Website Design

website-design

Whether your company has just one or multiple physical locations, there is a good chance that a high percentage of your potential consumers will visit your website before ever stepping foot into your place of business. If you are running a business that is strictly online, your website will be the primary point of contact for your customers. Either way, it is imperative that your website is designed to reflect your company’s commitment to delivering a high quality experience for existing and potential customers.

At the same time, your website needs to be able to convey information that helps the search engines determine what your business does, its products/services, and whether the website will deliver a positive user experience for keyword-driven searches. The successful transmission of this information can play a large role in moving your site to the front pages of the search engines.

Since its founding in 2001, the Gervais Group has been designing websites that cater to both of these audiences by delivering high value information to consumers and search engines. In addition to delivering a high quality user experience on every visit, each website is designed to subtly move consumers through a conversion process that culminates in an online purchase, a visit to the business’ physical location, leaving contact information, etc.

It all starts with website design that reflects your company’s best attributes while simultaneously delivering a positive user experience and conveying high value to the search engines. With all the work, time and effort that goes into driving traffic to your company’s website, why settle for less?.

Competing for traffic and sales on the web goes far beyond following optimization tips for your website. With the rapid evolution in the ways that consumers search for and take in content along with increasingly sophisticated algorithms used by the search engines to rank web pages, websites must now be built with modernized designs that incorporate the following factors:

·         User-centric design – Websites must be designed to give your visitors exactly what they want and let them know about it immediately. This can be accomplished with clear page design that presents content that relates directly to the search terms used by each arriving visitor. Once on the site your visitors should be able to navigate your site with easy to find and use navigation bars.

·         User-friendly design – The design of a user friendly website includes fast loading of each page, relevant headlines, simple yet attractive page design, content that is done in a font that is easy to read, and a color contrast between the background and text so that reading isn’t a strain on the eyes.

·         On-site optimization – This facet includes the building of a site map so search engines can crawl relevant pages and easily navigate your website. On-site optimization can also enable search engines to read descriptions of images, view a physical address on each page for local SEO purposes, and assess page content for quality relevant keywords.

·         High-value content with a purpose – Your website needs to be populated with content that delivers information, provides value, and moves visitors through your site toward a conversion. It is also extremely important that all of your content is original, as sites with duplicate text are penalized by the search engines.

·         Integration across the spectrum of devices and platforms that will be used to access your site – In terms of devices, this entails integration across desktop, mobile and tablet users. Regarding platforms, it is more important now than ever to integrate your site with the social media platforms on which you engage. This can facilitate increased engagement on all sites including the sharing of content which can build valuable links, drive traffic, build your brand, and increase sales. 

These are five of the critical elements involved with building a website that contributes significantly to reaching your company’s objectives. 

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Featured News

  • Search Engine Optimization: Are you being seen as a Trusted Resource or an Intrusion

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    Back in the days when Madison Avenue reigned supreme, intrusive advertising was the way in which companies communicated with their existing and potential customers. These one way conversations were generally designed in one of two ways; as branding pieces that showed how a product could enhance the life of the person who bought the product or as overt attempts at making a sale. In this paradigm the company would develop a campaign, often through the use of focus groups, and then communicate the messaging through traditional media channels. After receiving the messaging via advertisements on TV, radio, or print, consumers either made purchases or they didn’t and, regardless of the decision, rarely provided feedback to the sponsoring company.

     

    Today, intrusive one-way advertising through traditional channels is waning, as evidenced by ever skimpier daily newspapers and magazines, as well as a growing number of devices (ex. DVRs) and subscription services, such as premium TV channels, that allow consumers to either filter advertisements out or avoid them completely. In this changing landscape, when consumers seek information on product/services, they now head to the internet where they can use search engines to go from the beginning to the end of the buying cycle.

    In this process, the value of intrusive advertising is greatly diminished, as consumers first seek content that serves as the foundation of their research and get progressively more specific with their inquiries as they move through the buying cycle. It is during this process in which an SEO campaign that has been created with materials designed to deliver informative content can start building trust with potential customers. This type of content can have four different purposes:

     

    The provision of general information – This type of content may address the product category in total with description of what the products do, buying the right size, and how to make comparisons that may help with the final purchasing decision.

      Assisting with comparisons in greater detail – This type of content would include information that describes an efficient way to compare energy consumption between similar refrigerators, for example.

     “How to” information – Content pieces that provide instructions on how to operate the product can be done in written form, but are often more powerful when offered in a video format.

      End of buying cycle information – This content answers questions about specific issues, such as detailed information on features and/or warranty coverage, which are commonly posed just before a purchase.

     

    A consumer who views these content pieces will have a solid foundation of resources and knowledge on which to base a purchase. Additionally, by creating content that specific targets end of buying cycle issues, you can attract consumers who are just about to pull their credit cards out to make a purchase.    

  • Two Things to Do and Two Things to Stop Doing with your SEO Initiatives

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    Google has made sweeping changes to the algorithms that determine the rankings of web pages, resulting in the obsolescence of a wide variety of search engine optimization (SEO) practices with other practices becoming the core of successful SEO efforts. Here are two things to do in light of what Google wants now.

     

    $     Develop professionally written content – Quality content has always been a central element of SEO campaigns but black hat optimization tricks often surfaced crummy content, much to Google’s dismay. Over the last three years, with the rollout of the Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird algorithm updates, the search engine gradually shut down manipulative practices such as low quality publications on sites referred to as content farms and buying spammy links by the thousands. With the elimination SEO trickery, the publication of quality content is now a core element of SEO. Additional changes in the algorithms are now designed to reward websites that regularly post valuable content which subsequently generates social signals such as sharing and other forms of engagement. The best way to ensure that your content attracts these forms of attention is to develop professionally written content, which can enhance branding efforts as well.

           Make your website mobile device friendly – Desktop computers will never go away completely but mobile devices are both the present and the future for internet access. Google, which already considers the web to be “mobile first” and strives to deliver the best user experience possible to its customers, is now gauging the quality of the interface between mobile devices and websites, which doesn’t bode well for sites that present the same page configuration whether being viewed with a massive screen or a small viewport on a smartphone. To deliver the website experience Google seeks, you’ll need to make your website mobile device friendly by adding responsive design architecture, which configures and customizes the information on each page to the size of the screen through which is being viewed.              

     

    Here are two things to stop doing:

     

    $1    Believing in SEO shortcuts – While there was once a stable of black hat techniques that delivered SEO results, those shortcuts have been rendered useless by Google’s algorithm changes. Generally speaking, the optimization process must now follow a more natural path, which no longer includes instant gratification in SEO efforts.

            Guest blogging – When it came to guest blogging, the temptation of doing spammy content to generate links was too much and Google has now killed the practice. Whether you were guest blogging on other sites or allowing others to blog on yours, the benefits are gone and the risk of being penalized is too high to continue with this practice.

     

    Giving Google what it wants will be the key to success in your SEO efforts. On the flipside of that coin, if you’re still taking shortcuts and/or trying to build links by guest blogging, stop both of them now.

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