Why You Should Skip The Templates and Get A Custom Website!

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Why You Should Skip The Templates and Get A Custom Website!

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If you’re building websites, you’re part of the new raging trend. In fact, the landscape of the internet is littered with pre-fabricated templates that all have an alarmingly similar look. While using a builder is fine, if you’re writing a blog about the adventures of your cat, and the website is chic, modern and serious in tone, than it’s more than possible that you need to reconsider your entire web design. Your website is no good if it can’t convey the message you want.

There is much more to building a website than just installing WordPress and downloading a theme. You’ll find that some website builders will claim to aid in SEO placement, charging you more to throw in maybe one or two “keywords” which is virtually insignificant. A programmer who know’s what he or she is doing can and will provide powerful SEO optimization that will ensure your website is easily found among search engine results. This is crucial if your website is a business and needs to get its products seen amongst the rest of the pack.

You’ve probably seen those entrepreneurs that attempt to take the easy way out by using a service such as Shopify to run their business. One thing I’ve learned is that these platforms can “nickel and dime” their customers to death. When you first start an online business, every single penny needs to be stretched. But with pre-fabricated business “stores”, there are far too many things that need to be paid for. The initial cost of set-up gets combined with transaction fees and separate credit card fees plus fees for extra apps or plug-ins that are touted to help your business grow bigger.

Services like Wix sound great on the service, promising modern coding solutions with the ease of plug and play methods. However, what they fail to tell you is that you are then tied to a specific host and transferability can sometimes be quite the pain in the keister. By hiring a professional web designer and having the job done right the first time, you can ensure that any future moves of your custom website can be at your choosing any time at all.

Let’s take a look at a newcomer to the realm of DIY website building, Squarespace. They boast a “one size fits all” approach to website design that may be appealing if you don’t have the time. If you’re looking for a serious business though, you should think again. The problem with the “one size fits all” approach is that it assumes that you and your competitor want the same thing, it doesn’t allow for individuality, or company identity. Yes, it does work when you’re using the website to run a hobby, or if you plan on selling knick knacks for side cash from your garage.

By all means, if running a website is a mere hobby, then use a website builder. If you are gunning on being a major player in your field, it is necessary to hire someone with the experience and the know-how to make it happen for you. Your business isn’t just like all the others, so why present a website that looks like all the others?


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SEO is More Important Than Ever – Here’s Why

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In today’s digital jungle, we understand it’s easy to get lost in a maze of irrelevant search engine results or high-tech keyword stuffing techniques. We get it, jargon is jargon and at the end of the day you want results, not just fancy phrases. Still with this in mind, some questions should be obvious. This is why most web design experts say the question “is SEO important?” serves as an oxymoron.

For the newbies reading this, “SEO”, short for “Search Engine Optimization”, is the process of getting traffic from organic search results on search engines. Trust us, as easy as this sounds, there is  actually a coded set of rules, a special algorithm that drives this process, instructing the search engines on how to find a website. The goal of anyone who designs, maintains, or owns a website should always be to have that website be easy to find. What does this look like? Your website being in the first page of search engine results, and more impactfully, the first five listings. This is vital because most casual web cruisers are unlikely to click or browse beyond that first page, in fact according to a study conducted by the University of Twente in the Netherlands, up to 91% of searchers don’t go past the first page. A staggering 50% of searchers don’t even go past the first 3 listings. That’s why it’s imperative to be “ahead of the pack”, so to speak.

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Search engines are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Out are the days of lacing keywords through a website, despite being irrelevant, in the mere hopes of getting picked up by search engines. This tactic is fading fast, so if this is you, I suggest upping your game. You should also know that you’re risking being penalized by the biggest search engines. This can lower your ranking or even outright block your site, which means the only way to find it is if your customers type in the complete correct URL.

So how should you be optimizing your site? Be aware of the type of customers you’re attracting (build your buyer personas) and optimize it appropriately. For example, your clientele is local, eco conscious young adults; advertise where you’re from, sell your neighbourhood. If you’re designing a website aimed at Americans but written in Swahili, it’ll be a disaster. You should also be using common wording that the general public is accustomed to. While you could certainly refer to a “visual entertainment unit”, most people would simply call it a tv.

One of the best ways to optimize a site is to leverage the strength of incoming links. This refers to outside sites that’ll link to your site. The importance of the quality of your external links cannot be understated. It’s necessary that only trusted sites link to the site as much as possible and sub par links, such as those originating from link farms or link directories be minimized.

The importance of quality content, featuring results and information that search engine users are actually looking for is king in today’s world of SEO marketing and social media referrals. It has often been said that “content is king”. Keywords and the quality of the your content will set you apart, and will garner the attention that it deserves, bringing more traffic to your site.