Digital Turbo Growth Strategies for Freelancers & Consultants Tue, 06 Feb 2018 19:14:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 13 Ways to Make Your Website Visible to Search Engines Wed, 14 Dec 2016 14:29:24 +0000

So you have a brand-new website, and you can’t wait for people to see it. And you wait, and you wait some more. You may even do a quick Google search and attempt to find yourself. You scroll down page 1, click over to page 3, page 4. If you have made it through to page 8 or beyond, you might start to feel seriously discouraged and deflated.

Having a website with no SEO (search engine optimization) is the equivalent of opening a store in the middle of the desert, and forgetting to put a sign up off the highway to let people know you exist. No matter how beautiful, high-tech or expensive your website is, chances are that without some SEO work, no one will ever find you.


Don’t be discouraged, I have created this short checklist for you to get you solidly on your way to befriending the biggest sign-maker in town: Google. Many people are already out there looking for you, so let’s make sure they know where to find you, so you can meet your next customer sooner than later.

  1. Choose a long-tail keyword to target for each page of your website
  2. Create a unique Title Tag that includes your long-tail keyword for each web page
  3. Create a unique Meta Description that includes the long-tail keyword
  4. Use keyword-optimized H1 and H2 headings to introduce the content that follows
  5. Make sure you have a minimum of 400 words of each page of your site, and that your content has a clear take-away and is written for a specific audience
  6. Use your target long-tail keyword at least 5 times within your paragraph content
  7. Include a relevant keyword in your image file name (ex: learnmarketing.jpg) as well as in the image alt and title tags
  8. Clean up your URLS. Do not use default, random or oddly named parameters within your links. Instead, make sure that what follows your top-level domain is descriptive, relevant and helpful to the users searching for your type of content.

EX: instead use:

  1. Create a .txt or .xml sitemap for your website. This is a collection of links that serves as a set of instructions for the search engines to navigate your site
  2. Register for Google Search Console (you can do this for free with an existing Google Account)
  3. Add your website as a property in Google Search Console, and verify it.
  4. Submit your sitemap
  5. Request to crawl and index your website


Find More Customers

Congratulations, Google now knows that your website exists! You will now be on your way to connecting with new customers who are desperately looking for your product or service.


Still feel confused and unsure what to do?

E-commerce site best practices and common pitfalls Thu, 01 Sep 2016 02:49:30 +0000

Website visitors are often reluctant to pull out their credit card and actually make a purchase on the first visit, especially if they are on a mobile device. We must view this reluctance as an opportunity to create secure e-commerce websites that are easy to navigate and pleasant for the user.

Shoppers are savvier and more demanding than ever before and simply will not tolerate poor navigation, bad UX design or low-quality images. Frustrated users are quicker than ever to click the back button or select a different shopping site from their Favorites or Bookmarks. Magazine-quality elements such as fine topography, soothing colors and unobtrusive but obvious navigation tabs are the new norm. Shoppers still want a catalog-like experience, without the hassle and innate paranoia that was once the standard for online shopping.


This brings us to the next big thing to focus on: making the site secure and secure-feeling. The process of placing an item in a shopping cart and check-out itself should be simple, self-explanatory and stream-lined while still feeling structured and secure to the user.  Beyond the implementation of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for any page that requires user input, we must consider the mechanics of checking out and completing a transaction.

If the check-out process is longer, and requires basic user information, shipping information and billing information it is wise to consider breaking this process up into multiple screens (perhaps one for each phase: basic, shipping and billing). A breadcrumb-like interface here also communicates to the user where they are in the process, such as Step 1: customer information, Step 2: billing information, Step 3: shipping information, and so on.

This method is usually considered best practice for several reasons. First, we want to encourage the user to fill out all the order fields instead of frustrating them and risk having the user navigate off the page. Secondly, we want the check-out form to be clear, concise and easy to use. Lastly, a more streamlined process usually feels more secure to the user.

Web designers: do you have what it takes? Thu, 01 Sep 2016 02:46:34 +0000 What makes a great web designer? Web Design has many moving parts, and therefore requires patience, attention to detail and above all tenacity.

Ryan Singer opened the door for some really important questions about the essence of a good web designer in this article. You can read more about his perspective here:

This is my take on the most important skills to cultivate as a web designer:

  • Listening and communication skills. I am listing this first because listening to your client should come first, before drawing up wire frames or creating a proposal.
  • Vision, big picture and planning. The designer must have ideas and direction, and the follow-through to implement them into an actionable plan for any project.
  • Organization and execution: The ability to take a thorough plan and execute solid, organized code to achieve the desired result.
  • Functionality and aesthetics: Designing websites and applications that are useful, easy and pretty for the users. Functionality ideally comes first, but aesthetics cannot be ignored as they play an important role in user-friendliness.
  • Patience and flexibility: Your ideas about how a project should be brought to life are never going to match up to the way things actually happen. Being flexible and patient means allowing the client to change their mind (to an extent) and being willing to push a deadline back when the scope increases.
  • Salesmanship: Being on the client’s side even it requires telling them they are wrong. This requires walking a fine line between being the authority and being at the service of your client. Being a doormat and being overbearing will both leave you dead in the water.
  • Life-long learning skills: Consuming new information and trying out new techniques and technologies to stay on the cutting edge. Ideally a web designer should always be setting a few hours aside to learn new things every week, although this may be close to impossible at times!
Complete Redesign vs. Mobile Companion Thu, 01 Sep 2016 02:44:05 +0000 Help clients choose between complete site redesign and the creation of a mobile companion to an existing site. Sometimes it may be difficult to decide which one of your services best suits the needs of your clients.

  • Your client may already have an older website, which usually means that it doesn’t read well from a smartphone device.
  • They may see the value in updating their desktop website, but fail to see the value in paying for a mobile-friendly version.
  • The reverse may be true also. The client might be interested in talking to a designer about a mobile website but have no interest in updating the website they had designed in 2006.
  • Help your client decide if their desktop site is outdated. If so, it only makes sense to offer a responsive website design solution that can be consistent across desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
  • If the client’s site is effective and has user-friendly interface, offer to build a companion mobile site that matches the theme, colors and overall feel of their existing site.
  • Explain to the client that you don’t want them missing visitors and possibly business due to a site that is impossible to navigate or read from a smartphone. This is especially important for service-based businesses that people seek on the go (restaurants, car repair shops, hair salons, etc).


How to Find a Good Web Designer Thu, 01 Sep 2016 02:32:26 +0000 What are small business clients really looking for when they decide to hire a web designer for the first time? Small business owners are unique type of client because they typically have lots of responsibilities and limited resources (be it limited time, money or manpower). Many small businesses are in need of representation on the Web and don’t know how to get started.


Here are some of the basic needs most small business owners have in common when searching for a web designer:

  • Someone they can trust: if a business owner doesn’t genuinely feel that you have their best interest in mind they are much less likely to commit to working with you. This could make it very difficult to near impossible for you to successfully finish a project without their input and help.
  • Answers to simple business-related technology problems (integrating business email accounts, getting started with online accounting software, performing business tasks from a smartphone)
  • A detailed overview of what a designer can do to make their life easier (design a business logo or print marketing materials, create a responsive website, write content for their website, submit the site to search engines, etc)
  • A web designer who can guide them through the process from start to finish. Chances are, your clients are not going to ask you to draw up a proposal or create wire frames at the start of a project. You have to be the person to guide and explain each step of the process.
  • Someone whose talents extend beyond building a website (need help with marketing, social media, logo design, SEO and even business processes)