How often should we update our website?

woman-question-marksThis is a question we get from every one of our clients. Let’s face it, many small-to-medium businesses require everyone to wear multiple hats.  Having to add, “online marketing”, “website manager” or “social media specialist” to the already formidable list of roles played, often means your website is the last thing on your TO-DO list and is likely the first to be ignored. Many assume, once your site is built, it never needs to be touched again.

Perhaps that was the case two decades ago, but with so many websites competing for search engine results, a stale or untouched site will fade into obscurity. Search engines (e.g., Google and Bing) want to know your site is fresh and relevant and will track updates and changes to use as part of its overall formula for ranking your online home. Of course, there are other facets that go into determining whose site shows up at the top of page one of a search and who ends up on page 5 (or worse), like key words, phrases and using best-practices website development, but even the best designed site will still fade if left to gather dust.

So, how often do changes need to be made?

As a general rule, you should have something new on your website once a month. This could be a new offering, a special sale, a welcome to a new employee, an anniversary celebration or your thoughts and advice on a particular subject. quality-web-content-seoAdding a blog to your website is a tremendously easy way to create and post content and, if setup correctly, can also be used to update your social media outlets as well.

Every six months, it’s a good idea to spend time going through every page of your site, reading the content and reviewing the pictures to see if anything needs to be updated or removed. Often a business will create content hailing a “new” product or offering, but, after six months, is it really new? Some make the mistake of using words that will artificially date the content of your site like, “New for 2014,” or, “Come celebrate April with us,” but it’s now July. There is nothing wrong with adding those kinds of updates to your site, but you must be sure to take them off or move them to an archive section, rather than risk looking like your site is filled with out-of-date information.

Remember, you generally do not get a second chance to make a good first impression! If the content is dated or the descriptions are no longer relevant, you might as well be saying the same thing about your business. Customers use the internet daily to find goods and services and when they land on your site, they will decide, usually withing moments, whether or not your site reflects their expectations. If it looks tired, dull and old, that’s the impression they will have.

Finally, your site should have a design overhaul every 12-18 months, depending on if you have been keeping up with the content, providing monthly updates and staying on top of dated material. This doesn’t mean having to pay for a brand new site, but taking time to rearrange some of the material, rewrite some of your content, change fonts or font sizes, adding updated graphic elements — basically, give your virtual home a fresh coat of paint. Yes, there is generally some cost involved, but it should be a fraction of what it cost to build your site. Compare that investment to lost revenues from clients who never even bother to walk in your front door because of what they’ve seen on your website.

AJSProductions_NewLogoBecause we focus on small-to-medium business clients, we know your time is valuable and we strive to do all we can to provide the easiest mechanisms for you to keep your website fresh, relevant and up-to-date, while also providing the ability to upkeep social media. If you’d like to learn more about our processes and methodologies for website design and build, feel free to contact us directly. There is never a charge to meet with a client to review an existing site or to begin the process of building a brand new one from scratch. Remember, it’s never too late to be what you might have been.

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Three new sites launched in last 10 days

At AJS Productions, we’ve been extraordinarily busy during the first half of 2014 (which is never a bad problem to have) with website development, search engine optimization, graphic design work, custom logo creation and building a customized e-commerce shopping cart. The trend we are seeing in these new clients isn’t a request for a first-time website. On the contrary, most of the new business in 2014 is coming from clients who realized they cut too many corners in their first (or second) website(s) or who paid a lot of money to an out-of-state (or big city) developer who was quick to cash a check and build an initial site, but was never around for updates and changes.

We pride ourselves on not using pre-made templates or a cookie-cutter approach to website development. We treat each client as the unique entity they are and start with a blank canvas. Some of our clients needed custom graphic design and logo creation, others needed a custom photo shoot, while others needed a fully integrated e-commerce shopping system so their customers could place orders from an ever-changing and growing list of items.

In each of these situations, the depth and breath of capabilities at AJS Productions not only allowed us to win the business, but also are paying dividends with referrals from those very same clients. Part of the reason for such success is we don’t treat any of our clients as work-orders. We partner with them, consulting on how best to achieve their desired business ends while still keeping true to their mission and branding. We are reachable, proactive and response driven. We don’t ever want to be compared to those out-of-state firms that can’t make the time for a phone call, email or even a text message reply.

We would like to invite you to take a moment of your time to tour the following sites that we have launched within the last 10 days and then ask yourself if your current website is doing all it can for your business. Remember, if revenue isn’t being driven to your front door, what is your site NOT doing properly?

 

Thompson, Meier & King – Attorneys at Law

www.thompsonmeierking.com

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Watt Commercial Sweeping

www.wattsweeping.com

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Aromatic Fragrances International, Inc.

www.afi-usa.com

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AJS Productions is a Georgia-based website design company, focused on custom web design, SEO search engine marketing, and social media integration. Call today to setup a consultation at 678-427-1763 or send an email to begin@ajsproductions.com.

Developers using boilerplates may not give you the bang for your buck

Several people advertise cheap website development. They call it “inexpensive” or may even use the phrase “the cheapest price around.”  But, if you are a small-to-medium business, you need to understand that there is a HUGE difference between building a site with templates or boilerplates and knowing how to properly code, build, develop, and brand a site to maximize website search engine optimization for content while giving your customers a site that accurately reflects who you are and what you do.

The analogy here can be found in the movie-making business. Sure, two kids and a camcorder can make a film, but is it going to look like what you expect when you sit down at the local cinema?  The old saying, you get what you pay for, has never been more applicable.  Think about it.  Your website is a 24/7, 365 day a year non-stop advertisement for your business.  Can you really trust it to someone who knows just enough to fill out some forms and  change a few colors?  Give us a call today.  There is never a charge for consultation at AJS Productions.

Go Social.  Go Everywhere.

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Launch of SPMH Law, LLC. — a high-end personal injury lawfirm

HomePageScreenGrabWe are so pleased to be able to take a few moments to announce the lauch of our latest client — SPMH Law, LLC.  The law firm of Slover, Prieto, Marigliano & Holbert, LLC. has been an exciting project for all of us here at AJS Productions.  Though a new firm by name, the experience of the senior partners amounts to over one hundred years of legal practice and courtroom activity.  Collectively, they have tried well over 500 cases and have participated in hundreds, if not thousands, of mediations, arbitrations, and settlement conferences.

Our attention to detail, focus on SEO marketing and social media integration is what gave us our first opportunity to make a pitch for why they should choose AJS Productions.  After learning about our business strategy and the services we offer, they decided to put their faith in us and today is the day to pop our virtual champagne corks.

For those who are looking for a personal injury firm that puts the rights of the injured first, then we suggest giving the attorneys at SPMH Law, LLC. a call for a free consultation.  In fact, as personal injury lawyers, they will never ask their clients for any out-of-pocket expenses if they take the case.  They work solely on a contingency fee basis — if they don’t win, you won’t have to pay a dime.

And, for those who have been sitting back for too long without a website, or a site that has been gathering dust for far too long, make an appointment today with us.  Much like SPMH Law, LLC. we will never charge a client for our consultation time.  Until we have an executed website development contract, there are no fees charged by AJS Productions.

Is your website designed to maximize your SEO?

Logo - shadow - crop - finalFirst, let’s start with, what is SEO?  Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) has, as it’s goal, a focus on maximizing the visibility of your website on a given search engine’s un-paid search results.  Said another way, let’s say you are looking for a local electrician to do some work around your home.  Most web users (and today, who isn’t?) will pull up their internet browser, go to a search engine they prefer (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) and type the words: residential electrician in (city name).  As soon as you hit enter, a list of websites will show up and there will likely be page after page of companies and web pages that contain the words “residential”, “electrician” and your city’s name.  The first few are the “paid” results and can be bought by businesses to always be at the top — these are often flagged with a different color or a highlight.  The rest of the results are displayed based on an algorithmic formula that each search engine utilizes to try to put the best results first.

Generally speaking, the earlier, or higher on the displayed list of results, the more frequently that site is visited and referenced by internet users.  And, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the more visitors that click on your site, the better chance your site stays high on (or climbs) the list of future search results.  SEO can target all kinds of searches, such as a content search, image search, local search, academic search, news search or industry-specific search.

At AJS Productions, our strategy is to know how those search engines work, understand the terms people like to use when searching for a website (such as actual key words, terms and phrases) and to optimize the content on our client’s website.  Optimizing each web page of a given website may include editing its content, HTML and other coding, meta tags and removing any inhibitors to the indexing activities used by search engines.  To aid in building the strength of our client’s web pages, we also leverage many typical social media elements, like Facebook and Twitter, to ensure each site is referenced in multiple locations, contains both inbound and back links and creates a web of multiple paths to drive users to the customer’s online site.

The effort to build SEO isn’t a one-time activity.  Designing a site with SEO strategies in mind is more than just writing content with key words; it requires constant vigilance and updated content to ensure the search engine crawlers continue to find relevance to the website.  Refreshing pages, adding new content, proper image tagging, adding URL links that cross-reference relevant sections of the website are a few activities that need to be employed continually to ensure staying relevant on search engine results.

contactpicOur proven methodologies have been employed on many of our sites and continue to drive revenue to our clients’ businesses.  If you feel your business could benefit from a consultation with us, we would be happy schedule a time to meet with you and see how we might be able to optimize your current site.  And, if you have yet to implement your own internet marketing and advertising strategies, understand that many development houses employ boilerplate design templates, stock language and work from a one-size-fits-all approach.

Our business model is exactly the opposite!

We utilize best practices website development and design and customize our offerings for each of our clients.  We take the time to learn your business and build each solution from scratch to ensure we not only have the best site possible for the investment, but also provides the tactics and strategies necessary to maximize search engine optimization.

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It’s never too late to be what you might have been

AJS Productions is a Georgia-based website design company, focused on custom web design, SEO search engine marketing, and social media integration.

wwwpicWe take the time to get to know our clients and their business.  Through several early joint application design (“JAD”) sessions, we spend time identifying your objectives and clearly defining functional requirements, while helping you to understand how to maximize an online presence, driving clients to your door.  We strive to deliver the quality and complexity of much larger design firms, but with the small-to-medium business budget in mind.

To us, it is far more important to be your partner, working together to grow your business, than to take a detached approach where you become just another work order number.  We take pride in knowing that we spend face time with our clients whenever possible to make sure they know we feel a personal investment in their web success.

Come visit our site and see why AJS Productions might be the website development and production company you’ve been looking for.

Go Social.  Go Everywhere.

Launch of Coalition to Prevent the Misuse of Alcohol site

CPMA_logoBeing involved in website design puts us in contact with so many different businesses and organizations and we could not be happier with our depth and breadth of capabilities to serve each of those unique clients. Beyond the sites themselves, though, our involvement has grown with some of these organizations outside of the bounds of simple client-consultant roles. Such is the case with the Coalition to Prevent the Misuse of Alcohol.

When we first were contacted by Scott Sherwin, Project Coordinator for CPMA, it was actually a simple invite to bring a “media” person onboard to be part of their Community Action Team. Over the weeks and months of serving to aid the mission to prevent early onset alcohol use in minors, reduce ease of access to alcohol by minors and prevent binge drinking for those 21 and older, it became clear that we needed to leverage every aspect of the internet and social media.

ReThinkTheDrink_logoIt is our pleasure to announce the latest site to lauch from AJS Productionswww.preventalcoholmisuse.com. This project required the coordination of several team members and a time-line meant to coincide with the launch of their media campaign entitled, Rethink the Drink.org. Three PSAs were shot (all of which can be seen on the website), a billboard and newspaper campaign went up and the website all launched on December 09, 2012. In fact, one of the PSAs will be shown in the local movie theatre before every showing of every film for the next few months.

And, our involvement with this worthy endeavor will now move into a couple of areas: the ongoing development of the Youth Action Team section of the website and the design and launch of a dedicated website for Rethink the Drink.org. In a way, by being a part of our local community and wanting to help prevent the misuse of alcohol by both minors and college students, an opportunity to leverage our skill set became apparent to both the client and us.

We want to also point out that this initiative is not anti-alcohol. In fact, it is about the proper and legal use of alcohol! Many of our developers and project managers at AJS Productions have minor children and whenever we hear of a tragedy involving the misuse of alcohol, it reinforces our determination to utilize the internet and social media to help teach and educate both parents and youth alike.

Please take a moment to share this with those friends and family members you know with children, if for no other reason but to maybe get someone to rethink before they drink — or allow their children to drink. You don’t have to be looking for a website developer to share this message. It really does apply to almost everyone.

And, of course, if you are affiliated with a non-profit, a civic organization or a small-to-medium business, consider reaching out to AJS Productions for a free consultation to determine if we might be the website development house you’ve been looking for to breathe new life into the mission of your business or organization. It is our pleasure to continue to serve, not only our clients, but also our community.

AJS Productions. Go Social. Go Everywhere.

Coalition to Prevent the Misuse of Alcohol - www.preventalcoholmisuse.com

Coalition to Prevent the Misuse of Alcohol – http://www.preventalcoholmisuse.com