Online Vs Offline SEO: Which Is Best for Your Business?

If you ask anyone who works in the SEO industry what optimisation means and what its purpose is, they’ll probably be able to give you a quick, if not necessarily straightforward answer. The aim is clearly to improve the status of your business website /brand on the results pages of search engines: the higher the ranking, the more likely users will be attracted to your services. Now ask those very same people how to best achieve this and the waters start to get a little muddier.

Some SEO experts favour on-page, or on-line optimisation techniques, others prefer off-page. The majority, you would hope, would recommend a combination of the two strategies. If it could just be left at that, the world would be a simpler place. However, SEO professionals don’t seem to do ‘simple’. They’ll start telling you about the importance of ‘organic’ marketing, ‘Meta tag’ settings and other weird and wonderful sounding concepts that you really ‘must’ use. Is it any wonder we mere mortals get confused? What do any of these terms actually mean? Well, hopefully after you’ve read this article the waters may become a little clearer.

On-page SEO refers to the optimisation of the pages that make up your actual business website. This is the more technical aspect of the optimisation process and refers to those factors that have an effect on website or webpage listings in natural search results: these factors are controlled by you or by the coding on your web pages. Any optimisation will focus on the keywords that make up the content or the copy on your web site. It will also look at areas like HTML coding, Meta tags, unique content, website design and layout. Essentially on-page optimisation is all about tweaking all the technical bits and bobs that lurk beneath the surface, so that both search engines and ordinary users are given the precise information they’re looking for: the better and more accurate the results, then the greater the traffic.

Offline SEO refers to the optimisation of the pages away from your website. They are referred to as ‘off-page’ because they are not controlled by you or by the coding on your website. Off-page optimisation techniques focus predominantly on areas like link building, directory and article submission, blog posting and forum posting. The purpose of offline optimisation is to maximise all the links that come off your website pages to encourage a higher placing in the search engine results.

So which is best?   

It won’t surprise you to learn that there isn’t a simple answer to this. Well, there wouldn’t be, would there? Each has its own merits and limitations. It’s all a matter of horses for courses: it depends on what your ultimate goal is and how quickly you expect to see the results.

Traditionally on-page optimisation will produce better long-term results, but these can take time.  If your business aim is to get yourself established on the likes of Google and Bing or other high-ranking search engines, then you’ll have to be prepared to be patient. Building a reputation and creating top-notch, relevant content takes time and effort. Those SEO companies and business who aren’t prepared to bide their time will have to explore other avenues to get the quick fixes they desire.

Off-page optimisation can and often does produce quicker and more-measurable results, but that can come at a price. It’s all predominantly about link building. If your website is able to link to high-profile, respected websites, then your ranking can receive an immediate boost just through the power of positive association. Off-page SEO can give your business website this boost, a sort of kick start if you’d prefer, but it can’t necessarily sustain it for the longer term. If your aim is sustainability, then it’s probably much wiser to use a combination of both optimisation strategies.

Everybody seems to want the quick fix nowadays: I suppose it’s a direct consequence of living in a world where we all appear to demand instant gratification. However, some things are still worth waiting for: when they eventually come, you appreciate them all the more. Internet marketing strategists will tell you that the only way for a website to achieve sustainable organic growth is by adopting a holistic marketing strategy, and do you know what? I think they’re probably right.



Source by Jason H Walker

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How Is Google Search Changing Us?

Typing in Google and searching for stuff has never been easier. Have you ever wondered how it is changing us? Read on for insights.

For instance, we want to look up the meaning of a word or find synonyms of that word. We can find the answer in the matter of a few clicks. In the old days, when the web was not there, we had to turn over the pages of a dictionary and find the word we were searching for matching the first few alphabets.

A search on Google, for this matter, certainly has made this easier. We are too reductive and lazy nowdays to consult a solid dictionary when Google is so handy.

We can also find information relevant to research in the niche we are interested in. We can find new sites and bookmark them for future references. All these information can be retrieved on Google clicks.

However, not all information on the web corresponding to a Google search can be 100% relevant and accurate. We may in that case have to purchase books and consult them. So for short runs it is okay and we can take it. But if we are writing a thesis, research paper, article or report, this is where solid books come into the picture.

Not all the searches on Google give the answer we are looking for. Sometimes we fall into a loop, continuing clicking and wasting our time when the information can be directly found in catalogs or at the library of our office.

Free forums are available on the web and a Google search on these can rightly let us discover them. I think it is good to consult the forums for the information you need badly. This may be related to programming issues or other topics for that matter. If they are popular, you get good solutions for your problems from gurus or experts in those forums.

Fiction eBooks come in handy as well on many free sites. Instead of spending money on fictions, you can just download good fiction eBooks from the sites and these sites you can find on Googling.

The advantages of a Google search have made our lives much simpler, easier and cozier by letting us access the required information at a fast pace. But for long term commitments which, I have explained before, Google searches simply waste our time without giving us the information we need and in that case, it is more reliable for us to consult a library.



Source by Rosina S Khan

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Website Design – Hardware and Software Tools You May Need

Before you get started with your new website or editing your current site, you need to consider which hardware and software tools you may need to support your efforts.

When it comes to hardware needed this can be very simple or reasonably complex depending on your particular needs. Of course, if you plan to create a new website (or even view your new website later) you need a computer. Simple enough, right? Not necessarily. We prefer to work with Apple Macintosh (OSX Leopard on MacBook Pro) as we do a lot of intensive graphics work and have previously invested in Adobe Creative Suite software (Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc.). It is just as easy to create your new website using your Windows PC but we would suggest you stay away from using Windows Vista (any version) and migrate to Windows 7 or stick with Windows XP. These operating systems are just much more stable and reliable.

Another consideration for hardware should be some sort of backup hard drive or removable USB memory stick (s). It is important that you back up all of your website data to a removable drive in the event your computer crashes, is broken or is stolen. When you create website files, most of your data will be stored on the website hosting servers but, in many cases, you will have many other "builder files" that usually never make it to the hosting servers. If you lose this data you will be forced to start from scratch in many cases. Another piece of hardware that many forget about is a HD Video Camcorder. If you plan to include video on your site, you should be investing in something half decent; You can typically pick up a good video camera that also captures "still photos" for under $ 500.00.

When it comes to software needed, this can be somewhat more complicated, again depending on what your website design goals are. At the very least, you will need some sort of text editing software, FTP (file transfer software), graphics creation software and then a variety of other tools as you progress.

Here are some of the most common subjects you should consider when planning the design of your website product.

COMPUTER

Do you currently have a computer that can process large files (ie – video files) quickly and efficiently?

WEBSITE SERVER

Are you planning to host your own website portal? If so, do you know what type of hardware and server software you will need?

BACKUP HARD DRIVE or USB STICK

Do you currently have some sort of backup hard drive equipment or plan?

VIDEO CAMERA

Will you be creating custom videos for your website and, if so, do you have a HD video camera ready to go?

MOBILE WEB DEVICES

Are you planning to make your website "mobile web friendly"? If so, do you have an iPhone and an iPad? Android phone? Blackberry device? These will be needed for testing purposes!

WEBSITE CREATION SOFTWARE

Do you have any website creation software (ie Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Front Page) installed, licensed and ready to use?

GRAPHICS EDITING SOFTWARE

Are you planning to create your own website graphics or edit pictures? Do you have the necessary software (ie Adobe Photoshop or Photo Studio)?

DATABASES

Are you planning on creating a database for your website and, if so, do you know which software to use for this purpose?



Source by ER Woody House

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7 Biggest Mistakes in Southern Cooking

There is Southern Cooking and then there is SOUTHERN COOKING! You can follow a recipe and still come out with a dish that does not resemble what the recipe intended. The reason is technique and the little secrets that are not included in the recipe.

Technique is as important as the ingredients and proper technique helps you avoid the following common mistakes made by novice cooks. You can find many free Southern recipes on the internet, but few web sites provide the additional information needed to to be a real Southern cook. So when you find a site that does, bookmark it and stick with it for your Southern recipes. (See Resource Box below for recommendation).

7 Biggest Mistakes:

1. Failure to Properly Preheat Oven When Baking.

Have you ever made cornbread that came out soft and crumbly without a crust? Or biscuits that did not rise and have a gray color? It was probably due to the fact that your oven was not properly preheated. When baking, the crust is set in the first 10 minutes. So, if you want a nice, golden crust on your cornbread, be sure to get the oven up to 400 degrees before you put the cornbread in.

Ovens vary in how long it takes to reach a given temperature. Some ovens will reach 400 degrees in 4-5 minutes. Some will take as long as 15 minutes. A good practice is to get a thermometer (any food thermometer that goes up to 425 degrees will work) and time how long it takes your oven to reach 250, 350, 400 and 425 degrees. Write it down and keep it handy if you can not remember. Then always allow the alloted time to reach the desired temperature before beginning your baking.

2. Undercooked Vegetables

Keep in mind we are talking about Southern cooking. Not Chinese or West Coast casseroles. Many vegetables, Southern Style, are cooked considerably longer than most people tend to cook them. Specifically, green beans are cooked until soft and dark green in color. They are not crunchy and bright green. Okra and green tomatoes, are cooked until some burned edges appear and are very crunchy. As a general rule boiled vegetables are cooked until very tender and fried foods are cooked until crunchy (this goes for cornbread, fried chicken and pork chops, too).

3. Failure to Use Cast Iron

I have never researched all the reasons why, but Southern cooking is best cooked in cast iron cook-ware. The cast iron holds and transfers heat unlike any other type metal. Food just does not cook the same in aluminum or steel. Especially cornbread. Besides, it is the traditional way to cook Southern.

Older cast iron tends to have problems with rust and food sticking, but the newer cook-ware comes already cured (seasoned) so it is not as much a problem. However, it is not difficult to cure your cast iron if you have an older style. You can get complete, free instructions in the web referrals below.

4. Failure to Use Onions and Bacon

Onions and bacon (or bacon grease) are used extensively in Southern cooking. Some cooks, however, stray away form cooking real Southern because they (or family members) do not like onions and/or concerns about the fat content in bacon.

They do this because they fail to understand the reason for using bacon and onions. They are NOT in the recipe so that you taste onions or bacon. They are there only to provide subtle flavor. A unique Southern flavor. If you do not like onions, use only a small amount and remove the onion from the dish before serving (put onion in cheesecloth while cooking and it is easy to remove). If you are concerned about the calorie content of bacon, do not use whole bacon. Just add 1/2 tsp of grease from previously cooked bacon. And, accept the fact that Southern cooking is not inherently low fat. It is meant to be flavorful and robust. So, use that bacon and onion for real Southern dishes.

5. Overworking Dough

Southern breads are meant to be light and fluffy. Even cornbread should not be heavy and solid. Many Southern cooks never learn how to make good biscuits. And homemade Southern Biscuits are the trademark of good Southern cooks.

Three errors cause bad biscuits (and other breads). First, do not overwork the dough. Biscuit dough should only be kneaded three times. No more. Just enough to shape it for cutting out the biscuits.

Second, when cutting the dough, do not push down and twist the biscuit cutter. Push straight down and straight back up. Twisting compacts the edges of the dough and causes uneven cooking.

Third, remember the previous mistake above…preheat your oven. A cold oven can result in flat, hard biscuits.

6. Yellow Cornmeal and Sugar in cornbread

Everyone has their own preference, but, please do not use yellow cornmeal in cornbread. It may be mental, but it just does not taste the same as white cornmeal. Besides it looks funny. And, NEVER, NEVER put sugar in cornbread if you want authentic Southern cornbread. Cornbread is bread to accompany a meal. It is not dessert. It is not cake! It is BREAD. So, if you like sweet cornbread…go ahead and use your sugar…but, do not call it Southern Cornbread!

7. Failure to Use buttermilk

All good Southern cooks use buttermilk in everything except desserts. Regular milk does not add the flavor that buttermilk does. Especially in any dish with cornmeal (cornbread, hush puppies, tamale pie, etc.). If you do not have buttermilk, you can make a reasonable substitute by stirring 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a cup of regular milk. Allow to sit for a minute before use.

These are some of the most common mistakes (or lack of Southern cooking technique) made in Southern cooking. You can ignore all of them and make eatable food, but it will not be traditional Southern. Even some good Southern cooks fail to comply with all the above, but they have probably developed a variation of these same techniques.

So, get in that kitchen, fire up the stove and make your family a real Southern dinner tonight.



Source by K. A. Miller

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