A guide for the modern web for small businesses

The online world, it is a changing. Google updates their search engine all the time and what worked before may not only not work anymore, but it may be hurting you.
Also, SEO is a long game. Old tricks may provide bumps in traffic here and there but a clean implementation will provide steadier gains over the long haul.

Back to basics

First and foremost, you want to make sure you’re done with the basics.

  • WHO is coming to my site?
  • WHAT are they doing on my site?
  • WHERE are they coming from? How are they getting here?
  • WHY are they here?
  • WHEN do I have the most traffic? Weekends? Early morning?

Analytics

Do you know how many people are coming to your site? Is your traffic mostly from desktop browsers (Desktops, laptops) or from mobile browsers (iPhone, Android Phones, Windows Phone, etc.) If the answer to this question is no, go ahead and install Google Analytics on your site (https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1008080?hl=en). Adding Google Analytics to your site allows you to start tracking your site’s performance and see how many people are coming to your site, where they’re going on your site, and how long they’re spending on each page of your site. You can even get fancier by using Google Analytics to track events on your site (downloading a brochure, for example).

If your site is comprised of static HTML files, you’ll need to add the block of code to each of your pages.
Most modern CMS systems (Drupal, WordPress, Joomla) will have some plugin that can facilitate your integration. For this site,I use the WordPress plugin Google Analycator and and it makes integrating Google Analytics very easy. The plugin also has an option to disable Google Analytics tracking when I’m logged in so my tests don’t count towards the analytics.

Do you know how your visitors got to your site?

Google recently rebranded their Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/05/rolling-out-red-carpet-for-app-owners.html). If your site isn’t showing on Google, or if some of your newer pages aren’t showing in search results, used Google Search Console to add an updated sitemap containing entries for your new pages.

Additionally, Google Search Console allows you to see how your site performs for different searches and allows you to track the % change over the previous month.

Old/ “Black hat” techniques that need you need to stop right now

If your site has been around for a while and you added links to your site to all sort of random places around the web as a means of building links to your site, this may actually be hurting you. Google’s Search algorithm updates (Panda, Penguin) have started identifying these sorts of site and have assigned negative points to the sites linked to them.

Just like having a well indexed site linking to you helps your Google ranking, having a site that has received penalties linking to you will hurt your rankings. If you’ve noticed a dip in your rankings, do what you can to remove the links to your site and see how your traffic is affected over a couple weeks.

SEO and Search Page Rankings

SEO as it’s been known in the past few years is not so much dead as that it has evolved. The old mantra of “Content is king” still stand but now it’s also about how your data is presented in search results. What is your business’s social footprint? Yelp/Facebook/Google+ ratings and reviews, mentions on Twitter for mobile searches (http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/19/google-adds-tweets-to-its-mobile-search-results/)… these social signals can help your rankings and also improve how your business is presented in the search results.

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus needs more storage

The new features of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are nice. I particularly like the updates they’ve made on the photo camera and video camera. The move to 60 fps video is amazing but is also cause for my biggest issue with the phone.

The 16GB of storage is simply not enough space to hold the operating system, your apps, the data for those apps (the pictures from your iMessage history will take up gigabytes of spaces over time), and these HD videos will fill up all of your storage in no time. This back of the napkin calculation assumes you don’t have any music on your phone.

Why are the lowest option 16GB but the next option is 64GB? The base model should have been 32GB. If this wasn’t an option, then the iPhone needs to catch up with all of the other phone and allow for external storage.

Is Node.js better than ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC?

Is Node.js better than ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC?

What I’m writing is in no way a ciricism of Node.js but the hype that some have blindly bought into. Javascript is a great language and Node.js is a good API built on Google’s V8 engine but it’s not the end all and be all that some people make it out to be.

But isn’t Node.js faster than ASP.NET? Well is depends.
Are we talking about development time?
Are we talking about time to first byte?
Are we talking about

But isn’t ASP.NET slow? Efficient, asynchronous .NET code can run circles around blocking Node.js code any day. Remember that while Node.JS allows you to develop non-blocking code, it is possible to still write blocking, synchronous code with Node.js.

Yes, Node.js makes writing non-blocking code easier, but so does .NET. I can write efficient, non-blocking code in .NET just as well as I could write in-efficient, blocking code in Node.js.

Javascript is a great, minimalistic language.
V8 is an amazing virtual machine…similar to Sun/Oracles JVM (Java) and Microsoft’s .NET framework and CLR.
Node.js is a phenominal set of libraries that have been built acount Google’s V8 engine.

It is a good language and platform, but it’s not the end all and be all that some people make it out to be.

BUT but…NPM!!

  • Java has maven and ivy
  • .NET has Nuget
  • Node.js has NPM

The package manager pattern has been around for a long time and has made things much easier for developers. NPM is a great package manager but it’s nothing new.

The dominance of Node.js (the new hotness) over ASP.NET and other (lets say older) server side technologies is accepted as canon in certain circles. Which is better? Like most open ended questions such as this one, the answer is depends?

Many people like to ask questions like “What’s the best language to use for XYZ?” and the answer is always the same…’It depends!’

Further Reading

  • http://www.haneycodes.net/to-node-js-or-not-to-node-js/