Where we share our insights about all things web design, development, and marketing.

June22

Announcing Your New Website

Once your new website is complete, how do you tell people about it? Announcing the new launch of your website can be done in a number of ways in order to get the word out and help drive traffic to your new site.


If this is your first website, make sure that you get the web address printed on your business cards and brochures so that people know there is an additional way to get in touch with your business now. Also, connect with your social network followers and tell them about your website launch. Make a post on Facebook and Twitter with the link to your site so that your followers can go directly to the new website to check it out. It might also be helpful to encourage feedback about your site so that you know what your customers think about it from the get go.


In addition, you could submit a press release to local news sources to let people know that your business is now online or that you have redesigned your website for an improved user experience. If you offer special services or features on your website such as ordering online or a blog, include that in your announcement so that users know their experience can be interactive.


On that same note, if you have a blog or news manager on your website, use it to help announce your new website. Make your first post about your new or improved site and take users on a tour of your pages. Tell them what they can find on your site and what they can do while they are there. This is also a great way to encourage feedback about your website.


Launching a new website is just the first step. Once you have your site, you need to let people know it is there. Spread the word and drive traffic to your website using these quick and easy tips.


June08

May 2012 Launches from TWG

It’s that time again…time to present the names of our new and newly designed client launches for the past month.

TWG Design Studio proudly shares our May launches:

  • Hobdy Dye Read
  • Southern Habitats
  • Lakeview Photography
  • Tony's Wrecker Service
  • Stillhouse Restaurant

June04

Hello Google+ Local, Goodbye Google Places

 

Have you noticed the changes in Google Places? 

We told you before to make sure you get your Google Places listing  (Google Places info), to help your business show up higher in the search listings for local search. We told you to make sure you had control of your Google + Business Page. We hope you took note.

Google has done away with the regular Google Places pages and has fully integrated them with Google+ through Google Local. 

Here is what has changed- (in a nutshell)

1. The appearance of the listing is different. 

2. Google has replaced its star ratings with Zagat reviews rating scale.

3. The integration of Google + circles, reviews, and ratings.

So, why don’t we take a minute and look into a few of these and talk about what they mean for your business.

The appearance of the listing is different.

If you take a look at the screenshots below, you will see the first shows a search done without being signed into Google +. The first thing you will notice is the big red button saying Join Google+.  It still shows the basic info on the local listing: logo, address & contact info, what type of business, about the business, the Zagat score, and the reviews. You even have a link for directions, and a quick link to write a review. So pretty basic info and exactly what you would expect on a local listing. 

 

 

 


Now sign in to your Google account. – (if you don’t have one get one now its simple)

 

 

Once you log in the differences you see are the reasons behind the change from the plain old Google Places listing to the new enhanced Google+ Local. These changes are directed at the user so they can “share” more information with their circles. You have your basic Google + navigation along the left hand side- Home, Profile, Explore, Hangouts, Photos, Circles, Local, Games and more.  I can still see the logo, address, type of business, about the business, the Zagat score, the reviews, a link to write a review, and directions. But wait… I have more options. I can now +1 the page, share the page, and upload a public photo. That is right, as the user I have more control on how I can share information and my interaction with your business. 

So why does it matter?

Did you know that I can also search for restaurants in Google + and see a full list of where my circle of friends like to eat and why?  Well, I don’t know about you but I like to go where my friends go.  

Plus, and here is the biggie- Google + local pages will be INDEXED!!! Meaning there is a lot more potential for SEO. 

So in the end, if you have been trying to hold out and not get into the “social” aspect of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all other social networking sites out and about, Google is officially forcing your hand. That’s right; even if you don’t have a Google Places or Google + page it will be created automatically for you. If you have been using Google + for your business you will be greatly rewarded, so don’t wait – get started now or call us for more info on how to get started. 


May30

Getting more out of your contact page

Your contact page is one of the most valuable opportunities to connect with your visitors and motivate them to get in touch with you.  It is an essential element to most websites and it is the best way to display your contact information to give your visitors a way to get in touch with you. But simply putting your address and phone number may not be enough.


There are many different ways to beef up your contact page so that you give your visitors more information and encourage them to contact you. Typically, a contact page includes the address, phone number, email address, and any other main contact information for the business. In addition, you can include a contact form and map to your location. These are all great things to have, but there are things you can add to make your contact page stand out from the rest.


Consider adding contact information for different departments so that visitors have specific contact information if they know what they want to ask. You can also include your social media and blog links so that visitors can find you elsewhere on the web. You can offer a specific phone number for immediate or emergency requests, or encourage them to sign up for email updates from your company. This can all be done with additional text, buttons, or calls to action on your contact page.


Now let’s talk about the contact form. It is a great resource to include on your contact page so visitors have an easy and immediate way to get in touch with you. But did you know you can collect much more information with your contact form? Generally, contact forms collect names, addresses, other basic contact information, and the visitor’s question or comment. You can take this one step further and ask them if they would like to receive further updates from your company, give them an opportunity to enter a testimonial, or specific information about your products and services.


Essentially, one of the main goals of a website is to get visitors to contact you or act on a certain item. Your contact page is an integral part of your website and you should use it to its full potential in order to motivate your website visitors to get in touch with you while displaying and collecting information.


May18

SEO Vocabulary

You may not be a search engine optimization expert, but it doesn’t hurt to learn the lingo so you are more informed about what can be done with your website to help it rank on search engines. Here are a few of the most important terms to learn. And don’t worry, if you don’t understand them, just ask us and we will help. Or if you are interested in boosting your website’s SEO after learning more about it, give us a call – we can help you with that too.

301 Redirect – permanent redirect of one domain to another domain, or one page to another page. This comes in handy if you have multiple domains or if you need to change page names.
Adwords – a Google based program that helps you to target specific keywords or phrases in paid per click advertising.
Algorithm – the formula used by search engines to compile search data based on the users search term.
Alt text – alternate text used to describe images for blind viewers or when images cannot be viewed.
Analytics – Google based program that tracks traffic and search data for your website.
Anchor text – the text that is used within a link tag to describe that link.
Back link – an incoming link to a page from another page or site
Black hat – bad SEO techniques that go against standard guidelines and are frowned upon by search engines
Bounce rate - the percentage of visitors who leave a site without viewing any page other than the landing page.
Heading – the title of the page in the content area of the site. This usually has an H1 tag which is read with more weight by search engines. There can be up to 6 different heading types on a page.
Index – means that your site has been found by search engines and added to their list of websites that can show up in search results.
Keyword or key phrase – the word or phrase that is the focus of your content on that page. It is also the word or phrase that you will most likely rank for in search engines.
Keyword density – the amount of keywords that are in the content compared to the amount of text
Keyword stuffing – overusing keywords or phrases in content in attempt to skew the keyword density of a page.
Meta description – the meta tag that describes the content of each page.
Meta keyword – the meta tag that lists the key words and phrases of each page.
Meta tags – HTML tags that describe the title, keywords, and description of each page to search engines.
Meta title – the meta tag that describes the title of each page. This shows up in the tab of most browsers too.
Nofollow – tells a search engine not to follow a link to a certain page, index that page, or pass page rank to that page.
Organic rank – your website’s natural rank in Google. These results show up in the center area of search results. Paid results will generally show up on the right or above organic results.
Page Rank – a website’s popularity as measured by the search engine rankings
Search Engine  - an online tool for users to search for and find websites by enter a search term.
Search Engine Optimization – optimizing a website for search engines so that users’ search queries will match the content of that site.
Search Engine Marketing – encompasses the overall marketing strategy to search engines.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Site map -  a page that lists all pages of a website with links.
Stop word – a word that is so commonly used, it is ignored by search engines when finding results (such as prepositions and conjunctions).
White hat – good SEO techniques that follow standard search engine guidelines.