Web Design Inspiration?

Web Design Inspiration?

We all get the design flavor of writers block occasionally it is unfortunately part of life. What you do when that happens makes the difference between a designer, and a good designer. Some will call it a day and go home, others will go to the nearest bar or coffee shop and forget about everything for a while. Others will go and do something completely different like go fishing, skating or to the gym.

When you do lost inspiration, it is certainly time to step away from the project for a while but it doesn’t necessarily mean the time is wasted. There are plenty of ways to spend time away from the desk but not be productive. Every city has plenty of places you can go to take your mind off things while still being productive.

Here are some of my favorites.

An art gallery is an obvious choice I guess, but one that shouldn’t be ignored because of that. Here you can spend time looking at other people’s ideas and work. You will be relaxing away from the office, but still not wasting time. While your conscious mind might be taking in great works and admiring the skill of the artist, your subconscious will be storing it all up for another time.

A modern art gallery is a variation of a theme but still worthy of an honorable mention. Here your mind can take in the latest in contemporary design. These places are often great for exploring color and how different ones can work together, or not. Not everything in a modern art gallery appeals to me, but there is often enough in there to get my mind ticking over.

A Museum is another great place to get inspiration. While it won’t have cutting edge, modern exhibits, there are a lot of retro ideas that can come from somewhere like this. Old engines, architecture, jewelry, even clothing from days gone by. New designs often use influences from the past and the museum is a great place to get them. It could be just the use of colors, or the lines of a specific exhibit. It’s all subjective so you will take what you will from it.

Going shopping is another great pastime when you have designers block. Especially a department store that sells high fashion. A slow browse around taking in the colors, shapes, lines and anything else that takes your fancy. You don’t even have to buy anything if you don’t want to, just look and absorb what you see. Your imagination will do the rest.

These are just a few of the places I use to visit when my creativity takes a break. Which one and where depends entirely on my mood at the time, but by the end of the day my mind is brim full of ideas ready to go the next day. It might not seem as productive as slaving away at your desk, but it is, just in a different way.

Relevance is Key When Building Links

Relevance is Key When Building Links

I know I’ve mentioned it a lot in other articles about how relevance is key when building links and all of that jazz, but I wanted to dedicate an article to it because it really is an important concept to take into consideration. To understand it, here is a little bit of a history lesson about Google. Once you understand this lesson, you’ll be better able to understand why relevance is key.

When Google was first started, what the owners wanted was a site that ranked sites based on the number of links they got. So, if one site got 100 links and the other got 1000 links, obviously the site with 1000 links was more of an authority than the one with the one hundred links. Unfortunately, what Google found out was that it was tremendously easy to go and just start spamming the internet with links so that you could rank successfully in the search engines. It’s easy to manipulate new websites.

Google, though, is notorious for being smart and so they were able to figure out that people were doing this. So, what they did was made it so that if you added too many links aimed at your site in too short a period of time, you were considered a spammer and so, you were removed from the search engines. So, what people did was bought a few links a week and built them that way. Google didn’t know the links were bought and the link builder got high quality links and a few at a time.

Finally, Google was tired of people manipulating their search engines. They said that buying links was against the rules and if you bought them, you’d be removed from the search engines. That was scary to a lot of people, but the thing was, Google relied on links. So, people were still able to buy links. It just changed. Now, people bought links on sites within their niches. People shared link juice this way.

By understanding that, you’ll understand why relevance is important. Google wants their search engine to be the best. So, they constantly make updates. Buying links is a pivotal part in making your website grow bigger. However, the best way to do it is to buy links on relevant sites. It is better to have a relevant link than a non-relevant link. Often times, a stronger non-relevant link is actually weaker than a weak relevant link. Relevance is important. Buy relevant links to promote your site and you’ll find your rankings skyrocketing.

What exactly is SEO?

What exactly is SEO?

Often times, people have to stop what they’re doing and ask themselves: what is SEO? Sure, they know that SEO is important for their website and they know that if they are going to have success on the web, they need to employ a series of tactics that will make their content appear before readers more likely than with another website. However, the truth is: what is SEO?

This is a question that people often have to ask themselves because they don’t even realize what they are doing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a series of techniques that a website owner (or company) employ in an effort to optimize their site so it appears on the front page of the respective search engines, specifically Google. People spend thousands of dollars each and every month because they understand that having a front page listing is worth a lot of money, especially if the keyword is super competitive.

However, while understanding SEO is important, there is a way to delve deeper into the topic. There are two types of search engine optimization. There is the more basic one which is the external search engine optimization. Then there is the more detail oriented one which is the internal search engine optimization. Here are details about each:

  • External Search Engine Optimization: This is the process by which a website owner builds links for their sites. They may employ any number of tactics such as article marketing, link exchanges, directory submission, or anything else. The goal is to create an abundance of links. The more links that are linking to your site (in the proper niche) results in a higher page rank from Google, but more importantly, it results in appearing on the front page for a series of keywords. What keywords those are, though, is entirely up to you.
  • Internal Search Engine Optimization: This is the process by which a website owner goes in and carefully edits their code so that it is works better for the search engines. Here, a website owner may go in and edit the meta-tags so that the site ranks stronger for other keywords. This is very fine detailing; however, this fine tuning can result in a considerable boost in the search engines. Without this technique, no good search engine optimization will work well.

No plan works alone. Without internal SEO, external SEO won’t do enough and the same can be said on the flip side. With this understanding, it is important for a webmaster to develop a technique in which they focus on building their links, but keep a careful eye on their code to make sure they don’t need any growth on that side.

Should You Make a Website?

Should You Make a Website?

As the World Wide Web has grown more and more, one of the biggest questions people have been asking themselves is whether or not they should have a website made for their company. More people are starting to hop online and people are obviously using search engines to find what they’re looking for. Topics that are geographically specific are searched every day such as Tampa Web Design for an example. With this in mind, a business owner needs to stop, sit down and ask themselves: Do I need a website?

The answer should be a complete and utter YES! There is no reason why your business should not have a website. People argue that since they don’t sell a product, they shouldn’t have a website because a website is only good for selling goods. That doesn’t mean anything. Having a website in that case means you are providing another way for people to find your contact information or to learn more about what you offer. People say that their business is so unique that no one would search it, which gets the response: if you can have a business about it, you can have a website about it.

The fundamental reason you want to get a website made for your site is it is an added method of people being able to find your business. Before the World Wide Web was big, people found businesses by going into their phone book. They’d open up their geographically specific phone book and look for a pizza place. These days, they can type in the keyword “city name pizza place” and come up with the results. By having a website, you can provide the visitor all the information they may need such as: what kind of catering do they do, what do they charge for a large cheese pizza, and so many other questions.

No matter what type of business you own, having a website is a great investment. Even though it costs a little money to get the site up and running, that doesn’t mean that you should forsake the great possibilities that can come from a website. By having a website, you are giving yourself the chance to really get your business out there. Depending on what you provide, it can mean a lot more business. There’s a reason people are constantly making new websites. It’s working. It’s making businesses money. You should make a website soon. Or contact us.

Why Good Web Design is Important for Your E-Commerce Site

Why Good Web Design is Important for Your E-Commerce Site

Not so long ago, web design was not at then top of the list on the minds of online business owners. This was because despite having amazingly ugly websites, these folks were still able to make money! However, the internet is undergoing a revolution thanks to the ever growing competition and search engines getting more concerned about the user experience.

So, what does this mean to you as a website owner?

i. Significance of branding
With the maturity of the internet, online shoppers are getting choosier on whom to buy from. They are looking for credible product vendors to buy from. They want to buy from the best experts. This makes branding very critical. People are more likely to stay loyal to a brand and make repeated purchases from it if they trust it. Loyalty is an important business strategy. Earning your customers loyalty is capable of making you a market leader. Professional web design will help you achieve this. You will certainly command respect from your online visitors with a professionally looking website. Your website will help you send out a message that you are committed to providing the best products and services to your customers.

ii. The importance of exceptional user experience
Search engines have a lot to do with this. The first task of search engines is to provide web users with the most relevant content as quickly as possible. The importance of relevance is second to none when it comes to search engines. Who would want to use search engines that yield results filled with ugly and irrelevant pages?

For an e-commerce website, it is highly recommended that you keep the design simple, precise and clean. Fast loading pages will help you avoid the impatience of your visitors. Search engines will also give you a reward of high rankings. You should still be able to acknowledge the importance of having a user friendly website even without search engines. These two reasons will make your clients want to return to your website; professionalism and quality information that meets their needs.

iii. The importance of standing out
The internet is getting increasingly crowded with stiff competition. This is reason enough for your business to stand out from the crowd. Failing to pay attention when designing your website will make it no different from thousands of amateur websites out there. To be honest, you do not want your business to be associated with millions of poorly designed websites littering the internet! If it is, then your visitors will find it really hard remembering your business. A logo that is easy to remember can help your business stand out. Consider selecting a harmonious color blend that is comfortable on the eyes. Avoid using black backgrounds with red or white text as this will keep your visitors off.

Using simple but professionally looking graphics can go along way in heightening your website presentation.

Staying Connected is Important for Your Site

Staying Connected is Important for Your Site

As your website grows, more and more potential customers are going to be coming to your site and sending you questions and queries about different things. It may be a question about whether or not that product is in stock. Or, it may be a question asking which product you suggest for their body type: A or B. Or, finally, it may just be a question that is asking for more information about your particular service that your website may not be able to provide. So, it is obviously very important to stay connected to the life of your website. Here are a few things to do:

  • Get high speed internet for your house and your place of business. You want to be able to log on and access your e-mail a few times a day so that you can reply to any questions or comments by a customer. It might seem like common sense, but a lot of businesses are still using slow internet and that’s just wasted productivity.
  • Get a work phone that has e-mail access. Consider it a work expense and write it off the taxes. Whatever you do, though, consider getting a work phone. If you get a question in the middle of the day and it is really important, you can shoot a quick e-mail back with a quick answer that says, “If you need more info, I will send more.” This way, you can send more when you get to your computer. It won’t make the customer feel unwelcome.

You want to constantly have access to your e-mail. When running a very small business where you are pretty much the only employee, you have the burden of ensuring that it constantly grows. Having a Blackberry on your hip may seem frustrating since it is like you are constantly at work, when you are in the building stages of your business, you want your customers to feel welcome.

One of the big mistakes people make when owning a site is not getting back to their visitors. If a visitor sends an e-mail or comments, always reply. Even if you don’t want to get a cell phone with e-mail and just want to check at night, it is imperative you reply. People always remember who didn’t reply and this will only damage your reputation on the web, not help it. So, reply and you’ll find that those visitors not only return, but tell other people to check the site out. Stay connected. Your site depends on it.

Word of Mouth is Everything

Word of Mouth is Everything

If you’re trying to figure out a way to send more traffic to your site, you need to understand that word of mouth is probably the best way. There is nothing stronger and more powerful for your site than for a loyal visitor to go to some friends and say, “Hey, check out this site.” If they do that, those people will go visit it because their friend says it’s good. If the site is good, those people will then tell other people and it will begin to become a viral campaign where people are telling people about everything.

Viral marketing is a fantastic method in which someone is able to create something that really creates conversation. For the sake of this article, let’s say someone wrote a really controversial political piece for their blog. A couple of diehard fans of the blog read it and go, “Wow, that’s killer.” They tell some of their friends. Those friends tell some of their friends. What happens is a situation where that single article begins to pick up steam. Is it effective? You betcha.

The reason viral marketing works so well is it spreads like a virus. If you tell one person about an idea and tell them to tell three people and to tell those three people to tell three people, what you’ll have is an exponentially growing story. If you tell a person and they tell three people, that’s now four people that know. If those three tell three, that’s now thirteen people that know. If those nine people each tell three, that’s now thirty one people that know. It continues to grow and grow and grow. The traffic can be absolutely amazing.

How do you get a word of mouth campaign going? You need to have loyal readers. This one depends entirely on your site. If your site is trash and the readers just don’t care about what’s going on, they’re not going to stick around to learn more and become loyal readers. If they’re not loyal readers, they won’t tell their friends about it. You want your readers to become diehard fans because once they’re diehard fans, they’re invested in your success. So, they’ll be more willing to tell friends. If there is only one way to get traffic, this is the best way. A single viral campaign can do wonders. The grassroots have shown that they have the power to bring success. President Obama anyone?

Tampa Search Engine Optimization

Tampa Search Engine Optimization, Onsite and Offsite SEO for Tampa FL

You may have contacted us to create your website, you may not have. Whether or not you did, one of the things that you are, more likely, going to want to do is drive traffic to your website as fast as you can. The more traffic you can drive to your site and the faster you can do it, the more successful your website is going to be and, in return, the more successful your business is going to be. However, how can you possibly drive business to your website without having a ton of money? SEO is the best way to do that.

SEO is Search Engine Optimization. At Tampa Web Design, we offer that. You can contact us and what we will do is help you do research into figuring out which keywords are powerful keywords for you to rank for, help you to determine what long tail keywords are beneficial, and then set you up with a plan to get your website ranking. We’ll execute this plan and help you to start ranking in the search engines.

The difference between us and a lot of other SEO companies in Tampa is that we understand the ins and outs of SEO. We know it is not just an external thing. Because we design and code websites as well as do SEO for them, we can go into the site and ensure that the code is working perfectly and has the correct keywords on them. This will guarantee that the site ranks properly in the search engines and doesn’t have anything faulty going on with it. It might seem farfetched, but we know what we’re doing.

So, why hire us? It’s simple. Having a website is great, but if no one comes to your website, has it done anything for your company? No. You want to use search engine optimization because as your website starts to rank higher and higher in the search engines, you’ll receive more traffic which will, in turn, result in more business. It’s a worthy investment for your website and one that will pay itself back time and time again.

If you’re still unsure, please feel free to contact us and let us know what questions you have. We’ll answer these questions and, if you’re ready to begin, schedule you for a consultation. Then we can go to work on getting your website ranked in the search engines.

How to create your facebook marketing strategy

How to create your facebook marketing strategy

If you are looking for ways of promoting your business or website, you might want to consider including facebook into your marketing strategy. With hundreds of millions of users and thousands signing up daily, facebook has the attention of a large population. This is why it is a great platform for launching a marketing campaign that will grow your business.

When planning your marketing strategy on facebook, you need to keep in mind your overall goals in terms of increased exposure. While a successful campaign will no doubt increase your sales and revenue, exposure is really what facebook will do well at providing to you. For instance, one of your facebook marketing strategies can include offering people who become your fans freebies in form of samples, entries in a gateways or coupons. When people become your fans, they will have access to your updates while learning more about your business.

Even though you get popular appearance, facebook marketing campaign is not quite something that will go wild over night. Since facebook is developed around making connections, you will need to direct your focus on establishing meaningful relationships. If you just start sending people friend requests while posting tons of marketing related content, you will realize that your “friends” are quickly developing cold feet towards you. People do not sign up on facebook to access your ads, instead they do so to make connections with their families and loved ones.

As you approach the end, you should consider spending sometime of facebook providing useful information in your niche area. Consider joining related groups and provide useful advice and information. If you do this, people will begin trusting you while building a strong relationship with you. By spending some time providing valuable information, you will form a good relationship with people who will eventually develop an interest in hearing from you while learning about your products.

When creating your facebook marketing plan, your last step should involve advertising directly to people. Let this come only after developing a good relationship with your fans. Creating an account and immediately starting posting your ads will cause your friends to disappear quite quickly. Worse still, you can find yourself banned from facebook for spamming people. This will certainly be the opposite of what you want with your facebook marketing campaign.

When using facebook as part of your marketing campaign, always know that it will not yield immediate results. Focus on increasing your business’ exposure while getting potential customers to trust you. Post relevant and helpful content on your page and on pages related to your niche area. You will have to commit time and effort in building relationships on facebook. Once you have established a connection, it will be profitable both to you and your network.

tampa_video_production

Tampa Video Production and Video Editing, Website Design and SEO

Perhaps you are thinking about having a commercial made for your company. You want to advertise this new product that you’re providing, but don’t have the technical ability to make it. Or, perhaps you’re tremendously web savvy and want to get a link bait video made that will go viral around the web, all with links back to your site to give you a big surge in both links and traffic. If you’re either of these people, you should consider contacting us so that we can do a video for you.

Some of what we do at Tampa Web Design is a lot of video production. The way it works is simple. You call us, set up a free consultation, and we go over a series of details. Do you want the video to be funny or serious? Provide a lot of information or just a little with contact information? Be long or be short? We take notes throughout the entire consultation and then we give you some of our ideas that we, as the technical side of things, think will really work well. We give you these ideas and then, once we figure out a final idea, we get to work.

The reason you want to get a video made, especially if you’re a growing company, is because it gives you a chance to get some link bait. When blogs were growing large, a lot of bloggers used videos to try and market their site. They’d provide information about a certain topic and then let that video go viral on YouTube. The same can happen for your company. If you own a company that does landscaping, you can have a video made that discuss great ways to make your front lawn look good without a lot of money, for example. By doing this, you are getting links, traffic, and providing valuable information.

Most importantly, though, you are getting your name heard. The more people hear your name, the better it will be in the future when someone goes, “I need someone to do landscaping.” If you had been the one that made this video, they’ll remember you, look you up in the search engines (If your SEO is good) and then contact you. If you provide a service (information) for free, people are bound to contact you to get more help which is when you can say, “this is how much it’ll cost.” You give a little and get a lot. Contact us if you’re interested in having a video produced for your company.