7 Ways Your Website May be Screaming “I Am Out of Date!”

Website Out Of Date
Website Out Of Date

There are two types of website owners. There are those that understand that a website should be the center of your online universe. It shouldn’t just be attractive but pertinent and informative. It should funnel leads and prospects to you. Your social media and promotional materials should point to it. It should be a vibrant force in your online marketing efforts.

Then, there are those who had their teenage cousin create their website years ago. It likely hasn’t been updated since. It is prone to error messages and spam and hasn’t produced a lead in months or years. Owners of these websites will complain that internet marketing doesn’t work “for them”. They probably haven’t visited their own website in years and are too embarrassed to have others view it. Here are 7 ways your website may be screaming “Help me, I am out of date!”

  1. An Out of Date Copyright. One of the easiest to spot tell-tale way your website is shouting “Out of date!” is a copyright year that is not current. Back in the day, these types of texts had to be manually updated but, of course, today, there are apps for that. There should be no excuse for an outdated copyright date; and if your website has one, please get it fixed.
  2. It is Not Mobile Capable. Pew Research now says that about 80% of Americans own a smartphone. When you look at the 18-34 demographic, that number climbs to over 95%. These smartphone owners are using their devices to look up news, information, reviews, and to shop for goods and services. Your website should be designed to be responsive to smartphones, with basic information like location and contact data upfront and easy to find. Many smartphone users are “ready to buy” but will move on quickly if your information is hard to find or see. Make sure you view your website on a mobile device and make the necessary changes to make it appealing when seen on a smartphone.
  3. Contains Outdated Information. There are many ways a website’s content can show it is behind the times. There could be older dates on news releases or outdated blogs. The content itself may tell readers in more subtle ways. For example, your main page copy may say “Serving our customers since 2005” but then also say “In our ten years in business”. This can be avoided by using evergreen content on your website, especially if keeping it updated may be a challenge for you.
  4. It has a Look that is So 2000. It is hard to imagine that the year 2000 was almost two decades ago. Your website may look like it. It may be boxy, slow loading, and use giant navigation buttons. You know it when you see it. If your website looks vintage 2000, your potential customers will simply move on.
  5. It Doesn’t Link Your Social Media Accounts. Modern, well-designed websites should make it as simple as possible to connect with your organization. This includes logos and links to your various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, PinterestSnapChat, and more. Websites that don’t include their social media links can appear out-of-touch. You’re also not taking full advantage of the valuable synergy that your social media and website can build together.
  6. Uses Flash or Java. Patience has grown increasingly thin when waiting for websites to load. Outdated software like Java and Flash can drag your website down. If you are going to use video, consider using an off-site service like YouTube. Make sure all software used on your website is supported by popular web browsers like Google Chrome.
  7. Not Using an Eco Web Hosting Company. One of the ways you can demonstrate you are connected to what’s important today is by choosing an eco web hosting service that offers environmentally-friendly features. How will your users know you are using a “green” web hosting company? At OrangeWebsite, we offer all of our clients access to use a choice of free banners that can be easily installed on the pages of their website. These banners tell visitors they are working with an organization that cares about the planet. It is not only the right thing to do, it is a terrific way to attract like-minded prospects and customers.
Website Out Of Date

What Makes OrangeWebsite Eco-Friendly?

The story of OrangeWebsite.com starts with our location in Iceland. Ours is a country that gets just about 100% of their electric energy from renewable resources like hydro-electric and geothermal. Because our data center is located in a cool climate, we are able to use much less energy in conditioning air for our servers. We even offer employees the ability to work remotely from home, using less fuel for work travel and keeping more cars off the road.  This form of web hosting has been referred to as organic because it is better for our planet.

If your website needs an overhaul, maybe it is time to start with an eco-friendly web hosting company that offers a choice of hosting plans to fit any size organization. Iceland has a superior technological infrastructure with quick load times to both North America and Europe. We have clients in over 100 countries across the globe. We offer anonymous web hosting with a 99.9% uptime guarantee and payments can be made by Bitcoin, PayPal, cash by mail or wire transfer. We are an ultra-secure hosting company that minimizes the data we keep on our clients. We even provide a 30-day, money back guarantee to ensure your satisfaction.

Is your website screaming for help? Sure, you will want to start with a fresh new design and include valuable content. Of course, you’ll want it to be mobile capable and easy to maintain. You should also consider starting with green hosting from OrangeWebsite. Contact us today to learn more!

Whatever Happened To…?

Whatever Happened To

Whatever Happened To…

Whatever Happened To

Whatever Happened to….?

Computers, the internet, and cell phones are such an important part of everyday life it is hard to imagine the world without them. Our computers now fit on our laps, our cell phones in our pockets, and we can seemingly pull the internet out of thin air almost anywhere. The road to get here, however, has been paved with some amazing, if not short-term, digital devices, programs, and web trends. We thought it might be fun to revisit some of these digital creations to discover what happened to them.

Mosaic – If you were browsing the internet prior to October 1994, odds are you were using a browser called Mosaic. Since Mosaic made it possible for users of Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, and the Unix X Window System to all use it, it facilitated more widespread use of the internet. There were four generations of Mosaic; 1.0, 2.0, 2.1, and 3.0. Although it made a huge impact, it was on the scene for only about 4 years. The creators of Mosaic, Marc Andreessen, and Jamie Zawinski, went on to develop Netscape. Today, Mosaic.com takes visitors to a sales and marketing company. Netscape.com, interestingly enough, redirects to America Online (AOL).

Floppy Discs – Before flash drives, computer users saved and exchanged data on thin magnetic discs called floppy discs or diskettes. In the mid-70’s, large 8” discs were frequently used, eventually being replaced by the 5 1/4” disc and then the 3.5 inch disc. Subsequently, zip-discs arrived on the scene, being replaced with CDs and DVDs. Now, these too, are being escorted out by digital storage and file sharing services on “the cloud”.

Myspace – There are people who make things happen and then there are those who wonder “what the heck happened?” Myspace experienced a bit of both with its meteoric rise and fall. The social media website took the internet by storm in 2003 and in 2005 was purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for over a half of a BILLION dollars. So what happened? Some say that Myspace got too greedy tried to own it all, others say News Corp was too “corporate”. Others suggest Myspace was unresponsive to the needs of its members. What really happened was Facebook. Today, MySpace continues as a music, entertainment, and culture website, a mere shadow of its former self. Today, Facebook has over 2 billion members worldwide.

Whatever Happened To Flooy Discs

GeoCities – Members were able to build websites reflecting their personality and hobbies and millions of people did just that. GeoCities started in 1994 and at one point was the third most visited website on the internet. Yahoo acquired GeoCities in 1999 and the service was discontinued in 2009.

GameBoy – When Nintendo released its GameBoy portable gaming system in 1989, it quickly sold one million units. It was pretty basic with a green monochrome screen, and Sega soon competed in the space with its more colorful Game Gear system. They were multiple incarnations of the Game Boy including Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. Over 200 million GameBoy units ultimately were sold.

FarmVille – Developed by Zynga and released on Facebook in mid-1999, it soon became the most popular game on the social media website, a spot which it held for two years. In 2010, at its peak, Farmville had almost 84 million users. After 2011, the game began losing active players. In mid-2011, it fell to 7th place on Facebook’s gaming list. By May of 2016, it was ranked 110th in daily users. While the game has lost much of its luster it is still available and has been joined by Farmville 2.

Energy Gobbling Data Centers – Unfortunately, data centers that waste energy and pollute the planet are still a big issue in technology today. They have been referred to as “the steel mills” of the modern area. The United States Department of Energy says that data centers use 10 to 50% of the amount of energy of typical office space. Much of the energy used is not just to power the servers but in keeping the space cool to keep servers functioning properly. It is estimated that 10% of all the power used by the US Government is used powering data centers. This is a global problem that continues to this day but there are alternatives.

Whatever Happened To Game Boy

Choosing an Eco Web Hosting Company

Hosting websites in a traditional data center is like still checking your Myspace page, storing data on floppy discs or playing Farmville. You just shouldn’t do it anymore. Not when there are “green” web hosting solutions like OrangeWebsite. We are an eco web hosting company headquartered in Iceland, considered one the safest places to host a website on the planet. Our cooler temperatures allow us to use less energy in powering our data centers. In Iceland, over 99% of the electricity is produced from renewable resources like geothermal and hydroelectric. We even encourage our employees to work from home, using less fuel by putting fewer cars on the road.

When you host with OrangeWebsite, you have access to a selection of “green” labels to place on your website, verifying you are using an environmentally friendly hosting company. This can help you appeal to a broader audience of like-minded people to use your services. Hosting with an eco web hosting company not only is the right thing to do, OrangeWebsite makes it practical. We offer a variety of hosting plans to suit an organization of all sizes and needs. We provide a 30-day money-back guarantee and offer secure web hosting. At Orangewebsite.com, you can sign up anonymously and pay via Bitcoin, cash by mail, PayPal or electronic transfer. We offer a 99.9% uptime and 24-hour technical support. Iceland offers exceptional modern Freedom of Speech legislation as well.

Don’t get caught in dated technology or yesterday’s thinking. If you are interested in moving forward with green web hosting, contact us at OrangeWebsite.com. We are the organic web hosting solution.

How to Improve Your SEO in 2018

SEO in 2018
SEO in 2018

How to Improve Your SEO in 2018 Through Content Marketing

If you’ve been involved in the internet for any substantial period of time, you may remember the popularity of “black hat” tactics many webmasters used to “trick” rudimentary search engines. These tactics were used to get web pages ranked higher by these search engines. Such tactics would include loading pages with content that was stuffed with keywords and keyword phrases that the search engine would “see” and thus rate it higher in their organic rankings. The effect was that irrelevant websites often showed up while searching for the content users were in search for. This, of course, posed a problem for search engines, whose job it was to determine relevant content for its users.

The solution became better systems and bots to scan content, punish users of these black hat tactics with poor rankings and to reward websites who were providing higher quality, pertinent content. The results have been dramatic. Over the course of several years, Google made multiple changes which caused a seismic shift in how webmasters and marketers had to use content to improve their SEO efforts. Today, content marketing is a critical part of online marketing. What exactly is content marketing and how can small to medium-sized companies use it to stay competitive with larger competitors? What are some “best practices” of content marketing and what are the real benefits? How can smaller enterprises keep up with bigger competitors to keep up when it comes. to content marketing?

The Two Ways Content Marketing Helps Your Marketing

A solid content marketing strategy will help your organization in two general ways. First, it will help in your organic search engine rankings. Pertinent, up to date content will rank higher than older content that a bot may view as outdated. This gets more eyes and presumably more clicks. The other significant aspect of content marketing is it helps funnel potential customers to you who may view you as an expert in your field.

In other words, if you sell all-natural dog treats on your website, not only will helpful information that includes words like “organic dog treats” and “healthy natural pet treats” help in attaining a higher ranking but the information you provide will work to steer prospects to you as an expert in your category. If you provide an article on “Five Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthier”, readers interested in the information have a higher likelihood of being interested in your healthy dog treat products.

A well-executed content marketing strategy achieves both higher rankings and a marketing philosophy that funnels readers right to you. That is well worth the effort.

How to Improve Your SEO in 2018

SEO in 2018

Content Marketing Strategies that Work

While there are certainly some best practices for using content marketing, they should not be confused with previous “black hat” strategies of the past. If a search engine ultimately views your site as intentionally deceptive, it can work against you, placing you further down in the rankings. So the first thing to keep in mind in content marketing that your goal is indeed, to provide valuable content.

What is considered valuable? Timeliness is key, as is relevance to what users are searching for. When your content is shared, it is viewed as more valuable. Shared links can help in your rankings. This is why so many organizations focus on social media to promote and share content. It is also why it is important to include easy-to-share social media logos and links to your content. Create content that is useful, up-to-date and widely shared are you are in the zone. Google is always in search of relatable content that keeps its search engine valuable.

If your company can benefit from greater local and regional visibility, be sure to include the names or local towns, landmarks or highways in your content. This can be particularly helpful for real estate, property management companies, insurance agencies and even attorneys. Many of these businesses are licensed to operate in a particular state and can benefit from local, SEO focused content. In this case, blogs and articles on “Distracted Driving Laws in Florida”, or “Finding Affordable Apartments in Boston” can pay dividends. Content marketing can be a very effective way to target in local markets.

What Are the Best Forms of Content Marketing?

It is harder for bots to determine actual content from a graphic image or video than from words, so written pieces are critical to content marketing efforts. If you have a jewelry store, for example, having helpful articles and content on “How to Buy a Diamond”, “What is Pure Gold?” and others can attract potential customers. Adding a short video or graphic examples can help but be sure to include your keywords and phrases in the content itself. “How To” videos have become extremely popular on YouTube and video sharing services, so do not ignore this visual content. Just make sure you have plenty of written content as the backbone of your strategy. Tag graphics and video content with written descriptions.

Written content can be in the form of webpage content, articles, or news releases. Most have found blogs as a useful way of sharing content. Blogs allow a company to add personality to its posts and serve as a way to better interact with readers. Readers often ask questions, offer topic suggestions, and share interesting blogs with others. All of this serves to help your content reach higher and higher in your SEO efforts.

If you can’t find the time to update your content yourself, there are other resources, including internet marketing companies, social media marketing companies, and even freelance writing websites that can provide customized content on a per piece basis. Take steps necessary to provide new, useful content on a regular basis. If you are not employing a content marketing strategy, now may be the time to start. Add valuable, pertinent, and timely content to your online presence and watch your SEO rankings soar.

How Blogging Can Brand You and Position You

Benefits of Blogging for Business

Benefits of Blogging for Business

Benefits of Blogging for Business

Benefits of Blogging for Business

There are generally, three kinds of people.

  1. Those who blog
  2. Those who read blogs
  3. Those that wonder why people blog

If you wonder why people blog, this may give you some insight.

If you read blogs for enjoyment, to get information or for camaraderie, you are among the majority.

If you are a blogger, you likely have a mission. It may be to just share thoughts and experiences. Many blog to create an income source and others blog as part of a content market strategy and for SEO purposes.

While blogging started as a homespun way to share thoughts and opinions, it is big business today. Some estimate that there are more than 300 million blogs on the internet ranging in subject matter from the care of your new kitten to how to build a home. Bloggers range from stay at home mom’s to highly educated, professionals.

Why Do People Spend Time Blogging?

Many believe the reason people blog is to share their experiences for the common good of people in a specific portion of their life. While some bloggers are altruistic in nature and seek to inform the masses of the benefits of their experiences and knowledge, most have a more bottom-line focused motive.

Advertising revenues, page-views, click-thrus, name recognition, inbound marketing, content marketing, and reputation building are but a few. Google loves websites that contain blogs, especially when they are kept fresh and pertinent. This makes blogs valuable for search engine rankings. Blogging is also a powerful way to increase visitors, as sites with blogs get 97% more inbound links than those without. There are plenty of statistics that demonstrate the power of blogging. Blogs have been shown to shorten the sales cycle, positively impact the amount of inbound lead generation, and they build trust. They are a significant source of information as consumers move through the sales process. They hold much of their power because people read them.

Benefits of Blogging for Business

Why Do People Read Blogs?

Generally speaking, people read blogs to gain information. That information may help confirm their own opinions or it may help them complete a task. People read blogs to gain insights and recommendations. They may be facing an unfamiliar problem in life and in search of solutions. Every segment of society reads blogs. Readers may be searching for help on everything from selecting a baby’s name to finding the most exotic places to plan a vacation. Topics, content, and attitudes are unlimited when it comes to blogging.

The Overlooked Benefits of Blogging

While search engine rankings, clicks, and inbound links should be motivation enough to create and maintain a blog, there is a long-lasting impact blogs can have on a business that many pay little heed to. Blogs can position you and your company as an expert in your business segment and therefore brand your business.

Blogs will affect how people perceive you. Carefully crafted blogs can mold your business persona as you choose. Do you want to be perceived as an elite in your field? Would you prefer an image that is friendly, approachable, and one that is viewed as a trusted resource? Blogs can be humorous, down-to-earth, and sarcastic or they can be laser-focused on professionalism. They should always be honest, helpful, and fresh.

The point is, this “persona” should be a conscious decision. How do you want to be branded and positioned in the marketplace and does your blog help create that brand?

Sure, blogs will help with search engine visibility but they will have a long-lasting impact on the “personality” and voice of your business. It is up to you to determine what that voice will be.

The Bottom Line of Blogging

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” in digital marketing today. In the past half-dozen years or so, content has climbed the ladder in terms of importance in search engine rankings. That, after all, is the purpose of a search engine, to help users find relevant content.

While many are focusing on H1 and H2 headlines and subheads, keywords, and keyword phrases and where and how often they appear in content, they may overlook the important role the content will play in branding and positioning their company.

There is an expression that says “It’s not so much what you say to a person that will make an impression but how you make them feel.” This is not to say that the content is not important, of course, it is. How your blog content is written, however, will impact how your readers feel about you. That will have a big effect on if they will want to do business with you. It is not enough to provide data or useful information. If they don’t feel good about you, they will just take the data you provided and use it when finding a resource they are more comfortable with.

How do you want your customers to feel about you? Make sure your blogs help mold that emotional bond and you can create an even bigger impression through your content marketing. You will better create a brand and position yourself in a way that converts more readers and visitors into customers.

How Social Media Has and Continues to Change Our World

Social Media History
Social Media History

How Social Media Has and Continues to Change Our World

Social media is such an integral part of our everyday lives today, we may not give much thought to how it developed and social media’s impact on our relationships and society in general. Grandparents use it to connect with grandchildren, employees make use of it to connect with potential employers, and couples use it to make romantic connections. We share our thoughts, pictures, videos, and far too often, our political beliefs. It brings us closer together and pulls us apart.

Where is social media today, how did it get here and what’s next?

A History of Social Media

Many understand Mark Zuckerberg’s involvement in Social Media with the introduction of Facebook of in 2004. There has been much written about Zuckerberg and even a major movie that chronicled Facebook’s development. Others will remember it’s predecessor, MySpace, which was introduced a year previously. Social media, however, has roots that precede even MySpace by eight years.

Depending on one’s specific definition of social media, the first site often credited with implementing aspects of social media was Classmates in 1995. Classmates allowed users to create their own profiles and friends lists. Others consider Six Degrees, which first debuted in 1997, as the first social media website. Its title was based on the six degrees of separation theory where we are all connected by six personal connections. While it quickly garnered millions of members, the internet was still relatively young. Six Degrees was ahead of its time and it would take a few more years before the internet’s infrastructure would catch up with the unbridled growth of social media.

Ryze, the precursor to LinkedIn was launched in 2001 with a focus on connecting members for career and business purposes. LinkedIn made its debut a year later in 2002. That was also the year Friendster came online.

The social media website hi5 began in 2003 and quickly grew to involve millions of users, mainly in Latin America and countries like Romania and Tunisia. The site still boasts over 100 million members.

Not all social media sites have been successes. One example is Orkut, which briefly made an appearance in early 2004. Orkut was launched by Google as an invitation-only site and never caught on. Yahoo!360 followed a similar path and suffered a similar fate. Yahoo!360 was also an invitation-only social media site. It launched in 2005 and was shut down in 2009.

Twitter and Instagram began to become widely accepted in 2010 and Google got it right in 2011 when it launched Google+. Today, social media platforms include YouTube, Reddit, VK, Tumblr, Pinterest Flickr, meetup, and a plethora of others.

Social Media History

The Current State of Social Media

Today, Facebook still rules the roost when it comes to social media. Mark Zuckerberg posted recently that the platform now has over 2 billion members. YouTube is second in monthly users with 1.5 billion. Twitter’s unique monthly users have reached 400 million, and Instagram is approaching 300 million. LinkedIn rounds out the top five with 250 million.

If there is power in numbers, social media is a force to be reckoned with. This was evidenced by the 2016 presidential election in the United States. There are still questions on if, and how, the election was influenced by Russian social media users, advertising, and websites. The U.S. President has grabbed the attention of the world with his almost daily tweets on Twitter. Everybody from members of Congress to late night television hosts have made their thoughts known on various platforms.

Careers are being made and others destroyed on social media. Live streaming has shown us crimes and even murders in progress. It has also provided an outlet for people to show abuses of law enforcement officers. Millions of dollars have been raised for good causes with the help of social media.

It has gotten to the point that much of the news of the day is filled not with what is going on in the world but what is going on in social media.

In the meantime, massive amounts of data is being collected from users who voluntarily make their data available via their favorite social media sites. This gathering of “Big Data” is what may ultimately, shape the future of social media.

Social Media History

Where is Social Media Headed?

There are generally three schools of thought when it comes to the future of social media. The first is that social media will continue to go on unbridled and to be self-governed by the companies who control it. When one considers the ramifications of this, it is hard ti imagine social media will continue to go along this path.

The second path is that social media will continue to grow but under more strict regulations, especially when it comes to matters of national security. One should keep in mind that in the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is already charged with keeping on eye on large segments of the media. There are regulations in place to monitor political advertising and being upfront with who is paying for the advertising. Many believe there will also be more steps taken to protect the personal information of social media users.

There is a third school of thought that users will recognize how much information and data they are voluntarily providing. They will tire of the constant bickering, shaming, and political posturing that is rampant today. Some feel large segments of social media users will seek alternatives. These alternatives may be more secure, less confrontational, and offer more privacy. They may or may not be in development now.

In recent years, there has been talk of social media “breaking the internet”. We may be getting to the point where the internet may just break social media. There are certainly some aspects of social media that are in need of attention.