5 Things to Look for in a Web Hosting Company (2017)

If you’re trying to keep your costs down or you simply don’t like paying over the odds then you will be looking out for a cheaper solution when it comes to a web host. There are a wide range of web hosting packages out there and depending on a number of factors that are specific to your website requirements, you can generally find a really good solution that won’t break the bank.

To do this, it is important to establish up front what your main priorities are:

There really are many, many questions that you need to ask yourself to develop a list of priorities. It is always a good idea to scout out the opposition – check out your competitors’ sites and see how they are doing things. Have they been able to establish a high Google search engine ranking and if so, can you find any clues to how they have managed this? Blogs, social media accounts etc. can be used to great effect so you need to put in the extra work if you really want to compete with and then get ahead of your competitors.

Let’s have a look at some of the cheapest ways of setting up a website:

Free Web Hosting – Investigate the option of using a free web host. There are lots of free options available through the likes of WordPress, Wix and Weebly. Be aware though, that free web hosts don’t offer the full length of features that a paid web host will. You will usually have to pay extra for things like additional storage or a domain name and free web hosting doesn’t tend to offer a great deal in terms of performance. Free web hosting solutions can be a lot slower and you don’t get any support from the host unless you take a paid solution.

Shared Web Hosting – A great way of getting most of the key features but keep costs to a minimum is to opt for shared web hosting. Essentially what you’re doing is sharing server space with a number of different websites and you reduce costs by spreading the costs between them. It’s a bit like having a house share, instead of paying the rent for the whole house, you’re paying a fraction of the rent because you’re only using one room not all of them.

Shared hosting gives you a lot more control over how your website is used, so you won’t see adverts popping up all over your website courtesy of your host. You can generally get a good web host for as little as £3 per month, which also gives you customer support which you find is money very well spent for the support alone.

Overall, the most important factor in deciding your web host is what you need from the hosts, what your specific plans are for your online digital strategy. Get those parts all figures out and then choose the web host based on which ones will best support your plans.

How to Write a Great Blog Post

Writing a blog has become a very powerful element of business marketing strategies. Not only do businesses need an online presence to reach out to a large audience, they also need to add great quality, regular, SEO optimised content to ensure their website ranks high in the search engines.

All this is fine if you are someone who likes to write and are skilled at crafting useful, interesting content. However, for a large percentage of business owners, this is not something that comes as second nature. If you’re a huge company with your own marketing department, then you’re fine, you can leave it to the experts. But if you’re a small business then you may have to write blogs and other social media content yourself. Whilst this can be daunting, it really doesn’t have to be difficult.

To help you, we’ve collated some tips from marketing professionals that will help you to write a great blog.

1. Remember – You are the Expert
You will be writing about something related to a product or service that you have great knowledge in. Don’t assume that people have the same level of knowledge, sometimes what you think is an obvious term can sound completely alien to someone visiting your website. Explain things that aren’t obvious to non-experts in a friendly, helpful way. Most people will be visiting your site because they want your expertise and knowledge is power as they say. Share your knowledge in a way that is easy for readers to digest and they will see you and your business as very credible and may recommend you or seek your services as a result.

2. Think About your Target Audience
If you are a business that sells clothing then the chances are that your visitors are not interested in getting your opinion on the latest football fixture. Keep your blogging topics relevant to your product and service. If people want to read about football, they go to a website that specialises in that. Think about what your target audience will be searching for when they type what they are looking for into a search engine. For a Clothing company, this is going to be something like ‘Latest Fashions’ or ‘Christmas Party Dresses’ (depending on the time of year). You can easily find key words by using tools like Google AdWords.

3. Don’t go Overkill
Try to keep your blog relatively short (between 1000-1500 words as a general rule). Keep the opening paragraphs as interesting as possible – if you bore people to death for the first 600 words, it’s unlikely that they will continue reading to the end and this could be where you’ve put a product link or something else you want to bring to their attention.

4. Use Formatting and Images
Another sure way to lose a reader’s attention is death by text. A page full of text without any formatting doesn’t look appealing and will disengage them before they even start to read. The use of bullet points, bold, subheadings etc. help to break up the text into a format that is easy to read and more visually appealing. Images are also a great way to attract readers, when used correctly. You can source images from online stock libraries but be careful that you understand copyright laws before you use any images that you haven’t created yourself. Find out more about Copyright here.

That should give you a good starting point to create a great blog and attract new customers that you’ve never reached before.