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September 27, 2013 by Robert Wright

Google announced a major change to their search algorithm yesterday. The change is intended to provide better responses to long-tail keyword, or conversational (including spoken) type searches. In other words, Google will try to figure out the intent of a search through the combination of words in a keyword term, rather than just focus on individual terms. Since the change has already rolled out, and there hasn’t been a whole lot of buzz on the Web about it prior to the announcement, it may not impact your websites that much. It may even improve traffic to your site via long-tail search terms, or conversational queries. We would recommend taking a look at your traffic statistics trends during this transition period, however, and seeing if any tweaks are in order for your online presence. Here’s a link to a Google blog post about their latest search algorithm change.


July 31, 2013 by Robert Wright

Small businesses are frequently bombarded with messaging telling them that they must have a web presence. Depending on the source, this “web presence” may be further defined to include a “world-class website”, “search marketing”, “social media”, and much more. All of this may leave the business owner with an overwhelming vision of the time and resources required to understand, implement and maintain all of this. Even if most of the effort can be out-sourced, the time required to find the right companies and manage them in an unfamiliar industry can be daunting.

The typical small business owner just doesn’t have the time and resources to pull off such a comprehensive online development and marketing program, and as a result, often does nothing at all. Recent research presented by Google Canada this year at the Toronto Board of Trade revealed that 55% of Canadian small businesses do not even have a website. In fact, many small businesses have no online presence. A beauty of Internet marketing, however, is that small steps are still better than none, and an online presence can be built much like a snowball rolling down a hill, gaining size and momentum over time. Following are two small steps that businesses can take to start their online presence even if they don’t have a website. These steps require very little time and effort, incur no direct costs, and are a good precursor to a website.

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July 8, 2013 by Robert Wright

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A step-by-step review of the process

Introduction

Although there are several government-sponsored websites and/or publications devoted to starting a business, they tend to be dedicated to the specific government entity that is researched. For a new entrepreneur, the lack of integration between these entities can result in confusion, frustration, and ultimately the omission of one or more important steps in the process. The intent of this applied research was to personally go through all the steps necessary to incorporate a new business, and in particular, a new ecommerce business in Kelowna, BC, in order to:

1. Identify potential issues and opportunities that exist locally.
2. Provide a checklist for others interested in starting a local business.

NOTE: The recommendations presented below are intended as a guideline only, as they are the direct result of the author’s research conducted in 2008 and prior related business experience. Readers should conduct their own timely research and/or seek professional expertise for their specific situation before starting their own business.

Steps to Incorporating

This guide assumes that you’ve chosen to incorporate. Other alternatives include entities such as sole proprietorships, limited partnerships, and more. If you’ve not yet decided on incorporation, you should research and decide on the business structure before proceeding. There is plenty of good information on this step available on both the provincial and federal websites.
Following, are the steps typically required for a business to incorporate in Kelowna, BC. Specifically, these steps are applicable to a new ecommerce business operating out of an office in Kelowna. They should, however, apply generally to most business types. Some business types require special licenses and/or permits to operate (e.g. restaurants), however, so be sure to check with the relevant government offices for your industry to ensure that you’ve completed all the necessary steps for your business.

1. Select Corporate Jurisdiction
2. Choose and Register Corporate Name
3. Submit Articles of Incorporation
4. Purchase Corporate Seal (if desired) & Minute Book
5. Complete Corporate By-Laws, Organizational Minutes & Issue Shares
6. Obtain Other Permits & Licenses
7. Set Up Bank Account
8. Cost considerations
9. Other Recommendations

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July 6, 2013 by Robert Wright

The web hosting industry (hosting) has been around long enough now to be declared a reasonably mature industry. That’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of changes coming that will make today’s hosting tools and practices look archaic in the not-too-distant future. But let’s face it – when an industry leader is buying Super Bowl ads to tout their wares in a relatively obscure manner, respected analysts are reporting on the industry, and several industry leaders have gone public – the industry has reached a fairly noticeable milestone in its life cycle. Despite this maturation, and perhaps because of the way the industry has evolved, the predominant web hosting infrastructure model has led to some ethical dilemmas for hosting providers. The varied response from hosting providers to these ethical issues has directly and indirectly resulted in notable customer satisfaction issues and frequent customer migration within the industry.

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