Flourish Planters & Grow Systems is proud to be a sponsor of www.growbuildshare.com. We share in the mission of promoting self-reliant living and teaching self-reliance skills. Our products are handcrafted and built to provide you years of service. Flourish Planters & Grow Systems are simple to use and have become a gardening must for both beginning and expert gardeners. We hope you will make our products part of your garden, and more importantly, part of your self-reliant lifestyle. Products available on www.growbuildshare.com can be found here.
I build websites for small business clients. I build a lot of them. I try hard to make sites that work and that contribute to the person's business venture. Sometimes the client makes that almost impossible. Here are some issues.
Fallacy: If you build it, they will come. Wrong. People will not visit your website unless you have a plan to promote the site.
Fact: When your website goes live it will not have any traffic (besides that from you and your brother). You will need to do things to bring traffic to the site. It will take time and money. You need to be in for the long haul.
True story: I created an attractive, functional website for a client who sells custom engraved stones. A few weeks later I get an email: "Why do I not show on google searches for the word 'custom?' I need that term!"
My client will never show for the term "custom." It isn't going to happen. That term is way too broad. It isn't a reasonable target term. You need to learn about how search engines work.
Search Engine 101: It takes concerted effort over time if you want to rank for specific terms. Several years ago you could put words into secret hidden tags and your site would rank for those terms. Not anymore. With millions of websites, you now have to have multiple pages of good information that is related to the terms you want to rank for. There are 4 factors that determine your search rankings:
Words like “custom” are way too general. Think about it. How many million websites use that term? Search engines try to find the sites with the best, most relevant content. If there are, say, 5 million sites with pages using that term, do you really think your site has the best, most relevant content?
Even if you did rank for "custom," would that help you? What percentage of people searching on the term "custom" are actually good potential customers? You need to target phrases that qualify potential customers, so you get people coming to your website that may actually be interested in your product.
Justin Bieber serves as an example. If you add a dozen pages about Bieber - text, photos, videos - you may start to pick up traffic from searches for Bieber. You might quickly triple your website traffic. But would that help your business? It might, if you see products to 10 year old girls. But 10 year old girls probably are not going to buy custom engraved stones online.
You need to target search phrases that qualify potential customers. And you need to choose terms that people actually search on. Google has an excellent tool to help you identify good phrases.
Then you need to add multiple pages of good, relevant content to your site. You actually need to have some of the best content on the web, if you really want to rank well for a particular term. There are no magic tricks. Would you want it any other way? Would you want search engines to recommend sites that to now have good, relevant content?
Of course sometimes sites show up that do not have great content. The search engines are becoming better and better, trying to eliminate those sites.
Note that good content is just one of the factors mentioned above. It really helps if other good websites link to your site. The more the better. Also, it is helpful if you link to your site from your social media - facebook, twitter, blog, image gallery, youtube channel. All of that helps.
Most website owners get tons of spam from companies offering to do SEO (search engine optimization). That service can be valuable, if it is performed by a reputable company. Unfortunately, it is very easy for unscrupulous companies to scam website owners by promising the moon and stars and not delivering anything.
If a company says it can make your site rank on the first page of google results for any phrase you choose, you can be certain that company is unscrupulous. It just is not possible to get top 10 results for every potential term.
If your website is well-built, it should already be search engine friendly. That said, there are always more things you can do to enhance your ranking over time. A good company will help you identify appropriate search terms and will then help you add good content about those terms.
Your real goal is to get more qualified traffic to your website - not to appear on page 1 of google results. A search engine campaign can be very successful even if you do not appear on page one.
For example, say you want to target this term: "Ski Trips." There are thousands and thousands of excellent websites that target that phrase. They can't all be on page one. Competition is fierce. But it still may be worthwhile targeting that term. A good SEO guy can drive traffic to your site from that term, even if you are not on page one. If your traffic goes up - if your sales and profit go up - the campaign has been successful.
To be successful it takes concerted effort over time. You can't tweak your site one day and expect to pocket more money the next day. It may take 3-6 months before you really see the impact from that traffic.
You have to be in it for the long haul.
My friends, Bryan and Helen Lundahl have put together a dream business – a family endeavor that makes me jealous.
They own and operate an adventure lodge in Logan Canyon, just below the summit. They have 12 guest rooms that they rent individually, and they also rent out the entire lodge. It is an impressive rustic Western lodge just over the mountain from Bear Lake.
The Provo City Council will review its year-old ordinance on residential bee keeping and decide it if needs any modifications.
The current ordinance allows honey bees and Mason bees to be kept in residential areas.
The Provo Herald has this article about the issue. Here are excerpts.
By law, beekeepers must register with the Utah Department of Agriculture, but the enforcement of the laws connected to beekeeping in each city are different. Salt Lake City's residential beekeeping laws are enforced by the Salt Lake County Health Department. Provo's is enforced by animal control officers.
Siufanua reports that in all of the cases when the police officers went to residents' homes, none of the resident beekeepers were registered with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. The police officers issued warnings in those situations.
AARP.org has this interesting article about starting and running a home-based business. I'm self-employed, working from my home, and so I'm always interested in seeing other people's ideas. This article has some good insights.
By Dave Webb
(Dave specializes in creating custom websites for small business clients.)
Many cottage business owners know they need a website but they don't know how to go about getting one that meets their needs. Here are some tips:
What is the mission of your website? How will it support your overall business plan? It is critical that you define exactly what you want the site to accomplish. Here are some possibilities.
Now days there are many options to help you get a presence on the Internet. Often, businesses do well by using a combination of the options listed below.
Facebook page. This is free and can help you build brand awareness and create a community of people interested in your products/services. It allows you to show photos and videos. It does not offer ecommerce capacities and does not allow you to offer much in terms of supporting documents, background information, specifications, etc.
etsy.com and similar sites allow you to set up your own online shop, as part of their bigger website. Some charge you a flat monthly fee; others charge a percentage of what you sell. They can be a good option if you offer a small number of products. Disadvantages including their fee, the limitation on support documents, and limited capacity for those documents. Also, your shop may be "buried" on their site - making you difficult to find - and your competition may be listed right there with you.
Intuit and similar companies offer "templated" websites at low cost. You pick a design and pick features from their list of available options. They provide a good service for people who want to create and manage their own basic website. They are great if you want basic features and a somewhat generic look. They are not a good option if you want a custom look and/or specialized capacities.
Custom websites can give you a totally unique look and specialized features. They can be configured so you can easily manage the content on the website pages and also any products/services you may be selling. Most companies hire professional developers to set up a custom websites. The developer will typically charge a one-time fee to set up and program the site. After that, there may not be any ongoing fees (unless you have requested ongoing support.) Initial costs may seem steep but a custom site may actually save you money in the long term because you will not have monthly fees.
I am a professional developer specializing in creating custom sites for small businesses. My website has more details about my services.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions of want more information.
- Dave Webb
Our wheat is locally grown in Delta, Utah. It has proven to make really great flour for a variety of uses. We supply wheat to three different bakeries. We will exchange your old wheat for new wheat for $9.00/50 lbs at The Wheat Kitchen in Delta.
We have hard and soft white wheat and hard red wheat available.
$13.00 per 50 lbs in Delta at The Wheat Kitchen.
$15.00 per 50 lbs if delivered.
$18.00 per 45 lb buckeet in Delta at The Wheat Kitchen.
$20.00 per 45 lb bucket if delivered.
If interested call Dave at 435-406-1385.
Retail & Wholesale
Midvale, UT 84047
I make custom, one of a kind leather items and will consider selling wholesale. I can make almost anything in leather and have been for over 35 years. Items like: wallets, check book covers, custom holsters and scabbards, saddle bags for motorcycles & equestrian, vests and fantasy. I also condition used or worn saddles and much more.
I upholster and repair most anything including some Auto , motorcycle and ATV seats and all ATV 's and boat covers. Mention this ad and receive a discount. 801-891-0455 Len's Custom Leather.
A woman in American Fork, Utah, has been on a "buy local" crusade, and recently won the LocalMotive Award from Local First Utah for encouraging local shopping and spending.
The Provo Herald has this article about the woman's efforts. Below are excerpts.
When Heidi Rodeback moved into a new home, she decided to furnish it by buying in American Fork. She wrote a blog about her effort, and this week that led to a statewide award.
Leslie Dalton, who is a member of the American Fork Library board, nominated Rodeback for the LocalMotive award, given out by Local First Utah, a state advocacy group.
"Admittedly, Heidi is not the first person one might look to for a friend in business," Dalton wrote in the nomination. "She is a committed penny pincher; however, she is so dedicated to the promotion of local business that she has matched her quest for a deal with an equal effort to buy local in order to support the cause. Heidi has impressed me so much with her frequent and eloquent reminders to keep my dollars here in town that I find myself regularly making different choices than I might have in the past."
"Shop at mom and pop shops if you can," Lauret said. "Those are first preference."
For tips on shopping local, visit localfirst.org.
The best reasons to shop local, from Heidi Rodeback and Local First Utah:
1. Makes you feel more a part of your community
2. Frees up time to spend with your family
3. Relieves local governments of the temptation to raise taxes.