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How Do I Choose a Web Designer for My Business?

web designHow Do I Choose a Web Designer for My Business?With the proliferation of the world wide web and independent businesses, it is literally a 'jungle' out there when it comes to locating affordable website design services. If you don't know the difference between a web host and a website, how are you supposed to figure out which web design company will be capable and worth the outlay from your fixed budget. Let's face it, start-ups, independent entrepreneurs and small businesses do not have the large budgets of corporations and every rand counts. Making informed decisions when it comes to your business' marketing expenditures can be the difference between business success and failure.

Having an online component for your company is an established low cost tool to build your company brand, keep in touch with your customers and reach out to new ones. Nielsen/Net Ratings found that the overall at-home global active Internet universe for 12 selected countries swelled by more than 2.8 million users from June 2004 to July 2004 bringing the total to 291,986,237 users. Having a website is necessary to reach these users.

Since I self-designed my first company website, my time was spent trying to figure out who should host my site, but the method of search is comparable with looking for a website designer: asking around, looking in search engines, poring through over 30 sites comparing services, prices and added value (if there was any). I didn't really know what I was looking for, even though I had some technical background, but in general I knew I wanted a host who was affordable and had good customer service. So, considering those of you who are starting from the beginning and need someone to help you Plan your site, Design it and Put it up for the world to see, there are specific concerns that you will need to address.

Website hostingWebsite HostingHere are seven real-world questions any new business owner should ask a prospective web designer. Based on their answers you can compare each company on a more equal basis, decreasing your search time and increasing the time you need to spend building your business.Do they offer domain name registration & web hosting with their packages?

  1. Do they promote your website once it's built?
  2. Do their package prices include maintenance fees?
  3. Can you make alterations/updates to the website on your own?
  4. Do they handle product sales transactions? (E commerce sites)
  5. How long is your contract?
  6. Can you see previous work that has been done?

Getting the answers to these questions will get you on the way to choosing a web designer who can handle your website and total business needs.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation, or to discuss your website needs.

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What’s In A (Domain) Name?

How good is your domain nameHow Good is Your Domain NameChoosing a domain name is a very important first step for anyone starting a business on the Internet. This name is the first impression that strangers are going to have about you and your business. You are going to need to give this decision some real thought.

It is very likely that you have a name in mind already. Something catchy, perhaps? Something that has meaning to you. Maybe you always wanted to name your business after your grandchild, or your favourite pet. I strongly urge you to reconsider.

In the very informative book, The Invisible Touch, Harry Beckwith has some unique ideas about naming a business. He touches on saying your proposed name out loud, slowly. How does it really sound? He cites the name Facial Aesthetics. Sounded out slowly, it becomes ‘fa shil ass thet icks’. Doesn’t sound so good now, does it? Get opinions from others, and then really listen to what they have to say, objectively.

The next thing to consider is whether or not your name says anything about your business. Some years ago, I was friends with a lady who had a business named “Heather’s Feathers”. So, what do you think that this business sold? Feathers? Birds? Bird products? Nope, it sold emu oil. And Heather was her 4 year-old daughter’s name. Consider what you would think of when you see a business name.

Business nameBusiness NameYou may love your family name. If you are thinking of naming your business after yourself, however, you really need to give it some thought. I have never forgotten these two businesses, whose names I saw on billboards years ago: Crouch Equipment and Tick Insurance. Now you may say to yourself that I remember these names after years. True, but not for their products or their service!

You also run a risk if you choose a name that is too, let me say… mystical. You may know what you mean when you name your business Mystic Blue Nights, but how many other people will?

Don’t choose a domain name that reads like a book. It is difficult for the average person to remember long domain names. It may be descriptive to get lowcostdiabeticrecipesforalloccasions.com, but it is not going to be memorable, and you run the risk of people misspelling it and not being able to find you. Watch out for the use of dashes, too. People don’t expect them, so instead of visiting your site, Pickles-R-Us, they could wander to your competitor ‘pickelsrus’ instead. Trying to be clever and tweak a competitor’s name could backfire on you.

choosing domain namechoosing domain nameIf the name that you really want is not available as a .com, go and look at the .com site before you choose .net, or one of the other extensions that are becoming available, such as .info and .tv. People think .com first, and if they are looking for you, and put .com in by mistake, you sure don’t want them to end up at some porn or hate site.

You are going to have to live with your choice of domain names for a long time. Take your time and choose wisely.

Please contact us for more information or a free quotation

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Keywords are the key to good website design

SEO Keyword researchS.E.O Keyword ResearchWe all know potential clients won't come just because you built the site - the site has to place well in the search engines to pull the traffic. Of course, placement can be bought through Pay Per Click advertising, but there is nothing as satisfying to a web designer as a top position in the free results.

How do you get there? In a word: keywords. Design your web site for search engines from the very get go, and that means, start with your keyword research. Once you have those terms in hand, use them to plan your site and content.

domain name registrationDomain Name RegistrationWhat's in a Name?

If you haven't purchased a domain name yet, then think about ways to incorporate at least one of your keywords. Hyphens are fine, but if you can get bluewidgets.com, go for it. Or www.companynamewidgets.com ... you can rank well without it, but every little bit helps.

website widgetWebsite WidgetsSite Content - Give Them What They Want

If you plan your content based on your keyword research, you give searchers what they are looking for. Sometimes you have to get creative, of course. For example, if you sell red widgets, but your research tells you people search far more often for blue widgets, then you might want to create and optimize a page "red Widgets Vs. Blue Widgets." Sounds silly, but you get the idea. And it not only brings the searcher for red widgets to your page, it converts them to a blue widget buyer.

Create at least one page for each keyword variation, and on that page use your phrase:

  • In an h1 tag once
  • In an h2 or h3 tag once
  • In the first paragraph
  • In bold somewhere in the content
  • In the anchor text of a link to an authority site.
  • In the anchor text of a link to another page on the site

keywordsKeywordsSite Design Architecture and SEO

Your keywords will also figure heavily in the website's structure - especially if it's a large site. Where there are natural divisions, create sub-directories with keyword rich names: www.yourdomain/blue-widgets/ for example.

It can also be a powerful move to use your keywords in file names - your HTML and graphic file names. Assume for a moment you sell widgets of all different colours, and they are search terms ... you would have pages named:

- www.yourdomain/blue-widgets.html,

- www.yourdomain/black-widgets.html,

- www.yourdomain/white-widgets.html and so on.

Use those keywords in the graphic files names as well. Take your home page, for example. Your logo should be called widgets-logo.gif.

alternative textAlternative Text for ImagesOther On Site SEO Design Elements

Be sure to use Alt Tags for images, and title attributes for links. Don't stuff the alt tags with keywords, but describe the images accurately, and do it with the visitor in mind too. Here's why: we know the search engines do use the text from alt tags to help index a site, but did you know that Google sometimes uses the alt tag text as the description in the SERPs! It's rare, but it happens. I've seen it on my own site.

The jury's out on whether this last technique is really effective, but many SEO Web Designers now use the title attribute on links. If you look at the code for the link to my site – or put your mouse over the link, you will see what I mean.

Off Site SEO – Link Building

Wait a minute, link building isn't part of design is it? Yes, it is! You used to be able to build link popularity through reciprocal link programs, but that is no longer an effective gambit. To get links, you need to create the sort of content that makes other webmasters link to your site. It might be a forum, a blog with constantly updated information, or a tool that people need. Build your content to attract links, as well as visitors.

Incorporate these suggestions into your web site, and you will begin to see how SEO and Web Design can be synonymous!

Contact us for a free quotation, or to discuss your website needs

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The ‘Website’ CHECKLIST : Domains, Hosting, Web Design

webite checklistWebsite ChecklistThis article is meant for all who already have a website, or who propose to buy one. Website – the term is comprised of three things : Domain, Hosting (Web space) & Web Design

There are numerous companies offering these services. I am here to discuss a few points with regards to top, and essential things you need to thoroughly check when you get a WEBSITE through one of these companies.

 

Now to the article,

Every day, I get a few phone calls of this sort :

  • Sir, My domain expires in next few days, but the company which registered it is out of business, Please RENEW it”
  • Sir, I want to transfer the domain to your server, but I don’t have the domain control panel”
  • Dear Support Team, The domain is registered thru ‘X’ and his name is listed as REGISTRANT and Admin Contact, help me”
  • I have a website since 1998, but I am not getting any enquiries through it. So what’s the point in having it renewed ? “
  • My website is down most of the time, can you do anything about it? “

If you look at the above, you could observe the common problem. Thus, a checklist is required for any WEBSITE. Lets see one by one :

domain name checklistDomain Name Registration ChecklistDomain NAME Registration : CHECKLIST

Once your domain is registered, check these things :

  • Is the DOMAIN NAME Registered with an ICANN Accredited Registrar ? (Visit : www.icann.org )
  • Does the REGISTRANT NAME and ADMINSTRATIVE CONTACT show your name/email ?
  • Did the Domain Registration Service Provider give you the Domain CONTROL PANEL with username / password to manage/modify name servers & contact details in real-time ?
  • Do you have the OPTION to get REMINDERS at the time of RENEWAL, well in advance ?

Web hosting checklistWeb Hosting ChecklistWeb Hosting (Web space) : CHECKLIST

  • Support, Support, Support – is the KEY issue when it comes to Hosting. Check the response time of the Service Provider before making an option.
  • How skilled are the technical persons ? Just put in a few queries and see how they respond ?
  • Get a quick look at the Service Provider Website and make sure its professional looking, with user friendly navigation and layout.
  • Check if they have listed TESTIMONIALS, a list of sites hosted with them, discount options for bulk purchase, payment modes. Also make sure there are NO Hidden charges. The key part to look at is : the BANDWIDTH offered for each hosting plan.
  • Multiple Domains in single hosting space. This is an added advantage and saves you money. You can ask for this option if not provided.
  • Make a deep study on the Hosting Plan you choose. Check all the essential features that are provided. To name a few, POP3 mails, SMTP support, FTP Account, Control Panel, Web mail, Spam Controller, Antivirus, Web Statistics.

website design checklistWeb Design ChecklistWebsite Design : CHECKLIST

  • Does the website designer provide you with free minor updates or for a nominal fee on a yearly contract basis ?
  • Is the website professional looking and appealing to the global audience ?
  • It has been 3 months since your launch and there are NO fruitful enquiries and you are UPSET. Wait…..go to : www.google.com and put your website name and click search. Does it show up anywhere in the results ?
  • Does the website designer provide you with monitoring service ?
  • Does the website take a lot of time to load? Make sure it loads faster, even on slow connections. Too much of Flashy animations, bigger size jpegs are NOT an option for your site. CONTENT is King. Make sure your website ‘delivers’.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation, or more information

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Keyword is the king in the Kingdom of Search Engines Optimization

keyword is kingKeyword is KingKeyword is the king in the Kingdom of Search Engines Optimization

Digital Economy : What Is e-Marketing : Internet Search Engines are new Marketplaces in today's digital economy. Companies operating new sales and marketing channels(websites) on Internet where customers can come from all over the world.

Today's Customer can place orders from any location and orders will be delivered to their home quickly.

Importance of Search Engines optimization in e Marketing : Search Engines are an invaluable tools for reaching customers targeted market. The customers visiting companies website as a result of search engine query are specifically interested in the products or services provided by companies.

Keyword marketing: Customers finding products and services through search engines. companies should select proper keywords for their products and services.

Keyword Selection : Companies should include keywords in copy writing of their products and services information. Internet have no Geographical boundaries but companies should use city name, country name, village town names in keywords, so that customers can find products in their nearest town, city, village or country.

keyword domain name Keyword Domain NameDomain name, subdomain names and Directory names: Search Engines giving main priority to domains name in ranking of keyword optimization. If your domain name is itself is keyword then your website can get top rank in search engines result. If you don't have domain name as a keyword then you can create sub domain for exact keyword. You can also use directory name names and file names as a keyword. This will help your website to get top ranking in search engines. example:

  • http://keyword.url.com
How Search engines read Keywords : Search Engines use small computer software programs to browse through and read webpages on the Internet. Such Programs are often referred to as "search engine spiders" or "search engines robots" or "bots". When a search engine spider visits a page, it first reads the text on the page, and then tries to follow links from that page off to other webpages and websites.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation, or more information
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