3 important reasons to use Google+ for your hosting business

Google+ has always been an enigma for most small business owners. There’s a lot less talk about Google+ compared to the big 2 social networks – Facebook and Twitter. Add in Pinterest or Instagram and it’s little wonder why Google+ fades into the background.

While most small businesses are busy building a large Facebook Like count or Twitter Follower number, there are a select few small businesses who are reaping significant benefits from using Google+ to market their business.

So before you dismiss Google+ as something you just don’t have time to look into right now, have a read of these 3 ways / reasons to use the social network that has in excess of 300 million active users (btw in 2013 Google+ officially became the the 2nd largest social network behind Facebook)

 

1. Google+ Authorship

The number 1 reason you need to be using Google+ is that it allows you to claim authorship over the content you write across the internet.

You’ve probably noticed for a while now that when you make a search on Google you sometimes see search page results like this. Notice the profile pictures next to some of the results.

 

These profile images are pulled from the author’s Google+ page under the Authorship feature that Google uses in it’s search results.

You might be asking, “Well that’s nice, but what’s so special about the profile images?”.

Having Google+ authorship can significantly increase the traffic your get from search engines. Studies have shown that having an image appear next to your website content in a Google search results page can increase clicks and attention (take a read of the study by Search Engine Journal).

Most businesses online are investing into content marketing so it makes a lot of sense to make sure that whatever content your product on your blog or when guest posting somewhere else, you want to have your profile image show up to get more clicks.

Google+ Authorship, a no brainer and something every small business should leverage. Here’s how you setup Google+ Authorship.

 

2. Google+ is your main local listing on search results

If you have a physical component to your business like a call center or service center then you absolutely must be on Google+.

Your business Google+ page is the main listing that people searching Google see when they make type in searches like “cafes nearby” or “greek restaurant in ___(insert suburb/city)___”. Here’s an example of one I tried

 

Not only does the George Street Cafe have a strong position on the search results page, they also have their full address available, a pin on the map and a star rating. That’s definitely going to catch the eye. So where does all that info come from? Well George Street Cafe’s Google+ page of course.

 

If you have a physical location that needs to be found by customers you need to be investing time into Google+. Get all your important information up there (like address, opening times etc), put lots of pictures and encourage reviews from your customers.

 

3. Effective Influencer Outreach

Google+ offers a lot of really useful ways to get in touch with influential figures in your industry.

Say for example you’re running an online jewellery store and there is a particular blogger who you think will really love your pieces. You want to get in touch and discuss how you could work together.

Google+ offers a great avenue for doing this because it’s a lot easier to get someone’s attention. The reason for this is that notifications via Google+ show up quite prominently even when people are just checking their Gmail inbox.

 

There are a number of ways to get the attention of an influencer via these notifications. Here is a list of different methods

  • Mention them in a post
  • Share a post with them directly
  • Share a post and you’re in a circle they subscribe to
  • Comment on a post they created
  • Comment on a post after they comment on it
  • Add them to a circle
  • Suggest new people to add to their circles
  • Tag them in a photo
  • Tag one of their photos
  • Suggest a profile photo for them
  • Comment on a photo after they comment on it
  • Comment on a photo they are tagged in
  • Comment on a photo they tagged
  • Start a conversation with them
  • Send them an invitation or update an event
  • Remind them about events
  • Any activity on events they created

The idea is to warm up the influencer by consistently getting their attention over a period of time. Once they get familiar with you it’s a lot easier to strike up an introduction and get the conversation going.

But wait there’s more
Another thing that has just been released this week is that you can now contact people on Google+ even if you don’t have their email address.

Normally if you wanted to drop a more detailed message to an influencer you would need to do it via email, thus beginning the long hunt for their email address.

Now with Google+ you can message a person you’ve connected with on Google+ without their email address.

If that influencer hasn’t added you to their circles (that’s Google+ version of being friends on Facebook) you can still message them but it will move to a separate section. Read all the details of the new Google+ communications feature.

 

Next steps?

If you haven’t already the first thing you need to do is setup your Google+ profile with all your important information. First step is log into your Google Account and go to Google+. Don’t forget to setup a Google+ business page as well.

Once you’ve got those done try and dedicate some time, even if it’s 2 hours a week, to learning more about Google+ and how you can use to market your business better.

Why you need to backup your website

If your website disappeared overnight, without a trace, what would you do?

Do you have a secure backup you could use to restore the service?

For a lot of people, backing up their website is a secondary consideration. They put faith in their hosting provider that their site is going to be safe.

But it’s not always the case.

Servers sometimes fail. Hackers with bad intentions can also wreak havoc. Or maybe you have a dispute with your web developer.

These are all great  reasons to make sure that you have your website well and truly backed up and stored somewhere safe.

If you’re doing a project with TweakDortks we want to make sure that you have a full backup of your website before your project is put into the marketplace. That’s why we ask you the question: “Do you have a secure copy of your website?”

If you don’t have a secure backup of your website, we’re happy to do it for you. If you want to do it yourself here are some tips to get you started:

Three tips for keeping a backup of your website

1. Keep your backups up to date

While having an out of date backup of your website is better than no backup, it can still be painful having lost a lot of work. The more frequently you backup your website the easier it will be to restore your site if it goes down.

2. Store your backups separate to your main website

Storing your backups on the same server as your website is going to cause issues. Instead you can transfer it to your computer, onto a hard drive or use a service like ownCloud. If you want to be thorough with it, store a copy in all three places.

 3. Backup everything

WordPress has a built in function to export your content out of your website. But don’t be fooled – this doesn’t include any file uploads you’ve done (like images on your posts) and won’t include your theme files. This is particularly important if you’ve been tweaking your website.

Things you want to backup:

  1. WordPress Plugins
  2. Your WordPress Themes
  3. All Images and Files
  4. WordPress database

Backing up your website doesn’t need to be difficult, there are plenty of tutorials online to help you do it.

Thexyz have just rolled out a new feature that allows you to choose between managing your backups yourself or getting TweakDorks to do it for you. At the end of the day we want to ensure you’ve always got a copy of your data, and for some people the easiest way to get that done properly is to outsource it to TweakDorks.

MalangHost

Malang Hosting is a small and medium enterprise Information Technology Indonesia specializing in the development of System Applications, Web Hosting, Network and IT Solutions in Indonesia

Malang Technolgy was established in 2012. Although the company is regarded as a newcomer in this field, the young and creative team we are committed to providing a simple but satisfying solution to meet the needs of IT. Malang Technology has a team that is experienced in the world of IT for more than 6 years in the IT world Indonesia. With R & D IT solid that gives the customer satisfaction with our products. With all solid team, we are growing and together with the customer is fully committed to being the best. With the breakthrough and innovation followed by effective implementation of the latest technology in their products, they are ready to serve you 24/7 and also offer mutual benefit for kariyawan, customers and business partners.

DynaBoot

Dynaboot.com is dedicated web hosting provider based out of Cyprus. They offer full 24/7 support on all their servers and full control. Each dedicated server purchased is fully managed by the end user. This means that when you purchase one of the dedicated server, you are fully responsible for updates, adding software components and basically installing any software required to run your applications on the server.

They also have some great prices for making the upgrade from a virtual private server to a dedicated server. For a Intel Dual-Core Atom D525 will run you at $50 per month which is a reasonable price for a dedicated server. The data centers are based in Holland, Germany and the United States of America. Each dedicated server has a network speed of 100 mega bytes per second which is fast and just what you need for your own independent hosting environment.

You will also enjoy unmetered bandwidth and your own IP address for the server, as a bonus, DynaBoot also includes a free domain name with every dedicated server package. Moving up to the next dedicated server package which is the Intel Quad-Core Xeon E3-1200 Series. You will enjoy significantly more RAM going from 2GB to 8GB and two 500GB SATA2 hard drives.

Each dedicated server also supports a wide array of different operating systems, such as; CentOS, Fedora, Gentoo, Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD. With full control and access to install whatever you want on the server, you can also build and install what you need to suit your needs. Another advantage to DynaBoot is they don’t not allow adult hosting on their services. Many other hosting prohibit adult web sites hosting with them, but not DynaBoot. Here is what they say about it “Adult VPS hosting is allowed as it is not forbidden by country’s legislation where our servers are.”

Managing your own dedicated server can be slightly over whelming to some users and for those particular users, DynaBoot does offer various monthly packages for additional managed services. The basic package will include services like; Operating System Setup, Hardware Monitoring, Faulty Hardware Replacement, OS/Kernel&Security updates. Where as the “VIP plan” includes advanced managed services for any custom software setup and assistance, they will also help setup and manage firewalls, SMS alerts, email alerts and more.

Having a dedicated server like this is great for moving your website to the next level, you can take full control of the resources. These advanced dedicated hosting plans will provide you with ample amounts of web hosting resources for accommodating your constantly growing web presence. You will not need to comply with other hosting users on the machine, because you will have the entire server under your full control. Each dedicated hosting server will grant you a robust hardware configuration, powerful server specs and stable network characteristics.

 

Media Temple

MediaTemple was one of the worst hosts we tested, not only are their servers slow but they lack standard features that you should expect with any hosting provider (even bad ones). The support we received was highly incompetent and unable to resolve simple FTP issues that should not have happened in the first. Anyone misfortunate enough to host here, will have a hard time migrating to a more capable provider as they do not provide backups, file manager or reliable FTP. After researching MT we found that they are owned by Godaddy which explains why they have so many issues.

Phpfox Solutions

When it comes to hosting phpFox you need to make sure you have a good web hosting provider. The software is very heavy on server resources and therefore requires a good server. When you come across phpFox Solutions who specialise in phpFox hosting you expect you are going to get a good web hosting package geared towards hosting the phpfox script. This is however not the case, phpFox solutions does not even have out access to the database that is required to run the software.

This makes updates to phpFox difficult and risky as you are often reminded to keep your database updated and backed up. From time to time you may need to perform tasks on the database.

I am not sure how they call them the solution to hosting a phpFox site when they do not offer what is needed to manage it.

You ate best of using a web host that allows database access so you can manage the site without the riak of losing everything after an update.

When we used them with phpFox we found Phpfox Solutions to be highly problematic and unable to assist when things when wrong. Save yourself the trouble and go with any other other hosting provider.

Rackspace

Rackspace have a great track record for reliability on their fully managed cloud server infrastructure. They are not cheap but you can opt for a pay as go model which charges based on usage per hour. This make rackspace a great choice for sites that experience sharp peaks in traffic and therefore load. The pay as you cloud model can save you a lot in running multiple servers and load balancer’s.

The support at Rackspace is exceptional, they are a large company located in the United States. They have trade marked the term, “fanatical support” and that is exactly the vide you get from the team at Rackspace.

They have been in business since and continue to grow.

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