Google robots and your website sitemap

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Behind the scene, google robots are crawling on your site on a regular basis. To do so google look at a specific file called robots.txt file. This file is literally the gate keeper to your site as it tells the search engine what to do and where to go. One google robots crawling on website is called Googlebot.
When googlebot hits your website robot.txt file, it reads a a couple of line of code that dictate specific actions:

User-Agent: *
This line says that the rules below are for any search engine.

Allow: /
This says that the robots are allowed to crawl the site.

Disallow: /wp-admin and Disallow: /wp-includes
This line says that robots are not allowed to crawl the wp-admin folder as well as wp-includes folder which typically contains scripts, theme and plugin information.

Sitemap:
This line specifies where your website’s sitemap is located: http://www.mydomain.com/sitemap.xml

In a nutshell, robots.txt tells search engines where they cannot go and the sitemap.xml tells them where your websites pages are located. The sitemap is generated with an XML file name and in general.

The simplest way to create a sitemap on a wordpress website is to set up the plugin YOAST.

Now here are a couple of tips:
Make sure you do not disallow: / as this will block EVERYTHING on your site (this could be done before a website is launched).Set up your website on webmasters to identify crawl errors and ensure your website is optimised and “SEO ready”!… and off course if you need help, contact us

Do you know your website Bounce Rate?

The bounce rate measures a website’s ability to capture an audience’s attention: if lots of people go to your website and quickly go away, your website’s bounce rate will be high, which means that your site is (in general) not doing what you want it to do…

As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate in the range of 25% to 40% is excellent , 40% to 50% is average but OK, above 50%: your website needs to be looked at and 0% to 25% is unusual (something might not work or google analytics may not have enough data to pull out the stats).

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This morning, i checked out the analytics of foundling.com.au . Although this online shop website is fairly new, we captured enough data to get accurate stats:

foundling_bounce rate

Do you have google analytics set up on your website ?

Do you know your website bounce rate ?

if not contact us now and we will guide through:

http://www.businessbox.com.au/contact-businessbox/

Software as a service or software with a service?

Do-It-For-Me Revolution, or “DIFM” for short combines technology automation with specialized labor to deliver a complete solution to a business problem.

No Software… Too Much Software

The SaaS generation owes its tagline to Marc Benioff, who launched Salesforce.com 15 years ago with the famous rallying cry, “No Software.” The idea was that businesses would no longer have to purchase, install and run software but could instead rent it as they needed it. Yet to most end users, SaaS software requires just as much effort to learn and operate as the old PC and client-server analogs. Salesforce’s once innovative customer relationship management system has itself become a complex data-entry monster whose user interface has barely changed in more than a decade.

Made for Small Business

In practice, big business has been relying on DIFM for decades to simplify and cut costs. They’ve just called it “managed services” or “business process outsourcing,” BPO for short.

Small businesses have complex needs, such as payments, accounting, payroll, benefits, tax, inventory and scheduling. Yet most small business owners have neither the time nor skill to learn another software tool. The majority of business owners who purchase Xero accounting package rely on a third-party accountant to run it for them.

And this is exactly where DIFM comes in. The DIFM user interface is simple and minimal; complexity is handled by technology and people in the background. Some DIFM companies operate marketplace models, while others rely on in-house talent to deliver a full service. Dozens of startups have emerged, each tackling one slice of the small business pie.

Instead of selling “software-as-a-service,” these DIFM companies are delivering “software-with-a-service.” The result is awesome customer experience that can only be delivered with a human touch. Because of the human component, DIFM startups may take longer to scale, but once they do, they’re hard to replicate and have the potential to become huge, dominant companies.  After slogging through years of DIY software, the business world seems ripe for a DIFM revolution.

Businessbox created a DIFM service for e-commerce start ups which includes bookeeping, inventory management, marketing and website development and maintenance. If you are a start up e-commerce business and need to streamline your business operations, contact us now.

Google’s update to their ranking algorithm!

Last month, Google announced a change in their algorithm in which mobile-friendliness will become an important ranking factor, starting April 21st .

So, Google is basically telling you to make your website responsive! They’ve even made a complete guide to mobile-friendly sites and there’s a mobile-friendly test.

If you’re still unsure whether you’re doing everything you can do with your site, contact us now

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Google trends – a great tool to see what’s trending in google searches around the globe

We just did a couple keyword trends analysis today for the website foundling.com.au . One keyword that retained our attention is the word boho . Boho is a style of fashion drawing on various bohemian and hippie influences. Check out the graphs below:

 

Businessbox recently partnered with a leading online marketing agency to improve website ranking on search engines using social medias, google adwords and search engine optimisation techniques. If you want to find out our more about Businessbox range of online marketing services contact us now now

is your website mobile friendly?

Googlebot, the software developped by google to crawl through billion of web pages regularly and index the pages for search engine is now anouncing that in April it will credit mobile friendly websites. Check your website on your iphone and if you notice that it doesn’t display mobile friendly features such as “hamburger menus” or pictures resized to mobile phone display or tke like … that means you may not have your mobile friendly CSS setup. This will affect your ranking from April 2015 – don’t be an April fool…. contact us now
http://www.businessbox.com.au/contact-businessbox/

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NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH – FEBRUARY 2014 – JS HENDERSON

A big thank you to the team at Businessbox for the launch of jshenderson.com.au

JS Henderson is an award winning builder in the Byron Bay and Lennox Head area with more than 32 years of house design and building expertise.

The main purpose of the site redesign was to feature the various house building projects realised by JS Henderson over the past 32 years.

Lee came up with a new fresh and modern design displaying large pictures as requested by client. Ryan identified a number of wordpress plugins and adapted to the website to optimise the photo display in galleries.

Thank you to Simon and the team at JS Henderson for choosing businessbox!

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Latest website Design trends for 2014

As we have been working to give our website a fresh coat of paint, I’ve come across some current design trends that we may or may not implement, but wanted to share with you.

Continuous Scrolling. This is a design element that Forbes already implements. As you scroll down the page you are automatically taken to the nextstory without clicking. Since you continuously scroll, this changes other elements of the design. For example, when you get to the second article, unless you also add floating navigation and other elements, you lose the all-important “top fold.”

Larger Fonts. While we haven’t done a major redesign in years, a few months ago we quietly increased the font size on our article pages. Next year, I expect the font will get even bigger. One major reason for this is the improved screen resolution and greater screen sizes of the computers and other devices now used; which makes the standard font sizes of yesteryear seem puny.

Responsive Mobile Design. I mentioned earlier how mobile is effecting all web design. Walker Sands, a public relations firm found that mobile devices account for 28% of total website traffic in Q3 2013, up 67% from the same time last year. Our numbers show that mobile now makes up nearly 60% of the total traffic on Hitched. This trend has been going up for years and will continue to do so in 2014. The way to design for this in the past was to create a mobile-specific website, but now websites have the ability to be more responsive and to adjust accordingly to the device and screen. This means publishers don’t need to maintain two completely different sites and can instead focus on just one that responds appropriately.

Flat Design. It seems mobile really is driving everything. Since Apple AAPL -0.91% released iOS 7 with a complete flat design overhaul, the flat esthetic has quickly creeped into desktop and website design (to be fair, Windows went flat first). For example, we use the social sharing site AddThis and earlier in the month they updated their sharing buttons to a new flat design. It seems the flat design offers more than just a new look, it also boosts performance. AddThis mentions that the new buttons are 40% smaller in size than their previous glossy ones. This actually makes a lot of sense considering a flat design eliminates all the gradients and shadowing that can quickly eat up precious kilobytes.

Parallax Scrolling. The first time I saw Parallax Scrolling used on a website was in 2012 on the New York Times feature story, “Snow Fall.” Since then, other websites have been using the technique and it seems that in 2014 it will be a standard design feature. If you’re not familiar, Parallax Scrolling presents the webpage as multiple layers whereas the background layer scrolls at a different speed than the foreground layer (in fact the background layer may not move at all). Other techniques can also be used in conjunction, such as animation to offer some truly unique and dynamic effects. We recently posted our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide and included a new stylus called Pencil from FiftyThree. I mention this because their product site very effectively uses this technique to breakdown and explain the Pencil. It is my hope that this and the other design trends help to serve as inspiration with your next redesign.