How Do You Become a Web Designer? Do You Have What It Takes?

Web design can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. It’s a trade that combines technical skills with creative ability. If you feel comfortable with computer technology and you enjoy creating documents, web design can be a great way to combine the two interests.

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That being said, it’s always overwhelming to consider learning a new skill. Before learning how to become a web designer, you should ask yourself, “Should I become a web designer?”

I’ve been learning web design since I was ten years old, in 1994. I now do a lot of web design for myself and for some small business clients. There have been plenty of pleasures, but also plenty of frustrations. If you’re considering becoming a web designer, there are some things you should keep in mind.

If you have a lot of time to devote to learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Photoshop, it’s possible to learn the basics in a couple of months. Be ready to spend some money on manuals, books, and applications.

No matter how you decide to learn web design and how you decide to enter the field, some people have better potential to become web designers than others.
When you’re programming, even if you’re using a simple language like HTML and using a helpful application like Dreamweaver, you’re going to encounter some frustrations. Sometimes, when I create an HTML document, I spend a lot more time making corrections and problem solving than doing fun stuff. Are you prepared to spend a lot of time testing and making little changes? No matter how you approach web design, medium can’t be completely avoided. If you’re easily frustrated and discouraged, web design might not be for you.

Unless web design is going to be just a hobby for you, you will have clients you have to work with. Sometimes clients have a lot of specific expectations. Some clients have experience with web design themselves, but others may demand things without knowing the technical limitations involved. Before you start any project for clients, it’s best to have a thorough conversation with them about what they want and what they need. That can save you a lot of time. How would you like to spend weeks developing a website, only to discover that your client wants completely different fonts, colors, graphics, site organization, and content? If you’re going to get into designing web pages for other people, you’re going to have to be ready to make a lot of compromises and take a lot of criticism. Are you ready for that?

Finally, ask yourself if you have the time and energy to promote yourself. If you want to be hired by a web design firm, in addition to learning skills and possibly obtaining certifications, you’ve also got to be ready to pound the pavement with your resume and portfolio. It might take you over a year to find a job. Be ready to attend a lot of job interviews, and possibly get a lot of rejections.

If you’re going to become a freelancer, like I am, you’ve really got to devote a lot of energy to self-promotion. Set up a website, preferably with your own domain. Be ready to spend some money on advertising. Spend a lot of time promoting your services with social media – Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, and so on. Scan classified ads, particularly online classifieds. Print business cards and distribute them wherever you can. Use your connections and word-of-mouth to your advantage. Tell everyone you know that you’re a web designer, and maybe someone knows someone who could be your first client. Sometimes I spend more time promoting myself than I do actually doing the work itself.

If you’re ready to spend a little bit of money, do a lot of tedious work, take some criticism, and do a lot of self-promotion, then web design may be the field for you.

First, you’ve got to start the learning process. If you enjoy classroom instruction and having teachers, sign up for some web design and graphic design courses through your local community college. If you’d rather start learning on your own, buy some good books, look at the source codes of the web pages you visit, and go through some online tutorials. Even if you’re going to start learning web design in a school setting, be prepared to do a lot of learning in your free time, as well.

It’s important to learn HTML, especially HTML5. Learn Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), up to CSS3. JavaScript, possibly some server side scripting languages, and Flash are very useful, too. Don’t forget to learn how to use Photoshop. If you don’t have the money to buy Photoshop right away, start by downloading some free graphic design programs like Paint.Net and GIMP. You can learn some of the basics of graphic design that way, and possibly be better prepared when you finally buy the most recent version of Photoshop.

These days, people access the web in more ways than were ever possible before. When you’re web designing, you not only want to make your web pages work in multiple browsers but also on multiple devices. Even basic cell phones can access the web today, not just smartphones such as BlackBerrys and iPhones. Even some video game playing devices like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DSi have web browsers. Web surfers could be using tiny screens or enormous screens. They could be using a variety of different browsers and versions of browsers. Users may have completely different plug-ins and fonts; Adobe Flash is a browser plug-in, for instance. When you’re learning web design, try surfing the web in as many ways as you can.

There are many helpful resources for learning web design online, and there are many helpful online tools for web designers, many of which I use.

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The W3C is an excellent place to start. They’re the non-profit organization founded by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who started the World Wide Web. The W3C sets standards for HTML, XML and CSS. In addition to information about coding languages and standards, they have handy tools to validate your code.

HTML Goodies has a lot of excellent tutorials and articles.

I’ve learned a lot so far, but I’m always learning more, and I’ll always be a student of web design and media technology. As technology advances, things change. There’ll always be new programming languages and applications. Learning is a constant process.

Web design has been an engaging experience for me, and if you decide to get into it yourself, I hope you take it seriously and have a lot of fun.

How to Choose a Cheap Web Designer – Top 7 Questions to Ask

Choosing a web designer can be like choosing a tradesman. Who do you trust? Which ones are genuine and which ones will leave you feeling out of pocket? I have compiled a list of questions that we feel you should always ask before commissioning a website. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re going for an expensive site that is all singing and dancing or a simple site – you should still expect and receive a great service.

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So here are the top questions that we think you should ask your web designer or check on their website. Please don’t be put off! There are thousands of honest, fantastic companies out there who want nothing more than to make their customers happy. However, as I search on Google, some companies aren’t perhaps quite what they appear…

1. Do the examples of their work click through to a website?

I have noticed that on some web designer’s sites, examples of work are displayed, but it is not possible to click through and actually view the site they are claiming to have created. I cannot think of any reason for this, other than:

a) They haven’t actually created the site – they have simply taken a screen shot of any website and added it to their “portfolio”.

b) They have created the site, but it isn’t very good and so don’t want you to see it.

c) They have created a site with a fantastic looking homepage, so that they can add the screenshot to their “portfolio”, but they can’t show the rest of the site, as it doesn’t exist!

If you can click through to the site, I recommend the first thing you do is scroll down to the bottom of the page. Most web designers stipulate in their terms and conditions that the website will have a “Created by… ” link at the bottom of the customer’s website. This is the norm in the industry. If then, you scroll down to the bottom and you don’t see this, I would be suspicious that the company who claim to have designed the site, possibly haven’t.

Also, if you can click through to examples sites, double check that they are genuine! I have seen “portfolio examples” that are clearly fabricated. Perhaps the telephone number of the web designer’s “customer” is 01234 5678910, or the domain name is a sub domain, rather than a real domain name. Be vigilant – it will be worth it!

2. Do they offer testimonials that can be verified?

As with tradesmen, often the best way to gauge a web designer is on testimonials from previous clients. I care about the work I do and I want to ensure that my customers are satisfied. On completion of their site, all my customers are sent a short questionnaire about the quality of my work, service, price etc and I am proud to display these on my site. Your web designer should be happy for you to contact previous clients, as this is truly the only way that the testimonials can be verified.

3. How much do they charge for hosting?

When you get a web design quote, you will often find that hosting is included free of charge for the first year. You must ensure that you know exactly how much your hosting is going to cost after this time. For example, I had a customer who had a great website that had cost GBP50, but they were being charged GBP30 per month for hosting! This is far too much (and in my opinion unethical). Their cheap web design ended up costing them a fortune.

You should expect to pay anything from GBP30-GBP60 per year for your hosting for an average site. More than this and I would walk away. Conversely, if you are told that hosting is “free forever”, then I would also be suspicious. Perhaps you will be charged a high fee to renew your domain name instead…

4. Will they accept payment from you, without having discussed your needs first?

I have seen some websites that send you directly to a payment page. I would never recommend making a payment for a website without having first discussed exactly what you want – either via telephone or email.

Before parting with any money you need to ensure that your web designer understands what you want from your website, how many pages it will be (you need to know what constitutes a “page”), what you need to supply and what they will source, what would be the best domain name etc etc etc. There’s a whole list of factors that should be decided before parting with your money. If a company is happy to receive payment before this, be wary.

5. Do they have Terms and Conditions?

You are entering into a contract with your web designer and as such, you should first ensure that they have T & Cs and secondly read them! They are there to protect both you as the customer and also the web designer themselves (yes, sadly sometimes the customer tries to rip the web designer off also). If they don’t have T & Cs and say not to worry, it is all based on trust, then be wary.

6. Whose name will the domain name be in?

This is really important. The domain name should always be registered in your name, not the web designer’s name. This means that you own the domain name. For example, an unethical designer may register the domain in their own name. If your business is successful (which hopefully it is!) and the time comes to renew your domain name if the domain name is not registered in your own name, the web designer can charge you whatever they like to use the domain name. This is not a situation you want to find yourself in.

Luckily, I think this practice is fading out but I still have the occasional customer who doesn’t own their domain name – their previous designer does. How do you check this? If the company’s portfolio is genuine, you can visit the website http://www.who.is, type in the domain name and it will tell you who the owner of the domain name is. The owner of the domain should not be the web design company (although they are often listed as the administrators, which is fine)

7. How much will you be charged to makes changes to your site in future?

This is a tricky one. Having your website designed is usually just the first step in. Once your site is up and running, you often want to make changes to it, add special offers, new pictures etc. Obviously it would be unfair to expect your web designer to carry out this work for you for nothing (although some customers do think that web designers should do updates for free!). On the other hand, you want to know that you’re not going to be ripped off every time you want to change your site.

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You can expect to pay around GBP25 per hour for updates and this is around the norm for most ethical web designers. It’s possible get a lot done in an hour, so it generally works out pretty well for customers. Some companies will charge GBP25 per change however, so watch out for this. For example, a designer might alter some text for a customer, add 2 photos and an extra PayPal button. It could usually do this in approximately half an hour let’s say, so it would cost GBP12.50. If you were being charged per change, this would be GBP100! Again, just be aware of all the costs before committing.

Something else you may want to look at is whether or not you have the option to be able to update your own site in the future. This means that you can log into your website and make changes to your own site as and when you like, without worrying about the cost each time. As technology becomes more user-friendly, this type of service is becoming increasingly popular.

Why Your Business Should Upgrade to a Responsive Web Design Sooner Rather Than Later

Why should my business have a responsive web design?

Responsive web design has become the go-to solution for businesses who want a user-friendly interface and higher customer retention. If your company has come this far without taking advantage of all the benefits it has to offer, you may have already begun to see lower visitor numbers and a disappointing conversion rate.Web Design

As a responsible business owner, you’ll probably need convincing before paying to upgrade your web presence to one that includes responsive design. However, by opting in you’ll soon see a return on investment that will make it worthwhile. In a nutshell, responsive design is just better than what has gone before and in order to keep up with the competition, you’ll need it too.

Responsive web design is crucial for the majority of businesses because it allows your users to achieve their goals quickly and smoothly. The important elements of your website can be pulled up on a smart phone and appear as a fully functional version of the original, complete with all the utility you’d offer to customers on a laptop or desktop computer. If you fail to provide a mobile-friendly experience like this for your visitors they won’t hang around, they’ll simply click away and complete the action or purchase on a rival site.

Unhappy customers are not good for business and neither is going up against a major search engine. Google have recently confirmed what many insiders have suspected for some time – sites that are not optimised for multiple users will slip down their search rankings. Google bases their rankings on how useful a page is for the query a user has entered, plus the utility of the site – for example, can a user complete the action they would like to?

Your page may be completely relevant to their search, but if visitors cannot access the content easily across a number of devices, your site may receive a less than positive review and be placed lower in the search results. If your company is reduced to a second or third page entry you’ll lose a considerable amount of traffic, as people naturally select links from the first page.

Google has also pointed out that companies which have a single responsive website – rather than one standard and one mobile version – are far easier for their bots to discover because there is just one URL.

If your site is responsive and ready to service mobile customers, you can take advantage of many tools and helpful apps like the click-to-call button, this enables a web user to make a voice call to your company immediately. Potential customers can also read reviews about your business or even find you in a busy place using Google Maps, both keenly relevant to the needs of mobile users.

Branding is one of the ways in which we build a relationship of trust with a customer and keep them coming back for more of the same. This is pertinent to responsive design for two reasons, firstly, people do not feel confident in a site they cannot easily navigate and second, in order to create a uniform brand you’ll need responsive design to produce a consistent web appearance; however your clients reach you.

In today’s market there are only a handful of reasons why a company may choose to stick with static design on their web page. Those who do not rely in any significant way on web traffic to drive sales, or those who have few competitors, or those who have already looked into responsive design and found it was not right for them. For everyone else, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, responsive design is the only way forward for your website.

Responsive web design features

Until recently web designers created different pages depending on where they would be viewed, a tablet, for example, has a different screen resolution to a laptop, and so the content would be optimized for viewing on that particular device.

However, responsive web design has revolutionized the way in which users look at the internet, it has created an across the board experience allowing us to view pages on a PC, smart phone or notebook in exactly the same way. When they build a site, designers use the same coding on any number of resolutions, giving every device the same degree of functionality.

Responsive web designers believe that their clients’ web pages should be accessible to every visitor, giving them an optimal experience, regardless of the device they use. This kind of intelligent response to a web user’s actions keeps your company relevant in an ever changing online market place; it boosts your e-commerce figures and makes visiting your site an enjoyable experience.

In technical terms there are three key features of responsive web design, the secret ingredient is generally considered to be media queries. These are filters added on to the CSS or Cascading Style Sheets, affecting the look and feel of any individual page. CSS is a highly useful tool for web designers, but by tagging on a media queries adaption, the process of resizing, rendering and orienting a page becomes far easier.

Another linchpin of responsive design is the flexible layout, this is based on a grid formation, ideal for formatting margins, positioning the key elements of a page and getting the spacing just right. This means a designer is not limited to a certain number of columns, they can choose as many or as few as is appropriate for the page. A flexible layout also removes the need to work out the layouts and text size based on pixels.

Instead, designers use percentages which enable them to adopt a far more fluid approach to producing each page. Pixels work well in photographic images, but are a clumsy tool to use over a number of devices. One pixel may be expressed as three dots on a phone, but ten dots on a desktop, changing the quality of an image considerably between devices.

The third component of responsive design involves the use of CSS or a dynamic resizing function to create flexible images, videos and other content. Text can flow relatively easily as the containing area resizes, but in order to spread this across more complex segments, web designers need to use different techniques. Dynamic resizing gives a web designer greater control over how a page behaves and enables them to add or remove components as needed.

Taken a whole, these multiple technologies mean visitors can enjoy the feeling of familiarity, regardless of what device they happen to be using, or will be using in the future.

When a mobile user changes from landscape to portrait mode, the intuitive design will ensure the page gets bigger or smaller. Furthermore, each element, be it an image, textbox or video will also resize itself to correspond with the different dimensions.

If you have ever tried to access a website and discovered that it was almost impossible to navigate around without shrinking and enlarging the text or buttons, you’ll understand why responsive design is considered good practice for the majority of website owners.

Responsive web design Vs Mobile web design

Until quite recently, mobile web design was considered far more relevant to modern consumers than it’s responsive counterpart, this approach sees designers using smart phones as a starting point and upgrading the technology progressively, through to notepads, desktop computers and beyond. This method meant that companies needed two websites, one for their mobile pages and one for PC users.

In the early golden years of mobile web design, there were a number of reasons why experts thought that web applications should always be designed first for use on a mobile device. Most important of these was the prevalence of smart phones and the fact that their popularity was continuing to skyrocket. By creating a platform that favoured these millions of users, companies could promote their service or product to what was seen as the next generation of computing consumers.

Secondly, mobile design was said to foster a cleaner concept without room for extraneous elements or unnecessary page clutter. In a screen the size of that on a mobile phone, there simply is not enough room to crowbar in extra buttons and widgets – instead, a design team had to focus on what was actually needed. By giving users a clear route to what they want, it was assumed that their experience would be better, faster, leave them more inclined to return or convert them into a paying customer.

Mobile applications were thought to have far more utility than PC-based software, what users expected from their laptop paled in comparison to the capabilities offered on smart phones. From a digital compass, to gyroscopic effects, touch screen inputs and voice control, designers hoped to build on these tools to produce modern web design that was not limited by the constraints of a PC.

Although there are pros and cons for the adoption of a mobile site to run parallel to a main site, responsively designed pages are ideal for retailers who want a robust, homogenous website with plenty of utility for every user. A single site also simplifies marketing campaigns; there is only a need to manage one site and one SEO strategy. Therefore, a website which features responsive design can save companies time and money, but also provide a seamless, convenient way for customers to shop.

Responsive web design statistics

When a team of designers builds you a responsive website you know it will adapt intuitively to whatever device it is accessed from, but where is the evidence that proves this is a factor in commercial success?

The content marketing company, Brand Point, found that over 90% of consumers buying decisions are affected by visual elements. In other words, if people land on your site and like the look of the place, they are more likely to stay and buy.

Screen resolutions are changing all the time as new devices reach the market, web developers Spiderweb found that in 2010 there were just 97 unique screen resolution sizes, but by 2013 that figure had leapt to 232. The only way of tackling this increase is to have a responsive website that is optimised for every customer, whatever device they favour.

Customers are driven away by high wait times and pages that take too long to appear; even way back in 2009, 47% of people expected a load time of just two seconds on a webpage. In a study carried out by cloud service providers, Akamai, it was also found that 40% of web users clicked away if they had not gained access to a page within 3 seconds. That is a pretty slim window of opportunity, and it’s fair to assume that people’s expectations have increased since this study was compiled.

Although external factors like a lack of Wi-Fi or 4G can also affect wait times, the importance of speed for business sites cannot be underestimated. Wed designers can write code for your responsive site that makes it selectively load the elements needed, or even bring in graphics at a later stage.

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Design matters because it can have a huge impact on the number of new visitors to your pages, these are people who have reached you through typing in specific search criteria and decided to click on the link to your site. Web designers, Domain7, have reported that in the case of their client Regent College, there was a leap of 99% in unique visitors after a revamp of their responsive web design.

If your mobile pages leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth of your visitors, they are far less likely to view your entire organization favourably, and they’ll tell their friends. Industry experts at the Search Engine Journal discovered that 57% of people would never recommend a company that had poorly designed pages, strengthening the case for a consistent web strategy that performs the way your customers want it to – wherever they happen to be.

Creating an Author Web Site – How to Find the Best Web Designer to Sell Your Book Online

Why Are Web Designers Such Flakes? A Reality Check.

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Circling the drain of unresponsive or missing in action web designers is a common dilemma. The Question is this: As a self-respecting author with a plan and a purpose, how do you choose a designer you can afford and rely on?

As a small publisher, or self-published author, you are faced with the high-cost of publishing a book. Your ever-growing budget includes editors, book cover and interior design, maybe a book coach or advisor, printing costs, fulfillment needs, marketing … my goodness, where does it end? When does the author start making money? Well, this is a question for another article all together. The point here is, how much should you allocate to the added expense of hiring a web designer? Can you hire someone who can do it all and is affordable to boot?

Ah, herein lies the problem. The one-man show dilemma-freelance artists. A newly graduated artist (or even an established one-person show) can be a very enticing option for someone with a small budget, especially when they are often a third of the price you would pay with a full-service design house. They are typically hungry, excited, talented, reasonably priced, and they can do it all. Yeah!!! So what goes wrong? Burnout. A freelance artist often over promises and eventually under delivers. They over commit because of the opportunity to build their portfolio; they chock it up to needed experience, and maybe even their desire to help another artist. But at the end of the day this is the perfect recipe for disaster. Why? Because it’s truly hard to do it all yourself and when you finally reach that wall, you shut down and walk away, close the door, stop returning calls-you move on.

This does not mean that because someone is reasonably priced that they are a bad choice for your needs. The question we seek to answer is: How do you protect yourself?

As you search for a reliable, talented designer consider the fallout. As you become overwhelmed with the production of your book, you tend to need a leaning post. That is, someone you can consider a partner, someone who cares as much as you do and will be there till the bitter end, or God willing the glorious payout. But let’s talk reality folks. Few people care about your project as much as you do. At the end of the day, people will do what is best for “me.” If you lay something precious in someone else’s hands you have to know that they will cherish that precious thing and treat it with the same care that you would. In the business world, this means you pay them to care-you appreciate them, you praise them, you create an environment that is rewarding, you pay them hard-earned cash.

What you are looking for is a long-lasting relationship, someone who delivers, who knows their stuff and someone who isn’t going to close up shop and leave you holding the bag.

A Sad Tale of Trust and Where it Went Wrong:

The Spark: You have just written a book! You are ready to meet your public. You are told you need a web site. You look around, you ask a few people for references, you weight the costs, you’re not quite sure how it will benefit you, you’re just about out of money, or worse your sinking further into debt. And then you meet Bob at a community function. Bob is great! He is dynamic, he loves your book, he has great ideas, he is excited, talented, and he can help you build a site for a fraction of the cost-this you can afford.

The Honeymoon: You get started on the project and Bob really seems to listen, he’s working quickly, he answers your calls, he has something for you to see right away, and it’s pretty good, you like it, OK maybe it’s not great, but hey it was practically free and it’s something, it’s better than nothing.

The Fallout: You have a big signing at the local bookstore, you’re excited, but your site needs to be updated and there’s that issue of those few spelling errors you haven’t gotten around to fixing. You know you need to talk to Bob. But Bob is out of town until next week. You call some friends to see if they know of anyone who can help, yes, but do you have access to the web files? Hmm, no Bob has that. Bob doesn’t seem to be returning your calls, or emails-Bob is MIA.

The Reality: So what if you do find someone who is so excited and hungry that they are willing to do it for very little, or even better, for free. What happens when your designer needs a leaning post and you are pushing for more-you’ve started with this person, you need them to finish the job, your marketing success depends on it…they stop returning calls, they are less and less responsive…you go crazy with frustration, the process of getting a simple update to your site is maddening, you throw your hands up in exasperation, the love affair is over and you are left to pick up the pieces.

You face the facts, you know you must find another web master, you search for people in your area, you are horrified by the high-prices, your benchmark, what you had come to rely on was so much less expensive. How can this be? OK fine, you find someone you think you can trust and they tell you your previous web designer didn’t know what they were doing. Salt. Wound. Pain. They tell you have to start over and it’s going to cost you. Yikes.

The Idiot: Was your last designer really an idiot? Maybe, but probably not. First of all, it’s important to know that designing and programming are two very different art forms and it makes sense to leave each task to the expert. I once saw a very talented illustrator design the interior layout of a book one page at a time, as opposed to flowing all of the text into one document (which certainly makes things easier when it comes time to make future changes). Was this guy an idiot? No, he just didn’t know what he was doing, but he sure was confident that he could get the job done. And boy did he. Now the second edition needs changes….

With web programmers, another thing to consider is that there are numerous ways to build a web site. Building a site is much like organizing your files, because in fact it is; web coders are a unique brand of person and each has his or her own naming conventions and ways of organizing files, which could be near impossible for someone else to decipher. Plus, there are numerous ways to code, programs to use, platforms, etc. Just like you might be baffled by my filing system, I would likely be baffled by yours. So for a programmer to look at your site, it can take a lot of maddening hours and cursing-clearly the last person didn’t know what he or she was doing. No, they just did it differently. But, why would I want to tackle that frustrating beast? Hmm, this is gonna be pricey.

Synergy, Longevity and Web Designers; The Answer:

Finding the right Web designer is sometimes like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So what’s a savvy author to do? First, get referrals. Qualified referrals will save you a lot of time, especially if they are from fellow authors. For this reason, consider joining your local authors’ guild and attending authors’ conferences where you can connect with other people in your industry.

Be sure to choose a designer who is familiar with your industry. A successful Web site goes way beyond the nuts and bolts of programming and coding. Your designer should have a firm understanding of what you are trying to accomplish and a definitive plan to reach that end. For instance, your navigation should lead your visitor in the direction of a sale-think of it like a funnel. You should implement an effective call-to-action that will guide your readers through the funnel and convert them into sales.

A successful home page will appeal to varying personalities in different ways. Use both imagery and text to say the same thing. This will reach the analytical and the visual; no matter how you say it, both will lead to the same place-a sale. A marketing-savvy firm will understand the importance of this element and provide valuable insight.

Ask for testimonials. Does he or she complete projects on deadline? A typical site should take from two to five weeks to design and build. Also, ask to see samples-including live sites. Test them for ease of use and loading time, as well as the general feeling you get from the sites you view. Chances are, if you dislike everything someone has done, you will be unhappy with what they produce for you as well.

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Does he or she listen to your needs? A good way to tell if company designs for the client or for themselves is to view their samples. If all of their samples are similar, this could be a red flag-unless, of course, that is exactly the style you want in your design. A good designer should be able to listen to your needs and translate them into a workable site that exceeds your expectations. Ultimately, your site should reflect your personality-not theirs.
Make sure your design team is easy to communicate with. Do they speak your language? Remember: this should be your vision, not theirs. Ego can often get in the way of your goals. When it comes down to it, they work for you. They should be able to set their artistry ego aside and follow your line of thinking, providing you with valuable insight and ideas that you hadn’t considered.

Ask Questions-Expect Answers

Ensure that your designer and the person coding your site are two different people. They are very different jobs and require different skills, just as your architect and your contractor are two different people. That’s not to say that you should hire two different firms-quite the opposite: a well-trained team works smoothly together and should be able to handle anything you throw their way.

A good firm will provide you with at least three “comps” or design samples. This is the part of the project where you will have the most involvement. That’s not to say that you should be able to stare over their shoulders as they create for you-but you should be given ample opportunity to verbalize your needs. You should approve the design before it goes to the programmer. Also, find out what their policy is on additional changes once you have approved the final design; you do not want to get stuck with hidden costs halfway through the project.

Always get a contract. Know exactly what to expect. A contract protects you as much as the design house. Read your contract thoroughly. Be sure that you own the rights to your site, the design, all the images, and your copy. When it’s all said and done, your designer should provide you with a disc that contains all your design files and your Web files; keep this disc and all your passwords in a safe place-in fact, make backups. Should something happen to your design house, or they go out of business, you should be able to seamlessly transfer everything to a new firm. And remember: this is a relationship, if you are not happy with your team, or you are not getting the results you expected, then don’t be afraid to find someone else.

Don’t rush it. Costly mistakes are made when people rush. Once your site is up and running, you can decide to change it, but it will likely mean starting all over and costing you twice what it should. Often, this can be the straw that breaks the marketing camel’s back. It is easy to get discouraged when you have invested so much of your heart and soul into a project only to find out you are back at square one. From the perspective of a coder, it is less costly to start over than to give your site a facelift-changing colors, navigation, and the overall look and feel of your site isn’t as easy as it may seem. Avoid costly mistakes in the beginning, even if it means stalling your project just a little longer.

How Much Should a Web Site Cost?

While industry standards are typically followed, prices vary widely. The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines is a sufficient reference guide for industry pricing standards when it comes to illustration and design; this will give you a firm place to start.

It’s possible to pay anywhere from $200 to $44,000 on a Web site; all of this depends on the size of your site and your programming needs (and who you hire). What you want to concentrate on is the relationship you have with your designer. Meet with this person, and see if you like him or her; after all, you will likely be working very closely with this person. You should be developing a relationship that will help make you and your book shine.

Keep in mind, just because your site looks great doesn’t mean it’s effective. Discuss these elements and see what kind of ideas your potential designer may have that can bring your project to a higher level. Use someone who understands books and the publishing industry. While one firm may be able to design and build an incredible site for real estate agents, they may not know the first thing about selling books.

All of these things are crucial elements that you must consider before signing that contract. Always ask for a contract; no matter how much you trust this person, business is business-be professional. It’s okay and even necessary to build relationships and even friendships in this business, but never forget your end goal: You are an author with your own business, and only you will look out for you in the end.

Make a List-Check it Twice

Before you start shopping for a design house, jot down a list of your expectations; that way if it comes down to one or two firms/designers, you will make an educated decision based on all your needs.

Lastly, follow your gut feeling; listen to your instincts. If something doesn’t mesh, move on.

Finding a design team can be an emotionally overwhelming process. The following checklist will help you find the right team for your needs. And remember: just because the price is right doesn’t mean the fit is, and vice versa; an expensive team may be just that-expensive. You want to choose the best designer for you and your book. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did.

1. Do they listen?
2. Are they responsive?
3. Do they explain things in a way you can understand?
4. Do you like the other sites they have designed?
5. Are all of their design samples the same? Do they have the feel you are looking for?
6. Are their sites easy to navigate?
7. Do they have experience in your industry?
8. Do their sample sites load quickly?
9. Will they give you recent testimonials and references? Do they have happy clients?
10. What is their timeline?
11. Do they provide more than one design sample for you to choose from?
12. Are the designer and the programmer different people? Does the design firm have a specialized team?
13. Do they offer hosting services?
14. Do they offer E-commerce solutions?
15. Do they understand Internet marketing?
16. Do they have a company Web site?
17. Do they provide a contract that outlines your rights?
18. Do you get to keep the rights to every element of your site, including design and images?
19. How much do they charge for Web site maintenance?
20. Do they employ a solid back-up system? If so, do they keep back-ups offsite for added security?
21. Upon completion, will they provide you with all your files and passwords?

Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Web Designer for Your Business Web Site

How to Choose a Web Design Firm

Simple. You do your homework on them. Then, you start asking questions and taking notes. There are plenty of web designers available. You want to go with the best because, in fact, your web designer is, in essence, your partner. You want to choose a designer that takes YOUR business seriously.

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What questions do you ask?

There are several important questions to ask when choosing a web designer for your business website.

Creating your web site can be a tricky process. Choosing the best web design firm for your business web site is a very important decision. And if your company is like most small businesses, you probably do not have web design experience. Building your web site will take time and work. And working with a web designer is no easy task. So choose the right web design company from the start and avoid do-over’s, which can be costly and time-consuming.

1. What kind of web experience do you have?

For starters, find out what kind of design experience your potential design firm has. Do they have experience with content management systems such as Joomla or Drupal, do they have experience working with “raw” HTML? Has the web design company created web sites similar to yours? Do they have relevant industry experience? If you want to sell products through your web site and accept credit card payments, does the web design company you are considering have experience with e-commerce hosting?

2. Do you have a portfolio that I can review?

An experienced web design company will have a solid portfolio of websites that they have created for other clients. Ask for links to another site the design company has created and review each one. Do you like what you see? Do the sites have a style that appeals to you?

3. Do you have any references?

In addition to reviewing web sites, ask for customer references. Contact their clients and ask them about their experience with the web design company. Were they happy with the results? Did they get what they paid for? How much did they pay? Would they recommend them? How long did it take? What didn’t they like about the company? How responsive was the company when they had questions?

4. What are your prices?

The most important step in pricing is to make sure the potential design company outline all of the prices associated with the work and puts it all in writing. Never enter into a deal unless all of the costs are well understood up front.

Ask them a bit about how they manage payments. If they respond in a very business-like and professional manner, this is a good sign. If they throw out answers like – “Don’t worry, we’ll manage” or “Whatever you are comfortable with”, don’t be fooled. This is trouble waiting to happen. Get the price in writing before you begin the project.

5. Do you have experience with search engine optimization?

Most small business owners do not have it in their budget to hire a separate marketing firm to work on search engine optimization (SEO), so it imperative that your web designer has experience in SEO. A good designer will know that design and SEO go hand-in-hand. Designing a web site for search engines with “clean” code that utilizes cascading style sheets is essential to getting your content indexed in the leading search engines, such as Google and Bing.

6. Do you have experience with social media marketing?

Many marketing firms do know the first thing about social media marketing. These firms are stuck in the past and are not as effective as they pretend to be. Be sure that you work with a designer that knows how to setup a Facebook fan page for your business and design a customized Twitter profile. This is important because you will want your social media properties to mesh with the design of your web site. The web site and social media pages should complement one-another.

7. What is your process for designing or building a web site?

Make sure you ask your potential web design company about the process that they use? Do they design a web site or do they build a web site? An experienced Internet professional should understand the difference between these two concepts. If they don’t, they’re probably not as experienced as they claim to be. Building a web site is a highly technical process while designing a web site is a highly creative process. Many advertising firms specialize in web site design which does not necessarily require any web development skills whatsoever. At the same time, many firms design web sites, yet out-source the creative portion of the project. Find out from the beginning what the process if for the firm that you are considering.

8. How long will it take?

Perfectionism can be a huge stumbling block in the fast-paced world of the Internet. Some designers are unable to compromise between quality and time to market needs. Test: See how long it takes until you receive a proposal.

9. What type of support is offered after website launch?

If your design firm does not offer website maintenance, you might want to continue looking. Most reputable design firms will offer “post-launch” maintenance for companies that do not have an in-house webmaster.

10. Which web hosting providers do you work with?

If your design firm does not know the first names of the contact at their favorite web design firm, then this should raise a red flag. Most reputable web designers know not to choose a web host simply because they are the most popular or because they offer the cheapest web hosting. A reputable web design firm should know who to call and how to get results! Does your web designer work with a green hosting company? Environmentally-friendly web hosting is becoming more and more popular for business websites looking to implement an eco-policy.

Web Design

 

Getting a little recognition on the W3 is hard, even in a niche market (especially in a niche market). You have less than 10 seconds to convince a site visitor to stick around long enough to learn about the quality of your services, your products or your message. Web surfers are jagged out on information overload. If they don’t see what they want to see on your home page or a landing page, they bounce. So, making a statement about your corporate culture and your business’ core values has to happen in the blink of an eye. Visitors will never even see the “About Us” page if you don’t create a good impression – in 10 seconds. So, go green! An emblem or banner proclaiming that you employ green hosting makes an immediate statement about your on-line business. It says you care about the environment.

Do your homework when choosing a web design firm.

Good designers are creative people that need to think out of the box. Finding a good web designer is getting harder and harder. The good designers are being snatched by agencies and large projects. They are overloaded with work and often, you won’t know about them because they don’t have time (or need) to market themselves. Doing your homework and asking the right questions is important to decide if they are right for the job.

Best Web Designer

1. Introduction

Many businesses look for a web designer as though they were shopping for a general commodity item such as a light bulb – i.e. All websites are equal and paying the 16-year-old student on a computer course to build the site will reap exactly the same dividend as paying a specialist web development agency. Other businesses often feel they have to spend thousands upon thousands of pounds on a website for it to be successful.

Web Design

Let us dispel these myths

Contrary to what many believe, web design is only one component in the production of your website. Some web designers can talk day and night about how pretty your website can be, but if it isn’t functional, user-friendly, or capable of helping you meet your online goals, then all the superficial beauty in the world isn’t going to help it serve its purpose. The design theme of a website is only one component of building a successful online presence.

Choosing a Web Designer is not an easy task! – Here are some tips…

There is so much more to web design than just making a few web pages look pretty if you want to succeed. You need to consider your target audience, underlying message, content, desired responses, visitor impact, online goals, how you are going to measure the success of the site and more. There is so much more to web design than just making a few web pages look pretty

2. Defining Your Requirements

If you have no idea why you want a website or what you want the website to achieve, it is as well to sit down and think it through, rather than rushing to put up a “White Elephant” that doesn’t serve a purpose. Every website must serve a purpose, and that’s usually where many websites fall short. They serve no purpose because the website owner never gave much thought to it. It’s not the website’s fault. A website is inanimate. It is only what you make it. The only life a website has is the one given to it by its designer and owner. If the human element doesn’t do a good job of defining the building blocks, the website will serve no purpose and eventually die a digital death. Every website should have a distinct purpose With that in mind, we’d suggest the first stage would be to define the “Goals” of the website in relation to the requirements and aspirations of the business or organization involved.

Defining the Goal

Every website should have a distinct goal or number of goals that are measurable. A goal can be anything from communicating with friends and associates through to making profits by selling products or services online (e-commerce). Your goal in the first instance may even be to have a web presence so potential clients don’t regard your organization as being backward! Once you have defined a goal (or number of goals), it’s equally important to define:

  • The target audience. i.e. Who you want/expect to visit your website.
  • The actions you want to result from their visit. i.e. Making an online sale, getting them to make an inquiry etc.
  • What benefits you are giving and receiving from having the website.

Defining the Key Functions (The actions)

Once the goals of the website have been established, it’s important to define the actions required by site visitors to meet the goals. An action is any traceable sequence of events carried out by the end user.

Examples might include:

  • Getting in touch – either by phone, email or via an online form.
  • Disseminating Information.
  • Signing up for a newsletter.
  • Completing a questionnaire
  • Commenting on a Blog
  • Downloading or buying products
  • Using an online tool

Of course, there are other intangible benefits that your website might provide to an end user that don’t result in direct “actions”… i.e. simply providing “peace of mind” to an existing or prospective customer would be considered as such. If you haven’t already done so, then it’s also useful to check out the competition, for ideas, likes and dislikes.

Establishing Your Design & Development Preferences

Once you have formulated the goals and functional requirements for the website, it’s time to start building a picture of how you anticipate the site coming together – with regard to structure and design theme. This doesn’t need to be a definitive exercise – Your web designer should be able to add a lot of input and suggestions at a later stage, but it helps to have some ideas to feed into the requirements you approach the designer with in the first instance.

As follows are a few that we feel should be mandatory:

  • The website should adhere to recognized standards. The site should be written to conform and validate to the standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – this will, in turn, mean your site should be cross-browser friendly (i.e. Appear the same across various different types of the web browser).
  • The website should be accessible. In web terms, this means that it conforms to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
  • The website should be clean, crisp and fast loading.
  • The website should be easy to use and inoffensive (see below).

Our Tip: Easy to use and Inoffensive – The WOW factor

Webbies often get asked to produce a website with the “WOW factor”. The “WOW Factor” is a term that means different things to different people. Often, the person or business commissioning the website have grandiose plans for extensive animation, splash screens, cartoons, garish designs… This isn’t the WOW factor – A bold garish design with “off the wall” color schemes may seem bold and innovative to some people, but may really put off other site users – Find the happy medium.

If a person wants to buy a pair of shoes online then their mission is basically to find the desirable pair of shoes at the right price in the quickest possible time. They don’t visit an e-commerce site to watch an animation of shoes tap dancing across the screen. Leave cartoons and needless animation that add zero value to those experts in their own field. People watch the Simpsons for that type of entertainment. They likely won’t be visiting your website for (or be impressed by) to be “dazzled” by irrelevant attempts to stand out.

Our own interpretation of the “WOW factor” is a site that is very simple to use, clean, crisp, user-friendly, fast loading with great content. Basically, the site that delivers it’s underlying message quickly and concisely is the most effective. Google has the WOW Factor and you don’t see slow loading animation on that website. The WOW factor should mean Winning on the Web and nothing else.

Ok, so you’ve mapped out some goals and requirements… time to start looking for the right guys to go ahead and implement the solution for you.

3. Selecting a Web Designer / Developer

Initially, the best place to begin is by putting together a shortlist of designers. You may choose to do this in any number of ways but here are some suggestions that you may wish to factor in:

  • The location of the prospective designer. This may or may not be a factor for you. Some people are happy to work remotely and others prefer some face to face interaction. If the latter is essential to you, then you will need to focus on designers in your local area.
  • The designer’s portfolio. This is usually a key factor in any shortlisting process. You may choose to favor designers who have worked specifically in the sector you are targeting, or you may simply like other unrelated websites they have developed.
  • Independent Word of mouth recommendation. You may have received glowing reports on particular designers and their after-sales service. Don’t overlook this.
  • The size of the company. Generally speaking, the size of the company provides you with the little idea to the quality or work they can produce or the services they can provide. Some SMEs prefer to work on a more personal level with smaller providers or freelance designers with larger corporates preferring the opposite.
  • The cost – Most professional web designers tend to produce work on a bespoke basis, tailored uniquely for each client – and the vast majority do not publish prices. (We do). However, an initial discussion should be able to provide you with a “ballpark” figure at least based on your requirements outline. Some designers are also able to provide cost-effective “out of the box” solutions at a fixed price.Web Design

Tip: Get a fixed price quote rather than an hourly rate. Let’s face it… an hourly or daily rate is meaningless as a measuring stick when you consider it may take one designer twice as long as another to complete the same job.

Web designers will typically showcase previous work on their own websites, but be sure to consider that they are gearing a site’s design and structure to requirements presented by another party that likely won’t match your own. It’s more important that you are confident that they can implement your solution than perhaps reading too much into other design work that you might not necessarily like.

Another consideration you may take into account is the attitude a designer shows when you first make contact. You can often gauge whether they are genuinely interested in the project and whether they are going to be proactive – and if they can offer a high level of support. Designers not providing a landline phone number or a business address may be harder to contact when you need them the most. Trust your instincts and exercise common sense.

Tip: Don’t base everything on price and make sure you compare “like” with “like”. Also, don’t be afraid to share your budget with the designers during initial discussions and then see what they can deliver within it. Time is often wasted if you are discussing the project over days or weeks and then end up being miles apart on pricing expectations.

The more information you give furnish the designer with, relating to your goals, requirements and design preferences, the better. Also, make sure that you discuss timescales and payment schedules (most designers will ask for a deposit upfront and a final balance payment when the project is completed. There may also be interim payment milestones for larger projects). Additionally, enquire about any recurring charges for support, future amends, web hosting, domains etc. Neither party will want hidden surprises.

4. Questions You will be Asked

It’s always better to be prepared when you approach web designers… they will also have their own queries to establish the requirements, gauge the work involved and furnish you with a quote.

Typical questions you might be asked include the following:

  • What does your company do?
  • What are the Unique Selling Points that your company has to offer?
  • What is the purpose of the website?
  • How do you see the website evolving in the future?
  • Do you have any existing branding? i.e. Logo, color schemes or other marketing materials?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Do you require e-commerce or an online payment mechanism?
  • Can you provide links to other websites that you like from a design perspective?
  • Can you provide links to other websites that you like from a functionality perspective? (i.e. How they work)
  • What is your budget? Don’t be afraid to disclose a budget figure – it can help a lot.

If you aren’t able to get an immediate quote, request that the designer gets back to you and establish a timescale for this to happen. As you can probably tell, choosing a web designer isn’t necessarily a straightforward process if you are seeking the right fit for your project. The more detailed research and preparation that you carry out, the better.

5. Going ahead

When you make a decision on proceeding with a designer, make sure to get the quote in writing and make sure it’s clear that the copyright of the website is yours once completed. Ensure all charges (including any future and/or recurring charges) are spelled out to avoid any ambiguity and problems further down the line.

Choosing a Web Designer

Many small business owners struggle with deciding on how to make the right choice for designing their website. They search the web for help with their website and find that the choice is harder than they thought. Currently, there are (literally) millions of websites who claim to be professional web designers. However, one must be careful in choosing the right person or people in which to trust their company image. In this article, I will attempt to categorize web designers into manageable groups, and teach the reader the difference between the types.

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Web designers fall into four general categories: freelance amateur, freelance professional, Web Design Company, Web Development Firm.

Freelance Amateur

The majority of web designers you will come across, especially searching the Internet, are freelancers. That is individuals who do web design but are not employed by a web design company. Some are self-employed professionals but most of these freelancers are amateur-hobbyist types. They find a copy of FrontPage™ came with their MS Office™ Suite. They discovered how fun it could be to make web pages so they started telling their friends that they could “design” web pages.

The “pros” of using an amateur is that they are very cheap. The “cons” are too numerous to mention, but I’ll point out a few. They have no training; they have little knowledge of what makes a good website work; they do not understand HTML code or CSS but only FrontPage point and click; they do not understand general design and layout concepts and they have little real experience. The biggest reason they should be avoided for the serious businessperson is that their work looks amateurish, which makes your company look amateurish. Who wants that?

Freelance Professional

A professional is often defined by simply being paid. People think that if you are paid for something, then you are professional. Maybe that’s true in the Olympics, but for the business services world, you are not a professional until you are established and respected as one by your clients and peers. Freelancer professional web designers are a giant leap from the amateur in that they have established a portfolio of respectable work. They have some sort of qualified training and experience and they have credentials that can be verified by contacting references. They have a good reputation with their clients and other professionals. In general, a good freelance professional web designer can be good person to have doing your site. But they are hard to distinguish from the amateur when you are just searching the web.

The upside is if you find a good one they are significantly cheaper than a web design company. But that is usually the only upside. If the budget limits you, then a freelancer will do for a small project. But anything seriously important should be left to a professional company.

Some downsides to using a freelance pro are that they are usually part-time, meaning they are limited in how much time they can devote to your project. They are also limited in what they can do for you. Most freelancers are specialists in one area and generalists in everything else. Some have no skills in anything except their one specialty and often you will have to find others to fill roles. In addition, freelancers are not always cheap although many of them are aspiring to create their own company; some are highly sought after and charge $100 per hour or more for their work. My advice here is, if you have that much to spend, go with a company that has a team of professionals to get the job done in a timelier manner.

Web Design Company

This is the next step beyond a freelance professional. The web design company offers the “whole show”. They provide real project management and have pulled together a team of web experts to get a wider range of jobs done. A company can provide a much higher level of expertise in web design, programming, content development and more.

Such a company is usually very small, yet large enough to handle larger scale projects. Compared to the most highly qualified freelancer, a company has a diversity of talent and collaboration working for them. The end-result is usually a much higher quality product.

The only real drawbacks are, on the one hand, the web design company is more expensive than a freelancer because there are much more people on the job. However, you get what you pay for rings true. On the other hand, for very large projects or long-term development, web design companies may be too small and usually do not have the human recourses to accommodate that $500,000 contract. In the end, for serious business people looking for quality and professionalism and who can’t afford the big firm, this is the way to go.

Web Development Firm

As the title implies, a web development firm is like any traditional company. They have a staff of office workers, they have owners and officers, and they have a team of talented professionals who are paid a good salary for their work. They often have a sales force that do inside and outside sales. The quality of their work goes without saying, as you could not be so well-established by doing shoddy work. These firms offer teams of very talented professionals who work on your project and get the job done in a timely and extremely efficient manner. Additionally, they usually cover all aspects of website development including marketing and advertising. They may have teams of specialists that they can deploy to your location and work in-house under a temporary contract. The possibilities are endless.

Web Design

If the price is not an issue and the highest quality work is necessary, then this is who you want to do the job. For smaller budget businesses, a quote from an established web development firm might knock you off your chair but know that companies who have project requirements that reach hundreds of thousands of dollars know the score. Thus, the only real drawback for a web development firm is that they are usually very expensive. Then again, a cost is relative and bigger companies like to work with bigger companies.

In summary, the choice is yours. I would recommend for the serious businessperson, that you budget a decent amount of dollars to properly design and execute a professional website. I would avoid the amateur and outsource to an individual or company with good experience and reasonable rates to create my web presence. If money were no object, then I would only deal with established firms and pay the big bucks to get the job done right and done well.

Living As Lights In a World of Distrust and Evil

In this nation, we love, evil is personified on television before our eyes. From colorful bad guys with a yearning for wickedness to the real life dramas of serial killers, this evil saturates our lifestyles. Daily we also see on headline news, stories that bring bad tidings. Murder, violence, kidnappings, hurricanes, tornado’s, war, famine, plagues, and more are the menu around the clock. This diet of mayhem comes from the high avenues of New York a famed Times Square news bureau to the hallowed halls of most internet surfers, the news is in. We get a lot of it.

world news

As a result, people have learned to be distrustful. Gone are the days when kids would respect their elders. Now they are fearful, distrustful, and even spiteful toward other adults. Many kids are raised to “not talk to strangers”, being taught these strangers are ax murderers, kidnappers, and molesters. The problem, however, there are those bad guys in the mix, evil men that will harm innocents. The sad thing is, many young kids miss out on knowing other adults who simply love kids and want to help them. As a result, adults today don’t even pay attention to kids. They leave that to their parents; unless, of course, something happens to bring them to the point of getting involved with the kids, say an accident or something.

Even women today, sparked by more rapes and murders of females than ever before are keeping an eye out for those bad people. As a man, I know a woman who is fearful a block away. For those women, seeing a man, especially when a crowd is not around bringing total fear. They advance to the other side of the street way before they would pass by any man on the same sidewalk, supposing that the man would throw the woman down in broad daylight and rape her. The problem, again, is not all men are rapists and murderers. Many have wives and daughters. Many have not been unfaithful to their spouses. In one incident on a street, I saw a young woman approach me. She smiled and said in the nice friendly voice, “How are you today”? I was shocked, but smiled back and said, “Fine, how about you”? We passed by each other and went our separate ways.

In another part of the country, we find the secular humanists, nihilists, and the like, according to author Mark Ames of nypress.com, an alternative newspaper. His distrust is of conservative Christians. He looks upon them as having an evil agenda, per say. Mark speaking of the agenda of conservative Christians and their belief in end time events says “Currently 65 million American cultists are using everything in their power, from prayer to politics, to make this Helter Skelter scenario come true.” Speaking of Christians as cultists, Mark is viewing with distrust of a certain segment of society. That part of society is the part, I personally follow. Even though my doctrinal views may differ from other conservative believers, Mark has lumped us all together.

As we walk the narrow corridor of life, it contains many pitfalls. The major pitfall here for the believer is how to be a “light” shining in the darkness. Jesus spoke to us in Mathew chapter five, verse sixteen saying “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” As a follower of Christ, I am to let my light shine. That means, letting the love of Christ flow through me to those around me. Paul was commissioned by Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus in Acts chapter twenty-six and verse eighteen being told “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” This verse reveals to us that there is a power of light and a power of darkness. This darkness is equated with the power of Satan. It is in the grip of Satan that people in this world find themselves. It is a grip that doesn’t want the individual to find forgiveness of sins or be sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. So begins the battle. One side is in darkness the other in light.

It is here that the “love quotient” needs to be inserted. In John chapter three verse sixteen it says “for God so loved the world that he gave”. Yes, God so loved, he gave His only Son on the cross. But in John chapter three verse eighteen it says that “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” The word believes here in the Greek, means to trust in, rely on, and cling too. This is like a life preserver in the ocean and you’re adrift without one until you see the life-saving preserver. You have to cling to it to be saved. On the reverse course, the words “believeth not” mean that person stands condemned and guilty before God. Further, John in chapter three, verse nineteen says that this condemnation means that “light comes into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” John explains further in verse twenty that “every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” Thus, we find the “love quotient” here in the world. You must accept this “love quotient”, which is Jesus Christ; believe on Him, to stand guiltless and not condemned. For many in the world, however, their love of evil things separates them from this. They simply do not want to give up those things they do.

So the battle is raging today. On the one side, people that think everyone on the conservative side, people that believe in the “saving of the soul” found in Hebrews 10:39 form a religious cult. Jesus warned us in John chapter fifteen and verse eighteen “If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” Yet, as believers, we are as it says in Matthew chapter five, verse forty-four saying “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” By doing this, Love conquers hate and unbelief. A lawyer asked Jesus what were the greatest commandments. Our Lord replied in Matthew chapter twenty-two, verses thirty-seven to forty saying “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with thy entire mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like, unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

internet news

To love thy neighbor, this fulfills the law. This love propels the believer to testify what God has done for him through Jesus Christ. This love means the Christian stands for light and what it is. This love brings the believer to give his life to share the gospel. For the world, it means, the believer will not give up or shut up. For the world, it means, there is only one way to salvation. That is, through the Lord Jesus Christ. For those who tire of hearing the good news or about the need to be saved, it won’t stop. That is our calling to love, to share, to bring the good news of salvation to every person.

The first-rate reasonably-priced cellular mobile phone deals in June

 

one of the main problems with the latest era of mobiles is how high-priced they have got become, with flagship handsets from Apple and Samsung priced at around £six hundred and contracts from main vendors can coming in at £50 in keeping with the month or more.

If all you want is a simple tool to cast off this summer otherwise you best plan to skim emails, WhatsApp, and texts for your device you can no longer want the today’s phone with an effects processor.

 mobile

You can still get a wonderful tool for less than you may suppose, irrespective of how hard your community pushes you to pick out up the brand new version. Here are a number of the excellent price range smartphones you can purchase on the great most inexpensive quotes.

Cheap cell smartphone offers for June

Nokia 3310: £seventy nine.Ninety-nine upfront (for three hundred and sixty-five days at equivalent £6.Sixty six according to month) with 100MB, three hundred mins and unlimited texts with Virgin Mobile.

LG K8: £eight.50 according to month with 250 mins, five,000 texts, and 500MB of statistics with Tesco Mobile.

Samsung J3: £nine.99 according to month with 1GB of information, 150 minutes and 5,000 texts with iD.

Sony Xperia XA1: £13.99 according to month with three hundred minutes, 5,000 texts, and 500MB of records with iD.

Moto G5:£14.50 in step with month with 500MB of statistics, 500 minutes and 5,000 texts with Tesco Mobile.

iPhone SE: Free prematurely from £14.Ninety-nine per month with 500MB of statistics, three hundred mins and 5,000 texts with iD.

Wily Fox Swift 2: Handset £139.97 from Amazon.

Best budget iPhone offers

iPhone SE

iPhone SE
CREDIT: BLOOMBERG
Small telephones are nevertheless some of Apple’s pleasant sellers, and if you want one with lots of power than the 4-inch iPhone SE is available in a few first-rate deals at simply over a yr old. It also has 64GB of a garage, as compared to the 16GB within the 5s, providing you with masses of capability in a fantastic telephone. For nothing upfront, you can get this iPhone with 500MB of records, 300 mins and five,000 texts from iD.

iPhone SE: Free upfront from £14.Ninety-nine consistent with month with 500MB of records, 300 minutes and five,000 texts with iD

Handset: £319 (16GB) from Carphone Warehouse, £394.99 from Amazon

mobile

Best finances Android offers

Samsung Galaxy J3

Samsung J3
CREDIT: SAMSUNG
The most primary Samsung you could buy, the J3 isn’t going to compete with the modern day Samsung Galaxy telephones but is greater than capable of retaining its own inside the finances marketplace. With a 5-inch HD show, an 8MP camera and all-day battery life it’ll meet the desires of those who simply want an easy Android device. One of the cheapest deals around is with iD, who now offer the Samsung J3 for £nine.99 in step with month with 150 minutes, five,000 texts and 1GB of records.

Samsung J3: £nine.Ninety-nine according to month with 1GB of information, 150 minutes and five,000 texts with iD

Handset: £112 from Amazon, £139.Ninety-five from Argos

 

Moto G5 and G5 Plus

Moto G 5
CREDIT: REUTERS
Motorola’s smartphones are a number of the pleasant fee buys available even as sporting amazing specs. This model includes 2GB of RAM and 16GB of the inner garage. It’s the front and rear installed cameras are affordable, with a thirteen megapixel rear dealing with the camera. The G5 Plus consists of a larger 5.2-inch display and springs with 4GB of RAM. One of the great finances offers currently around is from Tesco Mobile, which sees the Moto G five to be had for just £14.50 per month with 500 minutes, 5,000 texts and 500MB of data.

Moto G5: £14.50 in line with month with 500MB of data, 500 minutes and five,000 texts with Tesco Mobile

Handset: £149 for Moto G5 from Carphone Warehouse, £249 for Moto G5 Plus from Carphone Warehouse

 

LG K8

LG
CREDIT: LG
Don’t let it is price range price positioned you off, the LG K8 is a successful cellphone released simply this 12 months. It is fairly rapid with 1.5GB of RAM, a five-inch display screen and a battery life of extra than 10 hours. It may be observed at notable charges on networks together with EE and Three. The most inexpensive deal we observed is with Tesco Mobile for simply £eight.50 according to month with 250 mins, five,000 texts and 500MB of facts.

LG K8:£8.50 in line with month with 250 mins, five,000 texts, and 500MB of data with Tesco Mobile

Handset: £89.Ninety-nine with Amazon

 

Sony Xperia XA1

Sony Xperia XA1
CREDIT: SONY
Sony’s 2017 range of finances smartphones has some of the satisfactory cameras at this charge factor. With a 23MP camera, it’ll take a pix and capabilities a five-inch display. You can select up this phone for a good deal with numerous of the foremost providers. The fine good deal we observed became with iD for £thirteen.NiNinety-nine step with month with 500MB of information, 300 minutes and 5,000 texts.

Sony Xperia XA1: £13.Ninety nine per month with three hundred minutes, 5,000 texts, and 500MB of information with iD

Handset: £229 with Amazon

 

Wily Fox Swift 2

Wily Fox
CREDIT: WILEYFOX
These smartphones from British tech upstart Wily Fox are a super budget purchase. With a 5-inch HD display screen, a 13-megapixel rear-facing Samsung camera and five-megapixel selfie one, 16GB of storage and a removable battery it is a satisfactory price range buy. It isn’t available with any network in the UK so you may have to shop for your handset outright, but due to the fact you could pick out up a SIM most effective deal for simply £5 in step with month with Sky Mobile or iD it still represents a bargain.

Handset: £139.Ninety seven from Amazon

Best dumbphone offers

Nokia 3310
CREDIT: BLOMBERG
The mythical Nokia 3310 is returned. If you just want a easy device as a way to fill you with lots of nostalgia you could select up this traditional model, even though it is simplest available from a few dealers in the UK and on the whole comes SIM-unfastened. With up to a month of battery existence, and now featuring a digital camera, you may buy the Nokia 3310 for £49.99 from Carphone Warehouse.

Nokia 3310: £seventy nine.99 upfront (for 365 days at equal £6.Sixty six in line with month) with 100MB, three hundred mins and unlimited texts with Virgin Mobile

Handset: £49.Ninety-nine from Carphone Warehouse

Internet Marketing – Ensure Your Business Survives the Recession

Dollars are scarce in today’s economy. Phone book advertisements, radio spots, billboards, and other forms of advertisements have not become any cheaper in recent times, and in fact, costs are on the rise. In uncertain financial times, it can be very uncomfortable to sign a contract binding your business into a predefined term that commits you to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars over the next several months to a year. With no guaranteed results and no way to effectively measure return on investment (ROI), most business owners would prefer not to be bound to such contracts, especially since such contracts usually include stiff exit penalties for early termination. But what are the alternatives?

We live in an Internet world today, and most people are familiar with finding what they want through search services like Yahoo!, Google, and MSN. As consumers, we’re all familiar with the concept of typing a few words in the search bar and clicking the search button to explore our options. As business owners, however, the process on how to achieve a prominent placement in the search engine listings is often a murky, undefined, seemingly “random” process. Additionally, it can be very confusing when telemarketers and solicitors call on your business with various conflicting packages, promising to deliver “guaranteed” results but at a steep price tag. Many times, the lip service is gone once you sign the contract.

internet news

Using the Internet to advertise your business is a viable way to cut costs, focus marketing efforts, and deliver incredible results, but there are a few key points that you must know in order to protect your interests. Here are a few deceptive practices and myths to be careful about if you consider marketing your business online:

Deceptive Practice #1: Guaranteed Placement

There is no such thing as “guaranteed” placement on any of the major search engines. I wish there were, but if you think about it, such guarantees don’t make sense. It’s always possible that someone else might be willing to pay more for higher placement in the sponsored links area of search engine results. In the organic (or natural rankings) area of the search results, there is only one “number one” spot, so if someone offers you a “guarantee” that they can get your website to the number one spot, you’d have to question how they can possibly do that for your business when other unscrupulous sales people are making the same guarantees elsewhere. And what if they approach another business in the same industry as yours? Are they guaranteeing your competitor the #2 spot? I doubt it. What about the sales person four states away that is pitching their prospective client that they “guarantee” the number one spot? How can that be? In short, it can’t. Individual telephone or marketing companies may own their own, propriety search services in which they may guarantee placement within their own listings, but you must consider how narrow or wide-reaching their services encompass, and whether the price is worth the exposure for the number of people who search through them versus the major search engines. Regardless of how many angles someone tries to play it, there is no way to ethically guarantee a particular placement on the major search engines. If someone makes such a claim, show them the door.

Deceptive Practice #2: “We work closely with the search engines”

It sounds great, and it would be quite the cozy situation if it were true, but again, no one has the “inside scoop” on how to tip the scales in your favor by “being in bed with” the search engines. Every professional, competent Internet marketing provider keeps up-to-date on current changes, but to say “working closely with” is, at best, misleading. If someone gives you a sales pitch that they have an inside track with Google, Yahoo!, MSN or any other search service, they’re blowing smoke and trying to “sell” you on a relationship that simply can’t exist. Why can’t it exist? Because search engines would go out of business if they compromised the integrity of their ever-changing algorithms. (Their “algorithm” is the formula they use to rank and score websites based on weighted criteria, and it is “super-double-top-secret”). True, experienced search engine companies stay very familiar with updated materials and guidelines that search engine companies make public, but nobody has the executive privilege of calling up a particular search engine and saying “Hey, I’ve got a client that needs to be ranked number one for a particular keyword. Can you ‘hook me up?'” Anyone who says that “they’re in bed with the search engines” is making promises in the dark.

Deceptive Practice#3: Flat Rate Offers for Search Engine Submissions

Buyer beware. You may receive solicitations in the mail that appear to be billed but the fine print reads, “This is a solicitation. This is not a bill. You are under no obligation to pay this amount.” Elsewhere in the correspondence, in much more conspicuous print, you will see the words, “Remit the following amount by (some date).” It’s a legal scam. How can it be legal, yet still be a scam? Quite easily, actually. They will deliver EXACTLY what they advertise, which is often some number of keyword phrases submitted to some number of search engines on some periodic basis over the next year or so. If they do what they promise they’ll do, it’s legal. However, submitting a website to search engines without properly preparing it (called “optimizing”) for submission and marketing to the search engines produces virtually zero results for you. Therefore, taking your money for something that will knowingly do nothing for you make it a “scam,” at least in my opinion.

Deceptive Practice #4: Using a Name to Define Itself

This is a common ploy that capitalizes on the unsuspecting and the unknowing. It’s pretty typical (although not guaranteed) that a company will appear in the number one spot on search engines when using the name of the company as the search term. It makes sense that a company’s name will be the best fit for search results when searching using the company’s name. (Sounds redundant, right?) Do not let anyone fool you by telling you that they worked hard for the money to achieve great results by showing you that your company comes up prominently when you search for yourself. Such results often happen almost “automatically,” with no effort at all. Plus, how many people really search for you by company name? The goal in search engine optimization and marketing is to get your company “found” by searching for your products, services, manufacturers, etc.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Marketing (SEM) is like the Wild West. Technology has expanded much faster than laws have been able to keep pace, and therefore there are plenty of opportunities for fraud and deception. The burden of maintaining integrity in the system has fallen largely on the individual search service companies like Google, Yahoo! and MSN, which explains why those companies need to continually update and refine their algorithms to keep the riff-raff out. In true “Western Movie” style, the terms to describe “good guy” practices is dubbed “white hat SEO/SEM” while the “bad guy” practices are labeled “black hat SEO/SEM.” It sounds over dramatic, but the “good guys” engage in industry best-practices and adhere to ethical approaches, whereas the “bad guys” try to subvert the search engine algorithms and are usually the ones who engage in deceptive practices while preying on the ignorance of unsuspecting business owners.

Someday, there will undoubtedly be legal controls in place to support SEO/SEM malpractice lawsuits, much like how consumers are protected from medical or legal malpractice. I look forward to that day because it will “clean up” the industry. As it stands now, the search engine optimization and marketing industry is the only one I can think of in which:

  • there is no way to ethically guarantee results
  • SEO/SEM practitioners can collect money with the disclaimer of “no guarantees”, and
  • after collecting money for no-guarantee work, SEO/SEM companies can legitimately deliver “no results”.

Of course, reputable SEO/SEM companies that engage in fair practices will likely take measures to make a happy customer, but the overall big picture allows for a lot of dubious practices in the market place. The few “bad apples” that leave a trail of destruction spoil it for the bunch who are honest, white hat SEO/SEM service providers.

How can you protect yourself? How can you be reasonably assured of not being ripped off? First and foremost, get references. Secondly, check those references. And finally, apply common sense to the situation, resisting the urge to take the bait of anything that seems “too good to be true.” Any company that offers to provide you with SEO/SEM services should be able to provide you with qualified references. Even so, be sure to contact their actual clients to ensure a couple of things:

  • is the company easy to work with?
  • are the clients happy with their results?
  • are the results producing traffic?
  • would the clients recommend the company?

Remember, the level of service you get will differ based on what you pay. SEO/SEM efforts, done properly, are based on data but are somewhat subjective. In other words, there is more that one way to achieve positive results, and different SEO specialists can achieve comparable outcomes by employing different techniques and strategies. This often makes it difficult to compare “apples to apples” as a business owner when you are trying to determine the best company to hire for your search engine project. Here is another scenario to consider:

Let’s assume you have a typical seven or eight-page website in a moderately competitive market. You can interview three separate companies regarding the same SEO/SEM project, and you may receive three dramatically different prices for the same job. One bid, for example, may come in at $200 to optimize your site, while the others come in at $1200 and $3000 respectively. Is the $200 bid the best value? Is the $3000 bid overpriced? Not necessarily. All three salespeople can look you in the eye, shake your hand, and tell you that they will optimize your site for their respective prices. The confusing part is that they are each being honest with you.

The person who quotes you $200 to optimize your site may do so by doing some cursory research to select a few keywords, and then use those same keywords on each page of your website while also adjusting basic information in your web page titles. Can that person legitimately say that your site has been optimized? From the “something is better than nothing” department, yes. In such a scenario, your site has been optimized– to a degree.

In comparison, the $3000 bid would likely be much more thorough of a job. There may be several hours of detailed keyword research conducted, including an in-depth analysis of each of your top competitors’ websites to define the best quality words and phrases to use. Then each page of your site might be individually optimized using specific sets of keywords to maximize the effectiveness of each keyword, including changes to the textual content on each page to include strategic placement of keyword phrases throughout. Additionally, pictures on the site might be annotated with descriptive labels (called alt-tags) on each page, and additional characteristics involving fonts, links, descriptions, etc. may be adjusted to refine the page characteristics so that search engines “smile upon” the website when your site is indexed. Certainly, you can be confident that your website was optimized in this case.

The individual that quoted you $1200 would likely involve something in the middle, perhaps with less market research and a universal selection of keywords on each page, but still including alt-tags and other content adjustments to improve the website’s merit with the search engines.

In all three instances, your site would be optimized. The difference would be the level of detail involved with the job. I wish it were just that simple, but the story continues…

It’s true that you can do too little to achieve any worthwhile results. For example, if your budget is only $50 to optimize a website in a highly competitive market, spending the $50 on optimization would probably do nothing for you, and it would be better to take the money and treat yourself to a nice dinner. It’s also true that you can wastefully spend too much money without seeing any improvement. For example, if you do achieve page 1, number 1 results in the organic rankings on Google consistently with a $200 budget for a particular set of keywords, increasing your budget to pay for more marketing efforts using those same keywords won’t yield any better results. (i.e., you can’t get better than #1.) In between the “too little” and “too much” areas, there is a very large “gray area” of spending that will produce varying results in varying time frames.

Optimization is a part of marketing. It is the preparatory work to ensure that your site is ready to be promoted, much like how producing a television commercial is the preparatory work in getting the commercial ready to be aired on TV to the public. The other part of the equation is the actual marketing of the site itself. Marketing the site, which involves submitting it to search engines and then promoting the site on an ongoing basis, is akin to broadcasting the television commercial. If you only air the commercial once, you might see some short-term results from it, but in the long term, the money spent to produce the commercial would be wasted because people would forget about it. Likewise, if you only market your website for one month, your site will not gain visibility in the long-term. Search engine marketing is an ongoing process. You need to establish a budget for it, just as you would for a phone book ad, magazine ad, radio spot, etc.

The good news: Actively promoting your website to the public is much less costly than traditional methods of advertisement, as long as it is done correctly. The end result of effective SEM is that you receive focused, pre-qualified buyers for your goods and/or services, and you can measure your ROI by reviewing which keywords are working, how long your visitors stayed on your site, knowing which pages they visited, and seeing when and where they left your website.

The bad news: There are obviously a lot of “small parts” to the SEO/SEM puzzle which poses a “choking hazard” to the non-technical business owner. Consequently, the process of actually getting the job done can be confusing, frustrating, and (for the unsuspecting) expensive. This is where a little bit of information and education can save you a whole lot of grief and time.

What most people do not realize is that the quality of your website’s optimization (the SEO part of marketing) often directly affects the costs of the ongoing marketing costs for the site. For example, when Google indexes your website (which means that it “takes inventory” of your site’s contents), it assigns a quality score to the merit of your keywords based on the content and construction of your site. If you participate in a marketing campaign using a pay-per-click service like Google Adwords, the higher your quality score, generally, the lower the cost per click for a given keyword selection. This means that you can end up paying less per keyword than your competition, but actually achieve higher placement in the sponsored links area of the search results.

In the example scenario above, the $200 bid for your job would probably not yield the same quality score impact as the $3000 job. However, if your budget doesn’t support the more expense, detailed work, then it may be more comfortable for you to pay a slightly higher price per keyword (in a pay-per-click campaign), but spend less money on the optimization efforts for your site.

In many ways, you can compare SEO work with putting a heating system in your home. To equip your home with a heating system, you can pay more up front for a geothermal system, and realize a monthly cost savings over a long period of time. Or, you can put in a heat pump for less money up front, but your electric bill will be somewhat higher on a monthly basis. Either system will heat your home, but the break even point will be very different depending on the choice you make. Detailed versus general SEO works much the same way, and the variables that you must consider are 1) when do you want to start seeing results, and 2) how much do you want to spend monthly or quarterly on an ongoing basis?

The key to remember is that your website should first be optimized (to whatever degree you can comfortably afford) prior to marketing it. There are some search engines (and search related services) that will place your site (or a business listing that represents your company) in their search results for a “raw dollar amount” without your site being optimized, but such services can typically only do so within their own service networks. If your customers generally do their searches via major search engines instead of the phone company or private industry search sites, then the dollars you spend for top placement within a marketing service’s proprietary system may not be worth the cost.

What NOT to say: When discussing your project with a search engine optimization and/or marketing consultant, avoid asking the question, “What placement will I get on the search engines if I hire you?” It reveals that you aren’t familiar with how search engines work, and it tips your hand that they might have “low hanging fruit” to make a sale. Of course, if you are savvy to how search engines work (and the limitations that SEO/SEM companies are subject to in achieving results), then asking this question may be a qualifier/disqualifier for the sales person who solicits you, depending on their response.

What to ask: It’s reasonable (and shows insight) to ask an SEO/SEM consultant how involved their SEO efforts will be for the price. You may not have a good feel for what a reasonable budget is, so you can ask them to provide a “Good / Better / Best” proposal that outlines what they would include for different levels of optimization, so you can make a “best fit” budget decision for your business. With regards to marketing efforts, ask about the number of blog posts and/or article publications that can be expected for the money (for organic marketing), or what keyword selections (and their corresponding popularity demand) would be used for pay-per-click advertising.

I’m a firm believer that a company’s SEO/SEM strategy needs to be customized to their specific market (local, regional, national, etc) and industry within that market. To illustrate the point, the roofing repair market in Seattle, WA, is much different than the roofing repair market in New Orleans, LA. In both cases, companies in roofing repair would likely focus on local search results within 50 to 70 miles of the business location. Priorities, word choice, and economic factors in each market will have a different impact on the best choices for keywords to use in each. Yes, of course, there will be some overlap. But in the big picture, the competition within each market is limited to the local area, so there would be a much more narrow approach to addressing the competition in order to achieve the best search engine results.

Comparatively, a health and nutrition company that wants to be competitive nationally for vitamin sales would involve a much different strategy in achieving desired results. The amount of time and effort, and consequently the costs involved with doing the job right will be completely different.

Therefore, if you are presented with a one-size-fits-none “package” deal to promote your business at some flat price, you might think twice about the quality of results you can expect for the money, given that many companies are “very good” at living up to the no-guaranteed-results nature of search engine marketing. Spend your money wisely. Ask questions. Get references. Check them. There is no “free lunch”, and unfortunately in the search engine arena, you may not get what you think you pay for.

]world news

Qualifying Your SEO/SEM Provider

The biggest challenge you will face in achieving positive results via Internet marketing will be finding a capable, competent, ethical, experienced search engine company. In your interview process, if the sales person seems more interested in pitching you on their product rather than learning about your needs, beware. If you feel pressured into “closing the deal” by time-sensitive “now or never” discounts, or if you don’t get straight answers to your questions, walk away. Sometimes the right answer to a question is “it depends,” but such an answer should be followed by a reasonable, understandable explanation. Your prospective search engine optimization and marketing provider should be more interested in providing you with an education than in taking your money.

What to Expect if it’s Done Right

Again, based on the ethical issue that no one can guarantee placement, your best indicator will be checking out references from different potential providers to get a reasonable assurance that a particular company has delivered for customers in the past. A proven track record is a good indicator that you have found a reputable, reliable company. Why is this so important? Because you will have to trust them to look out for your company’s best interests in an ever-changing, no-guarantee environment, so you want to have some peace of mind that you aren’t overpaying for their service, and they will not be using your business as a guinea pig to experiment. By talking with their references, you can also assess whether a client’s prominent search engine placement is short-lived or consistent. Short-term and intermittent placement on search engine results may be (but not necessarily) an indicator of black hat SEO techniques, rather than white hat best practices that yield more consistent results. Realize that there is little to no correlation between what one customer paid for their SEO/SEM work versus what another customer might have paid. The amount of money it costs to do the job is typically tied to the amount of time involved, and it will vary widely based on industry, market, and each client’s goals.

All things considered, when you find an SEO/SEM provider you are comfortable with, trust, and can afford, you can expect your costs to be a fraction of what you pay for traditional advertisement while yielding better results. This allows you to cut your advertising costs while increasing revenues. As more revenues flow in, meaning better cash flow, you can pare back your traditional advertising (meaning, reduce but not discontinue), and redirect the additional funds to additional internet methods for compounding effects.

Budget permitting, you can even use the Internet to measure ROI on your traditional marketing methods. For example, by securing multiple domain names (which are inexpensive), you can target your marketing efforts by individual source (such as billboards, magazines ads, etc.) and measure the traffic from each source. There are many ways to creatively and cost-effectively use the search engine and Internet methods to measure, monitor, adjust and control the marketing success of your business.