Jul 30 2012

Why You Should Create a Sitemap 4

Why You Should Create a Sitemap 4

For all of the reasons previously mentioned, it is most important to implement a sitemap for website projects which will be of a considerable size.

In this way, you will be able to keep your website easily accesible and neatly organized for everyone to be able to use, both you and your site visitors. They will be able to find what they need, and not be tempted to click out and go elsewhere.

You will also be able to plan future growth of the site in a scientific, strategic way, to help keep your site growing and your visitors coming back often to see what is new.

You can even use it as a marketing tool: Coming Soon is a way to get them intrigued, and there is nothing better than a fresh, dynamic looking website.

So make sure your sitemap is kept up to date, submitted correctly, and that you monitor the traffic and activities in each area of your site to determine if they are viable, and even if you need a new, exciting area to lure more traffic to your site.

FURTHER READING:

44 Top Online Marketing Trends in 2013: How to Use Them to Increase Your Profits

SEO Success Secrets: How to Master Search Engine Optimization Techniques for Continuous Free Traffic to Your Website

How to Start Using Twitter as an Effective Marketing Tool for Your Business

How to Make Your Small Business Look Larger Even on a Budget

Information Marketing Success

Mastering Google’s Zero Moment of Truth in Your Online Marketing

Jul 27 2012

Why You Should Create a Sitemap 3

Why You Should Create a Sitemap 3

4) Organization and relevance
A sitemap enables you to have a complete bird’s eye view of your site structure. Whenever you need to add new content or new sections, you will be able to take the existing hierarchy into consideration just by glancing at the sitemap.

You can see which areas need to be built out, and which completely new sections can be added as a result of a new product line or new marketing program.

As a result of having a site map, you will have a well-organized site with everything sorted according to its relevance.

5) Future Planning

Your sitemap will not only show you what is there, it can also show you where gaps are in your overall offerings, which you might want to add to help develop a robust site.

If you use the Google webmaster tools in conjunction with your site map, you will also be able to see what keywords and searches are bringing visitors to your site.

This information will help you plan products, sales pitches, landing pages, even different navigation areas, based on the keywords they are using.

The webmaster tools will show you which rankings you have for your Top 20 keywords, and which rankings for the pages you click on.

Often, you will be surprised at the low click through rate on some words versus others, and even at what keywords are bringing them to your site in the first place.

Naturally, this information is only useful if it is acted upon. So any new areas of your site can be justified based on your knowledge of how they are finding your site, and what they most likely wish to do when they get there.

Conversely, if there is another part of the site that is taking ages to maintain but hardly anyone ever uses it, see if you can call better attention to it, roll the content in somewhere else, or give up on that area as not viable. If you test and track it and it doesn’t work, just move on.

FURTHER READING:

44 Top Online Marketing Trends in 2013: How to Use Them to Increase Your Profits

SEO Success Secrets: How to Master Search Engine Optimization Techniques for Continuous Free Traffic to Your Website

How to Start Using Twitter as an Effective Marketing Tool for Your Business

How to Make Your Small Business Look Larger Even on a Budget

Information Marketing Success

Mastering Google’s Zero Moment of Truth in Your Online Marketing

Jul 24 2012

Why You Should Create a Sitemap 2

Why You Should Create a Sitemap 2

3) Site optimization purposes

When you create a sitemap, you are actually creating a single page which contains links to every single page on your site.

Imagine what happens when search engine robots hit this page — they will follow the links on the sitemap, and naturally, every single page of your site that you want to be visible will be indexed by the search engines!

It is also for this purpose that a link to the sitemap has to be placed prominently on the front page of your website, so people can see what your site is all about on one single page.

Conversely, if you don’t want a page to be found, for example, test pages of sales letters, and multiple versions of a rapid conversion landing page, then don’t include links to them in your site map.

If you have a free Google account, you can access the Google webmaster tools, which have information about how to set up your site map and give it to Google in order for it to be able to spider your site better.

They are also adding to the reports and statistics available about your site all the time. Once you add a little string of verification code in the metatag of your home page, the two way communication can begin. Within a day or so of my adding the code, my site was being spidered by Google every day.

Some sites can wait months or even years to be found by Google, so the site map and webmaster tools are ones you definitely want in your kit to help promote your site quickly, easily, and inexpensively.

FURTHER READING:

44 Top Online Marketing Trends in 2013: How to Use Them to Increase Your Profits

SEO Success Secrets: How to Master Search Engine Optimization Techniques for Continuous Free Traffic to Your Website

How to Start Using Twitter as an Effective Marketing Tool for Your Business

How to Make Your Small Business Look Larger Even on a Budget

Information Marketing Success

Mastering Google’s Zero Moment of Truth in Your Online Marketing

Jul 21 2012

Why You Should Create a Sitemap 1

Why You Should Create a Sitemap 1

A sitemap is often considered redundant in the process of building a website, and that is indeed the fact if you made a sitemap for the sake of having one.

By highlighting the importance of having a well constructed sitemap, you will be able to tailor your own sitemap to suit your own needs.

1) Navigation purposes

A sitemap literally acts as a map of your site. If your visitors browse your site and gets lost in amongst the thousands of pages on your site, they can always refer to your sitemap to see where they are, and navigate through your pages with the utmost ease.

2) Conveying your site’s theme

When your visitors load up your sitemap, they will get the gist of your site within a very short amount of time. There is no need to get the “big picture” of your site by reading through each page, and by doing that you will be saving your visitors’ time.

They will be able to click on the links they are interested in, and even better, they will see the wealth of content that you have, and hopefully want to return to learn more.

FURTHER READING:

44 Top Online Marketing Trends in 2013: How to Use Them to Increase Your Profits

SEO Success Secrets: How to Master Search Engine Optimization Techniques for Continuous Free Traffic to Your Website

How to Start Using Twitter as an Effective Marketing Tool for Your Business

How to Make Your Small Business Look Larger Even on a Budget

Information Marketing Success

Mastering Google’s Zero Moment of Truth in Your Online Marketing

Jul 18 2012

How to Store Small Items Safely in Your Home

The smallest items can often present the biggest dilemma when it comes to storage solutions. In many cases people simply toss all their tiny trinkets together into one plastic bag, a box, or a drawer. They might be safely together out of the way, but how can you find what you need in such a messy jumble?

Storing small things in a large container can cause even more storage problems than the one you are trying to solve.

The best approach to storing small items is to store them in a correspondingly sized bag or box. You can use empty ice trays or egg cartons to store trinkets such as charms, earrings and buttons. Since there are many compartments, you should be able to find what you are looking for almost immediately.

This is a particularly good solution if you have a lot of earrings. If possible, hook your earrings together in pairs and then place each pair in one of the cubes of the ice tray or egg carton. You can then place the tray or carton in a drawer and have all your earrings neatly at hand.

For storing beads and other small crafting accessories, try using small plastic storage bowls that are typically used for leftovers from supper. Buy the clear version so you can see exactly what’s in each bowl and make sure that the lid seals firmly to prevent any sudden bead explosions. These storage bowls are usually stackable, so you can store several bowls on top of each other in order to save space.

When you begin a project that requires some of your stored beads, simply use a small spoon or a leftover plastic cup from the top of a medicine bottle to take out what you need.

One of the best solutions for storing jewelry we have ever found is to use fishing tackle boxes. They have a range of sizes and compartments and so can help you separate out all your earrings, rings and other jewelry. The ones Evelyn uses come from Kmart and come in a range of colors. They are double-sided, with two hinged lids, and the lids are made of clear plastic. Just be sure to open the box on a flat surface and you will be able to keep all of your jewelry well-organized and easy to spot.

A tackle box will also work well for buttons, nails and screws and other small items you usually fond rattling around in the back of a drawer.

FURTHER READING:

How to Get Started as a Do-It-Yourself Mom

Jul 15 2012

Personalize Your Time Management Techniques

A lot has been written and produced on the topic of time management techniques that are tried and tested, but every person is different in terms of lifestyle and character. A great book or video on time management can be a great starting point for giving you new ideas, but it will only be helpful if you try to implement the ones that work best for you personally.

There is really no one-size-fits all when it comes to time management. A busy businessperson in a Fortune 100 company will need certain time management and organization skills that will be different from those of a small business owner or a freelancer working at home. The time management techniques of a person who works in a service industry with shifts will be different from someone with a flexible timetable or who owns their own business.

Learn about the general principles of time management and scheduling, but adopt the strategies you learn so that you become more productive throughout your day no matter what your personal circumstances and responsibilities.

If you are willing to be flexible and creative, you can manage your time efficiently with tools and other items that you will enjoy working with. Some people love a paper day planner, for example, while others prefer to use their phone or Outlook. Some people love a whiteboard, while others are finding inspiration using Pinterest.

The most effective type of time management system is one that you will use, and enjoy using. It should not become a full time job itself. It should also not make you feel even more overwhelmed or depressed. As one executive said to us, “I loved entering all my tasks onto my digital to do list, but got depressed at the very thought of how much work I had to do, and how I would cross off one item and need to add five more.”

As you go about working out a time management plan and to-do lists, you need to consider what your own specific goals and objectives are when it comes to your career and your daily life. Are the things filling up your day essential, or just time fillers. Does the work only have to be done by you, or could you outsource some of it to another worker?

Asking these questions will help you pare down your schedule and to-do list to the essentials. It will also help you meet more deadlines and create a better working environment for yourself, which will lead to a less stressed personal life as well.

Further Reading:

How to Manage Your Time Each Day: Essential Time Management Skills

How to Create an Organized and Productive Home Office

Transforming Stress Into Success: How to Minimize Stress and Maximize Success in Today’s Economy”

Successful Outsourcing: A Step-by-Step Guide

Jul 12 2012

7 TOP TIPS TO ORGANIZE YOUR HOME

1. Install hanging closets and cabinets. This maximizes over-the-head space.

2. Designate a “to do” corner where you can put everything you can’t take care of right away. This can include items you have to repair, finish or spend time looking over. Once you have repaired the item or completed it, put it back in its original spot. For example, if you have sewn new buttons on your husband’s shirt or glued the handle of your daughter’s favorite mug back on, put the shirts in the closet and the mug in the kitchen cabinet.

3. Use the space inside and outside the door.
In most cases, a hanging rack or hooks that go over the door can fit easily inside a closet to give you even more organizational space and flexibility. Hanging clothes racks and shoe racks can make the most of the space you have, and any unfilled shoe racks can be used to store other small items, including tools and even jewelry.

4. Install a corkboard in the main places in your house such as near any land lines you might have, near the refrigerator and in your home office. This will make it easy for you to pin urgent messages and reminders. You can also keep track of important items with a white board.

5. Segregate clothes by season, color and occasion.
You can divide up your clothes into seasonal wardrobes and rotate them in and out of your closet in order to have more room. You can hang clothes by color, occasion (work, play, formal), item (skirt, blouse), and then mix and match. Be sure to keep each item repaired, with all buttons and so on sewn back on if you lose them, and rotate all of the items in your closet so that you get the most use out of them. If you own anything you have not worn for a year, consider donating it or selling it.

If you have clothes in lots of different sizes, you need to be realistic about your weight gain and try to slim down but not starve yourself back into the clothes. You can use one of the smaller sizes as motivation to slim down. If you have lost weight but are still hanging on to the large sizes, donate them and promise you will never be that heavy again.

6. Buy air-free storage bags.
These bags are connected to a vacuum hose so that the clothing you put inside it is compressed and no air inside takes up precious space. It also looks neater in the closet rather than bulky bags. You can slip them under the beds as well, or even store them in the attic, basement or garage without having to worry about the clothes inside getting ruined.

7. Create your own closet from an unused alcove. You can get sliding or louver doors to make a closet out of a small, unused alcove. As long as it is deep enough to hold a clothes rack and the clothes can fit on the hangers, you can create a whole new closet for your room. You can also put up the door and use it for storage space for plastic bins and so on.

FURTHER READING:

How to Create an Organized and Productive Home Office

The New Green Family Guide: A Beginner’s Guide to Going Green As a Family

Green Mother’s Guide: How to Raise a Child More Greenly and Naturally

How to Get Started as a Do-It-Yourself Mom

Jul 09 2012

7 More Top Tips for Time Management

1. Set a specific time during the day to organize yourself, looking over your to-do list, and taking care of filing and so on. Close the door or put a note up that says ‘do not disturb’. Allocating this time ensures focus and can help aid in completion of all your tasks.

2. If you are not really sure where your time goes, try logging your time for a certain period, such as a week, writing down what you do each half hour. What you gather can serve as your basis for deciding what changes you have to make to manage your time better.

3. Take heavy traffic as a given. Don’t use it as an excuse for being tardy. Leave early for work or an appointment rather than waste time, make excuses, and look unprofessional. Getting into work early each day can also help give you at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted time at work when no one else is there yet.

4. Among the items on your to-do list, determine which ones should be finished within the day and work on those tasks first. Move on to the less urgent tasks towards the end of the day.

5. Maintain your focus. Many people claim that they can multitask, but studies have shown that his is not the case. Try to work on each task or project end to end rather than skip back and forth between tasks.

6. Observe your work habits. If you often feel restless during work hours and unable to focus, try taking several short breaks throughout the day. You’ll feel more refreshed and eager to finish the tasks at hand than if you are feeling chained to the desk.

7. Deal with interruptions efficiently. If something is not in your schedule of priorities and there’s still a lot to do, then it shouldn’t be allowed to take up your time. If a colleague pops in to talk, ask them if they can come back when you are less busy and ask what the topic is about so that you can prepare anything they might require beforehand. If they are just going to hang out and talk sports, remember that time is money and suggest you meet after work for a drink or go to lunch at a certain time and/or on a certain day.

FURTHER READING:

How to Manage Your Time Each Day: Essential Time Management Skills

How to Create an Organized and Productive Home Office

How to Work Smarter, Not Harder: 101 Strategies to Make the Most of Your Working Hours and Become More Efficient and Productive

How to Start Working as a Successful Freelancer