Posts Tagged With: web design tips

Top 3 Reasons You Need a Business Website

Despite unbelievable growth in the internet some surveys still show that the majority of small businesses have yet to setup a website. As more and more of todays consumers are becoming computer savvy it has become expected that a business has a website; not having at least a minimal digital presence could end up costing you business.

Here are the top 3 reasons you need a website in todays world:

1.Level the playing field.
Online websites are treated the same, whether they are owned by a huge fortune 500 compant or Farmer Joe up the street. Everyone gets the same amount of screen space to get their message out and generate business – what matters is how well you make use of that space. Believe it or not a well designed, properly marketed website that cost a few hundred dollars can very much out-perform a poorly designed website that cost several thousand dollars.

2.Better Customer Service.
A website makes it possible to provide instantly viewable information, news, and specials for your customer base. You can provide a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on your site so that people researching your company will likely already have many of the concerns taken care of before they even contact you. Not only does this satisfy your customers but it can also lead to time saved by your customer relations staff.

Websites and social profiles are also a great way to gain feedback from your customers and prospective customers.Using forms or polls you can garner great information about how to better server your customers needs.

3.Affordable. Effective.
When you buy a print article it is a static advertisement that runs for a standard set amount of time. When you have a well designed website it is a dynamic source of current advertisements as well as news and information for your customers. A website will be online for you, hyping your services or product 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and generally for the cost of what a one time print advertisement would end up costing you. Even if your initial site design is complex or costly chances are you will see better return versus investment from a website than any print ad.

A website will also allow your company to reach a larger audience than traditional, local advertising.

Anyone with an internet connection anywhere in the world can find your website and thereby your business – giving you a huge opportunity to almost instantly increase your audience and potential customer base.

In this day and age, no matter how small your business might be you simply can not afford to be without at least a nominal web presence. As standard as business cards and yellow page ads were in previous decades, so are websites in today’s market. To find the business you need for your company you must be online and your website needs to be well designed, and marketed to be effective for you.

I offer a variety of affordable Boise web design, Boise SEO (search engine optimization), and other online marketing services (ghost blogging, social network management) in order to provide the very best tech solutions for your business needs. I work within a variety of markets, have years of experience, and can work within almost any budget. Contact me today to start developing your digitial presence!

Categories: Boise SEO, Design Blog, Search Engine Optimization | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Boise SEO Blog: SEO Basics

Thank you for visiting my humble Boise SEO blog. It is my hope to share with you my knowledge regarding the world of search engine optimization and how you can apply very basic, easy to use, tactics to improve your website.

Search engine optimization often seems to be all smoke and mirrors to most people, but in truth it really is not that wildly difficult to understand and grasp in order to harness the power of search engines to improve your website traffic, sales, and digital presence.

It really comes down to just a few key factors deciding how your website is positioned in search engine results pages (SERP). Lets look at a couple most important factors:

Content – Not JUST content but KEYWORD rich content. Keywords are the targeted words or phrases that you want to use in order for people to find you in search results. Use your keywords within your websites text as often as possible without sounding like a broken record or “stuffing” your site. For instance, one of my keywords is Boise SEO; as you have seen I’ve used it a couple times in this blog post. Not only that, often when I have used it I will make it a link to the website or page I wish to lend a little “google juice” to. Which brings us to our next SEO factor….

Linking – Backlinks, or links from other sites to yours tend to be most important, but internal links have also now become valid and important as a positioning factor as well. By establishing incoming links from other quality well positioned websites to your site you gain credibility with the search engines – they figure if you have 5,000 sites pointing to you saying “This is a resource for Boise SEO” that there must be something to those links; thusly they give you a bump up in the search engine results. Internal links on your site (links to other pages on your site) are important as well as they demonstrate an interc0nnectivity and flow of information, as well as a larger picture of your overall site footprint. For instance in this paragraph I will tell you if you want to know what a blog is to follow the link I just made. Sites with more pages, obviously contain more content, and sites with more content and more links to that content are easier to navigate for users and search engines like that.

Keyword Difficulty – this isn’t something you will really have any control over. Keyword Difficulty is basically the number of websites competing to gain placement for a particular term or phrase. When you search on Google you will see up at the top the number of results; that is a good general way to judge difficulty for a keyphrase without using third party software or tools. The more people vying to be number one for a phrase (like Boise SEO) the more difficult it will be for newcomers or any one particular site to gain placement for that word or phrase without putting in some footwork. If you find there is very very low difficulty for a given keyword it may not be best to focus on gaining ground for that search as obviously many people may not be searching for Purple Zebra Hacksaws….

A basic formula for this might read Keyword Density + #of Backlinks – Keyword Difficulty &  = SERP

INSIDER SEO TIP: a rule of thumb I go by is that if you see less than 200,000 results for any given phrase you search on, chances are you should be able to EASILY gain position for that search with minimal work [ie keyword density alone in many cases].

Lesser Factors that Impact Search Engine Position:

Age of the site: this is quickly becoming less of a factor but for a while just by having a site for a long time you could gain some credibility.

Meta-Tags: Really not SO important. Your title tag will carry a little more weight, but really these tags just count towards your overall keyword density more than being any sort of magic SEO bullet.

Page Load Time: yes, the time it takes for your site to load is now becoming a factor in search engine placement; will likely become an even bigger factor in the future with the advent of live searches and more mobile users. It is for this reason (thankfully) that simplicity and sanity may soon return to an internet near you.

These things are really just the tip of the iceberg, and honestly this post was written a bit self-servingly to assist in my own little Boise SEO experiment – but you will note that I did not just tout “buy my stuff buy my stuff” or promise to “demystify” SEO secrets and then only give you a bunch of fluff. I SHARE my SEO knowledge as much as I can in order to help make a better more well informed online community – because after all god knows I can only handle so many SEO, Boise Ghost Blogging and Idaho Social Management customers on my own anyway! ; )

Don’t hesitate to hit me up on any of my social portals if you have any questions or if this Search Engine Samurai can ever be of honorable service!

Categories: Boise SEO, Boise SEO Clients, Design Blog, Search Engine Optimization | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook: Profile or Page

So you’ve finally woke up, joined the rest of us living in the 21st century, and jumped on the ole social networking bandwagon by gettin you some Facebooking action. Well congratulations – but that’s only the first step.

See, a Facebook profile is sort of standard. If you intend to do more with Facebook other than just grow crops, or poke friends then you need to know the differences between a standard Facebook Profile and a Facebook Fan Page.

Is it really THAT important?
Well, technically YES. Facebook intends for your personal interactions to be separate from your business advertisements. This is even in their Terms of Use, so by advertising your real estate or seafood company on your personal profile you may be in violation of their Terms and can even get your profile deleted!

So what’s the difference?

A Facebook Profile is personal. Use it to talk to friends, post vacation pictures, play games, and all that fun stuff.

A Facebook Fan Page is where Facebook intends for you to advertise your business, company, group, or products.

Knowing the difference can help you get more out of Facebook. When someone Googles your name on Facebook they will generally be taken to your profile page where they will see your pretty photo, maybe some of your friends, and what pages you are a fan of…so great, everyone that visits this page knows what you look like and that you love Krispy Kreme donuts…doesn’t really help advertise your business or services much does it? When you have a Fan Page however visitors will see your photo or logo, can see your wall, posts by fans, and if you add some plugins you can even display images and text — which not only can add much needed visual interest to your Facebook portal but can also provide search engines with extra information and links to drive traffic to your main site or services.

See the difference:

A profile page with a personalized url:

Hinsel on Facebook

Some Fan Page examples:

Realtor Websites
Boise Home Pro

So as you can see by these examples this is quite a bit of difference in the appearance as well as the spider-able content available for search engines.

Facebook and other social networking sites are not a trend. They are here to stay and are changing the way search engine optimization is done. To make the most of these networks you need to be in the know as to how to use them to your greatest advantage. The good news is it can be fairly easy, the better news is I can help you create and manage these sites at great afforable rates.

Need social network management in Idaho? Maybe you want the best Boise Web Design…either way contact me to learn more about making the most out of the web to develop a powerful, living, digital presence.

Categories: Design Blog, Search Engine Optimization | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Best HDTV Installation in Idaho

Thanks for visiting my Boise Web Design blog once again! Today I would like to proudly share with you my latest redesign project for the Wireguys in Meridian, Idaho. Wireguys provides the best HDTV installation and conversion services in Idaho! Over the course of the couple of years I have been working with the Wireguys and doing their online marketing I have to say I’ve been really impressed with the dedication to quality shown by everyone there. They can get you into the 21st century so you can join the HDTV Revolution in Boise and start enjoying high quality high definition NO FEE TV in Boise Idaho !

boise hdtv
Check out their website to see my latest Boise Web Design work, and give them a call to schedule a time for one of their experienced techs to come out and get you wired!

Wireguys also specializes in Flat Screen Installation, residential wiring, outlets of all kinds, Idaho business wiring, and much much more! If you need it wired – you NEED the Wireguys!!

Categories: Design Blog, Search Engine Optimization | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is a blog anyway?

I get asked this all the time by my Idaho web design clients – they hear the buzz word and hear blog this blog that from all directions but are still left guessing as to what a blog actually is. I hope to clarify this a little bit in this entry.

While blogs are used by millions of people as a way to interact and share portions of their life experiences with others, or to talk about their hobbies and interests, blogs are also valuable tools in Search Engine Optimization.
Generally a blog is a website outside of your main site where you can write content relevant to your area of interest; related to the content of your main site, and hopefully full of keywords and links pointed to your main domain.

By frequently creating new,keyword rich text and links on your blog you can effectively drive more traffic to your main website. Search engines love content, and they love NEW content even more. Blogs allow users to create and publish new content fairly easily, and as search engines update their data from blog sites more frequently (because they know there will be new content there often) you can see an incredibly fast return for your time involved if you really get in and get serious about your blogging.

Still confused? Think of your blog as the online version of those sign wavers you see outside of pizza shops or on the corner flagging traffic for the local tax man. Essentially you blog is just like that – it is a digital presence that is waving your flag in front of the traffic on the Information Super Highway, saying “Hey! Check out this site for great<u> insert keyword here</u>!”

In some cases people will come across your blog read it, like it, subscribe to it (making it itself even stronger in the search engine results), and find your site thusly generating more traffic for your main site – but more likely the search engines themselves will find it and see all the links to your main domain thus giving it more “strength” for the keywords you’ve targeted and thusly improving your search engine placement. The more keyword named links you have pointing to your main site (“Boise Web Design“, “Idaho Real Estate” whatever your keywords are …etc) the more trust that establishes with search engines, stating that in fact you are a source for that particular information, and thusly improving your standing for those search terms.

The most important parts of blogging are: Blog Often, Blog Well, Link link link! That is to say your blog does you no good if there isn’t fresh new content on it regularly. Even if it’s a post about the weather, make sure you include some keyword based links in that text or in the blog tags. Blog Well, by writing relevant content, rich with keywords and keyword based links – don’t lazy out and just steal something someone else has written (not only does it violate copyright, but what’s the point in having the SAME content as someone else?!). Link link link! – means make sure your blog entries have keyword based links pointing to your site. Having alot of text in your blog is only half the battle when blogging for Search Engine results – but it’s a battle that can be won!

Categories: Search Engine Optimization | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Tips for Web Designers

This is intended to just be a short list of tips for web designers – old and new – websiteman1to help make doing business a little less painful. In case you didn’t know in addition to my full time job I also am self-employed as a freelance Web/Graphic/Flash designer here in Idaho. You can view my personal Idaho Web Design site by clicking the link here.

Now, on with the tips:

1 – Always answer your customer – or especially your prospective customer – as soon as possible! There is nothing worse than losing a job simply because you didn’t take the 5 minutes to reply back and let them know the status of their job, or answer their questions.

2 – Take notes. Every phone call, every meeting – take notes of what the customer is telling you. These can really save your bacon when two days after a meeting you don’t remember what the customer wanted. If you take good notes you will be a step ahead.

3 – Be flexible. On price, on time, on whatever you need to be. If you are doing a site for a small company, or individual, or non-profit you might need to adjust your pricing to suit them. This doesn’t mean cut your own throat, but it does mean you need to understand Joe Average might not be able to sink $1500 into a site as easily as a large company or high-end customer. If you can’t lower your price offer to work out a payment plan, or offer a slightly dumbed down design as an option. Better to lose a little money than to lose the job completely.

4 – Understand the customer is coming to you because they can not (or do not want to) create their own website. In most cases your customers will have about all the tech savvy of a hard boiled egg. Be prepared to explain what you are offering, and how you can accomplish it, in very basic language.

5 – Get your customers full contact info at the first meeting. God forbid they decide to skip town and screw you on payment, but if they do having more than just a first name and telephone number could make all the difference in tracking them down and getting paid. Good info to get: Full Name, Address, Home and Cell phone numbers, if possible find out where they are employed or where their business is located.

6 – Create invoices. It’s as simple as opening notepad and typing in info. Any time you open their site and do work, keep track of your time and what tasks you accomplished. Also use your invoices to keep track of payment received so if there is ever any question you can find exactly what money has changed hands. I also usually start my invoices with the customer name, contact info, ANY login info (hosting, registration etc) so that I don’t have to go scrambling for post-its when that info is needed. This will save you alot of headaches down the road, and will allow you to create accurate receipts and billing statements for customers as well.

7 – Get it in writing. I realize in the first meeting with a potential customer they very likely won’t have any more idea of what they really want from their site than you do. But once that inital concept is approved and the basics have been established write up just a brief contract detailing what tasks you will accomplish, a timeline for changes to be made, how long the customer has to make changes to the initial design without incurring further charges, and other details like when payment needs to be received and what amount. (I will be adding a link to a simple example soon) This will save you endless trouble when you get those clients who want the world for free or who after the site goes live decide that they want to reinvent the wheel. Have it all laid out in black-and-white: this is what you will be getting, this is what it will cost, if you want it changed after its done it will cost you X amount. This is also a good means to establish what your hourly fees will be etc. Otherwise you can get caught making endless changes and updates either for free or end up having to find a way to tell the customer they have to shell out more cash for what they thought they already paid for.

I hope this has been of some help – I will be adding more as they come to me, or if you have some ideas you think are important to include send them along!

Know somebody who needs a website developed or updated? Send them to me!
Boise Idaho Web Design by – Innovative Design

Categories: Design Blog | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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