Category Archives: How to

How to integrate your WebEden website with Blogger

How to

A few weeks ago we had a guest blog from Alison Cross from AlisonCross4Webs.co.uk about how to set up a blog with blogger.

Now its time for the second part of that blog – how to integrate your WebEden website with your blogger blog. Over to Alison!

In this second and final instalment about setting up a blogger account, I’ll show you how to make your blog look professional by personalising the domain name and setting up your google analytics to run on your blog.

Y’see, when you set up your free blog, it will be called something like myblog.blogspot.com with EVERYONE who has a blogger account sharing that ‘blogspot’ domain name.

How much more professional would it look to have your blog showing as blog.yourdomain.com. Much more top drawer, don’t you think?

Here’s what you do

First of all, you need to tell your domain name to hold out its hand to hook up with the incoming info.  To this end, you need to create a CNAME record.

If you have purchased your domain name via webeden, they can set this up for you.

To request these changes, please send an email to ken@webeden.net

All you need to supply them with is the name that you want to call your blog (something short like ‘blog’ will do, but for illustration purposes I’m going to use ‘mymusings’) and from where to expect the incoming info.  For Blogger, this is ghs.google.com

The boffins at webeden will do this for you and thereafter the technical bit is down to you.  Relax.  I’ve done it so YOU can do it too.

Go to your blog and open it up.  Under the Settings tab, go to Publishing and there, you’ll see a link that allows you to publish to a custom domain.

Type in the details of the new domain name.  Whatever name it is that you submitted to webeden (in the case of the illustration provided above, that was ‘mymusings’) type in here:

Mymusings.yourdomainname.com

Type in the word recognition box and save and you are good to go!

Some of us own domain names via other suppliers, such as 123-reg.  In this case, you need to set up your CNAME record yourself. Again, don’t worry, it’s easy!

Go to your domain account with 123 or 1and1 etc and open up your control panel for that domain name.  There will be a section that allows you to footer about with the DNS records.  Click on that tab.  Somewhere on that page – possibly as a drop down menu option – there will be the option to add a CNAME record.

For 123 Reg it looks like this.

Underneath ‘Add new entry’ select the CNAME option and in that first box, type your blog name mymusings and in the end box type ghs.google.com.

Save your changes and then go on to your Blogger account and make the changes there as shown above.  Give it a couple of minutes for your domain name and your blogger account to ‘shake hands’ and voila! Your blogger account will have its new name!

Nearly there!

If you have google analytics set up on your website, get the SAME code as you used for your website and insert it into the HTML of your blog. To grab the code, just go to your Google Anayltics account and click on Edit (far right)  next to your report details. When that page opens up, there is a text link called ‘check status’ in the top right hand corner, click on that and you will see, half way down page, a box with all your coding in it. Copy it.

Then open up your blogger account. Under the Layout tab, you’ll see an Edit HTML option. Don’t panic! First of all you should ‘download the full template’ just in case you make a mess of things! Scroll right to the bottom of all the code until you reach the </body>  tag.

Paste your google analytics code above the </body> tag.

Save your changes!

And that’s it!  If you HAVE made a mess of fiddling about with the HTML, then just upload the template again :- )

If you have any problems or queries that my burbling hasn’t answered, please give us a shout here on the webeden blog or in the forum.

About Alison

Alison Cross is a self-confessed Twitter addict who occasionally tears herself away from the world of social-networking to build or revamp websites, to design logos and website banners, to blog shamelessly about the joys of the intertubes and who sometimes even manages to factor in some light housework. She also runs alisoncross4webs.co.uk

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How to solve Canonical issues with your Website domain

How to

If you’ve dipped your toe into Search Engine Optimisation (the process of boosting your website up the results page on Google), or have read our SEO Guide, you might have heard about something called a ‘canonical’ issue.

This is where there is more than 1 version of your homepage.

What do you mean more than 1 version?

This means that your website exists on two slightly different URLs. These would be:

http://www.yourdomainname.co.uk

and

http://yourdomainname.co.uk (without the ‘www’)

This is called a ‘canonical issue’, and creates a problem for search engines. And if search engines have a problem with you then they’re less likely to rank your website highly.

The problem is this.

Because your homepage exists on two different URLs, Google isn’t sure which is your ‘main’ homepage. Therefore, when deciding where to rank your website in the Search Engine Results Page, it dithers between the two, and ranks both – but very low down.

The links on your website serve as pointers to direct search engines around your website. The page with the most links pointing to it is usually the homepage. But if your homepage is basically split into two different places, half the links will probably point to one, and the rest to the other. This means that ‘power’ of those links is split in two – effectively halved.

There is a solution to this problem (that you didn’t know you had!)

What you need to to is to designate 1 version of your homepage as the ‘main’ one, and automatically point all the link power from the other to the main one.

In order to do this you need to buy a domain name, or use the domain you’ve already registered. When setting up your domain name to be your main website address (IE getting rid of the ‘webeden.co.uk’ bit) you go to:

Admin –> Site addresses –>Add site address

The dialogue box looks like this:


Enter your domain name here as your site address. BUT make sure you enter it both WITH and WITHOUT the ‘www’ on two separate lines. Then all you need to do is designate one version – the WWW one – as your main ‘preferred’ site address.

Once this is done, anyone and any search engine trying to get on your website by typing your domain name with the ‘WWW’ will automatically be forwarded to the version with the ‘WWW’

And thats it.

Solve the canonical issue with your website by following these steps. Its one of the basic things you need to do to help your SEO program.

Any canonical questions? Leave us a comment below.

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How to Sell your Skills online

How to

We talk quite a lot on this blog about how to set up a website so that it makes you money. That money might come in the form of online sales; it might come in the form of leads on your website, as people express an interest in your service. And it might come in the form of advertising, as you can place google Adsense on your website.

Of course, there are other ways to make money online. One of the fastest growing are websites where you can offer your skills and elbow grease on a project by project basis.

People who need things doing can post their project online; if you want to complete it, then you can bid to do so. You make money, the project owner gets the work done.

One of these skills based sites is called PeoplePerHour.com. You can bid online for projects and work by the hour. You need to explain why you can do the job, and how much you want to get paid for it. You have to pay a small slice of the fee to the site; the rest is yours to keep.

Here are some others:

iStockphoto.com: Earn money from selling your photography online
Mturk.com: Amazon’s very own ‘Mechanical Turk’ lets ‘employers’ post individual (and usually repetitive!) tasks. As a user you can have a look at who wants what doing, and sign up.
Elance.com: Like Mechanical Turk, but the jobs are much more complex and ‘professional’.
Guru.com: Similar to Elance, Guru.com is good for Writing, Graphic Design and Web Development tasks.

Are you interested in selling your skills online? Have you any experience of getting work from these websites? Leave us a comment below.

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How to set up a blog with Blogger

How to

OK, I know, it seems a bit odd doesn’t? We’re talking here about setting up a blog on a website other than WebEden! But thanks to some domain trickery, its possible to link a blogger blog with your WebEden website.

So its time for another guest blog from Alison Cross from AlisonCross4Webs.co.uk.

Blogs are not new, but they should not be overlooked as a powerful weapon in your armoury to keep people interested in your goods or services.  These days, you can even use your blog to earn you some cash!

Webeden does have a blog page option in the software.  However, no disrespect to the designers but * whispers  * it’s not very exciting nor very flexible.

There are many blogging tools available – wordpress and blogger being two of the most popular free options.  Note of caution – if you’re new to blogs and not confident with coding, make sure that you visit wordpress.com, not wordpress.org.  The former has easy to use templates whereas the latter is more complicated.

What do you want a Blog for?

As with any social networking tool, it’s good to have your blogging goals clarified before you press fingers to keyboard. Of course, if it’s just for the simple joy of sharing common interests just get cracking on the creative stuff below.  However, if it’s for your business or club – it should have a defined purpose.   Remember, they say that if you can’t jot down your idea on the back of a business card, you need to give your concept a bit more thought.

Having a goal will stop you from rambling off topic into areas that, while interesting to you, could result in a drop in your readership numbers.  Don’t forget that there are millions of blogs out there and people need to be selective about what they read – so make your blog content rich and aimed at your target reader every time.

So – no chatting about your dog on your photography equipment blog – unless you are talking about how to photograph dogs and any special kit you might require.

Keep it up!

Speaking of dogs, you should think of your blog as something that’s for life, not just for Christmas – like the dog charity advert warns.  A blog needs to be looked after, just like a puppy. If you can’t commit to making regular postings on your blog, maybe you need to reconsider whether having one is a good idea.  A stagnant, lifeless blog is worse than having no blog at all.

This is going to be a 2-parter blog entry for Webeden.  This initial posting will show you how to get your blog up and running and the second part will focus on the technical part of placing it on a subdomain of your Webeden site.

Get a Blogger account

First of all, you’ll need a blogger account.  As seems to be the case with with most things on the internet, it is owned by Google, so if you already have a google acount, you’re good to go.

To set up an account from scratch is easy – you need a username and password. To get started, go to https://www.blogger.com/start.

Now that your account is created, click on the ‘create a blog’ button and off you go!

Choose a name

You’ll need a name for it; and an url.  If the url that you are after is taken, Blogger will let you know.  Remember, don’t make it too long, complicated (ie hyphens) or have odd combinations of numbers; these just increase the chances of things going wrong when people try to find you.  You will, in the second part of this blog, have an opportunity to assign your blog to a subdomain on your website.  I appreciate that some of you reading this won’t want that hassle, so it’s worth choosing a blogger url that’s easy to use.

URL settled, you need to type in a word to show that you are not a spambot, and then you are on to the next section – choose a template!

Choosing a Template

Don’t worry about them being a bit boring-looking – there are pages and pages of free blogger templates out there for you to experiment with later.  Just pick one of the standard templates just now.

And that is your basic blog!

The next screen that appears invites you to post something, but instead, I’d like you to look at the tabs along the top – postings, layout, settings and monetize.

Pick the layout tab – this is where you will add and arrange widgets on your page.

Widgets

Blogger creates the page with some widgets already inserted into your page – navbar, header, followers, blog archive and About Me.

All these widgets can be edited and dragged around the page. In the layout shown here, you can drag items above and below the blog posts or display down the left hand side.

Note that you can also change the fonts and colours used – see the tab next to ‘Page Elements’.  You can upload a banner heading image to further personalise your blog and so extend your website ‘brand’ to your blog.

If you are confident with HTML you can even edit the code directly in the next tab. But that’s not a topic for today’s blog!

If you click on Add a Gadget, you will enter the world of Blogger widgets.  Helpfully laid out in Basics, Featured, Popular etc, you can even upload your own!  You can make widgets with an outfit like www.widgetbox.com

One of the most recently added widgets is Pages which allows you to have stand alone pages on your blog.  For example, your weekly blogs could be on photography equipment, your additional pages could be examples of how you used them?

Making money from your blogger site

Importantly you can monetize your site by using Google Adsense [like WebEden!] or Amazon Associates.  Adsense is a free service allows Google to put targeted advertising on your site and when people click on the adverts, you earn money!  The Amazon service allows you to choose Amazon items to display on your website.

You can preview your blog – with all associated widgets – prior to making live.  Remember and ‘save’ if you like it!

Reskin it!

If you find the blogger skins boring, you can find other skins at many places, including http://freeskins.blogspot.com.  You download the skin and then upload the HTML on the layout>edit HTML tab.

That’s it so far

Next time I’ll show you how to integrate your WebEden website with your blogger blog!

If anyone has any difficulties setting up their blog or finds something I’ve written impenetrable (or simply wrong!) please don’t hesitate to post here on the webeden blog and I promise to deal with your query as quickly and efficiently as I can.

About Alison

Alison Cross is a self-confessed Twitter addict who occasionally tears herself away from the world of social-networking to build or revamp websites, to design logos and website banners, to blog shamelessly about the joys of the intertubes and who sometimes even manages to factor in some light housework. She also runs alisoncross4webs.co.uk

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How to add a Skype button to your Website

How to

Last month we talked about the 10 essentials that every business website should have.

No.1 on this list was contact details – its probably the most important element to any website.

You should give your website visitors the option of interacting with you in as many ways as possible: Telephone, email address, physical address, contact form, forum, Twittter, Facebook.

Today we had a great tip from Phil Evans who runs Fractal Design. Its all about how to add a Skype button to your website, so that people can contact you by Skype.

1. Go to this page on Skype: http://www.skype.com/intl/en/share/buttons/

It looks like this:

2. Enter Your Skype Name

3. Choose a Style of button (and here are the choices):

3. Press ‘Preview your Button’

4. Copy the HTML that is generated in the box beside the ‘Preview’ button

5. Go to your WebEden control panel and place the WebEden HTML Snippet in the place on the page that you would like your Skype button to appear.

The HTML snippet can be found by going:

File Manager –> Library –> HTML Snippet

This is what it looks like:

6. Paste the code from Skype into the Snippet, and press ‘save’.

Hey presto! A Skype button on your Website! People can now contact you via Skype.

Many thanks to Phil for this tip.

Any comments about this tip, or if you have any of your own, please leave them below

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10 tips for a Perfect Press Release

How to

Those website builders who are keen to boost their website higher up the Search Engine Results Pages will know that an essential part of the process includes building inbound links to your website.

As we discussed in our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) guide, one of the ways to get inbound links is to send out online press releases.

Press releases can contain keyword rich links which point back to your website. And if they picked up by a genuine journalist then they can raise awareness in the traditional way too.

Read on to find the 10 essential steps to create your perfect press release.

1. Grab your keywords
Those of your following an SEO program will already have a list of keywords that you want to focus on. (For more information about SEO read our SEO Guide.)

Try to use the keywords in all sections of the press release we discuss below. Don’t squeeze them in so that it ceases to make sense – remember that the PR still needs to be readable by a human.

2. Decide what to write about
It’s best to focus on just a single point for your press release, rather than try and include all your news.

If there are any recent events that have taken place in your business, these might be right for a release. If you’ve opened a new branch; been nominated for an award; expanded; started stocking new lines, these could all be the subject matter.

Alternatively you can create your own news. Have you surveyed your staff or customers and found something of interest? Have you held a competition? Have you made a donation to Charity? These could be good subjects too.

Here’s the crunch bit: write down your news in just 1 line.

This keeps it simple, focused, and gives you something to refer back to. It also stops you wandering off topic later in the release.

3. Layout
Boring but important, there are some elements that a press release should always include. From the top these are:

Date. Your contact details. Company logo (if you have one)
Headline
The Intro paragraph
The main body
The closing paragraph
[Ends]
Notes to Editors

4. The Headline
Place the headline in the center of the page below the contact details, in bold. Use the headline to concisely describe the content of the release. You need to make it easily and quickly understood by a business editorial person.

The other important factor is to try and use a headline that uses keyword from your SEO list.

5. The Introduction
The first paragraph should include all the main points of your press release. It should work like an expanded version of the headline. If you haven’t mentioned it by the end of this paragraph, don’t mention it at all. Make it no more than a few lines long. Work on the basis that most people won’t read on from here, so you need to make your point quickly.

Classic journalism looks at who, where, what, and why. Include these and you’ve nailed it.

Again, try to use your keywords in this paragraph, but only where they are part of the organic flow of prose.

6. The Main body
This is where you can expand on the essentials covered in the introduction. The main body should be no longer than 2 paragraphs. Its a good idea to reinforce any points made by including a quote from a relevant source, often the Managing Director .

If you’ve got any colourful facts or supporting market research or statistics then the main body is a good place to include it.

7. The Closing Paragraph
The final paragraph can include more general information about the company, such as the number of years it has been going, where it is located.

8. Links
Gaining inbound links to your website is one of the main reasons to distribute online press releases, so you need to make sure to include some! As discussed in part 5, use keyword-rich anchor text to link to an appropriate page on your website in the introduction. Many online press release publishers will not include this link. For that reason, make sure you include a link at the bottom of your closing paragraph. This is the way we do it for WebEden:

for more information go to http://www.webeden.co.uk

9. Ends
After your final paragraph, you need to let editors know that the press release has finished by writing:

[Ends].

10. Notes to editors
After the end of the actual press release, you can write brief notes to editors who might want further information.

You may have high-res images for them to use, or be able to supply more in depth information to interested journalists. This is a good place to let editorial staff know about this sort of thing.

And that’s it

Follow this 10 point plan to get the most from your online PR. It will help boost you up the Search Engine Results Pages by generating inbound links, and will also raise awareness of your business amongst your target audience.

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How to Develop a Social Networking Policy: 14 questions you need to answer

How to

Today we’ve got another Guest Blog by Alison Cross from AlisonCross4Webs.co.uk. Its all about how to develop a Social Networking Policy for your business. Over to Alison.

Last week we had a (cue Mrs Merton) heated debate about whether or not its OK to use Social Networking websites at work. There’s no doubt that some businesses lose money because employees are spending time on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, blogs and Twitter. On the other hand, some actually benefit from employee involvement in Social Networking.

Time Wasting or Money Making?

These sites CAN be enormous spinning vortexes of wasted time and energy, but they can also provide a brand new channel through which your target audience can access your goods and services.

Today more than ever it is important that companies are seen to be part of the discussion about their own goods and services. To stay out of the discussion suggests that your customers’ opinions don’t count. Who needs that kind of reputation?!

It requires courage to join the discussion because you won’t be able to control the comments, but to be seen to be listening to clients’ comments and opinions can help your business/brand enormously.

Developing a Social Networking Policy

But – before you create your Facebook account, jumping into the social networking waters for business purposes without some kind of plan is to court death by drowning in Tweets!  Having a plan – a flexible, regularly updated plan – will help you turn social networking from a Business Suck to a Business Success.

If you have many employees, this would be a task for your Human Resources Department (Personnel!).  However, if you are only a small business with a handful of employees and no distinct HR Department, designing that policy is going to fall on your shoulders.

This post is aimed at YOU, the small business who needs to get a grip on those man hours lost by employees adrift in cyberspace and busy doing the work that YOU are paying them for.

I don’t recommend creating your Social Networking policy without consulting your employees in some way.  It’s such a fast-developing area, they may be more clued up than you! Listen to their input fairly.  You never know, it might just result in a truly inspired business presence on the networking sites!

I envisage that there are two types of employee here:

A)    The employee whose job remit is to be the public face of your business on Social Networking platforms.
B)    The employee who’s just faffing around on company time.

14 questions you need to answer in order to develop your social networking policy:

1.   Goal – what is it that you want to achieve with your involvement in social
networking?

2.    How will you quantify your business’s success in social networking?

3.    Will it be a project with a time limit or an ongoing involvement?

4 .   To which social networking platforms are you directing your efforts and why have you chosen them?  E.g. – is there any evidence that being present will have a positive influence on your business/customer interface?

5.    Which employees are working as your official social networking staff?

6.    On what basis are they acting on your behalf?
Are they working as a team (anonymously involved under business name)?
Are they to be recognised as named individuals?
How will your logo/brand be used?

7.    What kind of communication is permitted? Eg – Product information on Facebook? Discount vouchers on Twitter? Personal comments?

8.    What kind of communication is not permitted? Eg – disparaging the company or a client?

9.    When is communication permitted (for type 1 and type 2 employees it will probably be different – if you are taking social networking seriously as a business tool). For type 2, only after certain specified tasks carried out?

10.    What are the consequences for breaching the communication rules?  Verbal warnings, written warnings, instant dismissal?

11.    Will there be different consequences depending on the level of position within the company? Is it more serious if your Director of Finance is found slagging off the CEO’s dinner party in his blog than the junior store-keeper blogging the same gossip?

12.    Do these regulations apply solely within business hours?

13.    Consider the consequences of possible identity fraud on these sites. Do you know what to do if someone steals your logo/details and sets up as YOU?

14.     Bullying – your bullying policy may need to be extended to cover cyber-bullying.  The tragic results of sustained bullying on networking sites are well-documented in the press. Make sure your company/school has a policy in place.

This list of questions is not by any means exhausted, but should be able to get you started in formulating your own policy.

What else would you add to a social networking policy for your business?

About Alison Cross
Alison Cross lives on the Isle of Bute where she has built over a dozen websites using our software. She also helps people use Twitter to market their business. For more info or advice about social media or web design, visit her website alisoncross4webs.co.uk.

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How to get to grips with Twitter

How to

Last week we gave you some simple instructions on how to sign up with Twitter. Now you’ve done that, what’s next?!

Here’s a basic guide to using Twitter. Its not definitive – your comments are welcome!

Following people

1.    Start out by following people who you are genuinely interested in hearing from. This might be your industry figurehead, a national paper, an industry magazine, or a commentator
2.     Your customers. Show you’re interested in your customers by following them whenever you can. That will make encourage them to follow you, and open Twitter as a channel of communication
3.    Don’t follow people just because they follow you, unless they are your customer. Only follow people you are genuinely interested in.
4.    Avoid following people who have high numbers of followers and follows. These will just be using auto-tools to build their follower base. Lots are US based.

Tweeting your News

1.    Every time you add a new post or item onto your blog or website, Tweet it with a headline and a link.
2.    Every time you change your prices, have an offer, or have any other news that you wouldn’t otherwise have on the blog, Tweet it

Tweeting other people’s news and blog posts

1.    Set up an Feed reader with all your important writers’ latest posts. Here’s a guide on how to set up a feed reader
2.    When you see something that you find interesting, summarise it and send a link to it

Commenting on other people’s Tweets

1.    For the people who you are following, read their posts. If you’re interested, reply @them
2.    When people send you an @message, responding to it quickly

ReTweeting (RT)

1.    If someone compliments you, your website or your company then ReTweet it by copying it into your own post and prefacing it with RT @them:
2.    If you see anything of genuine interest that you want to attribute to the original Tweeter then RT it in the same way.
3.    Do your customers a favour by retweeting their messages to your audience

Direct Messages (DM)

1.    Keep any private messages to DM
2.    If someone RTs your message then thank them privately with a DM

General Guidance for Tweets

1.    Mix up your Tweets. Send some links to your site, some to others, and include no links in some. Have a mixture of general Tweets, @Tweets and ReTweets.
2.     Tweet any comments you get on your blog comments including a link directly to those comments. Try to get a debate going
3.    Ask questions to generate interest and get answers
4.    Remember that a lot more people will be reading your tweets than responding them. If you’re using it for customer service than showcase your finest work!

Tools

1.    Ping.fm Distributes your posts to multiple microblogging platforms
2.    Shorten URL Mozilla Add on. Puts a URL shortner shortcut in your  browser, makes for quick URL shortening
3.    TweetDeck. Desktop application that lets you monitor for mentions and direct messages across multiple Twitter accounts.
4.    Tweetpic. Allows you to link images to your posts.

Tracking

Twitter traffic is notoriously hard to track as it mostly comes from redirects.

1.    Bit.ly: This can give you click data about the traffic that your shortened URLs are generating
2.    Google Analytics. Using the URL Builder, you can manually add a tracking URL onto your website address before you shorten it.

And that’s about it! Any other ideas or comments? Please let leave them below.

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How to sign up to Twitter

How to

We’ve discussed Twitter countless times on this blog, and I’ve just realised that we haven’t covered the basics: How to sign up to Twitter. Here’s some instructions!

1. Go to the Twitter Home page and press the sign up button on the right hand side. This is what it looks like:

2. Next you’ll be on the ‘Create an Account’ page. It looks like this:

For Full Name and Username you’ve got a few choices. You need to decide who you are Tweeting as. Will your account be:

a) Personal (EG ‘Ken Builder’). In this case put your first and last name in and, and for a username write your name straight through. If it looks better seperate your first and last name with an ‘_’ underscore.

b) Business (EG WebEden). In this case put your company name in as full name, and for username write your company name again.

c) ‘On behalf of’ (EG Ken Builder on behalf of WebEden). In this case put your actual first and last name, and add your company name as the username.

Keep the names as short as possible – it will give you more space to Tweet with!

Make sure you include your current email address as this is where your notifications and password reminders will be sent to.

3. Then you get onto a stage where Twitter can search your Gmail, Yahoo or AOL mail accounts to see if any of your contacts are already on Twitter. Here’s what it looks like, but I’d skip this step if I were you!

4. Next up you can look for high profile users of Twitter who you might want to follow. This is what it looks like, but I’d skip this bit too!

5. And that’s it. You’re on Twitter! Time to experiment…

I’m not going to talk here about what to do, what to say, and who to follow, except to explain the links across the top of the page that look like this:

Here’s what these all mean:

Home: This is where all the Tweets of everyone you’re following plus your own will appear.

Profile: This is where all your Tweets will appear

Find People: This is where you can search for other users of Twitter, and follow them. Try searching for webeden!

Settings: This is where you can:

  • Change your Username and Passwords
  • Add your website address
  • Add a 160 character biography about yourself
  • Change Your Background
  • Add Your Photo (if its a personal account use your own photo, if its a company one use your logo)

Now that you’ve signed up why not follow WebEden on Twitter?

Leave a comment if you’re having any trouble signing up.

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How to find out who is looking at your Google Local Business Listing

How to

A few weeks ago we blogged about how to put your business on the map with a Google Local Business listing. This is a great way to make sure that you appear when people search for your sort of business or service in Google local or Google Maps.

Google has just enhanced the local business listings so that you can now get great statistics about how many people view your listing, and how they found it.

To recap, once you’ve signed up to Google local business listings, this is what your listing looks like:

People can find these listings by doing a search on Google.co.uk or in Google Maps. Once they find your listing they can click on it to see your details, reach customer reviews, and get discount coupons . They can also get directions to your location.

All good so far.

But what would be really useful for you is to know how the people looking at your listing found it. Did they search for ‘taxi in edinburgh’ or ‘i want to go to the airport’ to find your taxi company listing? And if you do some advertising in the local paper, do you find more people searching for and finding your listing?

If you knew the answer to these and other similar questions, you’d be able to make better decisions about how to send more traffic to your listing, and what sort of information to include on it. And that, ultimately will lead to more customers.

Well now you can do just that thanks to a new feature that Google have launched in the local business center. They’re calling it a ‘dashboard’.

All you need to do is claim your listing and go through the verification process.

This is the kind of information that the dashboard will give you:

•    Impressions: The number of times your business listing appeared in the SERPs on  Google.co.uk or Google Maps search in a given period.
•    Actions: The number of times people interacted with the listing; for example, the number of times they clicked through to the business’ website or requested driving directions to the business.
•    Top search queries: Which queries led customers to the business listing. Was it ‘taxi in edinburgh’ or ‘fastest way to the airport’?

You also get access to a load of lists, maps and graphs which displays your data. Here’s what it looks like:

All the stats will get updated every day.

Those of you who are familiar with Google Analytics will recognise these graphs – they’re very similar. If you don’t know about Google Analytics, its a free tool from Google that lets you see exactly where your website visitors are coming from them and what they’re looking at on your website. Here’s a video tutorial on how to set up Google analytics for your WebEden website.

To find out more about accessing using the dashboard, take a look at the video below and then visit Google’s Lat Long Blog for a more in-depth overview.

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