Importance of Social Media for SEO

Social MediaThe basics of SEO (search engine optimization) that everyone is familiar with has not changed and will not change. The goal is to have high quality content that people would want to read or view, and to link to it in as many places as possible to drive more people to your content. This formula has not changed since SEO’s inception and will not change. However, the increasing use of social media has become so pervasive in recent years, that it is almost essential for a successful SEO campaign.

Most people understand the importance of SEO for their business. They understand why it’s important to have their business and content seen. However, many business owners still don’t see the importance of integrating social media and have been reluctant to integrate it into their SEO campaigns. Social media wasn’t around when SEO started being developed into an industry; so many traditionalists were simply not familiar with it, and reluctant to change.

The basic idea behind social media is that it gives customers another way to interact with your company. It allows you to directly communicate with customers, and help build a community. This helps build your brand as well as help drive people to your website. Traditional SEO is focused around creating new customers. Social media, on the other hand, focuses on keeping the customers you have and helps build their relationship with your company.

Creating a successful social media campaign is different for each company. There is more to it than simply creating a Facebook page. Each one has to be specifically tailored to each company in order to target the correct customer base. It’s important to find out where your target audience is online, and focus on those areas.

People have been pushing the idea that social media is essential for a couple years now. However, now it has reached a point where it is essential. Social media should be treated as just as important as other aspects of SEO. Take a look at our Social Media Marketing page if you are interested in expanding your social media presence.

How Secure Is The Cloud?

cloud security companyThe cloud has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its ease-of-use and variable functionality.  What could be better than accessing all of your stored files from any location, on any device?  Well, it turns out that the system is not without chinks in the security armor.  Online data storage companies claim that their clients’ data is encrypted and protected, but there are no guarantees.  The truth is that there is simply no way to be 100% certain online data is secure once it’s been moved to the cloud.  This is due to the fact that online storage businesses hold all the keys to access your information- not you.  This opens the door for rogue employees to sabotage accounts, or for the government to surpass security checkpoints and “legally” request encryption keys to see your files.

Apple’s iMessage SMS platform is an example of this proof of concept.  The company states that both voice and text are secured through encryption and cannot be accessed by third parties.  However, the product is not open source so there is no way for the public to know how it works or what goes on in the backend.  The uncertainty of data security still remains.

And now for the big shocker: The Freedom of Information Act requests by the American Civil Liberties Union recently revealed that the American government reserves the right to access and view personal data without warrants of any kind.  This means they can access anyone’s information of any kind if it is achievable through the internet or account hosts (probably not as surprising, after the NSA scandal in 2013).  In 2012, Google received 21,389 government requests for account data (affecting 33,500+ user accounts).  The search giant complied 66% of the time.  Microsoft receives even more requests than Google, at 70,665 government inquiries in 2012 (affecting 122,000+ user accounts).   Over 80% of those requests resulted in partial or complete content disclosure.  These are just the recorded instances; the ACLU has also determined that the IRS has read citizen emails without obtaining court orders first.

So what can you do to completely protect your information?  The cloud is a great tool for organizing data in a centralized location with easy accessibility, but it is not ideal for sensitive material.  Many consumers don’t mind that cloud companies have the ability to pass some of their information over to the government.  Likewise, companies that store non-sensitive records on the cloud should not need to worry about getting hacked.  It’s when you need absolute privacy that you should consider other options- medical files, credit card information, and other financial data should be protected to the highest degree.  It’s always good to know if a service provider will fight to protect your account information from the government, so do your homework.

iPoint is moving to the cloud!  In the meantime, we still offer traditional data backup and storage options which are maintained on our internal servers in Fort Collins.  Keep an eye peeled for cloud service offerings down the road in 2014, and remember to protect your information!

5 Ways to Increase Website Revenue

generate-revenue-from-websiteIt’s a new year and many people are well underway with their resolutions. If you haven’t found any yet, feel free to check out our last blog post for ideas. While the majority of people focus on improving things like health and appearance, it’s important to remember the appearance of your website too.

It’s not hard to think of at least one website that is in need of a serious update. Everyone knows it’s important to have a good looking website. However, good website design includes things beyond just its physical appearance. There are many things you can do to improve your website that will not only help keep visitors coming back, but also help increase its revenue as well. The following is a list of five things you can do to help increase the revenue your website can generate.

Make sure your domain name is simple.

Generating new customers is difficult. It is infinitely easier to bring people to your website if they can actually remember your name. Shorter names are typically better as they are easier to recall. Using a short and simple domain name will help keep people coming back to your website.

 Hire professionals to give it a professional look.

It will be hard to get people to use your website if it looks like it was developed in 1997. The easiest way to get a professional looking website is to hire an actual professional. iPoint offers great website redesign services if this is something that you would want to consider.

Use Google AdSense to further increase revenue.

If you want your website to make even more revenue, consider using Google AdSense on your webpage.   Make sure you have a good spot for it, somewhere not too intrusive, but can still be seen by anyone that visits your site.

Use Affiliate Marketing.

Affiliate programs allow you to earn money by advertising complementary products on your site. With proper website design, these ads will help generate money for the site, as well as bring more visitors.

Advertise your own products.

If the idea of advertising for other people on your site doesn’t work for you, another option is to advertise for your own products or services. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to rely on other people to advertise your product or service for you.

There are many ways that you can generate more revenue for your website. Hopefully this list gives you some ideas on how to make more money for your website. iPoint offers many of these services that will help you increase your revenue. Feel free to look at our website products and services sections for a listing of these offers.