Web Design & Local SEO for Small Businesses

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Domain Service Notice – SCAM

Search engine registration e-mail scam

This mornings scam offering in my inbox was a new one to me. A notifcation of “Domain name search engine registration” expiration.
As you might imagine I have quite a few domain names under my control, so to find this email got me a bit confused.

Basically it starts out making out the domain name is up for renewal (it wasn’t), but then you read on and it says

“Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web. ”

So they’re claiming that if you don’t pay your ranking and ability to be found in search engine will be effected. DO NOT believe them.

So some pointers that should let you know you it’s a scam .

It’s sent from a hotmail email account – ok so not all hotmail email is dodgy but it’s temporary, easy to get hold of and not something I would expect a reputable company to use. This is something to consider when setting up your new business/ site most domains come with emails addresses use them, it will at least give your potential clients a little more confidence that you are who you say you are.

The facts were wrong. The domain expiry date was wrong, although adding tomorrow’s date does encourage the reader to make hasty / rash decisions.

There are no actual company details given only a fax number!!!!!! Alarm bells.

There is no company that charges for you to be registered for search engines, or at least non that can remove their services and you suddenly not be found. After all you can submit your new site to Google and bing for free.

When searching through Google, you can see that this scam has been going for years (they’ve not even updated the template for the email ha-ha.) it also looks like they take it in turns to focus on specific domain endings, so for now it looks like .com is under fire. So spread the word and don’t let anyone else parted with their cash.

 

Attention: Important Notice

DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE

Complete and return by fax to:
1-212-913-9858

ATT: ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACT– – – – – – – – WWW.DOMAIN.COM Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above  

Domain Name: DOMAIN.COMSearch Engine Submission

 

Requested Reply FEBRUARY 5,2013

 

 

 

PART I: REVIEW SOLICITATION

Attn: – As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your registration and save.
Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
This Notice for: WWW.DOMAIN.COM will expire on February 5,2013 Act today!

——————————————————————————————–

DETAIL OF SERVICE: ANNUAL WEBSITE SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION FOR DOMAIN NAME WWW.DOMAIN.COM

Detail of Service: SEARCH SUBMISSIONS
Reply by Date: 02/05/2013
For Domain Name: DOMAIN.COM
Select Term Your Existing Domain Period Covered Price
DOMAIN.COM
[ ] 1 year 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2014 $75.00
[ ] 2 year 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2015 $119.00
[ ] 5 year 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2018 $199.00
[ ] 10 year -Most Recommended- 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2023 $295.00
[ ] Lifetime (NEW!) Limited time offer – Best value! Lifetime $499.00
Full Name: Email:
Email 2: ____________________
Phone: _____________________
Want to receive this notification for other domains you own? simply list them below: _____________________ _____________________
_____________________ _____________________
Today’s Date: _____________________ Signature: _____________________

Payment Select the term and complete the form above, then return by fax: 1-212-913-9858 (do not include your credit card details on this form, just fill the information above and fax it to us, once we receive your fax we will send you instructions on how to make a payment by credit card, also make sure you provide us with your contact phone number above)

Pippas Web story – it was just the beginning

Owner of Pippa Web

When I was growing up my parents splashed out and we had our own computer (just like the ones we had at school the BBC “model B” that loaded games via a tape recorder, and you could programme with simple little codes to do draw on the screen. I loved playing with it, and tried the coding several times from codes in the odd book or magazine my Mum had found. I used the computer on and off through my school and college life, but not to any big extreme, just the basics.

Then in 1997 I moved in with my then fiancé and other than the flat one of our first big buys was a home computer. I couldn’t see the point of having a computer at home. He was the one pushing for it, he’s heard about the Internet and couldn’t wait. Me I wasn’t fussed and was just looking forward to re-learning the wordprocessor and spreadsheets. However after we got it, I spent more and more time on the Internet finding more and more things of interest to learn.

Then I found a site that let you create your own website, “ wow how exciting”, but what could I possibly do it on. Other than being on the computer and working I didn’t do much but my Hubby played cricket for his local friendly side. So I thought I’d do a site for them to share team news etc. so I created my first site. Over the next few years I found out that you could learn a code to create sites not just use the online software, but didn’t have the time or now where to start learning it. However having slipped down some steps at work and one swollen ankle later meant that I had some time one my hand so I spent the week with an online course teaching myself HTML on the computer, my foot up resting. So having worked through the course I wanted a challenge. So I decided to re-design that cricket club web site and coded every page by hand. Well that site did the trick the club loved it, and I was really proud of my achievement.

From there I created several different sites over the years for different reasons but all for either me or my family. I created a site for my Mum who had re-trained as a hypnotherapist and a year or so later for a theatre group. I got enough feedback from people that they loved the sites that I decided to do more reading to see how i could develop my own html coding. So through online courses again I learnt about CSS and JavaScript, and then turned my attention to SEO (search engine optimisation) to help my Mum’s site out.

I was working as an analyst for a utilities company when I went on maternity leave with my second child, my department was relocated 45mins down the road. So I took the opportunity to leave and decided to give Pippas Web – web design a try to see if there was a need for my work. So here I am, this is me and my story.
So what can you take from this to start out on your own.

Enjoy what you do – find something of interest , a hobby, a craft, computer coding. If you’re going to go into business for yourself, then you want to enjoy what you do.

Continue to learn – read around your chosen business, expand your knowledge, the theory and then learn new related skills things that will give you an edge.

– what do they want from you, do you need to change anything, do you need to be able to do anything different?
Make the most of your opportunities – I had a week off work, where all I could was sit there. I made good use of that time by teaching myself a new skill. You never know where that new skill might just take you.

This is my story why not share yours with me below.

From Blank Page to Content – Where to Start?

Whether you are planning on creating your own website or hiring someone else to design your site at some point you’re going to have to start adding some content to your website, but where to start?

I find it very difficult to write about someone else’s business without quizzing them thoroughly, at the end of the day, you know your business best so either writing your own content or providing lots of information on what you do can only help.

I was talking to a client yesterday who was going to go away and start working on his content, but didn’t know where to start, I said I’d try and send some suggestions through this is what I came up with, bare in mind it’s not exhaustive but just designed to get you to think about your business and your site and give you a place to start.

• Who are you aiming your service at businesses, individuals?

• Are you going to serve a specific area or a larger more general area UK / world wide?

• What is your unique selling point (what makes your service different to the competition)

• If you were looking for your business in Google what would you type in to find it? (These are called keywords)

• Do you know the address of any of your competitors, have you checked out their sites? What do you / don’t you like about them?

• What services do you provide?

• What contact details are you going to use.

• How do you want to be paid?

• Do you have any ideas of the kind of colour scheme you’d be looking for?

• Do you have any images that can be used or do you want to find some on one of the many image sites.

Here are some ideas for basic pages you might want to include.

Home – This page should give over view of what you do, direct people to other area of the site to find more detail

About us, – explain who is involved in the company, how you got started what skills you bring to it etc.

Services – what do you offer, do you want to add prices?,

Contact – includes your contact details, giving a physical address and phone number gives customers more confidence in you than leaving them out. Contact form do you need any specific information to be able to help them best? Or will standard name, email address and message do for initial contact.

I hope this gets you started.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walt Disney

Pippas Web design websites for start up companies and small business, check us out.

I Just Want A Basic Website

What does a basic website involve?

So you’ve decided you want a website, a “basic Website” but what does that mean?

To me a basic web design includes the following

Home page – This sets the scene for the whole website, it should explain what the site is about, briefly  the services you provide.  The home page is likely to be the first page a potential customer says, they need to see personality, link it to different areas of website but make sure it’s clear for people new to your site to find what they are looking for, your services, your prices if appropriate etc.

About Us page – This is where you add information about when the company was formed , who is involved.  if there’s just you then tell your customer about you and how come you do what you do. If qualifications are required for what you do, you could list them here.

Services or Products Page – Why does you potential client need your service? what do you offer?  Do you offer anything different to anyone else?  If you offer more than one service consider adding each service to a different page.  This will make it easier for SEO purposes later if you only have to focus on one topic per page.
A big question is “should I advertise my prices?”  There are several ways to consider this question.

  • Show Prices – it could deter time wasters, if they know how much they don’t need to contact you, this leaves you time to deal with those that really want to use your services and are happy to pay what you’re asking.
  • Don’t show – You are giving your competitors information that they can use to under cut your prices, Your prices may initially appear too high to the untrained customer, which make them turn away from you.  Or appear too cheap to be real.

Contact page – This is an important page as it is the basis of communication between you and your customers.  If you’re selling things from your website you need to add a physical address to your website.  Adding addresses and phone numbers will help build trust between your potential customer and yourself, showing that you’re real, and that you can be contactable if they want to.
Give people an option of how they contact you.  Some people prefer to speak in person in the phone as first contact, other would prefer to write an email or fill in a contact form.

So with all this to consider what makes it Basic?

To me a basic website, consists of:

  • mainly text and images.
  • no added extras, like shopping basket, booking diaries,
  • anything that needs adding and extra coding,

But then if you know nothing about how to create a websites and where to start, nothing is really “basic” is it?

 

 

 

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Hosting Package

What is a hosting company?

Put simply in order for your website to be seen on the Internet  the files need to be stored somewhere.  It is possible for you to host a simple website on your own computer, but this would mean the computer would need to be on 24/7, have security installed and I’m guessing you’re not interested in doing that.  So the better option is to find a hosting company.  They’ll keep your website files on their servers and they can deal with the maintenance of them, allowing you to concentrate on your business.

How to choose ?
So for your small or new business, you’ve chosen a domain name and chosen the ending you want, but now it’s time to pick your hosting.
Your hosting options vary depending on how you’re going to create your web page.

  1. Using an online programme like moonfruit or wix, these programs create flash based sites with a html (Hyper text Markup Language – that websites care coded in) version embedded so which overcomes the issue that flash is traditionally SEO unfriendly. These websites are usually hosted on the site they’re created.
  2. Using software like Dreamweaver, coffeecup or FrontPage or even wordpress that allows you to create the pages offline with varying amount of skills and knowledge from some are visual based some you need to know html and possibly CSS to code the pages. The pages and any software will need to be transferred / uploaded usually called FTP (File Transfer Protocol). If you’ve got a snazzy new site made in .php you’ll need to find a host that allows php. If you want to upload wordpress or any other blog system you’ll need to check their hosting requirements before you pick it.

Other things you need to consider when choosing your hosting company

Email : Does the host give you the ability to set up email if so how many and is it enough for what you need, can you add more?

Storage Space: How much space do you need? most hosting options offer more than enough for setting up a simple starter site. But if you are adding photo galleries, shopping systems, blog etc you need to think can I upgrade and get more space if I need it?

Bandwidth: bandwidth, this refers to a mix of the number of people accessing your site, and how big you page files sizes are and the amount of data that is sent to your browser. Some hosts limit that amount of broadband and if you only have a small site with mainly text and a few images that it likely to be fine, but consider using a host with unlimited or unmetered bandwidth, then you’ll never need to worry.

Help: What support is offered? if you’ve never done anything like this before you may want to ensure the support levels and that it’s included in your package.

So How Do You Chose?

Firstly I suggest you check Google, get a selection of hosting company’s and pricing that suits your requirements and budget. Then check the company on Google for customer reviews. Remember however that everyone’s experience can be different. I personally host my main site through Streamline.net. searching through reviews sites there are a number of people who have problem with them. I however have never had a problem with them.

A lot of hosting companies offer a domain name when you sign up to their deal. So as you’ve already picked you domain you’re now ready to sign up.

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

How to End Your Domain Name And does It Matter?

So you’ve picked your company name, decided on your domain name, and gone to buy your domain name, through a company like 123-reg or godaddy. Then you realise you’ve got lots of options to choose from. All domain names end with a (dot)and a series of letter i.e. .com, .co.uk or .biz.

Domain name endings.
In 1985 the domain name system was started with just 7 original endings, .com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .net. org and .arpa. Now there are many more with new ones regualrly being added to cope with rapidly expanding Internet.
But what do the different letter combinations mean.

.com Commercial is by the the most common option although is traditionally for American based businesses.

.co.uk this is the UK’s own commercial

.edu for education sites

.gov for governmental sites

.mil military.

.net networks

.org organisations

.me personal sites

.tv was originally the extension for Tuvalu but now can be used for entertainment and fansite.

.co the Columbian code is .co but now .co can be used by anyone,

.info information websites

.biz an alternative ending for businesses.

Each country also has it’s own letters which can be offered by providers, added to a number of the above, i.e. .co.uk, org.uk or uk.net

So which one should you choose?

From an SEO point of view it really makes no difference. It’s your on page optimisation and back links that really make or break a site.

However that said in the UK, there is an expectation that UK based companies will use .co.uk domain name.

Do you need to buy all the domain variations?

Well buying them all will stop anyone else using that name, but will also set you back a lot of money. Personally I would advise if you’re UK based and serve the UK stick with a .co.uk if you’re a global company, you might want to go for .com However if someone the other end of the country to you has the .co.uk version of your preferred domain but the .biz or .net or even .me version is still available there is nothing to stop you choosing that.

So if you have your own domain, what extension / ending did you go with, and what made you choose that?

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

3 ways to pick your domain name.

How to pick your domain name
You’ve made that decision that your company wants a web site. So your next task is what to call it. It needs a domain name or url.
1) Use your company name. The simplest idea is to buy a domain name using your company name. This is great if you’re an existing established company. After all how will people know to look for your company, if they don’t already know it’s name? Of course that’s where SEO would come in, you’d arrange your site so it could be found using the keywords

 

2)What do you do? Describe a service that your site offers, using a keyword you would expect people to use to find you in Google for example. Window cleaning and select a domain name using the term somewhere within. This will give a bit of extra juice for search engine ranking for that term.
3)Place names, if you serve a specific area, a town, city, county, then it may be in your interest to chose a domain name with it in the name.
Of course, you’re not just limited to one domain name either. If you are entering into a field with a lot of competition you may want to approach it from several different ways.
You could buy as many domains as you need on for services, one for name, one for location and then use a domain re-direction point them to your site. However think about this before you do it, the more you buy the more links you’ll need to build for each name. Also do you want to be in competition with yourself? If you do buy extra domain names, then you will need to create 301 redirection to direct them to you site so that only one version of your site is visible to search engines, or you’ll end up with duplicate content which is another SEO NO-No.
So if this has given you some inspiration then check your short list of suggestions on www.123-reg.co.uk/domain-names and make sure that no-one else has your combination.
In the next post I want to look at the domain name endings and does it make a difference.
So how did you select your domain name? Leave me a comment and share.
To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

Happy Customer – OvenMagic

Having relocated in the summer I needed to change my sites SEO to Stafford
as part of this on going project in betwen client work I have also been asking for some reviews from some of my clients on Google places to let others know what my clients think of me. I am pleased to say that several responded so I would like to share them on my blog over the next few posts.

Let me introduce you to OvenMagic run by Kevin Kemp.

Oven Magic is an oven cleaning company based Droitwich, Worcestershire.
Cleaning residential and commercial oven, hobs and ranges in Worcestershire and south Birmingham. Making greasy, dirty ovens, sparkle again like new.
Kevin had a site that he’d launched early last year and wanted some SEO work carrying out. Having re-coded his site into CSS rather than it’s original table format making it easier to make future changes.

This is what Kevin had to say about my work.

“Oven Magic would like to thank Pippasweb for the continued support with the www.ovenmagic.me web site on keeping it at page One on google in the worcestershire area for all of 2010. Pippa has given me a better understanding of how seo works and i would without hesitation recommend pippas web service to any start up company looking for affordable seo. pippa has also up dated my web site with a super fast turn round time thank you pippa”

As Kevin said for most locations in his target area for the term “Oven Cleaning” he is on the 1st page of results and for “oven cleaning Worcester” as of Nov 2010 he actually occupied the No1# slot from over 53,000 results.

Customer: Kevin Kemp – OvenMagic.
Service: SEO and site Maintenance.
Site: http://www.ovenmagic.me

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

Who is your site for?

When designing your website (whether you are doing it yourself or getting someone else to do it for you), it is important to consider who your site is for and what is it’s purpose.

I’m guessing the answer will be your site is to attract customers, but who are your customers, and what do they want.

For example are you selling to business to business, providing information that organisations, councils etc might want to read, or directly to the client. The style of the site could possibly reflect the content, for example if you’re providing something to help people relax, for example hypnotherapy etc then a calming style to your site. Sites do look good when kept simple and spacious, however you still need to ensure that all the relevant content is present. Google relies on content to help it decide your keywords and when to return your site in the results. Therefore the more information you put onto your site, will only help.
The balance you need to find is keeping the content user-friendly for the people reading your site and using the relevant keywords in the relevant places for search engines to find you too. Remember your site may look aesthetically pleasing but unless you have the information your users are looking for, or using keywords for search engines then it’s unlikely to be found by your potential buyers, site users.

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

Happy Customer – Lucy Owen Catering Company

I know it’s been a while since I posted anything, but I’m still busy working on sites, SEO for others and of course my own site, as well as preparing to move house in the next two weeks, looking after the children……  Therefore the blog I’m afraid does tend to suffer.   I do try and keep my fan page updated every couple of days so if you need a short fix come check us out.

However I got a wonderful email last night, that helped me to see it is all worth it.  What I do, the site I create help other people and their businesses.

Let me introduce you to Lucy Owen Catering Company run by Debbie Saunders.

Lucy Owen Catering Company is a family run, home-based catering company in Hampshire.  Creating wonderful food using locally sourced produce where possible. So whatever your event; business, party, engagement, christening, baptism, wedding, civil ceremony or funeral they have a buffet menu for you.

We designed the website at the end of last year and due the company doing well Debbie needed to add additional menus onto to the site a few months later.

This is what Debbie has to say.

“Thank you so much for all the help and guidance you have given me. I have been singing your praises to anyone who has commented on the website. I’ve had nothing but complimentary things said about it.”

Customer: Debbie Saunders- Lucy Owen Catering Company.
Service: Original site design and additional pages.
Site: http://www.lucyowencatering.co.uk/

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

Testimonials

I can highly recommend Pippas Web very friendly service & everything explained clearly & without jargon. You won’t regret your investment

Lynne WakefieldMozo Jewellery