7 Online Marketing Tips To Increase Conversion Rate

Conversions are the ultimate win in online marketing, and with all the noise and clutter on the internet, consistently high conversion rates are wildly difficult to achieve without foolproof online marketing strategies.

Whether you’re a brand new business looking to break into your industry or you have big digital marketing plans for 2019, make sure your website is working for you and adopt these 7 no-fail online marketing tips to increase your conversion rate.

  1. Test Like Your Company Depends On It (It Does!)  Your first idea is rarely your best, which is why A/B and A/B/C testing exists. Successful conversion through online marketing depends on tests, tests, and more tests. The more you test, the more data you have to make informed marketing decisions and increase conversions.
  2. Take Advantage of Tracking Technology  Observe your user behavior through tools like heat maps so you can get a better understanding of a user’s motivations on your website. With heat maps, you can see how people scrolled through your pages, where they lingered, what areas of the page are getting the most attention, and whether Calls to Action are working in your favor.
  3. Be Mobile Friendly  People browse the internet on their mobile devices daily, so the odds of a new user discovering your website through their smartphone is high. Make sure your website experience is just as beautiful and user-friendly as your desktop version. You don’t want to scare new users away with pixelated photos, big blocks of text and a labyrinth to get to the services page.
  4. Create Better Content  Than Your Competitors (And Create A Lot Of It) One of the most important steps of converting website visitors into loyal customers is building their trust. You can build trust much more effectively and see amazing return on investment (ROI) through content marketing. The key to effective content marketing is to create consistent, well-researched and relevant content that aligns with your brand. Make sure your content is optimized with a branded SEO strategy. Without a good SEO strategy, your content will fall on deaf ears.
  5. Invest in Lead Generation  Through Forms A successful conversion strategy requires stellar lead generation tactics. This includes online forms, surveys, and sign-ups. There are a lot of steps required to design and program branded lead generation tools, so if you don’t have experience in web design, this is a worthwhile task to outsource to our Sonoma County Online Marketing and Web Design specialists.
  6. Create Clear, Engaging Calls To Action  Your site can be the most beautiful masterpiece to ever grace the inter-webs, but if your audience doesn’t know what to do once they’ve reached your site, it’s all a lost cause. Make sure your audience knows exactly what you’re asking them to do, whether that’s to download your free course, sign up for a consultation, or enter their email for 20% off their first purchase.
    Your Calls to Action should also have a sense of urgency, otherwise you’re making it way too easy for customers to say, “Maybe another time” … and you know “another time” never comes.
  7. Make It Easy To Contact  You In our world of instant gratification and immediate response, your business better be at the ready for any inquiry your customer base may have. That means having a high response rate on your website, social media, and any other platform your website may be on. Include chat bots, ask your customers if they need help finding something, and always respond to customers ASAP. If customers can trust that you will respond thoughtfully to their inquiries, they are more likely to trust your brand and convert.

 

Are You Ready To Make Some Noise?

Come out of your little corner on the internet and see breakthrough conversion rates in 2019. Call K2 Sonoma County Online Marketing, SEO and Web Design to beef up your website’s power and increase conversions.

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Should You Hire A Web Designer? Santa Rosa Web Designers

When businesses start looking for a website developer, it’s usually for two reasons: the website looks outdated, or the website isn’t generating leads. To compete in the modern market, businesses need modern, attractive, user-friendly websites that inform potential customers, solve their problems, and persuade them to buy.

What Is A Website Designer?

A web developer is like a contractor or construction company for the online world. They use their knowledge in coding, web design and SEO to construct a website that suits your specific needs as a business. Some web developers--like our Santa Rosa web developers--have experience with design as well, which influences the look and feel of your website.

Why Choose a Website Designer?

If you’re a new business, you might be wondering whether hiring a website development company makes sense for you. It is true that for some small businesses you could be jumping the gun. But If you have a budget for a professional website, then you will enjoy more benefit than if you did it yourself. Here are just a few of ways hiring a professional web developer can improve your web presence and take some weight off your shoulders.

  1. Custom Web Design - When you hire a professional web developer, you know you will be getting a website with custom design and functionality that suits your business. When you talk with our Santa Rosa web designers here at K2, we will go through your specific needs for the website, and we will use our knowledge of best design practices to produce the result you are looking for.
  2. Code and Web Compliance - Code and web compliance rules are always changing, and our Santa Rosa web designers anticipate these changes to maintain the health of your site so you don’t have to. As more people browse the web and make purchases on their phones, mobile web design and functionality becomes just as important as desktop design. Hiring a professional web developer can save you a lot of time and headaches that you would have to deal with if you were to maintain your website on your own.
  3. SEO Compliance - Web developers optimize your site so it can easily be picked up search engines. This will help you rank for certain keywords that apply to your business. The higher your rank for certain keywords, the easier it will be to stand ahead of your competition and generate leads through your website.
  4. General Web Maintenance - Even the most pristine websites can experience glitches from time to time. Maintaining a website is a full time job, especially if it is considered the “storefront” of your business. If your site suddenly goes down or your customers aren’t receiving confirmation emails, our Santa Rosa web developers can troubleshoot issues and take care of bugs quickly, so you don’t have to worry about losing customers.

Looking for a web designer for your next website? Call K2 today for your free quote.

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4 Reasons You Need SEO Strategy and Maintenance

Sonoma County SEO Experts Share The Importance of SEO Strategy

With so many websites cluttering the internet today, it is essential that your website has a purpose. Long gone are the days where your website’s purpose could simply be to “gain customer leads”. While that’s certainly important, it’s not the only goal. According to Google Master’s search quality guidelines, you need to have a clearly defined purpose that ultimately helps your users in a way that makes sense for your business. Once you design your purpose, you have an ethical foundation to start optimizing your site. (By ethical we mean that if you optimize your site for, say, gluten-free cookies when you clearly sell cookies containing gluten, then you’re lying and Google will ding you for that). Even if you are selling what you say you are, Google rates you for how well you convey your purpose. Whether you’re selling gluten-free cookies or running a satirical online media company, Google is less concerned about the factual nature of your content and more concerned with how well you achieve your purpose.

So, how do you “achieve your purpose” online? With your website’s purpose clearly envisioned, you need a custom SEO strategy to target users who are looking for the exact value you are providing.

SEO Helps You Stand Out as Competition Continues to Grow

The internet houses almost 2 billion websites as of today. Depending on your industry, you could be competing directly with thousands if not hundreds of thousands of websites. These numbers are only growing, and in order to cut through the clutter you need to sharpen up that website with a killer SEO strategy. Start by identifying what your customers need (the problem) and what you offer (the solution). Then strategize how to attract users who need your services by researching the way they search for what they need.

SEO Maintenance Keeps Your Site Up-to-date with Algorithms

Search engine algorithms are updating all the time, and you don’t want to cancel out all your hard work because Google updates randomly. Hiring an SEO maintenance team can help you stay on top of any web changes so you don’t fall out of Google’s good graces. Our Sonoma County SEO maintenance team regularly scans client websites and anticipates algorithm updates so you don’t have to lose any sleep over it.

You Can Be More Precise With Your Targeting

A custom SEO strategy is your gateway into the motivations and needs of your potential audience. A professional SEO team will look at user language and locations to target users and attract them to your site. Through competition analysis and market research, you can better understand the pain points that motivate your customers to buy … and the keywords that your competition is using. As you dive into competition analysis, you are sure to refine your competition further. This helps you find a niche, which is the golden corner on the internet. Anyone can be the leader of their niche, you just need an awesome SEO strategy to help you find it and dominate it.

You Can Create Useful, Valuable Content

The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to generate valuable, evergreen content. Let’s say you’re selling those gluten-free cookies and you want to write a blog post to amplify your brand voice online. Since it’s safe to say the gluten-free baked good market is fairly saturated, you need to stand out by understanding the specific issues your customers are seeking help with. Maybe it’s December and you write a post about gluten-free baking hacks for holiday cookies. Your SEO strategy will help you convey your expertise in a way that sets you apart from the competition.

Looking for Sonoma County SEO strategy and maintenance? Contact us today for a free quote.

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How To Search For A Great Web Designer - Santa Rosa Web Design

Searching For Santa Rosa Web Design

Are you struggling to find a web design company here in Santa Rosa? Guess what, you’re far from alone. This is actually becoming a big issue for business owners, specifically those who do not want to hire a full-time web designer to their staff. No matter where you’re located, hiring a great web designer can be a really difficult process. There seems to be thousands of people claiming to be designers or freelancers, and if you’re relying on job recruiter sites, you could be wasting a lot of time sifting through subpar candidates. Whether you’re on the lookout for a web designer to join your team or a freelance Santa Rosa web designer to tackle a few quick projects, use these hacks to find a web designer that can create the design you’re dreaming of … assuming you dream about design like we do.

Searching For Web Designers Online

We’ve all been there: sitting in front of the computer screen, staring back and forth between your looming list of design needs and the blank Google Search page, having no idea what to even search first. If “award-winning affordable web designers”, “web designers who can also do SEO” and “unique web design specialists” are listed in your search history, you might be casting too big of a net. If you want to find quality, dependable and creative designers in your area, first start with your region (i.e. Santa Rosa Web Design, San Francisco Web Design and SEO … you get the idea). It may seem a little heavy handed, but if we’re going to stay with this fishing analogy, you’re way more likely find a fat, friendly creative fish that might even tell a few jokes before you eat him. In other words, if you search location-specific terms you are more likely to find design agencies and freelancers who live in your area and are much easier to communicate with.

Searching For Web Designers By Word Of Mouth

Another tried-and-true way to find Santa Rosa web designers is to ask around. As we’ve mentioned before, everyone and their mother is some form of freelancer now, so we are willing to bet that each one of your friends has a referral for you. If face-to-face meetups are more your style, this will be a much quicker way to find a Santa Rosa web designers that can churn out the work you’re looking for.

Once you find a list of designers in your area, start stalking. There are a few key details you will want to note as you research designers:

  • Check out their portfolios - Do they seem to have a bunch of clients within the same industry? If so, is that industry the same or similar to yours? Checking out their work with past clients will give you an idea of their creative style and see how diverse their designs are.
  • Read their blog - A great web designer will usually have a lot to say about it. While the writing doesn’t have to be spectacular, the enthusiasm should definitely be there. Browse their blog to see what they tend to write about and how they talk about it. This will also give you an insight into their communication style, should you choose to hire them.
  • Reviews and Testimonials - Think of reviews as a pre-interview test. Read through testimonials and reviews and look for patterns and frequent keywords. If several past clients say something about pace, process or time, then make a note to ask about time frames in the interview. If you see past clients talking about how hard the designer is to get a hold of, make a note of that too.
  • Check out their LinkedIn - When looking for Santa Rosa web design, it’s very possible that the web designer shares a few connections with you on LinkedIn. If this is the case ask around to see if the web designer has a good reputation.
  • Don’t forget to read the About - How a web designer talks about herself can tell you a lot about what the person values as well as their background and confidence level in their work. Depending on your budget and web design needs, you might find the web designer is either too experienced or too novice for your needs.

Looks like you found us online, that’s awesome! If you’re in need of some rad, custom web design holler at us through our contact page and we can set up a time to chat!

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Questions to ask website design companies

Businesses in need of a website do well to hire a website design firm to assist in the creation of the company site. Website design firms have the knowledge and experience to come up with a solid plan to create the website, providing search engine optimization, web hosting and more. Everything the business needs will be in one place to see traffic numbers soar and the business succeed. When choosing a web design firm to work with, there are a few things to consider. Knowing what questions to ask and services to expect will help you find the right company for your website needs. Below are a few questions to get you started.

What Services Do You Provide?

When choosing a web design firm, you want to work with a company that has a plethora of services. Top companies will offer website design, management and hosting plus search engine optimization, among other services. With combined services, a website will be well-rounded, able to be adjusted or changed when needed to benefit the company.

Does the Company Specialize in all Platforms?

Magento website design and WordPress web design are just two platforms that exist in the designing aspects of websites. You want to work with a design firm that has experience in all platforms including WordPress, Magento, Weebly, Wix and more. When a developer is well-rounded in their capabilities, they can determine the best platform for your website needs. A designer needs to be able to understand the aspects of the platform that you would like your website to be created from.

Can I View Your Portfolio?

All design firms should be able to provide you with a portfolio that includes examples of completed websites. By viewing the portfolio, you will be able to get a visual idea of what the company can provide for you. Look at various WordPress web design, Las Vegas website design and websites created around the world to see just what variations exist and how the company put together the pages. If you like what you see, then the web designer is the right option for you and your company.

Never be afraid to ask questions and learn more about a website developer. You want to feel comfortable working with the company as well as have a sense of what they can provide you. A reputable designer of websites will answer your questions honestly and provide you with the essential information needed to make the right decision for your website design.

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The Greatest Benefits from Choosing WordPress

There are several different web design and platform options to choose from, as well as software which leaves many people wondering, which is the best, which will be the most efficient, which is the easiest to use and what is going to help me get to where I am trying to go? These are all valid questions and if you are not familiar with all of the different platforms and web design options, it can be quite overwhelming.

Are you considering the use of WordPress? WordPress is amazing in the fact that it is very user friendly. Very cut and dry, black and white to the point where anyone with limited computer skills and knowledge could still figure their way around WordPress. You can easily adjust how you want your posts to look and put them live on your website. Additionally, utilizing a company that offers maintenance services such as our Southern California web development team, this is a very simple way for them to do so and you have no additional worries.

Functionality and Add-Ons

By utilizing our Southern California web development team, again, you have the ability to add on features that you would like to see accessed on your web page and create innovative solutions to several different problems. It’s as simple as giving potential clients and customers that ability to contact you/or your company directly through email, from the site. This eliminates extra steps and makes your site very convenient for other to enjoy.

SEO

Search engine optimization will essentially make or break your site, and in a situation such as your business and livelihood – you need to exude top notch SEO skills. This is where our services can greatly benefit the progression of your site, visibility of your brand, and increase in revenue. In combination with WordPress, you can rest assured that your content will be SEO saturated so you can gain the boost in rankings that you are looking for.

Amongst these great benefits from considering WordPress, you have to consider its flexibility, the automatic built-in features that it offers, e-commerce is an option, and the incredible support that you receive from their end as well as from our Southern California web development team. Those initial worries that you may have had about create an innovative and impactful site that is going to reach your targeted audience, can now be pushed to the side as we join forces to create a very dynamic platform for you and your company to benefit from.

The Main Differences Between Weebly and WordPress There may come a time when you are faced with the decision on whether or not you would like to go with Weebly or WordPress, and guess what? You are in good company. Being a web development company in California, there are many different scenarios that we are faced with daily and what it all comes down to, is your personal preference and what you are looking to gain from your site. Weebly is coined as one of the easiest website builders that is available on the market to date. As a web development company in California, we can agree with the fact that being able to drag and drop content that you would like does make your life a whole lot easier! This allows for creative minds to flow but in an efficient manner to where you can be up and going in no time. Utilizing their maps, buttons, guides and so forth will assist anyone in creating a site. WordPress is widely known for its blogging tools, being very easy to update post and remove information from your site is a must, especially when you are working on a budget. As a web development company in California, we see all too often people get ahead of themselves or not be able to properly maintain their websites; this is detrimental to your overall success. Give us a call to discuss how we can help your company have the strong presence on the web that you are looking for.

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Why Magento Website Design is Preferred

Magento website design has become one of the go to platforms for e-Commerce web development for several reasons. The ease of use and its ability to accommodate several different extensions helps tremendously in the fact that this can improve your site tremendously. The largest consideration when thinking about integrating Magento website design, is where to start and what is the most efficient way to create an e- Commerce site?

User Friendly Site

These types of websites are not just a couple of clicks away. There are many considerations such how user friendly the site is, if everything is transferrable between devices, payment options, how many products, etc. This list can keep going on and on and that is why it is great to hire a professional who knows the intricacies of Magento website design. Rather than sitting around stressing about how to grow your business, gain noticeability and increase revenues with this website – you can put your trust in a professional who does it for a living. Never mind the fact that you are going to always want to put your best foot forward when presenting information to the masses, you can place your focus on the business that you know.

The Flexibility of Magento

Due to the flexibility of Magento website design, it is actually quite complicated. It’s like a double-edge sword, but a great one at that! Offering capabilities and support that you cannot find with other platforms, it leaves people wondering if they should invest their money in fee-based hosted carts. Utilizing PHP and Apache, you will have to think about scalability concerns which if you are not proficient in web design, you can bump into a lot of unnecessary roadblocks before launching your site.

SEO Compliant

The SEO compliance of Magento website design is magnificent and SEO saturation is one of the best ways to gain the noticeability and attract the audience that you are trying to attract. It will drive sales like no other force to be reckoned with and you can’t really beat auto generation of search friendly structures. URLs that are search friendly equals gaining ranks on the large search platforms. Additionally, if you have more than one e- Commerce store, with Magento website design, you can control everything from one spot. The convenience for you, the business owner is made possible with an administration panel that can handle and accommodate your specific needs. With additional add-ons such as ‘recently viewed products’ and ‘compared items’ wish lists and sharing options – what consumer wouldn’t be in heaven having the opportunity to access your user friendly e-Commerce store?

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Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Will Ruin Your Business

Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Will Ruin Your Business

If your website is not mobile-friendly by April 21st, Google will throw your website under the bus.  

I have seen it before.  Now that 60%+ of website views are on mobile devices, Google has decided to punish websites that don't work on them.

When the Panda and Penguin algorithm happened, five websites that I was manager of SEO for went from #1 on Page 1 on Google to page 8, 10, and worse.  The new mobile-friendly algorithm has been dubbed "Mobilegeddon" by the Entrepreneur

Google's new ranking system will be run in real time and will works on a page-by-page basis.  When the Google spider crawls through all of the websites over the week after April 21st, it will immediately rank the website as Mobile-Friendly, or not Mobile-Friendly.  

If it is not ranked as mobile-friendly, you need to get on schedule for a website upgrade ASAP. Failure to get your website mobile-friendly before April 21st will result in a rank decline that may take months to regain, even if the website is made mobile-friendly quickly afterwards.  Like I said, I have seen this happen before when the Penguin and Panda update came out, and this has been described as more catastrophic by bloggers.  Google said that the change will have a "significant impact" on search results across the globe.  

In addition to the mobile-friendly algorithm, Google is also including an app indexing factor that requires app developers to add deep link support, verify the apps website on Google Play, provide deep links for each page, and ensure that there are no errors in webmaster tools for the app.

 

Go here and verify that your website is mobile-friendly: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

If it's not, call me right now at (707) 293-7821.

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Major Browsers Hacked at Pwn2Own Contest

Major Browsers Hacked at Pwn2Own Contest

All four major website browers, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Apple's Safari were hacked at the Pwn2Own contest in Vancouver, Canada on Thursday.  JungHoon (lokihardt) of South Korea was able to hack all four browsers by himself.  He was rewarded with $225,000 USD and new laptops.  The Chrome hack was the largest payout since the contest started, resulting in $75,000 in prize money.  He was able to to destroy 64 bit Internet Explorer 11 using time-of-check to time-of-use (TOCTOU) volunerability and recieved a payout of $65,000 for that piece of the pie.  He was able to complete all of his Google hacks in two minutes.

Another individual, Nicolas Joly, was able to hack Adobe Reader and Flash Player for a payout of $90,000.  

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Anonymous Hacks NYPD Union Website?

Anonymous Hacks NYPD Union Website?

The YPD Captains Endowment Association website was recently hacked by an anonymous hacker group.  It has been declared that "no confidential information has been compromised." Anonymous was accused of the attack, but recently has stated that they did not actually inject malware into the website.  They also jabbed NYPD for targeting and abusing the people it is meant to protect, and that the attack was expected due to their previous actions.  

NYPD has been criticized recently for the choking to death of Eric Garner, 43, by Officer Pantaleo on November 21.  Pantaleo was not indicted for the death and protests occured throughout the United States and on social media as well #ericgarner.  The FBI has also accused a NYPD officer Yehuda Katz of installing a camera inside the NYPD Traffic Safety Office and spying on the people working there.  When nobody was in the office, he hacked into a computer and stole records for vehicle accidents and used this information to scam the people who had been in accidents (March 20, 2015).  Another NYPD cop, Jazmia Inserillo, accused her lieutenant of sexually harassing her and has been provided with $110,000 from the city of New York.  The accused, Lt. Jason Margolis, has been punished by the NYPD, losing 10 vacation days and forced to watch sexual harassment training videos (March 18, 2015).

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PROJECT SPARTAN and the DESTRUCTION OF INTERNET EXPLORER

PROJECT SPARTAN and the DESTRUCTION OF INTERNET EXPLORER

THANK GOD

My team and I have been moaning and groaning about Internet Explorer and its browser compatability and old version compatability problems for years.  We are excited to hear more about the Spartan Project coming later this year.  Spartan will be coupled with Windows 10 and, according to a Microsoft employee during a tour last month, will be able to provide high quality browser comptability and fast load times.  The software may be exclusively available for computers and devices operating on the Microsoft Windows 10 platform.

microsoft spartan

The features include the ability to draw on the screen with different colors, and with multiple fingers.  Another new feature is OneDrive integration into the Spartan platform.  The OneDrive system features a new ability to view who has made recent comments on which documents in your OneDrive folders, as well as who was the most recent to make a change to a document.  With the on-board talking robot Cortana, you will now be able to yell at your computer and tell it what to type in or what to do.  Also included is a feature that allows you to read the page like flipping the pages of a book.  Now the discussion will turn to the browser extensions that we all have installed like Ad Blocker Plus, ChromeCast, Check my links, and everything else people use.  And for all the luddites out there, you will still be able to run IE, so don't worry about a thing.

microsoft project sparta!

It has been forecasted that the company may choose to include Microsoft in the title of the new browser, but the name Microsoft Spartan doesn't necessarily make me feel very excited.  Microsoft has said the following about the Spartan project,

"Powered by a new rendering engine, Spartan is designed for interoperability with the modern web. We've deliberately moved away from the versioned document modes historically used in Internet Explorer, and now use the same markup as other modern browsers. Spartan's new rendering engine is designed to work with the way the web is written today."

The new engine driving the Spartan project is an off-shoot of the Trident system that is more focused on interoperability.  

Other new exciting Microsoft technologies on the way is Microsoft HoloLense, 3-D goggles that project a hologram onto your reality and enable you to interact with software in ways you have never imagined.  Check out the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aThCr0PsyuA

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A One-Stop California Web Design Shop

You want to bring in business – or visitors – on your company’s website, and K2 is here to help. At K2 Website Design, we know how to manage a variety of software programs that will empower your website. Regardless if you need help building a site, or updating your current site, K2 is the California web design company for you. We can also handle your California Joomla website hosting needs.

K2 Website Design understands that the market changes all-of-the-time; therefore, your website will need to change as well. We are up-to-date on the latest website designs and software, so we can ensure your company is current with the latest trends. When you hire K2 California web design, we will help you identify the potential markets for your business or personal website, which allows us to update your website to suit the needs of your customers or site visitors. Our California website design company will work with you to maintain your website, even after we have finished with your design.

Many businesses have gone mobile to accommodate their users who access company sites through their cell phones, tablets, or other types of mobile devices; you should too! A majority of customers will leave a site if it does not cater to their needs; therefore, you should contact K2 to help with your California web design development. We will make sure you have a website that represents your company, and its products or services. We also assure that your site is user-friendly. Our professional staff is available to help with various tools, including Joomla website Design for California business, or personal sites.

If you need in-office or in-house assistance, our Northern California website design company can provide you with those services for graphic design, website development, training services, California website hosting services, and much more. K2 is your one-stop-development-shop!

To learn more about our California web design services – in addition to our California Joomla website hosting – give K2 a call today. We can help you update your site to suit the needs of your clients. When it pertains to California web design, K2 is your one-stop-shop!

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Be Responsive: Make Your Website Mobile

Building a website can be challenging, especially when you need a website built for mobile devices and other platforms, including the iPad, tablets, and other web-enabled devices. Understanding the size of screens - and the range of browsers - can prove to be difficult for the untrained website developer, but when you hire K2 Website Design Services, this process becomes easier. Our trained developers are here to help make your website responsive, accessible on mobile devices, and user-friendly.

A responsive website designer at K2 can help you choose from a variety of features, including text size, layout mode, and the types of images you want displayed on your website. We also provide assistance with grids and tabs. Our expertise does not stop with helping you design a mobile ready website; we also help you with coding.

There are various templates and themes that you can use for your mobile website. Some of the templates include praxis. This theme will allow you to maximize your site’s versatility, which ultimately allows users to fully engage while on your website. The plug-in that accompanies praxis supports swipe and other mobile touch events, due to the responsive website development. Regardless of which mode a visitor uses to access your website, each will be compatible with the praxis theme.

With a great deal of customers and clients using their iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and other web-enabled devices to purchase products and services, you want to make sure your website is responsive and able to accommodate these formats. K2 Website Design Services is here to help you do just that. We have a team of responsive website developers who can help you get the job done, and done right!

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Joomla Website Design

If you want a flexible platform that allows you to connect and network with other businesses for digital publishing or collaboration, Joomla is the open-source system for you. Using Joomla is an option that is available to all businesses and web developers, regardless of the skill levels you might have. We realize that creating a Joomla website design may not be easy for you, which is why K2 is here to help you design your site, and join an interactive community that could be great for your business. 

K2 Website Design is experienced using the Joomla Content Management System (CMS) and has extensive knowledge of Joomla extensions, templates, component configurations, social networking systems, databasing and directory setup, login systems, and more.  

You have a variety of options with Joomla, such as building personal homepages, external websites, and intranets. You can list polls and RSS feeds on your website; you can also add music, videos, and images to your website design. The features available with Joomla are designed to let you track clicks – you also have the option to monitor search patterns. K2 Website Design has the skills to help you use the more advanced features of Joomla, such as news tickers, maps, and calendars, in addition to a variety of other plug-ins. 

K2 Website Design will make sure you have a Joomla website that you love, and we will help you get the most out of Joomla that you possibly can. 

Contact us to get started on your Joomla website design!

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Google Hummingbird Upgrade and Implications on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The stealth introduction of Hummingbird, Google’s most substantive algorithm upgrade since 2001, was announced a few months after it occurred. A search algorithm is a system that sifts through the raw results when you enter a search term or phrase; algorithms allow search engines to return the results it assesses as the most relevant to your query. Google stated that it chose the moniker Hummingbird because its namesake is “precise and fast.”

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) managers somewhat anxiously wondered whether their previous efforts had to be changed. Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Search Engine Land, addressed the question of whether SEO was dead: “No, SEO is not yet again dead.” He added that the goal remained the same, which is to produce original, valuable, high-quality content, and that “Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways.” Sullivan emphasized that providers of valuable content that link relevant websites to their own sites will still continue to rank well, which is good news for providers of fresh, high-quality content.


What is the Google Hummingbird Update?

Google’s evolution in producing search results that are responsive to what the user needs led to an upgrade from the Penguin and Panda algorithms. If the search results are not what the user wants, other search engines become the consumer’s go-to choice.

Rather than producing results based on keywords alone, Hummingbird is able to interpret natural language, or complex queries. Users are already accustomed to performing longer queries, refining their own searches to avoid sifting through pages of results to find what they are looking for. Further, the expansion of voice-activated searches with Smartphones and tablets necessitated an algorithm that can handle complex phrases. When people speak a query rather than type it, they tend to use longer phrases.


How SEO has Changed

In the early days of SEO, content mills churned out many thousands of spammy content that basically held the keywords together, with less attention to the value of the content, and more focus on keyword placement and number usage. These excesses led to the practice of keyword stuffing, but Google’s algorithm adapted to reward increasingly useful content that used keywords and keyword phrases more organically. Conversely, stiff-sounding content that was stuffed with keywords was punished in the rankings, in favor of natural and valuable text.

The need for useful content will also increase the need for writers and editors who can produce and refine thoughtful, valuable pieces. The change in SEO practices includes building sites with numerous pages that anticipate what the users might want. This approach can provide content for users that are in various phases of the buying cycle.


How the Google Hummingbird Upgrade Affects SEO

Google Panda algorithm rewarded unique content, but Hummingbird prefers useful content. Robert Charlton, the moderator of WebmasterWorld, noted, “It's no longer just a single page and its title satisfying a query... It becomes a whole site satisfying a range of users.” Roberts believes that with Hummingbird hovering the background, sites should optimize for overall customer satisfaction, rather than optimizing content for primary and secondary keywords. He added that the new algorithm would yield results that de-emphasize the creation of “a collection of content farms and more a collection of pages created with the user genuinely in mind.”

Works Cited:
Schwartz, Barry. “SEOs Adapt to Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm.” Search Engine Roundtable, 9 October 2013. Web. 24 October 2013. <http://www.seroundtable.com/google-hummingbird-seo-17493.html>
Sullivan, Danny. “FAQ: All About The New Google ‘Hummingbird’ Algorithm.” Search Engine Land, 26 September 2013. Web. 24 October 2013. <http://searchengineland.com/google-hummingbird-172816>

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Why Using a Template Makes Sense

Using a website template is a great way to increase efficiency and time of delivery for website projects.  A common phrase associated with using a template instead of a 100% custom website design is "don't reinvent the wheel".  Templates come with advanced extensions ready to go and quality design and typography already set up.  Adjustments of the typography and styles on the website can be facilitated in template manager tools for quick and easy customization. 

Template or theme clubs and providers usually build their templates on framework that is well described and easy to utilize.  Documentation for the module variations and layouts are presented and website framework adjustments can be made using user friendly template development tools.  A custom website layout can be easily adjusted and iterated. 

Save your website designer a lot of hassle and time by choosing a website template before getting started with development.  Template designs can be adjusted and customized as necessary. 


Some great template clubs include:

 

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Why You Should Invest in Website Security

Website security is an important aspect of website ownership.  A hacked website makes your business look unprofessional and can pose a threat to your website visitors.  Websites developed on out of date website platforms are targeted by hackers because of vulnerabilities within the core, extensions, modules, plugins, scripts, or components. Hackers find a way to hack into a site and will install malware and viruses into the website to target your customers.  They also install unwanted advertisements for performance enhancing drugs like Viagra.  

Certain precautions to increase website security include:

  • Make sure that your website framework is up to date.
  • Make sure that all extensions, modules, plugins, scripts, and components of your website are up to date.  If there is no updated version available, consider swapping out your extension for one that is more secure.  
  • Use complicated encrypted passwords that utilize numbers, symbols, and upper and lowercase letters.  
  • Lock your file permissions (755 for folders and 644 for files).
  • Use FTPS for file transfers.
  • Use SSL to send emails and use suPHP.
  • Hide your administration URL by changing the URL location so hackers don't know where to try to log in.
  • Block IP addresses that are blacklisted from visiting your website.
  • Install extensions that do not allow login attempts to occur for an extended period of time after a certain number of attempts are taken.
  • Use CAPTCHA in forms to avoid spamming through form systems.
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When and How to Update your Computer Systems

Understanding when to update your computer systems is an important component of running a business.  A computer crash or theft can leave you wondering how you are going to move forward with your business or deal with taxes come tax season.  In addition, increases in hacking, malware, virus injection, and other types of security problems increase the risk associated with keeping important business information on your computer or online system.  

It is important to update your computer systems after every three to five years.  Out of date computer systems utilize out of date software and that can enable hackers to access your personal information.  In addition, out of date computer systems are more likely to fail or have a crash.  Updating computer systems to high quality systems can be cheap and effective and rapid processing full desktop systems can be purchased for less than $400.  

Old computer systems should be replaced with new and quality computer systems.  Buy a removable hard drive to migrate your important files and documents from the old computer to the new computer.  All of your personal files on the desktop and in My Documents can be easily migrated by navigating to your main hard drive, usually the C drive, and then going to Users, and then copying the folder for the users that you want to back up.  Then make sure that you export all of your necessary program files properly, such as QuickBooks backup and Outlook archive features, to the new removable hard drive.  Then copy the files from the removable hard drive to your new computer.  It is recommended to store the hard drive in a safe location, such as your closet at home or in a fire-proof safe.  

 

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Why In-Office Web Design Increases Efficiency

Being in person with the website client during the design and development stages makes web construction efficient and more cost-effective for the client.  Face to face relationships help build confidence and trust between the website designer and the client and help make working together enjoyable and efficient.  

Graphic design ideas for the logo, header, slideshow, footer, or content pages can be hand drawn and discussed in detail by the website designer and the client to get a clear understanding of what should be done the first time.  This helps to decrease miscommunication and maximize productivity.  When designs are completed, quick review of the work can be completed by the client immediately and new changes can be created.  Between review sessions the client can continue with their work in their normal work environment.  In person client review also eliminates the time required to write new emails and upload large graphic design files.  For large scale graphic design projects some files are too large to be uploaded into an email and uploading these files to a server or DropBox can take a significant amount of time and decrease internet productivity for other tasks.  

K2 Website Design is willing to travel to our clients businesses or homes with our computer equipment to set up their new website.  All we need is an internet connection and an electrical plug.  We have experience providing in-office website design in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Petaluma, Arcata, and Eureka and are looking forward to traveling to other locations in the future.

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Luma Optics Promotionals

Things with Luma Optics (a Sebastopol Fiber Optic company) have been going EXCELLENT!   We have been working in-house all summer building a 54 page product booklet, new business cards, a two page flyer, new website slides, and 6 new sweet postcards to be sent out to businesses looking for a good deal on fiber optic transceivers.  Also have spent a large chunk of time redesigning and working on the website (http://lumaoptics.net).   Can't wait to see all the things printed, will follow up with some images of all of the printed material as soon as we can.  

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