Archive for the 'Sandvox Help' Category

MailShoot : Embedding A Signup Form In Sandvox

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Sandvox users can easily add a mailing list signup form to their websites. Just follow the easy instructions in the tutorial below your MailShoot mailing list sign up form will be on your website in no time.

Video Transcript:

Keeping a mailing list is a great way to for you to keep in touch with your website visitors. It can also be a really good avenue for you to promote your product or services to people who might be genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

This tutorial is going to show you how to embed a mailing list signup form on your website. In case you are not familiar, the application I am showing you is called MailShoot. MailShoot is a mailing list manager that will allow you to easily embed your signup form on your website. You can then manage all of the e-mail addresses on the list and send them e-mails whenever you desire.

For this demonstration, we’re going to stick with the golf theme and assume I am running a golf website. The first thing I am going to do is save my document. I do this by clicking File, and going to Save As. I will them name my project and save it.

The next thing I will do is click on the Mailing List button. Currently, I have no lists because this is a brand new document. I will click on the Plus sign to add a new list.

If I double click on my list, the list editor window will appear. This is where all members of my mailing list will appear after they have been added.

So now we’re going to begin making our mailing list signup form. The first thing we are going to do is change some of the field names. These are going to be the fields for the information that we want to get from people who are signing up to our mailing list.

So here I will input just a few examples of the information I might want to collect from potential customers. (favoirte golfer, handicap, name of country club, left handed)

When I’m finished inputting the fields, I will press Done, and my next step will be to setup the Subscribe Page.

In this first step, I’ll need to give my list a name. I am going to call it Jeremy’s Golf Shop.

The List Short Name will be what is used in your signup form’s URL. This name must be unique across all MailShoot users so I’ll just add some random digits to the end of it to ensure it is unique. You can do the same if you’d like, or you can click on this Check button to see if what you have entered is unique or not.

Next I’ll enter a password for my list, followed by a list description.

In the Owner’s Details section, I will need to fill out all of these fields. The owner e-mail is especially important as this is the email address that users will see when the signup to the mailing list, as well as the email address where you will be notified of a signup.

The welcome message can be customized to your liking, or you can leave it as is.

In the custom fields section, you will need to tick off whatever custom fields you want included on your signup form. I will tick off the ones I customized earlier in the tutorial.

You can choose from four different type’s of fields you want to use. You can also input a default value for each field, as well as indicate if you want to the field to be a Required field or not.

In the links section, here is where we will get our code for embedding the form on our iWeb website. I’ll simply press the publish button, and the embed code will appear. You will also notice that two links appear. The first link will take us to the Subscribe page. The second link will take us to the unsubscribe page. When you create your form, click on these links so you can see first hand what your subscribe and unsubscribe pages look like.

Now, I’m going to highlight the embed code, and copy it.

In Sandvox, I am going to add a new page. I am going to choose the Empty Without Sidebar option. I will then go to Insert, and select Raw HTML. In the popup window, I will paste the code that I just copied in between the span tags. Now I will publish my site, and then view the signup form in my web browser. If I find that the form needs to be adjusted a bit, which in this case I do, because parts of the bottom of the form is missing, I will go back to Sandvox, delete the code from before, and re-peat the process from before. This time, I will adjust the height to a number I think will suffice, and then publish the site again. This time my form looks just the way I wanted it to.

And that is how you set up your mailing list sign up form. Remember to save your work as you go in MailShoot. For more MailShoot instructional videos, visit the MailShoot product page at

SEO For Sandvox: Meta Description

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

To see the SEO For Sandvox Video Course in its entirety, visit the SEO For Sandvox Video Course page.

The meta description tag is a place where you can give a quick description of what is on your webpage. This isn’t a place to just pack in some keywords, but it is a great spot for you to write one or two sentences that really describe your page. It can also be thought of as a way of selling users on coming to your site. The reason for this is that sometimes, your description will show up in search engine results, right below the title tag here. So as you can see, this little blurb here reads “At Lefties Only, left handed golf clubs are our speciality.” If I were to click to go to this site, and then view the source code, we can see that that blurb actually came straight from the meta description. This isn’t always the case, but you have seen first hand how important it is to have a great description.

Again, it’s very easy to include your meta description in Sandvox. The box right below where we typed in our title tag is where we will type in our Meta description. You’ll want to try and limit the description to about 150 characters.

Google has gone on record to state that the accuracy of your meta description will not affect your rankings. The main purpose of the meta description is to try and improve click-through rates. Google also highly recommends that you avoid using identical, or very similar descriptions on every page of your site.

SEO For Sandvox: Title Tags

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

To see the SEO For Sandvox Video Course in its entirety, visit the SEO For Sandvox Video Course page.

The title tag is one of the most important SEO elements, and it’s been that way for a while. The title tag consists of the keywords and phrases found at the top of your web browser when you are visiting a site. In search engine results, the title tag shows up as the clickable link to take you to that webpage. This means that you’ll want to try and include phrases that are catchy so that you inspire clicks.

Conveniently for Sandvox users, editing title tags is extremely easy to do. To edit a title tag, highlight the page that you want to edit, and bring your mouse over to the text box that says Window Title at the bottom of the application. Here is where you will type in your Title Tag.
When typing in your title tag, I want you to keep a few things in mind. First, make sure that the title tag relates to the content on the page. You should also be including some of the phrases you had written down when you did your keyword research. Lastly, include your most important words and phrases at the beginning of your title. This is because search engines such as Google, begin cutting off the title tag in search results at around 70 characters. You’ll notice as you type in your title tag in Sandvox, there is a number in the top right corner that tells you how many characters you are at. After 65 characters, the number will turn red, which will indicate to you that your title tag is getting too long. Ideally, you should create a unique title for every page on your website.

What’s really great about Sandvox, is that if you were to leave the title tag box blank, an auto-generated title tag will be created using a combination of your page name, and your site name.

SEO For Sandvox: Header Tags

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

To see the SEO For Sandvox Video Course in its entirety, visit the SEO For Sandvox Video Course page.

Video Transcript:

In HTML, header tags are used by webmasters to display the headings on their pages. There are six types of header tags that can be used. What Sandvox users to need to know regarding header tags, is that there are 2 headers placed on each page. The first header is an h1, and is generally used for the title of the website. This header tag will remain constant from page to page on your website.

Another header tag, which is an h2 tag, is used as the title of the page and is located where the main part of the page begins. This is a great place for you to include a keyphrase that really illustrates what this particular page is about.

So for example, instead of having a header that reads something generic such as News, or Site Updates, take advantage of the header and give it a good keyword rich descriptive name. If this particular page is about Left Handed Golf Clubs, that is a phrase that might make a good header.
On a side note, an H3 tag is used when you are indexing content, so for example, the page title of a blog post, or photo page will show up with an H3 tag, so be sure to make keyword rich titles for those items.

SEO For Sandvox: Alternative Text

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

To see the SEO For Sandvox Video Course in its entirety, visit the SEO For Sandvox Video Course page.

Video Transcript:

Alternative image text, also known as alt tags or alt text, is an HTML attribute that is used to describe images. This attribute exists because an image may not always load in a browser, so in its place, the alt text will appear, letting the user know what should have shown up.

This attribute also gives us a good way of describing pictures to search engines, so that they can properly place them in image searches. In Sandvox, any image you place will automatically be given alternative text identical to the image file name. This is a great feature because it can save you a lot of time if you publish a lot of pictures and don’t feel like giving them all alt tags.

If you do, however, wish to make your alt text differ from the file name, click on the image and then press the Inspector button. Then press the Media tab which is the last tab all the way on the right. Here you can see the name of the image, which is something we spoke about in the Image Names video, and you can also see the field that says Alternate Text. Here is where you will type in your few words that describe the photo. You don’t need to worry about separating your words with dashes for this feature.

SEO For Sandvox: Anchor Text

Friday, August 12th, 2011

To see the SEO For Sandvox Video Course in its entirety, visit the SEO For Sandvox Video Course page.

SEO For Sandvox: Site Menu

Monday, August 8th, 2011

To see the SEO For Sandvox Video Course in its entirety, visit the SEO For Sandvox Video Course page.

Video Transcript:

The site menu consists of all of these links, usually located at the top of each web page. The site menu is another good place for you to include some of your keyterms. So instead of having our menu links have text such as Home, Photos, or Links for example, we can make them more descriptive and include our keyterms in them.

To change the text of the site menu, you will need to change each page individually. Simply double click on the page name, and type in the term that you want to show in the site menu. You’ll be able to see the change take place immediately when you look at your site menu. Repeat this process for all of the pages included in your menu.

Some of the principles for the Page Names apply when you are naming the titles in your site menu. Do not make them too long. If you make the titles too long, it will not look very nice, and you risk having some of your page titles not fit in the menu. Try to use keyterms that are only one or two words in length.

Make sure that whatever you choose actually relates to the page it takes the user to, and that it is not a word that might confuse or mislead any of your visitors. Remember, in some cases, it might not be necessary to have a keyterm in the site menu. A link to a Contact Us page wouldn’t need to be any more descriptive than it already is, even though it’s a very generic term.

SEO For Sandvox: Page Names

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Check out the SEO For Sandvox Video Course to watch the entire course in a very easy-to-follow manner.

Video Transcript:It’s typical to see webmasters naming their page files with generic names such as ‘page1’ or ‘homepage’. Our goal is to utilize every option we have for incorporated our keywords into our website. Whenever you create a new page, make sure your file is given a keyword rich name.

If you already have pages with poor filenames but are actually successful with search engines, do not change the filename as this will ruin your ranking. Just be sure to apply this optimization tip in the future.

When we begin adding different pages for our sites in Sandvox, they will show up in our site outline with names such as Photo, Untitled 1, Untilted 2. These page names are a great place for us to include our keyterms. To change your page name, you can highlight the page in the site outline, and then in the URL field at the bottom of the application, type in your new page name. A few tips when creating this page name. Don’t make it excessively long. You can only make it a maximum of 27 characters in Sandvox, which should be good for about 4 or 5 words, which seems like a good amount. Separate your words with dashes, as opposed to spaces or underscores. And finally, use a keyterm that is relevant to the content on the actual page.

SEO For Sandvox Video Course: Introduction

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Welcome to the SEO For Sandvox Video Course. This is the first of about 25 video tutorials in the SEO For Sandvox series. To view the entire video course in an easy-to-follow manner, please visit the SEO For Sandvox page.

Video Transcript:

Hello and welcome to the SEO For Sandvox video tutorial. My name is Jeremy, and over the next little while, I will be showing you how to properly optimize your Sandvox-made website so that you can have the best chance of ranking at the top of search engines.

This video is being provided to all Sandvox users for for free, courtesy of RAGE Software. We are providing this video to meet our goal to educate all owners of small businesses, so that they can have a better understanding of how to make their websites more visible to search engines and thus rank higher. In this video, I will be showing some of our software that will really help you during your optimization. You are not obligated to purchase the software, however, you will see how the applications can really make your life easier, and we encourage you to purchase anything you like, and help further support our goal.

So what is search engine optimization? Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is the process of attracting more visitors through search engines. You will notice how I do not define SEO as having a top ranked site. This is because even if you have a site that ranks at the top of all search engines, there is no guarantee that searchers are typing in the specific keywords you rank for and will even click your website in the search results. In this series of tutorials, we will cover the basics of how to discover highly searched key-terms and how to determine which ones are best to target.

These tutorials have been created to help you to understand the major optimizations, and how to implement them on your site. With so much information available on the web, search engine optimization can seem very confusing and time consuming to learn. These tutorials are to-the-point, and allow you to visualize what needs to be done, so that you can have a better understanding at a much quicker pace than if you had to sift through a 400 page book.

Sandvox makes the process of optimizing our sites for search engines quite simple. If you are unsure of what the proper techniques for optimization are, then this tutorial will definitely help you. Having the background knowledge of what search engines recommend, is a must if we want to have our optimizations go smoothly.

SEO is a process that we must go through in order to achieve our desired results. It is not something you do once and just forget about. It’s a form of marketing and if you want to keep on improving your chances at success and growing your business it is something you will constantly evaluate. Remember, if SEO were an easy thing to do, every site would be number one in search engines which is simply impossible.

This video will be broken down into three stages. The first stage, called the Planning stage, will be the briefest. We will go over a couple of things that we should do before we even begin optmizing our website. The second stage will be the on-page optimization stage. This is where we will be looking at the different methods for making our actual site more search engine friendly. On-page optimizations are only a portion of the battle to gain more traffic, but they are essentially the building blocks for your SEO campaign. The third and final stage will be the off-page optimizations. Off-page optimizations are an extremely important part of our attempt at gaining a positive reputation for our sites, as well as a means for gaining additional traffic from other places on the web.

The video will be shown in step-by-step format. This does not mean that you must follow this plan perfectly, but it is setup that way so that those who require this type of instruction still have that opportunity.

Remember, if you have any questions or do not understand one or more of the concepts, you can start a thread in our SEO forums, or submit a ticket through our support system.