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Blogs by date "06/01/12"

Why Your Small Business Needs an Optimized Website

Small Business Website OptimizationEvery year the small business landscape is becoming more and more competitive, especially in major metropolitan areas. With commercial interaction becoming even more digital, the need for a website is imperative to stay afloat.

Most small business marketers realize this need and already own a website. Yet, many fail to acknowledge their website's core purpose. Sure there are the essential contact information and core product or service pages, but more often than not, there’s an untapped opportunity.

Some small business websites are simply out-dated and visually appalling to visitors. Most sites could be locally optimized for great search engine visibility (SEO). Depending on the status of your company's website, an optimized website could offer a game changing marketing opportunity.

What's an Optimized Website?

An optimized website addresses two primary aspects:

  • The mark-up language of a site's code
  • The keyword relevancy of a site's content Building a well optimized website involves a wide array of skill-sets.

The website design and development team must build the site so that the back-end code or (mark-up language) is search engine friendly. This typically involves the use of certain technologies as well as coding techniques. As a result, the website will be crawled and indexed more efficiently. The second fulfillment of an optimized website centers on establishing keyword relevancy in the site's content.

Otherwise known as on-page SEO, this is a process that includes researching the right keywords or search phrases, and creatively blending them in the proper places throughout the website. The requires copywriting and strategy web marketing skills. There are many resources on the web for SEO services, and the on-page component is the primary aspect of optimizing a website.

Benefits of an Optimized Website

Having a professionally optimized website can pay major dividends for your small business. A well developed, keyword optimized website can increase your business's chances of being found in the search results, especially if you utilize the link building resources that a website optimization company can offer.

A polished up website can also serve as prime candidate for Pay Per Click advertising. Local PPC for small businesses is a highly effective means for more website traffic. You can also utilize the potential of blogging. By building an on-site blog, you can write and share compelling articles about your company. This can further lead to more inbound web traffic.

In today's digital age, these are some of the most important considerations for small business marketers. The marketing platforms are changing, and only strong local companies are surviving. Whether it's pursuing a new web design for your small business or considering the options for search engine marketing, there's immense potential to grow your web presence.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

What Makes a CMS SEO Friendly?

SEO Friendly CMSContent management system (CMS) software has become a highly sought-after solution to build and operate a website. CMS software makes website management both affordable and easy, enabling the most elementary end users to make edits and ongoing updates to a site.

Additionally, web design providers utilize CMS software to seamless build and optimize sites for their clients. The SEO friendliness of the site, however, depends which content management system was used to develop the site. Now more than ever, web design firms are developing sites on a CMS platform. It is thus very important that if you're planning to use a CMS to manage your website, you ensure that the software will suit essential SEO functionality.

Some content management systems offer greater SEO capabilities then others, so you'll want to know what to look for in search engine friendly CMS software. Below we dive into the characteristics of what makes a CMS SEO friendly.

The Roots to Search Engine Friendly Content Management Systems

Page Editing Functionality

With respect to SEO, it is crucial that your CMS has the necessary page editing functionality. That is, you or your SEO provider must be able to write keyword optimized page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs for each page. These elements are essential for on-page optimization are must have's for a SEO-friendly CMS.

Back-End Coding Structure

In addition to these critical functionality features, the back-end HTML coding structure of each page will often depend on the type of CMS software used to build the site. There are a number of content management systems that produce pages with minimal, search engine friendly coding structures. The most common of these CMS platforms are WordPress and Exponent CMS. These are two of the most popular for SEO's and search-focused web designers looking build and optimize a site.

Other SEO Friendly CMS Considerations

Other characteristics that define SEO friendly CMS include:

  • software that generates pages based on CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), as opposed to nestled tables and other cumbersome coding structures
  • a CMS platform that is considered 'developer friendly' in that it offers the capabilities of implementing links, copy, images, videos, and other elements in specific areas throughout a page
  • software that allows users to produce dynamic, keyword friendly URLs
  • platforms that automatically generate XML sitemaps for submission to Google Webmaster Tools (highly ideal for ecommerce SEO)

These are the essentials of search engine friendly content management systems. Whether you're a business looking for a website, or web designer seeking the right CMS to use, these guidelines can help you narrow you search for the right CMS platform that offers optimal SEO friendliness. Learn more about Web design in Peoria IL.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

Is PPC Advertising is Right for Your Local Business?

Pay Per Click advertising may have a reputation as a costly and overly-competitive endeavor.

Sure, that might be the case if you are bidding on popular keywords that cost over $3 per click.

However, Pay Per Click advertising actually offers extraordinary control and flexibility over who sees your ads, and under what keywords they use to trigger them. This can be huge for local business.

The fact of the matter is, PPC advertising can be momentous game-changer for all types of companies. The trick is knowing the right keywords to bid for, as well as knowing the minor (yet significant) intricacies of setting-up a paid search campaign.

In this post, we are going to breakdown some of the advantages and techniques to using Pay Per Click advertising for your local business.

The Advantages of PPC Advertising for Local Businesses

For local businesses, PPC advertising can be HUGE for a local company's marketing efforts. In short, Google AdWords enables advertisers to set campaigns so that their ads are only triggered to users in certain geographic regions.

Let us give you a prime example: A bike shop wants to promote its niche inventory of road bikes, namely 'Orbea bikes' being one of the keyword targets. The bike shop, located in Traverse City, MI, can roll-out a some ads for this particular keyword that are only shown to search engine users in the northern Michigan region, or within a specified radius of Traverse City.

Assessing the PPC Playing Field

Determining if PPC advertising is right for your business requires some keyword assessment and competitive analysis. First you must pinpoint the keywords that the most relevant to your company and what your business has to offer. In addition, you must assess the cost per click (CPC) of each keyword to evaluate whether or not the investment is worth the website traffic.

Once you have some keywords that are relevant and within your budget, you must search those keywords to get an idea of how competitive they are in the search results. If you are only interested in local traffic, the size of your market will have a major influence on your decision. For instance, notice the paid listings above for "chiropractors."

This search was set so that we were looking for chiropractics in "Boston," a large metropolitan area. As a result, the local competition for this keyword is fierce, and we may want to do some more research before rolling out an Pay Per Click ad.

Social Momentum in Search

Notice in the image of the 'Orbea bikes' ad above the social integration of Google+, "Jason Whittaker +1'd this page." This nice little ad enhancement is an example of how Google is infusing its social media platform (Google+) in the search results.

These little social icons are also popping up in the organic results. For local companies, this holds even more marketing importance. At the end of May, Google ditched its 'Google Places' pages (often shown in the search results for locally-oriented keyword searches) for a new format called Google+ Local pages. Google+ Local pages are designed for local businesses, and are somewhat like a hybrid of Google Places pages and Facebook brand pages. This is because Google+ Local pages are associated with both social (Google+) and search.

As a result of these big changes by Google, righteous businesses can capitalize on building cohesive Internet marketing campaigns that involve social media, SEO, and Pay Per Click advertising. Building a successful campaign takes research and analysis of your business, its market, and your competition. In some cases, PPC advertising may not be in the best interest of your business, and SEO and web optimization is the best route.

Nonetheless, the emergence of Google+ must not go overlooked. So whether you're pursuing organic SEO to increase your rank, or seeking immediate search engine exposure via ecommerce PPC advertising, keep the social top of mind, because it's definitely a primary focus for Google.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our website optimization Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

Conversion Optimization and What You Need to Know

Unlike SEO and Pay Per Click advertising that simple direct traffic to a website, conversion optimization goes one step further. Also commonly referred to as conversion rate optimization (for its focus in improving the conversion rate of a website), conversion optimization centers on post-click user activity and behavior. That is, the desired action a user takes after he or she lands on a webpage (primarily from the search engine results.)

So what exactly do you need to know about conversion optimization? A few things.

Conversion optimization is a big deal in today's website marketing arena. The definition of a 'well-optimized website' has evolved into more than just a site that's been strategically infused with keywords. Now, a well-optimized site is one that has a professionally planned conversional funnel, or a pre-meditated path that users will take once they land on a page, in addition to all of the necessary SEO elements involved.

Conversion Optimization is a lot Like SEO

Similarly to SEO, conversion optimization is not a hit-and-run project. Rather, it's ongoing process of testing, evaluating, and fine-tuning. The leaders of the optimization profession will do more than simply tune-up landing pages or implement A/B tests on different webpage variations. True conversion optimizers will roll-up their sleeves and uncover valuable insights based on user behavior. The force behind conversion optimization is information.

Website analytics are the source for such valuable data, and knowing how make sense of key on-site statistics is imperative. Approaches like segmentation analysis and assessing navigation pathways become even more essential. In both conversion optimization and search engine optimization, content reigns king.

Sure, website design and technicalities may seem significant (and they are,) but don't let these aspects overshadow what truly matters - meaningful experiences and valuable propositions. In world of SEO, success in these can earn you links. In conversion optimization, these elements result in paying customers. You dig?

Why Design and Technical Expertise Matter

Conversion optimization demands constant testing of various page concepts. Whether for SEO or PPC optimization, the conversion funnel must be well-planned, constantly analyzed, and respectfully modified.

The elements of a conversion funnel, although still focused on content will often hinge on the help of a creative website designer or code-friendly web developer. Flipping call-to-actions based on eye tracking studies or adding different visuals to a page are just a few examples.

In essence, the advantages of conversion optimization derive from offering something valuable as an incentive to convert. This is why strategic web marketing experience, coupled with creative and technical experience, can make for an effective website optimization team.

If you are search engine marketing efforts are becoming stagnant, perhaps it’s not matter of search engine visibility or getting traffic to your website. Rather, it could be matter of optimizing your website for great conversion potential.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
OIC Group, Inc.
Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653