For decades we have been discussing the importance of the proper optimization of small business websites. Optimization should not be an afterthought and it is paramount to address and implement it during the development stage and prior to launching.
Image Publishing Guidelines for SEO
When we speak of optimizing website content, this includes image optimization. Google’s John Mueller recently provided insight as to how the search engines see and consider images when determining overall website content and quality. Image optimization isn’t simply compression but it includes meta data that permits the search engines to see the images and translate them into optimized content that helps your website rank well.
Pay Now or Pay Later Many website designers can present an aesthetically pleasing, functional website. All too frequently however, they are missing a crucial step in the development process. What you don’t see can hurt you and this is why we focus on designing websites that follow Google’s Best Practices. Optimizing your content needs to be done and should be done before your website is launched or you’ll have to go back and complete that task at a later date. We are still surprised when small business owners call us for SEO services and we have to optimize content that should have been optimized in the original build. This is a costly mistake many small business owners make simply because they lack the knowledge to know what they’re expectations should be from their website designer.
Google is Ever -Changing but Content is Still King
Google has rolled out thousands of small changes and major core updates over the past few years. With every major update we have noted that one thing holds true– Content is still king.
Healthy websites are very important so keeping your site up-to-date by performing regular website maintenance tasks will keep you ahead of the game when rollouts do occur. Focus on site speed, security and engaging content for your customers then follow the recommended best practices with regards to onsite optimization.
Website Designers & SEO Experts
Bay Area Graphics & Marketing has decades of experience developing highly optimized websites at an affordable price. Teaching our clients about website design and search engine optimization is important to us so you can invest in your website and online presence with confidence.
For more information, call 813-778-9548 or leave us a secure message below.
The Future of Your Small Business Begins with Choosing the Right Website Services
As a small business owner, your revenue is directly connected to your website and your online presence. We understand the importance and influence your small business website has on both the consumer (visitor) and the search engines.
When considering website design services or marketing solutions, you should consider every detail to ensure success. Here are the most important decisions you will have to make to ensure the future of your small business:
Choose the right hosting company. **We do not recommend combining your hosting with your web development/developer.
Make sure that your website designer understands optimization. A business website that looks good must also be properly optimized prior to launching.
Decide what type of commitment you can make to promote consistency in maintaining and marketing your site considering both your time and budget
You Don’t Have to Sacrifice to Get an Affordable Small Business Website
If you have tried a DIY approach using web builders or even WordPress and you are stuck, you’re not alone. When WordPress first came out it was plausible for some people who had limited knowledge of web design to figure out the basics. WordPress has changed in leaps and bounds and you really do have to have a working knowledge of website development. From your WordPress installation to WordPress plugins, themes and security, it is highly recommended to work with a web design firm to get you off to a good start.
Nice Looking Website Templates.. How Bad Can it Be?
There is truth to the fact that there are plenty of nice templates offered with web builders. But, depending on what route you take, web builders can be highly restrictive to the growth of a small business. Once you figure out that you need more features to manage and promote your website properly, that’s where web builder themes, templates and bundled services become problematic. Generally speaking, when you choose this option, you are paying for hosting. The templates are provided as a “selling point.” The most frequent complaint we receive from clients who used web builders, was that they were locked into monthly fees that never ended and costs increased to get the functionality they needed. In essence, they weren’t just paying for hosting, they were paying for a site that wasn’t truly theirs because they didn’t own the license to the templates. If for instance, they wanted to move their website and contents including their theme or template to a WordPress platform it wasn’t possible. They could keep their domain name but would lose their website and have to start all over again. In short they never truly owned their website files and would have to pay every month for the “extras” rather than owning their website by paying one time for the development, while keeping their hosting separate. **This is how bad it can be and why we do NOT provide bundled hosting and only recommend hosting companies that we know will suit our client’s needs.
WordPress Website Maintenance & Updates
When you opt for a WordPress website, after it’s launched you must perform basic updates on a regular basis. This is true with any website. This is not “updating” as in adding new content which is also crucial if you want your website to rank well and to remain engaging to your visitors. WordPress updates, plugin updates, theme and other changes that may be unique to your website need to be preformed fairly regularly.
If you are not familiar with WordPress or content management platforms, we can teach you how to do the basic updates. Most small business owners simply don’t have the time to maintain their websites, so we’re here to help as needed. If you have already attempted to self manage your website and you need WordPress troubleshooting services Bay Area Graphics & Marketing offers affordable, flexible website maintenance and SEO solutions that are geared towards small business owners. You really can afford these services without getting locked into contracts and services that you may not need every month. Keep in mind we bundle our website maintenance with SEO so that you can get a better return on your investment.
Contact Bay Area Graphics & Marketing
The success of your small business website is up to you. Begin with an affordable, professional website design package and then opt for our Pay as You Go SEO Services for maintenance, marketing and optimization. Learn more about our website design packages and SEO pricing by calling 813-778-9548 or email us for a no hassle quote.
We’re half way to the end of the first quarter of 2019 and many small business owners have been busy implementing their marketing and search engine optimizationplans for this year. We have addressed some concerns and agree that Google and technology is everchanging. But, we also know that the more things change, the more they also remain the same. What do we mean by this? Well, we still know that website content is king as far as Google is concerned. Knowing how to deliver this content in a manner that makes the search engines happy while engaging your visitors is the key to success.
“Google wants to reward unique, relevant rich and informative content.”
Understanding & Improving Your Website’s Content
Your website’s content as well as any external content is a crucial part of ranking well on the search engines. We have said this time and again because Google keeps telling us. Going forward in 2019, it still holds true. Making a solid plan to develop content that will not be rendered counter-productive or otherwise problematic to Google is important to keep your website ranking high. But, for many small business owners, feeding your site with original, engaging content is way too time consuming. Without it however, your website will likely fall in ranking. If you have a new website, search engine optimization is crucial and getting ranked will very much depend on feeding your website as well as creating content on external sources. Link juice from higher ranking blogs and websites should be a part of your optimization plans. In essence, many small business owners could spend quite a bit of time writing, blogging, posting, pinning, sharing– well, you get the picture.
So What’s the Solution?
Time and money is the number one factor that prevents small business owners from being competitive online. Let’s face it– everyone Google’s and, or is using social media to find local services and products. So for 2019, the first step to success is acceptance. The second step is determining if you will spend your time, your money or both on ensuring a return on the investment you have made in your website. The third step is setting a budget for marketing expenses and then making a commitment to your SEO & Marketing endeavors.
Is Something Better than Nothing at All?
Frequently clients with budget constraints ask why they should do anything at all if they don’t have a large SEO and Marketing budget. This mindset may come from the fact that many Florida SEO firms are just too costly to employ. In addition to this, there is the fear of being locked into a contract. But, to answer the question, yes, something is better than nothing. Any time or investment you put into optimizing your website is better than nothing at all. We have covered the topic of being consistent with your SEO, even if it means you are doing a little something– it will always be better than nothing at all. SEO takes knowledge, but it also is busy work. Find out how we leverage this time and make our search engine optimization and marketing services affordable.
Whether you need SEO services for your law firm, pest control company, carpet cleaning company or your e-commerce website, we make it easy to obtain just what you need and can afford. Our focus in the past and going into 2019 remains the same— Providing affordable SEO services and solutions to Florida small business owners that will help you to remain consistent and ranking higher in 2019.
Tampa Website Design, SEO, Marketing – Focusing on Simplicity
At Bay Area Graphics & Marketing, we’ve always had a simplistic approach to website design, Search Engine Optimization and small business services. Our focus? Customer satisfaction. As small business owners since the 90’s we first considered what we needed and wanted. Then, we asked small business owners what they wanted once their needs were fulfilled. Their needs boiled down to being able to obtain affordable website services, loyalty and dependability. In short, they wanted simplicity. Small business owners didn’t need the cheapest web design services in Tampa, they needed quality web design and SEO services that they could easily afford. They wanted a website design company who was dependable one that would help to make their business run a little smoother. Affordable website, marketing and design services with an emphasis on transparency and simplicity. We began by taking a minimalist approach to our own needs which helped to reduce costs that would otherwise be transferred to our customers. Why does any of this matter?
The Trend Towards Simplicity and Minimalism in 2018
While researching online trends in 2018, what we discovered was that consumers searched for and were being drawn towards more simplistic approaches to just about everything. From minimizing space, to clothing to becoming more self sufficient. The trends also were towards learning how to relax, which often meant finding time to relax. In a nutshell, we couldn’t help but notice that people are clearly reaching out to cure and reduce the stresses of managing their business and personal lives. But, we also realized, this wasn’t a “new” trend. We knew this to be true decades ago when we asked consumers what they wanted and needed from a web design and marketing agency. Although we were building our Tampa web design and SEO business in the late 90’s, by asking consumers we understood that small business owners were already stressed about the complexities of what the internet meant for the future of their small business. We felt the need to reduce that stress while using our talents. Back then, the cost of a small business website was astronomical and many small business owners were being left behind. We truly couldn’t understand or justify the high prices that web design firms were charging. We deduced it to “because they could.” Website design firms were different then, and they had a need to cover the cost of impressive office spaces, staff and their own massive advertising costs. Initially, people who could afford it were willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for s simple website. We took a different approach, a simplistic approach. So how did simplifying things work out? Well, we’re still here decades later and some of those top agencies that were around then, are long since gone.
Quality in Simplicity
There is quality to be found in simplicity, and less is very often, more. What does it have to do with our services? Well, these are services most small business owners need on a frequent basis. Many business owners are hard wired to deal with complex situations and some often create difficulties where it they don’t yet exist. I think we have all heard the old phrase “keep it simple stupid” or “less is more.” Let’s go with the both of these. People have a tendency to complicate matters that are not complicated. Or, they complicate things they may not understand. Simply put, that’s not wise or in the case to follow, decent. Frequently, small business owners in our industry and others, will complicate and confuse matters –on purpose. Example: We’ve heard many stories of other firms convincing the consumer that the sky is falling. If the sky is falling, the person complicating matters was surely the only one who can stop it from falling and their fee to stop it will be comparable to the task, right? After all, it’s the sky, and it’s falling. What’s worse, is finding out that the company you trusted actually caused the sky to fall, only to charge you to fix it. See how that works? Sadly, it works for falling skies, a fall in website ranking, a broken website– or just about anything. In this situation less of that way of doing business is surely more. We keep things simple by being honest, fixing what needs to be fixed, and by keeping troubles at bay so our customers can focus on other matters –like having time to relax.
IF the Sky Actually Falls, You Won’t Need Our Services
Look, as small business owners we know that when things become too complicated, it eventually takes a toll on everyone. We also understand having worked closely with small business owners for decades, that the daily grind of operating a business can be complicated. It is the nature of the beast. Our goal when working on our client’s website design projects or their search engine optimization and marketing is to keep focused on what is important and true. Give our clients what they need and want and work methodically towards solutions to problems that may arise. We keep the necessary website services affordable while keeping the process easy for customers to understand. We do not insist on contracts because we do not need to. If an SEO or web design firm makes you sign a contract that locks you in to services for months or years, you most likely need to start looking for the hidden fees or reasons behind it. (Usually it’s in small print in the form of “price per keyword or phrase” or location or hosting or other additional services.) We offer affordable website design packages and Pay as You Go SEO services which keeps the process of search engine optimization and website marketing simple. If you need to focus on ranking for multiple keywords, we’re already on it. We also combine our services into one, so for instance, if you have a WordPress website, and you need WordPress maintenance or updates, we’ll take care of those for you as part of our SEO service. We won’t make it complex, up-sell our services or create problems (like falling skies). Because let’s face it, if the sky actually does fall, you surely won’t need our services.
Saving Time, Money, Energy in 2019
Moving into 2019, we believe the trend towards simplicity will remain as it did in the 90’s and in 2018. We believe more small business owners will continue to search for ways to simplify their own lives which means making changes in their business relationships. This may include making some changes that will result in saving money, time and energy. These are all good and positive things to aspire to. We will continue to keep our process of developing small business websites that rank well, easy and affordable. Our SEO service and web maintenance services will continue to be straightforward, without complicated rules, price structures or questionable short-cuts that can actually cause problems, rather than positive results. Trusting that your website services are in the hands of focused, experienced professionals will allow our customers to spend more time to search for additional ways to create harmony, simplicity and success in their business.
“Simple can be harder than complex, you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Steve Jobs
Let us help you simplify things, so together, we can move mountains!
Florida Small Business Owners Ask, How Long does it Take to Get Results from SEO?
As SEO experts serving Tampa bay and Florida since 2001, one of the first questions small business owners in Florida will ask (or want to ask) is “How long will it take to get results from search engine optimization?” If you do a search on Google and look at the average of what most (honest) Florida SEO firms are saying, improved ranking and results can take four to six months. Sure, you may find a few SEO firms making unrealistic promises. Avoid those firms. Many who promise miracles use black hat SEO. Google warns against these techniques. Although they may initially result in something that looks like progress, suddenly, those results will take a turn. That about-face could in fact have an end result of Google penalizing your website.
Answer: How Long does it take to Grow a Garden. What?
Unsavory SEO company’s unrealistic projections aside, in general, I can agree that four to six months is a fair estimate. However, in theory, the results of SEO on your website’s ranking will depend on quite a few variables. Much like growing a garden, variables such as your marketing budget, competition, state of your website when SEO begins and current algorithms or “conditions” coupled with how much work you put into your site, all effect results. We have websites that take just weeks to show improvement and some that take several months. If you’re growing what thousands of others are growing (industry competition) you must be realistic in your expectations. Being prepared to out-grow your competition means being committed to your SEO. Out-producing the other growers is a wonderful goal, but simply put, you will get out your garden, what you put into it. Expecting anything more is being unrealistic. Does this mean you shouldn’t try? Keep reading.
Investing in SEO – Cost of Search Engine Optimization
Investing in your online presence through affordable search engine optimization services to increase your organic ranking is a must. If you have a website, you must invest in it if you want it to work for you. If you need website design services and you are just starting out, you MUST consider optimization when you build it. Back to the garden analogy. You can plant the seed, and spend thousands of dollars or hard work on website development, but if it is not tended to properly, and consistently, it will not produce. Like a garden, your website needs certain things to grow. The costs of SEO can discourage some business owners. Some will end up doing nothing because they fear they cannot afford it. Competitors with more money or time to invest in their websites count on that way of thinking. But we fixed that. Since 2001 our goal has been to help small business owners compete by offering affordable SEO services that help put them small on the map.
SEO Techniques That Produce Results for Florida Business Owners
Water. Sunlight. Nutrients. A little Luck from the Weather Gods.
Watering your website? Sure. Flowing a steady stream of content into your website, is like pouring water into dry ground. Google still loves water (content). Adding fresh, well written content that is perfectly optimized is just one step towards a website that will rank higher and produce results.
Sunlight? Sure. You think we’re getting crazy right, but, keep reading! Shining a light on your website, particularly the new content you add to it is crucial to its growth. Picture your website sitting in a dark corner. Until you add some sunlight to it, it will just sit in the dark corner. Some may pull out a flashlight in hopes that will work. But it won’t. Eventually the batteries will die and the light will fade out. And flashlights don’t have what the sun’s rays do. Each ray from the sun adds to the particular growing stage of a plant. How is this applicable at all to your website’s ranking? Adding some artificial sunlight in the way of backlinking, adding proper anchor text, image optimization and sharing on social media sites are just a couple of ways we can introduce sunshine to your website. There are many more SEO techniques and tasks that we utilize– but let’s move on. See there? Our garden analogy is looking less silly already– Read on.
Nutrients. If you’ve ever grown a garden you know that sunlight and water are simply not adequate enough to produce fruit–(revenue.) You must enrich your soil by adding nutrients. Enriching your website through building proper directory listings, digital footprints plus a variety of other enhancements that SEO experts use, is a must. Without these crucial steps, you will not grow organically. “Grow organically?” you ask. Yes. We should have addressed this early on. Organic ranking of a website simply means that your website ranks well on the search engines without paying for advertising. Good organic ranking should be what every website owner strives for. Just like food produced in an organic garden is better for you, so is a website that ranks well organically for the business owner.
The Weather Gods. (Google) Let’s face it, when it’s fair weather we have a tendency to forget about storms. Google can change their mind just like the wind can suddenly change direction. But, the good news is, is that we can count on Google for some basic weather patterns. In other words, some weather patterns are fairly predictable. Weathering changes in Google however, can be as simple as sticking to Google’s best practices. These are the things that they suggest every website owner must do to please them. Most of these best practices haven’t changed with time. When there is drought or heavy downpours, your Florida SEO expert is prepared to take these on without flinching.
Don’t forget the Weeds. Being choked out from weeds? Well, it may sound harsh but weeds are your competition. When your site is planted and tended to properly, weeds won’t overtake your crop. Think this is crazy? Maybe, but it’s true. You can never get rid of weeds (competitors) but you CAN keep them from overtaking your garden by improving the conditions in which your own website grows. Healthy, well maintained websites are less prone to pests (viruses, attacks, etc.) particularly with WordPress websites so you must consider how this effects ranking. Then there are weeds (competitors). If you are an industry with many local competitors, a realistic approach will result in production, an unrealistic approach will result in disappointment. We help our customers address both issues by keeping your website up to date (maintenance) while improving the overall health of your website through search engine optimization services.
So How Long does it Take Again to Rank Higher with Search Engine Optimization?
We tell our customers that it can take weeks to many months to see results from search engine optimization. The more you put into it, the better off you are and doing nothing at all is asking for failure. Again, compare good ranking to good gardening. Adding all of the above and expecting to produce fruit the next day is unrealistic but adding none of the above will result in a dead garden.
Tampa Florida SEO Experts – No Contracts, Affordable Small Business SEO
Do you have a new website that needs tending to? Perhaps your old website needs a boost or even a website re-design. Give us a call. Let us help you diagnose what problems you have, and give you an honest analysis on how to fix those problems. Most of the time, it’s not as bad as clients might think. Remember, we offer affordable SEO, website maintenance and website design services. Our no contracts policy help small business owners in Florida overcome the fear of obtaining SEO services. Affordable SEO services make it possible for every Florida business owner remain competitive. We are SEO experts in Tampa Bay with super green thumbs. We’ve been helping small business owners produce fruit (revenue) since 2001 and would welcome the opportunity to help you too!
Featured Image Above: Google 1998 (My, how things change!)
Google Best Practices Updates for 2016
It’s something that we perhaps knew just made common sense , but Google is now recommending a few things that we’ve been doing all along. It’s important for webmasters to follow Google’s Best Practices, but it never hurts to be mindful of what is helpful to a website’s visitor. Going the extra step for our clients, often means utilizing common sense practices.
Although most of Google’s recommendations for best practices have remained the same, changes in their documentation makes it very clear on the importance of developing a website that is useful to the user, rather than concentrating on what the search engines want. The 2016 updates clearly indicate that spammy sites, or sites that are using anything other than honest techniques with regards to development and SEO will be frowned upon, meaning penalized. As a web developer and search engine optimization specialist, I can honestly say thank you for that.
Here are just a few of the changes Google has made. We’ve put an “X” by the things we’ve been doing for our clients for years.
Here’s what Google Says Now About Sitemaps:
Put an HTML site map page on your site, and use an XML Sitemap
Sitemaps & Human-Readable Sitemap – What this means is that Google is recommending not just a sitemap for Google to crawl, but also a separate sitemap for your visitors.
Provide a sitemap file with links that point to the important pages on your site. Also provide a page with a human-readable list of links to these pages (sometimes called a site index or site map page).
X – Offer a site map that your users can access that includes links that point to the important parts of their website. If the site map has an extraordinarily large number of links, you may want to break the site map into multiple pages.
Here’s what Google says about Image Files 2016:
Google previously warned against including text in images and instead to make use of the ALT tag. This was true especially if you were expecting it to be read by crawler.
Here is Google’s Old Recommendation:
Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the ALT attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
Here is Google’s New Recommendation for Image Files:
X – Try to use text versus images to display important names, content, or links. If you are using images for textual content, always use the alt attribute to include a few words of descriptive text. This is a fairly significant change for Google.
<Title> and ALT Attributes
X – Another change is minor, but says a lot. Google is now including the word “specific” in this section. Ensure that your title elements and alt attributes are descriptive, specific, and accurate.
Creating Fresh, Unique Content for Your Website
When it comes to search engine optimization to obtain high organic ranking and providing a unique experience for website users, we have always stood by the premise that “Content is King.” We’ve been developing fresh content for clients from nearly every industry for close to two decades. But remember, it’s not only well written content that pleases the search engines and your visitors, it’s the structure and technical aspects of the content. At any rate, it’s proven that “content” has been and likely still is the number one contributing factor that helps our client’s websites rank higher, while promoting interest for users.