Archive for the ‘Ecommerce Tools Quotes’ Category

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Has Your Website Stopped Being Effective?

In Ecommerce Tools Quotes,Web Design Quotes on December 15, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: , , , ,

In a fast-paced, ever-changing world, it’s either evolve or die for businesses. And as a company’s online presence becomes a bigger and bigger deciding factor in what makes or breaks a business, it becomes almost impossible to ignore the need to keep up with competitors who put more effort into online marketing.

With the introduction of Caffeine, Google’s new web indexing system, traditional SEO (search engine optimization) as we know it is being transformed. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on how a business responds to this change and how its online presence is currently being optimized against its competition.

Many SEO professionals are being challenged by Caffeine as they now have to reassess what they know and how it affects their clients. New Google algorithms have created some surprises for people who are used to conventional SEO practices; they are learning that previous techniques are either no longer working or not as effective as they used to be.

One of the big changes is that older domain names will be prioritized over those that are recently registered. Another is that the load time of a website is now taken into account as well. Sites that load faster will be indexed before slower ones, creating a situation wherein Flash-based websites and those with unnecessary content or large images may fall behind their competitors. Load time is also dependent on the physical location of a site’s host, how overloaded the server is, and how fast the data center is, so all of these factors are now more significant than ever.

The amount of activity on a website has also become a huge factor in its organic or non-paid ranking. Sites that are updated regularly will always outrank dormant ones, as search engines believe that more active sites are more relevant. A blog is an excellent tool for increasing organic ranking since it can provide more activity and pertinent information.

Amid all these changes, backlinks or inbound links still remain as one of the most significant and reliable methods of maintaining a higher ranking. Another standard that should not be neglected is SEM (search engine marketing), such as Google AdWords. SEM can help a newbie gain more visibility with minimal investment if carried out properly, as well as improve an already established website’s ranking.

In the online world, the quest for better site rankings becomes increasingly challenging as search engine algorithms change. Thus, the importance of a business keeping pace with the dynamism of online marketing in order to stay relevant cannot be emphasized enough.

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To Blog or Not to Blog?

In Business Buy Guide,Ecommerce Tools Quotes on October 18, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: , ,

With social networks and web 2.0, there’s not a business out there that hasn’t considered blogging.   Has yours?

If you would like to share your thoughts and opinions with the rest of the world, you can easily do that through a blog. You can write about anything you want, and the freedom that blogging allows is one of the reasons why it has become one of the most popular hobbies across the globe today. But in recent years, blogging has become more than just a pastime. For many people, it is their full-time job and their main source of income. Blogs have also become important sources of information for countless internet users.  Companies also use it as a way to create community and to really position themselves and thought leaders in their industry.

If you want to start your own blog, you can sign up for a free platform such as Blogger or WordPress, or you can opt to have your blog hosted on your website. If you choose the latter, the first thing that you will need is a domain, e.g. http://www.myblog.com, which is usually included for free in paid web hosting plans. Pick a domain name that is short and easy to remember. You can use your own name as your domain name, but this will only work for personal blogs and if you are the only writer. Still, having your name as your domain name is good for promoting yourself.

Next is selecting a web hosting service and plan. If you’re not familiar with the different web hosting sites, it is recommended that you go for one of the bigger and more established companies. Popular web hosts such as FatCow and Bluehost not only include a free domain name in their web hosting packages; they also provide easy to use site building tools, so you can create a website even if you’re a newbie. If you would like to check out more options, simply search “top web hosts” or “best web hosts.”

But before you pick a web hosting service, check first if it is compatible with your blogging platform. Some sites like DreamHost only work with one type, e.g. WordPress, so if you want to use a different platform, you need to choose another web host. Blogging platforms and web hosting services are a dime a dozen, though, so it shouldn’t be difficult for you to find the right combination that works for you.

If you do it yourself, or you bring on a team – there are many points and styles to consider.  If we can help, we can send a list to you of pre-qualified providers to set you mind (and budget) at ease.  See you in the blogosphere!

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Understanding Search Engine Optimization

In Business Buy Guide,Ecommerce Tools Quotes,Search Engine Marketing Quotes on October 8, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged:

Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is the process of improving the ranking of a website in search engines such as Google and Yahoo!. One way to achieve this is by selecting the most appropriate targeted keyword phrases related to that website and incorporating these keywords into its content. Basically, SEO involves fine tuning a website’s content and HTML meta tags, as well as creating inbound links to it.

SEO not only considers how search engines work, but also what people search for. SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories: white hat SEO, which refers to ethical methods approved and encouraged by the search engines; and black hat SEO, which refers to deceptive practices used to get higher rankings and more traffic.

How are you ranked?

How exactly search engines rank websites is unclear, as they keep their ranking algorithms a secret. A single search engine may use hundreds of different factors in determining website rankings. Moreover, these factors and their weight may vary from time to time. Different search engines also use different ranking algorithms; a website that ranks first in one search engine may rank tenth in another.

New websites do not need to be submitted to search engines to be included in search engine results pages (SERP). A link from a more established website will bring web crawlers or spiders to the new site and index its contents, though it can take a few days or even weeks before the web crawlers of all major search engines visit and index the new website.

You can try to perform SEO yourself, or you can hire a professional consultant, which a lot of people do. A search engine marketer can make recommendations to help improve your website’s search engine ranking and traffic. In addition, they may work with your web designer to come up with a comprehensive plan for your website.

A search engine marketer’s job doesn’t necessarily end once the right keywords have been integrated and the inbound links have been created, though. If you want, they can also provide ongoing consultation and monitor your website on a regular basis, then make additional suggestions to further enhance your ranking and traffic.

If perhaps you need SEO services for your business, we provide a list of qualified, pre-screened provides to you – for free.

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Running an Online Store: Ecommerce Tools and Best Practices

In Business Buy Guide,Ecommerce Tools Quotes on October 1, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged:

Thinking about building an online presence for your company? To ensure survival and success, you will need good ecommerce tools and even better business practices.

The Benefits of Using Ecommerce Tools

•    Lower business costs. Depending on the nature of your business, you may not need to hire employees or pay for warehouse rent.

•    Lower marketing costs. With an online business, you incur lower marketing costs than you would with a conventional offline store. You can use search engine optimization to drive considerable traffic to your website, and because it stays open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can earn money while you sleep. You can also reach a wider market at no additional cost by offering different language options.

•    Enhanced customer relationship management. Ecommerce tools allow you to look at your customers’ buying histories and preferences, so that you can plan better sales strategies in the future. And just like you would talk to your clients in a physical shop, you can also interact with them online in real time using live chat software. Keep in mind that a well-designed web store can improve customer experience.

•    Payment security.
Encrypted online payment methods are not only safe, they also allow you to manage your transactions efficiently.

•    Simple business management. You can integrate your online store with back office management, e.g. logistics and accounting, to run your business more efficiently. With improved management and administration reports, you can easily spot which aspects of your business increase sales and reduce expenses.

•    Supplier integration.
In the online world, you can do away with middlemen and go straight to the supplier. Ecommerce tools also let you view pertinent information in real time, so you can manage your supply chain more efficiently.

Business Practices to Keep in Mind

The rules don’t change just because you’re now doing business online; most of the concepts behind running a successful web store are still the same as managing a brick and mortar company.

•    Your customers should never feel like they are interacting with a remote entity. Let them set up member profiles and wish lists to give your store a more personal touch. This also allows you to understand and serve your clients better.

•    Not everyone has a PayPal account or credit card, so make sure that you offer various payment options.
According to statistics, online shoppers prefer doing transactions via online back accounts, debit cards, and PayPal.

•    Set up customer loyalty programs with rewards to encourage repeat business and keep your clients happy.

•    Use good business sense. Be prepared to keep up with constantly changing technology. Ensure a wide selection of products. Don’t compete on price, but offer value instead. Test your online store to see if it is easy to browse around. Provide excellent customer service by personally assisting your clients.

•    Market your business. If you want people to find your online store when they look for your product or service, search engine optimization can do the trick. You might consider hiring a professional search engine marketer for optimal results.

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Ecommerce: An Introduction and Tips for Selecting a Supplier

In Business Buy Guide,Ecommerce Tools Quotes on September 29, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: , ,

Electronic commerce, or ecommerce for short, is the use of the internet at any point during trading. The term is not limited to transactions that involve online payment; it also refers to other activities on the internet such as marketing and distribution.

The word e-business is sometimes used in place of ecommerce, but some definitions view ecommerce as a part of e-business. In this perspective, there is a difference between transactions that involve payment over the internet and those that don’t. A transaction in which there is an online exchange of money is ecommerce, while all other non-financial activities that support the actual sale fall under e-business.

Ecommerce transactions can take place between different groups, e.g. business to business (B2B), business to administration (B2A), business to consumer (B2C), business to employee (B2E), and customer to customer (C2C).

The popularity of ecommerce continues to rise, as evidenced in the many business deals that are conducted over the internet each year.
If you’re planning to join the ecommerce world, you need to have a good combination of individuals, services, and approaches to make your project a successful one.

Selecting the right supplier for your online store is an important part of the process

Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

•    All ecommerce projects require functional and technical specification documents that have to be agreed upon before the designing or development stages begin. These documents are significant as they contain the features and functionalities to be applied within the website. In other words, they are your project’s blueprint.

•    Hire a consultant. Successful ecommerce sites are built on strategic thinking. Working with an experienced consultant before you choose a particular supplier is always a good idea as they can set the project criteria that can measure a potential supplier’s website and deliverables. A professional consultant’s say is always valuable to a project.

•    Make sure your ecommerce website is backed by a solid business model and not by technological boundaries set by the supplier.

•    See if a potential ecommerce supplier offers e-marketing as a primary service. A large chunk of your budget will be going to the promotion of your website, so the marketing and search engine optimization aspects need to be already included into the site structure.

•    Look at your potential supplier’s portfolio and past clients, as these are good indications of their efficiency. Also check out the supplier’s website (does it appeal to you, is it presentable) and the different market sectors they’ve served.

•    Choose a supplier that provides on call support and can handle technical problems.
The functionality of your website is crucial to the success of your online business.

Business Buyguide provides the tools you need and quotes from qualified providers – doing your homework and research for you – for free.

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Eight Tips to Finding a Good Web Host

In Business Buy Guide,Ecommerce Tools Quotes on September 27, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged:

Many new website owners often choose the least expensive hosting plan available, only to end up facing technical problems and downtime, and eventually switching web hosts later on. While there are web hosting sites that offer affordable, quality plans, a good host is one that focuses on providing excellent service instead of competing on price.

How do you find a good web hosting company, then? Here are a few pointers:

•    Can they actually support all of their users? If a web hosting company is taking in more customers than it can handle, you might experience network problems.

•    Are they easily accessible should you encounter any technical problems? Does their website have a live chat option? Is there a number that you can call? Customer support should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

•    Does the hosting plan include more than one connection to the internet?
Having multiple connections means that if one goes down, your website does not go down with it, but instead it stays online via the other connections.

Do they back up their servers? Backups are important so you don’t lose your website in the event of a server crash.

•    Do your homework.
Visit web hosting forums to see which companies are preferred in general, as well as to get feedback and testimonials from other people who have used a certain web host’s services.

•    Pick a hosting plan that suits your needs the best. Do away with features that you will not use to reduce clutter and your expenses. You can always upgrade your plan should you require additional space, bandwidth, and other features.

•    Don’t throw your bills and receipts away just yet. Save them so you can make sure that you are not being overcharged.

Remember, a good web hosting service should enhance your website, not hinder it. It should be reliable so you can be free to focus on your business and other important things. Don’t base your decision on price alone but on the overall value that you will get from a web hosting plan.

Here at Business Buyguide we take that “guess work” away by providing qualified providers for you to select and choose from.  All for free!