StormBiz Blog

Everything you need to know about website design, website hosting, graphic design, our website design courses and more...

Designing your own website vs. Storm Biz designing your site for you?

what you need to knowWhat You Need to KnowYou may ask yourself, "why should I pay for designing my website, when there are so many different free website designing programs?"

Before I explain what we do for your website, let me ask you 10 important questions you need to know before designing a Search Engine Friendly, and User Friendly website? If you can answer all these questions below, then by all means you are qualified to design your site. If there is even 1 question you are unable to answer, then your site will fail, and it will be better to get a professional designer to develop your website.

  1. What is html, and how do I manipulate it for my web design?
  2. What is Photoshop / Corel?
  3. What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
  4. What is Search Engine Submission (SES)?
  5. Why should I not use microsoft word to design my site?
  6. Why should I not use frontpage to design my site?
  7. What is google analytics, how will it help me?
  8. What is the difference between php, and asp?
  9. What is Meta Tags and Meta Keywords, how will my site do without it?
  10. What is a sitemap, what will it do for my site?

Google Ranking FactorHigh Google RankingsWe consider all of the above when designing a website, we use our experience in high google rankings, and implement this in every site we design... So, considering all of this, we recommend / do the following:

  • All our websites will be designed using php, and css, this will help with speed, and with search engines.
  • All websites are customized to the clients requirements.
  • All our web design packages come with the small SEO Package, ensuring all links are search engine friendly
  • Search Engine Submission is offered at a low monthly rate, which means we submit your website, meta tags and meta keywords to 150+ websites every month, getting the best possible rank for your keywords, resulting in possible clients finding your site..
  • We include a sitemap in every website we design, this helps search engines navigate, and index all your site pages.

Before considering designing your site we advise you to consult a professional, as this is what we do, and we are good at it.

You know your business, we know our business... and we would never try to run your business for you!

Contact us for a free quotation, or more information

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Guide to choosing the right web design company

judge the book by its coverThis Time DO Judge The Book By It's CoverChoosing a web design company can be a little tricky, and many times it's a gamble, but if you know what to look for, you can save yourself a lot of stress and frustration. If you don't, however, you could be stuck with poor service and empty promises, as well as being faced with ridiculous bills. Take time to empower yourself with the following knowledge, and learn to spot a bad choice in web design companies from a mile...

LOOKS

This is one of those times, that judging a book by it's cover is in your best interests. A web design company's website is it's book cover, so naturally, if their website is not stimulating...chances are that they will create an unstimulating design for your website...which in turn, is YOUR book cover. If your book cover is amateurish, your potential client may very well pass you by, imagining that your service, or product, would be as exciting as the site they've just seen...

LOOKS vs PRICE

If the client liaison of the web design company drives a Ferrari, there's a very good chance that they are overcharging their customers. Web design prices vary greatly. There are no set guidelines for quality ,nor are there any recommended pricing structures, so one must use one's own discretion here. I can't tell you that R 4000 is a good price for a small website, because it depends on the web design itself. If I may use a fine art analogy here. R 1 million is a ridiculous price to pay for a Trechikoff, but an incredible bargain for a Van Gogh.

EXAMPLES

If the web design company does not supply examples of their work or some form of portfolio, it can mean one of two things. Either the company is just starting out and has no work to showcase yet, or they are not confident enough to display their work because it is not very good. The other problem I've come across here is when a web design agency has a long list of clients that they have allegedly done work for, but no links to the work itself. In cases like these, you can rest assured that at least half of their clientele are made up and the other half of their clientele are upset by their shoddy workmanship. Bottom line is: If the company is any good, they will proudly display examples of their work. If the company just doesn't have any work to display, you're taking a gamble. It's your call.

lazy and unreliable manLazy and Unreliable ManSERVICE

There are three kinds of service you will come across in the web design industry. The first kind are lazy and unreliable, the second kind are very enthusiastic and will promise you the world, but won't deliver, and the last kind (which is the kind you are looking for) will get back to you promptly, and meet, or even exceed your expectations. The latter is very difficult to come by. Here's how you can spot the different kinds...Should you ask for a quote from a web design company or get in touch with them via email and they do not get back to you within twelve hours, then you can expect this kind of service for the entirety of the job. They are lazy and do not feel that you are important enough for them to reply promptly. The second kind is more difficult to spot. This kind are skilled in promotional talking but lack the technical skill/knowledge to deliver, so asking a few technical questions should do the trick. Instead of listening to the words they use to reply, watch their body language to see if they look uncomfortable with the question.

LOCATION

A good internet connection for both parties, in most cases, rules out the significance of where the designers offices are located. In fact, if you have a tight deadline, it is probably better to have an online relationship because when you send an email with instructions, the web designer is already at his/her computer to make the changes, as opposed to having to drive back to their premises and prepare themselves for work mode again. Even material for the job can be emailed because unlike their graphic designer counterparts, the files are low resolution, therefore small in size. One thing to keep in mind though, is that if their offices are in a very exclusive area/office park, you can probably expect to pay "exclusive" prices.

SEO

A good web design company will design your website with search engine optimization in mind. It is no good to have a beautiful website that no one is ever going to see because search engines can't read the format in which it was designed. Ask your designer about their website marketing options. A lot of companies say they offer this but really don't know much about it. If a designer can't tell you exactly how they have optimized your site for search engines, then they probably have not.

meeting a deadlineMeeting a DeadlineDEADLINES

The last factor to take into consideration is the web designers ability to work within given deadlines. In a deadline situation it is almost always better to deal directly with the person/s who are going to be doing the work. In many large corporations, they will send a client liaison to receive instruction from the client, but in many cases the client liaison is only trained to appease the client, by saying "yes we can do that", "sure, you will have it tomorrow", but does not have an inkling of what the work entails, and then will go back to the designer only to be told that there are problems with what was promised. This back-and-forth liaising lends itself to miscommunication and is ultimately a waste of valuable time. The best way to see if a web design company can meet your deadline is to give them a smaller job first, with its own deadline. The Bible says "Those who can be trusted with little, can also be trusted with much".

For more information, or to request a free quotation, please contact us

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Keywords are the key to good website design

SEO Keyword researchS.E.O Keyword ResearchWe all know potential clients won't come just because you built the site - the site has to place well in the search engines to pull the traffic. Of course, placement can be bought through Pay Per Click advertising, but there is nothing as satisfying to a web designer as a top position in the free results.

How do you get there? In a word: keywords. Design your web site for search engines from the very get go, and that means, start with your keyword research. Once you have those terms in hand, use them to plan your site and content.

domain name registrationDomain Name RegistrationWhat's in a Name?

If you haven't purchased a domain name yet, then think about ways to incorporate at least one of your keywords. Hyphens are fine, but if you can get bluewidgets.com, go for it. Or www.companynamewidgets.com ... you can rank well without it, but every little bit helps.

website widgetWebsite WidgetsSite Content - Give Them What They Want

If you plan your content based on your keyword research, you give searchers what they are looking for. Sometimes you have to get creative, of course. For example, if you sell red widgets, but your research tells you people search far more often for blue widgets, then you might want to create and optimize a page "red Widgets Vs. Blue Widgets." Sounds silly, but you get the idea. And it not only brings the searcher for red widgets to your page, it converts them to a blue widget buyer.

Create at least one page for each keyword variation, and on that page use your phrase:

  • In an h1 tag once
  • In an h2 or h3 tag once
  • In the first paragraph
  • In bold somewhere in the content
  • In the anchor text of a link to an authority site.
  • In the anchor text of a link to another page on the site

keywordsKeywordsSite Design Architecture and SEO

Your keywords will also figure heavily in the website's structure - especially if it's a large site. Where there are natural divisions, create sub-directories with keyword rich names: www.yourdomain/blue-widgets/ for example.

It can also be a powerful move to use your keywords in file names - your HTML and graphic file names. Assume for a moment you sell widgets of all different colours, and they are search terms ... you would have pages named:

- www.yourdomain/blue-widgets.html,

- www.yourdomain/black-widgets.html,

- www.yourdomain/white-widgets.html and so on.

Use those keywords in the graphic files names as well. Take your home page, for example. Your logo should be called widgets-logo.gif.

alternative textAlternative Text for ImagesOther On Site SEO Design Elements

Be sure to use Alt Tags for images, and title attributes for links. Don't stuff the alt tags with keywords, but describe the images accurately, and do it with the visitor in mind too. Here's why: we know the search engines do use the text from alt tags to help index a site, but did you know that Google sometimes uses the alt tag text as the description in the SERPs! It's rare, but it happens. I've seen it on my own site.

The jury's out on whether this last technique is really effective, but many SEO Web Designers now use the title attribute on links. If you look at the code for the link to my site – or put your mouse over the link, you will see what I mean.

Off Site SEO – Link Building

Wait a minute, link building isn't part of design is it? Yes, it is! You used to be able to build link popularity through reciprocal link programs, but that is no longer an effective gambit. To get links, you need to create the sort of content that makes other webmasters link to your site. It might be a forum, a blog with constantly updated information, or a tool that people need. Build your content to attract links, as well as visitors.

Incorporate these suggestions into your web site, and you will begin to see how SEO and Web Design can be synonymous!

Contact us for a free quotation, or to discuss your website needs

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Why Does My Website Fail?

seo readyS.E.O Ready"My website has been live for 3 months, and yet I get no traffic to talk about?"

Being part of the website design and web hosting business for over 10 years, I have seen countless clients cancel their hosting services, and even throwing away their domain names.

Personally, I believe that there is no site that is designed, that cannot do well. Any site that has/can be made, can reach its full potential on the Internet.

What the owner of the website does not understand, is that you cannot just put up a website, and expect it to do well. Websites need to be nurtured, optimized, mobilized and marketed, otherwise they WILL fail!

Please view the 6 most important things to do, to get your website noticed, listed, and to make your website "work for you".

  1. When considering your website design, many clients overlook the most important aspect of reaching their target market... Mobile and Tablet friendly websites. Is your website viewed on a mobile device or tablet exactly the same as on a desktop? 90% of people will answer "Yes, is that not how it should be?". The answer is NO. If your website displays the same on mobile and tablet devices, then it has not been optimized for these devices, and 95% of the target market is leaving your page as soon as it is opened. The simple reason is that your website takes too long to load, and all your text is extremely small, and yes you can "zoom" on most devices, but have you ever tried to read a page where you constantly have to scroll left and right to view all the text? Your clients will move on and search for another company. So, most importantly, get your website mobile friendly.
  2. The second most important thing you can do for your website, is to get a company to optimize your website content and website links. Search engines need to know what your site is about, and honestly, optimization is a daunting task for the beginner / intermediate web builder.
  3. Once you have an optimized website, you should now ensure that your newly optimized website can be found by the search engines. A professional package to submit your website is key. BEWARE the catches on the Internet that state they will submit your site to thousands of search engines, this is not necessary, AND CAN HURT YOUR WEBSITE RANKINGS! Storm Biz's submission package is the ideal start to get the search engines to list your domain, and send out their crawlers/spiders or bots to come and add all your pages to their index!
  4. It is now important for you to take control of your website! To increase traffic, and to keep your visitors coming back to your site, you need to update your content, at least on a weekly basis. If you don’t care for your website, your users will pick up on this, and feel the same about coming back to visit your website! Try to add a new article, or discussion once a week, or if you are selling products, keep adding them on a constant basis. YOUR WEBSITE NEEDS TO GROW!
  5. Now that your website is growing, you need to market your website, get your brand out there, and ensure that you have incoming links to your site! Firstly, this is not yet the time to spend money on more marketing, now is the time to do some research, and get your website brand on all the business directories out there! There are many directories where you can add your business/website details, for free. Search for directories where you can add your details for free, there are many, and keep your listings in relative categories matching your site content!
  6. Your final step to succeed is to spend some money... advertise your website with banners or text adverts wherever you can. Use google Ads. This is a sure way to get to the top of search engines! The best form of advertising your website is electronically, so take the time to search for companies that offer banner advertising, or contextual advertising, and make sure that your brand is seen by your target traffic. NO BUSINESS CAN SUCCEED WITHOUT ADVERTISING!

seobannerS.E.Ohope that this article will convince you that it is possible to succeed, but only if you are willing to take the time and money, to care for your website! Looking after your site will only ensure that it looks after you in return. Your website should be your best salesman, after all it is out there 24/7, but can it be found if you have not taken the time to ensure its existence?

Please feel free to post this article on your site, as long as all links are left intact!

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Why Choose Storm Biz as your Design Specialists?

Website Design? Is that all you need for your new business to be successful?

Website Design Packages From R3500.00Do you really believe that by putting up a business website, it will suddenly bring you millions of visitors overnight?

Let the professionals at Storm Biz help you with all your website design, website hosting and website marketing needs! I have seen many business websites, and companies fail, and hardly ever was it because of how the website design looked. We are here to show you how to succeed. We have designed, optimized and promoted websites, where one of our clients literally fired his sales reps after 3 months due to the fact that his website was doing better than his own sales staff ever could. So what's the secret?

Our aim is to see your business succeed, and we know what it takes to make your websites succeed. Website design is not what it used to be, and many website design companies have not yet realized this, but we have... Is your website responsive? Is your website mobile and tablet friendly? More than 60% of searches are now done on mobile devices and tablets? Is your website optimized for these mobile devices?

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