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ABOUT Upper West Side
The long high bluff above useful sandy coves along the North River was little used or traversed by the Lenape people. A combination of the stream valleys, such as that in which 96th Street runs, and wetlands to the northeast and east, may have protected a portion of the Upper West Side from the Lenape's controlled burns; lack of periodic ground fires results in a denser understory and more fire-intolerant trees, such as American Beech.
In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the Upper West Side-to-be contained some of colonial New York's most ambitious houses, spaced along Bloomingdale Road. It became increasingly infilled with smaller, more suburban villas in the first half of the nineteenth century, and in the middle of the century, parts had become decidedly lower class.
The name "Bloomingdale District" was used to refer to a part of the Upper West Side – the present-day Manhattan Valley neighborhood – located between 96th and 110th Streets and bounded on the east by Amsterdam Avenue and on the west by Riverside Drive, Riverside Park, and the Hudson River.
Its name was a derivation of the description given to the area by Dutch settlers to New Netherland, likely from Bloemendaal, a town in the tulip region. The Dutch Anglicized the name to "Bloomingdale" or "the Bloomingdale District", to the west side of Manhattan from about 23rd Street up to the Hollow Way (modern 125th Street). It consisted of farms and villages along a road (regularized in 1703) known as the Bloomingdale Road. Bloomingdale Road was renamed The Boulevard in 1868, as the farms and villages were divided into building lots and absorbed into the city. By the 18th century it contained numerous farms and country residences of many of the city's well-off, a major parcel of which was the Apthorp Farm. The main artery of this area was the Bloomingdale Road, which began north of where Broadway and the Bowery Lane (now Fourth Avenue) join (at modern Union Square) and wended its way northward up to about modern 116th Street in Morningside Heights, where the road further north was known as the Kingsbridge Road. Within the confines of the modern-day Upper West Side, the road passed through areas known as Harsenville, Strycker's Bay, and Bloomingdale Village.
With the building of the Croton Aqueduct passing down the area between present day Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue in 1838–42, the northern reaches of the district became divided into Manhattan Valley to the east of the aqueduct and Bloomingdale to the west. Bloomingdale, in the latter half of the 19th century, was the name of a village that occupied the area just south of 110th street.
Much of the riverfront of the Upper West Side was a shipping, transportation, and manufacturing corridor. The Hudson River Railroad line right-of-way was granted in the late 1830s to connect New York City to Albany, and soon ran along the riverbank. One major non-industrial development, the creation of Central Park in the 1850s and '60s, caused many squatters to move their shacks into the Upper West Side. Parts of the neighborhood became a ragtag collection of squatters' housing, boarding houses, and rowdy taverns.
As this development occurred, the old name of Bloomingdale Road was being chopped away and the name Broadway was progressively applied further northward to include what had been lower Bloomingdale Road. In 1868, the city began straightening and grading the section of the Bloomingdale Road from Harsenville north, and it became known as "Western Boulevard" or "The Boulevard". It retained that name until the end of the century, when the name Broadway finally supplanted it.
Development of the neighborhood lagged even while Central Park was being laid out in the 1860s and '70s, then was stymied by the Panic of 1873. Things turned around with the introduction of the Ninth Avenue elevated in the 1870s along Ninth Avenue (renamed Columbus Avenue in 1890), and with Columbia University's relocation to Morningside Heights in the 1890s, using lands once held by the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum.
Riverside Park was conceived in 1866 and formally approved by the state legislature through the efforts of city parks commissioner Andrew Haswell Green. The first segment of park was acquired through condemnation in 1872, and construction soon began following a design created by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed the adjacent, gracefully curving Riverside Drive. In 1937, under the administration of commissioner Robert Moses, 132 acres (0.53 km2) of land were added to the park, primarily by creating a promenade that covered the tracks of the Hudson River Railroad. Moses, working with landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke also added playgrounds, and distinctive stonework and the 79th Street Boat Basin, but also cut pedestrians off from direct access to most of the riverfront by building the Henry Hudson Parkway by the river's edge. According to Robert Caro's book on Moses, The Power Broker, Riverside Park was designed with most of the amenities located in predominantly white neighborhoods, with the neighborhoods closer to Harlem getting shorter shrift. Riverside Park, like Central Park, has undergone a revival late in the 20th century, largely through the efforts of the Riverside Park Fund, a citizen's group. Largely through their efforts and the support of the city, much of the park has been improved. The Hudson River Greenway along the river-edge of the park is a common route for pedestrians and bicyclists; an extension to the park's greenway runs between 83rd and 91st Streets on a promenade in the river itself.
The Upper West Side experienced a building boom from 1885 to 1910, thanks in large part to the 1904 opening of the city's first subway line, which comprised, in part, what is now a portion of the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, with subway stations at 59th, 66th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, 91st, 96th, 103rd, 110th, 116th, and 125th Streets. This followed upon the opening of the now demolished IRT Ninth Avenue Line – the city's first elevated railway – which opened in the decade following the American Civil War.
This further stimulated residential development of the area. The stately tall apartment blocks on West End Avenue and the townhouses on the streets between Amsterdam Avenue and Riverside Drive, which contribute to the character of the area, were all constructed during the pre-depression years of the twentieth century. A revolution in building techniques, the low cost of land relative to lower Manhattan, the arrival of the subway, and the democratization of the formerly expensive elevator made it possible to construct large apartment buildings for the middle classes. The large scale and style of these buildings is one reason why the neighborhood has remained largely unchanged into the twenty-first century.
The neighborhood changed from the 1930s to the 1950s. In 1932, the IND Eighth Avenue Line opened under Central Park West. In 1940, the elevated IRT Ninth Avenue Line over Columbus Avenue closed. Immigrants from Eastern Europe and the Caribbean moved in during the '50s and the '60s. The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opened in the 1960s.
In the 1900s, the area south of 67th Street was heavily populated by African-Americans and supposedly gained its nickname of "San Juan Hill" in commemoration of African-American soldiers who were a major part of the assault on Cuba's San Juan Hill in the Spanish–American War. By 1960, it was a rough neighborhood of tenement housing, the demolition of which was delayed to allow for exterior shots in the film musical West Side Story. Thereafter, urban renewal brought the construction of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Lincoln Towers apartments during 1962–1968.
The Upper West Side is a significant Jewish neighborhood, populated with both German Jews who moved in at the turn of last century, and Jewish refugees escaping Hitler's Europe in the 1930s. Today the area between 85th Street and 100th Street is home to the largest community of young Modern Orthodox singles outside of Israel. However, the Upper West Side also features a substantial number of non-Orthodox Jews. A number of major synagogues are located in the neighborhood, including the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States, Shearith Israel; New York's second-oldest and the third-oldest Ashkenazi synagogue, B'nai Jeshurun; Rodeph Sholom; the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue; and numerous others.
From the post-WWII years until the AIDS epidemic, the neighborhood, especially below 86th Street, had a substantial gay population. As the neighborhood had deteriorated, it was affordable to working class gay men, and those just arriving in the city and looking for their first white collar jobs. Its ethnically mixed gay population, mostly Hispanic and white, with a mixture of income levels and occupations patronized the same gay bars in the neighborhood, making it markedly different from most gay enclaves elsewhere in the city. The influx of white gay men in the Fifties and Sixties is often credited with accelerating the gentrification of the Upper West Side.
In a subsequent phase of urban renewal, the rail yards which had formed the Upper West Side's southwest corner were replaced by the Riverside South residential project, which included a southward extension of Riverside Park. The evolution of Riverside South had a 40-year history, often extremely bitter, beginning in 1962 when the New York Central Railroad, in partnership with the Amalgamated Lithographers Union, proposed a mixed-use development with 12,000 apartments, Litho City, to be built on platforms over the tracks. The subsequent bankruptcy of the enlarged, but short-lived Penn Central Railroad brought other proposals and prospective developers. The one generating the most opposition was Donald Trump's "Television City" concept of 1985, which would have included a 152-story office tower and six 75-story residential buildings. In 1991, a coalition of prominent civic organizations proposed a purely residential development of about half that size, and then reached a deal with Trump.
The community's links to the events of September 11, 2001 were evinced in Upper West Side resident and Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam's paean to the men of Ladder Co 40/Engine Co 35, just a few blocks from his home, in his book Firehouse.
Today, this area is the site for several long-established charitable institutions; their unbroken parcels of land have provided suitably scaled sites for Columbia University and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, as well as for some vanished landmarks, such as the Schwab Mansion on Riverside Drive.
The name Bloomingdale is still used in reference to a part of the Upper West Side, essentially the location of old Bloomingdale Village, the area from about 96th Street up to 110th Street and from Riverside Park east to Amsterdam Avenue. The triangular block bound by Broadway, West End Avenue, 106th Street and 107th Street, although generally known as Straus Park (named for Isidor Straus and his wife Ida), was officially designated Bloomingdale Square in 1907. The neighborhood also includes the Bloomingdale School of Music and Bloomingdale neighborhood branch of the New York Public Library. Adjacent to the Bloomingdale neighborhood is a more diverse and less affluent subsection of the Upper West Side called Manhattan Valley, focused on the downslope of Columbus Avenue and Manhattan Avenue from about 96th Street up to 110th Street.
For census purposes, the New York City government classifies the Upper West Side as part of two neighborhood tabulation areas: Upper West Side (up to 105th Street) and Lincoln Square (down to 58th Street), divided by 74th Street. Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the combined population of the Upper West Side was 193,867, a change of 1,674 (0.9%) from the 192,193 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,162.29 acres (470.36 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 166.8 inhabitants per acre (106,800/sq mi; 41,200/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 69.5% (134,735) White, 7.1% (13,856) African American, 0.1% (194) Native American, 7.6% (14,804) Asian, 0% (48) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (620) from other races, and 2% (3,828) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.3% (25,782) of the population.
The racial composition of the Upper West Side changed moderately from 2000 to 2010, with the greatest changes being the increase in the Asian population by 38% (4,100), the decrease in the Black population by 15% (2,435), and the increase in the Hispanic / Latino population by 8% (2,147). The White population remained the majority, experiencing a slight increase of 2% (2,098), while the small population of all other races experienced a negligible increase of 1% (58). Taking into account the two census tabulation areas, the overall decreases in the Black and Hispanic / Latino populations were concentrated in the Upper West Side area, with the Hispanic / Latino population actually increasing by a smaller margin in Lincoln Square. On the other hand, the increases in the White and Asian populations were mostly in Lincoln Center, especially the White population.
The entirety of Community District 7, which comprises the Upper West Side from 59th Street to 110th Street, had 214,744 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 84.7 years.:2, 20 This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most residents are adults: a plurality (34%) are between the ages of 25–44, while 27% are between 45 and 64, and 18% are 65 or older. The ratio of youth and college-aged residents was lower, at 15% and 5% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 7 was $123,894. In 2018, an estimated 9% of Upper West Side residents lived in poverty, compared to 14% in all of Manhattan and 20% in all of New York City. One in twenty residents (5%) were unemployed, compared to 7% in Manhattan and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 40% in the Upper West Side, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 45% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Community District 7 is not considered to be gentrifying: according to the Community Health Profile, the district was not low-income in 1990.:7
About New York
New York is a city that is divided into five boroughs namely, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island. These are some of the most densely populated cities in the United States of America. Each borough of New York is responsible for maintaining and preserving its own historical legacies. Demographics of New York City provide interesting details about the history and development of this city.
New York City comprises five boroughs sitting beside the Hudson River, which is its primary bay. In its center is Manhattan, a highly populated borough which is among the world's major commercial, financial and political centers. Its iconic sites are skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and wide sweeping Central Park. Broadway shows off the best of Broadway with musicals and plays showcasing all the best aspects of human life. Movie lovers can view all their favorite movies along with great shows in movie theaters at New York's Times Square and Hollywood.
But New York's crowning glory is its cultural diversity. It has an amazing assortment of neighborhoods that showcase every facet of New York City. From the very hip East Village to the quiet neighborhoods of Ridgeway and Williamsburg, the cultural diversity of New York City is simply mind blowing. Some of the most famous neighborhoods of New York City are Chinatown, Little Italy, Soho, and Greenwich Village.
If you're looking for a cheaper place to live, then New York City might not be your first choice. However, if you look hard enough, you will find some wonderful places in New York City that are affordable. One of the areas that has recently been booming with development is the Lower Cost Housing Units. The Brooklyn Bridge Park has brought a lot of attention to this part of Brooklyn, as well as other Brooklyn housing developments such as Jay Street and Williamsburg. With a lot of new loft conversions and new home starts, the neighborhoods in Brooklyn have really just started to pop up.
There are also five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. The boroughs each have their own unique style, and some of the most popular neighborhoods of New York City include Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. Each borough has a unique style, but a common thing that every borough shares is a very diverse climate.
The weather in New York City can be compared to the great deserts of the Middle East. You can expect to get hot in the summer and cold in the winter. If you are looking to experience New York to the fullest, then head out to the five boroughs of New York City. This will give you a complete tour of the entire city. If you live in New York, you can take a New York tour bus and soak in the culture of this interesting place.
Living in Brooklyn is quite unique. The rich cultural life of this borough is highlighted by its multi-cultural neighborhoods. Many of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn boast a brownstone's lifestyle, while others have hip condos and apartments with white picket fences. If you are looking for a comfortable place to raise a family, a one-bedroom apartment in a hip neighborhood of Brooklyn is for you.
If you are looking for a more cultural experience in New York, head out to the southern tip of the island. Here, you can enjoy the hip culture of the hip hop scene and shopping at its best. On the west side of the island, you can enjoy the beautiful waterfronts of New York. The best thing about the west side of New York is that it has little to do with the city's downtown subway system. You can enjoy a nice lunch on your balcony or walk down to the ferry to go downtown. So, if you are looking for a place with a little bit more cultural experience, make your way to the Brooklyn New York state.