Guide to Using Images

Guide to Using Images

Saipan Web Design

It does not matter who your customer is or what type of design you are creating, quality images are a must. If you have not outsourced your photography needs to a professional photographer there are a couple options that can work for you.

Below are some tips that will make you look good…

All Google Images Are Not Free Images

The images that show up in Google Images are pulled from all different websites, referencing your search phrase, and these images are owned by the websites that posted them. You would need to make sure that the images are public domain images since these images can be used by anyone. You can do an advanced search on Google and filter the search by usage rights. Even still, Google advises that the image license can not be guaranteed. I would suggest to steer away from using Google images for business photos. Even if an image is free to use, who knows how many other businesses are using the same image. Stand out from the rest!

Purchase Quality Stock Images

Keep your business brand and customer in mind when selecting stock photos so that the images you purchase have the most impact on your target audience. When purchasing stock images you will have size options to choose from. The larger the photo the higher the cost. If you are purchasing images for print (flyers, brochures, business cards, etc.) you will want to go with at least 300 dpi. There may be multiple options that are 300 dpi so check with your designer before purchasing the image to make sure it is large enough. If you are purchasing an image that will be used on the web, you will want to purchase a small image, 72 dpi. Again the size will need to be selected to fit the design, which your designer will be able to help you with. Keep in mind if you are purchasing images that will be used for both web and print, you can purchase just the higher resolution images since they can be reduced in size for the web. If you are feeling brave or on a budget, you can try taking photos on your own.

Targeting Your Website Content

Targeting Your Website Content

Saipan Web Design

Your site design and content should guide each visitor through your website. Your content and call to action are important so the visitor connects with the site to achieve the site goals (i.e. make a sale, call for a quote or possibly fill out a contact form with lead details).

Less Can Be More

Yes, you want to showcase all that your business does or has on your website. You want to have content that is rich with keywords so that your site ranks properly in the search engines, but less can be more when it comes to content.

Keeping your site visitor’s experience in mind and including content that is most applicable and appealing to visitors will keep them on your site longer which can better allow for a sale or lead. Group content and categories together and include information that your site visitors need to know or will be looking for, but do not inundate them with details that are unnecessary.

Appeal To Your Audience

If you are redesigning your site or taking a major overhaul on the content then go back to the drawing board and plan out and rethink your pages and content. Streamline your navigation and drop-down menus so that the site is easy to navigate. Pay extra attention to planning out the homepage text, photos, call to action and sections to ensure that you are addressing the different types of site visitors:

The Spontaneous Visitor: They get to your website from a referral or by search and want to call, email or inquire about your services or products.

Suggestion: Have a phone number, contact form and/or email address easily accessible on the page(s) so this type of visitor doesn’t have to hunt for this information. You only have a small window of time to hold a visitors attention and if they do not find what they want from a site they will click out.

How Google Determines Rankings

How Google Determines Rankings

Saipan Web Design

The way that Google determines your local ranking can be a difficult process for company owners to understand. How does Google determine my local ranking? Well, the short answer is that there are many factors that can potentially affect your ranking. Not only are the actual nuts and bolts of the process rapidly shifting, as well as the fact that there is a lot of misinformation online that can make it difficult to pin down a strategy. Well, we are here to set the record straight. In this article, we’ll give you a fact-based rundown of all off the different aspects of your optimization that can affect your local ranking both positively and negatively. When optimizing your website to rank for local keywords, focus on these optimization practices for best results:

Keyword Relevance

The relevance of the keyword to your business is the most important factor that Google takes into account when ranking your website. If you run a Chinese Restaurant, you can’t expect Google to rank your website highly for landscaping related keywords. In order to make sure that your website ranks highly for the keywords that you want, you should make it abundantly clear what you do, who you serve, and what keywords you would like to rank for.

Distance from the Searcher’s Location or Target City Center

When users are searching for local businesses, Google wants to ensure that they are able to connect those users with relevant businesses that are actually within the area that they would like to use. If the keyword includes a city name, Google will reference the address of your business against the city center. If they do not include a target city in their keyword, Google will use the user’s location as their basis for measuring the proximity of their business to the user’s desired location. What this means is that you will have a much easier time ranking for local keywords for the cities that your business operates in. In industries that are less saturated, you may be able to rank for surrounding cities as well, but will always have trouble ranking for local keywords that include cities well outside of your area of operation.

Prominence

How well-known is your business? Google takes the prominence of your business into account when deciding the appropriate place to rank to rank your business on local searches. There are numerous factors that are taken into account when determining whether or not your business is prominent enough to float toward the top of the listings. Even companies without a great online presence, but are popular in the offline world, tend toward the top of the local rankings. For instance, even public landmarks without websites are able to rank highly for related keywords. Google measures the prominence of a business from links, articles and directories across the web. The total number of reviews within Google and the total score of those reviews are factored. Businesses with a high number of positive reviews (compared to negative) will have a much easier time improving their local rankings. Overall, the typical SEO practices can effect how Google views the prominence of your business. You want to give the search engine every opportunity to see that your business is well-regarded.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews play a seriously critical role in the way that your business is reviewed by Google. While they may weigh reviews that are left in their own platform more heavily, they take reviews from all of the large platforms into account. According to Moz, reviews are responsible for roughly 8.4% of local business rankings, making it a fairly prominent factor in where your business ranks for local terms.

Traditional SEO Factors

Along with these local-specific factors, Google also takes traditional search engine optimization into account when ranking your website. Having relevant content that attracts backlinks and solid on-site SEO can go a long way toward improving your rankings in local searches. Some of the prominent traditional SEO factors that affect local SEO keywords include:

Incoming links. Having other prominent websites linking to your business website shows Google that your business is well-known and worth sharing. The more high-quality links you can garner from high-profile publications, the better your chances of ranking highly are.
Social signals. Google gives rankings considerations to companies that maintain an active presence on social media. This shows Google that those companies are actively engaging with their customers. When other social media accounts are interacting with your profile, this proves some level of legitimacy in Google’s eyes.
On-page SEO. Google favors websites that follow the best practices of on-page ranking factors. On-page SEO was created to provide consistent ways in which users interact with websites.
Behavioral metrics. Google uses their vast amounts of data to determine how well users are interacting with your website. Click through rates, mobile clicks to call, check-ins and other metrics can all affect where Google ranks your website.

While there are many factors that Google uses to determine local rankings, the age-old SEO principles still play a prominent role. There are different factors that affect where your website ranks in local search results. Like always, ensuring that you follow search engine optimization best practices plays perhaps the largest role. If you would like to learn more about how Mankato Web Design can help your company to rank more highly in search engines, please contact us today to schedule your initial risk free consultation with our local search optimization experts

Homepage Attracting Viewers

Homepage Attracting Viewers

Saipan Web Design

A website homepage is usually the first page a site viewer will see when they visit your website so you want to make a good impression. Having a direct message to grab and hold the viewers attention is crucial. Here are 3 important questions to ask when designing or redesigning your homepage.
Is your business branding clear?
Your logo, site colors, images and overall style all add up to your business brand, so make sure it is consistent and matches what your demographic will be attracted to.
Is your navigation easy to find and navigate?
Make sure the placement of your navigation is easy to locate and not overly customized or broken out into multiple menus in different places. Make sure you do not have too many pages listed to overwhelm the viewer. Also, keep the names of your pages general enough but include keywords so viewers understand what content topic will be on that page.
Do you have a call to action in the top section of your homepage?
A call to action that shows up on your website homepage and is visible without having to scroll down is crucial. Determine what your goal is for the site (i.e. obtain inquiry lead, collect email address or sell a product) and then use a form or button to have a clear call to action that requests the site viewer to click or complete the form. Don’t be shy, it’s ok, everyone is doing it, don’t miss out on using your website as the best marketing tool it can be.
Is your website content speaking directly to your demographic?
Tailor your website content to appeal to the needs of the target audience, painting a picture of the outcome they can expect from your company or product. Connect emotionally with the needs of your audience rather then just selling or pitching to them.

How Google Determines Local Search Rankings

How Google Determines Local Search Rankings

Saipan Web Design

The way that Google determines your local ranking can be a difficult process for company owners to understand. How does Google determine my local ranking? Well, the short answer is that there are many factors that can potentially affect your ranking. Not only are the actual nuts and bolts of the process rapidly shifting, as well as the fact that there is a lot of misinformation online that can make it difficult to pin down a strategy. Well, we are here to set the record straight. In this article, we’ll give you a fact-based rundown of all off the different aspects of your optimization that can affect your local ranking both positively and negatively. When optimizing your website to rank for local keywords, focus on these optimization practices for best results:

Keyword Relevance

The relevance of the keyword to your business is the most important factor that Google takes into account when ranking your website. If you run a Chinese Restaurant, you can’t expect Google to rank your website highly for landscaping related keywords. In order to make sure that your website ranks highly for the keywords that you want, you should make it abundantly clear what you do, who you serve, and what keywords you would like to rank for.

Distance from the Searcher’s Location or Target City Center

When users are searching for local businesses, Google wants to ensure that they are able to connect those users with relevant businesses that are actually within the area that they would like to use. If the keyword includes a city name, Google will reference the address of your business against the city center. If they do not include a target city in their keyword, Google will use the user’s location as their basis for measuring the proximity of their business to the user’s desired location. What this means is that you will have a much easier time ranking for local keywords for the cities that your business operates in. In industries that are less saturated, you may be able to rank for surrounding cities as well, but will always have trouble ranking for local keywords that include cities well outside of your area of operation.

Prominence

How well-known is your business? Google takes the prominence of your business into account when deciding the appropriate place to rank to rank your business on local searches. There are numerous factors that are taken into account when determining whether or not your business is prominent enough to float toward the top of the listings. Even companies without a great online presence, but are popular in the offline world, tend toward the top of the local rankings. For instance, even public landmarks without websites are able to rank highly for related keywords. Google measures the prominence of a business from links, articles and directories across the web. The total number of reviews within Google and the total score of those reviews are factored. Businesses with a high number of positive reviews (compared to negative) will have a much easier time improving their local rankings. Overall, the typical SEO practices can effect how Google views the prominence of your business. You want to give the search engine every opportunity to see that your business is well-regarded.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews play a seriously critical role in the way that your business is reviewed by Google. While they may weigh reviews that are left in their own platform more heavily, they take reviews from all of the large platforms into account. According to Moz, reviews are responsible for roughly 8.4% of local business rankings, making it a fairly prominent factor in where your business ranks for local terms.

Traditional SEO Factors

Along with these local-specific factors, Google also takes traditional search engine optimization into account when ranking your website. Having relevant content that attracts backlinks and solid on-site SEO can go a long way toward improving your rankings in local searches. Some of the prominent traditional SEO factors that affect local SEO keywords include:

Incoming links. Having other prominent websites linking to your business website shows Google that your business is well-known and worth sharing. The more high-quality links you can garner from high-profile publications, the better your chances of ranking highly are.
Social signals. Google gives rankings considerations to companies that maintain an active presence on social media. This shows Google that those companies are actively engaging with their customers. When other social media accounts are interacting with your profile, this proves some level of legitimacy in Google’s eyes.
On-page SEO. Google favors websites that follow the best practices of on-page ranking factors. On-page SEO was created to provide consistent ways in which users interact with websites.
Behavioral metrics. Google uses their vast amounts of data to determine how well users are interacting with your website. Click through rates, mobile clicks to call, check-ins and other metrics can all affect where Google ranks your website.

While there are many factors that Google uses to determine local rankings, the age-old SEO principles still play a prominent role. There are different factors that affect where your website ranks in local search results. Like always, ensuring that you follow search engine optimization best practices plays perhaps the largest role. If you would like to learn more about how Mankato Web Design can help your company to rank more highly in search engines, please contact us today to schedule your initial risk free consultation with our local search optimization experts.

Is Your Homepage Missing the Mark?

Is Your Homepage Missing the Mark?

Saipan Web Design

A website homepage is usually the first page a site viewer will see when they visit your website so you want to make a good impression. Having a direct message to grab and hold the viewers attention is crucial. Here are 3 important questions to ask when designing or redesigning your homepage.
 

Is your business branding clear?
 

Your logo, site colors, images and overall style all add up to your business brand, so make sure it is consistent and matches what your demographic will be attracted to.
 

Is your navigation easy to find and navigate?
 

Make sure the placement of your navigation is easy to locate and not overly customized or broken out into multiple menus in different places. Make sure you do not have too many pages listed to overwhelm the viewer. Also, keep the names of your pages general enough but include keywords so viewers understand what content topic will be on that page.
 

Do you have a call to action in the top section of your homepage?
 

A call to action that shows up on your website homepage and is visible without having to scroll down is crucial. Determine what your goal is for the site (i.e. obtain inquiry lead, collect email address or sell a product) and then use a form or button to have a clear call to action that requests the site viewer to click or complete the form. Don’t be shy, it’s ok, everyone is doing it, don’t miss out on using your website as the best marketing tool it can be.
 

Is your website content speaking directly to your demographic?
 

Tailor your website content to appeal to the needs of the target audience, painting a picture of the outcome they can expect from your company or product. Connect emotionally with the needs of your audience rather then just selling or pitching to them.

Website Content Targeted

Website Content Targeted

Saipan Web Design

Your site design and content should guide each visitor through your website. Your content and call to action are important so the visitor connects with the site to achieve the site goals (i.e. make a sale, call for a quote or possibly fill out a contact form with lead details).

Less Can Be More

Yes, you want to showcase all that your business does or has on your website. You want to have content that is rich with keywords so that your site ranks properly in the search engines, but less can be more when it comes to content.

Keeping your site visitor’s experience in mind and including content that is most applicable and appealing to visitors will keep them on your site longer which can better allow for a sale or lead. Group content and categories together and include information that your site visitors need to know or will be looking for, but do not inundate them with details that are unnecessary.

Appeal To Your Audience

If you are redesigning your site or taking a major overhaul on the content then go back to the drawing board and plan out and rethink your pages and content. Streamline your navigation and drop-down menus so that the site is easy to navigate. Pay extra attention to planning out the homepage text, photos, call to action and sections to ensure that you are addressing the different types of site visitors:

The Spontaneous Visitor: They get to your website from a referral or by search and want to call, email or inquire about your services or products.

Suggestion: Have a phone number, contact form and/or email address easily accessible on the page(s) so this type of visitor doesn’t have to hunt for this information. You only have a small window of time to hold a visitors attention and if they do not find what they want from a site they will click out.

Tips for Using Images

Tips for Using Images

Saipan Web Design

It does not matter who your customer is or what type of design you are creating, quality images are a must. If you have not outsourced your photography needs to a professional photographer there are a couple options that can work for you.

Below are some tips that will make you look good…

All Google Images Are Not Free Images

The images that show up in Google Images are pulled from all different websites, referencing your search phrase, and these images are owned by the websites that posted them. You would need to make sure that the images are public domain images since these images can be used by anyone. You can do an advanced search on Google and filter the search by usage rights. Even still, Google advises that the image license can not be guaranteed. I would suggest to steer away from using Google images for business photos. Even if an image is free to use, who knows how many other businesses are using the same image. Stand out from the rest!

Purchase Quality Stock Images

Keep your business brand and customer in mind when selecting stock photos so that the images you purchase have the most impact on your target audience. When purchasing stock images you will have size options to choose from. The larger the photo the higher the cost. If you are purchasing images for print (flyers, brochures, business cards, etc.) you will want to go with at least 300 dpi. There may be multiple options that are 300 dpi so check with your designer before purchasing the image to make sure it is large enough. If you are purchasing an image that will be used on the web, you will want to purchase a small image, 72 dpi. Again the size will need to be selected to fit the design, which your designer will be able to help you with. Keep in mind if you are purchasing images that will be used for both web and print, you can purchase just the higher resolution images since they can be reduced in size for the web. If you are feeling brave or on a budget, you can try taking photos on your own.

Custom Web Design

Custom Web Design

Saipan Web Design

The internet has redefined the way businesses and consumers operate. A website is no longer a simple brochure. Having a great web design can truly be a doorway to opportunity as it communicates your message, products and services to the entire world 24/7. How effective this communication is depends in part on how well your website design is executed. At Saipan Web Design, we make sure your web design is as unique as your own business. Our team works with your personally to help determine what your strategies and needs are. With your input we will build a one of a kind website or tool to give you a head start over your competition.

No matter what the requirements, our studio has the resources to get it done. We take pride in making custom web applications that help to make running your business easier and more efficient.

Saipan Web Design is a Marianas web design company with the knowledge and experience necessary to make your next project successful, regardless of size or scope. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you with your custom web development projects.

Social Media Services

Social Media Services

Saipan Web Design

More than ever before, people are turning away from traditional means of finding information and looking online. Your business should be at their fingertips. With a professional website using effective Social Media Advertising, you will be able to compete with your competitors that are online and tap into a huge online customer base. Having a website using social media tools also provides your customers with 24/7 access to your businesses products and service. Each website we build is a complete internet presence solution, with all the social media tools necessary for your business to succeed on the web.