Website Design

Website Redesign | Content Creation

by Christi on February 27, 2012

It is important to understand that original content is what will generate more traffic. Content creation is a continuous process that must be given priority. A blog is a great way to deliver fresh, new content.
Consider this:
• Blogging results in a 55% increase in website visitors.

• Search engines like fresh content, which will increase your number of indexed pages.

• People like fresh content:
• Companies that blog have 2x as many twitter followers than those that donʼt.
• Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than those that donʼt.

Original content is your websiteʼs messenger: it will inform your prospects on what you do, and how passionately you do it. With a vast array of formats to create content on, you should always be continuously contributing original content to keep your prospects engaged and constantly interacting with your website.

Download the free eBook: 7 Steps to Website Redesign Success to see some other vehicles for original content.



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You many want an interactive and flashy homepage that entices your user; however, it is important to understand that fundamentals need to be addressed first. Always keep in mind what is most important to your visitors!

Homepage Redesign
Source: HubSpot, The Science of Website Redesign, June 2011

What is most important to your visitors is that they are able to find what they want. That makes sense. Remember, inbound marketing is all about being there when your customer is looking for you, giving them what they want and converting them into leads/customers for your business.

Your homepage is the face of your services or products. You only get one chance to impress that visitor, so make sure you carefully place the essentials you want them to know on your homepage. It should also act as a launching platform to places where they can contact you in the future (i.e. blog, social media, etc.)

In order to really get the most out of a website redesign, companies need to construct their website in the context of a greater Internet marketing strategy.You can get our checklist of the key issues to address on your homepage from our free eBook: 7 Steps to Website Redesign Success.




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Website Redesign | 2nd Step to Success

by Joe B on February 23, 2012

Insure that your Websiteʼs Assets are In Order and Safe

You can actually do more damage than good by trying to undertake a website redesign on your own without understanding how you must protect the existing assets of your current site.

  • Website assets such as content, inbound links, keyword rankings, and conversion tools are critical to a strong web presence.
  • To preserve your web presence, you must keep track these assets to insure that they are all transferred in the redesign process.

It is important to do an asset assessment before you embark on a website redesign.

If you do not fully understand the importance and practice of proper SEO, doing a website redesign can be more damaging than helpful. If you do not feel comfortable around SEO work, it may be best to hire specialists to perform the redesign so all the hard work you have put into making a web presence does not disappear. Be sure to ask your website designer if s/he understands the importance of maintaining your current website’s assets and of using 301 redirects in a website redesign. If not, find another website designer.

Don’t guess when doing a website redesign – find out how to do it right! Download our free ebook: 7 Steps to Successful Website Redesign today!

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Website Redesign | 1st Step to Success

by Christi on February 22, 2012

The 1st step to a successful website redesign is to determine why you need a redesign at all. Actually, website redesign is a continuous process that is just as much about functionality as it is design. There are definitely good reasons for a website redesign. To be successful you must think it through and set your redesign goals.

Wrong Reasons For Redesign
“We have a new corporate look and feel.”
“Itʼs been 12 months since our last redesign.”
“The CEO wants to do it.”

Right Reasons for Redesign
“Want to get found by more prospects.”
“Want to convert more prospects into leads and eventually, customers.”
“We want to improve branding.” (Only appropriate if oriented around one of the previous reasons.)

Misguided reasons for redesigning your website are driven by the thought that the freshness and “wow factor” of a new website will increase excitement over your brand. The main motivations behind website renovations should be to improve the performance of your website. A beautiful website, although intriguing and aesthetically pleasing, is secondary to a functional traffic and lead generating website.

Don’t guess – find out how to do it right! Download our free ebook: 7 Steps to Successful Website Redesign today!



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SEO and Keyword Strategy

by Christi on February 8, 2012

SEO New OrleansSEO (search engine optimization) is the next step in our internet marketing strategy. If you are following along as we go through the steps included in the Essential Guide to Internet Marketing, you will remember that the first step was researching keywords. Now that you have identified some good keywords, what should you do with them?

Keywords can help your site get found by search engines and that is what SEO is all about. SEO can be broken down into two categories:

On-page SEO – This refers to the way your content is presented to search engines and how your keywords are used on your site. This is something that you can improve immediately.

Off-page SEO – This refers to the authority your site has on the web. This can take some time to improve.

Even though on-page SEO accounts for less in how search engines rank your site. It is a good idea to correct this first because  it can be improved quickly and keyword placement is an essential part of on-page SEO.

Where should you place your keywords for good on-page SEO?

  1. Page Title – Page titles are the text you see at the top of your browser when you are on a web page. A page title can be edited in your site’s HTML. Be sure to include the keywords for your page in the page title. Your page title should be less than 70 characters and your keywords should be at the first of the title. Each page on your site gives you an opportunity to target different keywords that are relevant to your business and to your site’s visitors.
  2. Meta Description – While your page’s meta description does not directly influence your search engine rankings, it is still a good opportunity to include your keywords to help you attract visitors to your site. Your meta description is a summary of what your page is about. It is not seen on your page, but is shown by search engines when your site is included in search results.
  3. Headings – The text that is included in your headings (those that are surrounded by <Hx> tags in the html code) are seen by search engines as being important. Be sure to include your keywords in your headings.
  4. Images – Images can certainly enhance your visitors’ experience on your website. Images also give you an opportunity to use your keywords. You can use your keywords in your image file names as well as the images’ alt text. Don’t use images excessively because it can slow down the amount of time it takes your page to load which can negatively impact your search results.

As important as keywords are, it is also important that you don’t “keyword stuff.” That is, don’t just fill a page with your keywords. Not only will keyword stuffing make for a bad experience for your visitors, search engines can detect keyword stuffing and it can adversely affect your rankings. Trying to “trick” search engines is not a good SEO strategy.

To get more in-depth information about how to use your keywords effectively for SEO, (both on-page and off-page), download the Essential Guide to Internet Marketing. This guide will give you the essential  steps you need to set up and implement a successful internet marketing strategy.



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Create a Keyword Strategy

by Joe B on February 7, 2012

Why Build a Keyword Strategy?

Today, most people looking to buy a product or service begin the process by using a search engine to find vendors and product information. How do they do this? By using keywords and keyword phrases. You need to make sure that your website is ranking high in the search engines for the keywords that people are using to find companies like yours.

Some things to remember:

  • You have to be on the first or second page of search results or it’s almost like not being there at all.
  • Shorter search phrases are searched for more often and usually more difficult to rank for than longer phrases. For example, more searches occur for “shoes” than for “tennis shoes” and both of those are searched more frequently than “red tennis shoes”. However, if you are selling red tennis shoes, you would probably get better qualified visits (leads) by ranking for “red tennis shoes” as opposed to either “tennis shoes” or “shoes”.

How to Create a Keyword Strategy

1. Create a list of 3-5 keywords relevant to your business.

Think like someone searching for your product.

2. Choose keywords based on difficulty and relevance.

Some very general words such as “marketing” or “business” are very competitive, making it difficult to rank well for them. If you are a small- or medium-sized business, you probably want to choose less competitive keywords, more specifically related to your business (these are commonly referred to as long tail keywords).

You should find a balance between relevance and difficulty. Choose about 5 keywords that match your business well.

Note that these keywords do not have to be perfect at first. You can try out different ones to see which work best for you.

3. Design and optimize your website around your keywords.

Now that you’ve chosen your keywords, you should incorporate them into your website. We will talk more about this tomorrow.

For more information on Keyword Strategies as well as internet marketing, download our “Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing”.




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Three Ways to Improve Your Website in 2012

by Joe B on January 4, 2012

As we start a new year, I thought I would list three ways you could increase the effectiveness of your website by increasing quality visits and conversions.

1) Improve your search engine optimization (SEO) by doing some Keyword Research

SEO is vital to your website being found for the right keywords in online searches. One of the best ways to improve your SEO is to do some Keyword Research.

When doing Keyword Research, you’ll want to research the terms that your potential customers might use to find you.

  • Be careful not to use industry jargon (i.e. technical terms used by those in your industry) unless those are the terms your customers use.
  • The terms your customers use to find you may change over time. For example, what we now call laptop computers have been called portable computers and notebook computers.
  • Your main product or service may change over time.

So update your website to include the right Keywords.

2) Improve your website’s visibility by blogging

One of the best ways to increase quality visits to your website is by blogging. The simple rule is that the more content you have on the web, the better your chances of being found in search results. And there is no better way to increase your content on the web than by blogging. Be sure to include your Keywords in your blog posts and your blog posts’ names.

3) Place Calls to Action on your website

One of the best ways to convert website visitors into leads and customers is through the use of Calls to Action. A Call to Action is simply a directive to the website visitor (e.g. Click Here to download Free eBook). Often a Call to Action will offer the website visitor more information in exchange for their email address. Once you have an email address (a lead), you can set up a nurturing campaign where you send the lead more information about your product or service. (Always have an opt out option in your emails and stop your nurturing campaign if they opt out)

Of course, there are many more ways to improve your website. These are just three to help get you started.




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New Orleans Web Design | Marketing Lessons

by Christi on November 7, 2011

new orleans web designWhat can New Orleans web design tell us about marketing? Recently, we traveled to New Orleans for both business and pleasure, and found many examples, some good, some bad of website design/internet marketing and how businesses are using (or in some cases not) the internet to connect with their customers.

First, some background: According to a story by NOLA.com:

  • Forbes Magazine recently named New Orleans the best city for information and technology jobs and New Orleans’ number of business start-ups per capita was 30 percent higher than the national average in 2010.
  • New Orleans is experiencing more investment in more diverse industries than we ever have in the history of the city.
  • The doldrums are there, but successful entrepreneurs are swimming against the current, It just gives a good example of what can be done.

Obviously, New Orleans has had to recover from some major setbacks but the city is thriving. However, in the area of website design for internet marketing, there is still much work to be done. One of the biggest needs we saw for improvement was in mobile marketing and search engine optimization. In what is called the “city that care forgot,” local businesses cannot afford to be forgotten or never found in the first place!

The same principles apply whether you are in New Orleans or anywhere else, in order to succeed online you must:

  • Get found – that means that you must be found where people are looking for you. More and more, these days, that means mobile and tablets. This also means social media. If you are not visible where people are looking, you are invisible.
  • Convert – once you are found, you need to have a strategy that converts you visitors into leads for your business.
  • Analyze – look at your results and see what works and what doesn’t work. What calls to action are the most effective and what brings the most qualified visitors to your site?

I look forward to hearing more good news about the wonderful city of New Orleans and its thriving entrepreneurial business community. What are the opportunities for growth using internet marketing in your city?




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Website Strategy | A Strong Foundation

by Christi on October 24, 2011

Your website strategy should include a strong foundation. Like building a house, you have to start at the beginning. If you were building a house, you wouldn’t just start putting up walls without having a plan and the same is true for a website.

Let’s take the analogy further. When you are building a house, you start with a plan. Where will the house be located? How will the house be situated on the lot? What kind of foundation is required? Where will the walls be? How will each room be used? What will be the best placement for each room. What about hallways? You don’t want hallways that lead to nowhere! Once you have the blueprint, the layout settled, then you can start planning on the finishing touches. What kind of materials will be used for counter tops, cabinets, flooring, etc. What colors and finishes will you put on the walls?

If you don’t spend the right amount of time and effort on the foundation and structure of your house, it will not matter what the finishing touches are because the house won’t be sound. The same is true for a website. Do you have the right hosting for your site? You must decide what pages will be necessary, what the function of each page is. Where will the pages go and how will you navigate between pages? What content will be necessary to make the pages functional? Once you get the structure right and spend the right amount of time and effort getting the foundation in place, then you can add the finishing touches, knowing that your website is strong and functional as well as pleasing to the eye.




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Website Strategy | Solving Problems

by Christi on October 17, 2011

solving problemsWhen you look at a page on your website, can you tell within 4 seconds what the purpose of the page is? Can you tell what problems it solves? Last week we discussed 6 things every webpage should have. The very first thing listed was a goal. How can you determine what the goal of your page is?

  1. Does the page solve a problem or create a problem? What problem does it solve?
  2. Does the page address your target market? What kind of information is your target market looking for? Can they find it on your site?
  3. Is the content on your page current? Is it updated to reflect the current problems of your target market?
  4. Is your call to action appropriate for your goal? Is it easy to find or are there barriers on the page that keep your target audience from seeing the purpose.

We should always be think in terms of what our target market needs, what their problems are and, of course, how our product or service solves that problem. Remember, when people find your site online, it is because they were looking for you. They were looking for an answer. When we provide answers to what our target market is looking for, our websites are more effective for our customers and our business as well.

What are the goals of your website?




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