It’s the internet – you can use it anywhere. So, you can use any web development and design firm out there for your business’ website, right? Technically, yes. But is it a good idea? Maybe not. It really depends on what you’re looking to get as an end product, along with how you’re expecting the journey to get to the end product to look like. Los Angeles-based website development and design firm ATAK Interactive, Inc. takes you inside the benefits of working with a local company and how it improves many aspects of the experience.
A FACE WITH A NAME
In our virtual world, it’s common to correspond with individuals regularly who we’ve never met. Email, virtual meetings, and phone calls make this completely possible. And while this may work for a number of scenarios, think of it this way: Your website is the face of your company throughout the whole world. People anywhere can view it, so don’t you want to put your best foot forward and have a website that reflects exactly what you want on it? When you work with a local website developer and designer, you have that personal, one-on-one connection so you can be on the same page about the look, feel and personality of your website. Cookie-cutter is something a developer who can hide behind a screen all day produces. But when you make that personal connection, there is a higher degree of accountability.
It’s been three weeks since your website was supposed to be live. You’ve spent endless hours preparing content and choosing layouts for this magnificent showcase of what is your business. The link appears in your inbox from the developer you’ve hired in China. You eagerly click on the link and wait for the page to load. Hmm, when you said you wanted a blue background, did they think you said black? You scroll down. The crazy-cool slideshow you created showcasing those photos you sent are missing and have been replaced by random people. You quickly dial the 1-800-number and hear something that is definitely not English. Sounds like a nightmare, right? Working with a local company means there’s all-around better communication, and a local number you can call when something just doesn’t is what you envisioned.
KNOWING WHO THEY ARE
You’re likely going to shell out some big bucks for your website project, so wouldn’t it be better to hire someone who you know and trust? When you use a local web developer and designer, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into by seeing their portfolio, talking with previous clients about their experience, and getting a feel for how they conduct business. Plus, you might be able to better negotiate the things you want as part of the package based on other work they’ve done and rates they’ve quoted. This could save you a lot of money and a lot of headache.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF COMPETITION
In Los Angeles, there are a lot of web developers and designers out there. Besides the variety of companies to choose from, the competition these companies face is fierce – so you know you’re working with a cutting-edge company who has to stay ahead of the game. A company in Los Angeles might be strides ahead in terms of technology and web programming than a company based in a more remote part of the country with less competition.
KNOWING WHAT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO GET AHEAD
Being part of the landscape and understanding businesses in the area is essential to a web designer, since their goal is to make your website stand out from many others. That’s why Los Angeles web developers and designers like ATAK Interactive, Inc. can use their Los Angeles know-how and expertise to guide you in making your website one-of-a-kind of and effective. Whether it’s a website for show-biz or a small storage company, understanding the customer dynamic is important for the end result. So even though outsourcing can be attractive, keep in mind these points that can really make a difference in what represents your business the most and your overall experience.read more
When it comes to designing a clean and professional website, it is wise to hire a professional to take on the job. If high search engine rankings are your priority, you will want to hire a web design company who sees SEO as their priority within the framework of designing your website. Web design firm ATAK Interactive, Inc., which specializes in web development and SEO, shares some of its observations that clients should look out for when choosing a web design agency.
1. ) Their own site rankings. Check out the rankings of some common keywords to see where their site ranks. If it doesn’t appear within the first 3-4 pages, the web designer is likely not very concerned with the SEO of their own page. Take this as a caution; if they don’t know enough about designing their own site for SEO, will they take it into account when they’re building yours?
3.) Overuse of keywords. Another thing to check past websites for is good keyword usage. Take note of keywords being used over and over again or in awkward ways where they are being put in as fillers and the sentences don’t necessarily make sense. Search engines have become fairly intelligent and can pick up on overfilling of keywords and can hurt you instead of helping.
4.) Integration of social media. An important question to ask a potential website designer is how they incorporate social media in the site. Although it sounds like social media may not be an issue for the designer to solve, it actually is an important step. The designer must build the plug-ins that will allow for fast and easy sharing among social media networks, as well as placing the plug-ins in a manner where they are easily seen but not overbearing.
5.) Splash pages. One of the top indicators of poor SEO skills is the addition of a splash page. The splash page is the first page that a visitor sees when arriving at a website, and then must click “Enter” to proceed to the home page. Search engine crawlers will often stop at the splash page and never crawl the rest of the site, making it almost impossible for a good ranking.
6.) Anchor text. Another red flag is anchor text that reads “click here”. Having descriptive anchor text is one of the most powerful pieces of the webpage, and certain keywords need to be placed here to make a difference.
7.) Image tags. When a designer does not add tags that describe the image on the website, it takes away another chance for the web crawler to pick up on a keyword. Make sure your web designer is aware and willing to add appropriate keywords within all of your image tags.
Remember that your web design company is working for you to make your presence on the web as great as possible, so they should have SEO incorporated design at the forefront of the framework. Past work and portfolios are a great indicator of their mindset, and ATAK Interactive’s SEO-friendly web design is evident in its experience. Ensure your web design agency has SEO as a priority to get a competitive edge while saving time and money so it doesn’t have to be done again after the fact.read more
If you are online frequently, you have more than likely seen countless Internet advertisements offering various discounts for ecommerce web site design. That’s not surprising since e-commerce web site development has become the most popular choice for shopping cart development. In fact, owning an e-commerce web site is one of the most affordable ways of promoting your products on the Internet. It is also one of the most effective ways of targeting your audience globally and offering them full access to your products.
With an e-commerce web site, your customers can place their orders instantly through your online store and all you have to do is process and deliver their products to them. This may seem effortless but there is a slight catch. You can only build a thriving e-commerce business if you have a well-built ecommerce web site.
Your web site must be able to provide shoppers with a seamless online shopping experience. Hiring a web developer Los Angeles team can help you accomplish this vital step.
Here are a few benefits of hiring a web developer in Los Angeles:
- Hiring a web developer in Los Angeles will allow you to focus on the core business and take full advantage of the services they provide.
- Provides access to a team of highly-skilled professionals who offer the best web development services such as: web site maintenance, web site management, redesigning and redevelopment of an existing web site.
- Unlike pre-designed templates used by many designers, a professional web developer will custom design a web site from scratch that will set you apart from the competition.
- Web development Los Angeles will build a web site that is not only shopper friendly but a web site that is also SEO friendly. Your target audience can place orders on your ecommerce site 24/7 including major holidays. A well-designed ecommerce web site can also help you generate a profitable stream of revenue.
- An experienced web developer can create a web site a lot faster than someone who lacks necessary training in web development.
- A professional web developer can help increase web traffic. They are experts when it comes to coding. They can help boost your web sites position within the search engines and improve web traffic.
Whether you desire to have an e-commerce or basic web site created, the website development Los Angeles team you choose should be proficient in CMS development, web integration, social networking application and other web based solutions. The end result of any web design project should be a well designed site that helps generate maximum return on investment.read more
Are you looking for a web designer to get your website design projects done? Hiring a web designer is a crucial decision and there are a number of factors that should be considered while choosing a web designer for your website design projects. This article from Los Angeles Web Design company will break down the essential 10 characteristics to look for when choosing someone to design your website.
Experience: One should find out how long their website developer or website agency has been in business and what type of projects they have worked on. There are many models for websites, and often there is someone whose past experience with a similar client type will be an advantage to you. Past experiences with similar business types should lead to quicker discovery because that website designer knows what options there are and what questions to ask. Also, make sure that your developer is working with modern technologies and best industry practices, no matter if they know your business model or not. Modern practices lead to better search engine results and good usability across multiple browser types and operating systems.
Development Skillset: Although this may be harder to hone in on, ask your website developer or website agency about their skill set and attention to best and industry standards. Ask if they are using most modern HTML coding, high quality CSS for best cross browser compatibility, smart basic search engine optimization practices, and a site that is foundational in that you can add more pages or content down the line. You may want to ask how far their technical strengths are in custom programming, ecommerce, content management system development, or other skills if you know you may need them. If you want to sell products online, you will need a website developer who has a lot of experience in ecommerce website design and development. Often, as a company uses the web more and more, business owners find they need more than one person do handle all skill sets needed for a particular website project.
Website Portfolio: A website company’s work will most often speak for itself. Decide if you like their website design portfolio. A design portfolio will show you what styles a website company can deliver and what type of features to expect in their page designs. When you look at a website design portfolio, you can form questions about those designs that may lead to a better design for you. If you see something you really like one of the website designer or website agency designs, you can point out what you like about it, what you want, and what you do not want.
Client References: Ask for your website designers client references. Who better to talk to then current and past clients? One should not feel strange about asking for this. A website is often not a small investment and one should be sure he or she knows what the website developer’s customers are saying. You may want to talk to client’s who have similar projects to yours.
Strategy: A website project requires proper preparation, attention to detail, collaboration, and more. Organization becomes as important as any of these items. You will want a website designer who can effectively communicate with you and your personnel, from project start to project completion. If you need a hand holder, hire a hand holder. If you want someone who will come in for planning meetings once a week as part of the project, hire someone who can commit to that. A website developer needs to have organizational tools in place to keep the project on time and can get all involved to meet deadlines in order to meet time goals. Ask your website developer how a project process will go and see that you can agree to meeting times and other requirements for good outcome.
Availability: If you know when you need your website to go live, make sure your website developer will be able to make him or herself available to meet your deadline. If they have many projects at once, make sure they will make your project as important and will meet your time requirements.
Flexibility: On the other hand, you require a designer who can be more flexible and accommodate you when you can make time, see that this can be done. If you know you want many designs or may change your mind in the middle of the project as to what direction you want to go, make sure you developer knows this and can work with you. Developers may require more or less money depending on the flexibility you need. If you need the flexibility, however, the change in price may be an easier decision that if you did not.
Location: Website designers have the luxury and flexibility to work wherever they have a computer with their website design software tools and utilities. Some designers are less flexible in that they require the ability to work from home or from an office that is provided for them. A website client must determine what type of communication is required, especially when considering websites need updates. Your website designer will probably be someone you will work with for quite a while if all goes well. If your business is in Los Angeles, California for example, and you require someone to visit your office once a month, you should probably hire a website designer who lives in Los Angeles or nearby.
Education: Many website designers teach themselves or take specific courses in school to be able to do what they can do. A degree is not a requirement, as nothing speaks for itself like a good website design portfolio, but a degree in a related field does add credibility. Degrees in Marketing, Graphic Design, Business (with emphasis in e-business), Communication, Programming, Sociology, and Psychology are additional assets. Often, when an agency is hired, they will have people with various degrees. Many eyes on your projects from diverse backgrounds may help better user experiences for all personality types.
Personality: Do you like your web designer’s attitude, their tone, and the way they dress and present themselves when in your company? Make sure you feel comfortable with the website designer you choose because you will most likely work with this person for a long time. Websites need updates and website trends change. You will want a website developer who will communicate with you about all of the things you can or should be doing with your website. Again, do you like the people you are about to hire?read more
ATAK Interactive, is a Los Angeles web design company committed to building lasting business relationships with clients. Recently, the award-winning web design company has been rated as the top 10 ecommerce SEO company in the U.S. by TopSeo.com. The decision was based on a strict set of criteria. ATAK International endured an exhaustive analysis that delved into the business practices of the company and compared it up against industry standards to make sure their work is high-quality.
ATAK International has created hundreds of interactive websites for clients globally. Their highly-skilled web design team utilizes the best technologies available. They offer a comprehensive selection of web design services including custom programming, ecommerce web design, flash design & development, graphic design, CMS development, SEO and other web design solutions. The web design company has a long client list in a variety of industries including, fitness, real estate, commercial design & construction, retail, and other entities.
For client convenience, the web design team meets with clients one-on-one to discuss project details from beginning to end. They strive daily to provide clients with outstanding craftsmanship and stellar customer service. In addition to web design, they also provide SEO copy writing, content analysis and website usability. One thing that separates this company from many web design firms is that they combine inventive website design and web programming to help clients rise above the competition.
About ATAK Interactive
ATAK Interactive is a top-rated Los Angeles web design company specializing in ecommerce web development. The company’s web design team consists of over 150 talented web designers. Their online web design solutions ranges from interactive web design to social media marketing. The company was established in 2005 by David Ephraim and Josh Goodman. They cater to both small businesses and large corporations with innovative web solutions. To find out further details about ATAK Interactive, visit their website at: www.atakinteractive.comread more
Websites often require many skill sets and services across many various fields of graphic design, ecommerce website design, marketing, and more with a concentration needed on creating compelling, memorable, best practice websites an organization’s users will find easy-to-use, informative, impactful, and will want to return to. To accomplish these website goals, ATAK Interactive, a Los Angeles web design company, offers a full website service list one should see if their website developers have before hiring them to do your required website or web based project.
Website Design and Development Services Should/Often Include:
- Research current business needs, top competitor websites, user needs, and make suggestions.
- Custom homepage design and corresponding internal website page layout that coordinates with your organization’s brand and colors.
- Multiuser content management system development so a website owner can update his or her own pictures and text (basic content) with need for minimal website developer training and maintenance.
- Website Blog setup.
- Website Photo Gallery of projects, products, case studies, or testimonials.
- Video pages.
- Website Search.
- Image (all pictures, photos, graphics) optimization for the web and training.
- Search Engine Optimization best practices.
- Multi-browser website compatibility (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome).
- Flash, HTML5, Java Animation (be careful about flash to those who like ipads and iphones).
- Additional options available include illustration, photography, video, content creation, ecommerce integration, html newsletter templates, mobile phone website versions, wiki plug ins, social media plug ins, and more.
Extending Your Brand; Branding Services
In addition to a website presence, ATAK Interactive offers additional services one may need when starting a business. A website alone or a redesigned website alone does not mean anyone knows that the website or business exists and what it’s message is. One must take steps to create and market the brand. Website design and Brand Marketing includes:
- Print Materials like catalogs, business cards, letterheads, invoices, stationary.
- Use of Social Media like Facebook or Twitter.
- Search Engine Optimization.
- Newsletter/HTML e-mail.
- Website and print ads.
- Animated logo or turn your logo into 3D.
Here are some additional 2010 popular website resources for a variety of projects:
- Gliffy.com (online website wireframing)
- Box.net (file storage and sharing)
- WordPress.com/Wordpress.org (best in class blogging and cms platform)
- GoDaddy.com (find your domain name)
- Digishop.sumeffect.com (complete ecommerce system)
- iContact.com (great HTML mail system)
- Vimeo.com (free HD video hosting)
- VistaPrint.com (low-priced business cards)
- Zazzle.com (printing for personalized products)
- SEOMoz.com (SEO explained)
- Blurb.com (on-demand book publishing)
Most don’t know where to start when trying to gauge what a new website will cost. There are so many website models and options, and so many developers who have their own ways of offering the services. There are part timers, mom and pop shops, independents, kids in high school, and so many more, what ATAK Interactive likes to call, “hobbyists.” These days, everyone has an opinion on what things should cost and no one knows who to believe. Here is an honest conversation on some things to expect as far as website pricing options will go how those in this field commonly offer their services.
Generally speaking, if one chooses an independent contractor, that person will pay less than he or she chooses a design agency with personnel. With an independent contractor one may or may not get the same type of manpower or hands on planning and development one will get at a medium sized or large design office, but if you are willing to take things at a slower pace (not always true but often the case), and can find someone who can do the entire job you require, you can get a just as good quality product.
Website design projects most often range in price from between $1,500 and $75,000 for a standard website (enterprise level projects can be much more), and between $350 and $10,000 for a logo and style guide. A good hire knows there are only so many corners one can cut with a website, and certain time consuming things always have to be done, such as quality coding and search engine optimization best practices for a variety of browsers and operating systems.
Keep Website Design Costs Down
The following are all things one can do to make a website project more attractive at a lower price:
- Outline or wireframe what website pages are required and the functionality you would like one ach page.
- Prepare your website content so ready to put on the site, including photos and text;
- Meet your deadlines.
- Review design concepts quickly and be available to discuss and communicate feedback to your website design company as they request feedback be delivered.
- Know your competitors and websites you are trying to beat.
- Know what websites you like so your website design company knows what you like.
Hourly Rate, Fixed Price, or a Hybrid of Both?
All three website development pricing options below have their advantages and disadvantages for both clients and designers. ATAK Interactive recommends the third option.
Fixed Price. This model is often quite helpful to clients because budgeting is made more simple. However, if every aspect of the project is not clearly defined and articulated, a condition called “project creep” may come up where a client will make requests for little website extras at every stage of the project. Project Creep often results in quite a bit of extra work designers who do not anticipate these requests and are then expected to do for no additional fees. The benefit of a fixed price website project for the designer is there is no penalty for working efficiently and getting the job done on time or ahead of time, and that the web site designer does not have to be as strict with time tracking.
Hourly Rate. ATAK Interactive finds people want to know an hourly rate up front. Less experienced designers may find it difficult to give a realistic ballpark on how many hours a project will actually take. This risk is even higher when you work with a website agency or developer for the first time. Optimists might underestimate the website project and you will end up over your budget in a very short time. An advantage to the client by working hourly is both sides can quickly move on high priority changes without the need for the estimate process. Hourly rates should vary based on project work. Agencies must understand the client can take lighter updates elsewhere for a fraction of the cost. Note hourly rates are deceptive and should be flexible based on type of work. Web design company like ATAK Interactive will discount more basic work and bill fractional hours to keep the client’s business under one roof.
Hybrid, Best of Both Worlds? This is a great way to work because some projects can be flat quoted and some work may be unknown. ATAK Interactive, a Los Angeles web design company recommends this approach, and feels hybrid style project estimation/quoting is accomplishable by clearly stating at the outset what hourly rates are and mentioning flat quotes will be delivered as much as possible and when appropriate. This way, everyone’s budget is happy and the client isn’t afraid to ask for extra work because they know they will see a quote/estimation of some sort before they approve any project. Quotes can be given, with options, and the client can decide what is best for them. The designer is compensated for extra work, and must ask for hourly hours when needed, such as when and new technologies come about and require study. Social Media Marketing, a relatively new field, would be a good example of this circumstance.read more
If you are a potential client looking for a website design and reaching out for website development services, the list below is a pretty good outline of how ATAK Interactive, a Los Angeles web design or many other website design agencies, will work with you.
- Introduction Email/Phone Call
- Meeting Set Up (in person if possible)
- Learn Client Business; Discovery
- Outline Website or Project Requirements.
- Make Recommendations, and Suggest/Discuss Options
- Development of Project Brief and Requirements Doc.
- Client review and confirmation of brief.
- Proposal creation and project quote.
- Hosting Recommendations Developed Here
- Proposal Delivered to Client with Walkthrough if Desired
- Project Start
- Design Phase
- Discovery (usually has already happened in brief and meetings)
- Home Page Design
- Revisions and Approvals
- Internal Website Page Designs
- Revisions and Approvals
- All Items Finalized and Approved
- Coding and development.
- Installation of any carts and security.
- Beta Testing
- Client Beta Testing
- Client feedback and Changes
- Go Live
- Updates and Maintenance
This is, of course, a very general simplification of how we take care of and work with our website clients. Every client is unique and has very specific needs. At ATAK interactive we take the time to listen to you and put together a plan for your company that will meet or exceed your expectations for developer interaction and design deliverable.
We take a lot of pride in the relationships we build with our clients and work hard to maintain the highest level of service and accountability.
ATAK Interactive, located in Los Angeles, specializes in website design and search engine optimization. Come to our site, www.atakinteractive.com, to check out some of the amazing ecommerce and custom programmed websites we have built with the above process for understanding and helping our clients meet and excess their goals.read more
Los Angeles, CA – April 8, 2010 – ATAK Interactive (www.atakinteractive.com), the Los Angeles web design firm for e-commerce solutions, is a corporate sponsor of the Junior League of Pasadena, Inc.’s Annual Chocolate Chip Ball.
The 2nd Annual Chocolate Chip Ball will take place at a private club in Pasadena on April 24, 2010 and will feature some of the most delectable chocolate desserts in town, with proceeds benefitting the Junior League of Pasadena’s community programs.
ATAK Interactive is proud to help support the event and the organization’s goal by providing custom design, formatting, printing and delivery of their program at no cost.
Josh Goodman, President and CEO of ATAK Interactive, says, “ATAK Interactive is proud to support the Junior League of Pasadena in their annual Chocolate Chip Ball Fundraiser, and we are glad to do our part in helping them to give back to the community.”
For more information about the Junior League of Pasadena Inc and the Chocolate Chip Ball, visit www.jrleaguepasadena.org
For more information about ATAK Interactive and their services, visit www.atakinteractive.com or call 310 526 7493
About ATAK Interactive:
ATAK Interactive is a leading web design and development firm that specializes in ecommerce website development. With a network of over 150 designers, ATAK offers solutions for online marketing, advertising, website design, branding, SEO and social media marketing. The ATAK Interactive team has a track record of success in building applications for fortune 500 clients, real estate professionals, school districts, government agencies and retail giants. The company was founded in 2005 by David Ephraim and Josh Goodman. Together, they are continuously working to develop new technologies such as innovative ways to encourage users stay on websites longer.
For more information on ATAK Interactive, or to sign up for their monthly newsletter visit www.atakinteractive.comread more
ATAK Interactive is one of the leading Web Design and SEO Companies of Los Angels. ATAK is into the improvement of online marketing for local businesses.
The 10 Local Marketing Tip Series intend to help business owners in Los Angels better reach a local demo-graph using web sites and tools on the internet. As a matter of fact, most online marketing tips cater to all other websites but this article will mainly focus on Los Angels.
Tip #1: Create Quality Content
Creating quality content is recommended the most, by making use of keywords and key phrases in your website’s content. Make as much use of keywords and key phrases as you can. Increasing your chance to be listed or found on search engines. See to it, that the content is sensible with proper use of keywords; it should not seem as if you have written the content merely to insert keywords. Do not write unnecessary content. Only include informative text. Use location keywords like, “Los Angels” or “Beverly Hills”. You can also include zip code along with the use of keywords.
For example, if a Los Angels Web Designer owns a website company in Los Angels, then she/he must make it a point to upload newer content or pages on their website almost regularly on monthly basis. The pages can range from being article pages, case study pages, testimonial section, products pages, to services pages, attracting and bringing search engines to the website. The sole purpose behind writing quality content is to get users to your site when they type any of the keywords or phrases in Google, Yahoo or Bing while searching for a specific business. Do not forget to include your business address, name and phone number.
Do not merely upload the new content, as it is very important. Most search engine sites take these pages to be ‘relative’ therefore a professional web design, css/html coding, and online marketing techniques are necessary. Web site content writers need to be excellent while producing content that is good and considered unique by search engines and users, making them click on links of the website. Furthermore to get to the ‘purchase’ or ‘services’ pages. Search engines do value back links out to previous pages.
Think about the user who is most likely to type in “web site designer in Los Angels,” or “Los Angels web design” or “recommended web site agency in Los Angels”. Here, priority is to create pages of content, using all the keywords in order, to get them to follow & view links to the most important page of your website. Analytic tools available in the market, some for free, prove helpful to business owners to find out what users are actually looking for.
‘Local Marketing tips’ series will be continued in next post from Los Angels SEO Company to help website design companies to improve local business.read more