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The Semantic Web and Its Importance to Website Promotion

August 12th, 2018

The Semantic Web is meant to be the successor to the web we all use and love today. Its architect is no other than the creator of the web, Tim Berners-Lee. The idea behind the Semantic Web is making it easy for machines to understand a site’s content. Web development languages today, i.e., HTML, are designed for making content easily readable by people. It is very hard for software agents to extract the semantics (or meaning) of a website since no such information can be encoded by webmasters using HTML or any other popular web development technology used today.

The new web will require a whole new set of technologies that will allow webmasters to specify the meaning of a website’s content. These technologies are Extensible HTML (XML), Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI), Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL) to name the most important ones. Every object will have a unique identifier or URI and as such an agent could uniquely refer to it. The RDF will allow developers to specify the relationships between different objects. RDF models are currently specified using XML syntax. Lastly, OWL will allow developers to create even more complex relationships among objects and also define ontologies and mappings among them so that all agents can essentially talk the same language using the same vocabulary.

Like I said earlier, the Semantic Web is about organizing the web’s information such that software agents can understand it. The information will be presented to the agent in a format that is easy to understand so that the Semantic Web is not about adding Artificial Intelligence to the current web. Once information is easily accessible by the agents, they will be able to crawl the web and use this information to assist human users in everyday activities. Such activities may include scheduling appointments and finding relevant information to a task given a person’s geographical location and time constraints. The possibilities are limitless.

One important aspect behind the semantic web is the notion of trusted sources of information. Agents will not visit websites that have not been established as trusted sources of information. This is largely different than the way today’s search engine bots crawl all websites and rank relevance of their content to a query according to keyword density. Or in other words, once the Semantic Web becomes the norm, it will be difficult for webmasters to use current search engine optimization techniques to rank high on search engines and drive free traffic to their site. This will hopefully eliminate many junk websites and of course benefit those of us who are trying to provide web users with meaningful content.

The Semantic Web, however, has one major flaw and it has nothing to do with the fundamental idea behind it but the intricate technologies that are meant to drive it. In fact, just recently during a presentation, Tim Berners-Lee was asked by Google executive and one of the top Artificial Intelligence scientists, Dr. Peter Norvig, the following, “What I get a lot is: “Why are you against the Semantic Web?” I am not against the Semantic Web. But from Google’s point of view, there are a few things you need to overcome, incompetence being the first.” He is of course referring to the difficulty of the average user and web developer to understanding and using the technologies behind the Semantic Web. The potential for abuse by mischievous webmasters is real and Google already knows all about that. One thing is for sure however and that is whether Google opposes it or not, the Semantic Web is the future even if the technologies behind it require some refinement.

So, since the Semantic Web is in our future, we should do our best to be ready for when it arrives. Try to familiarize yourselves with the correct terminology and the new technologies. Integrate them into your website or at least design it in such a way that it would be easy to make it part of the Semantic Web with little effort. There already exist search engines and tools that are capable of parsing semantic information in websites. If you are one of the early adopters of this technology, don’t be surprised if you are ahead of the pack in a couple of years. And we all know that being ahead in search engine results equals huge profits. So, what are you waiting for?

Why Businesses Should Invest in Exceptional Web Design

August 11th, 2018

Digital web design experience is based on web design. This determines the way a site looks, functions and relates to the company’s brand narrative in its entirety. It also provides the viewer with a company’s first impression, since this is the first visual interaction of a customer with a business. A number of companies follow the DIY approach on an online site to create a website all by themselves. However, all cases show that hiring a professional web developer always produces a more favorable outcome.

A person who is not a professional web developer or has no experience in using such services in the past may not realize this at once because of the wide range of DIY options and templates accessible in the market. Some are wondering about what professional web designers and developers have to offer nowadays. In almost all cases, this is a viewpoint that lacks foresight. Professional web designers are light years away from the ready-made competition. These are the reasons why:

Websites Represent a Brand

Nowadays, 81% of users search for businesses on the web before purchasing. They may be the potential customers looking for you. However, if a business is not online, how will they find it? Customers would want to work with a business that gives its very best all the time and what is a better way to show this than to have a great online brand presence.

Design Gives You an Edge

When a website is not aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, this could endanger the image of the brand. A business is judged by its cover in these digital times. As per Adobe’s State of the Content, 50% of customers would prefer to engage with beautifully designed content rather than those that with simple design.

Mobile Friendly Carries More Weight

Web design aims to provide mobile users with better user experience. In turn, this increases credibility. Almost 8 out of 10 consumers stop engaging with content that is difficult to view on their device.

User Experience is Just as Important

Web design is not only about aesthetics. A site’s use and functionality also need to be considered. Web development joins together design and user experience in creating a favorable, accessible experience for consumers. Google reveals that 41% of people “on the go” will migrate to the site of competition when they do not have a good user experience on your website.

Business Never Sleeps

A physical store is usually open during specific hours and days, but a website allows a business to be open 24/7. It also lets consumers access products and services any time of the day, and from anywhere in the world.

Professionally Designed Websites Can Be Changed in the Future

Similar to ordering handmade shoes, a real website can be dismantled, then reassembled anytime. Web design made using the DIY approach is some piece of construction. It consists of ready made templates, so there are very limited options if ever it needs to be revised. A professionally designed website evolves and develops based on your needs. No one knows what a site needs in the future. So, it is best to be prepared with a website that can change whenever necessary.

When Everything is Taken into Account

A website indicates a brand’s online presence, and in most cases, gives a costumer’s first impression. It should reflect the image desired by a business owner.

Business Web Site Design Tips – A Word to the Wise on Marketing

August 10th, 2018

I am writing this article to help anyone that wants to create or have a web site developed. I own a business web site design and development company and also a web hosting company and have been in business since 1999. I strongly suggest that you consider having a professional create your web site. Your visitors first impression is very important and will define how they feel about your company.

We have developed many web sites and I always note that the customer should consider marketing into their budget. Most customers come to me wanting to have a web site developed and have the mindset that “If I build it they will come.” Well its a great dream but the reality is it just is not going to happen. It doesn’t matter if you have the most beautiful or greatest web site on the internet. If no one knows you are there then how will they ever find you?

Its very sad but each time I update my portfolio of created web sites I always have to remove some that either have lost interest and let their domain name expire or just have failed and they did not renew their web hosting. The number one reason is it takes a marketing effort to be successful. You do not need to have a huge budget, but within reason.

SEO is a great tool to help, but do not just rely on this for being successful. One reason is this takes time and and much effort to make it all work and come together. You have to think of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as one of the tools in your toolbox of marketing methods. You can think of this as if you were wanting to be a successful carpenter. You could not just depend on having a hammer to take you to that level of success. You would need other tools to help you get there. You have to think outside of the box and find what works for you.

One very good way to help is to find web sites that are frequented by visitors that would be interested in your product or service. Then contact that web site and ask about placing your logo, small banner or text ad on their web site. These sites usually charge a per month fee for this. You can monitor how successful the ads are in your web hosting account web stats area as this should show how many visitors visited your web site from that ad. You want to have your logo, small banner or text ad as high on their main page as possible.

Also marketing depends on if your web site is going for just local business or nationwide or worldwide. For local business and if your budget is slim always search out local directories and businesses that are successful or are visited frequently and get listed or place your ad on their web site, if they offer that service. For local advertising their are many avenues. TV, Newspapers, flyers, posting your business cards, fridge magnets. Just use your imagination and pursue the marketing method that you can afford and dabble around and find what works for you and your business.