7 Reasons to use a professional web developer

web developerA website can drive a great deal of business for your company. However, it can also turn away many prospects if it is poorly designed. When searching for a product or service online, most consumers will judge a company’s performance based off their first few glances at their website. In order to retain these potential clients, it is vitally important for your business to develop a professionally designed website that engages its visitors. Listed below are 7 reasons why your business needs to pursue professional web development.

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1. More exposure through CSS Galleries

You can submit your website to galleries around the web which will be placed in front of audiences you may not have even considered. This can provide you with more site traffic and potential clients, without ever putting any effort in yourself.

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2. First Impressions

As stated earlier, first impressions can make or break companies. Almost always, a website that appears professional and clean will attract much more of an audience opposed to general-template or homemade website creations.

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3. Highlight Your Expertise

IT companies such as iPoint can do amazing things with websites. Let your professional web developers know what excel in, and they will bring attention to those aspects on your site. This will highlight your specific skill set, and differentiate your website from others that simply describe products and services to their audience.

4. Great Design = Higher Sales

Websites that are visually appealing are attractive to consumers. Think of your experience with browsing the web. Generally, those which are aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to work with retain potential customers for longer periods of time. Further, the longer an individual spends on a particular website, the more likely they are to purchase that website’s goods or services.

5. Cross Browser Compatibility

With so many web browsers available today (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Chrome, etc.) it is necessary that your website is compatible with them all. A problem loading a page or the entire site on one computer could potentially be a missed sale, so ensure that your professional web developers make your website visible across all applications.

6. Reduce Maintenance Time

By utilizing a professional IT firm to handle your site design, you free up a lot of your own time to focus on your own business. Nobody wants to spend hours fiddling with HTML code or figuring out how to update a post in WordPress. Let the IT professionals handle your inquiries and updates so that you can get back to what’s really important- your business.

7. Increased Search Engine Visibility

The benefits of a professional web design also trickle into your search engine rankings and visibility. For instance, a professional web designer will ensure the code markup is clean and ideal for the spiders which crawl your page. The other increase of search visibility comes from all of those links and the added exposure your website design gets across the web – design blogs regularly feature the awesome designs they find across the web and the new clients you bring in will feature a link back to your site at the bottom of their site, increasing your back links and overall search ranking.

Homefest

Homfest

“As a local Colorado retailer, we know that a successful retail strategy has to be supported by a strong, professional and polished looking electronic presence. We’ve only been able to achieve that with the help of the team at iPoint. Their professional and dedicated staff keeps us current and aware of what we need to do to reach our audience in the most efficient and effective manner possible.”

 -Michael Di Paulo

Homefest/ Rollo, Inc.

Work Performed:

  • Website Re-design
  • Shopping Cart Integration
  • Custom Online Bridal Registry
  • Website Hosting
  • SEO

 

 Website Screenshots:

Homefest       Homefest

Beware of SEO Guarantees

seo guaranteesHave you ever come across an optimization company that guarantees their results?  Be wary of these, as this is a dishonest marketing tactic used to swindle gullible users into purchasing services.  Although most organizations don’t make these claims, it is still important to recognize why this is an unethical promotional tactic.  Listed below are 5 reasons to stay clear of firms that guarantee SEO performance:

Reason #1: SEO Guarantees Have an Awful History

 

Since the beginning of SEO services, deceitful companies have used the “guarantee” label to lure in prospective clients with too-good-to-be-true promises.  If you take 20 minutes to learn the basics of optimization, you will realize that the following claims are inherently false:

 

  • Automated software for link exchanges/website submissions (outdated tactics)
  • Guaranteed results FAST (SEO can take months to start showing progress)
  • Guaranteed # of keywords (keywords they themselves choose, which may not even be relevant to your site.  Low-competitive keywords are generally chosen to boost statistics.)

Similar to used car salesmen or time-share opportunities, SEO has its share of high-pressure salespeople and exaggerated claims.  Be sure not to get sucked in by the false idea of an SEO “guarantee”.

Reason #2: Search Engines Warn Against “Guarantees”

Search engines offer some reassurance on this issue.  In Google’s guidelines on search marketing, the phrase is inherently obvious: “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google”.  If you don’t believe me, take it straight from the horse’s mouth.  Don’t be fooled by these claims.

Reason #3: Rankings are Naturally Unstable

 

Rankings are shifted all the time.  If I were to search the same query here in Fort Collins, then drive to Loveland and repeat the process, the results would be quite different due to the location, machine, etc.  Given the incongruous nature of ranking fluctuations and the fact that ranking in a particular position on a given machine at a single point in time says very little about the future or even the present, it’s no wonder that savvy SEO firms stay away from the guarantee.

Reason #4: Rankings are a Poor Metric for Overall Performance

Rankings do not equal traffic. A great SEO campaign should be measured by the increase in search engine traffic and the rate at which that traffic performs the desired actions on your site. Achieving rankings is (almost) always a means to an end and not the end itself.

Yes – position #1 will generally get you more traffic than any other real estate in the search results, but plenty of campaigns have been sabotaged by an obsession with pure rankings.

The metric should always be traffic – increasing search traffic means the SEO is doing their job. Making the rankings of a few top phrases the priority above and beyond the overall search traffic means that goals are out of whack. Don’t forget that 70% of search volume is in the tail of the demand curve – and there’s usually a lot more low hanging fruit to be found therein.

Reason #5: Ethical Problems

Politicians are constantly under scrutiny for failing to follow through on promises they’ve made.  Similarly, a camera manufacturer cannot guarantee that every picture you take will turn out perfect.  The same principle applies to SEO.

What search engine optimization companies can & should guarantee is that they’ll provide the best advice possible to help your site earn more traffic. They may even guarantee, after reviewing your site, that they can grow your search traffic by at least 10-30% or more.  But, SEOs cannot control the search results the way FedEx can control shipping packages or Coca Cola can guarantee the taste of their beverage. The search engines alone are responsible for and privy to the rankings’ methodologies.

A guarantee is a promise – a basic contract that necessarily creates an assumption of certainty by the deliverer to the recipient. Anytime you cheat on that logic and make a promise outside your sphere of direct control, you’re walking on shaky ethical and business ground.

Digesting Google Analytics

analytics To many users, Google Analytics can appear difficult to grasp.  With so many SEO tools and reports, it can be overwhelming to try and use the program if one is not already familiar with some of its ins-and-outs.  First, let’s see what we can learn by utilizing Google Analytics:

 Executives can learn:

  • Which marketing initiatives are most effective
  • Accurate website traffic patterns/trends
  • Which customer and customer segments are most valuable

Marketing Professionals can learn:

  • Where visitors come from and what do they do on the site
  • How can the website convert more visitors into customers
  • Which keywords resonate with prospects and lead to conversions
  • Which online ad or creative is the most effective

Content & Developers can learn:

  • Where people leave the site
  • Which pages retain visitors the longest
  • What search terms people use to find the site

After digesting this, it is easy to see that Analytics can be extremely beneficial for a company to pursue.  iPoint offers quarterly SEO reporting, which can be viewed in detail here.  While these reports may provide further insight into the program, the process of using Analytics may still be unclear.  Visit this site if you wish to learn the basics of using Google Analytics, so that you can track your search engine rankings and better position your business for success in the ever-evolving digital marketplace:  http://www.flyte.biz/resources/newsletters/08/08-google-analytics.php

iPoint Networking Packages

nettechDid you know that on average, U.S. businesses lose more than $159,000 per company, per year due to IT system failure?  Today, the majority of business is conducted virtually, making computer networking performance crucial to a company’s success.  While some technology firms simply charge their networking service by the hour, iPoint has developed a comprehensive list of packages to fit the needs of any size business.  Depending on the size of your particular business, iPoint will support up to 4 servers and 50 workstations. Our networking packages start at $289, and can save your business anywhere from $600 to $2200 per year, depending on your package requirements.  Rather than paying for network support per incident, ensure your technology is protected with one of iPoint’s complete network service packages.  Relax- we’ve got your back!