Our ramblings about website design and other things

Are you on Linkedin ?

If you are not then you really should be as LinkedIn is a professional, business networking tool. It has been viewed by some as falling into social networking area but even though many of the same modes of operation are employed, the focus is on professionals, professional dialog, professional opportunities, and companies in essence a business tool.

Many people like to network as part of their quest to get business and this can be in the form of shows, exhibitions, conferences etc where you meet like minded people but Linkedin can allow you to do this from your desktop.

There are a few things to watch out for if you are using Linkedin

  1. Complete your profile – ensure you add all your work and education experience and do not leave it part completed.
  2. Add a photo – add a photo but make sure it conveys the professional image you would like to show rather than an image of you relaxing on holiday.
  3. Build your Connections– Use the Add Connections wizard to see who you know is already on Linkedin and request connections from there as you meet people ensure you add them to your network.
  4. Endorse Me– Make requests for contacts to endorse your work and recommend you but be careful who you ask so that you avoid offending someone and avoid the situation when you see someone looking for a job suddenly getting lots of endorsements in a short space of time, be patient and build them gradually.
  5. Join Groups – By joining groups you are widening your networking circle

The more you put into Linkedin the more you will get back out of it.

Google Places

We have been talking a lot about Google Local Business – we promise to stop talking about it as Google have now renamed the service to Google Places 🙂

The service will run as before with a few enhancements planned:

Service Areas: allows you to identify the geographic areas that your business covers.
Enhanced Business Listings: certain US cities will be able make their listings stand out in the listings with Tags.
Free Business photo shoots: businesses from specified cities in the USA can request a free photo shoot of the interior of their business.
QR code: Businesses in the USA can download a QR code (similar to a Bar Code) that is unique to their business, which can then be included on marketing materials. Customers will then be taken to the businesses’ mobile site once scanned with a mobile device.
Favourite Places: As part of Google’s Favourite Places program, 50,000 window decals will be sent to businesses around the USA These will include a QR code that can be scanned and will direct users to the mobile Place Page for the business.

A lot of the above will initially apply to the US only but we will have to wait and see if the services will roll out for UK businesses, one thing for sure is this is a great free service.

Direct me to a Directory ?

A question clients often ask is should we register on such and such an online directory ?

We are firm believers in quality over quantity so look at the Directory and see if it somewhere you want your company to appear, also look at the competition are they there if they are then you should probably be there to. Try to avoid registering on every directory going especially if they are not really related in any way to your business or area of business as this could convince Search Engines that incoming links that are not relevant may dilute your message about your business.

If you business relies on geographical coverage say for example you are an Italian Restaurant in Watford then however nice it is for the ego you will want to appear high on regional searches for Italian Restaurants such as in Hertfordshire and here Regional Directories can help your cause, make sure you are registered with all the directories in the area such as Watford and surrounding areas and Hertfordshire.

With a process like this take a methodical approach and gradually build your prescence on the web – Search Engines like to see a growth rather than explosion as this will lead to short term gain but long term damage.