Category: Creative Programs and Systems - page 2

SEO Trends That Will Increase Website Visibility in the Coming Year


One of the most noticeable trends changing the way we optimize websites for search engine recognition is the use of Voice Search.  It is predicted that by the year 2020 more than thirty percent of all website sessions will be done without the use of a screen.  How is that possible, you ask?  Voice-only search offers the user the opportunity to “look” at the information contained on the web without scrolling through sites on a PC or mobile device.   Voice technology will be a key element in the success of online companies in the future.

What Exactly Is Voice Search Technology?

The most well-known source using voice technology is Amazon Alexa

Instead of typing keywords into a search query, users speak into a device.  The gadget then returns audio search results based on the spoken query.  The precision in which audio technology recognizes what a user is saying is unbelievable.  Although many of us are just being introduced to voice search technology it is not new.  Speech to text programs and voice dialing have been in use for years.

How Are Digital Marketing Efforts Being Affected by Voice Recognition?

The use of voice search will radically increase the search experience.  Search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will begin to place a higher importance on voice search optimization.   As we know the point of SEO is to rank websites so that when users enter a search query, either by text or voice search, the most relevant content is pulled up first.  It is important that digital marketing experts account for both voice search optimization and traditional optimization in their websites.  Being that the two are very different it is crucial to understand that some factors that affect traditional rankings may or may not have a similar effect on voice searches.  Below are some tips to help balance the two very different search engine optimization strategies.

Tips for Voice Search Optimization

Voice search users are most often searching for a purpose, to complete a certain action. Most voice searchers want a song to play, a product to be purchased, or specific information to be gathered.  No matter your intention, Google uses a similar algorithm to rank sites which include the following:

Website Loading Speed

Google voice search, like traditional searches, favors websites that load quickly.  It is important that your site is responsive and functions properly on mobile devices.  All images used on the site need to be optimized, files must all be compressed, and other tasks that speed up traditional websites.

Write Content How You Speak

When a user searches for content on a PC or mobile device, they often use short phrases or long-tailed keywords, think of the phrases you use in bullet points.  If you want to find a roofer, many users will type in the keyword phrase “roofing contractors near me”.  However, in a voice search the user may ask “Who is the best roofing contractor to install my roof’.  For your content to be optimized correctly for both traditional SEO and voice search, it is crucial to include naturally sounding, long-tailed keywords in combination with short, snappy keywords.  Make the content easy to comprehend, content should be written at a 9th grade reading level or below for maximum comprehension.

  Aim for your website content to range between 1850 and 2500 with a combination of short and long form content.

Use Blocks of Content

Featured snippets are a summary of the website pages content.  A snippet will appear after paid advertising and before organic listings.  Content should be optimized and identifiable as a snippet.  It must summarize the entire pages information, be placed above the fold, and include fewer than 29 words.  Content that optimizes with header tags, lists, and bullet points are more easily read by search engines.  Featured snippets should include long-tailed keyword phrases.

Focus on Local Searches

Location based content accounts for over twenty-two percent of voice search queries.  Websites that consider local content and phrases including a “near me”, “close to me”, “within a couple of miles”, and so on.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.



Is It Necessary to Hire a Professional Programmer When Developing an Apple iPhone App?


Do you think that you have the next big idea for an app for the Apple iPhone?  Are you interested in developing and marketing it to the masses?  If this describes you, we have some helpful advice.  First and foremost, unless you are a professional mobile app developer it is important that you team up with an experienced iPhone developer like Creative Programs & Systems to help you bring your iPhone app design into reality. 

Benefits of Professional Mobile iPhone iOS App Development

Mobile apps are being used more and more by a variety of industries as a way to connect companies to clients in a reliable and efficient manner.  iPhone apps have a variety of purposes including fun, education, medical, financial, health, planning, and more.  If you have a mobile app idea and the ability to promote it, you will find a market that is looking for exactly what you are developing.

Hiring for iPhone App Development

As you already know the iPhone is a tool that many of us cannot live without.  It provides us with the latest technology, delivering a number of functions and features that make our everyday lives simpler.  A fun fact is that the Apple App Store is the largest throughout the whole world.  Many industry experts surmise that Apple is the main contributor in the success and constant advancements in the mobile app industry.  To venture alone into the maze of apps available in the iTunes store would simply be detrimental.  To make your mark on an already crowded market a professionally designed mobile app starts you out in the right direction.

It is almost impossible for novice app designers to keep pace with the industry and its changes.  The professional team of iPhone app experts at CPS are up to date on the latest industry news, tech updates, and will work directly with you to develop your iPhone app. 

Another benefit of working with a trained iPhone app programmer is that your app is developed according to your deadlines and within the budget that you set forth.  This is not always easily handled when you are working in your spare time on getting your new app launched.  It is also very difficult for novice app designers to create a faultless app that integrates itself the abundance of features on the iPhone.  This allows the best of your app to be show cased without unnecessary adaptations that take extra time, money, and effort to create. 

Finding the Right Developer to Create Your iPhone App

With an ever-booming industry such as mobile app development you are sure to find thousands of companies claiming to be iPhone app experts specializing in all the aspects of iPhone development.  Your goal is to find a professional that fits your need.  Some developers prefer to clients to be hands off throughout the process while others are super excited to work with you to bring the app you envision to life. Below are some steps you can take to help you find the perfect fit for your project.

  • Before signing the dotted line of that proposal take time to go through the company’s portfolio and previous experience.  Take time to upload, review, and analyze previous mobile apps that have been developed.
  • Seek out the opinion of previous clients.
  • Register as an Apple Developer.  This allows the company you are working with to work on your behalf throughout the submission process.  It guarantees at the end that you are the sole owner of the app.
  • Having a confidentiality agreement in place is crucial.  It may even be in your best interest to seek a non-disclosure agreement.
  • Work directly with the developer so that your expectations are clear.  Chart out the different requirements within the app so that a goal of what you hope to achieve is understood.
  • Take time to look into similar apps within the Apple Store.  How are they priced?  Did they have an introductory price during their initial launch?  How does your app differ?  What ways will you achieve promoting your app? 

The better prepared you are the better.  Being able to clearly define what you want and what you expect at the end allows for better communication which allows your dream to become a reality sooner.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.



Networking Services Create Continuity Between Household Technologies

Very few of us have ever experienced a time without computers, cell phones, Netflix, and the likes.  No longer are we looking for homes with big backyards but instead homes that have access to high speed internet and cable.  Our generation experiences things differently than past generations.  We desire reliable home networking, we want to be connected at all times.  In order to do this, we need methods to distribute audio, video, and data throughout our entire home, as we would the networks in our workplaces.  We accomplish this through structured cabling, also known as low-voltage wiring, that is professionally installed to allow the technology within our homes to work together.

Home networking allows our private collection of devices (computers, phones, gaming consoles, printers, and more) to connect to one another through a router or switch thus creating a local network.  A network within your home creates an environment where your devices are able to communicate with one another.  This leads to endless opportunities such as media streaming, network backup, multi-player gaming, and more. 

Without any knowledge on how to network your devices the process of connecting all the pieces together can seem daunting.  There are many companies, like Creative Programs and Systems, that offer both residential and commercial networking services, including structured cable installation.  There are a number of devices that are at the center of connecting devices within your home or business alike.  Routers, switches, and modems are all equally important entities in creating an efficient network. 

  • Modem: A modem is a device that can either be rented through your internet service provider or you can purchase your own.   A modem turns their network signal, which runs through a phone line, copper coaxial, or glass fiber, into a normally accepted computer network signal.  For some generations this connection came from the modem dialing into a telephone in order to establish a connection.  You could hear the connection trying to be established back in the day, today’s connections are silent and operate over a different infrastructure then a landline telephone.
  • Router: The router is a central point of contact between the devices within your network and the internet connection that is provided by your modem.  In some cases, the modem will be built directly into the router.  If you have both a separate router and modem, the router will plug into the modem with an ethernet cable plugged into the Wide Area Network, WAN port on the router.
  • Switch: A switch is used to extend your network.  It takes one port and turns it into many.  Switches can be purchased in a number of sizes from 4 ports to 24.  Most switches that are used in networking homes are unmanaged, which means you just plug them in, and they are already configured correctly.  Managed switches are mainly installed in commercial settings where different priorities are assigned depending on their importance.

Not only are there a variety of devices used to centrally connect your home there are different types of network connections. 

  • Ethernet/LAN: The physical cables that plug into your router or switch into a LAN port are known as providing a LAN or Ethernet network.  LAN cables can be run up to 100 meters without any lag in performance.  The only factor that really limits this connection is messy cabling between doorways and through walls.
  • Wi-Fi/Wireless LAN: This type of connections functions similar to Ethernet or LAN without the need for cables.  Instead the connection occurs through radio waves and doesn’t require messy cables.

There are also several methods of connecting to the internet including: Dial-Up, DSL, Cable, satellite, and USB dongle.  A lot of different pieces need to come together to create a flawless system when it comes to creating a home network.  The professionals at CPS specialize in both commercial and residential networking including structured cabling installation.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.

Why Should We Use Outsourced IT Support Services?


There are a number of reasons company’s, big and small, choose to outsource their IT needs to a company that specializes in IT services rather than employ in-house IT support.  One of the biggest reasons company’s do anything is because of money and this is no exception.  The costs associated with an in-house IT department outweighs the major benefit of their familiarity with the ins and outs of the company.  Outsourced IT services allow companies to continue to focus on their position within their own industry instead of worrying about issues outside their fields. 

Making the decision to use an outsourced IT company, like Creative Programs & Systems, has a number of benefits including:

Improved Cost Management

Companies that are just starting up and even those small to medium sized that are established consistently attempt to shrink costs associated with operations. Outsourced IT support teams allow organizations to put a consistent budget in place vs the unpredictability of expenses that occur from in-house IT.  Companies that maintain in-house IT support end up sustaining unpredictable expenses including training, upgrades, maintenance, and equipment purchases. 

With expenses popping up out of thin air, companies have difficulty budgeting for unexpected IT costs that come from an in-house department. A new custom server can cost companies thousands of dollars if it needs to be replaced.  IT employee turnover and training expenses can really hurt a company’s budget as well.  When expenses pop up out of nowhere, they can severely hinder company operations. 

Sourcing IT services to companies that specialize in IT consulting allows companies to have a better handle on their monthly expenses.  The other benefit is the knowledge possessed by IT specialists who work within a number of different organizations.  They are more likely to have seen and know how to correct issues quickly when they arise. 

Increased Security

Your company’s security is one of the most important elements.  Not only do most companies work with highly sensitive industry data, they also have a lot of client data to protect.  The last thing you want is to leave your company data vulnerable. 

Company’s specializing in IT deal with hackers on a daily basis.  They are more familiar than in-house support teams with the techniques that are currently being used to breach crucial company data.  Hackers are unscrupulous and use a combination of social engineering and black hat methods to steal confidential information. Outsourced IT specialists offer a faster, more efficient, thorough approach to IT security throughout your organization.

Data Disaster Recovery

No matter if you experience a disaster from natural sources such as tornados, fire, or floods or a virtual data disaster the most important element remains keeping your business data secure and accessible.  Let’s face it, most companies are not well equipped to face either.  Disaster can strike at any moment.  It is important that in a situation where your companies is experiencing some type of disaster that you are back up and running sooner rather than later.  Hiring outsourced IT professionals allows you the peace of mind that when and if a disaster occurs, they will have you back up and running quicker than any in house IT department ever could.  Outsourced IT specialists spend time keeping up on all of the latest and greatest back up technologies.  Since disaster recovery is something that IT specialists manage for more than one client you can rest assured that they will have the best solution to help you avoid a catastrophic data disaster.

Added Resources

The last thing you can afford when starting a new company and handling the competition is to waste time handling IT related issues.  Newer companies need this time to develop their company, establish clients, and expand on their companies marketing strategy.   When you outsource IT the valuable time resource is yours to use focusing on customers, products, and marketing.

Outsourcing IT allows you to dedicate extra time to your growing business.  It frees up internal company resources to find additional business opportunities and increasing relevance within the industry.  Leave the direction of the IT side of your company to the specialists.  Thus leaving you and your team of specialists to focus on your budding business knowing that your growing IT needs are being professionally managed.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.



Custom Servers and Workstations are Better For The Growth Of Your Company


Computers are an essential element to both our personal and work lives.  Our reliance on computer technology makes it so that hardware and software maintenance must be done on a regular basis.   Building a server, workstation, or personal PC is becoming a popular option verse purchasing a pre-built PC simply because end users can fully customize their new machines without an exceedingly wild budget.

Having a computer built allows you to select and purchase the components of a PC separately.  For servers and workstations being able to customize components is critical.  Custom built computers are often less expensive and better performing than pre-built, higher priced computers. 

Although price is usually the first thing that consumers care about when it comes to building the technology for your company it should not be the most important factor.  It is crucial to work directly with IT consultants that are familiar with how your company runs, the software that is needed, and hardware requirements when purchasing and building the technology that will be used to help run your company. 

Specific software systems only run using operating systems that meet their precise needs. The last thing you want to do is to customize a computer that will not run the most basic of software programs used daily in your operations.  An IT professional can help to make sure the computers that are built use the appropriate motherboard, graphic card, and RAM for your needs while ensuring room to grow as technology is updated in the future.

Not only is price a huge benefit of custom-built servers and workstations so is the flexibility in regard to the unit’s specifications.  With the ability to purchase components according to the user, each computer can be built to meet the specific needs of the users.  The function of the computer is different depending on the user.  Certain workstations need to function with specific software systems crucial for day to day business operations and therefore will need to ensure the computer is built to meet this need.  Some considerations that need to be considered are word-processing functions, audio-visual features, and gaming abilities.  Let’s face it, there is no need to spend extra on a fancy gaming video card to be installed on a workstation where graphics and gaming are not a priority.  Instead a less expensive, entry-level, card can be installed. 

Although many times a pre-built computer will work just find for most situations however, when you can save yourself money and purchase a pc that is customized to your needs, why wouldn’t you?  Working with professionals you can work together to ensure that your network is set up for the most optimal results for your company and industry.  This also helps to ensure that your technology can keep up with your company’s future technology needs.  PC’s don’t need to be replaced on a yearly basis to enjoy the latest in technology.  A few basic upgrades in hardware and software as needed, on a regular basis, can save company’s thousands of dollars each year without sacrificing on technology.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.



How Can Custom Software Programming Help You?


A new year often is a signal of new beginnings, fresh goals, and the enthusiasm to achieve success.  This concept is not only true in many of our personal lives but also in business.  As the new year starts it is a prime time to target top technology needs for your company needs in order to continue to be profitable and flourish amongst top competitors.  

For many companies it is easy to recognize the areas within the organization that need improvement however, implementation process fall short.  It is easy to document and execute when updates to hardware and software are needed within company networks and workstations.  There is often an ease in spotting disconnects between current technology and software that affect the workflow process as well.  Companies, however, often back burner improvements to workflow through custom software development because it can seem daunting.  Sound familiar?

Yes, at first the idea of change especially when it comes to changing the way things have always been done seems overwhelming.  It is important, however, to recognize the old way of doing things is a great way to keep your business stagnant.  The only way to advance is to keep up with advancements in workflow process that keep you competing with emerging and existing competitors.  

Custom app development specifically programmed to the needs and methods of your business not only reduce expenses it can vastly improve efficiency while providing long-term gains to productivity. There are a number of benefits to having software programmed for your specific needs verse buying commercial or off the shelf software models and adjusting your process to match.  Custom software programming allows you to continually adapt the software as you grow, processes change, or future business needs come up. 

Another benefit to having software that is programmed specifically for your company and workflow process is that it allows you to closely examine your current methods.  This gives team members who may not be directly involved in the day to day workflow a chance to see how things are done without being too close to the situation to offer suggestions for improvement. 

Another benefit of custom programmed software is the ability to integrate work processes and procedures currently being used.  Just because you are creating a custom program doesn’t mean you have to start all over again.  Existing software, Excel spreadsheets, and more can all be built into, modified to fit, or integrated as they are into custom CRM software solutions, barcode reader software, QR code systems, or enterprise resource planning services. 

Using software programmed for your company verse off the shelf software programs also allows companies to save on the expenses associated with the costs of yearly maintenance and software renewal that is often associated with commercial software.

Our professional software developers specialize in creating custom workflow solutions for companies in a variety of industries from parks and rec to over the road trucking, Creative Programs and Systems will develop software that integrates your existing systems into one. 

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.



The Top 9 SEO Trends to Look For In 2019





It is that time of the year where we all begin to reflect on the past year and look ahead to see what is coming on the horizon.  This is true in both our personal ventures and in business.  So much can change in just a years’ time, software is developed, processes are upgraded, and algorithms change.  It is crucial, especially when it comes to your business online that new trends in SEO and digital marketing are considered.  Get a jump start on your 2019 online marketing goals by considering what experts are labeling “the most important SEO trends of 2019”.

Who is your target audience?  What is their intent?

According to industry experts knowing, defining, and building your online marketing strategy around these two things will be more important than ever before. Understanding what people’s expectations are with any given search query and providing the answer/solution with your website and overall online presence is the most effective manner to meet your audiences need.  The goal for marketers is to stay ahead of people’s preferences because they can change quicker than can be imagined.  If you are successfully able to do this, Google will reward you with higher search engine placements and site visitors are more likely to invest in you. 

Search engines outside of Google

In 2019 experts agree that the importance of placement on Google, although high, will shift towards traffic coming in from a variety of sources and search engines.  The goal is to effectively drive traffic and look to engage people in outlets other than just websites. 

If your target audience, as defined above, are searching for apps then your website ranking will not be nearly as important as your rank in the app store.  If your audience is full or video viewers, then it is crucial that your videos appear towards the top of where they are being searched.  The main objective is to rank well on Google and engines that are being used by your audience. Drive traffic through all mediums that your audience is using.

AI: The importance of artificial intelligence

The use of structured data is becoming critical in SEO as the shift from mobile-first to AI-first continues.  The information gathered by AI must show a relationship and within a timely manner. AI processes text quickly and will bypass required information if it is taking too long to crawl the data as it is being presented. 

In 2019 the importance of structured data, schema, active and passive search behaviors and intent make the process and behaviors leading to the search a critical part of SEO.  As digital marketers we need to start diving deeper into the relationship between keywords, topics, and audience behavior in creating and implementing structured markup.  Using a combination of site architecture, meta data, site tags, and structured data allows marketers to give the proper signals to search engines to back up the sites topical and supportive content.

Generate incomparable content

In 2018 we learned that Google’s algorithm was focused mainly on the quality of the content and this will not change a whole lot in 2019.  It was found that websites that were able to provide in-depth, high quality content increased significantly in their placement on search engines. Websites with weak content, although previously ranked highly, dropped in placement on search engines and website visibility became minimal.  Website content writers must create content that is able to answer questions and solve users’ problems.  The best way to do this is through the creation of content that relates to, moves, and brings solutions to your target audience. 

Boost knowledge, become an expert, and create trust

Not only is the content important but quality is also determined in that the content fits into the context.  As marketers it is not likely any authority will be placed on your content if you have not proven to be an authority on the subject.  What this means to us is that we must work to leverage ourselves within the industry as an expert.  Back links and other important SEO measures must be received through sources that show expertise in areas we are looking to specialize in. 

Technical aspects of search engine placement

The complexity of technical SEO practices will not go away in 2019.  There are some key technical components that will continue to play a role in your placement including:

  • Site Speed: The speed at which your website pages load on desktops and mobile devices will continue to play a role in rankings.  Your audience has about three seconds of patience.  In order to get the best loading speed possible for the pages on your website follow this advice:activate AMP on your pages, use HTTPS, move to PHP7, optimize, and use critical rendering paths.
  • JavaScript: Websites are heavily Java Script driven. Be familiar with this popular programming language and how search engines work best with JavaScript driven websites.
  • Optimization on-page

On-page site optimization hasn’t disappeared in its level of importance with the increase in elements that are now significant in search algorithms.  On-page optimization is not an aspect of SEO that can be put in place and forgotten.  Each and every quarter, on-page optimization should be reevaluated and modified as seen fit. 

  • Prepare for the importance of voice search

The last decade of SEO has been all about mobile optimization although 2019 isn’t going to be full on voice search it is time for marketers to consider it and start to include voice strategies in their online marketing techniques.  Voice searching is an easy way to request answers to simple questions however might not yet be the best option for more complex needs. 

  • Optimize for featured snippets & Google SERP features

Not only must your own website be optimized, in 2019 the Google experience must also be optimized for. Your sites exposure will come in a combination of ways, visibility is key.  Featured snippets should be programmed to answer questions to questions users will have related to your website.  These snippets could range from recipes, knowledge graphs, answer boxes, and who knows what else.  Programming these snippets into your site are guaranteed to see an increase in your organic traffic. 

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming,website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.



More Answers to The Million Dollar Question, “How do I get my website on the first page of Google?”


It is the question we are asked more than any other, “How do I get my website on the first page of Google?” and as we previously mentioned,there is more than one way to reach Googles front page.  In this installment we will look at gaining first page Google access both through paid ads and organic searches. 

 Let’s start by talking about paid advertising, more commonly known as Google Ads.  This is the quickest method in which companies can get their website to be viewed on page one of the Google search engine for particular keywords and phrases.  One of the easiest ways to describe Google Ads is to compare it to an auction.  Once you have created and set up a Google Ads account you will create bids for targeted keywords and phrases.    This bid is the amount you are willing to pay for ad positionings for your targeted keywords.  Pay per click as it is referred to allows higher bids to appear closer to the top of the page with all other elements being equivalent. 

There is a lot more that goes into paid per click advertising on Google.  This is however a very simplified approach to introducing the concept of paid advertising.  Website owners will choose a daily budget that they don’t want to go over and once this amount has been spent your ads will stop showing.  Ad scheduling helps to narrow down the time frame which your ads are shown.  It is important to note that you will have more ad impressions than ad clicks.  In pay per click advertising you are only paying for those clicks to your actual ad.  Setting up campaigns with quality ads and keywords will lead to a higher quality score, further enhancing the positioning of your ads.

There can be a large difference in campaign costs between industries.  For highly competitive industries such as construction, legal firms, and IT companies commonly have bids ranging from $1.00 up to $100.00. Paid advertising can be cost prohibitive especially when not properly managed. 

CPS has a Google Ads expert on staff.  It is common for companies to set up a Google Ads account without professional assistance. Google has made it very simple to sign up and create ads on their platform. Bing has a similar product as well. The problem is that if you don’t know what you are doing you can easily waste hundreds of dollars. 

I suggest all companies hire a professional that is certified in Google Ads to create and manage your account.  They will be able to optimize Google Ads and your company’s website to work together to create the best experience for your paid advertising campaigns.  Certified Google Ad specialists often charge a one-time account set up fee and monthly maintenance.  You can expect to easily make up the cost of professional services with the benefits you receive in increased traffic to the site within the first few months if not the first month. 

In conjunction with paid advertising it is important to have your site ranking organically on Google and other popular search engines.  Organic rankings are the listings on the SERP that are found underneath paid advertising and business listings.  Often more paid ads are seen again after organic listings.  Organic rankings cannot be bought and must come naturally. This is done through a practice known as Search Engine Optimization, SEO.  Many factors influence the positioning of your website on Google.  Some of those include:

Page Content Quality and Length

The pages throughout your website need to be full of content that is easy to read, informative, and unique. The on-page content must be beneficial to the reader.  Your content should be only as long as it can be while maintaining quality. Create content that your target audience will find useful.

Inbound Links Quantity and Quality

Google ranks your website higher than similar websites when other sites link to yours, especially large scaled, relevant websites.  When other websites, third party links, show acceptance by creating inbound links to your site Google sees that as a signal that your content is worthy and therefore can have a higher SERP.

Mobile Presence

With the increase in the number of people accessing the internet via smartphones and tablets, Google is placing mobile-friendly websites ahead of those that aren’t. Websites need to be optimized for mobile devices so that they are easy to navigate.  Users on all platforms should access the desired information with speed and ease.

Page Speed

No one notices the speed at which pages load unless they load slowly.  Well, no one except Google that is! Web pages must load quickly no matter what device they are being viewed on.  Patience is a virtue that most internet users don’t have therefore in order to provide the best sites possible within SERP the loading speed of pages is measured.

Keyword and Phrases Within Page Content

Another element that is considered important in SEO is using the keywords and phrases you desire ranking for within your sites on page and off page content.  These should be used not only within the content of the page but also the headers and meta details.  It is important to not overdo their usage as this is known as “keyword stuffing” which Google will penalize you for. Content should be written in language that is easy for humans to understand.  Keywords should be used sparingly and kept as natural sounding as possible.

Domain Name Authority

This is something new companies don’t have a lot of control over however, the longer you have owned a domain the better.  The more pages that contain your domain name along with quality content the better for ranking.  Using keywords within your domain can impact traffic and therefore rankings because users are more likely to click a relevant domain name vs a competitor’s domain that shows little relevance to the search.

Site Security

Google places priority on secure sites vs non-securesites.  A website should load via https.  Not only does Google give placement preference to secure sites, site visitors prefers to visit secure sites as well. This is true even if you are not obtaining critical information such as credit cards.  Google wants all sites to have an SSL installed in order to load website pages in a secure format.

Along with on page elements there are a number of off page features that, when done correctly, work to enhance your rankings on search engines. Some of these essential tasks involve:

Creating a Google My Business Listing

Business listings are one of the best FREE ways to“advertise” your business.  Take time to claim and optimize your business on Google (and other major searchengines).  Business listings are listed right after Google Ads, pay-per-click, and before organic searches on the SERP.  This listing allows clients to leave reviews, see your business on a local map, and shows all relevant business information like hours of operation, address, and more.

Create and Maintain a Blog

Blogging is one of the best ways to create a buzz about your company.  If you want to rank on Google,start a blog and post regular articles and company updates.  Blog ideas can be difficult to come up with,so my advice is to consider the top 5 questions customers would ask you if they were in front of you.  Then write a detailed answer to satisfy each of these questions, one blog post per questions.  Make sure to note the title of your blog; it is a crucial element to each blog post.

Quality Link Building

Quality link building can be done in a number of ways.  Guest article writing is one of the best ways that businesses can build links.  Write an article for a local paper, industry blog or magazine, or whatever reputable source you can find to publish you.  At the end of your article add in a bio with a link to your website and information about your company.

Submit your Business Information to Directories

Create listings of your business on local and industry directory sites.  Sites like Yelp, Foursquare,and Angie’s List, some of which charge a small fee, are great sources to create business listings.  Creating a healthy online profile through trusted directory domains send a trustworthy signal to search engines like Google.  If other sites trust yours this will only help your SERP.

Just remember that you are never done!  In order to get to the front page of search engines and maintain your placement it is critical to remain persistent in your efforts.  Staying one step ahead of the competition is what will ensure your placement at the top!

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming,website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.



The Million Dollar Question: How Do I Get My Website on The First Page of Google?

Every business on the internet wants to know how they can get their website ranked well enough to show up on the first page of search engines, mainly Google.  It really is a million-dollar question and if the answer was as simple as the question then I would be out of a job however, it is not simple and instead requires a great deal of patience, time, effort, and understanding.  The good thing is you are in the right place to start the adventure of 1st page Google rankings and we are the team of experts that can help get you there!

It is important to first understand how search engines like Google work.  Many people use Google and the Internet interchangeably.  This is however, incorrect.  The internet is, “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.” (https://www.dictionary.com) In real people speak, the internet is the one source where the world can connect without borders.  This connection involves search engines, web sites, and more.  Google is not actually the Internet and even if your site is not ranking on the first page of Google does not mean it is not showing up on the Internet.  What it does mean though is that your website it lives on the internet but is not displayed as an option in Google’s search results for the exact keyword that was searched.

Google is not human, it is in fact an automated system that works 24/7/365 visiting websites throughout the internet.  Google takes a glimpse of each page within the website and tucks this information into a large database where it organizes this information into usable data for later search inquiries.

In theory Google is “reading” the content on pages of your website including text, pictures, video, and audio files.  This data is used to determine exactly what that page of your website is about and uses it to decide what web pages to show in searches and in what order for specific keywords and keyword phrases.  In real speak, Google uses several elements to create an algorithm to establish what pages (websites) within the Internet are the most relevant to the specific phrase that is searched and displays them in order of relevance.  These results are known as SERP, Search Engine Results Page; the result, the SERP is defined as the first ten website pages that are shown.

A SERP itself is broken down in a unique format.  The top results are usually comprised of paid ads that come from Google Ads, formerly known as Google Adwords.  The next section is filled with local businesses listings and a map laying out the locations and basic service area.  After that you will find the main area where the organic listings are found.  These are the top 10 webpages Google has found that are relevant to the search term(s) as described above.

Often clients are on Google but just aren’t showing on the first page results.  There are several factors that play into where your site pages are ranked within Google for searches using keywords and phrases that are relevant.  The goal is to rank on the first page but just because you aren’t on page one doesn’t mean that you aren’t “on Google”.

To get ranked by Google your website and pages need to be indexed.  This is the case for all search engines not just Google.  There are several ways that this can be done: manually through an indexing tool such as Google Search Console or automatically over time as Google is scanning the internet it will find your site.  This process can take some time though so if you have a newer site it is in your best interest to have the pages of the site manually indexed.  If your page is not showing up in Googles search results for a keyword or phrase you think it should be it is time to evaluate the reasons this is occurring.  Remember to look as you may not be coming up on the first page results but instead on a later SERP.  Both are “issues” that can be resolved.

I know what you are thinking, “Ok, my site is there on page 17 but how in the world do I get it on page 1 where it will actually be seen?”  This is the million-dollar question, it is what all website owners strive for. In fact, so much that there is an entire industry that was created to do this one specific thing, RANK WEBSITES AND PAGES ON GOOGLES FIRST PAGE! As we have mentioned, there are two ways that first page Google rankings can occur: paid advertising (Google Ads) and organic listings.

In our next installment we will dive into each method of reaching Googles front page.  The one thing to remember is that if it was easy everyone would be there.  The process of ranking on Googles first page through either paid or organic listings is not simple or overnight.  It will take time, patience, and perseverance to obtain the status you are looking for with your website.  Thankfully you have found right where you need to be!  The professionals at Creative Programs and Systems are here to lead the way.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.

Basic Elements Used In Networking: What You Should Know

The term networking is used a lot in both IT and business a lot.  Creating a successful IT network is crucial to the growth of a business.  When people within an organization are able to share and merge information in real time an increase in efficiency naturally occurs.  IT networking is a concept that many of us are familiar with but unsure of what it takes to create.  A network is a system where computers, phones, peripherals, and even IT devices are connected.  Some basic essential needed to create a manage this system include routers, switches, and wireless access points.  These units connect the devices on your network and allow them to communicate with one another as well as outside networks such as the internet.

The Foundation: Switches

A network switch is the backbone of many networks within companies large and small.  It acts very much like a controller and connect devices such as computers, printers, and servers to the network within a location.  A switch creates a link of communication on your network, allowing devices to work with one another and outside networks, thus creating a system in which resources can be shared.  When information is shared, in real time, across sources and available resources are shared businesses save time and money while increasing productivity.

There are two types of switches that IT professionals can install within your networking system: managed and unmanaged.

Managed Switches: A managed switch allows techs the ability to configure it for the needs of the network.  Monitoring and adjustments can be made locally or remotely.  This gives companies a greater control over the network’s traffic and accessibility.

Unmanaged Switches: An unmanaged switch is one that works right from the box however cannot be configured.  This type of switch is most often not used in commercial IT but instead home networking equipment.

The Dispatcher: Routers

A router is used to join the devices on the network together.  A router is also used to connect computers to the internet.  Using a router in networking allows one single internet connection to be shared amongst users.  Paying for individual internet connections for each computer within a company would be a huge expense without a beneficial increase in function performed.

As a dispatcher, a router examines the data that is sent across the network and pick a proper route for the data to voyage through the network to its final destination.  A router is used to connect your business to the outside world while protecting the data from threats and deciding a priority over systems in the network.

There are a few types of routers to choose from including:

  • Routers with firewalls
  • Virtual private networks (VPN)
  • Internet Protocol (IP) communications system

Routers make basic networking functions possible while making networking easier and more secure.

Accessibility: Access Points

Access points are added to network to allow for connection without cables.   This makes the process of bringing new equipment online simpler and allows for flexibility to mobile employees.   An access point works in a similar fashion as an amplifier for the network.  Routers provide bandwidth and the access point extends the bandwidth amongst many devices that are able to access the network from a near and far.

An access point is more than just a unit that extends the Wi-Fi signal.  A network access point allows useful information about all of the devices on the network and provide proactivity security while serving other practical functions.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.