Website Design Trends – You Don’t Need to Follow the Herd

Web design, like anything else, is subject to trends and fashions. One leading website will adopt a new design choice or innovation and suddenly it’s cropping up everywhere online. And, like all trends, the designs that are cutting-edge and trendy today will look dated or even laughably over-done in a few years when the fashioned change. (more…)

A Cyber-Bullying Response Plan for Your Family

The Boy Scout motto of “be prepared” is true in so many contexts – even in the world of cyber-bullying, where attacks can come from unexpected places and at surprising times. Talking to your kids about Internet safety and encouraging healthy technology usage is undeniably valuable, but it can’t protect you 100% from (more…)

Monitoring Programs to Watch Your Child’s Online Behavior

In many ways, the Internet is like its own world. And just as you wouldn’t leave your kid alone to play in a strange neighborhood, you shouldn’t allow your child to explore the vast unknown of the Internet without a little bit of supervision. That’s where monitoring software can be extremely helpful. (more…)

Mobile Changes

The principles of good web design have changed a lot over the years, but traditionally the way a site looked had no effect on its search rank. For years, search engine optimization has been a separate issue entirely from design: A great-looking site would appeal to visitors, but it was other factors like content and behind-the-scenes efforts that would drive traffic. These days, the issue is a bit more complicated.

It’s a fact that mobile browsing is on the rise, with more people searching the Web from their smart phones and tablets, and having a site that looks good on any size of screen is crucial. For many sitemobile website owners, that means using responsive web design. For others, it means running separate mobile and desktop versions of a site. But do these choices affect SEO at all? And if so, what’s the best decision?

Mobile Sites vs Responsive Design

If you don’t make any concessions for a mobile-ready site, you will lose valuable traffic. Sites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices will be hard to navigate or even totally unreadable on smart phone and tablet screens, so visitors will move on to another site rather than stay on yours. Your SEO may not be directly (more…)

Teaching Your Children About Basic Internet Safety

As a parent, keeping your child safe is a priority. You teach your kids about safety every day, from looking both ways before crossing the street, to never taking a drink from a stranger. But the modern world is full of unexpected dangers, and many families aren’t doing enough to protect their kids from online threats – including cyber-bullying.

What is Cyber Bullying?

Cyber-bullying is activity taking place online or via text message with the intent to harm or humiliate a person. It’s often used to spread malicious gossip or otherwise destroy or discredit someone’s reputation. It can also refer to stalking behavior.

Protecting Our Youth

mobile social mediaYou probably remember the fear of the Internet that was instilled in parents in the 1990s. You may have even been a young person in those early days, when anonymous chat rooms were a thrilling, if risky, way to meet people. There was a general assumption back then that someone on the Internet could be anyone.

These days, the Internet is a lot less anonymous. Social media has given a face to the Web, and kids are just as likely to socialize online with peers and classmates as shady strangers with false identities. However, this doesn’t mean that the Internet is completely safe or that kids and teens – and adults, for that matter – should throw caution to the wind.

Teaching Basic Internet Safety

Here are a few important lessons to teach your kids when it comes to the Internet:

  • Nothing online is guaranteed to be 100% secure. There is always a certain level of risk associated with using the Internet, whether you’re buying shoes or posting to a diary. Remind your children to think carefully about the potential risks of information falling into the wrong hands before deciding to post something online.
  • The Internet never forgets. As soon as you post something or hit “send” on a message, it’s gone – you may never have the chance to undo it. Tell your kids not to be lulled into security by being able to delete their posts. You never know who might have saved screenshot or if someone could pull up a cache later.
  • There are still strangers on the Internet. While most people your child meets online are probably exactly who they say they are, there are still plenty of people who hide their identities or lie in order to get others to trust them. Caution your child to be very careful about disclosing personal information online.
  • Ask for help if you’re not sure. The Internet is a big place. It’s so huge that no one could ever hope to see it all in their lifetime – and it’s constantly growing. This means that there’s always a chance of finding strange or unexpected things online. If a child encounters something they don’t know how to deal with, they should always feel comfortable coming to you for help. Together, you can decide what to do.

SonicSEO.com cares about the safety of our children and community. We encourage you to have a talk today with your son or daughter about the Internet and how to stay safe. We also hope you’ll check back in with us for our future blog posts, where we give more tips for safe browsing for the whole family.

Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools – now called Google Search Console – is a powerful tool for site owners looking to boost their visibility on the web and monitor the performance of their sites. It’s one of many tools available to help you understand what’s going on behind the scenes of your website, but it does pose a bit of a learning curve. Let’s take a closer look at Webmaster Tools so you can understand what it can (and cannot) do for you.

What is Webmaster Tools?

Webmaster Tools (Google Search Console) is a totally free service offered by Google. It allows you to identify how well a site is performing by checking its indexing status, among other things. Basically, it lets you get a realistic overview of just how well your site is performing.

These are some of the things you can do with Webmaster Tools:

    webmaster tools

  • Check the crawl rate to see when and how frequently Google accesses your site.
  • View all the internal and external pages that link to your site, so you can see where you are getting backlinks and whether any spammy links need to be disavowed.
  • See which pages Googlebot might have a difficult time crawling.
  • Identify the various keyword searches that lead to your site being discovered and what the click-through rate of those searches is.

Webmaster Tools can do many other things as well, depending on your needs. Pretty much any information you need about your site’s search engine performance can be (more…)

The Evolution of Web Design

In many ways, the Internet still feels like new technology – but the truth is that the earliest web pages were built more than 25 years ago, long enough for web design to have developed a robust legacy of its own. The sleek websites of today barely resemble the bald interlinked text of the early 1990s, but we couldn’t have gotten to where we are today without the innovations of Web designers, coders and technology creators along the way. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see just how far we’ve come!

The Early Years

The earliest websites, built around 1990, were simple text documents linked together with hyperlinks embedded in the text. At the time, the Internet was more of an interlinked textbook than what we have today, and Web design was an unheard-of job title.

Within a few short years, however, HTML advanced to allow for modifications to a site’s appearance, changing things like background colors and images, text color and size, embedded images and more. The best of these mid-90s sites were coded into tables to keep content easy to navigate and pleasantly arranged. The worst were garish explosions of animated clipart and tiled backgrounds clashing against bright text. Fortunately, around this time businesses began to understand the importance of attractive websites, and web design – separate from coding – began to (more…)

Cyber Bullying

The Internet is a powerful tool. It can be used to spread information, reach vast audiences, deliver marketing messages and connect people from across the world. But it can also be used to hurt. In recent years, cyber-bullying among young people is on the rise – and it’s a serious problem.

Text MessagingWhat is Cyber-Bullying?

Cyber-bullying is a catch-all term for harassment and other malicious acts committed with technology — email, text messaging, websites, social media etc. Some common cyber-bullying attacks include:

  • Spreading rumors through social media
  • “Doxxing” or posting a person’s private information online to solicit harassment toward that person
  • Spreading of embarrassing photos or videos
  • Making threats, either publicly or privately, through technological means

(more…)

The Culture of Sharing: Creating Content that Spreads

Ever since the days of sack lunches and coloring books, sharing has always been a popular societal norm between people. Creating Shareable ContentAnd, nowadays, people share everything…online!

From selfies to news articles and from memes to food photos, information is shared constantly, spreading like wildfire. As a society, we love sharing—it provides a glimpse into different lifestyles, perceptions, opinions and ideas of others.

So, as a business, how do you take advantage of such a viral and sharing community? Create content that spreads. (more…)

First Comes Love…

Valentine's Day BrandingNot only is Valentine’s Day the leading day for rose purchases in the U.S., but it’s also one of the top well-branded holidays right behind Christmas and Halloween.

Jewelry, candy, flowers, and dinner are all items we normally purchase for a loved one on February 14th, but how did a normal day become such a big deal?

Branding. Marketing. (more…)