Tips to Build a Better Website: Video

For most businesses, your website is the marketing hub and building a great website can be one of the most effective and cost-efficient marketing mediums. There are a number of ways you can create a website that is not only visually appealing but also is built with the user and SEO in mind.

Get useful tips in my video on Instant ETraining. In this 20 minute+ video, I discuss how to build a more engaging Website and how to create a stronger site foundation from which to market from. View the preview below.

To view the full video, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial here (affiliate link) at Instant ETraining.

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Is Microsoft Edge an Improvement Over IE?

Microsoft’s newest operating system — Windows 10 — brings a host of new updates and features to its most popular applications. One of the biggest departures is that the default browser is an all-new Web browser that replaces Internet Explorer (IE) called Edge.

Microsoft developed Edge to effectively replace the Internet Explorer legacy. Although it sports a similar logo to IE, Edge is a radical departure from IE. It brings some impressive new developments to the Windows 10 experience and his a huge improvement over its predecessor.

Why the Change?

20 years after the first version of IE was first released, it comes as no surprise that Internet Explorer is bogged down with support for old technologies, amongst other issues that has seen its market share steadily decline in recent years against its main competitors Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Microsoft stripped many outdated components from Internet Explorer to deliver a more faster and streamlined experience. ActiveX, Browser Helper Objects (BHOs), Visual Basic Script and many more features and support are not present in Edge.


Increased Speed

Internet Explorer has been utilizing the Trident rendering engine since its first release. Microsoft EdgeHTML is the replacement engine for the Edge browser that promises to load web page much faster than Internet Explorer.

Enhanced Security

One of the most important improvements in Edge is security. Web pages you visit are rendered inside a sandbox to thwart malicious attacks from penetrating your computer. Edge brings HTTP Strict Transport Security and HTML5 Content Security Policy — new Internet security standards — not available in Internet Explorer.

Next Generation Search

Edge features powerful search integration. Cortana — Microsoft’s virtual assistant — and its Bing search engine are connected to Edge. Questions you enter in Edge’s address bar are answered immediately without needing to open a full Bing Web search. This further integrates integrates Bing into the browsing experience as Microsoft wants the search engine to gain market share.

Revamped Extensions

Microsoft Edge makes developing browser extensions much easier than Internet Explorer. The new Web browser runs extensions built on JavaScript and HTML code; a standard for developers creating extensions for other browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox. New extensions won’t go into effect until a later update to Edge. Internet Explorer will remain in the background as a fall-back for compatibility issues.

New Innovations

One of the more innovative new features found in Microsoft Edge targets Windows 10 tablets and touchscreen monitors. You can annotate directly on a web page using a variety of markup tools, such as a pen, highlighter and text. You can add public notes to web pages and save pages directly to your bookmarks, a reading list or to your notebooks in Microsoft OneNote.

While some features and technologies have been removed in the release of Microsoft Edge, the new Web browser brings a ton of powerful tools to Windows 10. Test out its features and performance against your browser of choice and see how it stacks up.

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Understanding Google AdWords Remarketing

Remarketing is an under-utilized marketing tactic that if you haven’t yet discovered, you may want to consider exploring and implementing. Taking advantage of remarketing is a great way to recover some of the conversions that you may not capture when consumers visit your site initially, build brand recognition, and have prospective customers come back for another visit.

The Difference Between Traditional Online Ads and Remarketing

Paid search advertising through Google AdWords is designed to target users who have intent to purchase your product or service. Search ads are text only. Online display advertising generally targets the type of people who are likely to visit your website through contextual targeting and/or keywords. Text or image ads may be used to appeal to the demographic that you anticipate would purchase your products or services.

Remarketing (sometimes referred to as retargeting) is the strategic placement of ads on websites. These ads appear on a website after a person has visited another website, and there are a lot of them. There are more than two million Websites on the Google ad network. As an example: If you design and sell jewelry and a person visits your site online, remarketing would facilitate that the same individual sees ads for your jewelry while visiting a different site after yours.

adwords remarketing

How Remarketing Works and Its Benefits

To implement remarketing, you will need to install a specific code from your remarketing provider on your website. This code is not complex, and it should not interfere with your site’s speed or performance. The people who come to your site should not even be aware that the code is in place.

Once a person visits your site, the remarketing code will install a cookie in that person’s system and you start building a remarketing list. Once your list is large enough, when that person visits a different site, the cookie will inform your remarketing provider that a corresponding ad from your website should appear on the site visited subsequently.

The main benefit of utilizing the remarketing technique is that it can help you successfully increase conversions. People often respond to such ads because they remind them of the products and services they have recently considered while browsing online. They also help to increase consumer awareness of your brand, which can ultimately lead to more sales overall.

The Options Available via Google AdWords Remarketing

Google offers a variety of remarketing options. Standard remarketing may be the most commonly used: Visitors to your site see ads for your brand displayed when they go to other sites. Dynamic remarketing utilizes dynamic ads to accomplish the same thing.

You can also choose remarketing for mobile apps, which is a viable option since so many people browse the Internet via mobile devices. Remarketing lists for search ads will display ads to your site visitors when they perform subsequent Google searches. Video remarketing ads are similar to standard retargeting ads, but the ads occur after people have viewed your videos.

Remarketing is also available in other advertising platforms such as Bing Ads, Facebook, Adroll, Retargeter, and others.

Final Thoughts

If you hope to increase conversion rates from your Website, remarketing can be a highly effective technique. While remarketing is a fairly simple process, it can get somewhat confusing and with its myriad of set up options and features, there’s a learning curve involved.

It’s recommended to work with a Google AdWords certified professional to properly set up your PPC campaigns and get the best results through ongoing optimization and ad campaign management.

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Taming the Weeds: Keeping Your Website User Data Clean

When viewing your Website’s user data through Google Analytics or other programs, keeping your data clean and free of spam is increasingly challenging. Website referral spam is becoming a growing problem.

Sites like, free-social-buttons, and (the list of spammy referral sites is increasingly getting longer) send out bots that impersonates a visit to your Website. Your Analytics program records the visit, just like it would a referral from Google search or a click from a Facebook post and this all shows up in your traffic data.

The reason referral spam is done is that it promotes the Website in Analytics and the link can improve the spammer’s Website ranking in search engines that use link counting algorithms. All this can be done on a massive scale at a relatively low cost, which explains its emergence.

A Pesky Problem and Risk Factors

Referral spam does much more than just pollute data. In addition to being a pest, the load of bots on a server can adversely affect a Website’s load and performance, which can lead to higher bounce rates, which is a search engine ranking factor. These junky bot visits are using valuable server resources and could also be looking for plugin, server, or other vulnerabilities to harm or hack your site.

A referral spam address can pose a threat as the URL may contain malware designed to steal valuable information.


Keeping the Lid on Spam

Getting rid of referral spam, like other forms of spam on the Internet, can be a bit like playing whack-a-mole. Knock one out and others can still keep popping up. This pseudo traffic may make it appear your Website traffic is surging, and can make up the lion share of traffic if left unchecked.

But there are ways to keep referrer spam from polluting your Website user data. And the good news is that unlike link spam, other than being a nuisance, referral spam is harmless to your site and can be filtered.

Setting Up Regular Expressions in Google Analytics

Under Filters in Google Analytics, you can set up regular expressions to exclude data from known referral spam sites. While creating regular expressions can require programming expertise, Ben Travis’ post ‘Removing Referral Spam from Google Analytics‘ is an excellent resource for setting up these filters.

It’s important to know that regular expressions are limited to 255 characters so you’ll need to create an additional filters if the character limit is reached. There are also other means of setting up referral exclusions through Analytics or through your own Website.

More Analytics Filtering and Other Options

Another perhaps simpler way to set up filtering in Analytics is under Property→Tracking Info→Referral Exclusion List→+Add Referral Exclusion, in which you can add individual sites to exclude from your Analytics data.


Blocking certain referrals should also be set up in a site’s .htaccess file. You can add the code such as the below to .htaccess to block the worst offenders.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} [NC]
RewriteRule .* – [F]

This blocks the site before it has a chance to register as a referral. But be wary that some spammers, never actually visit your Website, they only impersonate a visit so modifying .htaccess won’t help.

Be Cautious With Traffic Reports

If your SEO provider is reporting a surge in your Website’s traffic, this may seem like a huge positive, but it’s important to understand where traffic is coming from and measure the metrics that matter. Referral spam is junk traffic.

Website visits are all about quality over quantity so be sure the reporting and data you’re receiving shows the complete referral sources. By taking steps to block and exclude referral spam, you can filter out junk data and understand the true quality and quantity of visitors your site is receiving.

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Sound of Life Foundation Website

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Website for a new 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization – Sound of Life Foundation. The Sound of Life Foundation’s mission is to connect people through communication and community – to bring people and communities together with improved communication, primarily hearing ability.

By reconnecting people to the multi-sensory world of sound, sight, touch, smell and taste, the foundation helps develop trust, better community engagement, and tolerance and respect for all lives and causes in Southern Utah.

A Secure, Mobile-Friendly Website

Jared Brader, President of the Sound of Life Foundation, wanted a Website that would make it easy for visitors to learn about the foundation, make a donation, and for those who need help, be able to apply online. The Website has a security certificate for secure donations and applications and is mobile-friendly.

sound of life foundation

We were privileged to be involved with this project and help the foundation pursue their mission of improved hearing and improved lives in our community and build the ‘Pay it Forward’ spirit with sharing, caring and compassion for others. Take a look at the site and consider making a donation to support this worthy cause.

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