Product Reviews from Around the Web – from a Mom's Perspective

Online Marketing Advice and Help

November 11, 2016

online marketingAs a sort-of followup to my previous post, I wanted to write about some more online marketing advice to help your online presence. There are plenty of ways to boost your online visibility and sales, even beyond essential SEO practices. Here’s another short list of tips that you might want to consider after your site’s SEO is soundly constructed:

  1. Create and bolster a social media presence. In today’s society, social media is becoming increasingly important in reaching your target audience. Start with Facebook and Twitter, and then branch out to other mediums such as Instagram or Pinterest. The latter two platforms are especially helpful if your brand is visual; the image-based posts are the perfect way to show off your products. Social media can be a powerful online marketing tool for you to utilize.
  2. Start a blog on your website. It’s a great way to regularly add new content to your site (which is always helpful). You can also use it as another platform to interact with users. Another benefit of a blog with useful information is that it will inevitably create another source of links that other places on the web can use to link back to your site, thus generating that many more clicks and traffic. Think of different ways to make your content interesting. I like to refer to #1 in this article.
  3. Research your PPC and Google Adwords options. Research the most effective course of action to create an advertising campaign through these options. This is doubly important because this path requires real monetary investment, but it’s also a consistent way to generate extra traffic and revenue towards your site. This list has some good search ad tips for you to think about as well.
  4. Keep track of your progress with an analytics platform. Google Analytics, for example, helps you track traffic on your website and gives you detailed information on the behavior of visitors to your site. You’ll see how long people stay on a page. Or perhaps how frequently links are accessed. Or which pages are most popular. These and more are useful indicators. All of those factors and more can help determine your course of action in the future. For example, lets say that people are spending far more time, on average, interacting with one page than another. What sets that popular page apart? How is that affecting your business? What can you apply to the rest of your site to better emulate that success? There are plenty of lessons to learn about your site after analyzing user behavior.

Online Marketing Conclusion

I hope these pointers can help your website flourish. More than anything, perseverance and trial-and-error are two essential qualities to have when you’re bringing your website onto the world wide web. To elaborate on some additional online marketing techniques, here’s a video that I found helpful:

SEO Strategies to Improve Website Traffic

November 4, 2016

seo strategiesOne thing that some businesses struggle with is that their website isn’t getting enough traffic. Using SEO strategies can help turn that around. There are plenty of avenues in this field to pursue, but for this post I’m going to focus on some major points that you might not have thought of.

Here are some areas that I encounter pretty frequently when I interact with clients:

  1. One huge factor that might be overlooked is how your site performs on mobile. More than ever, people use their devices for any number of internet searches and applications. The value of a mobile-optimized site has thus increased accordingly. A good user experience on mobile can make a huge difference in determining how frequently people stay and use your site after searching.
  2. Keep the user experience at the forefront of your decision-making. Before you go about tweaking keywords and resolving other more technical SEO rules, consider first how a user would interact with your content. An otherwise optimized page simply won’t be successful if it doesn’t have any real value to offer a user.
  3. Adhere to Google’s search guidelines. This one might be a bit more complex. Those guidelines change slightly with each update to Google’s search algorithm. You can find these with Google yourself, although I’d also like to direct you to learn about Penguin, a particular signal within the algorithm that has a significant part in SEO ranking.
  4. Find outside professional help. For all the good you can probably do on your own, a SEO company such as Found might be a great help. There’s frankly a lot of ground to cover when you’re trying to make your site as optimized as possible. Such a service might be a great relief when you’re struggling in the ranks despite your best efforts.

These are some core considerations that you should take into account if you’re interested in boosting your company’s online presence. There are plenty of SEO strategies out there, so additional research never hurts. I’m leaving this video below, which contains some additional tips that might be helpful in adapting to the most current SEO standards.

Trade Old Devices with GoodCellas

September 25, 2016

trade old devicesNow that the iPhone 7 is upon us, you might be looking to upgrade. Consider your ability to trade in old devices and get cash back instead of throwing away. If you’re not going to do business through your cell carrier, I recommend you trade old devices in at a company called GoodCellas. I recently used their service to sell iPad online, but if you have an old phone laying around, that works too.

Naturally, the hot item right now is the 7, but like everything else in the tech world, it too will become a thing of the past. Resellers like GoodCellas are incredibly useful for keeping up with trends while still keeping the process somewhat more affordable. Buying and selling used products are going to save you hundreds of dollars with every upgrade, especially if you’re not obsessed with staying on the bleeding edge of technology.

There’s certainly a lot to be excited about with all the phone and tablet improvements that are happening today, but it can be tough to warrant big purchases like this. When you’re spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year on devices for your and/or your family, the ability to trade old devices becomes a point of welcome relief.

I like the GoodCellas service because, although the process can sometimes feel a little involved, they do a good job in making the buying and selling steps as easy to follow as possible. Essentially, you and the company both take steps and precautions to ensure that both sides get exactly what they’re asking for. Reselling devices like this ultimately saves you money without too much hassle, especially compared to the experience of trying to get a decent deal directly with your cell carrier.

If you’re still specifically interested in the iPhone 7, then you should check out its new features before you go out and buy it:

Lighting Renovations with Valley Home Lighting

September 23, 2016

home lighting renovationsRecently, I’ve been thinking about the first post I made on this blog about Rug & Home. The Labor Day sale served as the first step in even more home renovations, so I wanted to post something like a follow-up to that post. In my home, despite a newly furnished living room, I wasn’t satisfied with its appearance. I eventually realized it was due to some stark and bland ceiling lights. Being the oh-so-savvy consumer I am, I took to the web to find a place to make some lighting renovations. The company that I landed on is called Valley Lighting, which is a good place to order home lighting online.

What drew me to the site was their wide selection. If you can think of a room or style of lighting to put in your home, odds are they have it. I was personally looking into ceiling light fixtures for my living room, but they have a great number of bathroom and kitchen lights. Not only that, they have a good selection for outdoor pieces as well. I’m especially interested in those, because my little backyard is next on my to-decorate list.

Of course, within those categories are a good selection of styles, ranging from basic to ornate. I found myself perusing their chandelier section for a long while, even though I wasn’t looking for something very over-the-top. At the beginning of my search, I wasn’t very sure where to start, but I was actually able to contact customer service and get advice that helped with my specific situation.

Ultimately, I was satisfied with my order, and the next time I need to make some lighting renovations, I’ll check out Valley Lighting.

If you’re looking to go lavish with a beautiful chandelier for your home lighting, here’s a video I liked that has some really fascinating examples:

HVAC Maintenance for your Business

September 7, 2016

hvac maintenanceWhen I’m not blogging here, I work in a fairly standard office building. You know, cubicles, rolling chairs and whatnot. One issue that’s been raised in the office is the spotty effectiveness of our building’s HVAC system. In other words, we’ve had issues in the past with the heat in our building during the winter months. With fall (and subsequently winter) rapidly approaching, I’ve been looking into ways to get our system fixed, and came across a number of companies that do this sort of HVAC maintenance.

Of course, I only needed to recommend one place to our building’s manager. I chose a NY Mechanical HVAC Services company called the BP Group. In addition to general installation needs, they offer regular maintenance and tune-ups, which keeps our HVAC system from breaking down in the first place. With the Bp Group involved, our office shouldn’t have to worry about heating failures at the worst possible times.

I strongly recommend, that if you’re in charge of a commercial space, you go out and make sure your HVAC system is prepared for winter and any seasonal adjustments that might need to be made. The longer something like this goes unchecked, the higher chance there is that you’ll be faced with a larger problem down the road.

I recommend the BP Group if you’re situated in New York or nearby, but if not, there are plenty of options for commercial HVAC maintenance companies out there that might work better for you.

I’m going to wrap up this post with a video of some things to look out for in your HVAC system at home. Even if you’re not managing a corporate space, you should at the very least follow similar principles for your own home.

Save on Home Decor this Labor Day!

August 24, 2016

Save on home decorThe end of August might be sad because it signifies the end of summer, but I personally get excited around this time of year. Why, you ask? Two words: Labor Day. There’s always a huge number of sales to be found throughout the weekend, and I’m sure you’ve already seen the advertisements. For this “review” of sorts, I wanted to highlight an online rug company called Rug and Home. I originally intended this review to be about a single product, but I couldn’t pick just one! You see, they’re having a Labor Day rug sale this weekend, and it just made sense to share. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to save on home decor!

What’s great about this company is that they actually have a wide spectrum of price ranges and styles, all at high quality. If I have any qualms about buying a rug from R&H, then it might be that their high end is, well, up there. Often, this is a byproduct of emphasizing high-quality, handmade products. In my opinion, you’d certainly be getting what you pay for. The decision is that much easier when you see that, during this sale, most of the rugs are at least 60 percent off!

Anyway, the point is that, with the sale, it’s a better time than ever to find the right rug to save on home decor. Personally, I’m looking for quality and durability to hold up under the wear and tear from my household!

Now that that’s through, keep in mind the space you’re buying a rug for, too. This article from Good Housekeeping highlights a number of common decor mistakes when it comes to putting down a new rug. I hope you find it as helpful as I did!

Lastly, here are some more tips wrapped up in a useful Youtube Video: