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Internet Marketing Blog


Decoding Site Stats

If you have a website, keeping track of your site’s statistics is important. Why? Learning things like who is looking at your site, how they got there and which pages were viewed the most can help you tailor your content, and monitor how visitors are interacting with your site. Here, we’ll define the top five stats you should be keeping track of.
1. Page Views
Page views are the number of times your web pages have been looked at. Page views are important because they can help identify what content your customers care about most.

2. Visitors
Keeping track of the number of visitors your site has, as well as when these people are checking out your pages, is a great way to figure out when to run particular content. For instance, if you know that Tuesday is a high-traffic day, that might be when you want to run a specific sale.

3. Location
Visitors to your site can come from anywhere — from your hometown to somewhere across the globe – that’s the power of the Internet. Use the location information to see your site’s popularity in specific areas, as this insight can help you focus your advertising budget on these regions.

4. Search Engine
Identifying these search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) indicates where your website is being indexed and it can also help you see the search engines your visitors prefer.

5. Referring Traffic
Any website that links to your website is called referring traffic. Knowing what sites drive traffic to your website can allow you to find out more about your customers’ online activity, which can help you customize your site to fit their interests and needs. It’s a good idea to post your website on other sites such as your area’s chamber of commerce, blogs that apply to your business or review sites to create more referring traffic. You can also spot users that click to your site from your email marketing campaigns or local search profile with our click source feature.
It’s amazing how easy it is to get to know your site visitors. Check your stats on a regular basis and make sure you use the information to better your website and strengthen your connection with customers.

4 Ways to Accommodate Search Engines and Your Visitors

Optimizing your website to improve your search ranking can also help you create a better website that your visitors will enjoy. Here are our top four ways your optimization efforts can win over search engines AND your visitors.

1. Include search terms.

Search engines
will use the search terms throughout your site as a good indication of what your website is about and rank it accordingly.

Your visitors
will see your website closer to the top of search results so it will be easier to find.

2. Add your company name to your website header.

Search engines
look at your website header as an important description of your site’s subject matter and they’ll display your site when a search is calling for that topic.

Your visitors should know exactly what your website is about at first sight. Write your company name and add your tagline to further explain your business.

3. Make updates whenever you can.

Search engines
notice frequently updated websites first, which could improve your search rankings.

Your visitors
will appreciate seeing fresh content and will be more likely to check back often to see your updates.

4. Describe your images and videos.

Search engines
will use your text to determine your relevancy to searches. The more text you add to your website, the better.

Your visitors
will like that you’re providing details and telling your story.

Enjoy the process and do a little bit at a time to make sure you cover all of your bases. And remember, your primary audience is your site visitors, so cater to their needs first.

Digital Marketing Dictionary

We get it — when it comes to getting listed online, the process can be overwhelming. The first step is understanding what terms such as “local search” and “organic search” mean, and how they relate to your site.

Key Terms

Local Search
: The basic definition revolves around geography. Results are displayed when a potential customer searches online for a product or service within a specific geographic location. For example, if you type “landscaping, Boston” into Google, Yahoo orYelp, it will return Local Search results for landscaping businesses in Boston.

Social Media: According to Merriam-Webster, Social Media includes “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).” Whether or not you use Social Media in your personal life, utilizing it as a marketing tool for your business can have big benefits. Popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter make it easy to engage with existing customers and connect with new ones.

Organic Search: The original type of results in a search engine that include a list of websites. Major search engines such as Google evaluate websites based on credibility and relevancy so that searchers find the best matches for their search.

Search Engine Optimization: Otherwise known as SEO, it is the process of optimizing your website so it shows up in organic search. One specific way to do this is to think about various keywords that you use within your content.

Keywords: Think for a moment about what words you type in to your preferred search engine when you’re looking for something specific. For instance, if you were searching online for a restaurant that served a particular dish, but you couldn’t recall the name of the restaurant, you would likely type in keywords such as your location, the dish’s name, or perhaps even the main elements of the dish.

Paid Search: Results are advertisements or "sponsored links" in search engines that businesses can purchase from sites such as Google. Paid Search is a useful form of online marketing for some businesses because one can see results immediately, however, unlike other more gradual types of online marketing, it does cost money.
Over the next few months, we’ll be posting specific content about how you can utilize these key digital marketing terms. Can’t wait for the post? Keep in mind that we have an extensive Online Guide that can be found on your dashboard!

Search Engine Optimization and Google Webmaster Tools

A few weeks ago, I posted some information about a new tool we added to the website builder: a Meta Tag editor.  This may be new to many of you and you might be asking yourself some questions like, what are meta tags, what is Google Site Verification and how do I set it up?  Or, how does this work with the Vistaprint Search Engine Optimizer (SEO)? 
What are meta tags?

Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the header of a webpage.  These tags are never seen by visitors to your site.  Instead, their main purpose is to provide search engines with information about your website.  This helps search engines recognize and rank your website.  
What is Google Site Verification and how do I set it up?
Google Site Verification is basically a way for Google to know that you own your site.  They will provide you with a meta tag to put in the header of your site so they can pick it up through their search engine, helping improve your visibility.  Once enabled, Google Site Verification and Google Webmaster Tools allow you to understand how people are accessing your site and what they are searching for.  Follow these easy steps to setup Google Site Verification for your website:
1. First, you’ll have to set up an account with Google.  If you already have something like Gmail, you’re all set.
2. Go to Google Webmaster Tools and sign in using your Google account.
3. Once you’re signed in to the tools, click “Add a site.”
4. Enter your website URL and press continue.
5. On the next page, choose “Add a meta tag to your site’s home page.”  Google will provide you with a meta tag.  
6. Open up your Vistaprint Website Builder in a separate window and choose the “Add Meta Tags” extra. Paste the meta tag Google provided you here.
7. Publish your website.
8. Once published, go back to the Google Webmaster screen and click “Verify.”
9. Once verified, you’ll be directed to your Google Webmaster dashboard, where you can access information about your site.

How does this work with Search Engine Optimization?
Google Webmaster’s dashboard provides specific information about your site, including significant keywords and search queries.  Basically, they’re telling you what keywords you have on your site and how people are finding you.  These are great pieces of information but don’t give you full details about your website optimization.  Using SEO with what you’ve learned from Google Webmaster can really benefit your site. 
SEO provides you with a report card that has specific rankings for each area of your site, including website name, links, images, and each individual page.  In addition, SEO shows how optimized your website is for specific search terms and keywords on your site (for more information, refer to our Vistaprint Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) post).  With the keyword and search term information from Google, you can receive a real time score about how well your site is doing with SEO.  Google may be saying what keywords are significant, but it may not mean each individual portion of your site is fully optimized for these.  That’s where SEO comes into play; it tells you where to optimize and provides fixes/tips on how to do it.  Using both of these tools together will help grow your site and company’s visibility through search engines.
We hope you like this new addition, please feel free to share any experiences you have and any questions you have.

What’s new with your Vistaprint Internet Marketing Tools?

Hello folks,

Thanks for your continued support and following.  We really appreciate the engagement from all of you.  Your comments have been extremely important in keeping our products updated and fresh.  With some feedback we’ve received, we’d like to announce a few changes that you’ll see as you enter the builder to continue to work on your website.
One change you’ll see is an updated feature for PayPal.  For those of you that sell online, you can now offer discounted prices.
Use the following steps to start discounting your products:
     1. Access PayPal from the Extras dialogue
     2. Choose “Add a PayPal Shopping Cart”
     3. Enter the price of your product and a discounted amount
     4. Click next and check out the discounted price
If you’re selling something on your site, like a book, and normally charge $10.00 but want to discount it by $2.00, the product would appear like this:
You can update both new and existing products with this new feature.  If you don’t have a PayPal account, here’s some more information on how to set it up.  No matter how you update, this is a great way to show your customers that they can receive great products or services at a discounted price from your business!
Another feature we’ve added to our website extras is a Meta Tag editor.  You can access this through the Extras dialogue as well.
Meta Tags are HTML snippets that go inside the head element of your website.  To get your Google Site Verification meta tag, you must add your site to your Google account through Webmaster Tools.  By adding the code to your website, you are essentially verifying that you are the owner of your website
Lastly, we’ve created an Email Marketing survey to gather more feedback.  If you want to take the survey, you can access it from your Email Marketing dashboard.  There are some great questions in there and we’re really interested to hear what you think.  If you have a few minutes to take the survey, that would be awesome!

We hope that these new features make your website even better than it already is.  Also, we are continuously updating our products, so stay tuned for more articles in the coming weeks. Please feel free to share any feedback you have or thoughts for new features that you would like to see. 

Looking forward to your comments and thank you, for helping us make the tools better for you!

Long Tail Keywords and Your SEO Campaign

Search engine marketing is one of the fastest growing forms of marketing for companies.  Experts predict that spend on search engine marketing will double in the U.S from $13 billion to $26 billion by 2014 (  Tons of companies are expected to continue to use this form of marketing to reach out to potential customers.  In this growing competitive space, targeting the correct keywords is the foundation of your SEO campaign.    
Everyone in the market today is trying to compete for similar keywords.  Barbers are competing for “barbershop,” landscapers are fighting for “landscaping”, and florists are using “flowers,” you get the idea.  These keywords are great and useful to target, but it’ll be difficult for you to show up on Page 1 if a bunch of other companies in your industry are also targeting the same keywords.
For small businesses, researching keywords related to your company is important to make your business standout through SEO.  Through your research, keywords
that are beneficial to your company have a combination of these qualities:
  • Describe of your business 
  • Consistently searched by potential customers through search engines a lot
  • Have small number of search results in search engines
These keywords are known as “long tailed keywords” and account for 70% of the world’s searches through search engines.  So, as opposed to just targeting individual keywords that comprise 30% of searches, target specific groups of words using the characteristics to strengthen your SEO campaign. For example if you’re a residential landscaper, in addition to targeting the word landscaping, you may also target long tail expressions like “landscaper for local homes” or “landscaping for homeowners.”
Many companies are turning towards search engines to grow their businesses and there is no indication of this trend slowing down.  With a number of companies competing for similar keywords, it is important to research long tailed keywords that your customers are searching for.  Positioning your SEO campaign around long tailed keywords is important to the success of search engine marketing. 
Have you thought about "long tail keywords" before? I look forward to hearing your thoughts on SEO and the strategies you use or are thinking about using.
Happy New Year and all the best for an awesome 2011!

Vistaprint Search Engine Optimizer (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so it ranks high in search engines and you attract more visitors and customers to your site. When you have the right tools, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is simpler than your think. Vistaprint’s Search Engine Optimizer is a tool for your Vistaprint website that will walk you through the process of SEO so regardless of your SEO knowledge or experience, you can start showing up in search results. The tool includes a detailed report of your site, quick fixes, a writing wizard, a search assistant, and a blog.
SEO Report: To start, we’ll analyze your website and provide you with an overall search score. The report will individually score specific elements of your site so you can quickly and easily see what’s working well and what needs attention. To improve your overall optimized score, focus on improving areas in your report that are red and yellow, eventually making them green. 
Once all your report card is showing green, you’ll have an optimized site!
Quick Fixes: Within your report, you’ll be able to make improvements on the spot that can elevate your score in seconds using the Quick Fixes.  If there’s an area of your report card that isn’t green, use the quick fixes to correct them. Just click to fix, right there in the Optimizer! There are no quick fixes for the Search Terms or Site Contents, so if these sections need work use the Search Assistant to help.
The Writing Wizard: If you’re not sure what to say to your visitors, you can use the Writing Wizard to add professionally written content to your site in minutes. When using the writing wizard, select one of the options for “what you’re writing about” and the industry that best describes your business, and we’ll provide you with a variety of text options. Select the yellow fields and replace them with information about your business, then add the text to your site. Use the text as-is or for inspiration.
The Search Assistant: When it comes time to work on the Search Terms and Site Contents of your site, you won’t be alone. The Search Assistant will be right there with you. It’ll keep tabs on your overall score, word count and search term usage while giving you easy access to other features. Open the Search Assistant while writing text on your site, and it will tell you which Search Terms you need to add.
A Blog: Search engines favor active websites with relevant content, which is exactly what a blog provides. Plus, it’s a great way to interact with your customers and develop relationships. You’ll get up and running in minutes and it’ll match your website design for a professional, consistent look.
To make sure your website isn’t overlooked in search results, use the Search Engine Optimizer to improve your site for search engines. In the end, your improved search placement will make it easier for people to find you, drive more business your way, and it could even move your website ahead of your competitors.  

Secrets of Organic Search

Showing up as the number one position for a search term is a potential gold mine for micro businesses.  More than likely the user that performed that search is going to click on the number one listing. Why? Because it’s the first listing they see and they know the search engine believes it to be the most relevant site for their search. Based on leaked AOL data a few years ago the first listing is likely to have 3.5 times more clicks that the No. 2 position, and being No. 2  isn’t bad!

So what’s the secret to ranking number one? You can’t just pay to have your site show up, even in the paid listings search engines need to deem your site relevant and worthy before they will serve it. We know “content is king” and that optimizing your title and URL are important parts of organic search, but everyone can create a URL that’s at least somewhat relevant and optimize their title tags for searches. You want to know the trick, the secret, the special combination that will boost your site to the top?

Make your site for the user and the rest will follow, it’s that simple. It’s a broad answer you’ve probably heard before from Google’s head of Webspam Matt Cutts. We tend to think of this answer as a copout, expecting insight to the Google algorithm or specific details on how we can alter our code to improve rankings, but one should really heed Matt Cutts’ advice. Google and other search engines will always try and do what’s best for the user. So if your site is optimized for the user, chances are that your site will eventually rank well for your targeted keywords.

Yes there are certain structural improvements you can perform allowing spiders to crawl your site with more ease, but when it comes down to it there is still no better form of marketing than word of “web”.  If people enjoy your site they will share it with others and so on and so forth.  A webmaster shouldn’t be too concerned about building their site around spiders. By building a site around the user you’re also building the site around the spider.

Yes, I understand that in the end it might not be the answer you’re looking for, but in the end, it’s the most effective one.
What do yo think about organic search? Looking forward to recieving your comments.  

Paid vs Organic Search

Both paid search and organic search are valuable tools to help your business get found online, and it’s important to understand the difference between the two.   
Paid search describes the ads that are displayed on the top and the right sidebar of the search engine results page. 
As indicated by its name, paid search is a service that you will pay for.  This is most commonly done on a CPC (cost per click) basis.  As the advertiser, you bid on the keywords that apply to your site, and you set your maximum willingness to spend per click, per day, and per month.  The search engine uses this information, along with the relevancy of your ad, to determine if and where you will be placed on the results page.  Obviously the more you’re willing to pay, the
higher you will be placed on relevant
To ensure relevancy, you need to make sure that your ad specifically applies to your landing page (your website).   In order to do this, the content (the written description) on your website should reflect the information that you’re calling out in your advertisement.   In conjunction to relevancy, you also need to make sure your ad is appealing and competitive.  It’s usually a good idea to check out your competitor’s ad copies (by searching for the keyword you’re interested in bidding on) to make sure your offers are competitive and compelling.  You always want to do some research before investing!  Paid search can become expensive if you’re bidding on high traffic keywords, so make sure you bid within your means. 
The organic listings are the main, larger listings that take up the remainder of the page.  These are the results that no one pays for, but are driven organically through the search engine.  You don’t pay to appear on this list, but there are a few tricks to making your site rank higher on specific keywords. 
Ultimately, search engines like to please the user, so they put the sites with the most relevance to the search query at the top.  In order to make your site more relevant to specific keywords, you’ll need to boost the content on your website to highlight and describe those keywords.  In addition to boosting the content, it’s important to keep the content up to date.  
Additionally, it will benefit your site’s rankings to have the title tags of your pages reflect the relevant and high search volume keywords.  You can use Google’s Keyword Tool to determine the most high volume keywords within your product/services scope. 
Another way to really improve your organic rankings is to acquire quality, natural links (when another website places a link to your site on their page).  This shows the search engine that your site is popular among the online community, and thus more likely to please the user.  You can build links by promoting your site and creating viral content that will naturally spread. 
Ultimately, your goal as an advertiser is to make your business visible in the top paid and organic spots for the keywords (search queries) that apply to the goods or services that your business provides.  This would put you at the top of the page in two different locations, giving you a greater share of the search engine results page.  Historical data has continually proven that it’s most advantageous for the advertiser to acquire these positions to increase their session count (clicks), and ultimately their exposure. 
You can learn more about search engine optimization by clicking on the category on the left or by clicking on the link here. Are you using paid search or an organic strategy? We wold love to hear from you.

Strong Search Terms Using Google’s Insights for Search Tool

Choosing your website’s search terms is an important part of building your website and optimizing the content for search engines.  You want to be found and ultimately come up in searches for specific terms and
keywords, but what should you choose and how do you know what’s working?
There are many ways to determine what search terms you should use for your business, but one very powerful tool is Google’s Free Insights for Search tool. The Insights for Search tool helps you determine the most powerful search terms related to your business by looking at search volume across specific regions, categories, time frames and sites . Once you’ve chosen your search terms, don’t forget to use them in context of your location (if you are a local business). For example, don’t just write about “backyard landscaping”; write about “backyard landscaping in Lexington, MA”.
Setting up Insights for Search
Using Google’s Insights for Search tool is pretty straightforward. Once you go to, enter a search term related to your business. For example, if your business provides landscaping services, try “Landscaping”. If your business is a bakery, try “cupcakes” or “bakery.”  If you want to narrow your results to searches in your area, you can specify your location. If you want to narrow your results to searches in a specific time period, you can select a date. In my example, I used “Landscaping” as my search term, and filtered by results in the United States for the last 12 months.
Once you’ve specified your search terms and filters, click Search.  Your results should show you data on that search term over time. If you get the message “Not enough search volume to show results,” try expanding your filters to be less specific (for example, don’t specify region beyond country, and set your time filter to 12 months).
Interpreting your Results

Google will give you data on Interest over Time, Regional Interest, Top Searches, and Rising Searches. For the purposes of choosing search terms, focus on Top Searches and Rising Searches. 

Top Searches refers to the search terms with the most significant level of interest, related to the search term and filters you entered. In my example above, I used “landscaping” as my search term. The results tell me that “landscaping ideas,” “landscape,” “landscaping design” and “backyard landscaping” are common phrases that people search for most in Google (related to the term “landscaping”). For my landscaping website, I could now decide to have a page on my site all about “landscaping ideas” so people find my website in search listings. Once they got to my website to read about landscaping ideas, they could see the services I offer and decide to call me. Alternatively, I could make sure to include the phrase “backyard landscaping” quite a bit in the text of my site, because I now know that is a common phrase people are searching for.
Rising Searches are a little bit different from Top Searches. Rising Searches are searches that have experienced significant growth in a given time period. In my example, although “grasses for landscaping” is not always a very popular search term, recently a lot of people have been searching for that phrase. By incorporating Rising Searches into your website’s text, you have a unique opportunity to get ahead of your competition by using the most recent and accurate related search terms.
Wrap Up

Choosing your website’s search terms and incorporating them onto your site is an important part of marketing your business online with a website. Google’s free Insights for Search tool is a great way to help you determine the most powerful search terms for your business. And don’t forget – if you’re a local business, be sure to use your search terms in context of your location.

Small Business Guide on How to Write Search Engine Optimized Content

Recently, I wrote an article on the best practices for Search Engine Optimization in Search Engine Optimization Guide for Small Businesses. The article talked about 4 important aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I’ve already covered the first two components in the Small Business Guide to Making a Spider Friendly Site for SEO and Small Business Guide on How to Use Search Terms to Improve SEO. Today, I’ll discuss the second SEO component: Content. In this article, I’ll cover what website content is, why it’s important, and how you can write good content.  
What is Content?
The content of your site is what your customers will see when they come visit. It’s the text and images that make up the body of your site. Creating compelling and useful content is one of the most important ways you can influence your site. You can create good content by adding compelling text to your site, or creating a blog and posting useful information frequently!
How do I Write Good Content?
When writing text for your site, remember to write easy-to-read text, use language relevant to your users, and keep your content fresh and unique. The most important reason for your site to have good content is so your visitors will stay on your site and decide to give you business, however search engines can also tell when a site has good content and will rank the site higher. Some things to keep in mind while writing content:
   1.Create unique content, and avoid copying and pasting text from other sites
    2.Update your site regularly to keep your visitors and search engines coming back
    3.Incorporate your search terms through your text
   4.Organize what you’re writing about and focus on one topic at a time
   5.Write easy-to-read text, and avoid spelling mistakes
   6.Make sure most of your website pages have a good amount of text (shoot for 500 words  on at least one page of your site)
To wrap things up
 Search engines will look for websites that have text that is slightly unique from other websites and provides information related to the search terms a potential customer is looking for. Writing good content on your site is a great way to improve your search ranking. For more help with writing content, check out the Vistaprint Writing Wizard which is part of the Search Engine Optimizer. This tool lets users add professionally written text to their site that’s been tailored to their business.

Small Business Guide on How to Use Search Terms to Improve SEO

Recently, I wrote an article on the best practices for Search Engine Optimization in Search Engine
Optimization Guide for Small Businesses. The article talked about 4 components that are essential to making your website Search Engine Optimized (SEO). I covered the first component - making a spider friendly site – in my article Small Business Guide to Making a Spider Friendly Site for SEO. Today, I’ll discuss the second SEO component: Search Terms. In this article, I’ll cover what Search Terms are, why they’re important, and how to choose them.
What are Search Terms?
Search Terms are the words or phrases that a user might search for to find a website selling the products or services they are interested in.   When optimizing your site, you should choose a few search terms (start with 2-4) to focus your website content around.
Why and How should I use Search Terms on my website?
By incorporating relevant Search Terms throughout your website, search engines know to display your site towards the top of the results page for those Search Terms.  You should try to incorporate each of your search terms a few times on each page. Also, don’t just include them in the plain text of your site; add them to the headers, page names, image descriptions, and page descriptions to get additional value. Make sure that you don’t overdo it though; search engines can tell when people are trying to cheat the system by writing one search term 50 times just to improve your ranking.
How do I choose my Search Terms?
When choosing your search terms, try to pick just a few to focus on (three is a good starting place). Think of all the possible terms your potential customers would search for, and make a list. If you’re a hair salon in Baltimore that specializes in hair extensions, try “hair extensions Baltimore”. If you’re a landscaper that focuses on gardens in Ft Lauderdale, try “garden design Ft Lauderdale”.  Some things to consider when choosing your search terms:
1. Don’t use Search Terms that are too broad, like “cakes”, as they will be too competitive and you won’t show up
2. Don’t use Search Terms that are too specific, like “cake decorator specializing in funky kid designs”, because it is less likely that anyone is searching for that phrase.
3. If you’re a local business, include your location in context with your keywords.  Using “cakes” as the example, something like “Cake decorator Lexington” would be a great search term to use. The locations doesn’t have to be used right next to your search term in your website text (“cake decorator Lexington”), but it should be close (“Our company provides excellent Cake Decorating services in Lexington”).
4. If your business carries specific brands that your customers may be looking for, include those brand names in your Search Term list.
5. Use a free tool like Google’s Insights for Search to get more ideas on Search Terms to use.
To conclude
Including strong, relevant search terms throughout your site is a very important part of Search Engine Optimization. Make sure to consider carefully which terms you’d like to use on your site and to incorporate them frequently. Before your know it, you’ll be driving more quality traffic to your site!

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