Archive for August, 2009

Looking for Inspiration

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I occasionally have the discussion with fellow colleagues regarding lack of inspiration when beginning a new web design project. I have found many avenues of inspiration over the years, with some found while surfing the Internet and some while driving down an actual avenue.

That’s right, I tend to get a lot of inspiration by simply driving down the highway and noticing something in the architecture of a building, a billboard, or even in conversation. The hard part is remembering this little piece of inspiration before all is lost. With my short term memory problems, this becomes a task in itself as the days go by. Therefore, even if I do not plan to use the newly found inspiration right away, I will write it down in a log for future use and decide at that time if it is still inspirational to me for the use in a web design project. Not only will I write down this tidbit of inspiration, but I will also keep track of what exactly I like about it and what I would change about it. This will help in the future when you scour over your log of inspiration.

Of course, I also surf the Internet quite a bit looking for ideas as do most others. This is obviously the easiest way to find inspiration as you can cover millions of miles looking for the next best idea versus driving in your car at a whopping 65 mph as ideas slowly pass you by. For those of you not familiar with data transfer rates, it’s much faster than your car will go. I’m getting a little off base here, so we better wrap this up.

I wish you best of luck in your next web design project and may you run into no friction at all when trying to find inspiration. It’s easy to find inspiration once you learn how. Understanding why it’s inspirational is what makes use of it effective. It may be a specific font, color, shape, etc. Use your log of inspiration to remember exactly what makes it inspirational to you.

PPC Campaign and Long Tail Keywords

Monday, August 17th, 2009

While I cannot go into great detail on this specific case, I would like to share my feelings on those “professional” online marketing and SEO firms out there that only care about the bottom line.  Perhaps it’s not the firm as a whole, but instead a bad apple here and there in sales or management or other.

We had a client come to us begging for help after seeing no results from his pay-per-click (PPC) campaign managed by a very well-known online marketing company.  After sitting down and discussing the details with this client, it was obvious as to why there were no positive results.  There were many issues, but I will discuss just a couple in hopes of helping others in the same situation.

One of the issues at hand was the fact that there was absolutely no direction provided from this online marketing company chosen to manage the client’s PPC campaign.  This company allowed the client to choose his own keywords based on no research at all.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing in all cases, especially when there is a knowledgeable client involved, but the client should have been provided advice on these keywords from the professionals they sought after as described in the service agreement.  The client trusted this company to manage their campaign and ended up spending thousands of dollars with minimal results and empty promises.  I’ll submit to the fact that it’s simply not possible to guarantee results on a PPC campaign, but a client should be able to get professional advice on what keywords to use based on good research and end up with some good leads.

Another issue at hand lies again with the keywords chosen.  Not only did the online marketing company allow the client to use keywords that were not 100% in line with his products and services, but these keywords were also highly competitive, which ended up costing the client a lot of money as mentioned previously.  I know it’s been beaten to death in the past, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of long tail keywords in the pursuit of a successful online marketing campaign.

There is good news though…this particular client is now reaping the benefits from this lesson learned.  Some of the best lessons learned in life are learned the hard way, whether the lesson be a moral one or a financial one.

SaaS Development Project “Storm”

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Houston Web Design company, S2 Web Design, is in the final stages of development for it’s unique SaaS (Software as a Service) product before going into beta testing. “This new service will change the way web masters utilize the different services and products available to them now for managing websites around the world.” — S2 Web Design CTO

S2 Web Design has not yet released specific details on this new SaaS, but they claim it to be the next step in the evolution of Internet technologies related to website management and hosted solutions. The Houston Web Design company hopes to have the final stages of development completed by end of 2009, at which time complete details on the service will be announced. The current code name for the project is “storm”.

The general idea of “storm” is to help any individual or business manage all facets of website management from creation to marketing within a single interface. Advantages of this service will be stability, usability, and scalability with the best feature being that you only pay for what you use. “There’s no point in paying for features and resources you will never use, which is why we are building the service around an a la carte model.” — S2 Web Design CEO