Welcome to Artful Ideas
Web design is what we do
Visual interface. Enhanced menu. New form functionality. Image carousel. Mobile friendly. Improved SEO.
Good design motivates.
Good design communicates.
An e-commerce solution that is mobile friendly, and a blog where she could post all her articles on jewelry making.
We know a little about creating a brand and building a powerful online identity.
FOUNDER: STLBlues.net, an award-winning website
We’re here to help you
1. Don’t forget the content.
Even if your site is beautifully designed, it is only an empty shell without content. A good website has both great design and great content. Therefore, make sure your pages have unique, original content that makes them worth visiting.
2. Simple is beautiful.
Cramming too much into each page creates confusion. Visitors get frustrated when they have to scan through rows of links and images to find what they are looking for. By keeping your pages simple, your website will be easier to use.
3. Design is paramount.
When you meet someone for the first time, you want to make a good first impression. The same should be true for your website. The overall look and feel of your site is the first thing your visitors will notice.
4. Navigation should be intuitive.
There are few things more frustrating than not being able to find what you want on a website. Pages should be well-organized with a top-down design so that visitors can easily browse through the different sections of your site.
5 Consistency is key.
Visitors shouldn’t feel like they are visiting a new website each time they open a new page on your site. Consistent design across the pages within your site makes navigation a much easier task.
1. Create Unique, High Quality Content to Attract Links
Nothing else you do will be enough if you don’t get this point right. Give people something worth linking to. I can’t emphasize unique enough! If you have built the 25,324th site covering a given topic, what are you going to do to make it unique?
Forget about SEO for a second and think of it this way: Let’s say you open a new pizza parlor and there are five others in your city within four blocks of you. Why is someone going to come into yours? Are you going to create new specialty pizzas? Are you going to organize a major charity event for a popular cause? Will you offer some crazy discount promotion? You know you have to do something, and not just once.
Gaining market share in that situation is going to very tough. So it is on the web as well, where your goal is to create mindshare. You need to create content that stands out to attract links. Doing that may be a tough problem, but you have to solve it, or else your SEO will fail.
2. Think Quality Over Quantity
Too many people fall into the trap of thinking that they need tons of links. It’s more about quality over quantity. Remember that PR/marketing mindset from point 1 above? Let me share a thought to frame it for you. One very high-quality link can be worth 1 million times more to your site than a poor-quality link.
That’s right — if you pursue easy-to-get, low-quality links, you might need to get 1 million of them to get the same boost you would get from one very high-quality link. Which one of those sounds easier? By the way, it’s also the process of gathering up tons of low-quality links that puts you at risk of getting a penalty.
How do we define quality? Take it all in context. If you are a local pizza parlor, a link from the local newspaper is a very high-quality link. As a general rule of thumb, think of it as links from web sites that have many of your potential customers visiting them. If you are part of a large national brand, the bar for what makes a quality link is quite a bit higher.
3. Publish on Your Site and on Other People’s Sites
Consider offering content to third party sites as a way to build your reputation and visibility. This is powerful because it’s one way to get in front of your potential customers on other people’s sites. This is the concept of leveraging “other people’s audiences.”
This helps you with your reputation and visibility, and may even drive direct business. In addition, this type of content often results in a direct link back to your site in the process. If this is on an authoritative site, that’s a good thing!
Then, you should also make sure that you have great content on your site, as it will give them a reason to go directly to your site next time, and it will help your site attract links as well.
4. Leverage Partnerships with Established Players
Another way to get in front of other people’s audiences is to partner with other businesses or influencers to create content. Can you create a joint survey with someone? Co-host an event? Jointly author an article for a major blog or media site? Do a research study?
Partnering is a great tactic because your partner is likely to help promote the resulting content. They may link to it from their site (or you may even publish it on their site with an attribution link to your site), they may promote it on social media, and these things are good for you.
If you are just starting out, you may need to do more, or all, of the work, but if you have more to gain, that’s perfectly OK. If they are the right partner, just do it. Establishing these partnerships requires that you bring real value to the table.
5. Leverage Social Media to Increase Web Traffic
Social media accounts act like a built-in PR channel. If you have established a strong social media presence, then it can be a real driver of content marketing programs that drive links to your site.
If you don’t have a strong social media presence, then consider paid social media. This costs some money, but you can get pretty targeted with your social media advertising. The bottom line is that this is another way to get in front of new audiences and drive exposure to your content.
Just make sure the content you are promoting this way is really solid. You don’t want to spend money on a campaign if the content you are promoting is not truly of high value. You would simply be wasting money!
6. Measure Progress
Make sure you are checking progress on a regular basis. Progress can be measured many ways, including:
Growth of organic search traffic to your site
Numbers and quality of links to your site
Social shares received by your content
Number of new relationships developed
Actual new business opportunities that result
Some of these metrics may move slowly, as is likely the case with the organic search traffic, but they are all important to measure and track. This will allow you to see which content is resonating most with your audience, and which brings you the best results.
7. Be Patient, Be Persistent
Content marketing is not a short game. You need to be patient, as it will take time. Six months is a reasonable time period to expect to wait before seeing initial results, and then the real solid upside will take a year or more for most of you. It’s true that in rare cases you can get an early hit, but you should not count on that unless you are able to come up with something that is highly innovative and very popular.
This is why step 7, measurement, is so important. Learning what works, what doesn’t, tweaking the plan, and evolving on a continual basis are critical to your long-term success.
Links remain an integral part of Google and Bing’s algorithms. They help identify the most important web pages to rank for given search terms. In today’s environment, a holistic approach to obtaining those links is essential. Doing content marketing the right way is the best way to get such links. Use the above seven-step plan to get you heading down the right path.
1. Get your domain name
2. Choose a web host and sign up for an account
3. Design your web pages
4. Test your website
5. Collect credit card info, making money!
For me, I choose WordPress all the time. There are plenty of hand-coders and other website builders out there to choose from, but the WordPress platform wins hands down for a number of reasons. I integrate Elementor Pro in my work, to maximize the creative aspect and add functionality to my designs.
1. No Business Plan and Marketing Strategy. Before investing a large amount of time and money into a website, take a step back and construct both a business plan and marketing strategy.
2. No Analytics & Tracking system.
You’ll want one, and Google Analytics is free.
3. Not understanding the difference between SEO and PPC.
The main difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) is that traffic coming from SEO (organic) is free while traffic generated from PPC is not free (as the name implies you have to pay a cost per click). Both SEO and PPC are part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which is one of the tools you can use as part of your overall Internet Marketing campaign. It’s important to realize the importance of social media platforms.
4. Underestimating the Work Involved.
If you think that setting up a website is a great way of gaining fast and easy money, you’re sadly mistaken. There’s actually more work involved than simply taking an order and shipping a product. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean that it’s run any different than a traditional business. In short, be prepared to spend a lot of time improving and adjusting your site. I would personally make a list of everything you should have on your site and start checking off this list as they are completed.
5. Lack of Balance Between Design and Message.
Of course the design of your website should be visually appealing, you don’t want people to leave your site screaming in horror, but it’s not everything. On top of having a website that’s easy on the eyes, it needs to convey the message you’re trying to present, such as your business objective, plan of action for visitors and the quality content that you’ve been busy creating.
Every great website may look outstanding, but as people continue to read the copy, it fades into the background. Why is this balance such a big deal? Because you don’t want the website’s design to distract visitors from the real reason that you created the website in the first place; your marketing message.