The key for any business to be found online is to establish an online presence with a website. But that’s not all it takes. Many well-meaning businesses operate on an “if you build it they will come” philosophy when it comes to their website, but it takes much more than a snazzy website to get customers interested in your business. Luckily, there are a few simple techniques that can help your website rise to the top of search rankings and give your small business a significant competitive advantage if done properly. Below are five of the most important ways to help customers find your small business. If you don't yet have a website, the first step to getting one is to search for and register a domain name. We've made it easy for you on our website here.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important things you can do to help increase traffic to your website. SEO is the practice of strategically using keywords in your website content to help make sure your website can be found by people trying searching for things through Google, Bing and other search engines. Keywords are the descriptions, words and phrases people type into search engines to find what they are looking for. It is important for your site to include the right keywords and phrases so search engines can identify your site as a destination for people interested in what your brand is about. For example, if you own a pizza shop in Boise, ID, it would be wise to include phrases such as “best pizza in Boise” on your home page as that is a commonly searched for phrase by Boise locals who want to know where to get the best pizza. It is also important, however, that these keywords not be overused or underused. It may sound complex, but implementing even a basic SEO program can greatly increase your chances of finding new customers online.
2. Mobile Optimization
According to a recent survey conducted by SearchEngineLand.com, 85% of consumers used the Internet to find local businesses in the past 12 months and one in six consumers use the Internet every week to find local businesses. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the consumer marketplace has made mobile search one of the fastest growing ways people find small businesses like yours. Mobile traffic among consumers is exploding and folks aren’t just using their phones to search, but also to make purchases.
According to Forrester Research, by 2016, mobile commerce will reach $31 billion. If your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, meaning easy to use and navigate by mobile users, you may be missing out on business and losing customers and sales. Another thing to consider is that mobile search, because it is routed through telephone company networks, weighs local results more heavily, making mobile search the 21st century replacement for the old Yellow Pages.
Verisign recently published a
technical report on new generic top-level domain (gTLD) security
and stability considerations. The initial objective of the report was to assess
for Verisign’s senior management our own operational preparedness for new
gTLDs, as both a Registry Service Provider for approximately 200 strings, as
well as a direct applicant for 14 new gTLDs (including 12 internationalized
domain name (IDN) transliterations of .com and .net). The goal was to help ensure our teams,
infrastructure and processes are prepared for the pilot and general
pre-delegation testing (PDT) exercises, various bits of which are underway, and
the subsequent production delegations and launch of new gTLDs shortly
cataloging internal and external
risks related to the new gTLD program, we found several far-reaching and
long-standing issues that need to be further explored and/or resolved with
varying levels of urgency. We felt it necessary to shine a more public light on
these issues in order to raise awareness of the effects that could be felt
throughout the Internet if proper caution is not exercised in the
implementation of new gTLDs.
A Little Background:
In addition to being a direct
applicant stakeholder and Registry Service Provider in the new gTLD program, Verisign
has long been deeply engaged in various aspects of the Domain Name System (DNS)
and broader Internet infrastructure ecosystem.
For example, Verisign:
Operates two of the Internet’s 13 root
name servers (letters A & J),
Runs the TLD registry services for
.com, .net, .gov, and several other TLDs (accounting for more than120 million
registered domain names),
Works with ICANN and the U.S. Department
of Commerce’s NTIA to perform the root zone management function itself,
Has provided more than 15 years of
uninterrupted network availability for .com and .net,
Is a public company and maintains
hundreds of controls across 8 regulatory compliance frameworks that are
periodically audited or continuously monitored by third parties,
Has a worldwide network footprint and
backbone with approximately 70 data center or regional services locations
Provides Managed DNS, DDoS Protection
Services and Cyber threat intelligence services (e.g., iDefense) to a global
customer base that includes a number of Fortune 500 companies.
Verisign’s expertise and distinct view
into the Internet ecosystem enables us to highlight issues that could prove to
have significant consequences. In developing the New gTLD Security and Stability Considerations
report, we sought to not only understand our
own preparedness, but also that of the broader DNS ecosystem, and of the
billions of Internet users ultimately dependent on that system. Somewhat ironically
in hindsight, it was comments from ICANN leadership in late January
2013, and collaborative work within ICANN’s
Registry Stakeholders (RySG) Group in February and March to
examine concerns about operational preparedness that led Verisign to publicly
issue a report in part to help draw due attention and foster more rapid
consideration and resolution of these issues, given that ICANN was purportedly
months and hours away from launch.
While the New gTLD Security and Stability Considerations
report is by no means
comprehensive, it provides a clear illustration of the many existing issues and
known risks that have been highlighted in various documents, and public, for
several years – many of which came from ICANN’s very own Security and Stability
Advisory Committee (SSAC) – that still need to be addressed or explored further
(e.g., namespace collisions issues
and administrative boundaries in the DNS),
and should be completed before new gTLDs are delegated.
In an effort to make the information
within the report more digestible to a broad audience, I will publish several
blog posts over the next few weeks that will explore some of these outstanding (or
resolved) issues.The general objective
is to share, in as simple a manner as possible, my perspective on often complex
and nuanced Internet infrastructure security and stability issues related to
the DNS and new gTLDs in particular. My aim is to simply increase awareness of
the issues, risks, and resolutions that face applicants, registry operators and
registrars, application developers and OS vendors, security folk, enterprises,
and consumers alike.
New gTLD Security and Stability Considerations
Introduction: New gTLD Security & Stability Considerations
Stability at the Core, Innovation at the Edges
Internal Names Certificates, SAC057, CA/B Forum and revocation in
NXDOMAINs, SAC045, PayPal letter
Administrative Boundaries in the DNS
(Information available on, or accessible through, websites mentioned in this blog [above] are not incorporated herein by reference.)
Of all the societal transformations wrought by the Internet revolution, perhaps the most significant has been the rapid but permanent shift from an environment defined by information scarcity, to one defined by information overload. The era of “Big Data” is here, and an element of success will be an organization’s ability to navigate and make use of its data. According to recent research, the global Big Data market was worth USD $6.3 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach USD $48.3 billion by 2018, at a compound annual growth rate of 40.5 percent from 2012 to 2018.
Big Data’s exact definition depends a great deal on who is defining it. At its core, the term “Big Data” refers to a phenomenon that should be instantly familiar to organizations of all sizes: The ability to collect and store highly relevant, mission-critical data is far outpacing the ability to effectively process, analyze and leverage it to make informed business decisions.
Twenty years ago success in business, as often as not, was determined by who could gather the best and most relevant data (about competitors, customers, emerging markets, etc.) in the timeliest fashion. Because analyzing that data was comparatively simple, and a relatively homogenous process from one organization to another, competitive differentiation came from who could find the best data first.
The Internet changed that paradigm in three critical ways: First, it globally democratized access to data, enabling many more players to gather similar relevant data; second, it exponentially increased the amount of relevant data that is generated, and could be collected and stored; third, there are now tools and technologies that make it easier to analyze large amounts of unstructured data. We believe success is now determined less by who can find the best data, but who can make the best sense of the massive amounts of data available.
Today, Verisign released the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief, which showed that the Internet grew by more than six million domain names in the fourth quarter of 2012. The total number of registered domain names now stands at more than 252 million, which represents a 2.5 percent growth rate over the third quarter of 2012. This marks the eighth straight quarter with greater than 2 percent growth.
As shown in the chart below, the order of the top TLDs in terms of zone size changed slightly when compared to the third quarter. In Q4’2012, the largest TLDs in terms of base size were, in order: .com, .de (Germany), .net, .tk (Tokelau), .uk (United Kingdom), .org, .cn (China), .info,.nl (Netherlands) and .ru (Russian Federation).*
Source: Zooknic, December 2012; Verisign, December 2012