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Make Your Website Useful to Online Visitors

With the abundance of online visitors finding your website through the search engines, it is important to give them some incentive to come back and use your website. It is important to have useful information that keeps the reader wanting to find out more about what you have to offer. This can be accomplished many ways on your website. Here are a few examples of ideas that we have seen over the years.

Online Newsletter

Offering an online newsletter is a fairly popular way to keep users informed about new happenings with your company and different products and services that you have to offer.

Online Calculators

This is popular with accountants and mortgage lenders. It makes sense to have a calculator in front of a user so they can calculate the expense of certain fees and interest rates.

Offer Email Updates

This differs from the online newsletter by just sending little bits of information rather than a full blown online newsletter. This can also be a more effective use of your time, than to come up with a monthly newsletter.

A Color Wheel

We have seen this used on a few powder coating websites or on websites that deal with picking colors. This can be a great tool to have the user pick their color online rather than explain it over the phone.

Online Coupons

This can prove to be a very popular way to bring users back to your website and make it useful to them. Offers can appear like a coupon and the user can print them out. There are many websites online dedicated to showing coupons for different products and services online.

Links to Other Related Services or Products

If you have a landscaping business, why not have links on your website where a user can get a siding job done on their house? Or a sprinkler system put in that you would recommend. May be a place to buy a fantastic looking concrete statue? These online links will position you as a knowledgeable professional that knows the in’s and out’s of the industry.

Articles and Tips about Your Services

Articles are a great way to showcase your knowledge about your business and make your website useful to online visitors. Writing articles also helps your business show up in the search engines for longer keyword phrases. Writing a quick article can sometimes be the difference between building that little extra piece of credibility for that online visitor to pick up the phone and give your business a call.



Can your company afford not to have a website?

Affordable Web Design

Thinking about a website design?

No. Of course we are in the business and this is how we choose to make money, but when you really sit down and think about if your business can afford not to have a website, a few ideas come to mind:

More and more people are using the internet

Everyday, more and more people are turning to the internet to find out more information about services or products that they are looking for. It is easy to see the reason why. Where else can you find just about everything you would want to know? You may have to wait for the commercial break to see what is fed to you, or you could just log on to the internet and find the best local deal. This is one of the reasons why search engines have seen such a high growth rate over the past 10+ years. It is easy to type in a few words of text and have the results brought to you rather than lug out the ol’ phone book and guess where you should start first.

Your competitors are getting all the traffic

Another reason your company should be able to afford a website is that your competitors already have! Odds are that your competition is already enjoying a nice spot in the search engines and getting phone calls and email requests for their services. Now why would you let your competition have it so easy? Even if you don’t rank #1, online searchers will still go though a couple of listings until they come across something that makes sense to them and trust. But without a website to speak of, your business isn’t even in the running!

Relatively speaking, it’s very inexpensive when compared to print, TV, and radio advertising

If you thought your business count afford a website, is it really necessary to talk about affording print ads, television commercials or radio spots? I’ll give you a little piece of advice. More and more large businesses are shifting dollars away from those types of advertising and funneling them into more effective kinds of advertising, a.k.a websites and internet marketing.

Simply speaking, a website can have a dramatic effect on your business.

How much are you losing by not having a website?

Affordable website design
http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/ / CC BY 2.0

Tough to say, how much is it worth to close a sale? If your competitor is on the top of the search engines for an even remotely popular term, he is getting at least phone calls. Wouldn’t you like customers to be doing the same to you? Even simple websites are found locally very well in Google. It is possible to build a quick website and have it give enough information to spark a visitor’s interest and have them contact you.

Also, a website helps to advertise other services or products that your current clients aren’t aware that you offer. We have had many people come to us and have a website built and then say, “Oh, I didn’t know you did ______. Sign me up for that.” There are people searching right now for the services you offer. Give them what they want! Many people today are reaping the benefits and giving customers exactly what they need.

So what are you losing from not having a website? $3,000? $15,000? $128,000? Figures such as these are not uncommon for companies to be losing from not having a website presence.

So I ask the question again. Can your company afford not to have a website?



Web Design vs. Print Design

Web Design VS. Print Design

Web VS. Print – Similar, but very different

Many people who venture out to create a website aren’t aware of the vast differences between the web world and the print world. The web world is very dynamic when it comes to the varying degrees of how a user can physically view the website. The print world is very exact and it can be controlled precisely so the user sees exactly what the publisher intended.

Computer Monitor
http://www.flickr.com/photos/florisla/ /
CC BY-SA 2.0

The web has always had many varying factors to take into account before the design process even takes place. Now more than ever, people are viewing the same web pages on their cell phones and on their 22” monitors at their dwelling. That proves to be one of the challenges when designing a website. Another challenge is the screen resolution of the monitor. As computer monitors get larger, the screen resolution sizes increase. Depending on how the website is built, two different users with 2 different screen resolutions can have a very different experience. Objects and text can be spaced out and harder to read and follow. Colors can also appear differently depending on the user’s monitor. Some monitors display the colors correctly, but if the user adjusts the brightness or the contrast, colors can appear skewed from what they web designer originally intended. It is very important to first start with the initial goal of the website and then build the website around that particular goal.

The print world is very exact. The user will always see exactly how the author wanted to portray the development piece. True, the user may have to view the billboard through distractions such as buildings, telephone poles, etc, but when they view the display, it will be very precise. From the colors, exact size, cut design, transparency, thickness, it will always be the same.

There are many differences between the web and print world. The web is highly dynamic with the many screen sizes and resolutions that the viewer can use to gather information while print is very exact. Each has its own challenges and focus on the specific targeted demographic.



Organic Search Engine Listings and P.P.C Search Engine Listings: How can they benefit my web site?

Organic Search Engine Listings and P.P.C Search Engine Listings

What is all this talk about how the search engines can help my business make sales? If you are wondering how the search engines can benefit your business in terms of ROI, you’ll want to pay attention and find out the main differences between the two types of internet advertising.

First, the main search engine we will be talking about is Google. Google has a majority of the market share when it comes to searches made on the internet. There are other search engines which have similar programs, (such as Yahoo or MSN as well as others) but in our opinion, at this time Google does the best job of coming up with the most relevant results. We will use them as an example so you have a better idea of what to expect when advertising your web site on the internet.

google's organic search and price per click search breakdown

“Organic Listings”

Organic listings are the results that come up when a person conducts a search on Google. The organic results come up in the middle of the page, or the left of the screen, however you view it. Organic listings are the web sites that are most relevant to the words used by the person’s search. It is rumored that Google’s search algorithm looks over 200 factors to gauge how relevant a web site is when relating it to keywords that a user types into their search engine.

What this means to the business owner is this:

There are many factors that are considered in order to appear in the organic listings in Google. Unless you have the time and energy to learn about:

  • Meta tags
  • Search directories (both good and bad)
  • Paid search directories that pull greater weight with search engines
  • Writing articles
  • All the other aspects relating to showing up higher in the search engines

We recommend that companies leave it to a professional web design company to make the best use of your money.

“PPC listings”

PPC stands for “price per click.” This type of listing is located on the right side of the screen when Google search results are displayed. Companies set up an account with Google and they let customers bid on keywords. When a customer bids on a certain keyword, Google looks at what others are bidding for the keyword and then circulates your ad with others according to an algorithm and the amount of a person’s maximum price per click for a given keyword.

“We recommend that companies leave it to a professional web design company to make the best use of your money.”

What this means to the business owner is this:

This type of campaign can be done by anyone, but just like anything else, what you are paying for is some experience. If you don’t know what you are doing, a PPC campaign can cost huge amounts of money and have very little return on your ROI. If you have the time to set up a PPC campaign and do the research then try it out. Otherwise you might be interested in hiring a professional web design company that knows how to optimize and outperform the competition to make the most of your online advertising budget.

What’s better Organic or Price Per Click?

To say one type of listing is better than the other is incorrect. Like anything else, a little of each is the best in our professional opinion. We believe that (and have seen a trend) that suggests that PPC will continue to grow and be the fastest way to have a web site listed higher up in search results and in front of customers who use Google to perform searches. Although most people look at organic listings, the ability to appear on the first or second page is getting harder every day. Competitors are putting more and more money into trying to achieve first or second page status on competitive keywords. It is definitely possible to rank on the first or second page of Google, but be prepared to open your wallet.

Which should I choose?

Here are 5 things to think about when you wish to do some search engine optimization or search engine marketing for your site:

  1. Main goal of your campaign
  2. Your budget
  3. What products or services are most profitable for your company?
  4. Should I hire a professional or should I try this myself?
  5. What type of image do I wish to portray?

The main goal of the campaign should be very clear. It is necessary to know what you are trying to achieve so that the steps that follow will be a smooth sequence, be consistent and will not confuse your potential customers.

The budget you have available is another key consideration to look at when thinking of taking your web site to the next level of internet advertising. Don’t think that you will have an organic first page Google ranking for a competitive keyword for $20. You are investing in your business, not buying a t-shirt at a circus. Clients usually spend between $100-$2000/month to get decent rankings for organic rankings as well as PPC. The name of the game is ROI. A $2000/month online advertising bill is not much, when it could possibly bring in $15,000-$25,000/month in new sales.

“When considering an online marketing campaign, be sure to look at which items or services make your company the most money.”

When considering an online marketing campaign, be sure to look at which items or services make your company the most money. For example, if you have a construction company and your average profit for a roofing job is $1,700 and your average profit for building porches is $5,000, then you should obviously advertise both, but emphasize porches. Invest your time in building the part of your business that makes the most money for the time invested.

The question of whether a company should track the optimization by themselves is a question that should be answered before the campaign starts.

  • Are you going to put a full time staff member to take care of all the factors in implementing and running your online advertising?
  • Who is going to take care of updating the web site and links?
  • Paid search directories that pull greater weight with search engines
  • What tools will you use to make sure you are making the most of your online advertising campaign?
  • What about all the other aspects relating to showing up higher in the search engines?

All in all, there are many factors that go into optimizing and advertising your web site online. I wouldn’t even think about building a house by myself. The amount of time and energy invested would be overwhelming, not to mention the tools, knowledge of city building codes and permits and teams of people that are needed to accomplish a project of that size. We recommend that you let a professional organization take care of your web site optimization and marketing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when comparing the organic and PPC search results. Organic search results are based on the web pages’ relevancy to the keywords typed into the search engine. PPC is a quick way to have a site listed on or near the top and it is based on the keyword chosen and the highest bid for that keyword. It is recommended that organic and PPC are used simultaneously to reach different types of consumers who look at each type of listing, to draw the most visitors to your web site. We highly recommend that clients wanting to start a search engine campaign talk to a professional web design company that has experience with search engine optimization and search engine marketing that will help achieve the maximum return on investment and stretch their marketing dollar as far as possible. In the end, making yourself easy to find makes a difference. Your clients will thank you for that by helping build your business.