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5 Basic Ways to Help Your Website Become SEO Friendly

PromotionIf you are responsible for developing a website for your business, then you should know the fundamentals of effective web design. One behind-the-scenes success factor for any website is that of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is the process of making your site as visible and relevant as possible to search engines so that it ranks as highly as possible when people are using the web to find products or services related to your business. Here are five basic ways to help your website become SEO friendly:

Optimize your graphics

Search engines do not recognize graphics (even graphics with text and Flash graphics, for that matter). Therefore, if your pages are image-heavy, the search engines are missing out on a lot of what makes your site relevant to site visitors. Optimize all of your graphics by adding descriptive alt tags.

High-quality content

When search engines “crawl” your site, they populate the content in a way that enables them to determine the relevance of your pages. Therefore, if you want your site to rank highly for searches related to your business, your content should be well-written and targeted to your audience.

Keywords

Keywords and keyword phrases are terms that web users might use to query a search engine for your business product or service. In addition to loading your content with high-quality keywords, you should also use relevant keywords when titling your pages and writing your page descriptions and headers. Use an online service like Google’s free keyword tool to find keywords that may be most effective for your purposes.

An SEO-friendly URL

Your site’s URL should be short, concise, and descriptive of your business brand. It is a good idea to use relevant keyword phrases in your URL, to make it as SEO-friendly as possible.

Site structure

Search engines need your help in identifying relevant content on your site. One of the best ways to do that is to structure your site in a way that flows and is easy to follow from page to page. Your sitemap should make sense logically, and should efficiently lead to any and every pertinent page of your website.

5 Basic Ways to Help Your Website Become SEO FriendlyWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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5 Tips to Help Your Website Load Faster

Web DesignWhen it comes to your website, you must consider more than just design. There are some factors that determine whether or not your site visitors will stay to explore or leave without so much as a goodbye. One thing that can make or break your website’s success is the amount of time it takes for your pages to load. After all, web surfers are a finicky bunch; they lose interest quickly if they can’t move around your site quickly and efficiently. So, what steps can you take to prevent page load lag? Here are five tips to help your website load faster:

Cut out unnecessary coding

Bulky coding slows downloading speed because browsers must read through everything as they load your pages. Therefore, just going through your coding to eliminate unnecessary white space and tag elements can reduce the amount of time it takes for your pages to load.

Enable caching

PHP caching will store images and other vital information from your site on visitors’ computers when it is downloaded the first time so that your site visitors can subsequently retrieve that data in the blink of an eye.

Trim your images down

Graphics take much longer to load than text, so you should be strategic about your use of them. There are a few things you can do to trim down your images. First, assess the images you are using to determine which are necessary, and then keep only those. Second, scale the images down if you can (as smaller images will load faster than larger images). Third, if you have a page with many images (an online catalog page, for example), then you can give each image its own page instead of including all of the images on one, slow-loading page.

Optimize your database

There are numerous ways you can optimize your database to decrease your site’s load times. Simple search the web for “database optimization” to learn the details of how to get optimal performance out of your site by optimizing your database.

Find a new host

Believe it or not, the distance you are from your host affects how quickly your site loads. You can decrease your page load time by simply choosing a host that is nearby.

Additionally, some of the cheaper hosting companies use cheap equipment. This can significantly delay your site load. Consider upgrading.

5 Tips to Help Your Website Load FasterWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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Design Essentials for Websites: 5 Must-Haves

Web DesignWhen people think of web design, they often think of things like graphics, page layout, and attention-grabbing fonts. And yes these elements are certainly part of web design. The truth is, however, that web design essentials encompass much more than just aesthetics. Are you interested in learning more about what makes a great website design? Then check out these five must-have website design essentials:

Navigation.

This pertains to how people will get around on your site. You can’t make them work for it. You want all of your content to be readily available and good navigation is the answer. Use primary navigation, secondary navigation, text menus, internal links, search boxes and breadcrumbs wisely. Do this throughout your site to ensure your site visitors can easily find what they are looking for.

Leading the eye

In addition to navigating through the site, you must also help visitors determine how to focus their attention on each page. You must “lead the eye,” so to speak, by strategically applying weighting, placement, positioning, spacing, and highlighting techniques to guide your visitors from areas of primary importance to supporting, or secondary, areas.

Typography

The type and size of font you use will greatly impact the user experience and will go a long way in creating the impression you want (or even one you don’t want if you are not careful). Additionally, you must consider line spacing, text effects, line length, paragraph size, and emphasis (italics and bold) when placing your typography.

Clarity

While it may be tempting to pack your website with all the neat graphics and informative content you can, it is more important that your site visitors can easily ascertain what is on your page. Keep in mind that simplicity is almost always preferable over complexity when it comes to web design and that too many visuals (and/or too much information) could end up looking like nothing more than a jumbled mess to your site visitors.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Your site is no good if others can’t find it on the web. When it comes to design essentials, good SEO practices include using alt text for images, no-following outbound links that are irrelevant to the site, and labeling page titles and headers effectively.

Design Essentials for Websites: 5 Must-HavesWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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A Great Website is a Branding Opportunity

BrandingIf you know anything about marketing, then you know that branding is tantamount to your business success. There are numerous ways to grow and strengthen your brand, and you should be taking advantage of all of them. Your company website is one such branding opportunity that you just cannot afford to miss out on, and you should, therefore, put some serious time and effort into creating a site that works for you. Want to know why? Here are some ways in which a great website builds your brand:

Your logo

There’s no doubt you understand the importance of your logo when it comes to branding. Your website should display your logo prominently and on every page. Doing so is just another way of etching that logo into customers’ minds.

Your image

You know who your target market is, and your business image should be relevant to that audience. When you create a business website, some choices must go into the design – choices like color, content, layout, graphics, and navigation. All of these design choices will contribute to your business image, which in turn will help strengthen your brand.
Connection. By creating a website that is inviting, informative, and easy to navigate through, you are giving your customers (and potential customers) and an avenue through which they can keep in regular “contact” with your business. Remember that your brand is an abstract thing, based on the impression you give people, as well as all the things they associate with your business. Forging a connection with your business is integral to strengthening your brand, and a great website is a very effective way of doing that.

Personality

Your website is a great place to express your business’ perspective, philosophy, and experience. A website gives your brand a personality. It is imperative that your brand is personable in this way, as this is what will endear it to customers, giving them a lasting impression that will keep them coming back for more.

Call to action

When you create content for your website, you have a great chance to inspire your site visitors to engage – thus strengthening your brand. Do this by way of a call to action, such as, “Contact us today to learn more about this exciting opportunity!”

A Great Website is a Branding OpportunityWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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The Differences between HTML and WordPress

WordPressIf you are responsible for developing a website for your business and you know very little about web design, then you may find that the various choices you have when it comes to building your website can be quite confusing. After all, how do you choose between a WordPress site and HTML when you don’t even know what those terms mean? If you are having a hard time sorting through the jargon and deciding which option is right for you, then you’ve come to the right place. Here to help is this rundown of the differences between HTML and WordPress:

Coding versus using a template

One of the most definitive differences between WordPress and HTML has to do with how you execute your site creation. HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a programming code (or, language) that you use to design static web pages from scratch. For example, in an HTML document, you would see something like this:

…representing a single line of text with bold text. If you don’t know what all of that means, then you would need to learn HTML to write the code. Otherwise, you could create HTML pages on a platform like Dreamweaver (in which case you should still know a thing or two about coding). WordPress, on the other hand, is a platform for building dynamic web pages (we’ll get to the difference between static and dynamic later), using a template-based format that allows you to easily create websites by adding content and dragging/dropping features you want on your pages.

Static versus dynamic

HTML pages are static, meaning they stand alone and stay the same unless you go in and manually change them. That means that if you want to change the look or feel of your entire website, you will have to open up the file for each page manually and make the necessary changes separately. WordPress pages are dynamic, meaning they are all stored in a single database and linked together in that way that allows you to make style changes with just a few simple clicks from a single user interface. (It is worth mentioning that you can also create static pages using WordPress if you so desire).

Closed source versus open source

HTML is closed source, meaning only you (or the person who wrote the code) can make changes to, or embellish, the code. This is fairly limiting unless you have a very skilled coder on hand. WordPress is an open-source platform, which means that anyone can develop additions (like plugins) that you can apply to your site to make it better-looking, more functional, and highly customized.
The Differences between HTML and WordPressWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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How a Good Website Design Creates a Great Impression

Web DesignIt goes without saying that your business needs a strong web presence to be successful in the Age of Information and that your website is integral to your web presence. However, do you realize the importance of good web design, when it comes to your business brand? That’s right – it’s not just enough to have an aesthetically pleasing site with good content. Good design is more complex than that, and it can mean the difference between having an effective or ineffective website. Want to know why design is so important? Here is how a good website design creates a great impression:

Professionalism

When you take shortcuts, it shows. Don’t make the mistake of taking shortcuts with your web design. Sure, your teenage cousin knows a thing or two about creating websites, but unless he can create a top-notch, professional-looking site for your business, your site is just going to look amateurish, and your site visitors will get the impression that you are an amateur. Spring for a good website design.

Navigation

Good design is centered on creating an effortless experience for your site visitors. You don’t want people to have to work or make guesses to find their way around your site. By providing them with straightforward, simple, and well-organized site navigation, you are not only giving your visitors the impression that you care about catering to them, but you are also ensuring they can find (and read!) all of the valuable content you have on your site.

Branding

Your website design should be in line with your business branding in every way – from the colors to the fonts. That means that good web design, with your brand in mind, will elevate your brand and increase brand awareness, thereby creating a lasting impression for your visitors.

Attention grabbing

You have a very limited window of time in which to grab new site visitors’ attention and pique their interest enough to want to stay and explore for a while. As a matter of fact, studies show that a first impression in the web world may take as little a fraction of a second to form. Good web design will snag your site visitors and enable you more time to get your message through to them. In a world where first impressions are so vital, you can’t afford not to invest in good design.

How a Good Website Design Creates a Great ImpressionWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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5 Reasons Why Good Content is Critical for Your Website

PromotionIf you are in the process of developing a website for your business, then you’ve probably heard the phrase, “content is king.” However, do you understand why, exactly, your site’s content is so imperative to its success? Here are five reasons why good content is critical for your website:

Conveys a clear message

This may seem obvious, but many people miss the boat on the concept of getting a message across. It’s not enough to attract attention with a catchy slogan or a slick story. When it comes down to it, those are just words that must be backed up with clear meaning about the purpose and scope of your site. Good content will actually inform your potential customers about your business, and assure them that they can count on your site to provide what they are looking for.

Lends credibility

High-quality content will help you establish your voice in the industry. When you provide valuable information in an effective way, you automatically have an air of authority with your site visitors. This type of credibility is what will help make you a web leader.

Keeps people coming back for more

One of the most important jobs your website has is to mediate an ongoing relationship between you and your site visitors. Web page content that is informative, entertaining, and relevant to your visitors’ needs will keep them engaged on the page for longer, and it will also inspire them to check in periodically for new content. This is a very effective way for you to stay in touch with your audience and develop lasting relationships.

Supports search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is a term used for the process of making your site visible and relevant to Internet search engines. Good SEO is how people will naturally find your website when they search the web for a term related to your business product or service. Part of SEO is weaving the right “keywords” into your content; additionally, high quality (relevant) content ranks higher with search engines.

Incites action

Good web content includes a strong call to action that will invite your site visitors to engage even more. Additionally, a call to action will instruct your visitors as to what, exactly, they should do next. This converts mere visitors to into paying customers.

5 Reasons Why Good Content is Critical for Your WebsiteWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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Making the Most of Your Website or Blog

BrandingChances are you’re putting a lot of time, energy, and effort into your blog or website. Are you getting the results that you want? Are you achieving your online business goals? If not, you may not be making the most of your website or blog.

Test, Test, and Test Some More

The best way to make the most of your website or blog is to test what works and what doesn’t. There are many different things you can test and ways to test. Test headlines, test calls to action and test different content formats.

For example, your audience may respond more energetically to video content than they do to print content. Or maybe they prefer reviews over “how to” articles. Testing is the only way to know what your audience is responding to. Once you know, then you can adapt your strategies and tactics. Split testing is often the easiest method to test.

Analytics

Analytics are almost a website or blog essential. They tell you who visits your site, how long they stay there and what pages they navigate to. Analytics can also tell you the organic keywords used, or the link used, to find your website. Google Analytics is a free tool that makes it easy to create an account and then literally cut and paste a piece of code into your site’s code.

Just cutting and pasting code isn’t enough, though. You need to also review the analytics and base your strategy and decisions on the information. For example, if you find out that the majority of your visitors come from the south then you might create more content, promotions, and offers that appeal to that region.

Facilitate Engagement

If you’re not encouraging participation, comments, and interaction then you’re missing out. Create systems and opportunities to connect and allow conversation. Blog commenting is a start.

However, the posts need to ask questions and motivate responses. Even more, you want to reply to comments in a thoughtful manner that motivates more comments and feedback. Plug-ins that create forums, chats, and social media participation are another means to facilitate engagement.

To make the most of your website or blog, you want to create a stronger connection with your audience and visitors. By testing, using analytics to track the results, and by creating opportunities for conversation, you’re able to take your site to the next level. It strengthens your relationships with your audience and helps increase traffic, opt-ins, as well as conversions and sales.

Making the Most of Your Website or BlogWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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LinkedIn: Still a Great Source for Social Networking

Social MediaLinkedIn is a specialty social networking site. It’s much more specialized than the others due to the audience it attracts. LinkedIn is specifically for professionals. If you’re looking for a job then it’s a must. However, business owners looking to attract prospects and connect with industry professionals can also utilize LinkedIn in a productive and prosperous way.

What Is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 225 million members in over 200 countries. It’s a social networking site that offers professionals a number of benefits and features. It began in concept in the living room of the owner and was launched in 2003. Ten years later it is a thriving social networking site that can be used in a number of business building ways.

The Many Features and Benefits of LinkedIn

Company Pages

The first element of LinkedIn is that it allows business owners to create Company Pages. Unlike profile pages on other social networking sites, Company Pages comes with analytics as well as an ability to share meaningful content and promote your business.

LinkedIn groups

This feature may be one of the most beneficial because it allows you to join groups that are specific to your audience and your industry. Within a group you can connect with other professionals and prospects to build an audience. Groups support conversations, article posting, polling, and display group icons on your Company Page to further enhance your connections.

Advertising

Like many social networking sites, LinkedIn offers advertising options for members. You can reach a targeted audience with ads that you can test and track for best results.

Marketing solutions

LinkedIn offers a professional membership that goes above and beyond the standard membership. You can then utilize features like their Marketing Solutions program that also lets you create specific messages for your audience through targeted content marketing.

Integration

Finally, LinkedIn is a site that understands you want to make the most of your social networking efforts. You can integrate many social media sites with your LinkedIn page. Integration saves time and maximizes your results.

Creating Content for LinkedIn

It’s important to remember that while you can integrate your social marketing efforts, LinkedIn has a unique audience. It often makes sense to create unique content for LinkedIn followers. They tend to be professionals and their needs may be different than your general audience.

People tend to trust the information they find on LinkedIn more than other sites. This simple fact can help you build tremendous authority and credibility in your niche. If you’re not using LinkedIn to grow your business or you’ve let your profile lag, consider giving this top-rated social media site the attention it deserves.

LinkedIn: Still a Great Source for Social NetworkingWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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Google+: The Benefits to Your Brand

Social MediaGoogle joined the ranks of the top social networking sites when they released Google+. This simple, and free, tool allows you to connect with your audience, share information, and even stream online content. Like other social networking sites, it can be used to brand your business. However, Google+ may offer some benefits to your brand that you just can’t find anywhere else.

Create a Hangout in Google+

Google Hangouts is a free service that allows you to have conversations with up to ten people. You can also live stream recorded content to thousands of people. Google Hangouts makes it easy to handle small group conversations or large scale content initiatives. There are video chat features which mean you can see who you’re talking to and vice versa.

It helps you strengthen your brand personality and voice. This can be particularly powerful for small business owners who have direct contact with their clients and prospects. Face-to-face conversations build relationships.

Create Circles in Google+

One of the features of Google+ is that it allows you to create circles. These circles are essentially segmented groups of people. For example, you might create a circle for your prospects, and another circle for your customers. You can create a circle of friends and family as well. In fact, you can create as many circles as you want.

People cannot see which circle you place them in so privacy isn’t a concern. This circle concept allows you to share content with segmented audiences. You can send one message to prospects and another to customers. Segmentation gives you the power to create brand messages that appeal directly to your audience.

Create a Scrapbook in Google+

Google+ has a feature called “Scrapbook Photos.” As you may know, visual elements are powerful branding tools. This feature lets you add photos at the top of your Google+ profile. You can add infographics, photos from events, and even photos from products or company services. It’s also a good idea to keep your profile page fresh by updating your photos on a regular basis.

Finally, Google+ is a social media tool that you can integrate with your other social networking efforts. You can also use it to create events and upload video and other content forms. Use content to build your brand and to reach targeted groups of people. Link to your website and share visuals to help add personality to your profile and build relationships with your followers.

Google+: The Benefits to Your BrandWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]