Category Archives: Blog
You have put a lot of work into developing your site’s SEO profile. Don’t sabotage these efforts with these common, but out dated practices. It may be tempting, but one misstep can land your site on the search engine’s bad side and lead to a long road of recovering from search penalties. 1. Keyword Stuffed Links The search engines don’t want to see links to your site that are perfectly manicured. They want links to reflect how real people actually work. That includes links to your site that are not your keywords or even keywords at all, like this, or that or here. This applies to not only the content on your site, but comments you leave, forum signatures and any other place you leave your links. One link only to your site, usually in the comment’s url field, is all that you need to do. Any more than that is frowned upon by search engines, not to mention your comment will probably get flagged as spam automatically by the site you are commenting on. 2. No rel=nofollow If you aren’t sure how to use rel=nofollow appropriately check out our guide on the subject for more details. Basically any time you either a) don’t want to pass any of your “link juice” on to another site or b) post an affiliate or advertiser link you’ll want to use a rel=nofollow. 3. Bad Content Let’s be honest, there’s a ton of content out there. Some of it is great, some of it isn’t. In order to stand out your content has to be great. There’s no room for mediocre content or worse, keyword heavy content that has no value at all. Visitors don’t like content that reads like it was written by a robot, and neither does search engines. The search engines want to help people find the answers they are looking for, if your content doesn’t do that it’s not going to be found. Keep your site’s content fresh, topical and original. This also applies to guest posts – ones you may do as well as ones you might have on your site. Guest posts should always be original, and relevant. Avoid these common mistakes and your site’s SEO won’t suffer from your good intentions. Always try to provide the best experience for your users and visitors and you will always be on the right path no matter what algorithm changes come and go. Do you see any other common SEO mistakes that sites make which end up hurting them more than helping? Share them with us in the comments.
There are many different choices when it comes to image editors. From the powerful to the simple there’s something for everyone. Which one is for you? Read on to see what type of image editor will best suit your needs and budget. You do are a graphic/UI/UX designer or digital artist: Paid: Adobe Photoshop Free: GIMP Both Photoshop and GIMP offer powerful image editing and image manipulation abilities and tools. GIMP is free and open source while Photoshop is available from Adobe via a Cloud Subscription. They both provide the flexibility to create nearly any kind of graphic, mockup or edit any image. You are a professional photographer: Adobe Lightroom Photoshop Lightroom is great for batch editing photographs and offers a variety of effects and image enhancements and fixes. Photoshop of course is very powerful and offers the ability for nearly limitless image adjustments. While either one is great for photographers using them together can cut down on image editing times while providing excellent results. You are a digital artist or illustrator: Adobe Photoshop Paint Shop Pro Open Canvas These programs offer versatile effects, settings and abilities. They also offer graphics tablet integration and support allowing for a more natural workflow and the brush strokes you can only get from a pen. You are a blogger or social media manager: Canva Picmonkey Canva and Picmonkey are great online apps that offer freemium services. Both are simple editors that make creating memorable graphics for social media and blogs quick and easy. Canva offers many different premade templates to work from as well as the freedom to create your own from scratch. SVG/Vector Graphics Paid: Adobe Illustrator Free: Inkscape Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard when it comes to creating vector graphics. It’s powerful enough to create logos, digital artwork, mockups, infographics and more. Not to be out done the free and open source Inkscape offers many of the same abilities and tools as Illustrator at a very affordable price point. Animation & 3D Work Paid: Adobe Flash Paid: Maya Free: Blender While the days of Flash websites might be over the program isn’t obsolete yet! Flash can allow you to create interactive games and videos, and animations. For those digital artists in the 3D modeling field there’s the powerful Maya and its open source counterpart Blender. Both offer an array of tools and abilities to help you create the most realistic 3D models you can design. Choosing the right tool for the job will not only help you get the job done quickly and efficiently but it can save you money in the long run. Not everyone needs the power of industry leading software like Photoshop or Maya. Sometimes simpler free or freemium apps like Picmonkey or Canva are just what you need. What image editor do you use most? Share it with us in the comments!
By now you have probably heard about the security vulnerability Heartbleed. It has impacted some of the most used sites on the internet, and chances are you have accounts on sites that have been impacted in some way. Here is the information you need to know to keep your accounts safe and mitigate any impact from Heartbleed. 1. Wait until a fix has been applied to affected sites. If you don’t wait, changing your password will have no impact. Hackers could still access your new password, unless the fix has been applied. Once sites have updated to fix the vulnerability then it is time to update your password. 2. Use unique passwords. Yes, this is something that is said after every security threat, but it’s a great technique to keep your data safe. Hackers know most people use the same email and password combinations, so if they know those it makes hacking your other accounts that much easier. Using unique passwords doesn’t have to be hard, a secure password app like Last Pass will help generate secure passwords and remember them for you. 3. Keep an eye on your accounts. Watch your accounts for any strange activities. You may also want to disassociate any other devices or logins from your accounts to assure that they are actually your real logins and not ones that have been compromised. What Sites Were Compromised? Here are several resources that will allow you to find out which sites were compromised by Heartbleed and if they have secured the vulnerability yet or not. The Heartbleed Hit List Heartbleed Site Search Tool LastPast Heartbleed Tool McAfee Heartbleed Tool Staying safe online is a constant struggle. Heartbleed is only the latest in a seemingly never ending series of online threats. Do you have any other tips to mitigate the impacts of Heartbleed or any other resources to share? Let us know in the comments! More Resources to Help Keep You Safe Online: 4 Steps to Take After Your Account Gets Hacked 5 Tips to Keep Your Data Safe Online 6 Tips to Protect Your Personal Information on Social Media Networks
It’s no secret that blogs help to drive site views, improve SEO and demonstrate the knowledge and experience that brands have. However, if you are starting out with a new blog figuring out which platform meets your needs may not be so easy. 1. Know Your Blog’s Purpose The first step to success is knowing your blog’s purpose. Is it to reach out to new customers? Or to keep customers, clients and associates up to date on the latest industry or company news? Will you have multiple blogs for multiple facets of your brand? Knowing these specifics now will help you set up your blog for success down the road. 2. Know Your Team & Resources Who will be running your blog? Do you have staff to dedicate to its maintenance, design, and content? Do your team members have knowledge of particular platforms? Is your corporate site already running on a suitable blogging platform? Or are you working on a smaller budget with one part time content writer? Knowing your resources will allow you to choose the blogging platform that will allow you and your team to be successful. 3. Learn About Your Options Self hosted blog frameworks offer more customizability and freedom than platforms that are hosted elsewhere. On the reverse side self hosted frameworks need more maintenance and upkeep. You are responsible for your own security and updates whereas hosted platforms most often provide these services. Two of the most common hosted solutions are: WordPress.com Blogger Tumblr Popular Self hosted options include: WordPress Drupal Joomla Lite 4. Evaluate Future Goals and Plans Do you have future plans for your blog? Will it one day have members only content or other special features? If so, the time to plan for special features is now. It’s better to plan ahead and choose a platform that supports your future goals than realize you have outgrown your platform and undergo the time consuming tasks to moving your blog to a new platform. 5. Choose Your Platform Ultimate the choice is in your hands. You can be successful no matter what platform you choose if you have laid your foundation securely. Research and deliberation at the beginning of the process will lead you to a successful conclusion and the birth of a successful blog. Starting a new blog can seem overwhelming at times. However, as with all new beginnings the more effort you put in now, the smoother sailing you will have down the line. Choosing the best blogging platform for your blog is only part of the battle, however, it will have long lasting effects on your blog. Choose wisely, and get your blog off on a great start! Need a little professional help? Get in touch! We’d love to help you get your blog off and running!