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SEO, SEM Techsnoop

SEO and SEM are Tools to Take Control of Your Business.

Small business owners have a choice; hire someone to completely control your digital destiny. Or, learn the basics of SEO and SEM to enhance your website and local business search results.

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization. When you or your web designer edits the metadata and content of your site, the search engine crawlers move your site link up closer to the top of the results. In local search, the customer’s location data is used to further filter these results. Search engine algorithms are constantly updated to push link-bait and spam sites further down and genuine sites further to the top of the results. Review the recommendations of Bing, Yahoo! and Google to lift your search rankings.
  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing. SEM is paid ads on sites like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Bing. These ads show up at the top of search results and on the right sidebar of search results. This can be an effective short-term solution to help enhance your SEO efforts.

Organic search results are the results that naturally occur when a customer searches for your type of business. An example is ‘web design’ which used to be a keyword that businesses would overuse in their metadata and on their pages. The newest algorithms are able to determine web design from the page content without overuse of the word. In fact, today’s search engines will actually penalize your site for ‘keyword stuffing’ as this is now considered spam.

Providing good, relevant content that is updated often is the best way to reach the coveted first page of search results. These are the results most likely to be clicked by customers.

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Galaxy Note 8 Concept

Galaxy Note 8 Concept

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is far and away the best phone Techsnoop has ever owned. But it is now getting a bit dated and tired. Unfortunately, Samsung released the Note 5 with out the expandable storage and the Note 7 was a fire hazard.

But the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are both huge hits and the ‘infinity’ display is a compromise between the edge display and usable screen real estate. So now we wait for these same specs to be bumped up for the flagship phone, the Note 8. Rumours of 6GB of RAM are enough to make a tech geek drool.

Smartphones are a central part of our lives now with the ability to locate and start your car, lock and unlock your home door and control smart home devices. In addition, apps like Samsung Health help you keep track of fitness and dietary goals to improve your health, eliminating the need for additional devices. And importantly for Techsnoop, there are great productivity apps for web design and business.

In his final post, Walt Mossberg states that technology will soon become ‘ambient’ or just a part of the everyday objects we use. The combination of artificial intelligence / machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics and drones, smart homes, self-driving cars, and digital health / wearables (Walt Mossberg, the Verge) will make the computer an invisible butler in accomplishing our tasks.

So it only makes sense that smartphones will continue to be an important link between other computing devices and our interface. Making a power house phone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 a true value.

Are you waiting on the Note 8 or did you take the S8 plunge? Let us know in the comments.

Webdesign Ninja Techsnoop

Starting or updating a small business website? Interview your web designers like you would for employees. Here’s some tips.

Small business owners are busy wearing multiple hats running a business. So when it comes to technical solutions, most small business owners choose to outsource their website creation. To select a great designer or agency, you need to know some designer-speak. If terms like SEO, SEM, newsletters and list building are foreign to you, keep reading.

The purpose of your website is to increase your business income. Even if you don’t have an e-commerce site, bringing customers to your store or enticing them to call is the primary focus of a website. But if your site is not found by potential customers, no conversions can happen.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization; the process of having your site appear in search results high enough to cause clicks by customers.

SEM = Search Engine Marketing; the process of using paid search results to drive marketing activity.

To prepare for the web designer interview process, make a list of goals for your website. Decide on a color scheme and branding that you think reflects your business. Next, write a description of your ideal target customer. Having a picture of who you want to target helps direct the design process.

Does the designer communicate well?

Every tech person communicates differently. But when developing your website, the designer must be able to understand your goals and communicate how they will accomplish this. Is the designer clear, using normal English or do they use technobabble to make themselves sound smarter? This is a sign that working with the designer will be difficult.

Is there a portfolio you can review?

Does the designer have a range of work styles? Or do all their projects look exactly alike? It is ok for a designer to specialize in one area of design, but if your web site does not fall into their speciality, it won’t be a good match. Also see if the designer can do other things such as business cards to match your site. A web designer with multiple talents helps you to keep your branding consistent.

How will the web site be managed?

What platform will the designer use? Will you use an administration board to update the site or will the designer make updates for you? Will the designer train you to use the back-end? Most designers can offer a flat monthly fee for updating your site. But there are many options for making small updates to content, photos and prices yourself. Consider if you have the time to do this task.

Responsive Website Techsnoop

Will the Designer create a wire frame or mock-up of the site?

There are many wire frame or prototyping tools available so that you can get a good view of how the site will look and behave. Does the price include creating a wire frame or mock-up? If not, this is an important add-on feature that you should consider. You don’t want to be surprised with a difficult to navigate site that is not user-friendly.

How Much Will It Cost and What does it include?

Know what your budget is for a website and what features you need to accomplish your goals. Be sure to get a written proposal of the functions included and the total price. Understand that any changes will come at an increased cost.

Does the price include editing photos, uploading starter content and training? What about a logo? These are usually extra features that may cost more.

If the web designer is good to communicate with, offers the services you need and is within your budget, you are most of the way to your new website!

Need more help? DKemp Designs is always happy to help with a free consultation call.

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Ever wondered which Adobe tool to use to create your latest masterpiece? So many great tools and they all create great designs, it is hard to choose. Well Terry L. White, a great Adobe Evangelist has your answers. So grab your favorite caffiene drink and learn from the expert so you can create with confidence.

princess-leia-regalGirl Geeks everywhere are in mourning. Carrie Fisher, the embodiment of true butt-kicking girl geek power, is dead. While Star Wars fans everywhere may be sad, this is especially difficult for the girl geek squad because it took so long for women to be accepted as action heroes. Princess Leia may have been the pinup dream girl of young boys, but for girls she made it ok to pick up a lightsaber, laser pistol or tree limb and be the rescuer, not the rescued.

Princess Leia laser pistol

Princess Leia on HothPrincess Leia brought princesses out of the ivory tower and into the action-packed fray of real life. Girls every where saw that they could give orders, deliver justice and even fix a beat up Millenium Falcon. Princesses began to pick up wrenches, learned to code, joined the military and became heroes.

And in real life, Carrie Fisher spoke bravely and honestly about struggling with substance abuse and mental illness. She also detailed her family struggles with grace, humor, and dignity.

Thank you Carrie Fisher, girl geeks everywhere are lighting their lightsabers in salute. May the Force be with you Always.

Unless you have been in a cave, you know that animation and video effects are taking over the web. The trick is to have unique content to bring visitors to your site. Adobe has released several new tutorials to keep you up to date with the newest technology.

Check out the latest video and let Techsnoop know what you think.

Adobe Character Animator Tips & Tricks (December 2016) from Adobe professional video on Vimeo.

Technology is expanding the boundaries of what is physically possible for humans. This wheelchair is a cool concept that needs to be expanded to every wheelchair.

Techsnoop is here to help you in buying, maintaining and upgrading your tech. Small business owners are too busy to spend hours pouring over manuals to get specs. So here is the first in a series of videos quickly explaining essential tech specs.

If you are in the market for a new laptop, you probably want to know the difference between i3, i5 and i7. Depending on the work you will do it can mean the difference in running apps or saving a few dollars. Thanks to Techquickie on YouTube, you can now tell the difference. This is a quick and understandable reference for any level user.

Let us know if this helped you buy a new system.

HP Envy Review DKemp DesignsTech Upgrade

Hello fellow geeks, technophiles and those who need translation of geek-speak. Wondering what Techsnoop has been up to? Wonder no more! Techsnoop has been busy learning many new software tricks. This put a massive strain on Techsnoop’s trusty Toshiba laptop which has served faithfully for many years as a design ninja.

Shopping for new tech is one of Techsnoop’s favorite activities, but not when there is a ticking clock. The stress of getting the best value in a crunch situation is not fun. But the Geek Gods were with Techsnoop, and a great deal appeared on an unlikely contender: the HP Envy x360. A convertible laptop was not even on the list of shopping items in this replacement foray. But the specs on this model were irresistible.

The Look

HP Envy CaseA sleek aluminum body with subtle curves, makes this a beautiful laptop even when closed. Under the hood, 12GB of ram, 6GB of video ram and a 1TB hard drive offer speedy response and lots of room for large design files. Altogether this created the need for a closer look. This is a Windows 10, 64 bit system with a 6th generation i7 processor and the price was so great, Techsnoop can’t even print it. Let’s just say many laptops with lesser specs were much more expensive.

 

Spectacular Specs

The official roundup:

Design – slim, lightweight aluminum body makes this beautiful to look at, hold and show off.
Weight – about 5 lbs, average and not too taxing to carry around. The trade-off is no optical (DVD) drive, but not a deal breaker.
Screen – bright, crisp, saturated colors. Not retina, but very close.
Touch – the touch screen has great sensitivity and seems calibrated correctly, with 95% or better accuracy.
Windows 10 – much better than Windows 8, Windows 10 allows you to configure and work the way you want with minimal distractions from the UI. Kudos.
Battery – five to six hours of use on a charge, Techsnoop gets between 4 and 5 hours with heavy applications and video playback.
Keyboard – keys are sensitive and responsive. A small dip keeps keys flush with the tray so keys don’t get pushed when in tablet mode. And there is a backlight button so you can keep working in dim lighting.

In fact, Techsnoop was working smoothly during a recent power outage in the Metro area! (But no internet :-()

Fun on the Go

The tent style is fun and efficient for watching video, learning tutorials or following recipes, while the tablet is great for taking notes, sketching or collaborating. No matter which form is used, the HP x360 is a solid computing tool to have. While Techsnoop will be adding more tech to the family, the HP Envy is a welcome and fun addition.

HP Envy Tablet HP Envy Stand

Tesla Model 3Entrepreneurs everywhere dream of making big announcements to the public on their newest product or service launch. We hope an ever-changing public will receive our offerings with enthusiasm and profits. Many existing companies fall short with anticipating what the public needs or will spend hard-earned dollars on. One leader stands out as both visionary and humble spokesperson.

Enter Tesla

Elon Musk has done it again. As a visionary he is on point all the time, but his masterful delivery of new products is a pattern for all aspiring startup leaders. Speaking gracefully to an enthusiastic crowd, Mr. Musk succinctly outlines why his product is necessary, how it was developed and what the benefits are to all stakeholders.

While many will decry that $35,000 is not exactly a low-end price, it is certainly in the mid-price range of new vehicles today.

Let us know in the comments what you think.

Tesla Unveils Model 3 from Tesla Motors on Vimeo.