4 Questions to Ask before Hiring a Web Designer

Are you hiring a web designer to create a website for your business, or update your existing one? Make sure you ask this person some tough questions prior to signing any contract or forking over any of your hard-earned cash.

Before I give you the list of questions, let me explain why I’m writing this article today.

I met with a local service provider last week who is trying to compete against some major players in his industry. He just spent over $30K to revamp his website and was frustrated that he wasn’t getting the phone calls he expected.

When I looked at the website, the content itself was fine. But I saw right away that it was missing a key element.

Read more4 Questions to Ask before Hiring a Web Designer

5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins You Need to Know About

5 must-have wordpress pluginsI recently learned a lesson about spamming that prompted me to share with you my list of must-have WordPress plugins.

When I switched to a WordPress-based website, I installed the Contact Form plugin to make it easy for people to request information about my SEO copywriting and social media marketing/consulting services. Everything was going great, until I started getting spam emails through my Contact Form. After searching the Internet for help, I found that I needed a different plugin. That’s when I installed:

Contact Form 7 – This plugin works like a charm for filtering spam. When a word like “viagra” is included in the subject line, the message won’t go through, as you can see below:

Read more5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins You Need to Know About

Why You Need an Online Marketing Plan Before a Website

Online Marketing PlanBy Gloria Rand

Launching a new business and need a website? Don’t spend a dime until you decide how you’re going to market your business. Online marketing needs a combination of SEO, social media and email to be successful.

Questions to consider are:

Who is our target audience?
Are they in our local area, or national?
Do our prospects use social media? If so, which network(s)?
How will our prospects contact us? Phone? Email?
Who will design the web site?
Who will write copy and optimize the site? 

Read moreWhy You Need an Online Marketing Plan Before a Website

What is Inbound Marketing and Why Should I Care?

By Gloria Randinbound marketing

Ask a landscape lighting contractor or massage therapist what inbound marketing is, and chances are, you may get a blank stare. They may not know the term. But the two small business owners are likely using inbound marketing to promote their businesses.

Inbound marketing is any marketing tactic that involves earning someone’s interest in your product or service, rather than buying their interest. Prime examples include SEO (search engine optimization), social media, blogs, and ebooks. Traditional “outbound marketing,” (the opposite of inbound marketing) involves activities like direct mail advertising, TV and radio ads, banner advertising and cold calls.

Read moreWhat is Inbound Marketing and Why Should I Care?

Gloria Rand’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2012

top 10 2012With 2013 on the horizon, I think it’s a good time to take a look back at 2012. It was certainly a tumultuous year for… Facebook! (Yes, it was an election year here in the U.S. but there are plenty of other blogs that can comment on that front.) The social networking site made headlines all year long: switching business pages to Timeline, launching an initial public offering (and seeing its share price tank), and then struggling to monetize its business by introducing new advertising initiatives. Of course, Facebook wasn’t the only big story of 2012. Pinterest introduced business pages to tap into its growing popularity as a social network. Google+ struggled to stay relevant by introducing communities (I’m still not convinced!), while Twitter and LinkedIn both updated the look of their profile pages.

Read moreGloria Rand’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2012

SEO Value of Blog Comments

SEO value and blog comments by Gloria Rand

Ever get stuck for blog article ideas? Client questions are a great resource. In fact, that’s exactly what sparked the topic for today’s article!

One of my clients recently asked me, “Can comments on web-based articles help with rankings in Google as far as SEO is concerned?” The reason for his question is because he had just received this comment from his webhost: “Content” does influence SEO but it’s only the content inside an article or post. Google, Bing, and Yahoo do not look at the comments to determine any type of SEO ranking.”

Read moreSEO Value of Blog Comments