On-Page SEO is a Critical Component of Digital Marketing
What is SEO?

On-Page SEOSEO (search engine optimization) is a buzzword in the digital marketing world.  If you have a website, social presence, or have a business, you’ve probably heard of SEO.  If you have not yet started leveraging the power of SEO to increase sales and business exposure, you are missing out!  Make no mistake – SEO optimization is not a magic wand that instantly transforms your search engine ranking – it takes time. With proper SEO strategy you can reach the coveted first page on Google and be seen by far more people than would have otherwise discovered you.

How Does On-Page SEO Work?

Many customers know they want to optimize their SEO but they are not sure how to do so.  Of course, there are many different factors that contribute to improved search engine ranking and many different strategies for improvement.  Thus, increasing your SEO is a multi-pronged strategy that includes blogging, link building, on-page optimization, and other SEO factors.  So, what does it mean to improve ‘on-page’ SEO.

Yoast offers an understanding of the importance of on-page SEO will help you understand just how complicated it is and why it is best to enlist an experienced professional to assist you with increasing on-page SEO, “On-page factors all have to do with elements of your own website. On-page factors include technical set-up – the quality of your code – textual and visual content and user-friendliness of your site. On the other side, there are off-page factors, like links from other websites, social media attention, and other marketing activities outside your own website. If you focus on off-page SEO, you mostly aim to get more links to your site. The more relevant links you get, the higher your ranking in Google will be…On-page SEO consists of all the elements of SEO you can control best. If you own a website, you can control the technical issues and the quality of your content. We believe on-page issues should all be tackled as they’re in your own hands. If you create an awesome website, it will definitely start ranking. Focusing on on-page SEO will also increase the probability that your off-page SEO strategy will be successful. Link building with a crappy site is a very tough job. Nobody wants to link to articles that are badly written or boring.”

How Do You Increase On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEOMany people with perfectly acceptable websites wonder why they aren’t ranking higher in search engines?  They are blogging on a regular basis and updating their site as needed.  But, what they may not realize is they are missing out on a few other key factors that will dramatically impact on-page SEO.  For example, if they are blogging are they blogging good content that is also presented well?  Also, do they have easy-to-understand content with headings and images?  Are they using meta, title and alt tags?  And, are they utilizing keywords?  Does their content contain internal links?  Further, is their website easy to use? Does the website have visual appeal and optimal functionality?  If not, on-page SEO is not being optimized strategically and thus the website is not performing in search rankings as well as it could.  Work with an experienced professional that understands all aspects of on-page SEO optimization including on-page and off-page SEO so that you can increase your search engine ranking!

Epic Web Solutions Lands on Clutch’s Recent Announcement

Our team is a strong group committed to providing the best web services to our clients. We’ve got well-known clients like Palo Verde or AZ Gastroenterology. We hear from these clients all the time that we’ve done great work for them. That all is great but as a digital agency, we know it’s important to be recognized by industry organizations and business research firms. That’s why we list on Clutch where clients can leave us reviews and we get recognized for the work we do through Clutch’s annual announcements.

We’ve collected one review on Clutch, and since it’s a 5/5 star review, we’re able to be included in their recent announcement!

Clutch recently included us as a top web design company for the state of Arizona. We’re so happy that our work with local small/medium size businesses has got us included in this announcement.

We’re also included on Clutch’s sister website The Manifest, as a top Phoenix area PPC agency!

Clutch is also rolling out their new website, Visual Objects, that will list web design companies and display the firm’s portfolio items alongside their client feedback.

Next year, we’ll work to collect more Clutch reviews and we can’t wait to see where 2019 takes us both in terms of our presence on Clutch and helping new businesses with their online presences.

Epic Web Solutions Recognized By Clutch As One Of The Top Web Designers In Phoenix

clutch image1At Epic Web Solutions, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of technology, providing our clients with cutting-edge website design, development and internet marketing. Our focus on using proven techniques, along with innovative strategies, has allowed us to create a large, loyal and very satisfied customer-base.  We know that there are a lot of other website design and development businesses out there, or other companies that claim to be experts in SEO, but many are not capable of delivering on their promises or provide short-term solutions that are not capable of standing the test of time.  Epic Web Solutions is a lean and efficient web company, maintaining a focus on our client’s needs at all times.  The bottom line is, we deliver on our promises and our clients are more than satisfied with results.  At Epic Web Solutions, we are proud to be included on Clutch, a website dedicated to connecting customers with leading, reputable IT services that deliver results for their clients.

Clutch utilizes an innovative research process that melds the best of traditional business-to-business research along with honest customer reviews.  Clutch is used internationally to connect businesses and customers and it ensures that the businesses have a proven ability to deliver.  Clutch ensures an ability to deliver by weighing three factors:

  1. References and Reviews
    • As the most heavily-weighted component, honest client feedback is collected and assessed (including things like project size, project complexity, quality of completion, cost, schedule, and willingness to refer/recommend the business)
  2. Clients and Experience
    • Clutch also analyzes a company’s clients as a whole to determine if the firm has delivered to not just small clients but global brands. Clutch also analyzes the depth of experience an IT company has as well as their ability to deliver on complex projects while still creating value.  Additionally, does the IT company not only perform but actually align its experience with its stated services strategy and area of focus.
  3. Market Presence
    • Finally, when analyzing marketing presence, it must be determined if a company presents information that is clear and professional and is their own website consistent and high-quality, complete with a portfolio. Additionally, does an IT firm develop a strong reputation and authority within their chosen sector?  Has the IT company received any industry recognition or awards.  And lastly, does the company have a social media presence that reinforces their brand position and domain authority?

By carefully considering and weighing all of these different aspects, Clutch provides an accurate and immensely useful index of IT firms and website development businesses to clients, providing peace of mind that these businesses can truly deliver.  At Epic Web Solutions, we are proud to be included on Clutch’s 2016 list of Top Phoenix Web Designers, and we look forward to providing many more clients with our top-tier, innovative services that deliver tangible results.

Technology-Driven Web Design & SEO

1f515ad3-9849-4e88-873c-6697105701c5A commitment to providing high-quality, personalized and technology-driven service.  That is what you get with Epic Web Solutions.  There are a lot of website design companies out there and many people claim to have the ability to help a client with their website design, digital marketing, and SEO needs but the reality is, many are not capable or qualified to deliver on their promises.  At Epic Web Solutions we focus on utilizing industry-leading technologies, the most current SEO strategies and digital marketing techniques and, with years of knowledge and experience, ensure client satisfaction at every stage of a project.

                At Epic Web Solutions we try to be as accurate as possible in the bidding process. We like to have an initial conversation with clients and get a list of exactly what they are looking for.  To help us best determine the scope of the project, and so that we can provide the most accurate bid, we discuss subjects like a custom vs.  template website design.  Custom designs take longer to accomplish and are thus more expensive but for those who want a truly unique site that sets their business apart custom is the best option.  Additionally, we like to ask clients if they will want to be able to edit the website themselves once the website is launched.  45fa18a1-2a06-4d33-81c1-e86aeeda1fe2If so, a WordPress site is ideal because it is very user-friendly.  We highly recommend that clients opt for responsive websites because they adapt to things like the user’s screen size, orientation and platform, making viewing and use much more enjoyable and efficient.  A well-designed website is a powerful marketing tool for clients so we highly recommend that a client chooses to make it responsive so that they can provide their customer with the best user experience.  If a client chooses to make their website responsive we factor that into the scope and bidding process.  Next we like to discuss content needs with our clients.  We need to get an idea of how many pages of content will be needed for the website and if our clients will need assistance in writing the content.  Also, we need to know what kind of website our client is interested in – is it e-commerce, informational or an application?  Each additional feature/functionality need will impact the scope of the project and influence our bid.  While these questions may sound overwhelming and some of these items may change during the process of the project, by discussing it up front we are able to provide the most accurate, competitive bid possible and begin our effort of providing the best service available to our clients.

3c813c56-e8f7-45ff-b08b-6569704ea1b5Once our bid has been accepted, we like to jump right into a project with our clients.  It is important to us that we get to know each client on an individual and personal level which is why we have a kickoff meeting either by phone or in person.  We take great pride in the relationships we form with our clients and that begins with the kickoff meeting where we not only get to know a client’s unique business but their goals as a business and for their website as well.  At Epic Web Solutions, we have created a design questionnaire for clients to complete that helps clients narrow in on specific goals and helps to guide us in the design process.  Additionally, we research the competition but remain focused on defining our client’s brand so that our clients can be set apart from others within their industry. We work with clients to develop a project plan to ensure business goals are achieved while also implementing optimization strategies that help our clients have the competitive edge.
52649d8d-bdf7-45d9-9879-02dec5f5ef4fAfter the kickoff meeting we begin the design process.    At Epic Web Solutions we use a research-driven design approach.  We do not make assumptions in our design process, we use proven and innovative design techniques to ensure client satisfaction.  We give the completed questionnaire to our talented website designers who take all of the information, as well as meeting notes, and develop a homepage mockup based on what they are given. Once the homepage mockup is completed we send it to the client for review.  Here, and in every stage, we continue to communicate with clients so that we can actively work towards a mutual goal.  Our focus is to not only provide a fast, excellent website and unparalleled services but to help clients further define their brand and expand their customer base.  Our client’s brands are their identity, what their customers recognize, and their promise to customers about who they are – we help clients clarify their brand to their customers, create brand recognition that customers will know and keep returning to, and help our clients deliver on that promise to customers by extending their brand across all platforms.  While we use a research-driven design approach, we know that technology is constantly evolving and we ensure that clients stay on the leading edge of technology.  When designing a website for our client we carefully choose and construct website architecture, content, color, and typography to help best accentuate a client’s brand.  Our clean, responsive websites are consistent and compelling so that our clients are able to engage in a unique way with their customers. At Epic Web Solutions, we carefully create a high-impact design that is also seamlessly functional and outperforms the competition.

above-the-fold-top-heavy-algorithm-changeAs we work together in the design process and collaborate on each stage, we encourage clients to participate in the final outcome.  Revisions are a necessary part of the process and allow us to hone in on the best website design for their unique business.  As our client reviews the completed homepage mockup, and we progress through the completion of inner website pages, our client provides us with feedback on what they like or dislike.  We encourage clients to make either general or specific suggestions for changes that they would like to see made and we collaborate on appropriate revisions while remaining goal-focused. We communicate these revisions to our designer, who makes the updates.  We then send the revisions to the client and this process is repeated until the client is 100% happy with the design and signs off on it.  Once we have solidified the general style of the website the revisions tend to become less and the revision process moves along rapidly.  This stage of the process is incredibly important because we want to ensure that the design is exactly what our clients want, and changes are much easier to make on a design than they are on a coded website.

 

163137bf-12c6-4eb1-946b-f67eecbc642eOnce all designs have been approved by our clients, we then begin the coding process.  We give our website programmers the approved design files (PSDs), which they take and translate into code. The client has minimal involvement during this process, as we are simply taking the visual look that they are happy with and turning it into a functional website. We put the completed code onto our test server so the client can see and interact with their new site, instead of just looking at an image of it. This test site should look identical to the design that the client approved so it is a great opportunity to truly see the design come to life.

 

9ed8ba15-0468-4c4d-968e-0f36d68c7f48       During the design and coding process we may use what is known as Lorem Ipsum text, which is essentially placeholder content, until completed client-appropriate content is available.  If the client prefers, they can supply the content.  But, if the client would rather have Epic Web Solutions write client-specific content for the new website design, that service is available as well.  Our content writers are trained in SEO optimization techniques to help clients improve their organic SEO ranking.  Once content is available we fill in all of the blank pages and remove any Lorem Ipsum text from the test site.  During this process the website begins to really make the transition from a design into a finished product.  If we are remodeling an old website, we will start by pulling all of the old content from the site and putting it into the new design.  This gives us a pretty good baseline and the client can suggest any changes that need to be made. Any potential issues with formatting or layout are also addressed at this stage because client satisfaction is our top priority. SEO is not magic, it is a specific science that helps you improve your rank in search engine indexes.  It is incredibly important to carefully craft website content to ensure that it is SEO optimized so that our client’s maximize the impact and effect of their website.

 

HomeSmart Infographic At Epic Web Solutions, we take great pride in our pre and post-launch process.  Some website design companies will simply launch the website design, hand it over to the client, and that will be the end of interaction between the website designer and the client.  We believe in going above and beyond for our clients because client satisfaction is our priority.  During both the pre-launch and post-launch process we have a checklist that we go through to ensure optimized functionality, speed and performance.  We complete this checklist any time we launch a website.  We do this so that there is no need to constantly go back and fix issues after the site is live; we do not launch a website unless our client tells us to. This is much more involved than most of our competitors but it is just another step we take that we believe is one of the reasons we have such long-standing client relationships.

 

After a client’s website has been launched we do not disappear.  At Epic Web Solutions, our services go beyond launch into the post-launch process.  We leverage our expertise, along with monthly analytics and regular communication with clients to keep websites fresh, engaging and as always – a useful marketing tool so that our clients keep current customers happy and continue to attract new customers.  Our ongoing support even after a project is complete is a show of our commitment to our client and the pride we take in our work.

 

c775bb18-2ec2-40e9-bc2f-89b512104b8eWe are able to not only discuss these services with our existing clients and prospective clients, but provide them with proven results.  We have long-standing relationships with clients because we listen to what our clients want and make those goals our goals.  We do not make promises we cannot follow through on.  We carefully craft stylish, innovative, responsive websites and increase our clients organic SEO rankings through research-driven design that produces real results.  We keep open lines of communication with our clients so that we can collaboratively work towards ensuring each website is exactly what our clients want and we never launch until a site has been fully approved by our clients.  At Epic Web Solutions, we enjoy getting to know each client and pride ourselves on providing highly individualized service based on each client’s needs.  We serve all industries and all clients and simply put- our creative ideas perform and our success is measured by our results.  Let us use our digital strategy, focus on technology, creativity, and passion for what we do to provide a customized solution for your next website design.

8 things to look for in a website design proposal

When getting a quote for your next website, there are a few critical items that you should see in every web design/development proposal that you get back. Obviously these may not apply to all proposals but a good general guide for anything website design/development related.

  • How long has the company been around? With any industry, there are several companies/freelancers that are flying by the seat of their pants. You will generally get these website for a little cheaper, but you usually pay the price elsewhere (communication, delays, expertise, etc…). It’s important that you see that the company has built other website similar to yours either in industry or in size.
  • How does the company handle changes in scope? There should be a clear concise way of handling changes in scope, because the reality is that scope changes on almost every project. You want to see something like a change order, or a document that outlines the scope change process. Usually changes in scope have a cost, and that cost should have a signature attached to it so the client is always in the know.
  • What is the Cost? This is obvious. Have an exact price of what your project is going to cost. Determine which fees are optional and which ones are required.
  • What is the payment schedule? Know exactly when payments are due and for how much. Typical payment schedules depend on the size of the proposal, but are usually 50/50 or 35/35/30. Please don’t ever pay 100% of your proposal up front. It’s also very normal for companies to not start work until a deposit is made.
  • Is the company that you are using insured? Things happen that are out of everyone’s control. Everybody makes mistakes, and you need to know that if a mistake is made either by the company doing your website or someone internal to your business that you are covered. You should look for proof of an insurance policy that covers errors and omissions for at least $500,000. This protects the company you are doing business with and your company. The insured amount changes if the project is larger or there is a significant potential for loss of revenue (eCommerce).
  • Does the company have references? The company should either provide testimonials, references or the ability to check references. It’s always nice to see what others have to say about the company you are about to use.
  • Are the legal terms sufficient? The legal terms should spell out exactly what happens in the event there is litigation. The legal terms should also clarify if deposits are refundable, and who owns the intellectual property once the project is paid for in full. Once you pay in full, you should ALWAYS own all intellectual property. It’s unacceptable for anyone not to hand over assets once the contract is paid in full.
  • What are you actually getting? It needs to be very clear what will be delivered for each line item on the proposal. Single line items with simply just a name and a cost aren’t good. For example, if you are paying for design, does that come with 1 mockup or two? Also, are revisions included in this price or billed extra?

Overall, we believe these items are the key pieces that need to be in a well written website design proposal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Properly Utilize Video For SEO

Before you meet with your team to brainstorm ideas for a video blog or video for your website, you want to come to the meeting prepared with educated decisions on why you should engage in one topic over the other when the goal is to get more visibility and drive traffic to the video and/or website.

Keyword Research

Discover what your viewers want you to do a video about.

  1. Go to http://ubersuggest.org/ and enter a phrase related to your business and find related keyword phrases.
    1. For example, enter “Real Estate 2013”
    2. You will find related phrases that will generated ideas for topics

 ubersug

  1. Now go to https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool‎ and enter several phrases from ubersuggest that were relevant
  2. Now enter Real Estate, Real Estate 2013, Real Estate Predictions 2013, Real Estate Trends 2013 and other phrases from ubersuggest.

googlekeyword

  1. Once you have submitted, you will see Google show relevant search phrases.
  2. This will give you a great idea on what phrases to specifically target while you optimize your youtube post and blog post.  This will also validate your idea, give you solid data on people searching for the phrases, and real data to push a topic.

competition

Optimizing Youtube Post To Get More Viewers & Exposure

 

One of the most overlooked elements in creating videos for Youtube is how to properly tag each video and utilize the 2nd largest search engine in the world to drive traffic to your video and therefore your brand/website/etc.

Tagging helps Youtube find relevant video results for their users.  You have to keep in mind that in all cases, Youtube wants the video that the user clicks on to be relevant to their search.  Tags are a great tool to show up in search results for the videos that you publish.

Keep in mind that the Youtube description also needs to be consistent with the tags and title of the video.  Remember that Youtube is a division of Google and has a lot of similarities in their search algorithm and rankings for video as it does for websites.  You need to make sure that your titles, content and tags are consistent and similar for your video to rank well for its keywords you target.

Upload & Optimize Your Youtube Video

  1. Once the video has uploaded, youtube will prompt you will more information to fill out.  This information will be vital for outside viewers (non channel subscribers) to find your videos and increase your viewership and brand awareness
  1. Enter a title.

i.     When creating a title, make sure that this title is relevant to the video and has a keyword phrase in it that is commonly searched from the keyword research that you just conducted.

  1. Enter a description.

i.     The description of the video needs to be relevant to the subject matter as well as relevant to the title that was just entered.  Make sure that you insert phrases where necessary in the description, but make sure that everything sounds natural and isn’t used unnecessarily.

  1. Create your tags.

i.     First things first, enter brand tags.  It is always important to make sure that the brand is represented in the video, as long as the video is being produced on behalf of the company.

ii.     From the keyword research that was conducted, enter tags that have higher search volume from the list you established.

  1. When brainstorming tags, make sure that long-tail phrases are being used to get specific search results.
    1. Long-tail means longer and more detailed phrases

i.     Ie “Real estate trends in Phoenix 2013”, instead of “Real estate trends”

iii.      Properly categorize your video.

Make sure that the video has been properly categorized.  Youtube provides very broad categorizations, so choose the most relevant to your subject matter.

 

Optimizing Your Blog Post For Video Posts

 

Posting Your Video On The Blog

When posting videos to a blog, there are many different ways and circumstances that will determine how a video needs to be embedded and used in the blog post.  We are going to go over how to use a video as the blog post.

  1. Before you begin with the blog post, there are a few items that need to be determined.
    1. Transcribe The Video

i.     If the video is the main content in the post, then you will need to professionally transcribe the video.

ii.     For video transcription, we used SpeechPad (https://www.speechpad.com/)

  1. SpeechPad costs 1/minute of the video to professionally and manually transcribe the video.
  2. SpeechPad can return a video in 24hrs if you pay an additional fee, otherwise will take several days to complete.
  3. Use tracking/data collection/hosted player like Wistia

i.     Wistia allows you to embed the video and track users experiences while watching the video.

  1. This is beneficial for the video team to see where they can improve in future videos as well as give insight to the user group that watches the videos and understand their behaviors.
  2. You can utilize video by embedding through Youtube, but we recommend using a hosted service like Wistia if you want to invest in video marketing.
  3. Creating The Blog Post
  1. Title

i.     Utilize the keyword research that you conducted and come up with a title that has the keyword phrase in it so that in your URL structure and title of the post help the post rank for certain phrases that you discovered in the keyword research phase.

  1. URL

i.     Most blogging platforms like WordPress will automatically create the URL structure to be the title.

  1. For example if the title is “How To Do Video SEO”, the URL will be automatically generated for /how-to-do-video-seo/
  2. You want to make sure that those elements are the same or similar for consistency.
  3. Post Overview

i.     Create a brief paragraph giving an overview about what the user is about to watch and read.  This needs to be quick and lead right into the video.

  1. Embed The Video

i.     Embed the video using Wistia, Youtube, or other video players.

  1. Enter The Transcription

i.     After the video embed, enter in the manual transcription that you had professionally transcribed.  The transcription serves several purposes, one being that Google will see all of this relevant, unique content that you just created in the video on the page.