Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Businesses must adopt effective methods when promoting their websites

Web administrators need to adopt effective marketing campaigns to boost site awareness.
Web administrators need to adopt effective marketing campaigns to boost site awareness.
By Priscilla Aderman
Spetnik Solutions Editorial Staff

For businesses looking to make their website stand apart from others, adopting effective marketing methods is essential. A recent article from Helium created a walk-through for businesses to follow when beginning this process.

First, companies need to determine how much of their budget they are willing to allocate toward website improvement. With money to spend, companies are encouraged to adopt search engine optimization, search engine and social media marketing tactics in order to boost their site's awareness. Figuring out how to accurately allocate budgets between these expenditures is important as well. With no budget, businesses are forced to expend more energy on finding innovative ways for site promotion.

Helium suggests companies incorporate free software onto their sites, such as Google Analytics or Google Adwords, which can analyze traffic patterns among other pieces of web user statistics. These tools can become integral for marketing campaigns, as they can analyze which methods are proving effective and which aren't. Making sure these campaigns remain effective is important, as internet competition is high throughout all sectors, Helium states.

Once these methods have been adopted and implemented, consistent attention must be paid to a website. Actions such as search engine and directory submissions, social bookmarking, email marketing and blog management are all areas that website administrators can focus on to continue to promote the site's awareness.

As of 2008, the U.S. had more than 230 million internet users. Adopting and consistently grooming these aforementioned methods can potentially draw portions of this crowd toward a business' website.

Here at Spetnik Solutions, we not only provide high quality web design and development, but also work with our customers to achieve high search engine rankings and implement suitable marketing strategies and web advertising. Contact us now for more details!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Creating and launching a website no longer enough, now need to focus on six main areas

Simply creating a website and launching it doesn't cut it for many businesses online today.
Simply creating a website and launching it doesn't cut it for many businesses online today.
By Priscilla Aderman
Spetnik Solutions Editorial Staff

For companies or individuals developing websites today, simply creating and launching a website is no longer good enough. With the web offering so many different features on various sites, developers need to keep up and provide diverse content and features. A recent article from MoneyWeb cites six areas that such websites should focus on or offer.

Firstly, companies need to have a user-friendly website. This site should be easy for visitors to access and navigate and should also be informative and educational about the company or product. Using efficient text and an organized layout can accomplish these goals.

Next, for companies that sell products incorporating ecommerce is becoming essential. With the ability to produce sales both day and night, such a site offering can go a long way toward increasing profitability. 

Focusing on search engine optimization can boost a site's visibility in the digital world. Optimized copy and design elements will target greater audiences and hopefully boost page rankings on popular search engines. 

Adding new content will keep a website fresh and more attractive to customers, MoneyWeb states. Being consistently fresh will go a long way toward boosting SEO rankings as well. In order to provide new content consistently without paying designers or developers, companies should have content management systems in place which allow those involved with the website the ability to add, edit and manage the site more efficiently.

Lastly, social media marketing has become incredibly important as sites such as Facebook and Twitter have garnered significant amounts of users. Marketing on these sites can increase exposure tremendously. 

Furthermore, Google recently added a new stipulation to its search algorithm that will allow multiple results to appear for a single domain name, which can provide better exposure for a website.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Web design trends to follow to create an attractive website

Following key web design trends can draw more visitors.
Following key web design trends can draw more visitors.
For web designers hoping to create a website both attractive in appearance and efficient in operations in order to retain visitors, a recent Mashable blog post cited five trends to follow in order to accomplish just that.

The first thing web designers need to remember is to keep things simple. By going with a minimalist attitude, a website can focus more on its content and eliminate any unneeded excess. With page weight now a factor in Google's page-ranking algorithm, minimalism can be helpful. With good design, a website with a minimalist attitude can still be visually pleasing.

Unique pictures help as well. The blog states pictures such as businessmen shaking hands or the call center girl are tired and cliched. Websites should include artwork or custom photography whenever possible. If choosing stock images, web designers should opt for original, abstract images for a more dramatic effect.

Using bold typography can be attractive, too. A recent trend has seen many websites use bold lettering to create contrast from other page areas and to create hierarchy of topics. Designers should determine which areas of their site they want to stress and deploy bold typography there.

In order to retain customers, sites should include a call to action for visitors, such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading a file. Using effective language, positioning, color and size of these calls to action can attract and retain visitors effectively.

Finally, designers should complete A/B testing to analyze the effectiveness of all of their site's pages and functions. Doing this should ensure areas are performing.

With more people using the internet now than ever, keeping up with these latest trends could draw greater crowds to a website.

Expert advice for improving web presence

Web designers should follow certain rules to increase SEM efficiency.
Web designers should follow certain rules to increase SEM efficiency.
Companies wanting to optimize their web presence and get a better placement on search result lists usually choose various strategies in order to achieve these goals. According to a Helium report, certain measures are more efficient than others.

First and foremost, it's crucial for companies to establish and maintain an appealing website. Search engine marketing experts advice companies to create a standard and compliant site, as this will improve the chances of getting a high-search list ranking.

When the foundation is built, companies can proceed with creating website content. This should include industry-related articles with relevant keywords, as this is one of the variables in Google's algorithms. By doing so, the company can obtain a higher search engine ranking. However, website developers should be careful not to exaggerate the use of keywords, as this will cause search engines to categorize the content as spam.

Furthermore, website developers should use HTML tags to fill out each page with unique, keyword-rich title tags as well as the interlinks between pages, using keyword anchor tags instead of a "click here" link or button. The report also mentions that avoidance of words such as "and," "or" and "the" is beneficial to a company as this purportedly will increase SEM efficiency.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What web designers can do to increase SEO

Web designers can help boost a site's SEO
Web designers can help boost a site's SEO
Search engine optimization doesn't have to be just a web content manager's responsibility. Website designers should also be in the mix when creating and laying out the site, Helium.com relays.

First and foremost, websites need to look presentable and manageable. Many times search engine users will click on a link, check out a site and go back to the engine quickly if they think they can't easily find their information on that site. Thus, web design is important.

To increase SEO with web design, page creators should make navigating their site easy and can do so by making internal linking as user-friendly as possible. Adding share buttons near any viral content can also boost SEO as users can then share this content on their social networking page and boost awareness of the original site.

The loading speed of a website is incredibly important as well, as users will leave pages that take too long to access. Thus, not including too many graphics, videos or ad banners on a site can potentially boost SEO. Google also recently stated load speed is factored into its page-ranking algorithm.

While keywords are a large part of SEO and primarily the responsibility of content writers, web designers should word these keywords into page links and descriptions, image titles or tags of any nature to help out.

With these tips, web designers can do their own part in helping boost SEO for their site. ADNFCR-3705-ID-19918314-ADNFCR

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Strengthen Your Web Presence - Part Two: Design and Development

In our last post we described the basic fundamentals of how a website functions. We mentioned that a website resides on one or more servers which transmit the content of each web page to the user’s web browser. This week we will speak about the differences between various web sites and explain the process of how a website is created.
Before one embarks upon a web development project, it is imperative to establish the purpose of the site to be created. I like to divide all web sites into two categories: Application-driven sites and online brochures. An application-driven site is a website that performs specific functions, such as displaying live product inventory, accepting online purchases and payments, or an account management portal, to name a few. Creation of such sites will generally mean an extensive project with much careful planning. While this may be a suitable option for larger corporations or web-based businesses, it is not always the correct path for smaller companies with more modest budgets.
When a small non-web-based company builds a website, they will commonly choose the “online brochure” option. The purpose of such a website is to merely establish a corporate presence on the web. An online brochure will usually contain between 5-20 pages which describe the services provided, and (optionally) the corporate staff.
Once the type of website to be created has been determined, the actual work can begin. The creation of a website is broken down into two parts: font-end design and back-end development. The specific technique used will vary somewhat between different design and development firms, but the general method is usually the same. Here is how we do it at Spetnik Solutions:
First, the graphic designer(s) assigned to the project will meet with the client to better understand the requirements for the look-and-feel of the site. After several drafts, a design is approved and a final proof is generated. The final proof is a high-quality graphic representation of each page style to be displayed on the site. This is then sent to the front-end design team which “slices” up the graphics and converts them to a web-friendly format. The front-end designers then create HTML pages, merging the static graphics with text. These pages are designed to be viewable in all major web browsers, and have the precise appearance that the website will have.
Now it is time for back-end development. Back-end development is the creation of any applications that need to run behind the scenes on the web server. While an “online brochure” will need very little development, “application-driven” sites will require many hours of development. However, even “brochure” sites will generally have some development needs - at the very least a “mailer” application which generates an email when a visitor fills out a “contact” form or a basic content-management solution.
Generally, the development team will create the server applications and integrate them with the HTML pages to produce a finished product. The website is then uploaded to the web server, and the site goes live.
This covers the basic process of website design and development. Next, we will discuss tips for building an effective website and common pitfalls that you should avoid.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Strengthen Your Web Presence - Part One: The Basics

(Edit: Due to many people informing me that this article was difficult to understand, I have re-written it in what I believe to be a more simplified manner. Please share your thoughts!)
Throughout my experience in the web industry, I have noticed that most people do not seem to accurately grasp the basic concepts of web site technology. It seems that each time I speak to a prospective client I have to explain the fundamentals of web design and development. In many cases this is indicative of inadequate web representation for the company in question. This article is the first part in a series explaining the core facets of website design and development.
In this segment, I am going to deal with the absolute basics of a website. While I have tried to represent the issue in the most accurate manner possible, there are exceptions to almost every rule. Therefore, there will be exceptions to much of what I have written. Nonetheless, I have aimed to give over this information in such a way that it will be most applicable.
A website by definition is a collection of data on the internet that is viewed via a “web browser” (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome). The website itself resides on one or more servers, and when the user requests a page through the browser, the server then responds with the corresponding data.
The web browser interprets a markup language known as HTML, which instructs the browser how to display the content of the page. This code has almost nothing to do with the “inner workings” of the site. It is just the method used to format and display data. The web server sends HTML data to the browser, which then properly displays the page. A “hyperlink” (also known as a “link”) on a page is a reference to a “URL” or “web address” (such as http://www.spetnik.com). Clicking the link instructs the browser to request another page from the server, and the process repeats itself.
Any action that takes place on a website (such as making a payment or sending an email) is done on the server, not in the browser. This is usually initiated when a user clicks a link or button in the browser window causes a new page to be accessed. When the server receives the request for this specific page (along with any other data the browser submits), it performs whatever action is supposed to take place and then sends the next page to the browser (generally a confirmation page informing the user whether the action has completed successfully or not).
To summarize, each website exists on a server and sends data to the “client” or “web browser”. All “action” takes place on the server – the browser requests and receives formatted content from the server and displays it to the user. When a link or button is clicked on a web page, the browser makes a further request to the server, which performs any necessary action before sending a fresh HTML page to the client.
Coming up, we will explore different types of websites and explain the difference between “web design” and “web development”.
Stay tuned!