All Articles Tagged "search engine"
Websites are great to promote yourself or your company. But a website done wrong could cost you work. According to Inc.com there are common mistakes that people make when designing their websites.
In this age of smartphones, you have to take into consideration if your site looks good on a cell phone screen. “Mobile now accounts for 12 percent of global Internet traffic, and it’s scaling faster than the desktop did,” reports the site. “If your website is not mobile enabled, you’re going to miss out on a growing population of users.”
Keywords are a great way to optimize your site in search engines, but too many keywords are just overload. “It may be a natural impulse to load up your website with keywords and keyword hyperlinks, but what you’ll probably create is an SEO nightmare,” says the article. Speaking of search engines, don’t forget to register with the local search engines. “If you do the majority of your business locally and you’re not taking advantage of free listings in important go-to local resource directories such as Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp, or others, you’ll have to pay for better visibility through advertising,” advises the article.
Keep your designs simple; skip using too much flash. “Flash is really cool for visuals, but it doesn’t work well with search or Apple devices,” advises Inc.com. Tech expert Toi Barnhardt, associate publisher of the Women of Color in Technology STEM Conference agrees that visuals are very important. “Unless your site is about ‘The Team of Me,’” jokes Barnhardt, referencing Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. “[B]e sure not to inundate it with too many pictures of yourself. Stick to content relevant pictures.”
Another major mistake is burying or omitting contact information. “How many times do you visit a website and want to call the company, only to find the only option you have is to complete a form? Do you become suspicious of the company’s legitimacy or interest in helping you? Make all contact information–including social-media icons–readily and repeatedly accessible,” says Inc.com.
It is also equally important, adds Barnhardt, to have user-friendly payment options. “PayPal and anything backed by Verisign are normally trustworthy methods of payment,” she tells Madame Noire.
And it may sound basic, but decide what type of site you want to have. “Be sure to know the differences between the needs of a products site and a services site,” says Barnhardt. “Products sites should always should always be updated to reflect true inventory. Services sites should thoroughly list descriptions of services and when they are offered.”
Once your site is up and running, make sure to keep up with your maintenance fees. “The biggest mistake I find that small business owners make is not preparing for the monthly maintenance fees that come with site hosting. If you don’t have the payment set up to recur permanently, your site host will absolutely pull it down,” Barnhardt says. “There is nothing worse than going to a business site only to get an error message regarding the domain.”
Welcome to another “Behind the click” profile! I’ve got another digital entrepreneur to expose to you. Her story is very unique and she’s overcome many hurdles. Meet Asmau Ahmed, founder of Plum Perfect a visual search engine that provides instant personal recommendations to shoppers using their photos. She has a killer educational background but also the tenacity that we all need no matter which endeavor we are currently pursuing. Read on to find out about Asmau’s unique journey.
Current Occupation: Founder, PlumPerfect.com
Favorite read: Bedtime stories with my son
Recent read: The Tipping Point
2012′s ultimate goal: Do more of the things I love
Quote Governing Your Mission or a Quote that Inspires You: “…..we must speak or our ideas and ourselves will remain unheard and unknown” -Faith Ringgold
Twitter handle: @Plum_Perfect
LDC: So, Where are you from, exactly?
AA: Proudly, a citizen of the world. My parents are from West Africa- Nigeria.
LDC: What was it like attending Columbia for business school in New York City for you?
AA: For me, Columbia was a breath of fresh air. It signified new beginnings, a huge playing ground to explore, innovate, learn, network and make life-long friends.
LDC: What led you to combine your interests in chemical engineering and business in what we see as Plum Perfect?
AA: I really did not set out to combine the two. I knew from personal experiences and frustrations of trying to find the right colors and products for me, especially online, that there was a tangible business opportunity. So the engineer in me started exploring, and building, and testing, and building some more… and now we have Plum Perfect!
LDC: What is the site’s key value prop?
AA: From just your photo, we find the perfect colors and products for you. From a photo of your face, we find you make-up that would look fabulous on you. From a photo of your top, we can find the perfect skirt. We essentially scour the web and search through mountains of products to find the one for you, in seconds.
LDC: How did you obtain funding for the venture?
AA: A lot of hard work, perseverance and not giving up. Understanding that a ‘no’ from one investor meant one of two things – I needed to get back to the drawing board (armed with very specific feedback on what was not working) or we just didn’t fall in their sweet spot (happens a lot). My networks were instrumental in getting me meetings. It was up to me and my team to close.
LDC: What advice would you have for other women of color looking to fund tech-based companies?
AA: We are already used to working harder than everyone else. The same applies here. Network with other entrepreneurs and learn from their experiences. Black Founders has a great community of entrepreneurs, so start there. Build a team of doers – effort doesn’t count for anything in a startup, results do. Investors want to see results and a well rounded team they can trust to deliver. Become an expert in the non-tech aspects of your business. Nail down and validate exactly how you are going to make money. Articulate, very clearly, what your go-to-market strategy will be. It’ll change with time and experience — the savvy investors know that.
LDC: Along the funding route, before or after; did you ever encounter what you might consider to be racism and/or sexism? If so, how did you overcome it?
AA: I was pregnant when I started along the funding route. Well meaning friends asked me to wait until I had my baby. I figured I was already black and female pitching a tech company – I had 3 strikes already and that being pregnant wasn’t going to change a thing. Folks also advised me to get a non-black co-founder to round out the team… all well intended but misplaced advise.
I have not encountered racism and/or sexism explicitly but the numbers speak for themselves. Do I sometimes wonder if I would have had an easier time at this (and it has been TOUGH) if I were white or Asian or male? Absolutely. What’s my conclusion most of the time? Yes! Do I dwell on it? Nope! A waste of my time… I work with what I have today, and that’s plenty.
LDC: What has the response been to Plum Perfect?
AA: We started out as color p.i. and rebranded to Plum Perfect. People see it and say — I would use this or I wonder why this hasn’t been done before now. That’s the biggest compliment – to know that we are building something of value. The reception has been great. People appreciate the power of the technology and creativity that went into building Plum Perfect.
LDC: What is your biggest challenge in running the company?
AA: The challenges have evolved over time. First, it was technology and product build – motivating the team at 4 AM in the morning of the next release to not give up. Then, it was fund raising – convincing investors that we need money NOW. Now, it’s growing our market after the relaunch.
LDC: What’s your biggest hope for Plum Perfect in 2012?
AA: That we grow beyond anything I can possibly imagine – and I imagine huge! That we become a household name because we deserve to be. That we continue to provide breakthrough technologies that people love.
Be sure to watch for the next tech industry profile! In the meantime, keep up with the latest digital developments by following me on Twitter @mediaempress, and stay up on tech conferences via my site at www.ldcoleman.com
More on Madame Noire Business!
- How She Made It: Jeri Lynne Johnson, Founder of Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
- How She Made It: Alia Jones-Harvey, Producer of A Streetcar Named Desire
- The Career Freshman Part II: Getting To The Next Level in Your Career
- Crisis Management Lessons: Handle Scandal Like Your Name Is Kerry Washington
- About Their Business: 7 Black Female Politicians Who Made History
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: A Sister-Run Business Brings High-End Tea Stateside
(Wall Street Journal) –Federal regulators are poised to hit Google Inc. with subpoenas, launching a broad, formal investigation into whether the Internet giant has abused its dominance in Web-search advertising, people familiar with the matter said. The civil probe, which has the potential to reshape how companies compete on the Internet, is the most serious legal threat yet to the 12-year-old company, though it wouldn’t necessarily lead to any federal allegations of wrongdoing against Google. While Google has faced several antitrust probes in recent years, the U.S. has limited its investigations largely to reviews of the company’s mergers and acquisitions. The new inquiry, by contrast, will examine fundamental issues relating to Google’s core search-advertising business, its biggest money maker, said the people familiar with the matter. Many policy watchers think the Google probe ultimately could be as much of a watershed event for antitrust policy as the Justice Department’s landmark lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. in the 1990s.
(CNNMoney) — Google’s recent change to its search algorithm has dramatically shaken up the businesses of websites that moved up or down its search rankings. Sites whose rankings rose to the top found that their traffic and revenue soared — but the adjustment had an equally devastating effect on those that were dropped. The Online Publishers Association, a group of content producers comprising many of the Internet’s largest properties (including CNN.com), estimates that the algorithm change shifted $1 billion in annual revenue.
Some of the losers felt the hit immediately. Mahalo.com laid off 10% of its workforce last week thanks to what CEO Jason Calacanis called “a significant dip in our traffic and revenue.” The stakes are high in the Google-placement game. The top spot on a search page typically attracts 20% to 30% of the page’s clicks, according to Adam Bunn, SEO director of Greenlight. After that comes an enormous tail-off: Positions 2 to 3 generate 5% to 10% of the clicks, and links below the fold receive less than 1% of users’ attention. Fall off to the second page and your search-engine-driven clicks will be negligible. With control of two-thirds of the U.S. search market, Google (GOOG,Fortune 500) steers a tremendous amount of traffic to websites. Many of them rely exclusively on advertising dollars to make money.That means that positioning in Google’s search results can be a life-or-death issue for a business.
(Entrepreneur) — To increase your visibility and authority on the web, you need some knowledge of Google rankings. Learning how Google’s ranking system works can help you make important changes that can move your website up the ranking ladder. What follows is a quick primer on need-to-know basics for improving your site’s Google ranking. When it comes to your web pages, two different Google rankings are at work: your search result ranking and your site’s PageRank. They are related, yet distinct measures of the value of the content on your site in the eyes of the search-engine giant.
Searches: Your search ranking refers to your position on the results page for a given keyword query. Because Web users usually want quick answers, they are more likely to click links at the top of the first page of results. For that reason, you tend to get more site traffic if your site is included in the list of the top five or so search results.