SEO is Just Common Sense

There are many resources online showing individuals how to optimize their websites; all of them have a value of some sort.

The thing that we see over and over again is that many individuals are simply confused with all the information that is available. If we break down search engine optimization to its most basic form, it’s very similar to visiting the library and using the computer to search for books within the library. The library’s search engine is simply going to find the book that best matches either the keywords or title that you input into this search engine. Well, how does the library’s search engine know which book best fits your search? Just logically speaking probably about 90% of the search based on the title of the book. Wouldn’t it then stand to reason that Google also places much emphasis on the title of the document? For example, when users search for “Search Engine Optimization in Maui” the top search result would show the websites that have this exact keyword on its title.

The basics of your website and WebPages are the very first place to start any good SEO campaign.

Start with a title tag and make sure that it has more than just your companies name and phone number, include the relevant keywords that you have researched through Google’s AdWords tool. Never overload the title tag because Google is only ever going to read 100 characters of the title tag, to begin with, so it does not make much sense to extend way beyond that. The same thing goes for the H1 tag; make use of the headlines of your page. You do want to make certain that your headlines are attractive and do catch the attention of your customer; we also want to include keywords inside the H1 tag to attract the search engines as well. The metadata should also be addressed in your campaign, many search engine optimization experts have claimed that meta-data no longer matters; however, in the search engine optimization campaigns that we manage we definitely see an impact from metadata especially inside the descriptions. Our theory on this is that if the metadata has zero effect on our campaign it’s at least gives us a theme for each page that we develop and helps keeps us organized.

I’ve seen about 1 million different advertisements for submitting your website to 1000′s of different search engines or creating backlinks overnight and I can honestly tell you that while they might have some positive effect on your search engine optimization campaign nothing will replace useful content and good website optimization. Trying to fool the search engines by using tricks such as mirror sites, or duplicate content is simply a waste of time. Granted you may get a bump in the ratings for a short period of time by going around the “system” but in the long run is that really what you want? If you are attempting to develop a website that will maintain its rankings for the “long run”, and it is wise to develop content that will convert your Internet traffic as well as serve the search engines well.

In previous articles we have discussed “black hat SEO” and what to avoid when optimizing your website, as you are developing your website or optimizing make certain that you pay attention to what could hurt you. Search engines are extremely intelligent and you must provide content that is useful and original. As time goes on this is proving to be more and more difficult which requires creativity and thought.


When you’re working on your search engine optimization campaign make sure that you set aside enough time to really be creative with it, remember that organically showing up in the rankings does not cost you or your company anything but time so make sure that you do not skimp on the time you invest in this campaign. The more time you spend developing content that is useful with keywords for the search engines, the more likely it is that you will show up at the top of the searches for the demographic and target audience you want to reach.

5 Reasons why a WordPress blog may be just what your small business needs

More and more individuals, businesses and nonprofits are turning to WordPress for off-the-rack small website solutions, and it’s so easy to see why.

This long established blogging engine has added loads of features and functionality that make it a perfect marriage between website and blog: what’s not to like? in particular offers a great low-cost way for a small business or nonprofit looking to establish a flexible and easy to update web presence. If you don’t require heavy design customization (though this is possible too, for more upfront investment), a WordPress site is a dream come true.

Five reasons why you might consider building your website using WordPress:

1. Control over your own content

– this has got to be the single biggest selling factor for anyone who has ever been trapped in an expensive maintenance relationship for a custom website. Sure, if you have the budget and are happy to outsource your updating, using a web developer to maintain your site may be a good fit (we still have many clients who like to go this route), but for many small business owners, that kind of arrangement can be too cumbersome and too expensive. A WordPress site with a seriously simple interface that makes it easy to add, remove and edit pages; upload images (for single use or the creation of galleries), PDFs or sound files; share your latest news through the creation of new blog posts; as well as to change design elements and other site features, is just what the doctor ordered.

2. Widgets and cool functionality

widgets– A lot of clients don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention “widgets”. These are just site features that give you great control and flexibility with the content that you serve up and where you place it. A menu of site pages, lists of categories, links to or even direct feeds from other blogs or sites, graphics, and much more is included in the list of “widgets” that can enhance your site for a paltry fraction of the cost that it would cost to implement on a custom website.

3. Searchability

– Blogs by their very nature are incredibly searchable, by which I mean that they are indexed and served up in search engine results very quickly. This means you can try out terms and phrases and quickly get a sense of the kind of traffic they might generate, and generally get your word out there on the internet. If “being found” on the internet is important to you, a blogging engine is a great starting point. WordPress also includes some simple but nice features to help you track visits to your site, including referring sites and the terms that people used to find you. Oh, and they make it incredibly easy to enable visitors to share your site and its resources with their networks through the most popular current social media and sharing engines such as Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, etc.

4. Tech trends

– Being part of a large community like means that you’ll always be in touch and, to a degree, on top of current trends in technology. An example of this is the WordPress feature that allows you to easily generate an iPad version of your site. And let’s not forget those social media sharing options I just mentioned above. If something good on the technology front emerges that WordPress feels is essential to its platform, you’ll suddenly find that you just have it – that’s incredible compared to having to pay for similar upgrades to a custom site.

5. Cost

– For a new or small business, or many nonprofits with limited budgets, (the free WordPress option) can seem heaven-sent. If you’re not averse to advertisements potentially appearing on your site (this becomes more likely the more popular your site becomes), you can have a WordPress site entirely for free. For a small fee, you have the option to nix any ads.

The role of color scheme in website design

The Importance of Color in Web Design

It is to our eyes what music is to our ears. Those of us blessed with vision can barely imagine a world without color. Colors evoke feelings, and stand to represent ideas, and so, in web design, as in all things designed, knowledgeable and appropriate use of color is critical.

There are many issues of color involved in web design. Besides the psychological aspects of color, one must be sure that the site is easily readable, and that the palette used in background, graphics, links and content work together. And so, we will look at some of the known psychological qualities of color and how colors relate to each other, both online and off with plenty of tips on palette development and web color usage.


Blue is by far the most popular color

Conveying peace and tranquility, harmony, trust and confidence. Luckily for web designers striving to use the 216 color palette, there is an overabundance of blues to choose from! Lighter shades of blue, both solid and textured, make excellent backgrounds for web sites which are lighthearted and positive.

On the other hand, blue is the worst possible choice when developing sites for food or cooking because there very few blue foods on earth and it is known to be an appetite suppressant!

Blues work well with other pastel and “cool” shades (like greens), and are an excellent compliment to earth tones and neutral colors like gray and beige. But be careful when using orange with blue, because these two colors vibrate against each other and cause a jarring effect.

Beige is a neutral color

which suggests practicality and conservatism, and alone, it can be tiresome and plain. But as a background color with graphics which are earthy, like browns and greens, or blue and pink palettes. Beige is a good color to use in the background, as it will allow for maximum readability of content.

Black is generally considered a mournful, heavy and depressing color

But in the right context, can be sophisticated and mysterious. Studies have shown that online reading can be difficult on a black background, but many sites have been done successfully using colors which contrast heavily (white, neon green).

Usage of black as a predominant color should always be carefully considered – if you are designing a children’s bookstore, black is the worst possible choice, but if the site is a gallery of photography, black might be an excellent choice… after all, black is the preferred backdrop for an artist’s work. In addition, a site which is highly technical, or has an underground feel, would work well in black.

Brown is another conservative color, which depicts stability, simplicity, and comfort

It can also be considered a drab color as well, and unless it is used correctly, can be very boring. Successful applications might include sepia toned photographs, as well as designs which use a palette of different shade of brown accented by accent colors like green and blue, or red and orange. In a site which depicts the ideas of hearth and home, or outdoor activities, brown can be a wise choice for graphics.

Green is a color to be used with care

Because it generates a strong feeling of either positively or negativity in most people. For some, it is a kind, generous color, which represents loyalty and intelligence. It is often a logical choice for financial sites, and represents fertility, healing and ecology in many cultures.

But keep in mind that for many people, it conjures up imagery of envy, reptiles and insects, and bodily functions! You may wish to use green as an accent color only because as a predominant color it has been known to drive people away in product design studies. Whatever you do, if you use green DO NOT closely combine red with green, as these two colors vibrate against each other and make readability nearly impossible, as well as being difficult for the color blind to read.

Gray is the most conservative of neutral shades

It represents practicality, sadness, security and reliability. It is a boring color, routine and lifeless. Its often hard to believe that gray backgrounds were all that web developers had to work with once! Unless you WANT to convey lackluster or conservatism in your site, you would do better to choose another neutral tone like beige or white as a background. Of course, if gray is used properly in a palette of cool tones like blues and purples, it can be quite successful, however staid.


Lavender is another color which most people have a strong feeling towards.

It is a pastel, properly used to generate feelings of romance, nostalgia and daintiness, and it is also a favorite color for the creative, different and unusual. If your intent is to stand out and be noticed, lavender might be just the choice, depending on what your site is for. It works nicely with other pastels, for a feminine feel, as well as other cool tones like blue, green and even as a highlight for neutral gray.

No matter how evolved we would like to be, pink, like lavender, is considered a frilly, tender, feminine color. It can be used with care on sites for which that feeling is appropriate.

The grandfather of lavender…

Purple is the color of mystery, royalty and spirituality.

For the unconventional and creative, it is not only a good choice, but often the only choice! When used in a background, as with black, be sure to use a highly contrasting color for content so that your words are readable.

Orange is a warm color – enthused, vibrant and expansive.

If you want to be flamboyant and get attention, use orange! As a predominant color, however, it can really grate on your visitors nerves, so better to use it sparingly, to highlight certain aspects of your site. Orange would be a poor choice of background colors (unless you sell fruit juice), and remember… beware combining blues with your orange.

Red is the hottest of all colors

and as such, represents all things intense and passionate. Heat and fire, speed and zest, blood and excitement, competition and aggression, are all feelings and imagery evoked by the color red. It can be an irritating, restless color though, and should only be used when you wish to ignite your visitors.

Red makes an excellent accent color, particularly when used with neutral colors, but clashes with green, blue and purple. Temper red with other warm tones like oranges, browns, and yellows, and you could easily make your site stand up and shout at the world.

Sunshine is yellow (in our minds at least!)

and so with yellow comes optimism, happiness, idealism, and imagination. It can be an unsettling color though – which shouldn’t be used unless you wish to convey bright, cheery feelings in your visitors. If you should decide to use yellow a lot in your site, it works well as a background color for easy readability with contrasting colors.

Psychologically, and on its own,

White is the color of cleanliness and purity, youth, simplicity and innocence.

White has become a very popular background color in web sites, because it offers the best readability onscreen, and as a “non-color,” just about any palette works well against it.