Muse Hauling & Grading Updated

screenshotI spent this past weekend updating the website for Muse Hauling and Grading, a local business here in Denver, NC. I originally designed the site back in 2009. Since that time I’ve had to learn to keep up with the constant improvements in web design, including updates to HTML and CSS as well as the other developments in programming such as jQuery which has quickly become the standard over Flash in such now common things such as animations and slideshows.

Looking at the statistics for the site it was obvious that something needed to be done. Although the site came up well in local searches on Google and Bing, it was still not bringing in the visitors the client needed. A local search for ‘clearing and grading Denver NC’ put the site at the top of the first page (when viewed her from Denver). But a search forĀ  ‘clearing Denver NC’ saw the listing move to the second page. Looking closely at the listings on the first page for that search showed that those listings were really big sites like Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, and so on. Clearly it would be difficult to knock such big sites off page one for that particular search. Other searches for services plus ‘denver nc’ also found the site listed on page 1 or 2.

So, while local search results are good, the challenge now is to get more visitors to the site. Getting links from other sites is a good tactic to get more visibility on the web. MuseHG.com does have listings on Angieslist.com, yellowpages.com, manta.com and a few others. We’ve searched out a few business directories and included the site on those as well but perhaps that is not enough. I’ve advised the client to create a business page on Facebook which hopefully will bring in some more visitors.

In the redesign of the site I’ve taken what I hope will be a good step in increasing the sites visit numbers. The previous site was a static site, which I updated when the client provided me with new content. Unfortunately this was not as often as I would have liked. Obviously when it comes to Google and Bing, content is king! If a site doesn’t grow or doesn’t get updated frequently the ratings tell the tale. Now, by building the site into a WordPress template, the client will be able to update the site himself. And, by using the WordPress JetPack plugin, new posts will automatically be pushed to the new FaceBook page which creates more links and more content at the same time. Seems like a win win situation.

I’ll be keeping an eye on MuseHG.com in the coming weeks to see how well this new strategy works.

SEO is key to getting seen

There is a big push right now by some companies to get website owners to invest in Search Engine Optimization for their sites. The truth is that if you’re site is not optimized correctly, the chances of someone finding you on one of the search engines is slim to none. Type in any word or phrase and see how many returns you get. Chances are, if your not typing in the right phrase, you’ll get hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of returns.

This was the challenge posed to me by Chris Freeman. Chris is the owner of a small local business, Iron Man Detailing. He is trying to grow and asked me to make a website for him so that he could have an online presence. We decided to create a single page and optimize it so that people in the area would be able to locate him online. Based on his ideas, I wrote a couple paragraphs peppered with the keywords we agreed on. I also titled his page to target his services and the surrounding towns he would offer his services in.

Now, less than two weeks after posting his site online, IronManLKN.com is coming up on the first page. Since Chris offers Marine and Residential Detailing, and Gelcoat and Fiberglass Repair in and around Lake Norman and Lake Wylie, I was fairly certain that these phrases and keywords would have good results. I did not however expect to have such great results in only two weeks.

If someone tells you they can guarantee to get you on the first page, or even anywhere near the top of the first page on a search engine, they’re lying. Good SEO results are not always so easy, especially when the search engines are constantly changing their algorythms to keep the cheaters at bay. Most often, depending on your site, services, location, etc., it could takes months to even get anywhere near the first page. I’ve put a lot of time, research and practice into learning about SEO practices. And I am happy to say my last few sites have certainly benefited from it.