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Web Trends, Search Engine Optimization, and General Tips and Tricks for Businesses and Designers

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What is a keyword?

Keyword Examples - Worker SafetyWhen people are looking for information on the internet, they often type a word or phrase into the search bar. This word or phrase is called a keyword . The search engine ( google, bing, yahoo) then looks for the most relevant web site or web pages it can find about that specific word or phrase. Learning about keywords and SEO can significantly help your business website in gaining a stronger online presence.


Choosing and using the right keywords and phrases for your website is very important if you want to be found by people looking for your products and services on the internet.


You will need to come up with words and phrases that are searched for frequently and are the most relevant to your website’s purpose. Put some work into being classified by the search engines as having current and relevant information about that topic. The more relevant to the key word or phrase your web page has the better ranking you will get in a web search. You will want to rank in the first 8 spots to make the first page of a search.


In order to come up with the right keywords, you first need to know who will be searching for your website. This is called your target audience. It may help you to develop a character for a typical customer or a persona. To help develop these examples of your typical customer , look at your best current customers. Who are these people?


Developing a persona (or 2 or 3) will help you clearly target your website and your marketing. You can go as far as to choose a picture and write a biography for the persona. Now when you craft a blog or develop a marketing piece, write to the persona. This will help you get a clear picture of who your target audience is and help you keep your message to them consistent.


Questions to ask when developing your target audience persona

  1. Persona Example

    Are they male, or female, how old are they, do they have children?
  2. What is their education level, do they work in management or front lines?
  3. What do they do in a typical day? Are they spending the majority of their day at home or at work, where would they rather be? What do they do in their leisure time? Are they passionate about a cause?
  4. What are their pain points? What do they value most, what do they get excited about?
  5. How do they like to shop? What would their most common objection be to your product or service?


Make a list of words and phrases these target audience personas would type into the search bar when looking for your product or service. Look at newspapers or magazines your personas would typically be looking at to find buzzwords related to your industry or service. Ask current customers what words they would use. There are several keyword tools you can use to gauge what popular keyword searches are at any given moment, or get a good idea of what future keyword searches might be.


Choose the top 3 keywords you want to work on, make sure your website has google analytics set up so you can track your progress (at least monthly). Now use these keywords throughout your website; in the tags and titles as well as the content. Be careful, use the key words where they make sense, but don’t overdo it. Using the same word over and over on a web page is called keyword stuffing ,this is frowned on by the search engines.


Add content that contains your chosen keywords, you may want to add a new webpage specific to a product, or service or write a blog about something regarding your targeted key word. Consider a picture or diagram or video to help explain a product or concept.


Being found through a keyword search is one of the best marketing tools available. Keep in mind though, it takes some time and work to achieve being placed on page 1 or 2 for many key words. Once you make it, you must continue to monitor and keep providing fresh relevant content in order to stay in top ranking.


If you would like to update your website or would like to improve your keyword ranking, call us or email for a free consultation. 705 725-0055 , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Posted by on in Business Websites and Hosting

A picture speaks a thousand words, but using unauthorized graphics on your website can cost your company hundreds of dollars!

Using pictures and images on your website is a great way to draw visitor interest and illustrate a point. Including a relevant graphic on an article on your website can increase the number of times it is read by 94 % according to a study by Skyword.


Though there are many graphics throughout the internet, be careful in choosing the ones you use. All images have been created by someone; many of these people create these images as their livelihood. Actors must be paid, cameras must be bought, skills and expertise that create these graphics are not cheap. Before you use an image, be sure you know who owns it! If you use an image that belongs to someone and you have not paid for it you could be subject to a hefty fine and threats of legal action.

Find Out Who Owns the Graphic

There are many “free” graphics out there, through sites such as creativecommons.org , be careful, free often comes with specific terms and conditions, which if violated can cost. 

Some graphics can be traced to their owner by using a Reverse Graphic Lookup using Google Images or TinEye.com . The results from these searches will tell you other pages on the internet that contain the same image, you may be able to work back to the owner of the graphic. Some graphic owners will be happy to let you use their image, but be sure to ask, get written permission, and use it in the way the owner requests. If you’re still not sure who owns the image even after searching, it is best not to use that image at all.

Best Bet

Taking you own photos or designing your own graphics is the safest and cheapest option. If you are not artistically inclined, purchasing stock photos from a reputable stock photo company is perhaps the safest and quickest way to obtain graphics for your website. These companies sell licence’s to use the graphic, but be aware you have not purchased exclusive right to the photo or content, what you’ve actually done is licensed the rights to use that photo or content. You haven’t bought the file outright, a royalty-free license allows you to pay once (or pay one royalty) for the rights to use a file multiple times. Though not free, this option provides quality graphics relatively inexpensive compared to having a photographer shoot content exclusively for your project.

There are several stock photo companies out there, such as iStock or shutterstock. The company we have been very happy with is http://www.dollarphotoclub.com they have a large library of quality photos for $1. each. Their site also allows for you to save a variety of photos to personalized galleries before purchasing them.  This allows you to explore a variety of photos before making your decision to purchase.

Next Step is Easy!

Go now to dollar photo club, and check out all the amazing options for adding new graphics to your website!

If you need help changing out your pictures or would like to have few changes made to your website, call us at 705 725-0055 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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 If improving your business website is on your to do list this year, here are some tips to consider.


What makes a better business website?


  1. When people are researching a product or service, they will most often start with a google search. A better website will rank on the first page of the search for relevant key words.
  2. When the searcher makes a choice of which website to choose from the search results, a better website will load quickly. As 40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load, speed is an issue.
  3.  Once the website loads, the searcher will start looking around the website. A better website will display properly on all devices – desktop, laptop, tablet or cell phone.
  4. Your website must meet the needs of the visitors, be easy to navigate and provide timely and relevant content. A better website will guide your visitors through their web experience with calls to action that lead them logically to the next step.

Looking for help or advice to make your website better? Encore Web Plus is a Barrie Website Company that specializes in websites for small and medium sized businesses. Contact us today for a complimentary website consultation - 705 725-0055.

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An online search is the most likely place people will start the search for products and services. Traditional forms of advertising such as yellow pages and classifieds, newspaper advertisements and physical newsletters have taken a decline in success rate due to online opportunities such as per click and organic search engine marketing. You might hear of each of these options everywhere you go, but when it comes down to choosing which is best for you, it really depends on your marketing budget and your short and long term marketing goals. This blog will discuss some of the pros and cons of both pay per click advertising and organic search engine optimization.

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What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer; it is used to keep information that is being passed between a server and a client private. SSL protects data such as credit card numbers, social insurance numbers and login credentials from being intercepted by a third party.

If you have ever banked online or purchased products online from a website such as amazon.com, you have browsed and accessed a website that is protected under SSL. You may have noticed, a golden lock icon in the browser window, a highlighted green web address bar, or a website that has https:// in its URL; the “s” signifies that the page is secure, opposed to a non-secure connection http://.

How does SSL work?

SSL works by using Certificates. There are three parts to an SSL certificate, a public key, a private key, and a session key. When your internet browser attempts to access a website that is secured by SSL, a 'handshake' takes place (invisible to you) that shifts between these keys to provide security.

This handshake goes a little like this:

  1. Your browser connects to a webserver, which is secured with SSL.
  2. The website server sends a copy of the SSL certificate to your browser (including the public key).
  3. The browser checks the certificate against a list of trusted CA's (certificate authority).
  4. If the browser trusts the certificate, it creates and encrypts the information into a session key.
  5. The server then decrypts the session key, using the private key and sends back an acceptance of the session key to start an encrypted session (a protected area, where the information is more or less hidden or scrambled from third-party eavesdroppers).
  6. The server and Browser encrypt all transmitted data with the session key, and you are safely browsing the website.


Why use SSL?

Websites use SSL to ensure visitors have a trusted and secure environment to conduct business and share information online. In many cases, if your website accepts credit card information, you are required by the PCI (Payment Card Industry) to have an SSL certificate.

Website visitors who can recognize an SSL connection feel confident that their information is protected from hackers, who might try and steal their personal information. Although SSL doesn’t protect a website from viruses, phishing and other forms of malicious action, it does protect important information that you would not want to have publicly shared.

Are you collection or sharing information on your website that should be protected?

There are various levels of security and pricing available to secure your information. Contact your web developer or Encore Web Plus today.   

Click here for a quote for your business.


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