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Archive for the ‘hints and tips’ Category

Choosing The Right Domain Name

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

For anybody starting out with a website, the domain name that they choose is the most important factor of getting their business noticed. If they have a completely unmemorable domain name, then there is no way that anyone is going to visit their website more than once.

The domain name is also a first impression for the customer and can have a huge impact in how your company is perceived. For example, a website selling web hosting that has the domain name “simplewebhosting.co.uk” is instantly more professional and trustworthy than “host-ur-site-ere-lol-for-cheap.co.uk”. It’s imperative that you are careful with your naming. There are some simple rules that you can follow.

Firstly, we would always suggest that you keep the domain name short and simple. No-one is going to remember a lengthy and complex domain name (see above example) and thus you will lose out on the massive potential market of word of mouth advertising (read more on that here). Also, it means that people are going to have to search for your website every time, which is a problem if you don’t rank particularly highly in search engine results.

Also, it is important to ensure that your domain name isn’t similar to someone else’s. Your domain needs to stand out as being unique; otherwise you will just be seen as copying someone else. Managing a unique identity for your website is essential as it provides something for you to be identified by, both online and in general as an organisation. Without a unique identity, you have no hope of your domain name becoming recognisable and thus the chance of people becoming regular visitors to your website is lowered.

Equally important is that your domain name is low on usage of numbers and symbols. If you choose a domain name that is full of awkward characters and numbers, then there is a higher chance of people forgetting it, or getting the wrong combination of these symbols and numerical figures. It is much easier to remember a domain name that is comprised of normal English words than one that is full of symbols or numbers (again see the example at the beginning of this article).

Along with avoiding numbers and symbols, you must make your domain name easy to type. There is no point in using words that are difficult to spell or words with lots of awkward letters (like Q and X) in because people will start making mistakes and not getting to your website, or worse being sent to someone else’s website. Again, this could result in them referring back to search engines, which (depending on the quality of your SEO) could be disastrous.

So, there are a number of factors that you need to take into account when you are selecting the domain name for your business’ website. Various issues can arise that you must work around in order to come up with a domain name that manages to be descriptive whilst also being short and memorable.

It is a difficult process to get right, but a strong domain name can lead to a very successful website indeed.

Google loves our FAST UK web hosting ;)

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

There has been much discussion recently about Google’s decision to use site speed as a search ranking factor in the web hosting industry; not all of it positive. However, here at simplewebhosting.co.uk we think it’s a great idea!

Put simply, what Google is saying is that the faster your website loads, the better search engine ranking you’ll get over your competitors. Now a lot of this will be down to you making sure that your home page isn’t littered with large images that will take a long time to download but it’s also down to us making sure that our web servers are working at their optimum to deliver your website as quickly as possible.

One Tuesday morning, we conducted a very un-scientific experiment with our friends at Pingdom against three random competitors of ours and were quite surprised with the results. simplewebhosting.co.uk, hosted on one of our UK web servers, loaded the fastest out of all! Now we’re only talking milliseconds here but in the great race to get the best search engine position these milliseconds will make a difference.

The results:

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Word Of Mouth: The Most Powerful Form of Advertising

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Every year, companies big and small spend hundreds, thousands, even millions of pounds on advertising their products and their organisation as a whole. No expense is spared in ensuring that their message and what they have to offer is projected out to as much of their prospective customer base as is humanly possible.

From billboards next to roads, to elegantly created television adverts, even down to animated website banners, advertising is a massive business. However, sometimes techniques that cost very little or even nothing at all can be even more valuable and useful than those that require splashing a tonne of money around. I am referring of course to the advertising technique known as word of mouth.

Word of mouth is simply people talking to each other and passing on the message about your organisation, whether that is a good or bad message. If all someone hears about you is what a particular friend or colleague says, then their entire opinion of your business is going to be based on that opinion.

If it’s a good opinion that they hold, then that is excellent for you as anyone they talk to will also have a positive impression of your organisation, meaning that they would be more inclined to use you for their needs.

Conversely, if the opinion passed on is bad, then this could be disastrous for you because the people they talk to will see the bad experience of the messenger as indicative of your company in general. No-one is going to buy from a company that is seen as giving bad experiences to its customers. That is just a fact of business.

For this reason, it is imperative for an organisation to treat its customers well. These customers are essentially free advertising for your company, so it is important that they are going to be positive about you when they speak to friends and colleagues (i.e. your potential customers in the future). Remember that the better their experiences are with you, the better the impression they will give off of you when they pass on the information to other parties.

Word of mouth is especially important with the addition of social networking into the equation. If your organisation is derided by one unimpressed customer on a social network like Facebook or Twitter, then that information is available to thousands of other people who will now have a negative idea of your company. One online criticism can lead to the kind of slippery slope that would make a PR worker cry.

So in conclusion, word of mouth has the power to either make or break your organisation based on whether your customers tend to leave happy or unhappy. Social networks amplify the power of this word of mouth, meaning that it is no longer a serious consideration, instead becoming something that must be monitored meticulously.

The more people you can get talking about your company in a good light, the better the public image you create and the more customers you get.

How People Can Contact You via Your Website

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

One of the primary functions of a website is to be a platform by which your customer base (or those that may become your customer base) can get in contact with you or your organisation in general. If someone hears of your business or one of your products, the first thing they will look at in order to contact you is your online presence.

For this reason, it is imperative that your contact details are a) available on the website and b) easy to find, so that the user does not have to trawl through the entire website for hours just so that they can send you a quick email.

So, where should you put your contact information and how should it be conveyed to your web users?

Our recommendation is that you utilise a system on your website called a contact form. You will doubtless have seen these around the internet and they are by far the best way to get contact from potential customers.

They are very simple for the user to work with as they simply ask for some basic personal information for purposes of identification and reply, then have an input box for the user to put their message in. There is no way this procedure could be easier for the user to go through. The message they input and their details can then be sent through to you, direct to your email for an even more convenient means of receiving and replying to the queries and comments of those contacting you.

Another advantage of these forms is that you do not have to publish your actual email address online. If you were to publish this, then you become very susceptible indeed to spam. Not having to publish this means that the spammers won’t be able to target you as easily and your inbox will remain clearer.

Also, you are able to add a captcha image or other checking system to ensure that the message is being submitted by an actual human being and not a machine or spambot. Yet again, this method allows you to limit the amount of spam and unnecessary messages that can make their way into your inbox, keeping you from getting to the emails that really matter.

Of course, this information has to be easy for the user to get to and so the best way to go is to add a button to your navigation bar saying something along the lines of “Contact Us”. This ensures immediately that there is no confusion as to where you can be contacted.

So to conclude, the methodology for contacting you via your website is very important as the ease of it governs whether any of the prospective customers who visit your site will actually bother to pursue contact with you. A contact form is a lovely way to set up this contact, so putting one into place can lead to a tonne of new customers rolling in.

Did You Know … simplewebhosting.co.uk is trusted by VeriSign

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

The VeriSign Trust Seal shows the world that VeriSign has confirmed simplewebhosting.co.uk‘s identity and that our site has passed the VeriSign malware scan. The biggest companies in the world secure their websites with VeriSign and inspire confidence by showing the VeriSign seal.

So you can be sure that when you buy web hosting and domain names from simplewebhosting.co.uk, you’re in safe hands.

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