Our ‘gloomy’ site gets a face-lift

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Our main website (www.DigiGifts.com.au) has been given a fresh look, designed to give a warmer, more inviting feel while still displaying our most popular products clearly. The new design now features a large, catchy flash animation to help highlight exactly what our website is about and what we sell. We have tried to keep the size and length of the animation down to a minimum  to help it load fairly quick on slower internet connection speeds. For those that don’t have the flash plugin installed (such as iPhone users), we also have a non-flash version for you to see. Its not animated, but still looks attractive. We have also pulled forward to the front page some of our more unique products that were buried deep within our enourmous website. These products are some of our most popular, however were getting missed by new visitors because they couldn’t easily find them. We have kept the rest of the layout fairly straight forward and clear so that those who were already familiar with our last site design won’t get lost on the new design. The top navigation bar now appears at the top of every page making it easy to jump to the home, about us, contact us, host a party, frequently asked questions and blog pages. The left hand side navigation has stayed pretty much the same as before, offering visitors a quick jump guide to most of our product areas.

If you use any of the popular social networking websites, be sure to check out our social network links featured at the bottom of our pages which link to Facebook, Twitter and the Online Divas website. If you are part of any of these sites, be sure to look out for us and become a fan. Visit the fresh new website at: http://www.DigiGifts.com.au Your thoughts and comments on the new design are welcome below. :-)

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Personalise Your Website – Tips For Improvement

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Is your website working for you? See our tips below to improve your website.

Know who your target audience is: As with any marketing campaign the first step in optimizing ANY web page is to know your target audience.  Is your site B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer).  This is important because this not only affects the tone of your site, but also the keywords you chose. It is imperative that you nail who your target is before you do anything else because if you don’t it doesn’t matter how big your site is, or how many pages you have.  If you don’t write to the right crowd you aren’t going to get too much business. The best thing is to write down who you think the target is.  Be as detailed as possible.  For example, your target may be a 30-45 year old female, in middle management, who drives a mini-van and takes her 3 kids to school before she goes to work.  She makes $45,000 per year and has a bachelors degree in finance.  This is the type of detail you need.  You should be able to picture this person in your mind.  Not just the abstract idea of her, but a physical look as well.  the better you can picture them in your mind the more successful you will be. Source: http://www.textlinkbrokers.com/blog/more/232_0_1_0_M/ What is Search Engine Optimization: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results, or the higher it “ranks,” the more searchers will visit that site. SEO can also target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Sometimes a site’s structure (the relationships between its content) must be altered too. Because of this it is, from a client’s perspective, always better to incorporate Search Engine Optimization when a website is being developed than to try and retroactively apply it. The acronym “SEO” can also refer to “search engine optimizers,” a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may be incorporated into web site development and design. The term “search engine friendly” may be used to describe web site designs, menus, content management systems and shopping carts that are easy to optimize. Another class of techniques, known as black hat SEO or Spamdexing, use methods such as link farms and keyword stuffing that degrade both the relevance of search results and the user-experience of search engines. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques in order to remove them from their indices. Why do I need a sitemap?: A site map is a representation of the architecture of a web site. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for web design, or a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site. While some developers argue that site index is a more appropriately used term to relay page function, web visitors are used to seeing each term and generally associate both as one and the same. However, a site index is often used to mean an A-Z index that provides access to particular content, while a site map provides a general top-down view of the overall site contents. Site maps can improve search engine optimization of a site by making sure that all the pages can be found. This is especially important if a site uses Adobe Flash or JavaScript menus that do not include HTML links. Most search engines will only follow a finite number of links from a page, so if a site is very large, the site map may be required so that search engines and visitors can access all content on the site. Google introduced ‘Google Sitemaps’ so web developers can publish lists of links from across their sites. The basic premise is that some sites have a large number of dynamic pages that are only available through the use of forms and user entries. The sitemap files can then be used to indicate to a web crawler how such pages can be found. Google, MSN, Yahoo and Ask now jointly support the Sitemaps protocol. Since MSN, Yahoo, Ask, and Google use the same protocol, having a sitemap lets the four biggest search engines have the updated page information. Sitemaps do not guarantee all links will be crawled, and being crawled does not guarantee indexing. However, a sitemap is still the best insurance for getting a search engine to learn about your entire site. Follow the link below for a list of tools that generate or maintain files in the XML Sitemaps format, an open standard defined on sitemaps.org and supported by the search engines such as Ask, Google, Microsoft Live Search and Yahoo! http://code.google.com/p/sitemap-generators/wiki/SitemapGenerators

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How to get indexed by Search Engines?: The leading search engines, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, use crawlers to find pages for their algorithmic search results. Pages that are linked from other search engine indexed pages do not need to be submitted because they are found automatically. Some search engines, notably Yahoo! operate a paid submission service that guarantee crawling for either a set fee or cost per click. Such programs usually guarantee inclusion in the database, but do not guarantee specific ranking within the search results. Yahoo’s paid inclusion program has drawn criticism from advertisers and competitors. Two major directories, the Yahoo Directory and the Open Directory Project both require manual submission and human editorial review. Google offers Google Webmaster Tools, for which an XML Sitemap feed can be created and submitted for free to ensure that all pages are found, especially pages that aren’t discoverable by automatically following links. Search engine crawlers may look at a number of different factors when crawling a site. Not every page is indexed by the search engines. Distance of pages from the root directory of a site may also be a factor in whether or not pages get crawled. Search Engine auto-submission myth: These websites and tools may be useful to make listing on multiple sites quicker and easier, however they usually submit your website to a heap of sites that would be of no interest or benefit to you what-so-ever. In most cases its usually best to select search engines and directories specifically related to your products and services and manually list on them. Manual listing provides a much more precis listing because you can tailor the information that is displayed per website it is featured on.  Websites and tools that say “We will submit you to 1000’s of search engines…” end up including  Google, Google Canada, Google Germany and Google for every country they have a site for as well as Yahoo, Yahoo Canada, Yahoo Australia, etc. The problem here is that every Google site uses the same Google database and every Yahoo sites uses the same Yahoo database. Don’t believe me? Go to google.com and look at the very bottom of the page beside their copyright. It says searching 8 billion + pages. Now go to google.de, google.ca, google.com.au, google.co.uk and look in the same place, do you notice something? It’s the same number! It’s the same database! Source: GuestColumnist on www.searchenginejournal.com How to make sure Search Engines can find and crawl your site: Crawling is how search engine bots discovers new and updated pages to be added to their sites. The crawl process begins with a list of web page URLs, generated from previous crawl processes, and augmented with Sitemap data provided by webmasters. As a search engine bot visits each these websites, it detects links on each page and adds them to its list of pages to crawl. New sites, changes to existing sites, and dead links are noted and used to update the search engines index. Watch a video on why your site may not be performing well in search results and how to get it reconsidered. How can Social Media Websites Help my Listing?: Making sure that your company has an extensive web presence outside of your own website is important. It increases the chances that your prospects will find your company when they are online since there are more web pages that contain information about your company. Websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Digg and LinkedIn are great places to create communities of followers that are interested in your products or services. There are hundreds of articles on the internet about how to use many of these websites to your own advantage. Some great twitter SEO tips: http://mashable.com/2009/06/25/twitter-seo-tips/ Have you compared your website with your competitors? Though no one wants to keep up with the ‘Jones’ so to speak, it’s always handy to keep an eye on your competitors. Comparing with your opposition allows you to see what they are doing to stand out from the crowd and draw in business. Pay close attention to their website design, wording on their pages, meta tags, title tags and more for ideas. If your looking for ideas outside the box, look beyond your competitors and look at websites of companies that may have nothing to do with your business for alternative ideas. Consider companies like Sony, Dell, Microsoft, HP and Adobe for fancy effects and ideas that grab your attention online. Obviously you would need to tailor your website designs and ideas to your target market and consider your budget when wanting some sort of fancy feature. Useful Website Tools: Google Analytics Google Analyics provide rich insights into your website traffic with Advanced Segmentation, Custom Reporting, Motion Charts, and more. Google Analytics is free to everyone, whether you are an advertiser, publisher, or site owner. http://www.google.com/analytics/ Google’s Webmaster Tools Google Webmaster Tools provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google. To get started, simply add and verify your site and you’ll start to see information right away. http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ Website Grader Website Grader is a free seo tool that measures the marketing effectiveness of a website. It provides a score that incorporates things like website traffic, SEO, social popularity and other technical factors. It also provides some basic advice on how the website can be improved from a marketing perspective. http://www.websitegrader.com Personalised Website Evaluation Get a personalized website evaluation which details areas you need to improve, analysis of your website pages, comparison of similar websites, useful resources and much more. http://www.digigifts.com.au/Cart/products.asp?id=2161&search=1 Website Analyzer Free web site speed test to improve website performance. This calculates the page size, composition, and download time. Based on these page characteristics the script then offers advice on how to improve page load time. The script incorporates the latest best practices from Website Optimization Secrets, web page size guidelines and trends, and web site optimization techniques into its recommendations. http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/ ShareThis ShareThis is a quick Email Sharing, SMS, AIM, Social Networking and Social Bookmarking tool that helps you share content from blogs and other websites to your contacts. http://www.sharethis.com Website Packages (personalised to your needs) If you would like a new website design for your existing website with all the required bells and whistles discussed above, then this is where you should look next. Alternatively if you don’t yet have a website for your business, then you should look here for all the help you need. Domain names, domain emails, website design for small or large companies, website optimisation and much more all included in ready made website packages. Coming Soon!

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