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What is a (CDN) Content Delivery Network

Content Delivery Network

Infographic of content delivery network

 

 

 

 

 

 

A (CDN) Content Delivery Network is a network of servers that deliver content to visitors of a website based on the visitor’s location. For example, perhaps you are reading this from Japan (if you are, cool, comment!) and my server (where my website lives) is in the United States. This could result in my content loading slowly for you. Website speed and performance are important SEO ranking factors, meaning if your website is slow and generally, unfriendly Google’s algorithms are not going rank your page highly in their search results.

But that’s not all a CDN is for:

CDNs are beneficial for a variety of other reasons including:

  • Added reliability
    If one server goes down, it doesn’t mean your website will go down, because there are multiple servers in the network. In contrast, if you only have a single server and your host’s server goes down, you could be missing potential traffic.
  • Ability to handle spikes in traffic (website visitors)
    Again with multiple servers, website traffic gets disbursed so your website doesn’t get bogged down with activity.
  • Increased security
    Hackers, bots, spammers and other face traffic will land on these servers, meaning your CDN will block attacks and prevent them from affecting your origin server, where your valuable files are stored.

Now that I have told you all of the benefits of a CDN, do actually you need one?

It depends; does your site get a lot of traffic?

This is probably one of the biggest factors in deciding whether or not you should use a CDN. Websites with a lot of traffic are more likely to experience downtime if the servers have trouble supporting the load, again a CDN can help distribute the traffic.

Is your website a small local business?

If heavy global traffic is not a concern for your site, speed is probably not going to be a concern for you. If you still want the added security, a good option is Cloudflare’s free option.

On the other hand, if your website has many pictures and videos, you will want to consider a CDN. When a visitor lands on your page they need to load every image or video on the page. You can optimize your images and store media items on a cloud storage solution; however, a CDN will still be a good choice. Consider especially if you have a blog that uses a lot of images in every post, if you have a portfolio to display or embedded videos.

The bottom line is choosing whether or not to implement a CDN is a choice that is unique to your business. A CDN is beneficial in many ways, but it doesn’t make sense for everyone.

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators

What are Key Performance Indicators

and why do they matter?

Key Performance Indicators (KPI ) are a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success and meeting objectives for performance.  You need to determine your KPIs from the start of your social media strategy. Knowing your KPIs will help you make decisions about the type of content you deliver and where to put advertising dollars.

Vanity Metrics

When developing your KPis, the main thing to consider is how you can create actionable goals and not vanity metrics.  A vanity metric is usually a meaningless indicator made up of numbers or statistics that look great on paper and pretty graphs, but do not actually relate to the success of your business.  Let’s take follower count for example, it is probably one of the highest debated vanity metric. Having as many followers as possible looks very impressive, like your business is up and running and legit; however, if they aren’t the right people following you, the ones who will buy your products and services, then that follower count is essentially only a vanity metric.

On the flip side, without followers, you have no audience to share, like and comment on your content. This tells the social network algorithms (we’ll talk about those in another post) that your content isn’t that interesting; thus, it won’t appear in users feeds.

Kevin Kelly  says You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.”

What this means is you need the right fans. You can have as many followers as you like; but what you need are followers who are actually going to interact with your content. If no one is interacting with your content then no one is seeing your content (throw me a bone and share this post will ya).

Choosing the right KPIs

To monitor the right KPIs, you need to take a look at what your business is and what your goals are.  If your goal is to increase sales, vanity metrics such as numbers of likes, shares, retweets, followers, and page views are not going to be the most important metrics for you to measure.  Instead, you’ll want to focus on conversions, leads and direct sales. If your goal is brand awareness, then those metrics may be of importance.

When I am working with a client, I start by learning about their business and product or service line. Next, I do some research to determine their buyer persona (a representation of an ideal customer) and finally I work with the client to set goals and develop a digital media plan to target those customers.

Six Reasons Your Business Needs a Blog

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Reasons to blog

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word blog? Maybe you think it is for personal use and you are a business, so what are the reasons to blog? Read on and I’ll tell you how it will help your business.

It keeps your website updated

Writing a high-quality informative blog post about your business or about the industry you are in, keeps your website up to date. Search engines are always checking the time stamps on when websites are updated, each new blog posts sends a signal to search engines that your website is current and up-to-date and worthy of being in their search results. Search engines do not want to give their users outdated information; however, you are probably not going to be updating your home page on a frequent basis, a high quality blog post can will increase your credibility.

It attracts an audience

A well-written blog using long-tail keywords will bring people (traffic) to your website. Long-tail keywords are phrases that contain at least three words. These phrases target specific demographics (your target audience). For example, a recent blog post for a client, I used the keyword “when to prune shrubs in Maine”. Using these types of keywords in your post will rank in the search engine, when someone living in Maine is wondering when they should prune their shrubs.

It keeps visitors on your site longer

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Have you heard the term bounce rate? Simply put it is when a person clicks on your website from a search engine and leaves the landing page quickly without browsing any further. So this bullet has two benefits, a blog adds more pages to your website and it keeps people on your site longer. If a search engine sees that people are bouncing off of your site, it will assume your page is not relevant to that search keyword or phrase and will lower it in the ranking.

It increases the number of pages on your website

You need more pages on your site. There are only so many times that you can incorporate your keywords into your landing page before you end up keyword stuffing (do not do that!). Keyword stuffing means that you are attempting to load your webpage with your keywords in order to rank higher in the search results, these keywords, such as putting them in a list or out of context, is considered webspam to search engines and your page will decrease in ranking.

It Provides opportunities for linking, increasing credibility

A blog gives you the opportunity to internally link to other pages on your website and gives other sites reasons to back link to your site. Why are these important? Internal links to your content tells the search engines that your content is relevant. Internal linking will help keep people on your website for longer and improves the relevancy of your other pages to search engines. Back links are probably one of the hardest SEO strategies. Back links are when someone else (maybe another blog, professional colleague, chamber of commerce) have your website link on their blog post on their page. (Notice I have back links in this post) Again, this tells the search engines that your site is relevant and worth being displayed in its results.

Social Media Sharing

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Finally, social media. You have probably done it, you read a really interesting blog post, news article, meme, GIF, video, whatever, you’ve shared someone else’s content on social media platforms. This increases awareness of your business/website and promotes more traffic (people) visiting your website, which hopefully in turn will give you more potential customers.

Are you convinced that reasons to blog will help group your business? Blogging is time consuming, right? See how I am adding my internal link…

Let us do it for you, visit our services page for more information.

True or False: WordPress is just a blogging platform.

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FALSE

WordPress is a great tool for small businesses. WordPress is a content management system; a content management system is used to create and modify digital content, digital content is defined as any content that exists in the form of digital data content that is broadcast, streamed, or contained in computer files.

I recently read a blog post about WordPress stats and it stated that the total number of total active websites in the world is estimated at over 172 million.  Around 75,000,000 websites are using WordPress as their content management system, with around half of those sites being hosted on the WordPress.com shared hosting installation.

Themes and Plug-ins

WordPress runs on themes and plug-ins. To put it simply WordPress is the foundation for your website and the theme is what you use to build it with. For example, to get a bit technical, HTML is the foundation or backbone of your website, CSS is the type of code you use to style your website and yet even more code such as java script gives your website dynamic content.

WordPress.org defines a theme as:
“a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software.”

Themes and plug-in’s allow user-friendly management of your website, you can add/remove and update your page design without needing to know any coding languages.

Plug-ins are very powerful tools with so many varieties. Custom forms that collect sales leads, SEO (search engine optimization) tools, event calendars and online store functionality. Between themes, page builders and plug-ins WordPress is so much more than a blog! With WordPress, you can build a professional website, an online store, a reservation website, a sales page, an online learning site and so much more.

Friendly and Secure

WordPress is responsive and mobile friendly; themes are designed to look good on desktops, tablets and smart phones. It is secure and reliable, WordPress regularly releases security updates and there are tools for automatic backups so that you don’t lose your content.

Finally – and I think this is key for small businesses – it is mobile and you can have multiple users. You can manage your web page from anywhere just by logging into your site. Also you can have multiple users. Your marketing team (i.e. Niche Media Consultants) can update your page, add new content and re-design or add new pages. Your admin team can log in and update the event calendar, blog posts or pictures.

The bottom line, WordPress is small business friendly, cost effective and easy to use.