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The Real World Math of Inbound Link-Building

Of all the parts of search engine optimization that give headaches to SEO professionals and clients alike, few are as frustrating as link-building. That's because, to get it right, you have to not only secure links from other sites and pages, but make sure that the ones that are coming in are high quality. And usually, that means doing it one e-mail or phone call at a time.

With that in mind, we'd like to offer a tip that can help you out, regardless of whether you're doing the work yourself or working with a search engine optimization partner: do the math and see the big picture.

Here's what we mean: when you first start looking for links, you'll probably feel an overwhelming temptation to contact anyone and everyone and ask them to partner with your site. You might even think about sending a mass e-mail, or looking for "link farms" that promise thousands of inbound links for just a few dollars. Sadly, those tactics don't work anymore, and could even irreparably harm your search engine position.

A better tactic is to look for good, high-quality links one at a time. This can come from having your search engine professional contact others, from writing articles and guest blog posts, or from reaching out to other webmasters yourself. Whichever way you're going, however, pace yourself a little bit. Think back to math class; if you can manage to contact just five people a day, that will work out to roughly 1,250 per year. Not all of them are going to link back to your site, but enough of them could agree to it to make a dramatic impact in your long-term search engine positioning.

It's easy, in search engine optimization and other forms of online marketing, to want to do everything right now. But exercise a little patience, remember the way the real world math works, and you'll be at the top of Google, Yahoo, and Bing in no time.

KINETIK NOTE: Don't just take the word of an SEO company.  Get your info directly from the source: Matt Cutts, head of Google Spam Team  and know what bad link building practices are. You might be surprised to find that many SEO companies use these practices and you can learn avoid them.

5 Web Analytics Details You Can’t Ignore

Admit it: You know web analytics can be useful and informative, but you don’t look at them as much as you should (beyond checking out how many visitors you had), and aren’t entirely sure you understand what you’re looking at.

The good news is you certainly aren’t alone in that conundrum. A lot of our clients check their web analytics somewhere between “rarely” and “never.” And of the ones that do, most peek at the convenient graphs to make sure someone is reading their blog posts and then move on.

The bad news is that you could be missing out on some really important details – including a few that could help you make your website significantly more profitable – by failing to study important signs and indicators. Getting the “big-picture view” you’re looking for doesn’t have to be that hard; you just have to understand a few basics.

Here are five web analytics details you can’t afford to ignore:

1. Your top traffic sources. This isn’t just important for the obvious reason, that you want to know which parts of your advertising and promotion are working, but also because you want to know what type of visitors are coming to your website and what’s on their mind when they click through. That knowledge can help you subtly change the way pages are written and constructed, because you’ll have a better sense of what your visitors actually want.

2. Popular referral keywords. If people are using your most important search engine optimization phrases to find your website, you’re in good shape. However, if you’re finding a lot of terms that aren’t relevant to your business, it might be time to adjust your SEO strategy. Also, you’ll want to see whether or not your focus keywords are leading to conversions, since getting lots of traffic doesn’t always lead to big results.

3. Time on site. This is a sneaky statistic – one that’s incredibly important but not always noticed often enough. If visitors are coming to your site and staying, that’s a very good sign even if they aren’t making purchases or calling your business right away. At the very least, they’re finding something that’s interesting and relevant to them. On the other hand, if you have lots of visitors but very little time being spent on your website, that’s a sign you need more content, better usability, or a different kind of visitor than the one you’re getting.

4. Bounce rates. While they generally get a bad name, bounce rates, the percentage of people who leave your site from a specific web page, don’t always indicate problems. In fact, a high bounce rate in certain areas could indicate that a visitor found what they were looking for and then moved on. High bounce rates on specific landing pages could tell you that conversions aren’t as strong as they need to be, though, so they’re important to keep an eye on.

5. Conversion goals. Presumably there’s something you’re hoping people will do when they visit your website. Maybe you want them to buy something from your online store or fill out a form with their contact information so they can receive a free e-book. Whatever it is, you’ll want to keep a close eye on those stats. Don’t just study the net results, but also what type of visitors are responding to your offer, what search terms your converted visitors used, and so on. That data is going to make your campaign stronger over the long term.

Your website’s analytics reporting can seem complicated and arcane when you first start using it. Spend a little time getting to know the major features and tools, however, and we guarantee you’ll be comfortable in no time. Better yet, you’ll understand where your web traffic is coming from and how you can make the most of it.

KINETIK IT NOTE: When you are inside the Customization tab, click on the gallery link.  Many smart and experienced analysts have put together a variety of high quality reports.  You can find what you need and easily install in your dashboard.  Here is a the Google  Analytics Custom Report resource:

Why Managed Services Makes More Sense Than Ever in 2015

With each passing year, more and more organizations are making the switch to managed services for IT – to the point that very few companies would even consider paying traditional hourly rates to technology vendors anymore. And yet, there are still some companies who haven’t yet made the switch.

We’ll admit it: We have to wonder why.

In case you aren’t that familiar with the concept yet (or need a reminder), a managed services agreement is simply one where your IT firm agrees to manage your technology for a small monthly fee, rather than billing you for hours and repairs as they are needed.

This type of arrangement saves IT clients time and money, and makes more sense than ever in 2015. Here are a few of the biggest reasons why:

IT Is Getting More Complex

With server replacements, network security, and cloud computing all changing the face of business technology every year, IT is getting more complex for organizations of all sizes. That means businesses have more needs than ever before, and are spending more on IT hours as a result. With a managed services agreement in place, all those different systems can be monitored, and optimized, without increasing your budget or staff size.

Putting Off IT Service Has Its Own Costs

Instead of switching to a managed services agreement, some companies are simply deciding to call their IT vendors less often in an effort to save cash. That may work in the short term, but it’s going to lead to disaster later. That’s because today’s installation error or network conflict can become tomorrow’s data loss, system outage, or security breach. At best, it’s going to leave you and your employees worried about technology instead of doing your jobs. 

In other words, putting off routine IT service has its own costs, and those costs usually far exceed what you’d spend on good technology help. Having someone work proactively to keep your systems up and running can be virtually priceless in today’s business world.

Organizations Need Predictable IT Budgeting

Under the old model of billable IT hours, technology expenses could be wildly inconsistent and unpredictable from one period to the next. At any given moment, a company’s technology might be working perfectly… or they could suddenly find themselves needing to call an IT vendor for lots of emergency hours and shelling out for new equipment. With a managed services agreement in place, IT expenditures can be forecast accurately. That means no more nasty surprises when it comes to the bill you get from your vendor.

It’s understandable that a lot of organizations were hesitant to make the switch to managed services agreements years ago, but now most companies are simply costing themselves money without getting any benefits in return. Are you spending too much on IT, and getting too little in return?

If you’ve been putting off managed services IT for all the wrong reasons, why not contact Kinetik IT and ask for a free network assessment? We’ll show you if, and how, you can save money on IT while decreasing downtime and improving performance.

4 Things You Must Know About Cyber Security

Cyber security is a big topic these days. In fact, hardly a week goes by when you don’t hear about some huge company losing millions because of stolen credit cards, website hacking, and other forms of digital theft.

Because these kinds of issues inevitably make the news, we are hearing from more and more business owners, managers, and executives who are putting serious thought into their own cyber security protection and procedures. Usually, they want to know where the risks are, and what they should be doing to keep their data safe.

Having a consultation with a professional team of technology experts (like the one you’ll find at Kinetik IT) is a great way to get the answers you need. To help get you started, however, here are four things you should know about cyber security in 2015:

1. It’s Not Just for Fortune 500 Companies

For every cyber crime that makes headlines, there are dozens of others that escape the public’s attention. Although they might not involve millions and millions of dollars, they can be absolutely crippling to the smaller businesses they affect.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that only big companies are targeted by thieves. The reality is usually quite the opposite, and that has to do with the fact that most cyber thieves are lazy…

2. Most Attacks Aren’t That Complicated

Just as most cyber crimes aren’t targeted toward huge companies, neither are most cyber criminals genius masterminds who sit in front of enormous computers with 15 different screens all going at once. Instead, most are hackers using simple tools, searching for the equivalent of an open window they can crawl into.

In the digital world, those “open windows” usually take the form of outdated software, easily guessed passwords, and missing security patches. That leads us to our next point…

3. Humans Are the Biggest Security Risk

Since most cyber crimes are simply a matter of thieves looking for easy exploits, the weakest link in your security probably involves yourself and your employees. Skipping updates, forgetting to change passwords regularly, and not maintaining regular backups are all extremely common in small and medium-sized businesses. They are also good ways to invite disaster.

With just a few simple steps, you can make your business much, much safer from cyber crime. That leads us to our final takeaway…

4. The Right IT Partner Can Keep You Covered

You don’t have to be an expert in cyber security to stay safe – you just need a team of trusted professionals who can put the right safeguards in place, monitor your technology, and keep up with backups and updates just in case.

In other words, having the right team on your side is almost always enough to prevent your business from having problems with cyber crime in the first place, and can help you recover quickly in the event that you ever do.

In cyber security for small and medium-sized businesses, there are probably a lot more threats out there than you realize, but they are also easier to guard against than you might think. Why not call our team today and let us show you how easy and cost-effective it is to get the sense of peace and security you and your customers deserve?