Monthly Archives: August 2010

My friend is a web designer, can he also do my Search Engine Optimization?

Maybe, maybe not. My husband knows how to make really great sandwiches, but does that mean he should open a sub shop? We have talked about starting our own restaurant some day, but we both know that there is a lot more than just making a great sandwich to run a successful restaurant.

Consider this same analogy between a web designer and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert. Designers rarely understand SEO let alone know how to implement it into a website.  Believe it or not, an astonishing number of website designers don’t have a clue about what SEO even means!

As a website is created and built, there must be an understanding about how web spiders crawl through websites checking for backlinks, HTML coding, content/copywriting, navigation, loading of website pages, meta tags and so forth.

Trying to implement an SEO strategy after a website has already been created can be a time consuming and expensive task. Why, you ask? If SEO wasn’t initially designed into the site, chances are there will be many structural and major design issues that will need to be addressed and changed after the fact.

Looks can also be deceiving when trying to choose a web designer. A web design agency can have a beautiful portfolio, but that doesn’t mean you should consider them qualified to create your website and implement your SEO strategy? Flash video clips, heavy image sites and audio may actually damage your business in terms of search engine rankings and hinder the user experience.

The way a website looks is only one factor of its success. A website design must be SEO and PEOPLE (user) friendly by being quick to download, and easy to navigate. Remember our restaurant example? A restaurant can […]

By |August 27th, 2010|Categories: Advertising & Design|3 Comments

Links are what hold ALL your SEO strategies together

Did you know that inbound links, which point to your website, are one of the most powerful ways of climbing search engine result pages! That’s right – every link to your site is seen by the search engines as a endorsement and builds upon the credibility and reputation of your website. The more people who promote your content (link to your site), the higher you get ranked.

Last week we discussed how web crawlers, web robots, or spiders are used by many companies (like Google, Yahoo etc.) to collect, catalog, index, and return information about your website. The key to a higher ranking is to create targeted content that appeals to human visitors who will link to you, while the search engines index your site for the ultimate SEO strategy!

Getting those inbound links to your site from other websites is not that hard. Local Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, schools or other professional organizations will often link to your website as a benefit of membership. Another great way to gain inbound links is to sponsor events at local charities that the press will publish online with links to your site.

Writing articles about your business or profession and submitting them to as many article directories as possible is another way to acquire links and increase your rankings. Make sure to write about your area of expertise! Check out sites like EzineArticles.com and submit up to ten articles for free!

Sharing useful information through a blog is one of the easiest ways to help draw links. If readers find your site useful and informative, they are likely to share your information. Bloggers are always looking for inspiration, websites to link to and things to discuss. You should also list […]

By |August 19th, 2010|Categories: Advertising & Design|4 Comments

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! Never fear, the world wide web is here.

The year was 1965 and I was four years old. The TV series, “Lost in Space”, captured my imagination and I dreamed of how cool it would be to live in space and own my very own robot! I thought it was possible and I bet if you watched the show, you did too.

Little did I know or never could imagine, the robots I would work with are web robots. Web crawlers, web robots, or spiders today are used by many companies to collect, catalog, index, and return information about your website. Search engines (like Google, Yahoo etc.) are the most well known users of spiders and they will visit a well established site several times a day to check for updates and index your pages.

Once you understand the basics about how these data collection companies find and explore your website, you can optimize your pages for the best SEO or search engine optimization results. Basically, these spiders grab information like page titles, page content and meta tags which are included in the search engine’s index or database.

To optimize your website, create a HTML-based site that your human users will want to view and is SEO friendly with quality word content for the robots to search, examine and index. Spiders still look or search mostly for content and words to add to their databases, and rank your site.

Leave the Flash stuff for the movie websites where it is expected and appreciated. Very heavy Flash or totally image based websites are virtually worthless in the sense of optimization. Plus, consumers are browsing the web with mobile phones over wireless connections and become easily frustrated with slow loading, flash websites.

Think about how you find information on the […]

By |August 13th, 2010|Categories: Advertising & Design|4 Comments

Can I take your picture?

Your company just had a major promotional event and you took lots of pictures. Photography is your passion and you made sure to capture everything – customers enjoying themselves, buying your product, kids playing on the sidelines, the food vendor, and salespeople in the background. Later, you think how great it would be to include a few of the photos in one of your advertisements.

It does not matter if you are taking pictures at your kids concert or a community event, if you are using someone’s image to promote a product, you MUST have them sign a model release. Taking pictures of people in public places is legal, but using those photos commercially, in any form of advertising, is a different story.

It is not legally permissible to make a profit off of anyone’s image without their consent. If a photo suggests someone subscribes to a particular idea, product or service, get their permission. Always ask permission before you take their picture and try to give them a model release form in advance so they have plenty of time to read and understand the terms.

By signing the form, they agree that your company takes ownership of the images and has the right to publish them. Be prepared if they ask to be compensated for their time and decide if you are willing to pay them for their photo or possibly arrange a trade.

Securing a signed model release protects your company from any future legal issues claiming you used an individuals image without their permission. You don’t need to have the release written by a lawyer and it can be as short as a paragraph simply stating a photographer or company has the right to use the […]

By |August 6th, 2010|Categories: Advertising & Design|4 Comments