Snappy Kitchens Launches the Snappy Kitchen Wizard at the Dallas Home & Garden Show

Did YOU visit the Dallas Home and Garden Show? If so, you might have seen the booth for Snappy Kitchens, Dallas’ newest online kitchen remodel estimator! We worked with the Snappy team to build the tool, relying on their kitchen remodeling expertise, and our skills in using Drupal for web application development. Click. Design. Renovate!

Visit the Snappy Kitchen Design Wizard at Snappy Kitchens website.

Building a Search Engine Friendly Website

If Envision built a new website for you this year, we most certainly talked to you about the importance of making your website “Search Engine Friendly”. In our opinion, Search Engine Optimization became a mainstream term this year for most business owners. Although few know what it really takes to make a website optimized for search engines.

Put simply, SEO relates to building your website in such a way that search engines can properly index your website. It’s quite simple: there should be text on your website that is relevant to your company’s name and to the keywords or phrases that people will use to find the product or service that your business sells. That text should be present in 3 key places: the content on your website, the meta tags within your website’s HTML code, and the HTML itself.

Think about the last search that you made using Google or Yahoo Search. What did you search for? Let’s say you are in the market to buy a new house and need some help finding a great property in East Dallas. So, you search for “East Dallas Realtor”. If you look at the results for that search (go ahead, try it), the chances are that somewhere on the first page, you’ll find the website of Kay MacIntyre. And, if you click through to her website, you’ll find that her website has a lot of content that is relevant to your search phrase.

For example, you can see that the headline on the home page uses lots of relevant keyphrases:
Kay MacIntyre East Dallas Realtor

And, you can see that the meta tag that generates the browser title uses the keywords “East Dallas Realtor”:
Kay MacIntyre East Dallas Realtor

Of course, these are just a few of the dozens of reasons her site ranks well. Creating a search engine friendly website requires many extra steps, and certainly will increase the cost of any website project. But, if being “found” online is of important to you (if you’ve created a website in the first place, we’d like to assume it is), then you need to ensure that your website is built properly. This is a process we go through with every new customer, whether we are creating a website from scratch or taking over an existing site.

We encourage you to read future posts where we will dive deeper into “SEO” techniques and the affect they can have on your business.

Top 10 Reasons to Start a Business Blog

Yeah, we know. Everyone has a blog, right? There are millions of them, covering every subject from Art to Zoology. Many of them are nothing more than a personal diary. Many bloggers have terrible writing skills and many don’t maintain the blog properly. And because of this, many of these blogs aren’t visited much.

But don’t let those things scare your company away from adding a blog to its internet marketing strategy (you do have a strategy, don’t you?). As an agency that provides website development and interactive marketing services, Ei has created dozens of blogs for our clients. But we never do it without an explanation of what a blog can (or cannot) do for a company. Here’s a simple Top 10 list we put together.

Top 10 Reasons to Start a Blog for your Business:

  1. New Business and Potential Partners
  2. Quick Publishing Tool
  3. Affordable Publishing Tool
  4. Show potential customers you are a Subject Matter Expert
  5. Show existing customers you are a Subject Matter Expert
  6. Website Stickiness & Return Visits
  7. Potential for Conversations with Customers
  8. Recruiting
  9. Vendor Relations
  10. Search Engine Visibility
  11. Company Participation

So, exactly how does a company employ the use of a blog? What risks are there to creating one? Read our thoughts on that very topic in upcoming entries.

What is Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing?

Not a day goes by that we don’t talk about Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing with at least one client or potential client. Advertisers and Marketers that are preparing to build a new website, or redesign an existing site, should certainly be asking themselves if a good SEO and SEM strategy is important to their business. So, what the heck are these two things and how are they relevant to web development?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (also known as “organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results, or the higher it “ranks,” the more searchers will visit that site.

Optimizing websites is something we offer to every client. There are dozens of techniques we use to help your website rank well for your target search phrases, especially your company name. But notice I didn’t say “guarantee your site to rank well”. With millions of websites on the web, its impossible to guarantee ranking. The popularity of your website is determined not only by how well its HTML is optimized, but also by it’s content and inbound links. In fact, you can think of SEO as being one component of Search Engine Marketing.

Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet Marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, SEM methods include: search engine optimization (or SEO), paid placement, and paid inclusion.

But that’s just a few of the methods. There are books entirely devoted to Search Engine Marketing! So, you’ll need a sound strategy. Identifying one that’s right for your organization takes time, and always begins with a proper analysis of your company, its products and services, the competition and your budget.