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Being ADA Compliant Also Helps Your SEO

Missed opportunities are abound on your web site for improving your search ranking and being able to reach out to audiences who have a disability. What does it mean to be ADA Compliant? The Americans with Disabilities Act (also known as ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law that was enacted to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination. When you web site is ADA compliant, that means that individuals with disabilities can still interact with your site and conduct normal business. Being ADA Compliant benefits your Search Engine Ranking in multiple ways Add alt tags to your photos so site visitors who use readers know what is there Add title tags to your links.  Use these to explain what happens when that link is clicked. Make sure your site is clean Use title tags - H1, H2, H3 etc to break out pages into meaningful sections. Use heading tags in order that makes sense Running my site through a compliance tester, I realized that I do not have enough contract on my text vs the background.  This can make it difficult for those who are visually impaired to read through my content. Wordpress has a number of plug ins that help with ADA compliance: WP Accessibility Accessibility dy UserWay Web Accessibility Tool for ADA Section 508 and SEO Have questions or need assistance?  Please contact us at anytime

A New WordPress Surprise

I am not new to Wordpress.  I have been building client sites on the Wordpress platform for a number of years.  Yet, every so often something surprises me. I have a client who uses the Featured Content Gallery on three sites.  To use the plug in, you need to use custom fields in your post. Well, when I installed Wordpress 3.1 and moved the site to my servers, I was shocked when I looked at the posts and saw NO custom fields.  After momentary panic,  I looked around the FCG support forums and found this helpful link.  Basically, WP 3.1 hides a lot of  post info by default.  Panic over. I've set up my post and page edit screens to my liking.  Moved some boxes around and feel considerably more in control of my WP environment.  Give it a try, you will to.

Moving Web sites to New Servers

When ever I move a client's site to our hosting servers, I get myself all worked up. Static sites are not too complex, copy down to local computer and upload to new servers. Database driven sites, like Wordpress, always make me a little paranoid.  Wordpress offers some best practices on moving the site, but something always seems to go wrong. Key in the process is backing up the database.  Where I've run into problems is with plug in settings that don't seem to carry over.  I ran into this with the Contact-7 plug in and ended up having to redo the entire thing.   I copied down the entire plug in directory and uploaded it to the new servers and got nada!  Oh well, at least it was an easy fix. My problem is that I want everything to be perfect.  I do not want the client to miss a beat or see any down time.  I set up wordpress, upload the theme, plug ins and database files, then change the DNS to let the domain propagate over to our servers.   85% the process goes smoothly, but every once in a while I get a little surprise. It's nice to know, I suppose, that I am still learning after 10 years in business.

All of your networks are social…

... even the ones you think are "just social". Many clients tell me that they are reluctant to join Social Networks for business because they do not want to bump into old high school and college acquaintances.  Well... let me tell you... I've been hired by both.  So don't pass up an opportunity to connect with anyone because you never know where it will lead. Image via Wikipedia Set up some rules:  Anytime someone from my past or current social circle connects with me, I let them know that my primary purpose for being on a network is for business.  While I don't mind some "personal" interaction, I have a very well defined line.  If anyone crosses it, they get an email warning that says something like "I appreciate you wanting to share, but please don't put anything like that on my wall.  If you want to relive those memories, feel free to send me an email."  If that doesn't work, I will disconnect (aka unfriend) them with a note that says something like "I told you so". Our old college and high school friends have grown up, moved away, expanded their knowledge base as well as their position in life.  As such, they are an excellent referral source and it is just a ton of fun to reconnect and BS for a while.  I've been given several such opportunities and feel truly blessed for them.   My former college roommate has enlisted my help in her social media marketing campaign and a former high school buddy passed my name on to someone for an opportunity that I would have otherwise never had access to. Whether or not either pans out is almost irrelevant (to me), the [...]

Facebook vs. LinkedIn

The majority of my seminars focus on the why and how of Social Media Marketing via two tools, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Most business owners "get" LinkedIn - but when you compare them side by side, you can see how both tools can be very useful. LinkedIn:  The online resume with gusto!  Not only do you have the opportunity to share your past experiences with people you connect to, but you have the opportunity to tell them where you are going (or want to go) and why.  In the summary section, write about your why and give your connections the opportunity to gain some insight into your work. LinkedIn is the ultimate recommendation letter.  A few rules here though... only ask for recommendations from people who you have actually worked with and only agree to give recommendation to the same.  If you recommend every person you are connected to, not only are you being less then honest, but you dilute the purpose of a recommendation and your word. Participate in the Answers section and show off your expertise.  Facebook:  Networking the whole you! Facebook offers the above and a level or two more.  In Facebook you can share pictures, links, directly communicate with your connections publicly and offer greater insight to you - all of you, the person behind the business.  In other words, you are networking the whole of who you are.  Like motorcycles, share it... avid reader, let your connections know.  Facebook allows your connections to get a closer glimpse of your who, what, when, where and most importantly why.  Facebook also offers fan pages:  Public profiles that focus on your brand, product or service.  IF you are an author, start a fan page [...]

What can a Facebook Fan Page do for your business?

Facebook fan pages (a.k.s Public Profile Pages) are a special space within Facebook that is dedicated to your business.  It acts like a small, but very powerful web site.  These pages are easily shared among members of Facebook.  Public profiles are also indexed by the search engines and easily viewed by anyone on the Internet. Through the Insights, you can drill down and see the demographics of your fans.  What percent are male vs. female, age groups, what cities are they located in and predominant language.  You can also see what your post quality score is.  Post quality measures how engaging your posts have been to Facebook users over a seven-day window.  Your Post Quality is determined by the percentage of your fans that engage when you post content to your Page. It is calculated on a rolling seven-day basis. The number of stars depends on how your Post Quality compares to similar Pages (for example, Pages that have a similar number of fans.) Engaging fans through your page entails providing relevant, engaging information that encourages participation.  Ask questions, offer the opportunity for your fans to provide feedback.  Allow fans to post questions and interact with your business.   Status updates, notes, wall posts, photos, videos, all flow into the news feed, keeping your fans abreast of the latest updates to your page.  Providing engaging content is the best way to get fans to interact with your page.  Custom tabs and boxes can be created to further engage your fans and encourage new fans to join.  You can offer Facebook only promotions, fan only specials or simply show your fans the goods and services you offer through a custom tab or box.  Using eye catching graphics [...]

A little Elfing around with the NewWard crew :)

Send your own ElfYourself eCards Related articles by Zemanta This Christmas, OfficeMax's ElfYourself.com Will Get a JibJab Twist Elf Yourself returns for Christmas 2008 - this time using Jib Jab for added fuctionality! 8 Ecard Sites That Offer Fun Holiday Greetings

How Not For Profits Can Succeed Online – Part 2 Social Networking

Social Networking has become extremely popular for one primary reason...  People want to connect.  Social networking sites have given people the ability to exchange ideas and information with other like minded individuals.   They can gather in large or small groups and virtually brainstorm, network, share and gain insights.   The question becomes, how do you harness this activity to benefit your organization? Jump in with both feet: When you join a social network, create a profile - but don't just stop there.  Start a group or join other existing groups.   Sites like Facebook have groups - these groups give people who have a common interest a place to enter into discussions, share links, videos and photos and even promote new ideas.  Finding a group of people who would be interested in your cause is a simple matter of searching.  Let's say you are looking for a group of people who are interested in helping victims of domestic violence, do a search on domestic violence and check out the groups that come up.  Try these searches:  Museums, Animal Safety, Diabetes.  If a group doesn't exist that suits your needs... start one! Do not discount MySpace.  Check out the the MySpace Impact Awards (http://www.myspace.com/impactawards).  The Impact Rewards honor organizations who work to create a positive difference in the world.  It may not win you donation dollars, but it will go a long way to creating trust and recognition in the online community.  The only thing you are required to do is set up a MySpace page for your organization and share your message. Interact with the people you connect with on a regular basis.  Set aside a fixed amount on time on a daily or weekly basis to log in, check out [...]