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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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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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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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How Much Does a Quality Website Cost?

Web DesignPlanning your web design budget

Every website is different, which makes pricing an “art” more than a “science.” This being the case, all web developers use different methods to determine the cost of web design. There are four common types of web design pricing used in the industry today: Hourly rates, Project price, Package rates and Per page. Each of the common methods for website pricing is described below. If you already have a requirements list for your website ask for a quote.

Charging hourly

A very common way for web designers to charge is by the hour. Depending on the experience, your location, and many other factors, the hourly rate can be anywhere from $10 outsourced overseas to $200 per hour for a high-level consultant! This is a huge difference but you can find both and everything in between.

The important thing is to remember – you really do “get what you pay for.” Make sure the web developer is worth the rate they charge. Always check with the designer’s past clients. Common hourly rates:

  • Student/Offshore: $10-$30/hour
  • Freelancer: $35-$100/hour
  • Expert Consultant: $50-$200/hour
  • Company: $75-$150/hour

Per project pricing

Many web design firms will give you a set price to complete your project. This can be a good option. Make sure you have a thorough and complete requirements list before you begin the project. A good design firm will break out each proposal section with a list of features, specification and assumptions for each section of your website. Make sure you get it in writing so you both have clear expectations. Common pricing for projects:

  • Outsourced Offshore: $500 – $15,000
  • US Designer: $3,000 – $20,000
  • US Web Design Firm: $5,000 – $50,000

Package rates

Many web designers will have pre-made packages that are usually cheaper than the project model. The drawback with packages is that they try and fit your business into a pre-made website that might not have all the bells and whistles a custom site has. Most designers, however, will have a flat package rate then allow you to request customization at an additional charge. Package rates at Pragmatic Web Design begin at $299 for up to 3 pages.

Per page pricing

Some web designers charge a flat rate per page, this can range from as low as $50 to as much as $200 per page. This pricing is usually for basic static brochure websites that do not require a lot of custom features. The per page price may go down with a bulk discount depending on the number of pages you need. Typically, designers with less experience are the ones who usually charge per page prices.

Brochure websites

In this day and age, it is essential for a company to have an online presence as well as a basic corporate brochure site. A “brochure” site simply means a website that serves as an online brochure that gives general information about your company products and services. A brochure site does not have complex database programming, e-commerce, or lots of interactivity. It basically serves as an online advertisement that features graphic design. These websites may start for as little as $500 or be as high as $2,500.

Complex websites

E-commerce, Corporate or Commercial websites can range from very simple to very complex. There are quite a few things to consider when preparing to budget. More complex sites feature a greater level of interactivity and database integration. You may need a private intranet for employee communication and document sharing, or an extranet to share information and track vendors and/or customers. If you choose the lowest price possible you will probably not get any qualified providers to respond. These websites usually start around $5,000 and can go as high as $25,000 depending on the complexity. I say usually; as sites can go as high as $100,000.

Summary

If you have a requirements list for your website or would like to develop one; call 239-400-0622 or email [email protected] a request for a quote. At Pragmatic Web Designer we make estimating a project easy. Details on package pricing are provided in detail online. Our other rates are $50 an hourly or $100 a page. Project proposals can be made based on a requirements list.

How Much Does a Quality Website Cost?When 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]