The Hwy52 Blog

Updates from Hwy52 Digital and curated industry information to help small to medium sized businesses get found online and stay ahead of the competition.

The Best Live Chat App

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Live chat software is a popular method for making it easier to engage with your website's visitors. As a user of live chat software we found, in many cases, that potential customers were more likely to engage using live chat than they were to fill out a static contact form or to call us on the phone.

Leading market research company, Forrester Research, found that 57% of customers abandon their purchase if they can not get their questions answered quickly. In addition, the same study found that 44% of online consumers rated having their questions answered while in the middle of a purchase as one of the most important features a website can offer.

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Easy Way to Get Your Business Noticed on the Web

If you have a small business, and haven't signed up at Google's Local Business Center* yet, you really need to do it! Local search has become the hot search space, and if you ever want to get noticed in Google's "7-Pack" (The 7 business listings that appear beside the map at the top of a search results page), then you need to get started. You can sign up even if you don't have a website!

You can find it through Google Maps (http://www.google.com/maps), just follow the link that says "Put your business on Google Maps". This will take you to the Local Business Center. If you already have a Google Account, just sign in with your email and password, or you can use your Adwords login and password. If not, sign up for a new account with Google.

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What Are Backlinks and Why Do I Need Them?

If you have been learning about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, you may have come across the term "Backlink". For those of you who have not, you may be wondering what exactly is a backlink, anyway, and why do you need them?

A Backlink, also known as an inbound link, is simply a link from another website to yours. Backlinks are important for SEO because search engines like Google and Bing use them to help rank websites in their search results. Backlinks are something like votes from the web - the more "votes" (backlinks) a site or page has, the more authority it is considered to have by the search engines. There are many other factors that are used, but backlinks are one of the most important. Basically, if you want to show up high in the search results, it is good to have a lot of backlinks.

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Notes from Google Engage Toronto - Why Search Matters

I attended an event in Toronto recently that was hosted by Google Canada to kick-start the recently launched "Google Engage for Agencies" program. The Engage for Agencies program is new and its purpose is to provide training and support for agencies (like us) that help businesses with their AdWords efforts.

The event was first class and featured a keynote presentation by Chris O'Neil, director of Google Canada, as well as presentations, training and Q & A by other "Googlers" from the AdWords division.

Here is some information from the event you might find interesting.

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Do You Have an SEO Strategy?

Every day in North America more individuals than you may realize use the major internet search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) to search for products and services that you sell and provide. Chances are that if you are not on the first or second search results page for your keywords or phrases you are not going to get that call.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a term that refers to the art and science of getting people to find your website on the internet. It's a bit of a misnomer actually as you do not "optimize" the search engines but rather you optimize your website to be found and to rank high on the search engines.

I can say from my own observation that SEO is a science that it not fully exploited in the majority of businesses. Most likely do not have an SEO strategy and have not given this subject the priority it deserves. Consequently, there is a real opportunity for businesses that develop appropriate strategies to lead in this area.

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RSS Explained

For those of you unfamiliar with RSS you no doubt will have seen the standard RSS button RSS Icon on websites and wondered what it was. RSS is essentially an internet web feed format designed to share web content such as blogs, news, audio, video and a variety of other on-line content. RSS mostly stands for "Really Simple Syndication" but is sometimes referred to as "Rich Site Summary". In this article I would like to take a closer look at RSS, what it does, and how it can help your business.

The typical internet user may have several sites or more that they frequent for their content. They may visit Yahoo News, CNN and The Wall Street Journal for current events. They may also visit several entertainment or personal interest sites like PGA.COM or MLB.COM in addition to trade related sites like Hwy52.com. This ad hock method of information retrieval is very inefficient and can be quite time-consuming.

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