Andy

Achieving Better Google Page Rank

I’ve discussed SEO techniques in other articles here but like anything in IT related enterprises, things are constantly changing and it’s worth keeping up to date with the criteria Google and other web search engines use to rank websites. Years ago web designers used all kinds of techniques to get better search engine results for their clients and many still profess ‘secret’ knowledge on how to achieve remarkable (but unverifiable usually) results. We used to stuff site pages with keywords and use methods to ‘fool’ what are essentially dumb computers into getting better rankings.

Of course, times change (and Google’s talented programmers have made major improvements to their page ranking ‘algorithms’) and we can no longer rely on methods of the past. As an interesting aside, I only recently discovered that the term page rank actually is named after the developer of the method, Larry Page, one of Google’s founders not ‘page’ as in web page. Thanks Wikipedia! Continue reading

‘Expert’ web designers

Like most businesses that promote themselves heavily on the ‘net, we were doing an exercise to find out how we ranked in the search engine (well, Google – what else is there really?) stakes. We are getting there certainly, for some search results we are actually on the Google’s first results page – which for web designers is a real achievement I can tell you (there are thousands of design firms out there!).

I came across some businesses that used the word ‘expert’ in their descriptions and even their business titles.

I find that interesting – that people would be searching for the word ‘expert’ in relation to any marketing or design business, or really in any professional field at all. I was always told that those that describe themselves as experts are regarded by most as ‘a drip under pressure’ but that may be a little unkind. However, I believe that the mark of a true professional in any area of expertise is one who professes to always be learning. Continue reading

WordPress Going Stellar

More websites are being built with WordPress now than ever before. In fact, this great content management system (CMS) is now being used by over 13% of the world’s 1,000,000 biggest websites (as at March 2011).

From my perspective, the big benefit that WordPress gives me is – time.

Any web designer will tell you that spending unproductive time in duplicating page layouts exactly so that the site design is identical on all pages is painful, especially when the client decides to make a last minute change that needs to be made on every page. It makes estimating the project time and fees very difficult and often means that shortcuts have to be taken if the project looks like going severely over budget. Continue reading

Cost-Effective small business websites

The key to any advertising medium is to ensure you get good results for your money. A website can be one of the best advertising methods available and I believe they are becoming more cost-effective every day.

With today’s fast-paced industries, businesses without an online presence are usually left behind. Whether you plan to sell or promote your products or services online, the advantages of having a small business website are evident. Since product search and online shopping are becoming increasingly popular and convenient, millions of people search for different services and products on a daily basis. With an increasing number of people using the internet regularly, small business companies would be crazy not to take advantage of having a website as an effective and low-cost promotional tool. Continue reading

Be wary of hosting websites with phone companies

We sometimes get inquiries from small business people who have been talked into registering a domain name and obtaining web site hosting through their phone provider. Without naming names, you probably have a good idea which one I’m talking about here.

Now, providing an additional service to their customers is fine, but unless you have money to throw away it always pays to compare ‘apples with apples’.

Firstly, domain name registration is handled by accredited domain registry agencies – a fee, which usually covers 2 years, is paid to the agency and that means you are the registered owner of the domain name. Period. No additional domain maintenance fees are required (there is nothing to maintain afterall!) and charging an additional fee for this is hard to justify. Continue reading

Get your small business website right first time

If you are in the market for a ‘cheap’ web site you will find hundreds, if not thousands of ‘designers’ out there. Anyone who has done a course or experimented with web design software and thinks they are an expert can set themselves up in business as a designer.

But, anyone who is in business knows that just having talent in a particular field doesn’t guarantee success in a business venture. You probably have staff working for you that are ten times better than you are in the actual production or service that your business is about – but I bet you wouldn’t consider that they could actually run the business!

In order for us to have a successful business relationship, we need to be able to discuss your web site project from the point of view of your business, not the technology that makes it work. Our role is not just to deliver a web site for you, it is also to ensure it promotes your products and services as well as any advertising or promotional tool can.

Some of the pitfalls in using the cheapest solution you can find are: Continue reading

Do I need a website for my small business?

We are often approached by potential clients who want to know what kind of results they can expect from having a website. The answer depends greatly on what kind of business they operate.

This may sound obvious, but as a rule of thumb any business that people would use the internet to search for will benefit greatly from having a site!

Examples of these kinds of businesses are: holiday and general accommodation, restaurants, cafes, product manufacturing, design, transport, hire, vineyards & wineries, home-based businesses, specialty foods – the list really is endless as these days the internet is often the first method people use to search for a business. Continue reading

Cheap web sites

One of the goals that we strive for constantly is to provide value for money websites. By that I don’t just mean ‘cheap’ websites, I mean good, cost-effective and simple to maintain sites.

Firstly, I’ll give you some background information about website design methods used in Australia and world-wide.

In the past – and by that I mean prior to 2005 – the vast majority of sites were designed by two methods. One school of thought used software like Microsoft FrontPage or DreamWeaver. These packages enabled users to deliver reasonably professional-looking sites without needing to understand the code that was created. The second method was to use a combination of this type of software and also very time consuming hand-coding of the ‘html’ pages that make up many websites. Continue reading