There are plenty of different tools available to help people create their own websites without having to have any special coding knowledge. The most commonly used options are WordPress, Squarespace, Wix or Weebly which all offer options for creating a custom site. But how do you know which one will work best for the type of website you want to design?
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a website builder is what you are willing to spend in order to make your site. There are plenty of cheap or even free options for creating a site but they may not as secure, easy to use or have as many design capabilities. For personal blogs or a freelance type of business like photography, a cheap or free option like Squarespace may be the best choice.
For a small but more established business, most people choose WordPress because it is very user friendly, has many more design options to create a unique site and it is also more search engine friendly. It is a little more costly than other options but it offers many benefits that small businesses tend to prefer if they want more professional looking website. Because of its wider spectrum of design capabilities, WordPress sites are easier to customize and create the exact look and function that you want.
For someone looking to create just a basic website that they can use Squarespace for free or upgrade to the business plan for a small monthly fee. Wix and Weebly have very cheap basic options as well. The cost of creating your website will depend on the type of services you need as you choose from the different plans available.
Anyone can create their own website but finding the right builder depends mainly on your individual business needs and your site budget.
Your clients have a misunderstanding between web development and web design – ever had this problem? It’s important to explain the difference between these two services because the terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably.
What do you think is the best way to explain web development and web design?
An Eye for Website Design
When people talk about “web design”, they often refer to the look and feel of a site. This means all the creative and visual elements of a website. In (very) broad terms, web design can be like planning out something in print. This means arranging the layout of the site and other graphic elements. To what degree that designers should know how to code is highly debatable…
Web Development Is…
Web development usually refers to the programming of a site to ensure that everything is working. This occurs in the “back end” of the site where all the content is added. Developers use script languages like PHP to make this all happen. When it comes to coding and programming, web developers take it to another level to make sure that these designs are functional. Without efficient development, the vision of your web design can’t fully be realized.
Finding Balance with Search Engine Friendly Web Design
So now that you know that web development and design have to work together, what do you get? Search engine friendly web design is when your site is fully optimized for search engines, as well as human visitors. Customers will take interest in your appealing web design while developers make sure that they find what they are looking for and that it’s working. If you think that websites have to be one or the other, you’re wrong. Read our previous post on bad website design. Some people may consider the design aspect more of an art and the development part to be more technical. What’s wrong with having both sets of skills or wearing two different “hats”? Finding a balance can be a good thing.
Check out some more discussion on what designers and developers should know about their respective fields.
Quality score is a somewhat mysterious variable for Google Adwords campaigns that have a real effect on the cost of your advertising. The price of your pay per click ads is determined by a combination of your bid and your quality score, which means that a good quality score can get you a higher ranking for less than the other guy is paying. So how do I get a good quality score? Well, that’s where Google is a little vague, but there are some strategies.
You can use the keyword report to discover which keywords have a low Quality Score. Once you find those weak keywords, you can use the keyword analysis tool to find out what factors are affecting your score.
The analysis really only gives you three categories and a thumbs up or down. It may not be very useful if you are trying to bump your score up from an 8 to a 10, but it will let you know when you are way off base. The three areas that affect your quality score are: keyword relevance, landing page or landing page load time. Basically you want to make sure your keyword is relevant to the page your ad is linking to, this means including your keyword on the page, and maybe even creating specific landing pages for certain keywords. Also if the link is broken or takes a long time to load, your quality score will go down.
Quality score may not be your number one concern when designing an adwords campaign, but it’s a good indicator of which ads aren’t working at all, and anything that makes your campaign more cost effective is worth the time.
If you are publishing digital content to the web, an easy way to encourage people to share and distribute your work to reach a broader audience is a Creative Commons license. Providing a level of protection somewhere between a full copyright and public domain, CC actively encourages people to spread your content around in a way that would be impossible otherwise.
In essence, a Creative Commons license allows people to use your content as long as it is used and credited in a specific way, so that it is still clear who the original author is, but people can use, remix, and distribute the content without fear of legal action. The truth is that obscurity is a far greater threat in web marketing than piracy. Anything that increases your profile will ultimately result in sales, but if you don’t let your content out, you can’t gain an audience.
The truth is, people are going to reuse your content whether you like it or not, so a CC license increases the likelihood that you will be credited, linked, etc… Many influential bloggers are careful not to infringe on copyrights for fear of lawsuits. Make it easy for the people you actually want linking to you, those with credible reputations, to do so and you can be assured you will be credited and reach a wider audience in the process.
Google just released another tool to help you find keywords for your pay per click campaign and/or your overall search marketing campaign. First you’ll need to input your website and some of your target keywords and click submit to see the results. See below for a screen shot of the search results that I received when testing this out. I entered in emarketed.com and the following keywords: seo, ppc, web marketing, web design, website video marketing, cms, seo cms, organic cms, search engine optimization
And it gave me 810 suggestions showing me monthly searches, competition level, and search trends. You can click the magnifying glass icon to see the search trends for a specific keyword. A new window will open with Google Insights for Search which provides some very interesting data. You can see how many searches are done wordwide and have it broken down by country, state, and city level. The below screen shot shows what I found when I drilled down on “web design” and then selected United States and California. I was able to see that San Francisco had the most searches for this keyword with Los Angeles coming in 4th. It also displayed “google web design” as a rising search term so this would be a good word for us to optmize. Please disregard this last statement if you’re an SEO and/or web design company. Wink Wink 😉