Frequently Asked Questions about Web Design, SEO, and Print Marketing
Please choose the categories below to read frequently asked questions and informative answers about each of our services:
Search Engine Optimization
Print Marketing Materials
If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer it directly.
1. Why should I get a website?
That's easy. To keep up with your competition! In the twenty-first century most people have access to the Internet. People are using phone books less and less as it has become very easy to search for products and services over the Internet. Websites also give customers a good idea of who they are dealing with because websites often display a company's attitude and desire to do business - and people generally like to be able to research a company's products and services before making a decision. Internet marketing is much more effective and inexpensive than other forms of media, like radio or television ads and mass mailings. With a website you can reach a wider range of potential customers at a fraction of the cost!
2. How do I get started with my website design?
The first thing you need to do to begin your website design is purchase a domain name and hosting. This can often be done at the same place but be weary that if you are ever unhappy with your hosting provider, it is very difficult to get yourself out of 'packaged deals' and can cost you a fortune. We always recommend to purchase a domain name from a reputable company and then purchase hosting from an entirely different company. Domain names should rarely cost you more than $10 per year and you should always consider purchasing them for more than one year at a time so you don't have to be bothered in a years time with its expiration and renewal. Hosting should costs anywhere from $4 to $20 per month depending on what size plan you need. AP Marketing & Design can assist you in setting up your domain name and hosting and also recommend trustworthy sites to buy them through. We are not resellers of ANY domain registration or hosting services so our recommendations are always based on positive experiences with hosting and domain registrars. We have several companies that we NEVER recommend so always consult with us before you make a purchase.
We also have a helpful chart to assist you with the first steps of your website design. Click here to view our chart on setting up a domain name and hosting. This chart will assist you in the very first steps of the website design process.
There are many factors to consider before starting on your website design. You will want to make sure you have every aspect of the site design covered before contacting a website design company because this will ensure that you receive an accurate quote and do not end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars down the line when new ideas are brought into the picture. Some items you will want to consider are the following (but not limited to):
- How many pages?
- Do you have an existing logo or would you like a custom designed logo?
- Do you need a flash intro or flash banner on the site?
- Do you need a shopping cart? How many products will be in the shopping cart?
- Do you need to be able to make updates and changes to the website yourself?
Feel free to contact AP Marketing & Design for a full list of possible items to consider before you obtain a quote for your website design project.
3. I own website design software. Could I just create my own website?
While this may seem like an economical thing to do, we ALWAYS recommend that you hire a professional to design your website. We have had a countless number of cases where people have created their own websites and then come to us months later to fix or re-design it. Generic website design software is often very easy to use but you generally come away with a site that looks bland and unsophisticated. Website design is never as simple as it seems and if you want a professional-looking website, you need to hire a professional to create it! We have years of experience and can create unique and innovative websites built specifically to your needs.
If you own and know how to use website design software such as Macromedia Dreamweaver, we can create a customized template for you to use. This ensures that your design will look professional and you can add your own content. Please call AP Marketing & Design for pricing on customized website templates (305) 918-2447.
4. How long does it take for you to design a website?
Our website design turn-around time depends on several factors. Most website design jobs are completed between 3-4 weeks but cannot be guaranteed. If all content is provided up front, the design will not take as long and similarly, re-designs require less time than completely new designs.
5. What is different about AP Marketing & Design's approach to website design as compared to other companies?
Because marketing is our specialty, we know how to build websites that drive traffic. Most website designers purely stick to design and often create beautiful websites that get little to no traffic. AP Marketing & Design ALWAYS implements basic search engine optimization techniques into ALL of our website design projects. We believe there is no point in having a website if nobody is going to see it and we stress that as the most important aspect of our designs. We spend less time trying to impress and more time creating a user-friendly, functional, well-optimized website. We have a creative eye when it comes to website design and we are always coming up with new ideas and techniques that ensure you your website will be like no other out there. Our clients have been impressed by our ability to communicate with them throughout the course of their projects because we like to keep everyone in the loop. It is your design, after all, and there is no reason why you should not be a part of it.
Search Engine Optimization
1. What is Search Engine Optimization or SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that has become very popular as more and more people have come to realize the power of the internet and what it can mean for their businesses. And more and more people are coming to realize how important search engine rankings are in terms of drawing traffic to their businesses.
Search Engine Optimization is the 'organic' method of obtaining a high ranking in the search engines. It involves intricate details and constant attention as the algorithms of the search engines are constantly changing. There are many techniques involved in search engine optimization but we would not want to give away our secrets! Please see our page on Search Engine Optimization for more detailed information and contact us at (305) 918-2447 for your free search engine optimization consultation.
2. How does Search Engine Optimization differ from Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine optimization is a part of search engine marketing, but not the other way around. Search engine optimization is purely the act of getting a website to rank high in the search engine rankings using organic methods. Search engine marketing consists of SEO and/or other methods like pay-per-click ads and sponsored links. Search engine marketing is very effective in the short-term but if you want to see long-term and more meaningful results, search engine optimization is the way to go.
3. Why should I be interested in Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization brings traffic to your website. If you have an existing site that gets no traffic, what is the point of having a site? Internet browsers rarely look beyond the first page of search results so it is important to have your site appear within the top ten of the major search engines like Google and Yahoo. SEO gives your website that little boost it needs to be successful in the search engines without paying for advertising or pay-per-click ads. It brings you business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
4. How long does Search Engine Optimization usually take to show results?
Search engine optimization does not happen overnight. It may take several months to show any noticeable results, while for some websites it may only take a few weeks. There are many factors that affect the way search engines and spiders are "crawling" pages and therefore, every page will have different results and at different times. Optimization is a continual process and pages needed to be modified and added every month in order to keep the website high in the search engine rankings. It is key to have patience when starting a search engine optimization program because in the end, the results will be worth the wait!
5. What is a geo-identifier and why is it important?
A geo-identifier is a keyword used to show a location - for example, "Fort Lauderdale website design" - with 'Fort Lauderdale' being the geo-identifier. This is used to identify where you offer your products and services if not on a national or international level. The geo-identifier is extremely important in SEO because most people search for products or services in a specific area and by adding this geo-identifier to your keywords and phrases, you will increase the likelihood that your website will show up in the results.
6. Can I just submit my website to search engines myself and get high rankings?
Unless your website was well-designed to be search engine friendly OR your products and services consist of non-competitive keywords and key phrases, then it is highly unlikely that your website will have high rankings with no extra work. It is always a good idea to submit your site to search engines to gain a little bit of exposure, but a search engine optimization plan is what will really give you the high rankings.
7. Does AP Marketing & Design guarantee high search engine placement?
AP Marketing & Design does not guarantee high search engine placement for all keywords related to your website. While your site may rank high for 10-20 keywords, there may be another 10-20 keywords that it does not get good search engine results for. This is due to the nature of competitiveness on the web AND the fact that while you may have a website, we cannot guarantee that people will be searching for your products or services. No professional SEO company will ever guarantee you anything so watch out for claims that say otherwise. We do, however, have proven results as you can see from many of the sites in our portfolio and out client testimonials. Also, you probably found our website in the search engines - and that was no accident!
8. Is it a good idea to combine a Search Engine Optimization plan with a Pay-Per-Click campaign?
Having extra exposure in the search engines is never a bad idea but it depends on how much money you are willing to spend. Search Engine Optimization is often much less expensive than pay-per-click (PPC) ads but also takes a longer time to show results. The way PPC works is that you bid on keywords / key phrases and when people type those into search engines, your ad displays on the right-hand side of the results. When someone clicks on your add, you pay anywhere from $0.50 to $5.00 depending on the competitiveness of those keywords. You create a monthly budget for PPC and when you have maxed out your budget for the month, your ad will no longer appear...that is why it is a good idea to also have search engine optimization working for you.
9. Is there anything that can get me banned from the search engines?
Being banned from search engines is highly unlikely unless you break some very obvious rules. The most common reason for being banned or suddenly dropping in rankings is by having duplicate content on your website. This makes you highly vulnerable to getting banned from Google - which is one search engine that you do NOT want to get banned from! Having duplicate content means that you either have two identical websites that use the same content (i.e. text and images) OR copying text from another website. We require that all content supplied to AP Marketing & Design be your original content because we seldom have time to check -- and not only will your website be banned from search engines, but you could risk copyright-infringement violations as well. In most cases, websites are not completely banned from the search engines but rather quickly move from the first page of search results to the last page! It is best that all legitimate techniques are followed so as to avoid this at all costs!
Print Marketing Materials
1. Can I save money by designing my own print marketing materials?
We advise people to not attempt to create their own marketing materials for print. While your design may look good to you on a computer there are many printing specifications that people are unaware of; such as file type, file size, and bleed. Unless you have experience in print marketing, you may end up spending money on printing only to find out that your work needs to be completely re-designed using the proper specifications. In the end you will end up spending more money than had you just hired a professional graphic and print designer from the start!
2. How much should I expect to spend on printing?
This is a question that only a printer can answer for you and I would suggest getting quotes and seeing sample work from printers before hiring them for the job. The cost of print jobs vary on the type and size of paper used, color vs. black and white printing, special elements (such as raised lettering or gold leaf), the amount of units printed, and if they need to be folded, stapled, or collated. Most printers charge per page but some offer volume discounts. It is best to check prices with a printer before having anything designed, as you don't want to find out later that with design and printing you have maxed out your budget.
If you have additional questions and cannot find the answers here, please email us at email@example.com.