your Website 2: Changing existing images

How to change existing images and photographs on your GROW website.

GROW

Website hosts, registrars & email etc…

What is domain registration?

In order for your website to be visible to the public, the first step is to get your domain name registered. Registering your website domain name is like acquiring the plot of land on which to build your house. Domains can be registered for an entire year and incurs an annual fee.

There are many different registration companies you can choose from and you can pick any around the world

What is hosting?

The next step to making your website open to the public is hosting. Hosting is like laying the foundations for the house you want to build on your acquired land. It keeps your house standing and determines what and how much you can build on it.

This is done through hosting companies (many of whom are also registrars). There are many different hosting companies you can choose from. Each one comes with different fees and services. Maintaining hosting on your domain name often incurs a monthly fee on top of your registration fee. A hosting plan can house more than one website or domain (this is known as parking domains) which can keeps costs down.

Where does GROW host or register?

At GROW, our preferred website host and domain registrar is local business Web Connect, based in Napier. We like to support local businesses, and the staff at Web Connect are professional and approachable and so are our first choice for all our websites. Of course if you have another preference, we can work with alternatives.

What are the plans?

We offer managed hosting, which means we perform backups, monitoring and maintenance on your website to increase security and to prevent or detect problems. Pricing will vary depending on the size and complexity of the website, but starts from $27.50+GST/month.

GROW will notify you when it is time to increase your hosting to the next level. This will happen when you attract more traffic or there is more activity on your website, or if your collection of data on your website expands.

If you want to choose your own hosting location or registrar:

Sometimes you might like your website hosted with a different company with a different plan, because you like that company’s services or you prefer their pricing plans.

In which case, contact us and we will confirm that we can provide the same high level of service with your choice.

It is also possible to have a different domain registrar from your webhost. For example, you can use hosting on Bignoise, but be registered elsewhere. Generally, we suggest that things run much smoother when registration and hosting are with the same supplier.

What about email hosting?

All of our hosting plans let you have up to 10 email accounts that are based on your webhosting.  This is suitable if you need only a few light email accounts.

If you have considerable traffic on your emails or multiple accounts; GROW recommends cloud-hosted email services such as Microsoft Exchange, Google For Work or Zimbra Enterprise. Let us know how you would like to use email in your business and we will advise the right email service for you.

Other questions?

Call me on 06 878 3456 or email ben@grow.co.nz and I will be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

GROW

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Advice

Things you can do to help your google ranking

As soon as you go online with your new website, you’ll be checking to see whether you’re number one on Google.  You won’t be, sorry, so here is a quick explanation of how Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) works, and some suggestions of how to promote your site.

Firstly, ignore the emails you will receive from companies or individuals offering to get you to number one on Google. There is no magic bullet.

Your website is ranked by the many factors that make up Google’s algorithm.  There is endless information online about how this works, and it is worth reading the basics:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank

Google’s algorithm is secret to prevent it being manipulated, and it does work extremely well. Google constantly updates its methods to ensure honest sites rank highly. People using tricks to try to cheat the algorithm (link farms, invisible text etc) have their sites identified and demoted, which is why occasionally you may see unworthy competitors shoot above you in the rankings and then mysteriously disappear.  The best way to improve your listing on google long-term is to behave honestly and professionally, to work your site well and give good customer service.

Basically, Google rewards honest sites that customers want to find.

Google recognises these sites by:

  • A professionally built structure, with no broken links, with a site map, well labelled images, with page titles relevant to text and keywords relevant to the overall expectations of the website.
  • Quantity and variety of viewers.
  • Viewers finding the site through links from other relevant sites, from searching the company or website name, from searching relevant terms.
  • Viewers staying on the site for a long time, exploring the different pages, checking the links.
  • Viewers using the site interactively: filling in forms or buying products if relevant.
  • Fresh and unique content, or content being consistently updated such as a calendar or blog
  • Longevity.

Your Grow website developers have taken care of the first step, we will have checked structure, keywords, links, content and given advice on best practice before going live.  Your site will appear on the Google search engine above unprofessional and insignificant sites, but still below good, well worked sites of your competitors.

To start your climb up the search engines you need to address the remaining points above. This is an ongoing process. Regular, structured work on SEO does produce results.  Your ranking will fluctuate as competitors come and go and as google adjusts the algorithm, so check regularly and monitor progress over a year.

It is important to understand how and why your viewers are using the website.  Will fresh content or images encourage repeat visitors to engage?  Would viewers read a news page about your business to keep them updated?  Are all your viewers new customers, who will only view you once and for whom updates are irrelevant?  Know your customers and give them what they want from your website.  There is a great set of tools available from Google called Google Analytics which give very detailed statistical information about your site. Analytics has a bit of a learning curve and may not be for beginners but GROW can help with this when you are ready for the detail.

The following suggestions are a good starting point for your website SEO campaign that you can do yourself, for free. Paid advertising of your website can also help, but is outside the scope of this document.

1)      Set up a Google + Page. Add a map if relevant to your business.

2)      Set up and regularly update a Facebook page (and Twitter etc if appropriate). Use keywords in your text, and add links to pages with this keyword on your website. Update at least weekly, writing 20 words about what your business has done during the week is time well invested.

3)      Submit your website to directories (list below*). You just need to do this once.

4)      Do everything you can to encourage honest “in-bound links” from other reputable, well established websites.  You can read up about ways to do this, search “backlinks” or “inbound links” for ideas.
Eg. Write an article in a magazine, check they have an on-line version and will add a link to your website. Send press releases to relevant media, with a link to your website.
Eg. Get listed, with a link, on the websites of relevant Trade Associations, business or activity groups. Ask suppliers if they will add you as a stockist on their websites.

5)      Update content regularly, using a blog or news page works well. Don’t copy text. Google will drop content it sees as plagiarised. Always write fresh text and don’t repeat text within your website.

6)      Advertise the website. Give a reason for your existing customers to engage with your website – an online offer or competition.

*There are dozens of directories, all of which will provide a useful link back to your website and help promote your business. Look for the link on their website for registration, or to suggest a business, and follow the instructions for free registration. There are lots of other directories, but resist any sites that say they can load your website to thousands of

All these things are important to establish your website’s presence and maintain and improve your ranking.  Work your website as your would any other aspects of your marketing, cleverly and regularly, and you will see the benefits.

However, the online world is constantly changing, and updating your strategy every year is recommended.  Talk to us at GROW about keeping informed; we can recommend reading or courses, or we can help with your updating.