Hosting, security, search engines, analytics, and mobility, are constantly changing. A website checkup is a great way to make sure your website is ready for your customers.
Here are 14 items that are checked.
1. Hosting Version
Even though your website may look the same, your hosting company is constantly updating their versions to keep up with processing, mobility, speed, security, etc. Sunnvalley will check your version.
2. CMS Version
Content management system's old versions can make your website look outdated, and run slower. Sunnvalley can check your version for you.
3. Sunnvalley hosting backups
Your hosting now comes with a backup, but this needs to be set up. Sunnvalley can do this for free with your checkup.
4. Updated Design
Website designs and trends keep changing. Sunnvalley can assess your website, and recommend updates.
5. SSL Certificate
Google officially began marking websites without an HTTPS:// as insecure. In order for your website to be valid to search engines such as Google, they now require an SSL Certificate. SSL allows you to secure pages on your site so that information such as logins, credit card numbers, etc are sent encrypted instead of plain text. It is important to secure your site’s login areas, shopping areas, and other pages where sensitive information could be sent over the web. Sunnvalley can check to see if you have an SSL and if it's working properly.
Security doesn't come with hosting. It is purchased separately. Security keeps your website and it's visitors safe malware and spam. Sunnvalley will check and see if you have security and run a quick scan for free if you do already have security.
7. Domain Privacy
Your domain address can be listed as "private" helping to avoid spam emails, email scams, and bogus snail mail. The status will be checked.
8. Google Analytics
This free website traffic reporting tool tells you who your customers are, what devices they use to get on to your Sunnvalleybsite, how they found you, what your most popular page is, how long they are on your site and a lot more. Sunnvalley can check to see if you have Analytics set up and if it's working.
9. Forms with Captcha
All forms should use Captcha, it's usually a require checkbox from the visitor. Sunnvalley will check forms for Captcha, and test if it's working.
10. Website with Captcha
CMS websites have the ability to send and receive an email. Using Captcha will help fight off spam and viruses. Sunnvalley will check to see if your website captcha is set up.
Descriptions, tags, and alt tags help search engines find your website and attract visitors. Sunnvalley can assess what you have so far and recommend any updates.
12. Mobility Testing
Sunnvalley can test your site on 2 mobile devices to see if there are any issues.
13. Access to Your Hosting
Access to hosting provides you with 24/7 support. Sunnvalley can see if you have access to hosting.
14. Social Media Links
There are two types of social media links you can have on your website. The links the share, and the links that bring you to a social page. Sunnvalley can check for these, and see if they work.
If you are interested in receiving a report please let me know. The checkup and report are $50.00. Includes free backup set up.
The fee doesn't include updating any of your services or the design.
Google officially began marking websites with out a HTTPS:// as insecure. In order for your website to be valid to search engines such as Google, it now requires a SSL Certificate. This will create a link that begins with https:// instead of http://.
An SSL Certificate requires an annual subscription. We will install it in your web site's server to as a secure connection between the browser and your website's visitors. Visitors will not get browser viruses from your website with an SSL Certificate.
Having the SSL will deem your website safe to browse, and enhance your search engine optimization efforts. This is important for all websites, but especially websites with e-commerce.
Sunnvalley can set this up on any website for you.
You have your new website! It’s bright and shiny and it features all the best information about your business. Now, how do you get people to see it? Generating traffic to your site is the only way to generate business from your site.
Here is a list of proven ways to get traffic to and business from your website.
SEO- Search engines follow specific algorithms to generate the lists of results for each search. Search engines, like Bing, Yahoo, and Google are constantly updating their algorithms to keep legitimate businesses in the results and keep scammers off the list. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about getting your website to show up early in the search results list. Sounds simple enough, but there are many things your site needs in order for the Search Engines to find it.
Keywords: determine the best keywords for your market and your site
Analyze the data: use analytics to determine the demographics of those who visit your site, the length of stay, repeat visitors, and any other data you can gather
Tags: make sure that every page has a unique title and meta tag and every image a unique alt-tag
Submit your site: Submit your site to search engine directories to be indexed—this improves your chances of making the first page of results
Quality Content- The content on your website should do more than just promote your product or service. Engage your site visitors, and get the visitors to do more than just a “drive by” of your site. Offer interesting, compelling content about more than your product or service; write about your customers and their stories; write case studies about how your company or product makes a difference to people. Write about current trends or controversial content. You want browsers to become visitors to become guests of your site.
Paid advertising- Bing, Google, and Yahoo (the major search engines) all have paid advertising opportunities. You can pay for advertising in several ways, with your ads showing in a variety of places, for example, search ads, placement ads, and display ads. One popular method allows you to set your own advertising budget: PPC, or pay per click, offers ad placement and you only pay for each click made on your ad. Social media platforms, like Facebook, twitter, and Pinterest, also offer paid advertising.
Social Media- speaking of social media platforms, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google + are only a few of the social media venues where you can create a presence that will send visitors to your website. Create a page, or a board, and keep it populated with interesting and trending links to get those “likes” and get visitors to check out your business website.
Blogs—yours and others. Write a blog. Blog posts allow you to post valuable content that may not be specific to your product or service. You can blog about the latest fashion trends, the current celebrity couple, or even the weather on your site. The more compelling content you have, be it in blog form or in the product or service information, the more likely you are to draw in new potential customers.
The host of Google Tools—Google provides a huge array of tools available to any business website. Tools like Google Analytics helps you collect and interpret the data about visitors to your website. Google Adwords offers keyword search and strategy. Google Webmaster provides support, learning and resources to help you improve the traffic to your website. Be sure, too, to create a Google + page for your business. One of the best tools from Google is Google My Business. With this tool, your business Google+ listing appears when people do a local search using Google or Maps.
Branding—create a brand for your business. A unique logo or image that represents you and your business makes you easy to recognize and gets attention. Use the same brand in all your venues—email, social media, and advertising—to gain business. Include your website address in your brand image to generate even more traffic to your site.
Reciprocal Linking and Back Linking—Linking your site to reputable sites in similar business or geographic area improves your status with search engines. Create links that are relevant to your customers and readers by guest blogging, forum posting, and linking news articles to your site. Reciprocate by linking other businesses to your site, for example, a hair salon might have a link to a fashion boutique (and vice versa) so customers of the salon will be referred to the boutique.
All of these tips are low cost ways to market your website—to increase traffic which can lead to increased business. A beautiful website is only a decoration unless it brings customers.
Last year, 2017 was my first full year in the new studio located at 232 Main Street Colebrook, NH. It was also the year I changed the business name from Sunny Valley Creations to Sunnvalley. After 2 years of researching business names Sunnvalley was created. This name combines parts of our old name into one word that is unique to my brand.
I didn not want to use my personal name or a geographic name. I also didn't want the words graphic, web, design, or photography to stand out more than each other.
I wanted a name that is easily recognizable! Both studios located in the Connecticut River Valley, this is where the word "valley" comes from. There are several reasons why I chose the word "sun". The word “sun” has a positive connotation. It’s also one syllable. It is easy to say, hear, spell and remember. This is key for a good business name.
One final challenge was researching the name and phrases online, and finding a name that was affordable to register as a domain. Some other names that I chose were good but the domains with the .com were thousands of dollars, and there were plenty of other companies using the same business names and modifying the domains. This can be confusing for a consumer and doesn’t make a business name unique at all! I am very happy with my new business name and Sunnvalley paired with the word "studio" has a good ring to it!
Moving forward into 2018, I hope to continue my branding efforts by using our new logo and brand colors on all of our marketing materials and updating all of my social media and directory listings. Wish me luck!