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Browsing "Web Design"

SEO What they don’t tell you.

An optimized website

What they say: Even if you don’t actually sell products online, a website gives potential customers and investors the opportunity to find out more about you and your company. For a website to be effective and bring new customers and investors to your doors it needs to be seen. Search engine optimization can help position your website on the first few pages of the search engines which means it’s much more likely to receive visitors.

As well as ensuring the copywriting on your website is optimized with keywords, you need to make sure your web developers or designers have created an SEO friendly website.

With 65,000 new websites coming online every day, not including new pages and blog added to existing websites daily the chances of you ever seeing high traffic and rankings without a BIG cost is near on impossible. Nobody ever mentions the cost do they.

Fact: Investment for marketing the website from approx. $1500 – $20,000 per month depending on size and your competition.

Active social media channels

What they say: Having a profile set up on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (plus the numerous other social media networks) isn’t enough. For your social media campaign to be a success you need to continually interact with your network.

And to be honest who gives a crap what bus stop or pizza shop you’re at or what you have just eaten, Your top score on a farm game or flirting teens pretending while the parents are out. Get a life. Limited for business unless very local.

Fact: A full-time job to do it properly along with a full-time salary approx. $30,000 – $50,000 per annum.

An up to date blog

What they say: Blogging is one of the quickest and easiest ways to forge an identity for yourself online. Blogs allow you to share your expertise with your visitors and it encourages them to see you as a leading authority in your industry sector. As you build up your blog with opinion pieces, news stories and reviews you will create an online resource for your blog visitors.

Fact: Takes your time and money, time is money or employ someone to do it, another salary.

While there is a lot of information and help out there to get you started, do not be taken in by all the BS that people and company’s shovel out. Sure Google also has SEO guidelines which cover what you should and should not be doing in order to create a well optimized website. Check it out  Rand at SEOMoz have a multitude of free blogs, videos and podcasts on their website to help people understand the basic (and more advanced) SEO techniques too, but the cold hard facts are it takes time, money and knowledge to be a real player. As I have said many times, pay peanuts and you will get monkey’s.

As a small business if you don’t have at least $20k a year to throw at marketing your online presence, forget it, you will never even scratch the surface, if some company gives you bullshit about the must have Facebook, twitter and rest accounts, run for the hills, these usually are the wannabe online marketers, with sharp tongues (usually forked) and snappy suits. You can get business from social, but it’s limited, search is and has been #1 from the start and will continue for a very long time.

Ask yourself what you do when you want something, whether on your phone, laptop or desktop, you search first.

Opinions are those of the writer.

Managing and Maintaining Your Website

May 4, 2011   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet, internet strategy, Web Design, web development, website  //  Comments Off

When you’ve decided you need to give your website a facelift, whether it’s dated images or content or perhaps to remove flash or java elements, you may find that you’re in a pool of options much deeper than you bargained for. Joomla, Drupal, PHP, ASP, there are easily a hundred different types of content management systems you can make use of. Personally as an SEO I prefer working with HTML and CSS as it’s elegant in it’s simplicity.

Why a content management system? Because it’s easier for the end user after the site is completely built. It allows the owner of the site to be able to login to the site, to make any changes or additions that they may deem necessary, it allows the designer to create a site to your specs and leave it with you to manage in the end. This is a great idea from a designers view as maintenance and upkeep are out of their hands. As a user however, if you’re not mindful of the content you add and change, you could accidentally find yourself kicked out of the SERPs. The safest way to ensure that all of the rules and guidelines are being followed is to be in league with a search engine optimization expert. Someone who you can contact and who can direct your online efforts to better position yourself on the organic search listings.

What type of website you have built, also determines the level of difficulty your SEO will be confronted with online. There are nuances and intricacies which exist in code which can go so far as having as simple a mistake as an extra space in the page completely takes your site down. It’s of importance when you’re contracting someone to perform your SEO, that they know your CMS and are comfortable in using it.

There needs to be some distiction made about those who are truly search engine optimization experts and web designers. Web designers selling themselves as SEO experts aren’t going to do you the services you may need or require to get the results you desire. Purely SEO companies will most likely not be able to design and build you the website look you desire for your brand. Just like you wouldn’t hire a plumber to build your house, you don’t hire a web designer to perform your SEO.

Avoiding Common Web Design Mistakes

Nov 6, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   Web Design, web development, website principles  //  Comments Off

When I started to design for the web I already had some basic coding experience, so I figured, how hard could it be to get serious about it? Take your images, headings and body copy. Link it all up and no problem! So little I knew then…

Major problems..

What I learned; the basic experience I had didn’t translate well as I worked. I had images everywhere, text flowing over and around them. Different fonts on every page. Differing background gradients and transparencies. And I had yet to account for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc, both the Windows and Mac versions. My ideas were great, but they were a nightmare to code.

Being that it was my first real foray into the design and construction of a website, I hadn’t used a stylesheet to layout and control my flow and design. But, if you follow the guidelines below, you’ll avoid some of the most common web design mistakes and save yourself a lot of frustration.

1) Reuse design elements
Using different fonts and design accents on every page in web design is a no-no. The more elaborate the design, the harder it is to code. Visitors expect every page of a website to have a consistent look and feel. Keep your font sizes consistent from page to page and reuse graphics and icons where you can. If you carry your design elements throughout your website(fonts, icons, bullets, and graphic accents, for instance), your CSS will be much simpler to write and visitors will appreciate the unity of the finished site.

2) Make your designs web compliant
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve finished coding a website, opened it on another computer, and been shocked by how different the fonts and colors were from the finished code. You can avoid a lot of problems if you make your designs web compliant. Stick with compliant fonts for easy declarations in your CSS, and work around compliant color codes where possible. If you decide to step outside the safety zone, test your designs early, often, and on different computers with different monitors.

3) Expect your site dimensions to change
There’s no such thing as “perfect” in web design. Even a minor update to a website can wreak havoc on a weak layout. So, make sure any element that has constantly changing content can accommodate changes to width and height. Use extra space as padding and test headings and sidebar links to see how they look when wrapped over two or even three lines. When content spills out of a container or causes your layout to come apart when you or a client updates the site, it comes across as sloppy and unprofessional.

4) Using a similar CSS layout for every website
If you change the stylesheet for every design, you have to start your from scratch. If you stick with a fixed container width for your designs, on the other hand, after a few websites you should work out a custom CSS framework you can drop into any layout to help expedite the coding process.

5) Design with your content in mind
The websites I designed in the past were dominated by pictures for the most part. But content is king on the internet. It takes keyword rich content to attract search engine spiders and drive traffic. So a website has to be more than just a great looking design. You should plan for a decent amount of text on each page. 350 to 500 words is a great figure to aim for with relevant content in mind.

-Nathan

Winnipeg Web Design Experts

Nov 4, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   SEO Expert, Web Design, web development, web marketing, Winnipeg Seo, Winnipeg Web Design  //  9 Comments

You build your first website for minimal cost.

Your website goes lives and everyone in the office is excited about having a new website.

Eventually the excitement wears off and everyone ask’s: What is the purpose of our website? Where are the calls?

Suddenly the clouds open up!

At Winnipeg Website Design part of the Fresh Traffic Group we are different.

We evaluate the company website built by either a computer program or a graphic designer.

The evaluation shows a website that can never be found by a search engine spiders because of “bad coding” , poor content, and very few pages.

We propose linking you up with an online sales person that starts with a strategy which includes content, linking, and W3 Standard coding with a site map.

We explain:

People come in two groups.
1. People who make money using the internet
2. People who don’t

What makes a perfect client? Someone who is dedicated to being an expert in their field and hiring other experts to do the things they do not do.

At Winnipeg Web Design we are experts in building websites, and Fresh Traffic are experts at SEO. (Search Engine Optimization)

If you are serious about making money online, then contact us and we will be thrilled to talk about building your business and not just a website.

One more thing before I go. Not everyone can be on top! Only the people who commit and make the sacrifice and investment can be on the top. If that is you and you decide to use us as your search engine marketing company then “We will see you at the top”.

What you need to know about investing into search engine optimization

Search engines are the dominant mechanism for almost all Internet users.

Almost 90% of online shoppers begin with search engines or directories to look for products and services and 96% of searchers do not go beyond the 2nd page of results.

Ranking highly in the search engines is more effective than most advertising because your audience is looking for you. Even right now they are searching you out. Amazing isn’t it. All that business just passing right by you.

All other forms of media, your audience is looking at something else and your ad is a distraction.

Search engine optimization is all about getting the exposure for your company by the most dependable salesman in the world

SEO is not a legitimate form of marketing

Oct 16, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   seo, seo techniques, Web Design, web development  //  150 Comments

What is SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Borrowing a definition from wikipedia… “it is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.” SEO is a process which requires a time investment in order to see results. For faster results, one might try PPC, which you can setup and turn on in the same day.

Is this still true? over the last few days a web designer called Derek caused a little flutter online with his comment “Search Engine Optimization is not a legitimate form of marketing. It should not be undertaken by people with brains or souls. If someone charges you for SEO, you have been conned”

In the words of Aaron Wall at seobook
Uh-huh.

Well, I’m sure some SEO is undertaken by people without either brains or soul, but the same could be said of web designers.

It is true to say some web designers are clueless about the web, seemingly only interested in crafting pretty pictures. In Flash. They charge clients a fortune for it, and have no idea whether their self-indulgent nonsense will add any value to the clients business. It’s barely even a consideration.

That’s rather misleading. It might be true, but it’s still misleading. Some web designers, just like some SEOs, are pointless. That doesn’t mean all SEOs or web designers are pointless. Unfortunately, Derek thinks the entire SEO industry is a con.

Judging an entire industry by what some bad actors do is wrong.

I have to agree with Aaron, but got around to thinking that SEO should have a new meaning, Search Educating Operative.

Any front-end developer worth working with should be familiar with the basic tenets of search engine optimization, there is nothing evil about charging for what is obvious, the entire service industry is based on it. If someone else built a page and didn’t follow the obvious parts of SEO, charging to clean it up is perfectly ethical and provides a clear benefit.

A little more educating these people on the proper proceedures would help.

Like advertising, the worse your product (website) is, the more (SEO) you will need.

If web designers used more common sense in web development and writing quality content the less seo would be required.

It’s about education. We teach them how to write for humans rather than using internal jargon – again it seems so simple but you would be amazed at how many people don’t think about it.

SEO can also really tie into usability and accessibility. It’s us that tells them to not to write their entire website in Flash, put text as images, or hide links with javascript, etc.

In an ideal world, people would write their websites with content, usability and accessibility in mind but as they often don’t, this is where SEO comes in.

It’s unfortunate that there are a lot of shonky used car salesmen in this industry but there are some brilliant, clever people working in SEO trying to make the web a better place. It’s about creating quality content and good experiences and this is what we get our clients to do.

I think of SEO like usability – yes it’s common sense, but sometimes clients need you to come in and educate you on the best practice way of doing things

Danny Sullivan at search engine land said …

These SEOs, by the way, struggle with web developers who “think” they know SEO but don’t. Web developers who think that despite what an SEO tells them, a 302 redirect is the way to go. And thus the International Herald Tribune loses thousands of links because who wants to trust the scummy in-house SEO, right? I’ve got story after story of web developers and designers who think they know SEO but don’t, who cause major problems for web sites, and yet NO ONE ever writes a blog post blasting them.