January 2009 - Vol 3, Issue 1
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Award Winning web sites - by Back2Front!
Recently many of our clients won web site awards from Canada Web Awards. You can see the award winning web sites listed on our portfolio Canadian Web 
Award with this symbol beside them:
It's so nice to be recognized for our hard work and success in our field!

How we can help you survive this recession.
A common reaction to hard financial times is to cut back on spending. This is the correct thing to do if you are cutting fat and luxuries, not so good if your cuts will negatively affect your business. Now is not the time to eliminate all spending on marketing - you need new clients now more than ever. You should reduce your costs where necessary and restrict spending to only those areas where you can measure the results. Your web site is probably the most cost effective marketing you have. Print, radio, TV, and even signage advertising will all cost significantly more per prospect than your web site. Web site results can be tracked through statistics reports, form submissions and email enquires.
In each of our newsletters we offer web site promotions tips to help you increase the traffic to your web site. Most of these tips cost very little money. If business is slow right now and you have not yet scratched them all off your "To Do" list - now is the time! Check out our previous newsletters and get started! If you have any questions we are here to help!

  - Candace Carter

Search Engine Optimization Demystified
Part 2 - The Rules: How the search engines actually work.

Search engines use automated software robots called crawlers or spiders that move through the world wide web following the hyperlinks, from page to page and site to site, recording what they find as they go. Search engines then index and rank sites according to (among others) the criteria below.
    Guidelines for successful search engine optimization:
  1. The web site must have relevant content to the key words used in the search.
  2. The closer the match to the exact key words used in the search the better.
  3. The more often, more emphasized, and higher on the page the search term appears, the better.
  4. The more incoming links from other related web sites, the higher the ranking.
  5. The bigger the web site (the more content, the most pages) the higher the ranking.
  6. The more current, most often updated, the higher the ranking.
  7. The older the web site is (longest uninterrupted active time span), the better.
Read the rest of the article to learn more...

Article Publishing
Increasing the number of links to your site from other people's web sites or newsletters will increase the traffic to your site and increase your Google ranking. One way to do this is to write articles about your industry and get them published in these vehicles. Most editors will accept well written articles that have useful educational content, and will refuse sales pitches or blatant self-promotion.
There are many on-line magazines that accept relevant content.
For example we have been published in these on-line magazines: Do a bit of research to find magazines that cater to your industry or clientele and approach them.

There are also web sites devoted solely to the organization and collection of articles. Some of these collections will relate specifically to your industry or market, and some are more generalized. Some of the generalized ones where Back2Front has published articles are:

Even short "tips" based articles that are quick to write can be useful, and will often be accepted over longer articles. Get someone to proof read your work for you before sending them off to be published. No matter how good a writer you are - trust me on this - you can't proof read your own work, and mistakes can be embarrassing. Don't forget to make sure that you get a link to your web site added to the bottom of all your published work. After all, that is the point of the exercise!

Real examples of web site issues and how Back2Front's on-going management service works to solve them.

Jacqui Snyder of AdvenTourUs.com (an adventure travel company) recently asked us how best to promote her rental property on the web.

Promoting something separate or distinct from the core purpose of a web site or trying to promote several different activities on a single company web site is tricky. Optimizing a web site for both user experience and search engine success depends upon meeting the specific needs of the user. If you know they want X, and you give them exactly X with no Y, then you will get the best results both in the amount of traffic you generate, and the conversion rate of visitors to sales. The challenge is figuring out exactly what X is, and giving it to them in the language they would use (for search), and at the price and terms they want (for sales). This is hard enough without the distraction of trying to offer Y as well. Keep in mind that anything you do to increase the prominence of Y, inevitably decreases the prominence of X in comparison.

If the topics are related or complementary to each other then there is less of an issue. If you sell one toy for children under 6, then adding a second toy for the same age group is not a conflict. In fact, the user although originally searching for the one, may decide to get both! However, adding a toy for ages 15 and up may be counter productive. Ask yourself: "Would the same purchaser want both?", "Would he use the same search terms?"

In Jacqui's case her rental property is in Collingwood where people who use her adventure travel service may like to go for vacation to ski in winter or hike in the summer. So it is a complementary product to a degree. But what terms would prospective renters search on? Are they the same terms that adventure travelers would use? Probably not.

Depending on how different the new topic is from the content of your existing web site, and how big your budget is, you may decide to do the following (in order of expense).
  1. Add a page or section to your existing web site.
  2. Optimize these pages for specific Key Words distinct from the rest of the site.
  3. Then get additional Domain Name(s) and point them directly to the new section, using these domains for any additional marketing you may do.
  4. Or instead, use multiple single-purpose web sites, one for each separate topic.
Two or more single purpose web sites will cost more than adding pages to your existing site. But, if the new products are incompatible with your existing ones, separate web sites will each be much more successful than a single one trying to do it all.
Volunteer your site for our next Case Study!

Upcoming Public Presentations:

The 10 Biggest Web Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them!
At Face Value Network
Evening meeting
Tuesday January 27th, 2009 - 6 to 9pm
Cost for Potential Members: $35

Marketing on the Internet
Enterprise Toronto - Small Business Centre
Tuesday February 17th, 2009, 10am - 12pm
Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West 2nd floor
Cost: Free

The Smart Woman's Guide to Web Sites
Enterprising Women Conference
Wednesday March 4th, 2009.
More details to come.
All proceeds raised through this event will go directly to support the Women's Centre of York Region.

Search Engine Optimization Demystified
Aurora Chamber of Commerce
Lunch and Learn
Tuesday March 24th, 2009 - 12:00 to 1:30pm
Cost for Potential Members: $25

Marketing on the Internet
Enterprise Toronto - Small Business Centre
Thursday April 2nd, 2009, 10am- 12pm
North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge Street, Lower Level
Cost: Free
Here are a few of our most recent clients and their respective web sites:

Check out Our Portfolio page for more examples...
Please let me know how you like this newsletter, or if you have suggestions for future issues. I would love to hear from you!

Candace Carter
Back2Front - The Web Site People

Email: candace@back2front.ca
Phone: 1-888-227-9092 ex 705
Web Site: http://back2front.ca

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Back2Front - The Web Site People | 262 Westmount Blvd. | Thornhill | Ontario | L4J 7V9 | Canada