10 Most Common (And Most Harmful) Web Design Mistakes

Good web design is essential to providing a positive experience for your site visitors. Good web design means keeping visitors on your site longer, increasing your returning visitors, and ultimately increasing your conversion rate if your site is successfully getting your customers where they need to go to purchase your products or services. Due to a decreasing emphasis on traditional SEO techniques, web design is also becoming increasingly important to your SEO efforts. Here are 10 of the most common and most harmful mistakes that designers make as documented by our San Diego web design firm. Avoid these mistakes and you’ll be several steps ahead of many of your competitors.

1. Broken Links

Few things are worse than having a broken link on your site, which can produce a dreaded 404 error or a variety of other undesirable results. It makes your site look unprofessional, and can even hurt your search rankings. Test your site regularly to make sure all of your links are working like they should.

2. Slow Load Times

A slow-loading site is a good way to send your visitors to competitors. Make sure your website is loading quickly, and if it is not, see about trimming back all of those fancy images and animations you have going. If that doesn’t work, contact your host as soon as you can.

3. Multiple Windows

If all of your links open into new windows, your visitors’ desktops are going to get pretty crowded, and this can be annoying. Pop-up windows are usually a bad idea too. This is an age of tabbed browsing, so have your links open into new tabs, or better yet, let your visitors do it themselves. Our San Diego web design team has found that having solid navigation features helps too, which we’ll discuss below.

4. Bad Organization and Navigation

Bad site organization is a killer: dead ends and vague navigation options can leave your visitors lost, confused, and frustrated. Your site should be easy to navigate and customers should be able to find what they need quickly and easily. This means having both a well-organized site, and a useful navigation bar that is present wherever the visitor goes, so they can return to a previous page with ease, or navigate to a page that they want.

5. Hard-to-Find Contact Info

Another way to frustrate visitors is by making your contact information elusive or non-existent. Make sure you have information like an email address, phone number, or physical address on every page.

6. No Links to Social Media

Visitors should be able to jump back and forth from your website to your social media pages. Otherwise you are missing out on potential customer interaction, and you’re probably frustrating users that want to jump to your social media pages too. Our San Diego web design firm makes social media integration a priority on client websites; it boosts your search engine rankings too.

7. No Back Button

Some site designers opt to disable users’ back buttons so they can’t easily navigate away from the website. This is a bad idea and will just drive away visitors, even if they are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. No one likes to be manipulated into doing things.

8. Overly Busy Design

Some beginners in web design can get a little overexcited and overdo it on the fonts and colors, which can drive away visitors. You want your site to look graphically appealing, and even have a little artistic flourish if done well, but you don’t want there to be too much going on, either. A consistent theme with clear, easy-to-read pages is much more effective. Our San Diego web design team has found the best results with clean, brand-themed, functional web designs.

9. No Link to Home

None of your pages should have dead ends, which can pose a problem for visitors looking to navigate back to the homepage, or stop visitors from entering the site if a certain page is shared with them or linked to. Make sure all of your pages have links back to your homepage, or even a good navigation bar as mentioned above.

10. Bad or Dated Info

Nothing puts off a potential customer like error-ridden or outdated information. Scan your web pages carefully and make sure your content is up to date and correct. Besides, keeping your site up to date and fresh with quality content helps your search ranking.

Need a Professional?

If you’d like a professional San Diego web design firm to design the ultimate site for your business, Coalition Technologies can help. Give us a call today at 1-310-827-3890 to receive a free quote.

Diagnose Your SEO in 5 Minutes

When it comes to undertaking an SEO marketing campaign, getting started can often seem an overwhelming task. Where to begin?  Luckily there is a quick and easy way to figure out where you currently stand and what you need to do to reach your goals. Of course, search results differ from person to person on a platform like Google, but at least you can get a general idea of where you are and where you need to go.  Once you have a decent idea of what you need to do, you can go about embarking on your campaign.

Surveying Keywords

Start brainstorming keywords that you think your target demographic is entering into a search engine to look for the products and services that you offer. Do you run an online business or do you have regional locations? If you are targeting specific regions, include those in the search. Otherwise think of the most popular articulations of your products and services. General searches are good but more specific searches are also useful.

Are you offering anything unique that people are seeking out in particular? Is there anything about your product that you want to emphasize? Write down all of the possible keywords that come to mind that you want to test out for your campaign.

Where Do You Stand?

Now you want to put these keywords into Google and see where your web pages come up. You definitely want to be on the front page of the search results, namely in the top 3 results. Where is your website? Is it on the front page? If you’re not at least in the top 3 search results, you have work to do.

Think about the keywords you just put in. Do you have product pages that contain these keywords? Are you using these keywords and in your title tags and meta descriptions? Do you have a fair amount of rich content that uses these keywords? If the answer is no to any of these questions, you now know some things you can be doing in your efforts.

Learn From the Competition

Check out the top websites in the results. Take note of what these websites are doing. You can also get a good idea of what keywords your competitors are targeting in their ad campaigns by looking at the sponsored ads when you search. It can help to combine a PPC campaign with your SEO campaign.

Evaluating Your Results

Taking a look at your own webpage results can give your SEO campaign some direction as well. For example, how do your results look in the search? How is the wording? How are the descriptions and titles? Would you click on your link if you were a customer looking for your products or services?

Try clicking on the page that comes up in the results. Is your landing page helpful and engaging? Do you think it will keep the customers’ attention? Try a mock run through your website and see how easy it is to find what you are looking for, considering the keyword you just typed in.

Taking the Next Step – Get Quality SEO Los Angeles

These quick exercises can tell you a lot about where you stand: the approximate ranking of your site, its appearance on the results, what keywords you are successfully ranking on and which ones need work, how your webpage looks after a search engine user happens upon it, and what your competitors are doing that you could be doing as well. Even if you are relatively satisfied with the results, there are always plenty of things to be done, because the competition never rest either.

Talk to your SEO team about the work that needs to be done. If you don’t have a designated team, consider hiring a professional to handle your campaign for you. Coalition Technologies is a top-rated SEO Los Angeles firm that has helped countless businesses large and small to successfully grow their customer base. We employ cutting-edge SEO techniques to provide for our clients the most competitive SEO campaigns in the market. Give us a call today at 1-310-827-3890 for a free quote. Get the best SEO in Los Angeles.

Google Says: “You Can’t Rely on Old SEO Tactics”

Los Angeles Web Design at its Finest

Due to Google’s dominant position as the leading search engine and the corresponding reliance of many web search users on Google’s search tools, the algorithm changes put into place by Google can affect a wide range of users and businesses. In fact, the changing SEO industry itself can be largely attributed to algorithm changes implemented by Google and the way those changes affect search rankings. There are certainly plenty of observers unhappy with this, as well as many more who think the changes are taking the industry in a productive direction. Without a doubt, taking Google’s dominant search position into account means undertaking more diverse and creative SEO tactics such as web design, graphic design, social media marketing, and rich content generation.

Out with the Old

The two major updates in question are Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, which ushered in big changes and addressed the prevalence of SEO techniques that sacrificed quality in order to game the search engine, according to Google. Panda targeted thin, spammy content and mandated more long-form content that appeals to the user, while Penguin went after link farms and link spamming, putting a greater emphasis on high quality, relevant links.

In with the New

Coming on the heels of the Panda and Penguin updates, Google introduced its Hummingbird update, which emphasized natural language search, rich content, and a quality experience for users. With these updates taken together, it is immediately apparent that old SEO techniques such as link spamming, keyword stuffing, thin-but-algorithm-friendly content, and other algorithm gaming techniques no longer work.

New techniques – which are really just old marketing principles that are tried and true – mean implementing strategies that gives users an engaging experience and useful way to access products and services. It also means graphic design that is pleasing to users, rich content that keeps users coming back for more, and a general favorable experience that keeps users loyal to your brand. The bottom line is if you are providing your visitors with a great experience, you’re implicitly providing Google’s users with a great experience if they used the search engine to get to your site. If Google is happy, it is more likely that you keep your traffic.

Good or Bad?

There are plenty of critics of this situation who insist that Google’s dominance gives it an outsized influence over the nature of the web itself. Critics argue that since Google controls so much of the web traffic, many webmasters and businesses are subject to the whims of Google’s algorithms, which don’t always successfully sort out the quality sites. Some of these critics are certainly old-school SEO practitioners and algorithm gamers who don’t want to change, yet there are others whose genuine high-quality sites are harmed by algorithms that can’t completely capture the subjective nature of quality.

Another viewpoint holds that these changes are making the SEO industry (and the websites it serves) better and more accountable for quality user experiences. No one likes change at first, but without a doubt these updates have imposed a more stringent standard on quality web design graphic design, marketing, and content writing.

Hire a Professional Los Angeles Web Design Firm

Whether you are a fan of these changes or not, Google remains a dominant actor in the search engine market, and if you want to run a successful business in today’s Internet-powered information economy, you need to run an SEO campaign that effectively abides by Google’s algorithms. Fortunately, you can hire a talented SEO professional to help you navigate the volatile world of search. Coalition Technologies offers only the best talent in the industry and we keep on top of the latest SEO techniques to give you the highest search rankings and a quality experience for your customers. We offer high rated services in Los Angeles web design, social media marketing, branding, graphic design, content creation, and much more.  Give us a call today at 1-310-827-3890 and receive a free quote.

The Best Positions in the SEO Industry

With virtually every serious business today looking to enlist some sort of SEO service to improve their search ranking and visibility, it isn’t hard to imagine why the SEO industry has seen such a sustained growth in job positions. What are the best positions in terms of pay and job description? Where can you find the best SEO jobs? Take a look at this brief overview of Los Angeles SEO jobs for more information.

SEO Managers and SEO Directors

In many firms, the title “manager” and “director” is often interchangeable, though in larger firms there can be an SEO director that manages a number of SEO managers, who in turn manages their respective staffs. An SEO director or manager usually guides the general direction of an SEO campaign. SEO directors and managers keep up with the latest search techniques and strategies, stay on top of industry developments, work with SEO software, and manage resources as well as teams of link builders, content writers, and social media marketers.

For managers and directors, there is a healthy demand for Los Angeles SEO jobs of this nature, and they generally pay anywhere from 50K to 100K or more. These types of professionals can make a dramatic difference when it comes to the success of an SEO campaign, and competition for these positions is steep.

Content and Keyword Strategists

Content and keyword strategists analyze content and keyword usage and develop strategies that will make the best use of content in SEO campaigns. Content and keyword strategists can also write content themselves and get involved in editorial activities such as developing workflow and maintaining guidelines for creating effective content.

These types of Los Angeles SEO jobs are offered less frequently, but are paid very well (50K to 100K+) due to their effectiveness in SEO marketing campaigns.

SEO Analysts and Specialists

SEO specialists can have overlapping skillsets with managers and strategists, but with larger operations a specialist position can be more sharply defined. SEO specialists are often tasked with rigorous analysis, and are sometimes referred to as SEO analysts for this reason. SEO specialists carry out website analysis and make sure each page – as well as the structure of the site itself – work towards a better search ranking. SEO specialists also handle keyword analysis and research to make content more effective.

These kinds of Los Angeles SEO jobs typically enjoy plenty of demand and they can pay anywhere from 35K to 80K.

Copywriters and Link Builders

These two positions are relatively straightforward. Copywriters work with managers, specialists, strategists, and editors to craft rich content with effective keywords for websites and blogs. Link builders are tasked with building up lists of quality links to the client’s website in order to improve search rankings.

These jobs don’t always pay like the others do (20 – 80K) but they often offer flexible locations and schedules, and there is no shortage of demand for them.

Other Professions and Locations

Depending on the degree of sophistication for a given SEO operation, there are plenty of other job titles out there with their share of functions. Further, the functions of the modern SEO firm have expanded to keep up with the changing search algorithms of companies like Google. SEO marketing can utilize the skills of graphic designers, web designers, PR specialists, branding marketers, and others depending on the scale of the operation.

While Los Angeles SEO jobs tend to be some of the most abundant SEO jobs in the US, professionals should have no trouble finding work in other cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and more. Pay tends to be higher, and job offers tend to be more numerous in the big cities, though cost of living goes up as well.

Looking for Work or Services?

Are you looking for a top notch SEO job in Los Angeles? Coalition Technologies is a top-rated firm based out of LA and we are always hiring. We provide an excellent workplace for the top talent in Los Angeles SEO. Or if you are in need of SEO services, we would be happy to address your search ranking needs! Give us a call today at 1-310-827-3890 for more information, or contact us for a free quote if you are looking to enlist our services.

What You Need to Know about SEO in 2014

Tips from a Los Angeles SEO Expert

The SEO world has seen a slew of dramatic changes in the last couple of years, with many of the changes brought about by several Google algorithm updates. Major updates like Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and Google’s shift to “(not provided)” keyword data has changed SEO for good. In 2014 your typical SEO campaign is going to look very different, though some old techniques are still relevant if you do them correctly. It can be hard to keep track of what techniques and approaches are still applicable and which aren’t though, so I’ve put together a quick overview of this year’s effective SEO for your convenience.

Keywords

Google’s keyword planner is a useful tool for researching your keywords, and provides functions for getting keyword ideas, viewing statistics on keywords, previewing keyword performance, and more. Keyword stuffing is pretty much a goner as an SEO technique; lightly peppering your content, title tags, and meta descriptions is a much better approach. Google’s shift to (not provided) keyword data means it is much more difficult to get keyword data with analytics unless you are using PPC data, but then there are tricks and techniques to get around this too. Keywords still play a part in SEO, but there are other important factors to pay attention to as well.

Links

Google’s Penguin update targeted low-quality link building and link farming to cut down on the spammy content that was gaming search algorithms. However, that doesn’t mean link building is out for good. Link building is still important to search results; you just have to do it correctly.

In your Los Angeles SEO campaign, you should be focusing on building up high-quality, relevant links. That means getting respected sites with subject matter that is relevant to your site (as well as your products and services) to link to you. Another useful approach is writing guest blog posts and getting them posted on respected blogs, which then link back to your site.

Content

Google’s search engine algorithms are increasingly looking for high-quality content that is useful or engaging to readers. Good SEO means generating just this type of content. You can still place keywords into your content – just don’t overdo it – and you can also use keywords in your URLs, headings, title tags, and in your alt image tags, but you want to make sure above all else that your content is meant for the enjoyment of humans and not just search algorithms.

Keep your content updated frequently and try to focus on generating more lengthy articles (500 words or more). Also consider getting a Google+ profile – if you haven’t already – and linking this profile to all of your articles. This establishes authorship, which improves search engine rankings.

Format

Keep in mind that more and more search users are using devices other than computers to access websites and content, such as tablets and mobile devices. Mobile devices like smartphones are especially becoming popular web browsing tools; for example, around 50 percent of online shoppers have reported using smart phones to do their browsing and shopping. You definitely want to capture some of this growing user base.

Your SEO campaign should involve optimizing for local search (which is big on mobile), implementing responsive web design or mobile web design, configuring your content for long tail voice search, and anything else you can think of to appeal to your mobile audience.

Call our Los Angeles SEO Firm Today

If you focus on these basic points, your SEO campaign will be stronger than most. For a more sophisticated and in-depth SEO marketing campaign however, consider hiring a professional. Coalition Technologies has served countless clients with the cutting edge in SEO techniques. Our campaign can deliver metric-driven results for your business and grow your customer base with more conversions. Call our Los Angeles SEO firm today at 1-310-827-3890 and receive a free quote.

5 Reasons Why You Need to Pay Attention to Graphic Design

In the rush to achieve ranking dominance on organic search results, many businesses and marketers often miss a crucial component of the successful online marketing campaign: the actual visual appeal and impact of the marketing message. This is a surprising oversight considering the vibrant visual nature of the Internet and the responsiveness of the human brain to visual information. Here are 5 reasons you should pay attention to graphic design in your campaign according to top Los Angeles graphic designers.

1. Good Graphics Hold User Attention

Web users like to look at good graphic design, and information is taken in much more easily if it is skillfully organized graphically and visually appealing. However a good graphic designer knows that it requires a careful balance between visual appeal and function. You want to make sure your web visitors are enjoying themselves, but ultimately finding their way to the products and services they need.

2. User Experience Matters

Our Los Angeles graphic designers understand that user experience is crucial to any marketing effort. This means providing an intuitive and appealing user interface on your website that allows your users to order the products they want with ease, or request the services they need. Site organization can mean the difference between customers coming back for more or switching to another business; it all depends on their experience with ordering your products and services.

3. Brands are as Visual as they are Meaningful

There is certainly a lot of power behind the reputation of a given brand, but brands also impress themselves on the consumer by conveying a memorable visual message. Your brand should communicate vividly what you want your business to be about, and it should be able to do this as soon as the consumer sees the logo. Your website should also reflect the visual feel of your brand with a consistent message. This is something that our talented Los Angeles graphic designers can help you with.

4. Catering to Potential Users

Good graphic design means building a website that works on every device, whether by building a dedicated site for each device or implementing responsive web design which works on different screens. More and more users are browsing the net with mobile phones and tablets, so you want to reach as many of these converts as possible.

5. Graphics Matter to Search Engines Too

Our Los Angeles graphic designers stress that graphic design even applies to search engine rankings. Site organization is judged by search algorithms, and good site organization keeps users on your site and returning for more, which also can be measured by search algorithms. Having a visually appealing brand and website can be measured both directly and indirectly by algorithms, and satisfied users contribute to your general search rankings.

Call a Professional

Want to take advantage of top notch graphic design to enhance your online marketing campaign, or do you need to overhaul your website or brand image? We recommend enlisting the services of Coalition Technologies’ skilled Los Angeles graphic designers to maximize the gains from your investment. Good graphic design keeps on giving by providing your users with a positive experience and encouraging them to return, while also appealing to search engines and increasing your visibility. Give us a call at 1-888-840-3469 for a free quote.

 

Buy Local! Tips for Finding the Right Los Angeles SEO Services for Your Company

If your company is based out of Los Angeles, and you do a lot of business in the region, you are probably interested in finding a good Los Angeles local SEO services company that understands the area and the demographics you are looking to reach. You’ve probably found that there are quite a few of them to choose from. How do you find the company that is the right fit for your business? Here are a few characteristics to look for in a local SEO firm when you make your decision.

The Firm Understands Local Search

This is probably obvious, but an important point to make anyway, since many SEO firms focus on general search optimization methods at the cost of ignoring local search, which is increasingly playing a greater role in SEO algorithms.

When a Los Angeles local SEO services company implements local search techniques, there are several specific things that must be done that diverge from common organic search techniques. The demographics you are trying to target in the area should be well researched, as should the keyword strings being used most often. Local search strings should be targeted, such as “Los Angeles physicians” if you are a doctor, or “painters in Los Angeles” if you run a painting business, just to name a couple of examples.

Another important task is getting your business listed in all of the local listings you can manage. Keep in mind that Google and Yahoo! offer these types of local listings, as well as sites like Yelp. These listings provide opportunities for customer interaction, which you should be looking to influence with great products and services.

Be sure and talk to your Los Angeles local SEO services company about their methods for targeting local search results. It is a quick and easy way to ascertain whether the company is worth working with.

Interest in Your Business

When it comes to quality SEO work, every marketing campaign for a given business is different. A cookie cutter approach just won’t work. What demographic are your products and services aimed at? What kind of marketing voice would be most effective on the demographic you are targeting? What are your customers’ habits and what types of keywords are they using most frequently?

All of these variables will determine the kind of campaign that will suit your business the best, and ingratiate your local business with your targeted demographic.

Metrics-Based Results

Your Los Angeles local SEO services company of choice should understand your goals in clear terms, and have a concrete plan for marketing your products or services. Your firm of choice should offer metrics-driven updates and clear results that show you where you stand on your investment. Otherwise you run the risk of being stringed along with no clear direction or understanding of your business’ progress.

Call Today

Coalition Technologies has substantial experience working local campaigns for businesses large and small. We are a Los Angeles local SEO services company that makes the client our top priority and the quality of the campaign our chief aim. We provide a clear marketing plan and deliver metrics-driven results so you always know where you stand. Give us a call today at 1-888-840-3469 and receive a free quote.

Finding the Right LA Search Engine Marketing Firm

The SEO industry is a booming business, which isn’t a surprise considering how many people use search engines to handle all of their information needs. Naturally, businesses want to attract some of that traffic. However a booming industry means a ton of competing SEO firms claiming they can take your business to new heights with their amazing optimization techniques. How do you choose a Los Angeles search engine marketing firm to trust with your business’ success? Read on for some helpful tips on finding the right firm for you.

Experience

The SEO industry is a competitive field that is always changing. The SEO marketing firm of your choice should have a proven track record with a wide range of clients. Check out the firm’s portfolio and inquire into the firm’s past successes. A seasoned firm will possess a better understanding of the SEO world, as well as a developed ability to adapt to big changes. An inexperienced firm runs the risk of adopting dubious or temporary SEO techniques, techniques which may penalize you in the long run if search algorithms change and the gains from those techniques are neutralized.

A competent Los Angeles search engine marketing firm should know how to balance the time-tested knowledge of building a lasting search engine presence with the dexterity that comes with adapting new techniques which appeal to changing algorithms. This balance is difficult to achieve and takes time and experience in the field to cultivate.

Talent

Truly great SEO requires passion and talent to implement. That’s because search algorithms are increasingly tracking the quality of content and the quality of user experience with various metrics such as traffic, user loyalty, links from quality sites, bounce rate, time spent on your site, and more. A great Los Angeles search engine marketing firm should be able to attract the top talent in the industry, talent which can put their individual passions towards crafting websites and content that appeal to human users just as much as they appeal to search engine algorithms.

Attention to the Client’s Needs

Some SEO firms will just use their usual bag of tricks to run the marketing campaign of every client that comes through their door. However different techniques and marketing voices work for different businesses and the demographics they are seeking to reach. What you want to look for is a Los Angeles search engine marketing firm that will sit down with you and learn about your business, taking the time to understand your goals and the vision you wish to communicate. A good firm should also thoroughly research and understand the demographics that you are trying to reach, as well as possess a firm grasp on optimizing search results for local searches, if you are looking to reach a demographic in a specific geographic area.

Call a Professional

Coalition Technologies is one of the top-rated SEO marketing firms in Los Angeles for a good reason. We demonstrate all of the necessary characteristics that are required to make it in the SEO business without becoming a mere passing fad. We have served hundreds of businesses both large and small, and we enjoy a client satisfaction rate of 99%. Are you ready to kick off your marketing campaign with a Los Angeles search engine marketing firm that knows its trade and understands its clients’ needs? Give us a call today at 1-888-840-3469 and receive a free quote.