All About Online Banking

Banking today isn’t about standing in line anymore. Instead of waiting in line, go online, and discover the advantages of internet banking. Access your account 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Do all of your banking from the comfort of your own home. In fact, the advantages are numerous:

  • Look at your financial statements anytime you want. The online transaction record is updated instantly, so when the bank knows you made the transaction, you know too.
  • Save precious time and money. Going to the bank often requires booking time off work, driving a considerable distance, and spending hours in line. Doing your banking from home will save you has money, and will help you avoid unneeded stress.
  • Reschedule your payments. If you need to skip a payment, or pay off your credit card early, a simple click of the mouse and the transaction will be complete.
  • Send yourself money. If you are in the business or habit of sending money internationally, or even between cities, you could save yourself considerable hassle by transferring your money electronically from the comfort of your chosen internet connection.
  • Borrow money when you need it. If you have a financial product such as a line of credit, you can borrow money from it over the internet. A simple click and you can place the money in your checking or savings account.
    The possibilities of using the internet to conduct financial transactions has greatly increased the flexibility of the modern internet user. Instead of spending your life waiting in line at a bank, go online, and save your time and money.

Do Alt and Title Attributes Help With SEO?

A highly talked about topic is the SEO world is, “Do Alt and Title Attributes Help with SEO?” Well to help shed a little light on this topic, I did some research and came up with a few good conclusions. I’m not suggesting these are 100% accurate but from my initial research they seem to be right on target. I welcome all other SEO experts to share their opinions on this topic by posting their comments – because as we all know, every little bit of information can help us all.

Well to start, I want to provide a brief introduction of each attribute to help you understand their “intended” purpose.

The alt attribute is, popularly and incorrectly referred to as an alt tag and is commonly misunderstood to provide a tool-tip for an image. Both of these are incorrect. First of all, the alt attribute is an attribute and not a tag. The alt attribute was always intended to provide alternative information about an element and is generally required for image and image maps and is not meant to be used to display a tool-tip. The alt attribute, can be used for the img, area, and input elements to help provide alternative information to users who cannot display that element in their browser. As an example, here is how you would define an alt attribute for an image: <img src=”imagepath.gif” alt=”this is our company logo”>. If the image is not displayed the text, “this is our company logo” will be displayed in the place of the image.

The title attribute, on the other hand, is meant to provide additional information about an element, which is displayed as a tool-tip by most graphical browsers. The title attribute can be used to describe any HTML element except for base, basefont, head, html, meta, param, script, and title.

An excellent use for the title attribute is to provide descriptive text within an anchor tag to let the users know where the link will direct them if they click on it. When the user places their mouse over the link, it will display a small tool-tip displaying the title text that you’ve provided. An example would be

So as you can see the alt and title attributes have different purposes but how do they affect SEO? This is the true question we all want to know and understand. Do they help with SEO or are they simply ignored by the search engines? I tested several different scenarios, all in Google, and after my research I’ve come to the following conclusions.

Alt attributes seem to be picked up by Google, whether or not there was a link within that element. Some SEO experts have mentioned that if there is no link, then the alt attribute would not be indexed… from my research I’ve found this to be false.

Going further, I noticed in one testing scenario, if there was an image with an alt attribute and a link to a completely other site, that other site was also indexed by Google when searching for the text within the alt attribute. It was difficult for me to verify this multiple times but I definitely verified it in one testing scenario.

I also took this one step further and analyzed my results with what Google Images was displaying. I immediately noticed that Google sometimes takes the alt attribute text and provides this text as the description for the image in Google Images, something that is very valuable to know and understand when doing SEO for your website.

In all of my testing scenarios, the title attribute do not seem to be picked up by Google and adding a link to that element did not seem to affect this result at all. If you really think about it, this makes complete sense. Since you can place title attributes in almost every element of a website, it would be very easy for a user to affect the search engines by keyword stuffing throughout their web pages, something that Google and the other major players do not want, hence why title attributes do not help with SEO.

In my opinion, you should use the title attribute to help with your user’s experience and not with SEO. Since tool-tips provide more useful information to the user about images, links, fields and much more, you will help your users to understand what is happening around the web page.

So from my testing I’ve determined that a title attribute is meant to provide tool-tips to the user for user experience, whereas the alt attribute is helpful in terms of providing alternative information to the user when their browser cannot display an image or input element and helping to increase the SEO of a website. My recommendation is to pay close attention to when, where and how you are using your alt attributes. If they help with SEO, then you should pay close attention to what you are adding.

When adding images always be sure to add an alt attribute to the code of each image. If you do not have one, then just specify a blank one, such as alt=”". Also, be sure to add alternative text that is relevant to that image, the content on that page and be sure not to specify an alt attribute greater than 100 characters in length, as this may be perceived as spamming.

I hope you find my brief overview on the topic of, “Do Alt and Title Attributes Help with SEO?” to be beneficial for you and your business. I’m sure one could dive deep into this topic, spending weeks determining the differences between how Google, Yahoo! and the other major search engines handle title and alt attributes with regards to SEO for a website.

I welcome all comments and/or feedback.

5 Tips for A Creative Retail Branding and Design Strategy

Quality retail branding is meant to connect businesses with customers in a way that builds trust and desire in the consumer for the brand and their product. Branding has been around since ancient times (from Roman columns to Chinese stamps), but modern commercial branding is a new phenomenon. People are more involved with brands than ever, locally and globally, to the point where two golden arches are immediately recognizable by almost everyone around the world, without any words in the picture.

In the complex world of retail, which is composed of multiple elements and disciplines, a consumer can see connections, or a lack of connections, between all the different aspects of retail at a glance. And that is where design comes in. Retail branding and design aims to create a harmonious and holistic schema out of all of the elements of retail, from personnel to product presentation. Design is not just about looks, but about function. Without a good branding and design strategy, retail stores are a mishmash of unrelated ideas that can confuse and put off potential customers.

Design your layout based on traffic flow:

When customers enter the store, where do they look? Which way do they go? Position your best products in areas where customers are more likely to notice them. Pedestrian traffic is often influenced by vehicular traffic. That is, in areas where people drive on the right side of the road, in-store traffic patterns tend to move in a clockwise pattern. Use these patterns to your advantage.

Create a focal point in your visual displays:

Don’t just bring attention to anything and everything in the store, but draw customers in by featuring one item prominent, whether that’s in a window display or in the middle of your store. Strategically position lights and other items to point to your featured product and avoid distracting customers by putting equal weight on too many items at once.

Make window effects:

Windows make small spaces look larger and more inviting. Creating windows in the walls separating two rooms can give the entire building a more airy ambience, or creating visual illusions of windows such as white panels or drapes around mirrors, can also create a window effect, increasing the feeling of light and movement, especially if you are in a small space.

Avoid clutter:

Clutter feels noisy and uncomfortable for customers. Don’t overload your customer’s visual circuits with signs and patterns and displays galore. Instead, use neutral colors for larger items and accent the space with smaller items with brighter colors, and do not place your merchandise too closely together.

Use lighting to your advantage:

Lighting is important in any shop, and especially so in small corners. Make sure that your store is well lit, or else you will not be making good use of your space – customers don’t usually prefer to wander into dark, shadowy areas, so any merchandise displayed there will not receive a fair consideration. Use a combination of different lights to keep the space illuminated and to add variety and interest to the space.

Do You Need a Good Domain Name to Make Big Money?

Domain names may be somewhat important to the survival and the success of your website, but they will not automatically make you a success. They are actually a very small part of your success in the grand scheme of things, so do not buy into the idea that a good domain name will translate to big money. For one, there is only one way that the domain itself can earn anything without help from other areas of the business, and that way is by securing a name catchy enough and in high enough demand to coax a big offer from a company with deep pockets . But major companies have started to change the way that they do Internet business. They have become more practical, and have even been known to develop marketing platforms that will incorporate a new original domain name to get around having to pay you anything at all.

No, the best option, if you are an Internet entrepreneur, is to spend less time on what you are going to name your site, and more time on how you will conduct your business. There are many ways to do business, but in the online world, the key to success is mercifully simple. It's the content, stupid. How will you get a large audience if you do not have a quality piece of content to draw in the masses and get them talking to their friends and family. You need devoted visitors, who are willing to do the hard work for you. The way to get them is to be enthusiastic about what it is that you are about. And the only way to be enthusiast is to be passionate.

You can not fake passion. The reason you can not that that your audience has the passion, and they will be able to tell if you do not. So make sure you do not go into any business situation that you do not feel strongly about. It will be more difficult developing content – and more costing developing good content because you'll have to pay someone, who is passionate to spearhead your platform, and that will not come cheap if you want quality.

As you venture into the online world, you are going to hear a lot of business advice, both good and bad. The one thing you should know ahead of time is that throwing a lot of money after a domain name is a waste of time and resources. Instead of burning so many calories over that aspect of the business, focus your efforts on having a great site that people in your area of ‚Äč‚Äčinterest will want to visit. Something they will choose to go to bat for with the people around them.