As Blender I have worked with clients from as far away as Australia, but by far the majority are local small businesses here in Vancouver. I like it like this. Over the years I have built solid relationships with clients that have supported and grown my business.
While meeting in person might seem inefficient, the truth is sitting across from someone you can exchange ideas much more easily. Meeting face to face is something you take for granted in a normal workplace, but as a self employed independent web designer, personal contact is gold!
It’s not unusual to be meeting with a client or just talking with someone and learning that I have worked with someone close to them. The vast majority of my clients have come from referrals so reaching this local critical mass feels really good.
So — Thanks Vancouver Clients!
New client Squeeze Vancouver had a website already, but it’s search engine traffic was very disappointing. Blender was hired to optimize the website to better compete with other local chair massage businesses. We quickly identified some structural problems with the website, worked with the client to create some new content, and developed an SEO plan.
UPDATE: Blender is happy to report that Squeeze has received it’s first clients from organic search! After a little over a month clicks through Google are up 87%. Most importantly we are seeing our targeted search phrases starting to appear on the first page in some searches.
Blender is happy to welcome new client Genssante. Blender will be doing their ongoing maintenance and updates. First task — update the website using php scripting to make maintaining it easier and cheaper.
Thanks to client Mark Rosengarten (markrosengartenmd.ca) for the referral.
Another assignment for Creating Excellence, small business marketing specialist. Corner Equipment needed a website that visitors could navigate quickly, that was easy to maintain, and that search engines would pick up and list. Because of the client’s experience with WordPress there was no question it would be our platform of choice. Wordpress is the most straightforward CMS (Content Management System) available, and because it is enjoying recent popularity there is no shortage of extensions and support.
Blender created a custom theme based on Creating Excellence’s design. Careful attention was taken to ensure the website generated would be friendly to search engines. An SEO strategy was part of the early design process.
One interesting feature of the Corner Equipment website is the processing of images attached to items in the inventory. Pictures are uploaded by the site owner and automatically resized for different purposes, little or no outside preprocessing required.
Visit Corner Equipment
A 6+ million password list has been released to the wild which is strongly suspected to have originated at LinkedIn. The passwords are not matched to any account names in this list, but it would be dangerous to assume someone does not have them as well. It is very important you change your password at LinkedIn. Since that account is associated with your email you will want to change that password everywhere you have used it. LinkedIn is suspected as many of the passwords in the list contained the a variation of ‘linkedin’.
One part of this incident that makes it interesting is that the passwords were stored using a protection called hashing which converts the password in a way which is supposed to be difficult to reverse — but as of this writing likely over 75% had been extracted.
To protect you accounts you should:
- choose long complicated passwords including capital letters, number, and punctuation
- avoid words
- not use the same passwords for different accounts
You can read the entire story at arstechnica
SEOMoz has a helpful article discussing on web page optimization for e‑commerce websites. The article is pretty in depth without being too technical — perfect for my clients. Hope you find it helpful!
Properly dealing with expired content is important. I have a few clients who regularly update their website and remove content that is dated or obsolete. Usually I notice the content is missing and send them an email along the lines of “never remove content!” along with some explanation. But is just keeps happening, and it is hurting their visitors experience and their website’s search engine ranking.
The concern with removing expired content, or not removing it, is that visitors will continue to come to your website, directed by search engines and outside links, and will not find what they are looking for. Either what they wanted is missing, or it is old and out of date. You have just made a bad impression. Further, search engines are in the business of directing visitors to useful content. If they detect that sending visitors your way isn’t helpful they will rank you lower in their search results. Search engines want the pages and content they think you have to be stable and reliable. So what to do? (more…)
Website Ars Technica has compiled visitor browser use statistics updated for March. Internet Explorer continues to be the most popular browser with roughly 50% of users. The next two most popular are Firefox and Chrome. The two graphics here show over usage including mobile, and desktop only. Note that Safari use doubles as you move from desktop to overall visitors — this reflects iPhone and iPad.
Tracking visitor browser usage is important as each browser and platform has its own particular considerations. Mobile browsers have tiny screens, iPads and touch based, desktops have large screens. All of these must be considered in website design.
SEO promotion of your website must consider both factors inside your website, the design of your website, and outside on websites that refer to you. Search engines will look at where your website exists in the internet — who is linking to you and how reputable are they. These are called back-links.
Good quality back-links require a little work, but are worthwhile. One source for back-links are website directories. They will list your website and a description. There are better types of back-links, but directories are cheap (free) and easy. You do, however, need a lot of them. There are services that can submit your site automatically for a fee, and you can also pay these directories to prioritize your listing. Just be ready with your website’s address, title, and description.
This VERY long list has more directories than you could ever need. PR refers to PageRank and is a measure of the directories reputation.