Secret Of Using Blogs To Drive Traffic To Your Home Business Site

One of the main benefits of creating a blog is that you can use it to drive traffic to your home business web site or your offline home business. And the key to doing this is to make sure that your target audience can find your blog as easily as possible.

This means you need to do whatever you can to get your blog ranked as high in the search engines as possible, and make sure that the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN know when you have updated your blog so they can visit it and “index” your latest blog post–ensuring it appears in their search results.

Since Google is the largest and most powerful search engine for generating traffic to your home business blog, you will probably want to focus a great deal of your attention here.

Fortunately, there is one particular strategy you can use to make sure Google knows exactly when you have added new content, so that it can visit your home business blog and index your latest post… which enables people searching the internet to find your blog.

Only when Google has visited and indexed your new blog content will that content show up in Google’s search engine. Any by telling Google to come and visit your blog, you will get your latest content into the search engine much faster– potentially by weeks or even months–than if you wait for them to find it.

We’ll use our home business site ([http://homebusinessnow.blogspot.com]) to illustrate the step-by-step process you need to follow to use this strategy effectively.

Your first step is to submit your blog to Google. Your home business blot must be submitted to a search engine to speed up the process of getting listed in Google’s search results. To do this, go to Goolge and when the URL shows up, add the following without the quotes to Google’s address “addurl”. Hit “enter” and on the next page enter the URL of your blog and a brief description and submit and you are done!

Now wait a few days (you can add more than one URL if you have several blogs running) to check if your blog has been visited by Google. To verify if your home business blog has been added go to Google’s search engine just type Google (dot) com into your browser window. When that page opens enter “cache: followed by the URL of your blog site. If your blog has been visited by Google, you will see the date of the visit at the top of your blog page plus a “cached” (saved) version of the page on that particular date.

You can double-check your listing status in Google by searching for a unique string of words in one your blog posts as if you were an internet surfer looking for information. As an example, enter the following words with the quotes, “make money with a home business” and you’ll see our main site come up. At the time of this writing, our site was ranked #2.

Your blog will appear in the search results if Google has visited and indexed it.

Web Content Caching Explained

The minefield that is web content caching can be confusing and complicated!

It’s one of those features that really sits between the network and the application. In many businesses this grey area has no real ownership and as such, mistakes are often made.

I want to take a little time to explore and hopefully simplify this complex area.

So firstly one must address the question of what is a content cache and why bother using it?

A content cache is a piece of software or an appliance designed to sit in front of the application server. Its job is to intercept certain requests and respond on behalf of the application thus reducing the number of hits sent to the backend severs.

Typically the requests that are intercepted have already been seen before, so the cache will store responses to these requests and if it intercepts a similar request it can respond in the same way.

A simple example would be an image cache. The client (ie browser) would make a response to the web server for an image. The first time this image is requested the cache will have to get it from the web server however for subsequent requests it will simply serve it directly.

The idea is that the web server will have a lot less work to do as the cache can serve a lot of the content. The implications of this really depend on the exact setup, application and content however they typically fit into the following:

1. Reduce load on the web/application servers – Save on application server hardware and licensing costs.

2. Reduce load on middleware and Backed DB systems.

3. Serve the content faster – Caches can be very fast!

4. Cache the content closer to your users. This is an interesting one. The cache does not always have to be at the same location as the rest of the system. You could use a good cache to build your own simple content distribution system to ensure your users get the content from a source as close to them as possible. Who said that a CDN (Content Distribution Network) has to cost the earth!

OK so you have decided that you may want to use a cache, so what next? The biggest problem with content caching is simply deciding what and for how long you want to cache content for. It sounds simple but failure to do this in the past has given many a network manager / application owner a genuine fear of caching. You don’t want one user getting the account balance of the previous user!

However to really make the most of the capabilities that a modern content cache can offer we must understand the full picture. The application behaviour, the cache setup and the browser behaviour.

Let us take a quick look at typically what happens when an image is requested from a web server by a browser.

1. The user requests an image to look at.

2. The Cache will notice that it has not seen this request before and therefore will request it from the web server.

3. The web server will get the image and send it back to the cache.

Important. The web server will decide if this image can be cached or not. It will instruct the upstream devices such as the cache and ultimately the client if it should be cached it or not. It does this by using specific HTTP header. (I won’t geek out on this, in this article as it can get overly complex.)

4. Now it gets interesting because the cache will need to decide on which way to go. Does it obey the rules from the web server or does it override it with its own rules? We will discuss this later on.

5. So the image is now sent back to the client and just to complicate things the client will also cache the content and also look out for the cache control header.

So we can see that not only do we have to decide on the application caching rules but also how we want the cache to behave upstream. If we do this right we can even reduce the number of hits reaching the cache and thus network in the first place.

So now we have a rough idea of what is going on, so how do we implement a cache?

A general method is described in “light” detail below.

1. Decide what you want to cache and for how long – So I want to cache all images for 24hours or all *.asp for 2seconds etc. These can get complicated.

2. Be certain you are happy with these rules.

3. Now check again.

4. Configure the cache to remove all cache control headers from the response from the web server. In other words ignore any caching control setup on the webserver – We assume we know how to create more accurate set of rules.

5. Configure the cache with these new rules and also expiry dates/ durations.

6. Configure the cache to add some new cache controls for the Client. Client side cache control is tough as browsers respect these rules with varying degrees of success. This is not really in the scope of this paper but I may revisit it.

7. Document – These rules can be complex and can involve speaking to people in different parts of the business to understand the application, therefore it’s worth documenting this info whilst it is fresh.

8. Test and test again – The more testing the better. Remember part of testing is to manually empty the content cache’s cache but also the client’s too.

That’s it for now folks.

I am writing a follow up on this talking in a little more detail about typical cache settings and also helping to answer questions such as, ‘will a cache be of any help for my application and if so what type of cache should I be looking at?’

SEO Tips for Small Business

SEO for small business is an inspirational business strategy to make even your small business the ultimate choice for consumers. SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization is a very viable way of accelerating business opportunities through the Internet and spreading your business wings to consumers far and wide. A small business needs the most demanding strategies to grow big and SEO is one of the best strategies that any small business owner can possibly ask for.

Small Business: Some SEO Tips

Irrespective of the size of business, every business should have its platform online to mark its recognition and acceptance to far stretches. As you can understand, a small business is based on small budget and therefore it is not possible to stretch its market beyond boundaries. Hence, in that case, Internet is the right option to reach to many people at one go with SEO tips.

The strategy is to prepare a good content rich with keywords for the website of your business. Now cultivating with keywords and researching with the keywords which are mostly in demand actually pull the number the clicks. The more your site content is filled with keywords are widely searched the better it works for your business. Remember, you have to also research the kind of keywords used by your competitors and in that case, your site content should have good keywords, which means those keywords which are searched by many people but also not so competitive.

Remember, your objective is to get the first rankings in the top search engines and the best way to do it is to start by finding the most commonly used keywords. Then, the next step is let the SEO spiders take a crawl along the text of the site content. Once the spider finish crawling what it does is cache all the pages and stores them in the servers. This is quite of help and thus makes your site content more recognizable by the search engines. Besides, your site possibly gets more chance of high ranking in search engines once the cache is done.

Besides, another most useful strategy of SEO to work for small business is called indexing. The web pages need indexing from time to time. Besides, you as the business owner should see to it that the website content is updated at regular intervals and each page is being indexed. The objective is to get good rankings by search engines. Remember your site should also contain blogs. These blogs should be posted from time to time with timely and updated content.

Remember, if you can provide researched based content with unique and fresh ideas in it then there are possibilities that search engine might recognize your work and rank the site on the top. This will help more customers to visit your site whenever they give a related keyword and your site will get more earning per click.

Without doubt, website SEO services are the best way to boost rankings of site and thus grow your business stronger.