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Anatomy of a Homepage

Anatomy of a Homepage

There is some debate as to the importance of homepages on the modern internet. We would suggest that the homepage is still viable. Your homepage often functions as the gateway to your business. Sure you can have multiple landing pages that promote aspects of your business but there is only one page that will give the overall scope and range of what you are offering.  Therefore, homepages in our opinion matter in the User Experience(UX) design, brand aesthetics and overall Search Engine Optimization(SEO) of your site. To that end, we should consider the anatomy of the homepage as critical to the success of your business.

The Anatomy

HEADER

Headers contain critical informationa about your brand and function of the site. The main elements begin the logo and main navigation of the site. The logo is esential the brand experience for your customer. At a glance, the customer will know who your are and what colors are associated to your brand. These colors have a impact on your customer psycology in many ways.

The main navigation speaks to the UX design of your site. Your customers will gain confidence as the topics of your site through a quick study of the navigation. As well the navigation can help you design elements and section of your homepage to further concerte the main themes and concepts of your site in the users mind.

Choosing the right Website Design Company for you

Choosing the right Website Design Company for you

So you are looking for a website design company and do not know where to start? I think we have all been there at one point. We have a few suggestions to help you get started and find a company that meets your requirements but also one that just FITS.

Finding the correct web design company can take your online presence and make it a powerful marketing tool for your company. With so many companies it can be hard to discern which may be right for you and can be a bit overwhelming.

After all, your website is going to be the first impression that many prospective customers will have. It will be the face of your business, and in many situations, it is the best lead generator that you have. Your site will be a driving factor behind whether or not people choose to do business with you or your competitor.

That’s why it’s so important to choose a web design company that will help you reach your target audience. They will also help you achieve your business goals, and ultimately help your business grow to the next level.

It can be tough, even risky. Especially, with so many popup freelance designers and snake oil salespeople promising overnight success and number one Google rankings.

Step 1. Research

Go do a few Google Searches in your area. We like to promote utilizing local companies so this would be a great first step into finding a local web design company. Look for previous projects or portfolio to gauge if they might be a right fit.

 Animated gif of Dragonfly Construction Website

Step 2. They listen to your ideas

This is huge. You are considered an expert in your industry. If a web design company doesn’t listen to your ideas or isn’t open-minded enough to see how to market it, then you probably shouldn’t work with them.

 

Step 3. They bring up their own ideas

While it’s important for your web designer to listen to you, you need to work with someone who will challenge your opinions and bring an out of the box view to your idea, concepts, and strategy. You may know your industry, but your website needs to be designed by someone who knows design. Often times it sounds great on paper but doesn't translate into a design. Ultimately it is about conversion. Taking a user and turning them into a potential lead for your business.

 Search Engine Optimization Gears

Step 4. Using a CMS (Content Management System)

Most businesses utilize a CMS for the platform of their website. A few popular CMS are Joomla!, WordPress, Drupal and Magento with the lions share of the market in North America going to WordPress. Without it, you’ll be at a significant disadvantage in the marketplace. Any web design agency worth their salt is familiar with the best content management systems. If your designer recommends a static HTML website, then you need to find a time machine and return to this decade. If they suggest Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly, politely thank them for their time and move on to a web design company that does not use “10-minute-do-it-at-home” software.

 

Step 5. Responsive Web Design

In the era of smart phones and tablets in the hand of every child responsive web design is a must. Responsive web design is not a fad and it isn’t going anywhere. It is simply the best way to design a website these days. Google has even has a list of responsive web design best practices. While there are some cases where a separate mobile site might have some advantages, responsive web design is generally the preferred solution. As mobile usage continues to grow, you need to be sure your business website is optimized for every device. If a web design agency isn’t well-versed in responsive design or suggests a separate mobile website is always better, then they haven’t caught up with the times and probably aren’t the right fit for you. The right web design company will make it happen.

 

Choosing The Right Web Design Company Isn’t Easy, But It Doesn’t Have To Be A Brutal Experience

Take time to choose the right website design company for your business.Many things factor into creating the perfect website for your brand, so properly researching who can do the best job is crucial. After all, it’s your brand, and you deserve to have the right website built. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, be picky, and find a web design company that fits your goals.

Marketing Is Not Effective without SEO

Marketing Is Not Effective without SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the most important aspect of any Internet marketing strategy. There is so much to be gained for a website that shows up for keywords that will bring the target market to them instead of continuously having to pay to reach their target market. Not taking advantage of optimizing your website can result in a loss in sales and customers. Sure you might not be able to match the budget of a fortune 500 company in terms of advertising spending but they probably don’t have the budget to match your business on the local level. SEO optimization is a strategy in which a website can obtain higher rankings in search engines such as Google and Bing. This may be achieved in a variety of different ways because of the complexity that goes into Googles algorithm.

SEO companies will use a variety of strategies to create one well orchestrated SEO campaign. There are a few common elements that every website owner should consider when trying to optimize their website for search engines. This includes being cognizant of factors such as keyword density, META tags, titles and inbound links. Keyword density is a very common SEO strategy and essentially involves using relevant keywords in the content, title, alt tags, and meta description to demonstrate the relevance of these keywords to the the search engine. This is important because search engines are likely to give a higher ranking to webpages with optimal keyword densities. Search engines tend to also take into consideration social factors such as the number of shares content receives, like, comments, and backlinks.

I would also believe that Google takes into consideration on page elements such as time on the page and the bounce rate. Another important factor for websites that implement SEO is inbound links. Inbound links are links that point from other websites and direct traffic to your website. These links are considered important because they place a value on how relevant the webpage they’re pointing to is. It’s like referring a business to a friend. Its important to obtain links from relevant and high quality websites. If you obtain a lot of low quality links or have another website spam links to your website then your website will suffer. SEO is about long term results and staying relevant to search engines for years so you can continuously receive leads. Don’t jeopardize this opportunity.

If you need clients now then stick with pay-per-click, networking, or cold calling. SEO is so important because most people begin their search for a new product or service on search engines. Internet users tend to trust search engines to serve the most relevant content first and are not likely to visit a website that doesn’t show up on the first page. They’re more likely to revise their search then to continue looking. If you don’t invest in search engine optimization you will unfortunately miss out and a lot of new customers.

SEO - Tips on Choosing the Best Keywords

SEO - Tips on Choosing the Best Keywords

By focusing your businesses online marketing efforts on getting ranked in search engines for keywords that will drive a lot of traffic then you will setup your business for long-term success.

First, think about the products and services your business offers and write down the words you would use your self in a search engine to find those products and services in your location. If the sites that you would consider buying from show up then you know that the keyword or phrase is relevant to your target customer. A lot of misconception from small business owners is that inserting the keyword as many times as they can will do their website good. This is not the case. Creating a webpage that has stuffed keywords into it can and will result in a penalty from search engines.

Many SEO practitioners will tell you to use the the keyword 2% of the time in the content. In theory, this can be good advice. You know that an individual that works at the search engine isn’t checking every website and a math formula has to be used to index sites based on relevance. However, I recommend using the keywords just enough to get your point across. If you can get to the 2% mark then thats great but don’t sacrifice quality content. Your website will look like a robot and although you might get a few more visitors, these won’t necessarily and often don’t result in more sales.

Another great tip is to view your competitors near you and companies in the same industry in highly competitive markets who are showing up at the top of the search results for your suggested keywords. If you view the source code a lot of the times they will have the keywords that they’re trying to rank for in the header under “meta keywords”. Although this used to be a sort’ve relevant, its now just a place for you to gather information from your competitors. When viewing the websites take notice of the page content and the use of the keyword in the title tag, meta description, title tags, alt tags, and links. Use this information as a point of reference to see what similar service providers are doing in the most competitive markets.

Finally, use Googles keyword planner tool to find more suggestions. For your keywords, think of the services you offer (shoes, real estate, accountant), your title (accountant, lawyer, realtor) the location you serve (Palm Beach, Florida, Virginia), the price (affordable, cheap, expensive) and quality (best, high end, luxury, top of the line, great). These are common characteristics for search terms and the Google keyword planner tool will help you get suggestions and the estimated traffic that each keyword brings.  

4 SEO Strategies that Can Hurt Your Rankings

4 SEO Strategies that Can Hurt Your Rankings

Search engines play an important role to many businesses and avoiding black hat SEO techniques can help you raise/keep your rankings intact. Since Google is the most important search engine, it’s important to play by their rules. Although there is a lot of grey area, their rules tend to be pretty ethical and they do a good job of keeping the most relevant websites at the top of the search engine results page. To avoid getting penalized and having your website de-indexed don’t implement these 4 SEO Strategies that can ruin your website.

Keyword Stuffing

Don’t stuff keywords in your content or ask guest bloggers to stuff links in their website.

Avoid Questionable Websites

If you associate with a person who is always looking for trouble then soon enough people will perceive you the same way. The same analogy can be applied to search engines. It’s great if you get links pointing to your website from high traffic websites in your industry, guest bloggers, or from local businesses. However, if you get links from websites that get penalized then the link juice has the potential to lower your pages authority.

Avoid Link Farms

Some websites or webpages will link to anybody. If you get a link from a website that links to hundreds of other websites then this link will provide you little to no value when it comes to rankings. If you want to really benefit from getting links then focus on creating quality content that people will share and link back to without you asking.

Avoid Duplicating Content

If you steal content and just copy and paste it on your website then the content you write is likely to get hidden because Google wants people to find the content that is most relevant and from the original author. This is one of the reasons Google has implemented authorship to give credit to the original author.

Furthermore, you’re likely to get sued for copyright infringement so just don’t do it. If you have duplicate content on your website or write a guest post for another blog and want to share it on your own then use the rel=”canonical” tag to specify the preferred version.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us!

 

Why Responsive Web Design Matters?

Why Responsive Web Design Matters?

Mobile design first has been a buzz word in web design for 7 years or so now. However there seem to be some reluctant or resistance to it's full adoption. The internet is still filled with non-mobile friendly sites. We are also shock that many are still ignoring Google’s upcoming mobile-first algorithm changes. That change will drastically affect those sites rankings on Google’s search results.


Here at Savvy Gents we have been a proponent of responsive web design for years. What is Responsive Web Design? Google defines responsive web design as:

“Responsive web design (RWD) is a setup where the server always sends the same HTML code to all devices and CSS is used to alter the rendering of the page on the device. Google’s algorithms should be able to automatically detect this setup if all Googlebot user agents are allowed to crawl the page and its assets (CSS, JavaScript, and images). Responsive design serves all devices with the same code that adjusts for screen size.”


We unpacked that definition to mean responsive websites transforms and adjust itself to the pixel-width of the view port(screen) it is being view on, maximizing the user experience on every device, and keeping the content that is necessary to deliver that user experience.
On a responsive site the user should not have to squint, zoom to view content or interact with the site.

Why does this all matter? Here are 11 statics that may help you understand the why of this matter.

  1. Mobile traffic as a share of total global online traffic in 2017 is 52.64%
  2. Mobile devices are projected to reach 79% of global internet use by the end of 2018
  3. In 2017, mobile eCommerce revenue accounts for 50% of total U.S. eCommerce revenue
  4. In 2017, the mobile share of total digital minutes in the United States is 65%
  5. 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile
  6. Nearly 8 in 10 customers would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device
  7. According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site on mobile if they had trouble accessing it and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead
  8. 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important
  9. As of Q2 2017, smartphones hold a 57% share of all retail website visits
  10. Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to desktop conversion rates
  11. 88% of consumers who search for a type of business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours

The bottom line is if your site isn't mobile friendly you are losing business and the potential for your business to grow.