Small Business Web Sites and SEO

Over the past 3 months I’ve conducted approximately 50 SEO audits on small business web sites and I’ve duly sent off to the respective web site owners 25 page audit reports on what they can do to improve their web site, and improve their rankings on the major search engines including Google and Bing. I’ve included for these business owners their current rank for the most commonly searched terms and keywords relevant to their industries.

While conducting these audits, several issues have become more than clear to me, (1) most of these web sites have been very badly optimised to start with by the web developer, and (2) some owners do not have access to their web sites admin section which includes the header files and they have to pay their design company every time they want to change a piece of code.

How about that for being held to ransom, who actually owns the site, well let me tell you, it is not you!

One web company just outright refuses to provide the owners access and insists on charging them every time they want to change information, which makes it very hard to actually optimise the site.

SEO is not set and forget, and sometimes each web page needs to be massaged to get it to rank, well just imagine the cost if you were charged every time changes to content and coding were recommended. Of course this is the point of this exercise, to get as much revenue out of you as possible and given that most of the small business owners I’ve done the audits for have no idea about web site design or SEO, you are easy pickings.

So how do you avoid being fleeced forever by these companies? Firstly make sure you have total access to all the files on your web site, so that if you need to make changes to your site it can be done via your back-end administration page, that is total control over your HTML title tag and your meta description tag, also make sure that your CMS does not generate dynamic URL’s, these are much harder to rank on search engines, static URL’s are really what you need.

Make sure that you can change the wording on all your pages and that you have control over your images including adding alt tags and correct descriptions, these are an important part of on page optimisation.

Make sure when your site is launched you get a search engine submission report and also get what keywords they have optimised your content for, 90% of the sites I’ve audited have been optimised for the clients name, have you ever wondered how many times your brand was searched on Google for instance?

Your web site needs to be optimised for the key searches that relate to the industry and your location. Remember, Google indexes web pages not web sites so the more pages your site has the more chance you have of having your pages rank for different keywords.

Try and have at least 300 words or more on your home page, search engines love text, so image heavy home pages are harder to optimise.

Where ever possible add a blog to your site, better still add a standalone blog on a different domain and link it to your site, WordPress.org is one of the best blog platforms to use and search engines love it, adding engagement objects such as video is an absolute must, videos produced by you and uploaded on a regular basis will be indexed and ranked very fast, and getting a search engine to visit your site more often because of frequently updated content means higher rankings. Google looks at the freshness factor among other things.

One area that you should have your web designer integrate social media icons, so that your customers can bookmark your site easily and engage with you on their social network, also make sure you get your web designer to check the page speed of your site, Google has indicated this could be a ranking factor.

You don’t need to be a web design expert, you just need to make sure you are in control of your own site and your SEO and don’t have to keep putting your hands in your pocket whenever you want to change something, so take control back from these pirates.

Small business needs to really start to take action on this and fast.

Small Business Web Designers – How to Find a Web Design Company

Internet brings great opportunities for small businesses to reach out to a broader extent of customer base and develop their marketing strategies effectively. A good website is a crucial ingredient in widening your target market in the hub of e-commerce and expands beyond your imagination. Having a well built website for your small business is the main starter to let the world know about your business purpose and get interconnected with various interesting people.

If you are seeking for small business web designers to create a good website for your business, then by going through some tips which are mentioned and shared below will help you gain a profound knowledge in getting the most appropriate expert website designer.

  1. First, get things clear with what you want; what are your needs and requirements for your business. Then, estimate how much you can invest to have a simple professional looking website. As a kind of protection, it is a good step to ask if you could see the finished product before you make any payment.
  2. Investigate their service portfolio before you venture for any professional web designer or website building company and check their overall range of service packages offered. Check if it fits your needs and requirements for your market strategy or not. By doing this you will get a complete clarity that whether their services suits your needs for your market strategy or not.
  3. Approaching personally or speak directly to the assigned web designer or decision maker at the web designing company will help you to get the entire items, plans or details they have for your business. You can also explain and make them understand of what are your likes and requirements for your business
  4. Checking on how much a web design company can commit and dedicate to your project tasks will give you a confidence in hiring the right web designer for your website. It is good to investigate on how they have worked with their previous clients, reputation and whether they delivered the project tasks on time or not.
  5. Make an agreement on time line for undertaking the project within a particular set period. It is wise to ask the professional designer or website building company on which day you can expect to review their finished product for your business. This will ensures your business work to proceed with a good flow.
  6. It is very much advisable to measure the cost-effectiveness of the solutions which a website design company or designer is providing. Selecting a company which can provide the best service package at competitive cost will turn out to be a worth of investment in your web designing project.

By having this information in your mind from the aforementioned tips, you will be able to select the right web-site designing company which can exactly meet your expectations. This will let you learn about their knowledge and skills in developing a website design. Furthermore, you will get confidence in making the right choice and enable you to build a trust.

Small Business Web Design Services

If you need to convey the message of your small business to your targeted audience, just opt for the support of small business web design services. A professionally designed website ensures a successful online presence, which plays a major role in today’s online world as websites are accessed by millions worldwide. Web design services are vital for search engine optimization, and effective search engine optimization will increase the rank of your website on leading search engines such as Google, MSN, Alta Vista, and Yahoo.

In web design, creativity plays an important role and the website has to be user friendly as well, to attract and retain the maximum number of visitors. Providers of small business web design services in the United States offer site maintenance and site redesign service for new and existing businesses. Their services focus on optimization methods that will boost the client’s business. Professional web design involves elements such as graphic art, graphic elements, layout, structure, text formatting and coordinating. Unique and functional website design and development services include:

– Flash development
– Dynamic website template design
– Banner creation
– Web page programming
– Calendar applications
– E-commerce website creation including shopping carts, credit cards, shipping gateways and online catalogue
– Logo design
– 2D and 3D animated graphics creation
– Flash headers and photo slideshows
– JavaScript programming
– Audio and video streaming
– CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and HTML code
– Digital photograph optimization

The site is given a professional and unique look with the efforts of the creative website design team, which comprises animators, webmasters, graphic designers, content writers, Flash and HTML experts, and other professionals. Understanding your business needs, expert designers and developers in web design companies create visually compelling websites that are easy to use, easy to navigate, easy to maintain, attractive, quick loading, and search engine friendly. Any size visual design projects are undertaken, ranging from initial concept and planning to final upload, including search engine optimization and PHP programming.

An eye-catching website design creates a long lasting and positive impression of your business among your existing clients and new ones.

Powerful and user-friendly web design with special effects ensures the following:

– Turns websites into dynamic business assets
– Increases high quality traffic
– Enhances your profitability
– Reflects your business brands and enable your business to grow fast
– Promotes your online business and helps your small business to compete with big businesses
– Increases your market exposure

On the whole, small business web design services are aimed at enhancing your website functionality and increase the usability of your website.