Web Site Development

Design for Web Sites

Web Sites are not art. They may be artful, but they are tools typically built to serve commercial purposes. In most cases site owners will need to think about how to find prospects and clients or users. And this is where it becomes very specialized.

If you are starting to build your web site or re-build it, even before you call your graphic designer, take the time to think it through and plan thoroughly.

More than ever, the process of planning and developing a marketing program for your Internet presence, may have significant impact on your investment. The impact on your bottom line will be even more severe if you need to go back to building the site because you began designing before planning for Search Engines, Responsive design and all the other marketing channels.

Following are some ideas to think about.

"Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated."

"A work of art is realized when form and content are indistinguishable. When they are in synthesis. In other words, when they fuse. When form predominates, meaning is blunted. When content predominates, interest lags."

Paul Rand

Design and Graphics

This is a critical area. Your design and the look and feel of your web site represent an important extension of your overall branding efforts. A significant portion of your site visitors are visually oriented, and will remember or reject your your site purely on its appearance. Of course, an equally significant number of people will need to absorb your content. So the design and content matter.

If getting ranked on Search Engines is important to you, than the design portion of developing your web site just go a whole lot more complicated than creating a print brochure. Search Engines cannot see logos, and have no memory or appreciation of branding.

  • How we help:
    If we do the design, from the beginning we will ensure the architecture and construction of your web site will never interfere with Search Engine efforts; in fact it will help. If you have a favorite artist, we can work with her so the design does not interfere with your Internet marketing goals. This step is very important; something as small as how you develop your method of site navigation can have a very good or even destructive influence on Search Engine positioning.

Corporate Identity

Graphic artists love to position their work as building and supporting your identity, how people learn who you are and how they remember you. They're right, of course.

Your challange as a site owner is to stir into the graphic receipe some hard facts about Search Engines and the Internet. Beautiful logos are invisible to the Engines, but tagging the logos are not. Movies are invisible to the Engines on your web site, but powerful resources on YouTube.

  • How we help:
    We will never fight with graphic artists about the importance of their work; we will ensure your success implementing graphic design on the Internet, a unique communication medium. We do not think there are absolutes about how to build web sites, we do think the medium's special marketing opportunities demand designs that take advantages of them.

Developing for SEO

For most business people today, developing web sites is no longer about just design. You marketing plans need to be considered and your web site must fold seamlessly into those plans. Your content must be written to convince Search Engines you are delivering authentic and substantive material. The Search Engine robots need believe in you as much as your human visitors.

  • How we help:
    Frankly, we are experts at developing content compelling for people and appropriate for Search Engines. At the same time. We can develop your pages which will turn your graphic designs into Search Engine appropriate material. And we will support all your marketing efforts with appropriate Search Engine content and specific landing pages for specific marketing outreach.

Responsive Development

According to the Pew Research Center, among American adults, 58 percent have a desktop, 61 percent have a laptop, 46 percent have a smartphone, and 18 percent have a tablet. Microsoft predicts that mobile will overtake non-mobile internet use by 2014.

Mobile technologies are changing the way consumers interact online, but many companies are not changing to accommodate their clients. Perhaps more than half of smartphone users will buy from a mobile site, yet less than 5 percent of brandsactually have a mobile site.

Ignoring responsive web design could be a huge mistake for any business; a bad mobile experience will give your visitors a bad impression of you. How many visitors will you tolerate leaving and going to a competitor if you don't offer a good mobile experience.

Google has decided that mobile is significant enough that websites will be ranked based on responsiveness. This is huge! Now Google will take into account not only content but structure of your website. They will even penalize website which aren't friendly to mobile users.

  • How we help:
  1. It may be hard to imagine, but when designing for responivness, actual placement on the page matters.
  2. We will help with your content to determine how to 'rank' it so it works properly on both desktop and mobil web sites.
  3. We will organize your graphics so they are in the right place and scale to size for any web browser, desk top or mobile.

Content Management

Frequently site owners prefer to manage their own content. They do not want to pay or wait for their web site developer to do the work for them. Frankly, with the exception of how to strategize about the content, it is cheaper and faster over time for site owneres to do it themselves.

  • How we help:
  1. We can install Content Management tools so you can edit all existing pages, even add new pages on the fly;
  2. We will format the Management software so the style and appearance of your pages conforms with the overall appearance of your site;
  3. We can build Event Calanders so you can manage new events without worrying about whether the event has expired and site visitors can sign up for your events. This can be a great tool for lead generation on your site.
  4. With proper planning, you can use the Management software to build your own landing pages.

Strategic Planning

Everything discussed above is Strategic Planning. However here is one very important, not discussed planning issue: you don't know what you don't know.

We often hear people comment that they do not believe they can effectively compete for Search Engine ranking, and they plan accordingly.

  1. They have price ranges in mind for this work which is not within their budget, a very fair and important part of planning;
  2. They've heard stories about a lot of hard work yielding very few results, also a legitimate planning issue;
  3. The technology seems overwhelming, loading with myths and 'factoids' and even the language can be difficult to decipher;
  4. They've approached this using some low cost solutions and gotten low yield results, and do not want to do it again.
  • How we help:
    We know this part of web site development very well, and we do know how tough it can be for clients. If you remove all of the above ideas, and just talk with us about how to approach and plan, we all get surprised by some very low cost and effective ideas. Because without talking about it, we will never know what we don't know now.

Search Engine Optimization

Organic Search Engine Optimization?

Organic SEO is the art and science of getting your web site to show up within the first page of search engine results. Success here depends almost entirely on your work in developing content and keywords.

The trick is finding your sweet spot, the right combination of content and keywords. You need to find words which are popular but not too popular, and then develop content with which the search engines can work and still engages humans.

What is SEO Today?

The world is more complex now; people transition easily from mobile devices, to web sites, to reviews on Yelp. Marketing means thinking more about using search as part of your client's and prospect's complete experience with you on the web. SEO is no longer a function of learning and outsmarting algorithms. Today you need valuable content with a sustained strategy for engaging with your visitors, clients and leads.

An SEO Story

  • Huqmafsfmj
    That's the name of your new invention. Marketing tells you the internet is a prime selling channel. If you want to sell Huqmafsfmj then that's your keyword right?
  • Estate Law
    You're the best; you protect your clients and you save them taxes. You want to grow; marketing says try the web. Easy, you're keywords are 'estate law.' What could be simpler?

Effective Keywords

Keywords are the heart of search engine placement; how to choose them is the challenge. Because of the volume of content on the internet and because of the competition and bidding to be highest on the search engines, the choice of keywords is not all that easy.

If the inventory of pages with the same keywords is very high, that represents a daunting level of competition. If the inventory is very low, the competition may be easy, but the keywords are not very useful.

As the SEO story suggests, optimizing your page for 'Huqmafsfmj' will certainly land you on prime Google real estate, but who would search for that?

At the other side of this spectrum is a search phrase which will draw from too many web pages. You may be the best at 'Estate Law' and planning, but before you get a chance to prove it, your prospect will need to find you. Search terms as general as 'Estate Planning' and 'Estate Law' have just too much inventory from which to draw.

  • How we help:
    Vega Web Designs can help you analyze the inventory versus the search volume. Somewhere in this calculation will be your keyword effectiveness.
    We analyze keywords and keyword inventory to come up with a list of the most effective possibilities. Some of these may surprise you. This analysis is the critical first step to effective optimization of your web site.

Web Site Development

Sometimes beautifully designed web sites are actually impediments to effective optimization of your web site. Designing for the Internet requires understanding requirements not present when designing for print, and failing to manage this can create hurdles to Search Engine rankings.

Typically this required compromises between your designer, and the technical requirements for the Search Engines, and if you make these compromises after your site is constructed, you will be paying to do make unnecessary revisions.

We stress honest content, and the compromises we create to generate good Search Engine rankings cannot be overstated

  • How we help:
    We understand both sides of this balancing act. If we are commissioned to design your web site, and we know you want to achieve good rankings, we will plan accordingly.
    If we come in after your site is designed we can suggest creative solutions and implement them.
    It's our job to solve this for you, and get you ranked.

Developing Content

Writing for the Internet, if you want to be found on Search Engines requires a special balancing act. Your content needs to be compelling and comprehensible to the people who visit your site, and to get them to your site your content needs to satisfy Search Engine requirements. This is not a skill ordinarily practiced by copywriters. Often professional writers simply cannot make the necessary compromises to be effective in this arena.

  • How we help:
    We've been doing this for a while. We've had enough failures to know how to be successful. We can work with you and your team to help them understand the requirements of this type of writing. We can help them see and understand the compromises necessary to be effective.

Tracking

The hard work in getting ranked on Search Engines is figuring out your effective keywords, developing your site appearance and writing the content. The fun part, and probably the most effective thing you can do, is the subsequent work of tracking.

After the first ninety days or so, you should have enough of a history to begin sorting through ideas, assumptions and facts. At the start, you had some ideas which led to assumptions about a good set of keywords and now you have actual facts, to back them up or refute them.

  • How we help:
    The optimization process includes adding tracking devices to every page of your site. These little tools gather a tremendous amount of information about the traffic to and within your site. They can even tell you how a visitor got to your site. Clients are typically amazed by this information which opens up huge creative possibilities.

Landing Pages

What is a Landing Page

Typically optimizing for Search Engines is working on your web site's products and services with a global perspective. You are optimizing for all that you do. We often hear that people do not want to leave anything on the table.

Landing pages start from the other end of the process; you draw people to very specific goods or services, and allow them to develop interest in the rest of what you do. It is another, and perhaps more effective way to help prospects develop the commitment and trust to become leads.

A Home Page

Typically your home page is in very broad terms all about you and your business.

And because you do or sell more than one thing, your home page most likely will be about all them. This is not a bad thing.

But also typically someone searching is not thinking in general terms. Even if they are looking for an attorney, most searches start out for a specific field of the law. This makes home pages difficult to index for searches. Too much information, not related to typical searches.

A Landing Page

Landing pages are not home pages.

They are not about many things.

This is a picture of a search for a very specific product, and it is on a web page.

One item. One page

 

Directing Traffic

When you've invested in optimizing your entire web site for Search Engines, and you are analyzing traffic patterns, it isn't unusual to still find not enough people moving beyond your home page. You need to take steps to get your visitors deeper into your site.

  • How we help:
    We work with your team to start thinking about why a stranger visits your site, and what they experience. Often home pages are very general in nature attempting to give a full view of all you do; unique visitors to your site have typically been searching very specifically. We will help you figure out how to get these unique visitors to the right place on your site quickly.

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule applies to many areas of business and landing pages just takes another look at how to use the rule. 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers; 80% of your customers really only buy 20% of your products.

80% of the visitors to your site are only interested in that same 20% of your products. Is is critical to get them to the right 20% rapidly.

  • How we help:
    We will ask you to do the same analysis your accountant asks. Once we understand traffic patterns, and where you really want site visitors to end up, we will begin planning an optimization program for just that segment of your business. The result will be very targeted hits to your site, convincing visitors you are delivering honest and accurate results for their searches.

Turn Visitors To Leads

The heart of Search Engine optimization and developing Landing Pages is to rapidly build visitors' trust and committment and get to to convert themselves into leads and clients.

  • How we help:
    Developing leads from your web site starts with assuring your visitors you are addressing their searching; they are are the right place. Very little gets a visitor to abandon a web site much more quickly than landing on a page which does not do that. We help you make sure your site visitors have gotten to the right place in just a few clicks.

The Contact Form

Properly developed Landing Pages are the first step to getting people to use the contact form. Perhaps the only way to get people to send you their contact information. How many have times have you asked yourself, 'Why should I fill this out? How do I know what they're going to do with the information?'

Adding your contact form to a landing page encourages visitors because they have almost proven to themselves that it will result in a benefit. After all, they have brought themselves to this page, haven't thay?

  • How we help:
    We've built enough contact forms which have never been used to be as suspicious as anyone about using them. At the same time, we have learned some things which do get people to use them. We can work with you to develop some good reasons for your visitors to do it too.
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Vision...

Vision...In the business world, your world, this starts with your dream, and then requires someone to work with you to turn it into a unique format, a web page.

At Vega Web Designs we have a blend of artistic and real world practical experience. And while we specialize in web site development and search engine optimization, we do that by imagining how to turn your vision into practical solutions.

How we help

  • Design sites ourselves or work with your graphics people to translate art into web pages;
  • Work with you to manage content choices so your site works well with all devices, works quickly and is still beautiful;
  • Help you imagine how to move a complicated project through all it's steps;
  • Complete your project on time and to your expectations.

I have worked with Vega Web Designs on many occasions during the past decade. They have not only simplified all my computer based and web based technical needs, they have offered solutions and creative ways of thinking about a situation that has made all of our collaborations a joy and successful. I have not only used their services for our own work but recommend him on every project and client I work with. Their combination of integrity, creativity and insight is rare.
It has been my privilege to know and work with Vega Web Designs for almost 15 years now. My company has used Vega's services to design and implement most of our company websites and repeatedly used them for all updates and modifications to those sites. I have always found Vega to be easy to work with, creative with ideas and technology, and timely in results. They would always bring fresh new ideas and inspirational designs to our projects and present them in a way that was logical and fitting for our Company's needs. They were also very versed in the most recent web technologies, which has helped us stay current in our site design and the way each of our sites works with the various browsers of the day.

Expertise...

Expertise is all about doing it, and having done it. And we've been doing this for a long time, and worked with many different types of business owners. This varies from graphic design firms, diet supplements, oil exploration and leases.

It's also about staying current in the craft and purpose of your field. The velocity of change in Web site development is huge. Producers such as us, must keep up with the pace of change to be sure our work reflects well on you. A web site which does not appear current, is not helpful.

How we help

  • Design and develop web sites which will positively work well with search engine requirements;
  • Assist with content, turning humnan language into language the search engines need;
  • Develop strategies to make your web site do a good job for you on desk-tops and mobile devices;
  • Convert those visitors to leads.

We have been working with Vega Web Designs for over 5 years. As consultants ourselves we know how important it is to listen carefully to what clients want and then add your insight and guidance to help them achieve both their stated and sometimes unstated needs. Vega is a thorough professional who operates with integrity and listens carefully to what we are looking for and then helps translate that into effective solutions on the web. I can recommend Vega without qualification.
I have worked with Vega Web Designs on many occasions during the past decade. They have not only simplified all my computer based and web based technical needs, have offered solutions and creative ways of thinking about a situation that has made all of our collaborations a joy and successful. I have not only used their services for our own work but recommend him on every project and client I work with. His combination of integrity, creativity and insight is rare. He has become a dear and trusted friend.

About Vega Web Designs

Did you know most people spend about one and on-half seconds on any page of your web site?

Even if you take them by the hand (or more realistically, direct them over the phone), a second and a half.

What are they doing?

Well, who really knows what they're doing. You're job is to make sure you do not interfere with whatever they need in the sort amount of time they are devoting to your home page. It'sot unusual for people to lose sight of this, and common examples can be:

That's how we help.

  • Design and develop web sites which will positively work well with search engine requirements;
  • Use Social Media and Search Engines to drive traffic to your site;
  • Help you figure out to get the right visitors to your site;
  • Convert those visitors to leads.