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Thoughts on Search Engine Optimization [ SEO ]

Posted on June 13th, 2011 by Que Sera in misc

Unlimited Website Traffic/No Click Fees

 Designing websites for going on 13 years has taught me a lot about a lot of different things. In many cases, I’d say ‘sure I can do that for you!’ when I had no idea how.. then I’d devote my life to mastering whatever it was & figure it out. That’s how we learn & that’s how I built my business & gained all the (vast amounts of :) ) information I have on different website aspects.  Search Engine Optimization is one of those things…

I didn’t know a lot about it, but I knew one of my very long time clients was interested in optimizing his website & that was enough to get me going! I did hours of research & of course did every free search engine submission I could find. I had a list of tried and true sources that would get me the most bang for my buck. I even purchased an expensive ( for me at the time, but pretty reasonable really :) ) software to help me find and populate my client’s site with ‘untapped’ keywords .. I’d search thousands of words/phrases relevant to my client’s sites/pages to find the one that were used least often by their competitors then populate the crap out of all their pages with those words ( as well as the other more used ones too, just in case :) ) . I thought this was pretty cool & there were reports & numbers to justify everything, it turned out well – his site went from launched to a good number of hits & viewing reports showed the phrases I was using were working.

I continued teaching myself more and getting more and more into it. Weird thing about search engine optimization.. the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. Maybe it is that you just realize the number of different methods and theories about what will work best, with no definitive conclusion as to what’s the perfect mix to get you where you’d like to be. Then, there are the crazy amount of money some companies were charging in the early 2000’s to the people ‘dedicated’ enough to pay for it to ensure they were ‘at the top!’ … Honestly… I unfortunately found the whole thing to be a huge daunting mess. I did not think I could form ‘expert’ opinions (to pass on to my clients) on SEO without being able to afford to buy/try and test the options & there were so many, it was a task sort of impossible to accomplish without it being the only thing I did. Truth was, all my research taught me was that there are a LOT of different ways to go & to be honest, I have NO IDEA what is the perfect one… Not unless I want to become a company that does only that.. 

So here we are .. many years later & long story short, I did have some very good results with the sites I optimized many years ago. When building websites now, I try to incorporate the SEO basics ( submissions, alt tags, coding, keyword usage etc..)   so my customers will be found easily & show well in the search engines, but ultimately … strictly optimizing sites isn’t my cup of tea.. I like the theory, the possibility of  going down a checklist and  tadahhh!!! we’re at the top!  Unfortunately, that’s just not how it works and there are so many algorithms, rules, tricks etc. and they’re changing so often – I don’t even want to try to keep up with it enough to justify charging someone to do it specifically as if I am an expert guaranteeing it will happen or that I’d even know why if it didn’t .. ( I probably wouldn’t :)

As my business has grown ( and my ‘starving artist’ mentality/lifestyle waned :) ) I learned to spend time on the parts I really like & outsource those I don’t particularly care for, or that are more time-consuming than my one year old son will allow me time for. SEO is definitely one of those things. Truth is, one of the first companies that I used for the free search engine submission is one of my favorites to recommend. The company is called I Need Hits – I’ve been familiar with them since around 2002, so they’re established. I’ve always liked them because they’re affordable – they offer the results (guaranteed) I was looking for with a very reasonable cost. They offer different types of packages ( for general optimization or just a Yahoo Boost or Google Boost ( they may not have these anymore.. I haven’t checked… I’ve been changing too many diapers lately!!) & pinpointing regions, paid spots, etc.. If you’re interested in optimizing your site – I’d say you should check them out & if you do, please come back here & comment to let me know if recommending them is something I should keep doing!  If you come across other SEO companies you think are great ( or horrible! ) please let me know!

 I need to add a note.. If you speak with my husband, he will tell you that I’m a genius ( he really loves me & I’m always hearing about how wonderful I am from everyone he talks to .. I’m so lucky! :) ) —  I mention this, because he says I optimized his site (www.toledohandyman.com) and now they’re on the top of the search engines … I did design his site & they are very high in search results, It’s true.  I can’t take the credit, though, I only did the basic optimization and submission ( I mentioned above)… to be honest , a lot of their great rankings have to do with their name (toledohandyman.com .. soooo simple! ) & list of services on every page .. It wasn’t really me :)… Plus,  I did SEO for him because he’s my husband, it was a special consideration project…  there were extenuating circumstances! 

I Need Hits

misc

wow..

Posted on August 19th, 2010 by Que Sera in misc

I just realized how longs it’s been since I’ve added any projects – waaaaaaay too long! I’m in the midst of a website being difficult in going live ( for no reason I’ve figured out thus far) so during my waiting for things to upload/download time – I thought I’d post an update & advise anyone that isn’t aware – much of our most recent work is on our facebook page ( it’s simpler to update than the blog when things are busy ) . Click Here for our Facebook Page! Ultimately, the blog here will be updated, probably not for a few more weeks, but I do see a bit of a break for updating on the horizon!

In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions or requests for samples/information & Have a Great Day!


k

misc

Recommended Design Resources | images… fonts … publisher converters.. etc…

Posted on March 31st, 2010 by Que Sera in misc

Ok.. I’ll be honest, I’m busy :) .. BUT just had an idea that I’d like to make more information and resources available to my clients/ visitors. This page is the beginning of that.. I hope to, with time, add more giving you information and links to find the products, vendors, and other resources I have found useful.

It may be a little while.. BUT  in the meantime, if you have any questions  or would like recommendations for anything you’ve got in progress…  Feel Free to ASK!!


| stock images & clipart |

My usual stock photo site ( that i love!) especially for just one or two images is iStockphoto.com. They offer a great selection of many really good photos, vector images, videos and sounds. I have used them MANY times & have never had a problem with them in any way.


That said, recently, i’ve also found another favorite.  My need for photos on a more regular basis has grown and buying credits a few at a time was getting expensive!  Via a client, I have been using a new site, I’ve started using shutterstock quite a bit. ( see image to the left :) ) If you’re needing a LOT of photos ( like 10 + PRINT qualtiy at a larger size ) you should check out this site. You can search their site directly from the box below.  Getting a 1 month subscription ( tho sort of expensive sounding ) gives you access to an amazingly large selection of images & allows you to download up to 750 ( 25 per day ) in a month – so per-image is your best value.

Shutterstock Stock Photo Keyword Search:
Search Terms:



Take a Closer Look…

misc news

officially represented…

Posted on August 29th, 2009 by Que Sera in misc, news

oneday.indd
Since it seems I’ve taken a personal spin for a moment, I’ll stick to it before getting back to business! As part of my recent ‘kristina mari’ movement , I’ve also written (and illustrated) a children’s book

as of a few weeks ago, I have an agent & they’re in process of showing it to publishers (how cool is that!????)

I’m a little excited…

Take a Closer Look…

misc news

the alter-ego

Posted on August 29th, 2009 by Que Sera in misc, news

screen-capture
Advertising, marketing & design is my passion, I love (love) what I do.. I’m very grateful to have ended up where I am. It was definitely a long journey… That said, not all of my ‘up all nights’ are for working on projects for other people.. so…. this one’s personal!

It’s time to admit the truth.. I have an alter-ego (insert the …dut dut dum) — kristina mari (my 1st & middle name) — I’ve chosen to use it as my author/artist name (marriage, divorce & changing last names being the true reason ). I’ve been writing & drawing for years & have decided it’s time to start throwing some stuff out there for people to think about and see what happens.

So, in my free time… yes, I do have some… sometimes —  I’ve been putting together a website.. kristinamari.com.

Offerings are currently limited (only about 22 designs available to actually buy), with numerous other things thrown on & browsable  that I’m slowly going through & converting to products. Visitors can order prints, posters, wall decals, on-canvas prints & even usage rights for  a number of my drawings, digitally altered artwork & observations/statements laid out graphically as to be a decor piece.

I add new designs as I have time to prepare  them & am open to special requests– So if art/philosophy is something you like, ( especially if your decorating!!!  ) check it out & let me know what you think…

Take a Closer Look…

misc news

Quick Recreation

Posted on August 25th, 2009 by Que Sera in misc, news

energysaver
I know a lot of companies have their art ( logos, trademarks, etc..)  as a jpeg or gif & just can’t ever seem to get it to print as cleanly and clearly as they’d like – for that reason I’m including this (which is not a design I created) just in case anyone doesn’t know that redrawing, recreating and providing completely vector print files (from just about any file or object) is something that I can help you with (and it’s very affordable).

Through a mutual friend, I was asked to recreate these business cards and letterhead for Energy Saver Advisors here in Toledo, print ready. Like many, they had files, but couldn’t quite get them to do what they needed. I did the recreation and adjustments & now they have files that are friendly to them & their printers!