So what makes a New York Web design company different from others? Competition! Take a look at how many there are out there! Whether it’s in the city or anywhere near or far, a company looking for top quality Web design in New York area can be faced with hundreds of choices in an area of just a few city blocks! Just picture Google search results, but instead of clicking links you are entering hundreds of Web design studios, lofts and offices of every conceivable size, type and style imaginable. And just as if you searched through Google, if you don’t see what you like, it’s on to the next one and then the next and so on.

Although a bit daunting, with all that competition comes something good; a competitive edge that is crucial in a tightening economy. Sure, we all have to look good on the Web, but when you are competing with your physical neighbors as well as online competition; you have to take it to a whole new level.

That said; here are some inside tips from a successful New York Web design company. We will focus specifically on Website usability, which has the unique distinction of being both the most important and principal consideration yet which is generally least considered.

First of all, people don’t typically read a Webpage, they gloss over it. Actually, they quickly scan it so you need to get their attention quickly and keep it. Here’s how…

  1. Start off with your best content first. Grab the reader’s (or should I say scanner’s) attention right away. Don’t save the best for last since most visitors will leave the same way they entered: the Home Page. Your strongest message should always come first.
  2. Keep your functional areas consistent throughout your site, especially the navigation links (top navigation, sidebars, etc.) search boxes, login areas, and anything else that requires interaction. The more comfortable a visitor feels using the site, the more likely they are to stay for a while and venture deeper.
  3. Always add a link back to your homepage via your company logo. Sure it’s seems logical, though it’s often regarded as old fashioned. If you have ever gotten turned around on a big site you probably know how comforting it is that there is a quick way back to the homepage. Also, a breadcrumb trail is useful if your website’s page structure is very deep. Any way to let your visitor quickly return from where they started is important.
  4. Add a search box that searches ONLY within your site. Don’t bother with one that offers to “Search The Web.” It’s like giving your visitor an invitation to leave your site. What might help Google’s advertisers isn’t always good for you. Besides, why encourage users to leave your site?

Secondly, people are not the only ones who visit your site. Search Engines do too. At least you should hope they do. So how do you make a website search engine friendly? It’s easier than you might think. There’s a lot more to it than using keywords in your meta tags. The days when you could just add keywords to your site’s head tags are over. The following are the three (3) things you absolutely need to do if you want your site at the top of Google.

  1. Use text links with anchor text within your page content. You already know that anchor text is the clickable word(s) that comprise a hyperlink. But what you might not realize is just how incredibly powerful that anchor text is.Want to see for yourself? Go to Google.com and do search for “Click Here” (without the quotes.) You should notice two things right off. First there are well over 1.6 billion competing Web pages. “Click Here” is not a search engine friendly use of a hyperlink. It doesn’t tell the search engines what they would be searching for. And second, the number one match is for Adobe Acrobat Reader.I’ll save you the suspense. It’s not written anywhere on the page or in the META tags. They are number one for “Click Here”, out of 1.6 Billion pages, simply because for years people offering a link to Acrobat have placed the page link as anchor text in the words “Click Here.” Now that’s powerful! And you can harness that power by linking to other pages within your site. Which leads us to Insider Tip #2
  2. If SEO is a priority, dedicate a separate page to each of your main keywords and link the anchor text from each page to the page that has that keyword as its topic. So if you have a site dealing with citrus fruit you should make “oranges” the anchor text on the homepage link that leads to the page specifically about oranges.
  3. And, of course, you should keep this in mind when requesting inbound links from other Websites. Google is all about inbound links and even the sites with the best content never get too high without great inbound links. By the way, this might not seem like a “design” tip but it is more important than you can imagine.

This is your best opportunity to build your brand in your own words. You want to define text that will entice people to visit the page and then let the site’s quality keep them there.

This is just like tip number two above, but you are requesting the anchor text on another Website to link to the appropriate page on your site (not just the homepage.)

And be warned, a lot of Website design professionals will sign up for reciprocal linking services to get quick inbound links. But I advise against it. It’s a down and dirty way to get inbound links, though Google hates it and it’s so easy for them to track, because it is simply an inbound link and an outbound link that match.

It’s so simple, it’s brilliant. Imagine that “Site A” links to “Site B” then “Site B” links to “Site “C”. Finally “Site C” links to “Site A”. Using this method each is a true one way link.

If you need to build links quickly or don’t have the time to dedicate to requesting links yourself, you can use a service that does “3 way linking.” It’s the ideal “set it and forget it” option without worrying about reciprocal links being tracked. A service called 3 Way Linker (http://www.3WayLinker.com) is one of several that do this nicely and affordably.

Well that’s it for this series of inside tips from a New York Web Design Company. Enjoy!

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