Tag Archives: search engine optimization

New Client – Studio GlassWorks, LLC

Studio GlassWorks, LLCHansen Web Design is proud to announce our latest client – Studio GlassWorks, LLC of Madison, WI.  Studio GlassWorks designs and builds custom architectural decorative glass for residential, commercial and religious clients.

We’ll be designing and coding a custom WordPress website for them with a special set of plugins for site management, search engine optimization, and security; and we’ll also be setting up a series of specialized galleries for them to show off their products – they have a LOT of products and beautiful photos!

New Client – Northern Capital Management

Northern Capital ManagementHansen Web Design is happy to announce our most recent client – Northern Capital Management of Madison, Wisconsin.  Northern Capital Management is a locally owned investment advising firm serving Madison’s individual and institutional investors since 1979.  They are having us redesign their site utilizing the latest cascading style sheet technology for cross-browser compatibility and fast loading.  We will also be working with them to perform focused search engine optimization for their target investors.

New Client – Prairie Metallurgical Products & Prairie Industrial Products

Prairie Metallurgical ProductsWe are happy to announce our latest client, Prairie Metallurgical Products and Prairie Industrial Products.  While these are two separate companies, they have the same owner.

We will be developing WordPress sites for both of these companies in order to target their customer base with specific search engine optimization (SEO) while at the same time allowing the client full flexibility in the management of these two websites.

New Client – Southwest Surveying & Associates

Hansen Web Design is proud to announce the addition of our newest client, Southwest Surveying and Associates, of Palmyra, Wisconsin.  Southwest Surveying & Associates, Inc. is a land surveying firm providing services to Dodge, Jefferson, Waukesha, Walworth and Rock counties.  We will be designing a new WordPress platform site for them to highlight their services and concentrate on search engine optimization.

The Browser Wars and How They Affect You

Browser WarsAt Hansen Web Design we monitor and test web sites in multiple browsers every day, so we need to keep track of what’s happening with the various browsers out there – how they handle basic HTML code, CSS, operating systems – anything that will affect the look and feel of your website.  It’s important that you keep track too – why?  Not just for the reasons we track them, but for another very important reason – speed.  We want your websites to load fast and design them that way to the best of our ability, but you can help things along by using the latest and “right” browser for your needs.

Tom’s Hardware has been tracking the latest round of the browser wars and has completed a superb review of the latest versions of Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, FireFox and Safari.  The results might surprise you!

New Client – Law Office of Joshua Harmon

Scales of JusticeHansen Web Design is once again happy to announce a new client – in this case a barrister from Las Vegas – Mr. Joshua Harmon.  Hansen Web Design will be designing a new, 20-page website for Mr. Harmon to befit his practice, and we’re looking forward to setting Mr. Harmon up with not simply a great looking site, but one that is functional and will do well in the search engines.  Hansen Web  Design includes search engine optimization (SEO) in every one of our new designs as we want to see our clients be successful right away with their new websites!  This means that at a minimum we take a look at the content for marketing and SEO purposes, we install Google Analytics, we optimize the meta tag content (titles, descriptions, keywords), and we submit the site to the major search engines (Google, Bing, etc.).  Mr. Harmon’s site will also be designed with CSS (cascading style sheets) so that it will be cross-browser compatible, clean, and fast loading.

New Client – DW’s Custom Jewelry

DW's Custom JewelryWe’re proud to announce our latest client, Dwayne of DW’s Custom Jewelry here in Madison.  Dwayne came to us with a request for some search engine optimization services (SEO) and we were able to help him out even though his shopping cart software proved to be the limiting factor with respect to a number of items.  Nonetheless, we were able to install Google Analytics, set up automated Google Site Map submittals, revise and enhance the meta tags based on actual searches that his customers had been performing and finally set up some automated marketing reporting for him along with some recommendations for further enhancements.

If you are not within the first three pages when performing a Google search, contact us and let us see how we can help you improve your ranking!

Making Your Site Visible

GoogleThere are a number of things you can do when creating a new web site or simply creating new pages to help increase their visibility in search engine results. The more visible you want your site to be, the more time you may need to consider and spend on this.

Additionally, you need to consider whether your particular topic will make it possible for your site to appear on the first page of a Google search, or if this is absolutely critical to your goal. For example, it might be more important to have your site listed as a resource on other critical sites. You may find that you will get more visitors to your site from this type of referral than from a search engine result.

To design your site with search engine ranking in mind you need to first ask yourself – “what is the question that you are answering.” This is crucial. When someone looks for the information you have on your site, you need to be sure your site is visible to them. Some of the most critical items that affect visibility are:

Critical Items:

  • The title in the header of each page
  • Meta tags with descriptive keywords in your pages header section
  • Text contained in each page (this is being emphasized more and more by Google)
  • Text in the first paragraph of the page
  • Relevance of text used as it corresponds to keywords in your meta-tags
  • Links that use keywords
  • Images with descriptive “alt” tags that include keywords
  • Who links to the page

Secondary Items:

  • Creation of pages linked from your main page that emphasize keywords
  • Submitting your web page’s URL to various search engines
  • Creation of log reports that include keywords used in searches that led to your site
  • Submit your site to some on-line directories
  • Get your site listed on industry-specific leading sites for the topic or topics you are covering
  • Many people try to get as many reciprocal links as possible from other sites. There are pros and cons to this.
  • The more your site is mentioned the more visible it becomes. I.e., on-line newsletters, blogs, news announcements, etc.

Making your site visible on the Web can be a time consuming, labor intensive process, but at Hansen Web Design, we’re here to help you with your content and coding to help you optimize your site for the search engines every step of the way. By taking a few basic steps, and avoiding a few pitfalls you can improve your site’s visibility dramatically.

SEO – Quality Links to Your Site

Following is an article on how to improve the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website by developing reciprocal links, or as Google refers to them in their post – “Quality Links”…

If your site is rather new and still unknown, a good marketing technique is to get involved in the community around your topic. Interact and contribute on forums and blogs. Just keep in mind to contribute in a positive way, rather than spamming or soliciting for your site. Just building a reputation can drive people to your site. And they will keep on visiting it and linking to it. If you offer long-lasting, unique and compelling content — something that lets your expertise shine — people will want to recommend it to others. Great content can serve this purpose as much as providing useful tools.

A promising way to create value for your target group and earn great links is to think of issues or problems your users might encounter. Visitors are likely to appreciate your site and link to it if you publish a short tutorial or a video providing a solution, or a practical tool. Survey or original research results can serve the same purpose, if they turn out to be useful for the target audience. Both methods grow your credibility in the community and increase visibility. This can help you gain lasting, merit-based links and loyal followers who generate direct traffic and “spread the word.” Offering a number of solutions for different problems could evolve into a blog which can continuously affect the site’s reputation in a positive way.

Humor can be another way to gain both great links and get people to talk about your site. With Google Buzz and other social media services constantly growing, entertaining content is being shared now more than ever. We’ve seen all kinds of amusing content, from ASCII art embedded in a site’s source code to funny downtime messages used as a viral marketing technique to increase the visibility of a site. However, we do not recommend counting only on short-lived link-bait tactics. Their appeal wears off quickly and as powerful as marketing stunts can be, you shouldn’t rely on them as a long-term strategy or as your only marketing effort.

It’s important to clarify that any legitimate link building strategy is a long-term effort. There are those who advocate for short-lived, often spammy methods, but these are not advisable if you care for your site’s reputation. Buying PageRank-passing links or randomly exchanging links are the worst ways of attempting to gather links and they’re likely to have no positive impact on your site’s performance over time. If your site’s visibility in the Google index is important to you it’s best to avoid them.

Directory entries are often mentioned as another way to promote young sites in the Google index. There are great, topical directories that add value to the Internet. But there are not many of them in proportion to those of lower quality. If you decide to submit your site to a directory, make sure it’s on topic, moderated, and well structured. Mass submissions, which are sometimes offered as a quick work-around SEO method, are mostly useless and not likely to serve your purposes.

It can be a good idea to take a look at similar sites in other markets and identify the elements of those sites that might work well for yours, too. However, it’s important not to just copy success stories but to adapt them, so that they provide unique value for your visitors.


Social bookmarks on YouTube enable users to share content easily

Finally, consider making linking to your site easier for less tech savvy users. Similar to the way we do it on YouTube, offering bookmarking services for social sites like Twitter or Facebook can help spread the word about the great content on your site and draw users’ attention.

Source:  Google Webmaster Central Blog – Posted 6/21/10

Why Do You Need A Web Site?

This is for you small business owners – Very often, a small business owner asks us how much a website will cost. It’s a funny question to be discussed in another article, but after a couple pointed questions, we provide a quote. Generally, his or her eyes get quite huge and they look like they’ve been kicked. Yeah, you can get an overseas chop-shop to throw your content in a template for you for $200. But let’s talk about what a website can do for your business, and what those goals are worth to you. Now decide if you want to hire someone who’s capable of achieving those goals.

Get Found

The simplest and most obvious goal of any website is just to “get found.” People shouldn’t struggle to find you, and preferably, you should be easier to find than your competition. Not all web designers know how to build a website that will allow search engines like Google and Bing to find you, and usually it takes a specialist Internet Marketer to run monthly campaigns to keep you up in search results. These days, it’s all about content. We’ll write an article on that in the near future.

Generate More Leads

Even if you have a simple brochure website, it doesn’t do much good if people that find you leave your website right away. You want people to contact you, and generate qualified leads.

ROI: Return On Investment

Probably the biggest hurdle for a small business owner to cough up a few hundred to a thousand dollars for a simple website is the unknown about ROI. It’s difficult to know what your website will do for you, especially that there are so many people who say they’re qualified. But if your designer can demonstrate how to get your site found, and how you’ll generate more leads, it should be simple math to figure out how long until your website pays for itself.

Add Credibility

If your website was built by your neighbor’s aunt’s beautician’s son who’s “good with computers,” you might be better off not even having one at all. Just like dressing professionally, being clean and presentable, having business cards and a business phone number, having a well-designed website adds credibility to your business. Imagine you’re your own customer. If you found two websites, and one looked terrible and was difficult to use, and the other was clean and professional, who would you contact? Does a badly designed website tell you a business is “lean and thrifty” or “not a serious business person”?

Reach a Broader Market

Say I have a small brick and mortar operation selling “Joe’s Widgets.” I only serve my local community of 20,000 inhabitants, because why would someone drive 30 miles to buy my widgets? Reaching a wide audience in the real world is expensive. On the web, just being there makes finding your wares a click of the button! Even without any advertising, having your products online makes it available world-wide. FREE

Advertising

Once you have your own website, it’s simple to devise FREE marketing campaigns. Newsletters to direct people to your site can cost nothing. Putting up your latest promotions and online-only coupons and deals can be done within minutes by yourself, if you have a Content Management System (CMS – also a future article!). Simply tell your existing customers, “hey, check out my website for special deals!” People aren’t going to drive 4 miles to Joe’s Widgets every week just to see what’s there, but if they get an email, and they like your service/product, it’s just a click away!

Free Up Your Employees’ Time

As a small business owner of Joe’s Widgets, we have a lean staff. We are happy to answer any and all questions about our products and services. Our personal service is what sets us apart from our competition. However, there is simply no need to be fielding 12 calls a day asking how late we’re open! That information should be online and easy to find. Time saved for your employees means more productive employees. And it likely saves your customers’ time, too, making them happier!

Empower Your Customers

Let your customers answer each other’s questions! It’s easy to set up a discussion board where your customers and your staff can interact. Quite often they’ll come up with answers you didn’t think of! It will save your employees more time from answering questions and will give your customers a feeling of community, developing brand loyalty and increasing exposure. It will also get them involved in your products more and provide them with a larger support group.

Get Valuable Customer Feedback

After a customer leaves your store with a new Widget, wouldn’t you love to ask him how he likes this new model over the last one when he gets home? What other questions would you like to ask him? How would his answer change the way you do business?? Sending out follow-up emails to customers to fill out a survey form (for prizes, points or coupons) can get you valuable information.

Save Money on Printing

Many businesses spend thousands and thousands of dollars printing expensive catalogs, brochures, and fliers. Offering the information online and sending out emails costs nothing! Oh, and think of all paper and trees you just saved!Now you have some idea of some goals for your website and how the web can boost your business. There are many more ways than the 10 listed here that the web can save and make money for you. How much are these goals worth to you? Check out Hansen Web Design’s portfolio and pricing – then contact us for your free quote to get started today.