Making a website ADA accessible includes text-to-speech recordings of the website content. Here is a sample of a site I did that uses text-to-speech to ‘speak’ the content on the page.
WEB DESIGN PROJECT NOTES:
The task was to redesign the nonprofit organization’s website into a cleaner, more modern look and feel. I wanted the web design to be clean and fresh, easy to navigate, user-friendly and responsive to the size of the device the visitor is viewing it on.
The website was built with WordPress. I created a custom design and integrated it into the site. I added dynamic elements like a slideshow, featured content blocks on the homepage, and a drag and drop web page builder for easy content management and design layouts that my customer can administrate on their own, if they so choose.
What makes me happy is that the customer was very pleased with the site and how it turned out. I do my best to create websites that my customers love. Want to see the new site I built for SAFE House? You can be the judge… Visit their new website and see for yourself: SAFEHouseNV.org
Are you ready to hire a professional web designer to help you with your website redesign? I would love to have a conversation with you to learn about your goals and objectives. Contact me for a free consultation and let’s see what we can do to turn your old website new again.
Netmouser.com now offers a premium web page builder editing tool for WordPress websites.
For those of you who like to have more control over your content, I now offer a premium page builder editing tool that works inside of WordPress and enables you to create dynamic page layouts on the fly!
Contact me to learn about this simple drag and drop editing tool and how it enables you to liven up your boring text only or simple blog posts or web page layouts. It’s one of the easiest tools for web design and wordpress you’ll ever use.
“Is it sufficient that you have learned to drive the car, or shall we look and see what is under the hood? Most people go through life without ever knowing.”Dr. June Singer
Today I am going to give you a quick tip on how to ‘look under the hood’ of your website to understand a basic first step of SEO.
SEO Tip #1 – Learn how to look ‘under the hood’
If you wanted to look inside to the engine of your car, you would open the hood with a latch from inside the vehicle. With a website, you don’t have a simple open button or latch, but there is a way for the ‘non-mechanic’ website owner to look under the hood of your website. It’s called ‘View Page Source’.
The ‘View Page Source’ command allows you to view the source code for your website. Source code is the programming code that helps to make up your website so it displays in the lovely, graphical format you see on your screen.
Inside the source code, a web designer or marketer, makes sure certain key items are being monitored, much like you’d do with a car. You make sure the car is filled with the right fluids like oil, gas, coolant, etc… so it runs optimally. That is exactly what your web designer does when they optimize your website for search engines. They fill it up with the right ‘fluids’ like: content, tags, meta data, etc… so your site has a better chance of ranking in search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
If you’re a mechanic, you know what to look for in the engine. If you’re not, you learn basic skills to keep your car running smoothly between maintenance visits. Viewing source code is one of those basic skills to learn, so you can always make sure your site is being efficiently optimized.
HOW TO VIEW YOUR WEB PAGE SOURCE CODE
- First thing to do is pull up your website in a browser.
Open any website browser like Firefox, Safari, Chrome and type in your website address.
- Find any space on the website that is not an image and RIGHT CLICK (Ctrl+Click on a Mac) your mouse button and choose “View Page Source” from the menu that opens up.
Some browsers allow you to click Ctrl + U (instead of right-clicking on the website).
- A new window will open up that shows you the code of your website
You are now looking at your web page source code.
Pretty daunting if you’ve never seen code before, isn’t it? I know the feeling because it’s how I feel when I look at my car’s engine. But don’t fret. Over the next few weeks, I will tell you specifically what to look for in your website’s code to optimize it for SEO.
Today, my SEO tip #1 is this: learn how to ‘look under the hood’ of your website. Once you know how to do that, you’ll be taking the first step in understanding how the web marketing process works.
SIGN UP TO RECEIVE MY NEXT SEO TIP IN YOUR EMAIL INBOX
Don’t have time to wait for my next SEO Tip? If you need a marketer now, contact me. I offer a free consultation and welcome your call or email.
Suggestion is the psychological process by which one person guides the thoughts, feelings, or behavior of another person. –Wikipedia
As the author, Siri Hustvedt stated in her quote, “None of us is immune to suggestion…” She’s right. We are constantly being influenced in some way, shape or form. When we are watching TV, we are being guided by characters and how they portray us in society. When we look at an advertisement, we are being influenced by the culture of the company, the lure of the benefits if we use the products, or how they will make us feel. When we go on our favorite social networks, we are constantly bombarded by what people love and recommend. Suggestion really is a cornerstone in society and there is no escaping it!
Using Suggestion When Developing Our Websites
Knowing we cannot escape suggestion is not a negative. In fact, we should use the power of suggestion to our fullest when we develop and market our websites.
One of the first things I do as a web designer and developer is to sit down with my clients and have a very thorough discussion about their business and industry. After all, I am not an expert at their business… they are. So what I normally do is find out everything I can about their business, what they sell, who their customers are, etc… Once I get that information, I then work with my clients on creating a website that will ‘suggest’ them as the best in their field.
Suggestion is about anticipating how the website visitor will find you, then using this knowledge to develop your website with functional promotions and marketing campaigns that will guide the visitor into clicking for more information or to buy your products and services. Suggestion starts before development and goes all the way through to customer acquisition.
Suggestion and SEO – How These Two Techniques Work ‘Hand in Hand”
Search Engine Optimization is a strategy that requires a marketer to think about how a website visitor will find you. Whether through a search engine like Google or Bing, a video platform like YouTube, a social network like Facebook, or through an article network. SEO is an important part of marketing your website so you can increase your visibility among these channels.
When I develop a website, I research the best phrases and words to use for your industry. I then use these words and phrases to create content that will jump out to your website visitors who are actively seeking a business or product, to ‘suggest’ to them that your company is a good match they should feel comfortable interacting with.
Suggestion and SEO go hand in hand. They are so closely associated, that I would not do my job properly as a marketer, if I did not know how to suggest your products or services to your customers.
Creating Content on your Website to Suggest to Your Customers They Should “Act Now”.
Your website should always contain a CTA or Call to Action. A CTA can be something as simple as filling out a contact form, prompting a telephone call, sending you an email or using a promotional code to purchase a product. Your website should always have at least one, if not many CTA’s throughout your site’s pages and content.
A CTA is a suggestion to a website visitor that if they do ‘x’, they’ll get ‘y’. Basically, if they do something, they’ll get something.
CTA (Call to Action) Examples:
- Fill out a contact form to receive a free download or pdf catalog
- Call a phone number to request free information or a consultation
- Sign up for an email newsletter to receive a discount on a product or service.
- Buy Now button on your shopping cart to incite a product purchase
The objective of a CTA is to guide your visitor to complete an action. Once they do, they become a ‘lead’. A lead is a potential customer who may purchase your products or services in the future, which ‘leads’ to a sale. (See the play on words there? Clever, right?) The point is, isn’t that what every business wants? More sales?
Suggestion Plays a Vital Role in Making Your Marketing Campaigns a Success.
As stated by Siri Hustvedt’s quote, “no one is immune to suggestion…”, she is absolutely true. But that does not mean that we should not use the power of suggestion to our fullest. After all, it’s not manipulation if you direct a potential buyer to a product or service they are actively seeking out. You are just making it easier for the customer to find you, and to reap the rewards your company has to offer.
I Work With My Customers to Make ‘Suggestions’ through Web Design, Internet Marketing and More…
If you need an internet marketing expert who understands the process of gaining a lead or guiding a visitor to purchase your products or services, contact me for a free consultation. I welcome the call or email.
You’ve seen slideshows a million times, but do you realize how important these slideshow images are to feature content and products on your website?
What is a slideshow & why should you add one to your website?
A slideshow is a group of images or text statements that are displayed across your website in a manner that allows them to attract attention. They are normally larger images that display across the page and will switch out every so many milliseconds.
Example of a slideshow above
Simply adding a slideshow that moves on your page, catches the human eye. By catching the eye of the website visitor, you now have their attention which allows you to say to your visitor “Hey, look at this cool new product!” or “We have a sale going on!”… or whatever you’d like it to say.
By adding a slideshow to your web pages, you are effectively telling your visitors what is important for them to look at, and what is important for you to communicate to them.
Popular ways to use an image slideshow on your website:
- Promote a product, either new or sale item
- Promote a sales or service promotion
- Direct the visitor to important information or company alerts
- Feature an article or showcase expert content that will provide information, like a blog or technical guide.
- Showcase a design portfolio
Slideshows allow you to showcase your products & services, as well as content a visitor may be interested in.
A slideshow on your website homepage or shopping cart attracts visitors and directs their attention to what you want to promote to them. You will normally see an immediate bump in your website traffic to those products or pages, and hopefully, if you communicate it properly, a bump in sales.
Contact me and let’s start making your website the best it can be by adding a slideshow to promote your products, services or content.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing— Walt Disney
All successful online businesses started with one thing: an idea.
Turn your ideas into a successful web business or marketing channel to sell products or services.
I am an idea person. I like to come up with ideas, new inventions, new business concepts, etc… and I love to talk about them to friends. But, that being said, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a friend say “You have so many ideas… Why don’t you just start doing them?”
Walt Disney had a simple concept: “Quit talking and begin doing”.
That’s easier said than done, I know. In the past I was probably the queen of having an idea and then overthinking it to death, or, just talking it over until I’m exhausted with it and ready to move on to the next idea. But, at some point in your professional life, you have to just trust in yourself and do it.
How many of you have a passion or hobby you just love doing like cooking, sports, arts & crafts, etc… and have thought about starting a blog or YouTube Channel? Or, how many of you are great at graphics or creating art, or just love to sell things and have dreamed of selling your products online? How far did you get with those ideas? They are actually easier to achieve than you may think, as long as you just ‘quit talking and begin doing’.
If you have an idea you’d like to achieve online, contact me! Let’s talk about it for a few minutes, and then let me tell you how to begin the idea and how much it may cost to do. You’d be surprised out how easy and affordable it is to start a blog or website or storefront to sell your products. You just have to decide to take that idea and begin doing it.
If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.Steve Jobs, American Business Magnate
This quote rings just rings true. Most people think if someone is an overnight success, they came out of nowhere. But truth is, it takes a long time to become successful. How long? There’s no time limit. It’s more about the process of what you are working on, how you’ve built yourself, your products or services, your skills. Over time, they meld into one and they make you the person you are. It takes years to become who you are, so don’t feel that because you failed at one thing, one time, that you won’t be successful down the line. As Steve Jobs said, “most successes took a long time.”
Internet Marketing Success
This is also true with marketing your business. In most cases, businesses succeed by working hard, building relationships, servicing their customers, and standing by their products and services. They build a reputation and they hope this reputation helps them to attract new customers. When I consult my clients for internet marketing, I remind them of this fact. Just because you build a website today, doesn’t mean you’ll be a millionaire tomorrow. It takes time to cultivate your website. Just like any business, you need to market that website to attract more customers.
Increase your chances of success with Internet Marketing Strategies
Marketing a website consists of many layers. I am not going to go into a lot of details on these layers, but instead remind you that to succeed, you do need to remember a few key ways that will help your business expand online.
There is free marketing and then there is paid marketing. Inside both of these categories are many layers of ad types that fit either into the ‘free’ model or ‘paid’ model. Most businesses that are successful use both forms of marketing.
For this moment, I am only going to focus on two web marketing strategies that most of my customers ask about.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process a web marketer uses to code your website and build content that will ‘hopefully’ be indexed in the major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc…
PPC or Pay-Per-Click Marketing, in simple form, is an advertising campaign you set up inside a search engine or other website that allows you to pay any time your ad is clicked on.
Both SEO and PPC are valuable for businesses and each one serves a different purpose.
With SEO, the hope is that your website will attract customers ‘organically’ by matching your website’s content, products or services with a query that a customer will type into a search engine. SEO used to be much more simpler in the older days of the web, therefore, it’s referred to many times as ‘free’ marketing. But SEO has changed. There is a cost to set up and maintain a website to increase your chances of being visible in search engines.
With PPC, you directly bid on your ad being seen by a customer in a search engine (or other website) offering PPC advertising. Ex: Google Adwords or Microsoft Advertising. This is normally referred to as the ‘paid’ marketing strategy since you are directly paying for an advertisement on a search engine.
The point I am making, which ties in with the quote by Steve Jobs above, is that website success does not come overnight. You need both of these types of marketing strategies to build your business visibility online. What will work for you? Businesses are different and the internet constantly changes, but over time you will find a marketing plan that works well for you combining these two, and other marketing strategies ( social media, etc..) . But, the main point is… you do need time. It doesn’t come overnight.
If you would like to discuss building a marketing plan for your online business, contact me for a free consultation.
Snackable content is a new catchphrase in digital marketing, even though the concept has been around for some time.
Snackable content are bite-sized chunks of information that you create for your website or social media. For example, below is an infographic I created for one of my clients to post on his blog and social media pages.
This infographic gives the readers a quick look at 4 Steps to take if they’ve been hurt at work. This bite size content is easy to read, has a purpose and communicates a clear message without being too wordy.
Why is it important to have snackable content?
Snackable content is perfect to use on social media sites where people only have a few seconds to browse their feed. It gets their attention and gives them a quick look at your company and what you do.
When used in a blog post, it works great as a featured image and helps to break up the content. It also allows you to take a deeper dive into the snackable content, creating an in-depth article that relates to the information you just gave them. In the example above, my client shows you the “4 Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured At Work”. But, in his blog post, he goes into detail for each one of those steps, bringing more knowledge and expertise to his readers.
Should You Start Creating Snackable Content?
By creating a content marketing plan that incorporates both in-depth content and ‘snackable’ content, you are giving your readers and potential customers the ability to ‘take a quick bite’ or to deep dive into your writings. To me, that’s a win-win.
If you want to develop a content marketing plan for your business, contact me. I’d love to help.
I get a lot of clients who have never built a website before. They don’t have any idea of where to start and they need some advice on how to get their business online. They normally have been referred to me by one of my clients who feels confident referring them to me because I’ve helped get their business online. It’s always an honor to be referred and it’s one I do not take lightly.
The normal process for me to help my customers is to schedule a call or meeting and find out about their business. I then walk them through the basics of what they will need in order for them to have a website.
These are the basic items any business needs if they plan on having a website. I won’t go into too much detail as I will save that for a later post, but just knowing up front what the important items are to have a website for your business is the first step, and if this helps to guide you on your journey, I’m glad to have helped.
3 THINGS EVERY BUSINESS NEEDS TO START A WEBSITE:
When you decide you need a website for your company there are a few key items you will need to do before you can ‘open for business’.
1. BUY / REGISTER A DOMAIN NAME
The domain name is the ‘address’ to your business web site. If you comparing a website to a house, the domain name would be the address, i.e. 8000 Badura Ave. In the case of a website, it would be netmouser.com.
Domain names should be easy to remember and identifiable. Many times I consult with my clients and tell them to think of any of the following ideas:
- Your company name
- Your business products and services
- Keywords that you identify your business with
- Your location
- Combination of any of these ideas above
If you own a business that provides trophies and awards, you may want to include keywords in your domain to capture the searches for people looking for trophies or awards. However, there are so many businesses that handle this service nationwide, so you may want to narrow it down by including the city or your business name. For example, one of my clients provides awards that recognize outstanding achievement to schools, businesses, etc… Their company name is Desert Wind Engraving & Awards. When you hire a professional digital marketer like me, I will do a domain search (similar to a business name dba search) that will show me what domains are available that may match your business, business products or services and / or location. I give you a listing of these domains available at the time of my search and we go over what we think will be best for your business. In the example above, we chose the business name ‘Desert Wind’ with a keyword ‘Awards’ so their domain name is DesertWindAwards.com.
Try thinking about your business, your services and products you offer, along with your location and then go to Netmouser’s Domain Registration service and try some domain name searches to see if there is something available that you like. If so, register it and that’s the first step to take in creating a website.
2. WEB HOSTING
Going back to the example of comparing a website to a house, the web hosting would be the land or foundation you build your house on. You can’t have a house without land to build it on, can you?
Web hosting is the ‘space’ you need to build your website. This ‘space’ is a virtual space that resides on a physical web server in another location somewhere in the world. There are different types of web hosting plans based on what your needs are, where and who you host with, but the main thing you need to know is you will need a web hosting plan. Netmouser has dedicated servers we use to host our client’s websites. When you hire me, I will set up all of your website hosting needs for you so you don’t have to worry about it. Web hosting plans are essential, and without it, you can’t have a website.
3. WEBSITE DESIGN & PROGRAMMING / CODED PAGES
Now that you have your ‘address and land’ for your website, you actually need to build or construct the house… in this case your website. To do this, I will create a custom design for my client and then code it out using programming language that displays on the web. We upload the files to your web hosting plan and then, when someone types in your domain name (or address), your website is displayed. Without the coded files, you just have a blank virtual space.
When you are ready to create a website, it’s best to hire a professional digital marketer so you can insure the website is coded properly and with marketing principles for SEO (search engine optimization) so your site has a better chance to be indexed in a search engine like Google when someone is searching for your products or services.
These are the three required items you NEED to start a website. There are more items that we will discuss in the near future that make your website structure and marketing efforts more effective, like SEO, shopping carts to sell your products, videos, etc… but for now, these are the three basic items you need to get your business on the web.
If you need help with your company website, please, contact me! I love helping companies set up their businesses online and would love to speak with you.