Below are some of our recent Web projects. We show the home page of the site, but the story to the right is much more important to the success of each site. These descriptions highlight a key aspect of the website, but it is always just part of the whole story. Enjoy!
Get found no matter where you are. Why SEO matters to every business.
Grand Oaks Vineyards & Winery
Grand Oaks is located outside Mineola, Texas, in a beautiful setting. But if you are looking for winery to visit, this one is practically invisible. There is not a lot of traffic on the county road where you pass by the gate of the vineyard.
How do new people find them? Their old site built using GoDaddy tools did not help. With several established, high visibility vineyards and wineries located throughout east Texas, Grand Oaks was not appearing in search results. A search for "wineries in east Texas" or "vineyards in east Texas" did not show the website in the first 10 pages of results. You might as well not exist.
As we redesigned and rebuilt the site, we are first most interested in improving the visual design and the flow of the site. But baked in to the new site was our knowledge and experience that would give search engines a reason to show the website for a variety of targeted searches. Using our understanding of how search engines interpret web pages and how people may be searching for wineries and vineyards – especially those that offer wine tastings – we added critical "on-page SEO" to improve search rankings.
And improve search rankings we did.
Within a month Grand Oaks was showing up on the second and third page of Google results for our target searches. Also, because we added code to help search engines understand the type of business and its exact geographic location, results based on the nearby location of the searcher soared into the map that Google prominently displays at the top of such searches.
A year after the launch of the current site Grand Oaks is usually in the first page of search results for targeted search phrases like "wine tasting in east Texas" or "vineyards in east Texas." Frequently Grand Oaks is in the map at the top of the search results. (Understand that search results vary by your personal search history and location.)
Achieving these search results is not automatic. WordPress or Wix do not do it for you. That is what we do.
Low Cost Websites With High Impact Are Possible
Keith Harvey, Author
The key is to focus on the most important aspect of the website. Author Keith Harvey needed to update his aging website and low cost was an important criteria — so was the graphic design. But a do-it-yourself website was not really an option for two reasons. First, DIY sites still require some time and learning to take advantage of their more sophisticated features. Second, creating the strong graphic design is not a strength for most authors.
We used an approach that has been proven to be successful in the past: find a high quality (usually paid) predesigned WordPress theme that matches the functionality of the site very closely, the add our graphic design customizations. We also made a few functional changes along the way. Working from a high quality theme has proven to be the quickest way to bring excellent functionality to low cost sites quickly. Starting from the right theme cost us $50 but easily saved $500 in development time — maybe more.
This theme came ready with a book-oriented content structure, a book carousel, "Buy" buttons ready to use, social links specifically useful to authors like Goodreads and Amazon, the theme has built-in book landing pages for advertising specific books and is e-commerce ready. Our graphic design was just the icing on the cake. Like all sites we build it is responsive for mobile and ready for any level of search engine optimization.
Proof That Small Companies Can Win In Search.
Great Southern Stabilized
Not many businesses have products as basic as sand. It is tempting to think that you could list the various sands and sand mixtures that you sell on a single page and be done with it. But you would be missing the opportunity to shine in web search results. We took this simple product line and expanded the copy to include more context and focus along with basic best practices for SEO. Within a month we were ranking on the first page of search results for "cement stabilized sand". Within a year we were averaging the 2.6 position. Keep in mind this was all done with content, no attempt to add backlinks was made. (It is really hard to get authoratative backlinks for basic building products.) Most of the large suppliers are buying ads on the same page, but cannot seem to get their websites onto the first page of unpaid organic results that searchers focus on. Why? They think size wins in search. But their large multi-product sites are not structured well for search engines to fully understand the products on their own. When it comes time to decide which pages to list in results, search engines are confused about the large corporate sites. This is where a well written and structured site can win the day.
Setting the Mood
Violin Romance Recordings
When your offering is music, somehow the words just seem to mean less. When you are selling music, setting the visual mood is critical to telling visitors what the site is all about. This engaging site encourages visitors to explore and even listen to the music, there are even links to buy the music. But people do not search with feelings, they use words. The majority of visitors arrive at this site through organic search results. This is no accident, along with the visual and musical components of the site, the words and SEO practices are integral. Search engines cannot evaluate the style of music (yet) but they understand this site is all about romantic violin music — click the link and see.