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.

Improving Your Website Accessibility

When designing a web site, the desire for accessibility is inherent. Despite this, most Arizona Web Design developers inadvertently overlook the need to make website accessible to the disabled. Web Design that is decidedly conscious of such needs can be extended to meet the needs of such users. The push for greater web site accessibility is becoming more and more main stream. Already, many major websites have improved their accessibility to those with disabilities, and are striving to do even more.

Clearly no one would intentionally exclude any person or group from accessing their public website. No one would consciously design exclusion into their website, but on many occasions this happens inadvertently. The goal of a website is to reach as many users as possible and provide them with information pertinent to your business or organization. Making your website highly accessible only heightens the reality of this goal. Highly accessible Arizona Web Design is not only beneficial to a greater number of users; it is beneficial to your interests as well.

Awareness of the need and opportunity for increased website accessibility is just the first step. Once you start considering this possibility more deeply, you may be concerned about the ability to make a highly accessible website that is also attractive and technologically savvy. Such concerns are unfounded. Expert Arizona Web Design specialists are masters of ingenuity and artistry on the web. Their jobs revolve around the need to approach tasks creativity. The challenge of heightened accessibility will simply be another feature of design for them to creatively overcome. Nearly all aspects of web design can be altered and improved to be highly accessible while also remaining cutting edge.

You may be surprised to find that Arizona Web Design that is accessible to those with disabilities is also more highly compatible with a number of hand-held devices. When highly accessible, your website will typically be more navigable and visible on these devices. The concessions necessary for improved accessibility tend to make web design more user-friendly for those accessing the web on smart phones, tablets, and the like. What’s more, highly accessible websites tend to attract more attention from major search engines as well. The features that make them more accessible also allow them to be more favorably indexed by these entities.

While you may be sufficiently motivate by the positively implications of creating a more highly accessible web design, you can be further induced by the possibility of unfavorable ramifications. To date, claims have been successfully filed against entities with a large web presence whose design was not accessible to the blind. Courts ruled in favor of the prosecutors, stating that this inaccessibility was in direct violation of law, specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Increasing the accessibility of your website through thoughtful Arizona Web Design is not only considerate, it is beneficial to you as well. A minor investment in greater accessibility will improve your visibility on the web, allowing even more users to come in contact with your products and services. As this is directly in line with your goals and best interests, designing increased accessibility into your website is a true win-win situation.

Why Business Owners Struggle With Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is an interesting topic among business owners. On the one hand, many of them love it. The Internet has made it possible to bring thousands upon thousands of new buyers to their websites from all over the world, at any hour of the day or time of the year.

On the other hand, a lot of business owners hate the search engine optimization process. How can they be so excited about the results, and at the same time so annoyed with what it takes to get them?

It’s easier to understand than you might think. That’s because executing a successful search engine optimization plan is a little bit like dieting – it’s a slow, tedious, and occasionally painful process that usually only pays big dividends after you’ve been doing it for a while. And what’s worse, the longer you put it off, the longer you usually have to wait to get into the right kind of shape.

Just as most of us would love to shovel down hot fudge sundaes and still look great in swimwear, the average business owner can barely wait to see all the new leads or sales they’re going to rack up once their search engine optimization plan starts to pay off. But in the meantime, it can be frustrating to keep generating ideas for content, viewing regular traffic reports, and yes, paying web design firms and search engine specialists for the guidance they provide.

In other words, having a great SEO plan is almost priceless, but writing blog posts, articles, and checks in the meantime can quickly get old.

Our advice to you is this: Find a team that truly understands search engine optimization and how it fits into your bottom-line business plan, and then give them whatever they need to get started. Recognize from the outset that it’s going to be a little bit painful and frustrating… but that you’ll be glad you made the right decision when tons of new business starts rolling in.

SEO Tips for Business Owners

Are you a business owner that doesnt have a full time web or seo person? Here are some tips that can help you improve your rankings that you can do on your own.

1.) Get your vendors or customers to put a link on their point to your website.

Getting 1 way in bound links for relevant websites is very important and can make a big difference. Links should only be from relevant website and the link anchor text should closely match the keywords that you would like to rank well for. For example, if I wanted a customer to post a link back to my website, it might say “Website Design & SEO” and if you click the link it opens my home (epicwebaz.com).

2.) Update your website on a regular basis with fresh compelling content

Google an all major search engines don’t like old stale websites. Search engines love fresh content that isn’t found anywhere else on the internet. Don’t ever duplicate anyones content and always make sure that you are writing your own content. Copying content from other web pages is considered duplicate content and is an easy way to get penalized or even banned from the search engine. One way of of adding fresh content is setting up a blog (wordpress, joomla, etc..).

3.) Social media

Most all social media is free, so you should always take advantage of it. Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in etc… can be a valuable tool for most business’s i. Following basic marketing practices with these is essential.

  • Only post business related information
  • Offer deals or discounts to try and guage ROI from these services
  • Use common sense when utilizing these tools, everyone can see what your posting so keep it clean.

Also, checkout HootSuite.com, this tool will help you manage all your social media and integrate it into one dashboard.

4.) Use Google Analytics, it’s free and powerful

Google Analytics gives you valuable information about your website such as keyword traffic, referring websites, bounce rate, etc… This tool is free and fairly easy to setup, contact your webmaster and have them install a small piece of tracking code on each page you want to track and just sit back and wait. After a few days you can analyze your traffic and make changes to your content to target different visitors.

5.) Don’t use a lot of flash

Flash looks great, and if used in moderation can make a website really pop but is also a double edged sword. Search engines at this point in time can’t really index websites that are all flash because they contain no text. The basis of search engine algorithms is that they crawl every website on the internet, index the text and rank you based on certain factors in relation to that text. If there is no text to index, then you can’t rank for anything. If you have a full flash website, just make sure you have an html version made and modify your robots.txt file to exclude the flash version from being crawled. Having an HTML version is also handy for people with slower connections.

I will be adding more tips as I go, but here are a few free resources that can be used to help your website rank better. These are intended for anyone with basic computer/internet knowledge. If you would like a free SEO or website analysis please call me.

Thanks

Nick Julia

Office: 623-252-3584