Improve Your Online Home Based Business Ranking With These Two Tips

One of the most important things you can do for your online home based business website is fill it with good content, although this is just the start of a successful marketing campaign. If your aim is to make sales and generate a large amount of targeted traffic to your site you will need your website to be ranked quite high in the search engines.

Towards this end you will need to concentrate on improving your website rankings so that your site gets listed in the top three or four searches particularly in search engines such as Google and Yahoo as these are among the most popular on the internet.

Some of the SEO work that you will have to do to get higher rankings will need to be done on your website itself. What this involves is posting unique and relevant content onto your website which includes the kind of long tail keyword phrases that people are searching for.

When writing an article always use these keywords in your headline, first and last paragraph and a sprinkling throughout the rest of the article as this helps the search engine spiders to navigate and crawl your webpage which will improve your chances of a better search engine ranking. Keep in mind that each page of your website should support the other pages by using hyperlinked keywords. As an example, as well as the navigation menu you should also find hyperlinked keywords to the different sections of the website at the bottom of the page.

The second part of improving your online home based business website ranking will have to be done on the internet itself, and this can be done by getting one way backlinks to your site from other online business websites. It is possible to make use of link exchanges but the best links to have are one-way backlinks as these are what the search engines give most credit to and the reason is that when a webmaster adds a one-way backlink to his page he is giving out a message that this website offers valuable content to the visitors of his own website.

Target the correct type of websites to get the kind of backlinks that you want for your site. In other words if you want to dominate the rankings for your particular niche market then the keywords and content need to match that niche to attract the webmasters you want. There are many websites that you can target to build backlinks to your website, just make sure that they are related to your niche. As part of your backlink campaign a good idea is to target forums, blogs and web directories as well as article directories. Another good place to increase the backlinks to your website are social networks.

By using these two methods of building backlinks and website SEO together with valuable and useful content, you are making use of the two best tools available for improving the ranking of your online home based business website, which in turn will improve your sales and your ability to build a really successful online business.

Choosing Home Improvement Companies

If you have home repair or renovations that need to be done, you need to contact several different home improvement companies to find the best one to do your job. They should each offer a free estimate, but you will need to learn more than just the price. You also need to investigate the home improvement companies themselves, such as their record with the Better Business Bureau, how long they have been in business, and whether they have insurance against damage to your property or your neighbor’s as well as worker’s compensation for their employees.

Try to always deal with locally based companies. When there are storms and many homes are damaged, such as by hail or high winds, many “gypsy” or “vagabond” contractors move into the area temporarily. These home improvement companies may offer excellent rates, but there is usually no way to check their record or to reach them if the repair is sub-standard. For example, many of these transient home improvement companies may replace your shingles in what looks like a professional manner. Two months later, when a heavy rain arrives, your roof may leak. By then, however, these home improvement companies have moved on to greener pastures with your money.

When you get cost estimates from the different companies, also ask them to provide firm completion dates. There have been many instances of home improvement companies starting a project that should be finished in a week and then moving to another, better paying project before completion. The initial job may remain in limbo for weeks or even months before the contractor and crew return to finish it.

You also need to get commitments from companies on what days and hours they will need access to your house. If you like to sleep in a bit on Saturdays, for instance, you might want to request that they not begin at 7 am on that one day.

If you can possibly avoid it, do not pay home improvement companies the full project amount in advance. Once they have received all the money they will get from you, there is little incentive for them to have completing your job a priority. It is customary for some home improvement companies to ask for a down payment or partial payments at pre-determined stages. Make sure these benchmark payments are based on completion levels and not time increments. For example, if the job involves rebuilding the roof deck and installing shingles, you could make one of the benchmarks contingent on the decking and felt installation being completed.

Ask friends or relatives to recommend home improvement companies they have used with good results as well as any they had unsatisfactory experiences with. If you notice projects in your neighborhood, ask the homeowners about the home improvement companies involved, especially if the results look nice, and how satisfied they were with the work.

Make sure any company you select are bonded, and that they bond or at least perform background checks on their employees. You should also place any valuables, such as jewelry, out of sight while workmen are in your home.

Save Money Doing Home Improvements Out of Season

You may be looking outside at the wind and rain (and maybe even snow) and wondering who does home improvement projects in the winter? The short answer is people who want to save money.

Summer is the busiest time of year for remodeling and other house projects, but there are many things you can have done in spring, autumn, and even winter. And guess what? You’ll save money because contractors are less busy this time of year, and they’re often eager to cut deals in order to get some business.

It’s true that some projects are best done in the warm, dry days of summer, but there are lots of home improvements you can do “out of season” without trouble. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

If you’re looking for a few winter projects, this is a good time of year to remodel the kitchen or bathroom. Since these are done entirely indoors, weather does not make a difference. Busy during the time leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas (as customers are eager to get their houses ready for the holidays), design and remodeling professionals often experience a lull in late December and January. This is a great time to contact them, because they’ll be eager to get business going in the new year. You may even be able to negotiate for a 10% discount. Also, kitchen appliances often go on sale late in the year, so this may be a good time to buy that stainless steel refrigerator and oven you’ve been drooling over.

Another home improvement project you can tackle in the winter is landscaping. Because the trees are bare and the bushes are flower-free, most people don’t think about landscaping this time of year. That makes it the perfect time to contact a landscape architect, designer, or contractor. Again, you may be able to negotiate deals for work done in the off seasons, and pruning fruit trees is easier when the leaves are on the ground. In addition, this is a good time of year to eradicate pest plants and weeds.

If you’re looking forward toward the spring, a good home improvement project for that time of year is replacing the roof. Roofing companies are busy during the summer, which is the peak season, and can afford to charge a premium for their work. But if you can find a dry week in the spring, you won’t be charged high prices and you won’t have to wait for the roofer to have an opening in a busy schedule.

You can also pour concrete in the spring if you’ve been thinking about a patio or new walkway. Concrete actually likes water, using it as fuel for the curing process, so a damp overcast (but not rainy) spring day is great for pouring a driveway or patio. Pouring concrete in the spring also means the slab will have a long time to cure before winter brings freezing temperatures.

If you’re looking ahead to home improvement projects for next fall, you could schedule exterior house painting for then. Painting in the rain isn’t a good idea, but that doesn’t mean you can paint only in the summer (high temperatures and direct sunlight can actually dry the paint before it has had a chance to bond properly to the surface). Save money on getting your house painted by asking the contractor to treat your home as a fill-in job, one he or she works on in bits and pieces between other projects. The contractor may be able to offer a discount, as this keeps the crew busy during days they’d otherwise have no work.

These are just a few home improvement projects that you can save money on by scheduling them in the off season. Be willing to think outside the box, and you can get some great deals on renovating your home.

Hire Licensed and Respected Home Improvement Companies

Finding the right home improvement company to update or renovate your home doesn’t have to be a stressful and disheartening process. Yet most homeowners have no idea where to start because they are bombarded with bad press about contractors who are dishonest, inexperienced and downright unreliable. Homeowners today are wary of who they can trust.

Home Improvement Complaints and Scams:

“With lower-rate mortgages tempting homeowners to trade up to a bigger house, or to refinance and expand or repair their existing home, we’re finding that construction and home improvement activity is way up, and with it is the number of complaints in those areas,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Edwin R. Rodriguez. (Consumer Affairs, January 2006)

“Home improvement complaints rank as the top consumer complaint in Connecticut and elsewhere across the country,” Rodriguez said. “While home improvements themselves can be expensive, any problems that arise often cost consumers thousands more to fix. Unfortunately, there have been many cases where a homeowner is left with a huge problem and has no financial means of getting it repaired.” (Consumer Affairs, June 2006)

Basic scams usually do not occur with accredited companies, so make sure the company you use is licensed. “The law requires home improvement contractors to register and follow certain procedures for a reason, to protect homeowners,” Rodriguez said. “This includes complying with state laws that assure consumers a level of financial protection.” (Consumer Affairs, June 2006)

Be Wary of Certain Sales Tactics:

According to the National Consumer Law Center at consumerlaw.org, unscrupulous contractors mostly target senior citizens. Do not fall into the trap of the following sales tactics that take advantage of homeowners:

o “Bait and Switch” – offers low prices for installed items like windows and home siding, and then tells the homeowner the item is out of stock and can only be replaced with a high-priced substitute.

o Misrepresent the urgency of a needed repair.

o Claim the item is more expensive than advertised because it has to be “custom made” to fit the home.

o Misrepresent that the consumer is receiving a discount because the home is selected to model the repair when, in reality, the consumer is paying market price or more.

o Misrepresent the energy savings, health benefits and value added to the home.

o Misrepresent the terms on which financing is likely to be arranged.

Practices to Follow for Finding the Right Contractor:

If you hire a contractor with a license and a good reputation (such as the Home Remodelers GroupĀ®), you are guaranteed to avoid unfinished work, financial wrongdoing and fraud.
The National Consumer Law Center has a list of suggestions for homeowners looking for a home improvement company:

o Do not hire an unknown contractor that solicits business by knocking on your door. Deal with companies recommended by friends or reputable building supply stores.

o Before agreeing to hire any home improvement contractor, get a second estimate for the same work from another contractor.

o Get references for the contractor and speak to those references. Ask about satisfaction and any problems that arose.

o Look at other work performed by the same contractor.

o Many states require contractors to be licensed and/or bonded. Check with the state licensing body to see if the contractor you are considering is licensed.

o Get a written contract describing explicit specifications of the work, the price (including details of any financing or credit terms), the responsibility for cleaning up, and the hourly rate for any added work. Ask for guarantees and other promises to be made in writing.

o If the written documents are different from oral promises, do not sign them.

o A 3-day right-to-cancel applies to door-to-door sales and home improvement loans even after the papers have been signed.

o Do not allow a contractor to begin work until financial arrangements to pay for the work are complete.

o Do not agree to pay the final payment until the project is finished.

o Do not consolidate other debts with a home improvement loan.

o If problems with a contractor or home improvement lender arise, get help from a lawyer or housing counselor immediately.

Take Care of Your Home: