Weekend Projects: Spell Check

Published on Aug 22, 2009   //  Weekend Projects

Weekend Project

Last week we added a custom 404 pages to our site so that we do not lose potential traffic. This weeks focus is on checking your site for spelling mistakes. Many sites loose business because of spelling mistakes so it is very important to check our site content carefully.

You could copy and paste your pages into a data processor and check them one by one for spelling errors. Instead if you are like me you would rather find a free solution that will check your entire site for you. I had to test a few of the various services to find the one I liked.

To check your site for spelling errors go to TextTrust and click on Free Trial. You will then be prompted to enter in your domain and email. Once that is done your site will be scanned for spelling mistakes and a report will be emailed out in 24 hours. When you get the report go through and correct the various mistakes.

If you get stuck let me know in the comments.

Weekend Projects – Run a Contest

Published on Aug 15, 2009   //  Weekend Projects

Weekend Project

Some of our most successful traffic leaders and sales generation has come from running a contest. This week you should sit down and plan a contest. You will need to determine the following…

The Prize
Choose a prize that is in your budget and something that people will want. I usually like things that people would not necessarily buy for themselves but would want like a bigger screen or a mini camcorder (Vado). If your looking for an inexpensive prize try giving away an Amazon gift certificate away.

The Rules
Check with your local government gaming rules to ensure that you are not violating any laws before you decided on the rules. Ensure the rules fit your needs. For example you could say that those that purchase are automatically entered in to the draw where others need to send in a postcard to enter.

Once you have planned out your contest you should push it out to the public. There are lots of sites to submit your contest to that will drive traffic to your site.

Weekend Projects – Keep It Simple

Published on Aug 9, 2009   //  Weekend Projects
Off

Weekend Project

This week we will be looking at 3 very simple yet very effective ways to improve your site. If you are not doing these currently then add them…

  • Make your logo clickable to your main page. If you have a logo or main header image and it is not clickable to your main page of that site then add it.
  • If you have a form with Country in it be sure to put US and Canada at the very top.
  • Go through and find any font on your site 10 or smaller and change it to be bigger.

Why make these changes? A lot of users leave sites due to confusion and frustration. The more you remove those frustrations the better experience your visitors will have.

Weekend Projects: Link Check

Published on Aug 1, 2009   //  Weekend Projects

Weekend Project

This week we will focus on checking links on your site to ensure that there are no broken links. Any broken link an be a reason for Google to penalize your site and may cause confusion for visitors who click on links and end up at a 404 page.

I found a great free tool for checking links on your site and it is really easy to use. To get started…

  1. Download the Free Link Checker software*. Save it to your desktop and then double click on the Setup file. Follow the on screen setup by clicking next several times.
  2. Open the Free Link Checker software and choose File > New Project.
  3. Enter your domain name http://www.yourdomain.ca/ and click start.

It will run and then ask you if you want to output a report. Choose yes and then Cancel. This will open the report in your local browser.

If you have any errors go through and fix them this weekend.

If you get stuck let me know in the comments.

* Note: Due to the sensative nature of the previous linked software we have replaced it with another free checker. Our appologies if the software offended anyone it was not our intention.

Weekend Projects – Optimize Your Code

Published on Jul 26, 2009   //  Weekend Projects

Weekend Project

This week we will talk about a quick and easy way to optimize your code by removing spaces. If you know it or not but those spaces and enters in your code can increase your code size up to 20%. If you were to remove all those unwanted spaces in the code your site would still look the same but load faster.

Here is an example of what most sites html code looks like…

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Hello, World Page!</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
Hello, World!
</BODY>
</HTML>

Here is what it would look like optimized…

<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>Hello, World Page!</TITLE> </HEAD>  <BODY> Hello, World! </BODY> </HTML> 

To do that you could manually go through and clean up your code. I believe that both FrontPage and Dreamweaver both have a clean up code ability built into them. You can read the help files of those software’s to determine how to do it. For those that like to do it free online I found this free code optimizer script. You paste your code into the page and click Optimize. This will clean up the code for you. Note that it does add a site optimized by tag which you can of course remove.

Do you optimize your code? If so how do you do it?

Weekend Projects – Create Video

Published on Jul 18, 2009   //  Weekend Projects

Weekend Project

This week we will discuss creating video and the importance of doing so. You may have noticed search engines are evolving so that mixed results for search terms are displaying. In the following example you will see sites, news and video for the word iphone. As time goes on more and more words will display mixed results so I suggest you start looking on how you can develop video content for your site.

The first thing you need to do is determine how your going to record your content. If your going to be video taping on the go, I recommend you get a Vado which is a bargain at $100. If you want to show content which on your computer you can use a screen capture video software like CamStudio.

Once you have your content you will need to edit it. If you are using Windows you can edit it for free using Windows Movie Maker where Mac users can use iMovie. When editing your video be sure to add those finishing touches like watermarks, titles and credits.

Now that you have your video the question is where to host it. You could host it on your own site but I would not recommend that. To be included in Google’s mixed search results they are currently giving preference to videos uploaded on YouTube. If you do not have an account it only takes a few seconds to create one. Uploading your video is just filling out a form, selecting your video and clicking submit.

Not sure what content to record?

  • Record customers testimonials
  • Demonstrate your service or product
  • Provide tips and traps videos
  • Make a video greeting for customers

Do you record video already? If so what tips would you give?

If you get stuck let me know in the comments.

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