I want to be #1 on Google – Tips for Financial Services Companies. (or any corporation)

On-Page Search Engine Optimization & Ongoing Search Engine Optimization – The Differences and the Benefits

 

 

All SEO strategies are focused on ranking websites as high as possible in the search engines. It is important that the design and development of any website be done in such a way that the search engine algorithms love it.

 

Search engine algorithms can be divided into two categories.

 

On-Page SEO 

Ongoing SEO

 

With on-page SEO, we are talking about the things you can do on any website page that can boost your ranking with search engines. When you hear the term ongoing SEO, however, this is referring to the fact that SEO is something that requires maintenance and updating. Technology changes, search engines change, and so do internet users. Your website and the way you apply SEO should change too so that you don’t get left behind.

 

On-Page Ranking Factors

 

The way the web page is optimized will have a big impact on its ability to rank. On-page ranking factors have a huge impact on the page’s ability to rank when they are optimized properly.

 

Page Content

 

The content of the web page is extremely important for search engines. If you look at content from an SEO perspective, it needs to have two essential attributes.

 

  • Satisfy a Demand – The best content does the job of giving the user something they are seeking. Note that this can be achieved via text, imagery, video, or audio. Good content must satisfy a demand, whatever that demand may be.

 

  • Linkable – SEO doesn’t differentiate between good and bad content if it is not linkable. If the content can’t be linked, search engines will not rank it. The content will not draw traffic to the website.

 

Title Tags 

 

After content, the second most important on-page ranking factor is title tags. It is always advisable to start the title tag with the keyword. When the keyword is close to the beginning of the title tag, it will rank better in the search engines.

 

URL

 

The category hierarchy of the website should be reflected in its URL. The URL should clearly show the hierarchy of the information on the page. The information is then used to determine the relevance of the web page by search engines.

 

 

The structure of the URL is important because it enables search engines to understand it, making search engine results more accurate and making it more likely that a search engine will deem the page relevant.

 

Ongoing SEO

 

One of the important things that you should understand is that SEO is not a one-off thing that you check off a list and never worry about again.

 

If you want to maximize the potential of your online presence and use it as a tool to promote your financial services, you should use ongoing SEO services.

 

Search engines update and refine algorithms, bring out innovative products, and improve the integrity of search. Major changes have been made by search engines in handling mobile search, local search, and redirection. Not staying up to date with the way people will find you can result in your website plummeting in the rankings, which means a potential loss of business and brand awareness.

 

Here are some factors that illustrate the benefits of long-term, ongoing SEO, as opposed to SEO for a day.

 

  • Changes in Search Patterns – Search patterns are changing and people are using different terms to find products and services using search engines. Monitoring the keywords that people use to find products and services will help in ascertaining the changes in the search patterns.

 

  • Keyword ranking tools, competitor research, Google Analytics, and social media trends help monitor the popular keywords that are used.

 

  • Knowledge about what is happening in terms of new keyword opportunities and search habits will ensure that your website stays ahead of the competition.

 

Changes in User Expectations

 

  • Old websites are less likely to deliver experiences that satisfy modern users. Web users prefer informative content, clean and friendly website design, precise navigation, and intuitive interactive features.

 

  • SEO professionals will be able to provide feedback on user experience and user interface. These on-page metrics are particularly important for search algorithms.

 

A Lack of Good Quality, New Content

 

 

  • When a user is looking for financial services, search engines will give preference to expert financial websites that focus on original and new content. The content should be genuinely useful and it needs to include relevant keywords without looking like it has been stuffed with these keywords just to attract the attention of search engines.

 

  • Balancing maintaining a natural approach, pleasing clients and customers, and being friendly to search engines are key to the success of your financial website. Your overall SEO strategy should constantly move your website toward achieving these three things as well as possible. Ongoing SEO makes this easy as website optimization becomes a long-term priority.

 

Lack of Focus on Link Building

 

  • Link building is an extremely important component of SEO. Financial websites with the best links from reputed sites will rank higher on the search engines. A quality link building profile should be created and maintained.

 

If you want your financial website to attract more visitors, you should be working consistently on the SEO. This means applying both on-page SEO, but not forgetting the importance of maintaining a broader view and performing ongoing SEO. If your SEO practices are effective and consistent, this will greatly improve the chances of your financial website climbing to the front page of search engines and staying there.

 

 

Creating content, improving and optimizing your website, creating backlinks, and monitoring how your financial website is performing is essential to keep your business ahead of your competitors.

 

 

You decide how far ahead of your competitors you would like to be. We will help get you there. For more information, contact our friendly team today.

Google Penalty Recovery Techniques for Financial Service Websites

If you are running a financial website, you can learn a thing or two from Google. At Google, they are always trying to serve their customers as best they can, and they know how to do it. If you follow the spirit of Google’s content guidelines, you’ll be pleasing your visitors too.

Keep up with Google. You’ll slip down the rankings if your content and site design do meet their ever-changing content requirements. When you do something that is against Google’s guidelines, you are penalized. Their aim isn’t to punish you, so much as it is to elevate content that its users will like, and push the rest down the rankings.

When Google updates, it does so for good reasons. These changes, however, can force poor quality content off the map. An example is 2012s Penguin update, described as a webspam algorithm, which affected 1 in 10 search results.

Since 2012, the Penguin update it has been gone through several iterations. It works in real time, which means that new businesses can no longer get away with poor quality content or site design for a few months until they get round to improving their offering. Google will spot and deal with these sites immediately.

And Penguin is just one of many algorithms that Google uses to maintain the quality of its search results. Since Google can wipe out a business with the flick of a switch, you’d better be aware of what they’re doing and when.

If you’ve been working hard on your site, but it’s still not ranking well, you may have been penalized for something without realizing it. If you search for your brand name and your site ranks poorly, or your page one positions have slipped to page two or three for no apparent reason, you’ve most likely been penalized.

Google doesn’t always announce the changes it makes. There are common reasons for being penalized, however, so we recommend that you look at these first.

Duplicate Content

Whether it’s found within your domain, or across the net, duplicate content gets Google’s heckles up.

Some people deliberately create duplicate content for non-malicious reasons. For example, you might have a page of content and a duplicate page that is simply-formatted for printing.

In this kind of situation, you need to indicate your preferred URL to Google. This is called canonicalization. One way to do that is by using Search Console.

Google prefers it if you do not try to prevent its spiders looking at pages (such as by using a robots.txt file). It is far happier when you use canonicalization to tell it which pages as duplicates and which page you prefer.

You can also avoid being penalized for duplicate content by:

  • being consistent about the format you use for linking to pages internally;
  • using 301 redirects if you’ve restructured your site;
  • minimizing boilerplate repetition, such as by avoiding lengthy copyright text at the bottom of every page and replacing it with something shorter that links to your main copyright information page;
  • avoid placeholders if you’re in the process of (re)designing your site;
  • consolidating or differentiating pages with similar content.

Some people create duplicate content across various domains to deliberately boost their keyword use and move up the rankings. Google doesn’t want its users to see an entire page of links that all deliver the same content though.

Google does not suffer this kind of deception. It will penalize these domains without a second thought.

Buying Links

Having more sites link to yours used to be taken as evidence of the usefulness and quality of your site. These days, however, one link from a high-quality website is worth much more than many links from low-quality websites.

If you’re buying links, the standard of sites linking to you is likely to be very poor. Not only does this not help your rankings, but it will actually go against you.

Too Many Reciprocal Links

As with buying links, Google takes too much reciprocity is a sign that you are attempting to manipulate the rankings rather than provide a quality experience for your visitors.

The response? Penalization.

Not Enough Outbound Links

Google expects high-quality websites to understand that they do not exist in isolation and that there are other sites that its users may find useful. Almost every business has complimentary products, services, and information. Google rewards businesses that have a wider view of their customers’ needs.

Broken Internal Links – If you have broken links on your website, it means that your visitors are falling into potholes and bumping into each other in dead ends. Since Google wants the best possible experience for its users, it penalizes websites that don’t look after their infrastructure.

Broken External Links – Linking to quality sites is looked on favorably by Google. If the details of those pages change, however, that leaves you with broken external links, frustrated visitors, and a potential penalty from Google.

Keyword Stuffing – Since the Penguin update in 2012, keyword stuffing and other attempts to manipulate search results have been going rapidly out of fashion.

The best approach to SEO is to be aware of the keywords your target audience will be searching for and to use them naturally in genuinely useful content.

Overusing Meta Keywords – This is similar to keyword stuffing, but, in this case, you’ve been stuffing the meta tags rather than the main content. Essentially, your meta keywords are intended to help search engines and their users understand the content of your site.

Overdoing it with meta keywords is the equivalent of those envelopes where advertising messages are printed all over the envelope. You don’t even need to open the envelope to know that you’ve received some time-wasting spam. Do this to Google and they will blacklist your site and move on.

Spun Content – spun content is reworded content. The only originality you can expect in these articles is creative use of a thesaurus. Spun articles can push the boundaries of grammar, as writers strive to rewrite existing content for the sole purpose of evading anti-plagiarism software.

There are many articles written about how much content you need for your website and how often you should post. Too few articles talk about how quality wins over quantity.

A site that offers original, useful, expert advice will serve its visitors better than websites that pay cheap writers to spin content.

Google agrees.

Poor Mobile Websites – Google loves mobile. As is typical of Google, this is because Google’s users like mobile.

Mobile internet searches surpassed desktop searches in 2014. The percentage of web pages visited via mobile devices is on the increase all around the world.

With access to mountains of data and a direct line to the desires of its users, Google knows that mobile is critical. If you are not meeting the needs of mobile users, you can expect your site to slip down the rankings in favor of sites that feature mobile versions or responsive design.

One of the more recent additions to Google’s idea of what makes a good mobile site concerns pop-ups. Pop-ups can be effective for lead generation, capturing many email addresses. They are also very intrusive, however, and can impede a visitor’s experience, particularly via mobile.

Thanks to the ‘Intrusive Interstitial’ Update, pop-ups that cover an entire page are considered a barrier to the content being sought. Sites that use them face penalization by Google.

In addition to getting your site moving up the rankings, you need to maintain best practices to avoid going the other way. The landscape of the internet is always evolving. While some factors for delivering quality, useful websites are common sense, others take some expertise to understand, unravel, and repair.

Having financial expertise and the ability to deliver it to your visitors is essential to your success, but that’s not enough to ensure that you do well in the rankings.

To make sure that your financial website is offering the best possible experience to your visitors and avoiding unnecessary penalization by Google, get in touch with a financial web design professional with years of experience in financial services and web design.

Get in touch with Dan Stark to learn how AltaStreet helps Financial Advisors with their SEO. Email: dan@altastreet.com
www.altastreet.com

Important SEO Techniques to Boost Financial Website Traffic!

You may be wondering if you need Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for a financial website. The answer is that any website can benefit from SEO.

Optimizing your site to make it more discoverable by search engines and people who use them will save you time and money. It brings targeted visitors directly to your doorstep. Instead of selling to the masses, you will get more visitors who are actively looking for your services. There’s no need for the hard sell when you make it easy enough for the right people to find you.

But you need more than SEO. While SEO brings visitors to your website, you then need a great-looking, usable, and useful site to convert them into customers.

More About Search Engine Optimization

SEO is no longer about cramming your website with as many keywords and keyphrases as you can fit on the screen. This is a good thing. The changes to SEO and how search engines operate mean that the focus is firmly on creating positive, valuable experiences for web users. Optimizing your site for search engines means creating content that your ideal audience would like to see and delivering it in a way that helps this existing audience find you.

If you focus on quality content, rather than looking for ways to trick the system, you will be rewarded with better rankings.

SEO is More Than Keywords and Page Titles

Trust and reputation are of major importance in the financial industry. You need to convince your visitors that they will be safe if they do business with your firm and that you know and care about their needs.

Many of your visitors will come from referrals. They may have no knowledge of how well you are doing according to Google. Like everyone else who visits your website, from any source, ultimately they will be deciding whether to do business with you based on the quality, usefulness, and usability of your site, all of which are considered when you embark upon SEO.

Image Matters

In short, you need your website to look the part. The content of your site is critical and everyone knows the saying about how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in those first seconds of seeing your website, your visitors will make decisions about the trustworthiness of your business and how they feel about doing business with you.

Think about the qualities you want people to take from your business and make sure that your site is saying the same thing. Your website should display your branding clearly and consistently. It needs to look professional and considered.

For a financial website, you might want a design that appears solid, grounded, and dependable. Alternatively, you might look for a design that is modern and forward-looking.

Yes, the information you provide via web content is important, but so is making an impression. Don’t cut corners with your web design or your visitors may not stay on your site long enough to read more than a couple of your well-crafted sentences.

Note also that Google has staff to provide the human touch when it comes to assessing websites for quality. Make sure you look your best when Google comes to town.

Think Fast

We’ve established that your visitors will make an evaluation of your page within seconds. This applies even if your page takes more than a few seconds to load. According to KissMetrics, 4 out of 10 web users will abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Take 3 seconds to let that statistic sink in.

If your site doesn’t load quickly, you could be losing almost half of your hard-earned traffic. There are lots of cold sweat-inducing statistics like this on the web. Optimizing your pages so that they load more quickly is a big deal.

You can achieve fast page loading speeds by paying for quality, dedicated hosting, but that won’t necessarily save you if your site is poorly designed. One way to make your pages load more quickly is to make the file sizes of your images as small as possible. It can take some skill to do this without sacrificing the quality of your images, but it’s worth doing to provide the best experience possible for your visitors, who are increasingly using mobile devices to perform searches.

If your site isn’t loading within a couple of seconds, it might be worth seeking help to check your code and optimize your images. A professional will be able to help you achieve fast page loading without sacrificing the quality of your visuals.

The speed of your site affects how usable it is. Thus, it also affects your ranking on Google.

Get Mobile

Ever tried surfing the web on a mobile device? At times, this can be the definition of frustrating. This is less and less frequently the case, however, as more businesses catch on to the fact that people like to use the internet while on the move.

As mobile technology improves, and becomes cheaper, more people are taking to the net while way from home or the office. At the end of 2016, mobile usage of the internet surpassed desktop usage. Making sure that your site works on mobile devices is essential if you want to compete in almost any industry.

Google’s algorithms favor sites that are mobile ready.

Provide Proper Navigation

Imagine a bricks-and-mortar financial institution with pillars and steps and banners announcing great deals for new customers. Now imagine that inside the building are dozens of corridors and hundreds of doors, none of which are labeled. What would be the result?

Proper navigation helps your users find what they are looking for. If people don’t know where to look for what they need, they will click away.

There are various navigational structures for websites. Navigation needs some planning to make sure that all the parts of your site are clearly identified and within easy reach.

Just as people need to be able to find their way around your website, so do Google’s spiders. If there are dead ends, broken links, or pages that are hard to find on your website, Google may take longer to index them or they may not be indexed at all. Provide coherent navigation and a thoughtful navigational structure so you don’t lose visitors when they arrive on your website.

High-Quality Content

To attract potential customers, creating and sharing high-quality content should be a major part of your marketing plan.

People often ask whether they should be creating content for people or for machines, i.e., Google. The answer is that you can do both. If your content satisfies Google’s requirements for a Google-friendly site, you’ll be satisfying your potential customers as well as Google’s spiders and algorithms.

To learn more about how SEO can attract more visitors and provide a better experience for them when they arrive, get in touch with AltaStreet by calling our office at (216) 894-5193 or fill in our contact form today.

#SEO #SearchEngineOptimization #website #FinancialWebsite #graphicdesign #IncreaseTraffic #content #marketing #altastreet #MobileFriendly #google

6 Points to Build Authority & Trust With Financial Advisor Website

In the financial industry, building trust is incredibly important. People want their money to be safe. After the global financial crisis, financial scandals, and economic uncertainty, financial clients want reassurance about the advice they receive and what will happen to their money.

Establishing trust doesn’t happen overnight. Having authoritative content on your website helps. Posting targeted, high-quality content tells the world that you know what you are talking about. It will keep helping you develop relationships with your customers – and potential customers – as long as it is online. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week – good content never sleeps.

To connect with customers, your business needs to be more than an impressive logo and tag line. Those things will help, but your business also needs a personality. When it comes down to it, even with business to business interactions, people are doing business with people.

In addition to this, having a website that is considered authoritative and trustworthy will improve how well it ranks with search engines. A good search engine ranking means that more of the right people will find you.

Interested?

Here are six strategies for using content to build your financial website’s authority and trust.

1. Teach and Educate Your Visitors

If you teach someone how to do something or what something means, it demonstrates your expertise. It’s also a neighborly thing to do and might give you a warm feeling inside.

In addition, you’ll be creating very useful content that will attract new visitors that are looking for the same information. Who is your ideal customer most likely to do business with – a financial firm that anticipates people’s needs and provides guides and solutions to their problems, or the business that only provides their business hours?

Helpful, informational content generates repeat visits from people who want more of your know-how and may ultimately subscribe or call you for your services.

Think about what your ideal customers want and need to know. Provide that information using the words and phrases that they would use during a search.

2. Take a Deep Dive

There are many subjects to write about in the financial industry. If you try to write about them all, you’ll be competing with all financial websites on the web. Search engines will classify you as being a general finance firm. And you might also wear yourself out.

By focusing on one or more specialties, you can stand out as an expert among other firms in the same industry. By writing on fewer subjects, search engines will see that your content is not only focused but increasingly comprehensive. Customers will appreciate this too. You will be the go-to source for information on your chosen areas of specialty.

3. Stay up to Date

The financial industry is constantly evolving to meet the demands of a new generation of clients. If you can demonstrate that your financial business is up to date with changes in the industry, people will be more likely to feel comfortable doing business with you.

Even if you’re not at the cutting edge of the financial industry, demonstrate that you know where the edge is, how the changing financial landscape might affect your customers, and where your business fits in.

4. Use Understandable Language

Some financial websites confuse authority with sounding authoritative. Many industries try to keep people ‘out of the loop’ by using industry shorthand and jargon. If you want to connect with customers, however, you need to talk in a language that they will understand.

Using impenetrable financial language is a sure way to make your potential customers feel uncomfortable. Explain everything to your visitors, encourage them to provide feedback, and answer their questions in full whenever you have the opportunity. Share knowledge and be transparent to develop trusting relationships with customers and potential customers.

5. Engage with Customers on Social Media

People do business with companies that they like and trust. Then they tell their friends, family, and colleagues about their experiences. Publishing and/or promoting your content on social media is a fantastic way to spread the word about your brand.

Many customers make purchasing decisions after looking at recommendations from other users. Achieving ‘likes’ and shares via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms relevant to your financial website can help you build trust online.

Being active on social media gives you a great opportunity to become involved in a dialogue. Demonstrate that communication with your firm is two-way. Respond promptly to comments and feedback. Ask questions where relevant, and always be professional.

Your engagement on social media enhances the experience for your existing customers and shows potential customers the high standards and individual attention that they can expect from you.

6. Generate Inbound Links

If you want to build your trust and authority online, generating links to your website should be a core part of your strategy.

Google and other search engines see inbound links as a sign of authority. If other people are linking to your site, that suggests that your site contains worthwhile content.

Note, however, that it’s better to have an inbound link from one heavy-hitting website than multiple links from poor quality websites. The perceived quality of the site that links to you rubs off on your site.

There are many ways to generate quality inbound links. You could start by:

  • linking to good quality blogs that deal with similar subject areas to yours – not only does linking to external content demonstrate that your business stays up to date with the movements of the financial industry, but it also encourages other bloggers to link back to you in return.
  • curating content – by creating something like a comprehensive resource list, other bloggers will be attracted to this valuable resource. Rather than create their own resource lists, they are likely to link to your content to provide value for their visitors.
  • creating consistent content – one of the best ways to earn inbound links is to maintain a blog worth linking to. That means creating focused, quality content. Be consistent and you’ll see the rewards in numerous ways.

Building authority and trust is more crucial than ever if you have a financial website. It takes time to build authority and trust, so start now. You, and your customers, will be glad that you did.

Any Questions?

Contact Dan Stark: dan@altastreet.com

Find out why over 1,000 companies in the financial vertical have chosen us as their go to provider for Custom Website Design and Development.

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#financialwebsitedesign #buildauthority #buildtrust #searchengineranking #contentisking #boostrevenue #websitedevelopment #websitedesign

Content Quality Strategy for Financial Advisors Websites

By now, most business owners understand that blogging is vital if you want to attract customers. Via blogging, you also create opportunities to engage with people, both new and existing customers. In addition, there are significant opportunities to have your content shared. This will increase your brand awareness. Done right, it could help establish you as a thought leader, too.

It’s not enough to blog to achieve any and all of these outcomes, however. You not only need to blog regularly but you also need to blog well.

If we consider how Google examines pages, and we should, every piece of content you create should help to establish your expertise, your authority, and/or your trustworthiness. Google ranks Page Quality by considering how much time, effort, expertise, and skill went into making the content, so don’t hold back.

Creating quality content means creating content that your potential customers want. Therefore, your first step should be to find out what your target audience wants to know and how they want it.

Here are some content ideas and types to think about as we move through 2017.

YouTube

This video sharing platform has more than one billion users. That’s a lot of potential customers. Video is an increasingly popular form. It allows businesses to be personable, which makes it is ideal for building relationships with clients.

You might try using video to introduce your business. Perhaps give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at your day, or answer frequent financial questions in one or more videos. Keep your videos short and to the point, and they can be high-quality products. Their popularity makes them great aids to SEO and they make it easier for you to connect with clients.

Live Streaming

Like video blogging (or vlogging), live streaming offers you the opportunity to engage directly with clients, only in real-time. Facebook Live and Periscope are still relatively new on the scene, so they may present a good opportunity to be among the first financial advisers to use the technology to reach an audience. This could set your company apart from the crowd, positioning your business as innovative, forward-thinking, and in-touch with what customers’ demand.

Animated Videos

These videos are a great way to engage with your audience. They can be fun – something that might not normally be associated with financial advice, but nonetheless welcome, as long as you maintain your authority. They are also good for presenting complex information in an accessible and digestible format.

As ever, your video should be brief. Keeping it to the point will make it more shareable and you won’t risk challenging the attention span of potential clients.

Infographics

Like an animated video, a quality infographic can present useful information very effectively. They are attractive, communicate messages quickly, and are immensely shareable.

Podcasting

If you want to increase the visibility of your brand, podcasting is a popular medium. Since a podcast is a solely audio medium, allow your personality to come through and keep energy levels up to maintain the interest of listeners.

You don’t have to do all these things, but incorporating a few of them will help you reach more customers and provide them with value. Don’t fill your site with these elements just because you’ve heard that they are popular. Every piece of content you create should have a purpose and it’s not finished until you’ve nailed it.

Whatever content types you prioritize, focus on your customer and their experience. Make your content unique and specific. And take the time to explore your subjects thoroughly. While you need to keep one eye on your search rankings, try to create content that will give your visitors a valuable user experience.

Using these types of content will help you to make your content more engaging. A website is not a digital billboard. You want your customers to interact with you. If you are a financial advisor, this is especially true. Encouraging interaction will give you the opportunity to provide added value that your visitors are not receiving elsewhere.

A checklist for assessing the quality of your content

When what your customer wants matches the purpose of your content and its type, you have the core ingredients for quality content.

Use the following checklist, which is based on Google’s quality assessment priorities, every time you create content for your financial services website in 2017.

  • Does the information presented appear to be trustworthy? Why? Why not?
  • Does the content appear to have been created by an expert or is it shallow?
  • Does this content already appear elsewhere on the site, even with slight keyword variations? If so, can you differentiate it further?
  • Would you feel comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Are there spelling, stylistic or factual errors? Eradicating these whenever you spot them is a good way to boost your site’s quality overall.
  • Does the content address customers’ needs or is it geared more towards search engine rankings?
  • Does the content contain original information, research, or analysis?
  • Does your page provide good value when compared to other pages suggested by search engines?
  • Does the content present both sides of any discussion or argument?
  • Is this the sort of content that you’d bookmark, share, or recommend?
  • Could the content stand up to being printed in a magazine, encyclopedia or book?

The old saying that content is King still rings true. In today’s marketplace, however, it’s worth extending this sentiment.

If you want your financial business to thrive, remind yourself that “Quality content is King.”

Use the ideas in this article to ensure that your content is as good as it can be. Your time and effort will be rewarded with more engaged customers, more conversions, and more business success.

______________________________________________________________________

Dan Stark is the Managing Partner/Director of Business Development at AltaStreet Financial Websites & Marketing. AltaStreet has created over 1,000 Custom Websites since 1998. AltaStreet is known for their High Level of Custom Design, Development and Automation Technology for the Financial Vertical.

Get in touch with Dan by email: dan@altastreet.com

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How to Make a Strong Password for Internet Accounts!

Passwords are required for nearly everything now. I think they are so common now people tend not to keep passwords safe or strong. Here are a few tips that might make it a little easier.

Let’s start with what makes a password strong. A strong password, of course, is something hard to guess. Single words from the dictionary are easy to guess and easy for a computer to crack. Try using a combination of words, best if they aren’t commonly used together. Try mixing upper and lower case letters with numbers. If you use special characters also, your password will be even harder to crack. Here is an example of a strong password: 100Blue%Bananas!

Each email account should have a unique and secure password. You email address is the most important internet account you own. If the “bad guy” can gain access to your email they will likely be able to own the rest of your accounts. Your email address is used by most internet sites for resetting passwords. All the “bad guy” would need to do is request a new password from any site you might have an account on.

Having a different password for different types of accounts is important. If your Facebook or Twitter password is the same as your email password, change it! It happens all too often that a “bad guy” finds the password to one account and is able to get into another account with the same password.

Choose security questions and answers wisely. Security questions are meant to make it harder to reset passwords or gain access to an account. But, most security questions are easy to answer because we often put the answers to these questions in public view. Think about it, “What is your mother’s maiden name?” Could the “bad guy” check to see if you are friends with her on Facebook? Consider using an incorrect response on purpose, or if you have the option to write your own question, use it. The tricky part about either of those, is remembering the answers.

Putting these things into practice will help protect your online identity. Be smart and be safe.

How Much Content You Should Add in Financial Advisor Website?

Have you ever visited a website and been bombarded with information? You know what I’m talking about… a website that is so packed with content it probably could have its own episode of Hoarders.

writing content for your target audienceThe average website visitor won’t spend a large amount of time digging through all the pages of a website. Often, when a visitor is presented with a page with excessive content they become frustrated; they can’t quickly find what they are looking for and will leave the website.

When writing content for your website you want to consider the following:

Who will be reading this?
What is most important?
What should the visitor do after they’ve finished reading?
When writing content for your website, make sure you understand the audience. Write to them, and as a general rule, write to an 8th grade reading level. Try to distill the information to only the most important topics, then use that simplicity and brevity to your advantage. Encourage the reader to contact you or sign up on the website for something you have to offer.

Fine tuning your content will turn a website with too much information into an informative, lead-generating website.

Why Content is Important for Website & What Should You Consider Before Writing it?

There are a lot of things to consider when starting a new website. What should it look like? How much information should be on the site? Who will be visiting the site? All of these are important things to consider; however, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the options available for your website and overlook what is truly important – the content.

Think about the reasons most people visit websites.  Is it to be wowed by amazing design and imagery?  Perhaps some visitors come to the site to be amused by animation and interactivity? When you get down to the true purpose of a site, its main reason for existence is to deliver information to the visitor. Many times, people get excited about getting a website up and running, but forget this key element.  You can spend as much time, money and effort as you like on making the most beautiful interactive website in existence, but if you haven’t devoted the necessary thought to the information that will live on your website, you’re wasting your time.  So, before you start your website, consider these questions.  They will help you get off on the right track:

  • Who will be visiting your site?
  • What information will they be looking for?
  • What pages of information will be most important to your visitors?
  • Will adding more content to your site add value, or detract from simplicity?

Once you’ve thought these questions through, a good place to start is creating a site map.  A site map can be a simple outline of the pages you plan to have on your site.  Usually the simpler the map is – the better.  You can always add pages and information to your site later, but you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead if you can start with making sure the fundamental information is laid out, before you begin with design and setup.