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Web Business Articles

A list of the latest articles


Search Engine Optimization

Wed, 07 Nov 2007 02:18:30 -0500

The goal of this article is to bring together the best Search Engine Optimization techniques available, and also to consolidate some of the SEO resources available on this site.

Introduction to Search Engine Optimization

Currently this article is a placeholder for the upcoming Search Engine Optimization (SEO) article.

Starting an Online Business Directory - A Great Way to Get Links

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 22:21:55 -0400

Lots of businesses are looking for a good online business directory

If you've ever tried to promote a business online, finding a good, targeted business directory is a challenge. But the demand for good business directories is high, creating an imballance between supply and demand that you can take advantage of.

Most businesses with web sites seek online business directories to get some good targeted traffic back to their web site. The more specific a business directory is, the more potential there is for targetted traffic.

So, now that you know that there's a good niche to fill by creating a targetted business directory, let's look at what kind of incentive there might be for you.

Getting backlinks to your site is critical for search engine optimization

The most important method of increasing your rank in search engines is getting links back to your site from other web sites. The greater the rank, the greater your traffic, and the greater the traffic the more opportunities you have to generate income from the traffic.

Here's the idea: Make your business directory free, but require a backlink

Most site owners are more than happy to provide a link to a site in return for targeted, quality traffic. It's free and easy to add to their site. You benefit by getting some moderate traffic from those links through interested parties, and you also get a boost in search engine ranking for not just your business directory, but also the web site that includes the business directory.

Starting an online business directory can be pretty dang easy

Even if you don't have much in the way of programming skills, you can start an online business directory with some simple HTML. A database solution would be ideal, but if you don't have the technical knowledge to create the database design for the business directory yourself, or the monetary resources to hire out for it, you can start with some simple, static web pages. Just use Google to let your visitors search the business direcory, and you've pretty much got what you need to get started.

A business directory can eventually become an income-producer

As your business directory becomes more popular and gets more visitors, you can eventually start charging for positions in the directory. For instance, you can charge a sliding scale for the top 3 positions on the pages of the business directory, and have the rest be free.

The Advantages of Internet Advertising vs. Traditional Advertising

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 22:21:02 -0400

Internet advertising is huge

With the growth of information on the internet has growth the amount of time people spend on it, which has in turn generated a new market for internet advertising. Some of the wealthiest companies in the world have made sure that they get a piece of the internet marketing pie, and for a good reason.

Internet advertising is targeted

As a company looking for advertising opportunities to a specific market, internet advertising offers some targeting methods that insure that those who see your ads are the ones most likely to buy. Programs like Google's AdWords and AdSense match up advertisers with content that their target market peruses regularly. Forget the costly machine-gun strategy of newspaper advertisements, internet advertising is targeted!

Internet adverting enables good conversion tracking

It's impossible to get a good idea of how many people see advertising through traditional means. Tracking the reach of newspaper and television advertisments is difficult. However, internet advertising allows the advertiser to track the number of impressions an ad gets (how many people see it), and how many visits their business web site gets from particular ads, making it easy to see what kind of conversion rates internet advertisements are getting.

Internet advertising has a lower entry-level fees

If you have a limited budget, internet advertising can be much more in reach than traditional methods. A small yellow-page ad can cost several hundred dollars. However, you can bid for advertisements on Google and Overture on a performance basis. That means that you only get charged when visitors click on the advertisement, and bidding starts at a nickle or dime a pop.

Internet advertising can be much cheper

Because of the targeted nature of internet advertising and the ability to track the effectiveness of ads, conversion rates from internet advertising is typically much better than traditional mediums.

Internet advertising has greater range

One more benefit is that, since the internet spans the globe, pockets of your target market scattered around the world can all be targetted at once, rather than trying to find different publications, radio stations and television stations that cater to a particular geographical area.

On the whole, internet advertising can be a great way to get the word out there about your service or product in a cost-effective, efficient way.

Need Help Grokking the Myspace Layout Structure? No Problem!

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 22:20:05 -0400

The Myspace profile layout is made of tables

The first thing to understand about the Myspace layout structure is that is is made of tables. Tables are a way to use HTML to display content in a columns and rows. I personally think the layout of the Myspace profile page could use some improvement, but in this case you have to work with what you've got.

So, first thing's first: the Myspace profile page layout uses tables. These tables form blocks around different parts of the content. For instance, there's a big table around all of the content that holds the whole Myspace profile layout. Then there are smaller tables inside of that table; one around the photo / headline / bio, one around the "Contacting Bob" section, and so on.

How many tables are there in the Myspace layout structure?

There is one area of the Myspace layout code that involves six nested tables, but you can manipulate most of the layout display of the Myspace profile display in the second and third tables. The reason this information is important is that when you start to use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to alter the display of the Myspace layout, you'll need to know which table to apply the styles to. Below is a quick little stylesheet that will help you experiment with the layout structure of the Myspace profile page. Just add this style in the "About Me" area of the profile editing page:

Add borders to the styles above to show thier position in the Myspace layout

To get a better idea of how adding styles to each table will affect the layout display of the Myspace profile page, add the following code at the bottom of each style (right below the "border:0px;"):

border:1px solid red;

Adding that style will show you where the element is, so you know that if you add additional styles to it, what areas of the page it will affect. Note that as you add styles to tables in the Myspace layout that include other tables that those included tables will also use those styles.

After a little experiementation, you should get a good feel for how to edit your Myspace profile page to make it more attractive.

Adding Stickability to your Business Web Site

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 22:11:45 -0400

The longer visitors are on your business web site, the greater the opportunity for branding

Some visitors who come to your business web site will know what they're looking for, but many others need guidance. Some of them are considering the competition, and if they are shopping online, your business web site has to out-shine the others to get the business.

It's important to try to keep your visitors on your site until they become a conversion, or to at least build a relationship with the customer through the web site until they feel comfortable enough with your business to come back later and complete the sale.

Below are some ways to use your business web site to increase potential branding, and branding means more opportunity for conversion.

Add some free information to your business web site

The more information you have on your business web site, the longer a visitor can browse the site without running into the same pages. If there's more to read, it's more likely that visitors will stick around to read it.

An added benefit of having more information on your business web site is that you will get more targeted traffic through search engines to the content pages of your site, where visitors can be introduced to your brand.

The free information on your business web site can come in the form of articles, reviews, statistics, and tutorials. You can also use this information to increase your range of customer services through your business web site.

Include interactivity on your business web site

People like business web sites that they can interact with. If you have a product or service that can be customized for a customer, consider creating an interactive media experience where the customer can generate price quotes based on certain information, or can see visually how a change of color or size will affect a product.

Keep your business web site live

One of the best ways to keep a business web site attractive and "stickable" is to make sure you have some current information. It has to look like your business web site is a live entity, with new information being added all the time.

These are just a few ways to add stikability to your web site. As long as you keep in mind that your goal is to keep customers on your web site until they become a business conversion, you can come up with some other creative ways to achieve

Adding a Myspace Background With CSS

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 22:11:01 -0400

Getting customized with a Myspace background

Customizing a Myspace background is incredibly easy. First, though, it's important to consider what kind of Myspace background you'd like: a large image or a repeating background.

Which is better, a large image background or a repeating background for a Myspace background?

For most people, a Myspace profile is a very casual way to learn about people, their backgrounds, their likes and dislikes. For some, however, it pays to have the their Myspace profile page be clean and professional. One of the main effects of a single large background for a Myspace layout is in increased download time. A large image is a large file that could add several seconds of download time for broadband users, and lots of seconds for dial-up users.

Using a small, repeating graphic, however for your Myspace background can give a nice effect to the page without increasing the download time of the page much at all.

The code for adding a single image to your Mysql background is easy. Just add the following code to the "About me" entry in your Myspace profile, just filling in the URL with the URL of the background image you want to use:

To use a repeating image for your Myspace background, the code is even simpler:

Next question: A fixed Myspace background or not?

A normal Myspace page will have it's background scroll with the rest of the page. However, you can add some extra code in the CSS style to "fix" it so that it doesn't scroll at all. Here's an example of how to use a fixed Myspace background. Again, just put it in the "About me" section of your profile:

The effect of using a fixed background for your Myspace profile is neat, but sometimes it makes it more difficult to read the rest of the page. It's a little more difficult to find your place on a web page if the background dosn't move with the rest of the text.

If you're using a small repeating background image for your Myspace background, it might not be as noticable, but with a large image of a rocking sports car, for instance, it might be best to leave the scrolling normal.

Beginning CSS Tutorial for Myspace Layouts

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 22:10:16 -0400

Designing a Myspace layout requires CSS

Myspace is one of the most popular mediums for people wanting to get the word out about themselves, and becauase a Myspace page is so personal, most folks want a little personalization of their Myspace layout. Myspace has some major constraints how much you can alter their layout, but there's one way you can leverage the tools you're given for some serious customization: CSS!

CSS can change the Myspace layout design, but not the structure

Before we get into the nitty gritty of getting some CSS in your Myspace layout, it's important to know the limits of CSS. Your Myspace profile page uses a table layout structure. A table is a series of columns and rows that form a grid. In the Myspace profile page, the layout consists of tables within tables. In some places on your Myspace profile page, there are 6 tables nested within each other. That's a table in a table in a table in a table times two.

As a Myspace memeber, there's nothing you can do to change this layout. However, the Myspace gurus gave you the opportunity to use CSS to change how the layout looks.

A quick CSS primer

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. A "style" consists of a statement like "make this text red" or "make this background blue". It's called "cascading" because you can use multiple styles at once. If these styles conflict with one another, then the last one that was added wins. So if I have a style that says "make it green" and another right after that says "make it purple", it will be purple because the styles "cascaded" down to the last style. Here's a simple example of using a style in the Myspace layout:

This sets up a "class" called "nametext" that you can use throughout your Myspace layout. This particluar class says "use the font Arial, make the font 20 pixels tall and make it a yellowish color". This particular style is already used in the Myspace layout for your name at the top of the page.

How to add the CSS to your Myspace layout

To add the CSS to your Myspace layout, just add the code you see above to your "About Me" entry in your profile. That will change the color and size of your name at the top of your Myspace profile. Neat, huh? There's way more you can do with CSS, but this tutorial will give you a working example that you can build on.

Add Some Pizzazz to Your Myspace Layout by Formatting Text with CSS

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 22:09:13 -0400

Formatting the text in your Myspace layout is easy with CSS

For the most part, the Myspace layout structure allows you some decent freedom for making your text look exactly the way you want it to by using CSS. First, let's take a look at a few of the classes that the Myspace layout employs:

.nametext - The Myspace css class used for the name at the top of the page

.whitetext12 - The css class used for "Contacting Bob", "Bob's Interests" and "Bob's Details"

.orangetext15 - The Myspace css class used for "Bob's Blurbs", "About me:", "Who I'd like to meet:", "Bob's Friend Space" and "Bob's Friends Comments".

.btext - The Myspace css class used "Bob has" 55 "friends" and "Bob's Latest Blog Entry"

.redbtext - The Myspace css class used in: Bob has "55" friends

.lightbluetext8 - The Myspace css class used in "Books:", "Status:", "Zodiac Sign:" and "Smoke / Drink:"

These CSS classes cover most of the text used in the Myspace profile layout. Now let's see what we can do with them.

Changing the Myspace layout background image for text

This is probably one of the coolest ways to change how text looks visually. You do it by adding a background image to the text. You can use a single, larger image, or a smaller repeating one. Here's a couple of examples of how to change the Myspace layout background image for some text: