Building a Website from a Template | Why It’s so Much Better for the Client

Building a Website from a Template | Why It’s so Much Better for the Client

Client education is one of the most important aspects of building a site. The client needs to understand the capabilities of a site and, when it’s brought to completion, how to use and maintain it.  With the majority of our clients, they only really understand what they want the site to look like and do – and the doing part usually isn’t as well formed a concept as it should be. But that’s OK; it’s our job to take those thoughts and build a website that meets our client’s needs – even the needs they might not have thought of. It’s our “Best Practices” policy, and as Web Consultants and not just Web Designers, we look at the entire playing field and how your business fits into it. We care about good looks, but we care even more about the less sexy elements of design like user experience, search engine optimization, security and reliability. For those reasons, 9 out of 10 times ( actually 9.5 out of 10) we will build your WordPress website with a template. 

Templates have many benefits over from scratch WordPress sitesBut, when the client hears “Template” they immediately think “cookie cutter“- my site is going to look identical to half a billion other sites on the web. Nothing could be truer or farther from the truth.

OK, we see we have confused you. How can a website be both the exact same and entirely different at the same time. 

Through customization.

A template is a framework. If you go to 100 houses in 10 different cities and stripped away the plaster and paint and all the other aesthetics that make a house your home, they would look almost identical. The same is true for 100 websites.  There are certain elements on a website that always go where they go.  if you strip away the aesthetics of a website like photos, icons, color scheme and font,  the framework is identical. So when we build a website with a template that you want to customize – your website will NOT be identical to another website from an outside perspective. It will only be identical where we, the web consultants, are looking and frankly where it counts the most! 

Don’t believe it?

 

 

These are frameworks of 3 sites we have built and each one is built on a template, Each site looks pretty identical on the backend. All site use the Divi builder, most of our sites use this builder because it is simple for the client to use on the backend. 

But on the front end they look nothing alike!

 

 

Why are Templates better for WordPress Websites

By building from a template we can add, remove and change elements that meet the client’s demands easily – and after it’s built so can the client. This means the client won’t have to depend on us to make simple changes to a website every time they want to swap a photo or even add a new page. We created a template that they can work from. 

WordPress has several updates every year and they are not usually compatible with custom coded sites. This means that something is going to break and you’ll have to go back to the original designer to fix it.  They don’t fix those sites for free.  The average web designer in Las Vegas charges around $50 an hour – how many hours a year do you want to pay to have your site keep up with WordPress updates? 

Because we use a builder and templates – a whole team of designers and coders are making sure that Vegas Web’s sites are compatible with WordPress updates. Far less breakage happens and, when it does, is easy to fix. This saves the client money.

Lastly, the code is clean! This is important to keep your site secure. Free themes and custom coded sites have “backdoors” hackers sneak into and hijack your site.  We use reliable builders and the templates they offer.

Depending on how much customization you want to make to a template, templates can keep the costs very low for a new business website build without sacrificing aesthetics or the functionality and reliability you need. 

We don’t do cookie cutter websites. Your business has a brand (it should) that we will use to build the look and feel of a new website. It will be built on a stable builder, and based on a template to save you money now and down the line.  Depending on what you need, a new website can be built in as few as 2 days from one of our templates and not sacrifice the other important stuff like security, reliability, uptime, or search engine optimization. 

 

View our Templates 

 

 

Website SEO – targeted for local traffic

Website SEO – targeted for local traffic

SEO is great, unless your SEO traffic is incorrect.  Imagine you were trying to sell apples in Las Vegas and above all of your page search results were links to the Apple store. You’re trying to sell “Apples Las Vegas” at least that’s your keyword – right? Wrong, very wrong. Even though Google is getting better about piecing together the intricacies of human speech patterns (read about the recent BERT update) , sometimes you have to spell it out more obviously for the search engines to get the type of traffic you really want and that your business needs.  

When Google is “confused” it will take a shot in the dark and deliver results based on search frequency.  Not a lot of “Apples Las Vegas” searching where the desired result is fruit.  So you get a map to all the Apple Stores, a few Apple products and lots of candy apple shopping results because – who doesn’t want a candy apple! 

In reality, the desired result was about fresh fruit – apples specifically. Way down on the page you’ll get a single, relevant to your search, result for Gilcrease Orchard

Finally!

Now, Gilcrease Orchard doesn’t try to rank for apples – that term is just too broad. They also don’t really try to rank for Apples Las Vegas, too confusing (to Google) 

They do try to rank for the following keywords that are actually valuable in generating traffic to their website and their orchard. 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see that Gilcrease is ranking number one for their own name – this isn’t a goal by the way. People get SO excited when there name is on the first page of Google. This is no great feat. If your business name isn’t on the first page of Google you REALLY have a massive SEO issue.  What they are in the top spot for ( see check marks) and first page for are some terms that meet certain criteria

1. They are location specific – no one is looking for farms in Pahrump or Laughlin. They want Las Vegas search results.

2. They are product specific – in the Fall, people are looking for apples. It’s Autumn’s official fruit.

3. Their off-site SEO game is strong on Facebook and Instagram. Yes – your social media helps your website rank better on Google. It’s all connected!

Seems like Gilcrease is doing pretty good with targeting local search results, right?  Well, there is some room for improvement. While apple’s may be fall’s official fruit – I can ALMOST taste the Thanksgiving Apple Pie already- Pumpkins are fall’s official gourd and they aren’t placing NEARLY as well for Pumpkins as apples and Pumpkins get a LOT more traffic – almost triple the local traffic.

Pumpkin Patch Las Vegas SEO

If I were Gilcrease Orchard – I would get my SEO team on creating some content for my website targeting ALL the fruits and vegetables available on site.  And while we are talking about content – where’s the blog Gilcrease?  A blog is one of the best ways to generate SEO friendly content for your website – Google loves it almost as much as we love apple pie.

 

To wrap it up. When you are constructing an SEO strategy for your local Las Vegas or Henderson business you want to take some things into consideration.

1. What are people looking for 

2. What are they looking for RIGHT before they take action

3. Only pay attention to point 2 above- that’s where the conversion from looker to action taker happens

4. Make sure you didn’t leave any keywords out ( like pumpkin patches) 

5. Make sure your off-site SEO is aligned with the on-site SEO

6. Make sure you are placing locally – use neighborhood keywords when applicable. 

7. Make sure they aren’t too competitive with other businesses. Think “Casino Las Vegas” as your primary SEO keyword  – yeah there’s a lot of competition there! 

Get some more expert advice about keywords and which to target from Google know-it-all , Neil Patel. Especially if your next step in promoting your site will be in advertising for specific keywords. 

 

 

 

 

Google’s Algorithm Change and How to Keep Up | My Vegas Website

Google’s Algorithm Change and How to Keep Up | My Vegas Website

The only constant is change with Google. Even if this most recent update, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) isn’t as wide-spread as some others, only 10% of US English searches are affected, if you are 1 of the 10 you may see a downward or upward trend in your search engine placement results for your website. 

If you are seeing an upward trend, congratulations.  We are speaking to the website owners who have seen their SERPs and site traffic take a nose-dive since the October 25th, 2019 release of BERT. 

Have you figured out why? 

According to Google 

“These improvements are oriented around improving language understanding, particularly for more natural language/conversational queries, as BERT is able to help Search better understand the nuance and context of words in Searches and better match those queries with helpful results.

Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like “for” and “to” matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you.”

In laymen’s terms – Google can now better understand the natural search queries people actually use when looking for something on the web.  If your site visits have gone down sinse the latest update, chances are your site is not doing a good job in terms of copy and explaing what it is that a searcher would find on your site that is a solution to their query. 

If you have been “writing copy for the search engines”, sorry but you’ll need to have a rewrite.  Keyword stuffing has been problematic for years, blackhat link building too, and now SEO friendly copy is not so friendly anymore.

You still need structured data,and  especially where your page doesn’t have a lot of text. internal linking and good naming conventions and meta data for images are super important. What you really need to focus on for your copy, however, is answering the question “what’s this page about?”. If your response would be vague or you’re confused about the purpose of a page on your own website, you have to rewrite the copy.  

Google is trying to steer away from guessing what you mean and using context to nail down the intent of the enquiry and the result page; presenting a more useful result to the end user. 

 

How to write HYPER-LOCAL website copy for your Las Vegas business | My Vegas Website

How to write HYPER-LOCAL website copy for your Las Vegas business | My Vegas Website

Hyper-local keywords are a must when your business serves a small geographic area. When you live in a mid-large sized city like Las Vegas or Henderson it’s how your business gets shown to people when they search for it if :

1. they are located near your business

2. the are searching for a business in a specific area ( say near a business meeting that’s across town from where they are currently located)

You don’t want to compete with all the businesses in your category across Las Vegas and Henderson – you want to compete in a smaller more localized area. That is Hyper-local SEO.

I could go on and on about Hyper-local SEO until your eyes glazed over so I am going to illustrate how this affects your restaurant IRL. when someone wants what you offer where you offer it.  For this example, we are using Korean Restaurants.

In Example 1 here the search phrase used was  – Korean Restaurants Henderson. As you can see a large map area and several korean restaurants were returned for the query.  If you have a Korean restaurant in this area, you’ll have a lot of competition to get them into your establishment. 

In Example 2 here – the search query was more specific.  The phrase used was Korean Restaurants Silverado Ranch.  You can see the map result is much more targeted and the results displayed below the map are fewer. Your number of competitors are fewer too. 

In Example 3 the search phrase is Korean Restaurant.  The results displayed are local to my office. If I were on my cell phone the results would be local to where it was last pinged. As you can clearly see, Google knows EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE – not to creep you out but this is a fact ( and they are probably listening to you right now but it’s a discussion for another day) . and as a side note – Buldogi’s has the best Korean Style hotdog creations anywhere – I don’t know if it’s a “thing” but they are the best #biased.

So, what does this mean for your business. How do you STOP competing with other businesses across the entire Las Vegas Valley and start getting the right people, at the right time, looking AT your business? 

Here are our 3 DIY Hyper -local SEO Tips

1. Use zip codes in your text.  If you are targeting a certain geographical area with more than one zipcode be sure to show them on the pages of your site. For example – Serving 89117, 89135, and 89147 for delivery

2. Use hyper-local neighborhood words. Silverado Ranch, Green Valley Ranch, The Lakes – People tend to use their neighborhood or “near me” in their search querries. 

3. Get Google My Business. See that Map up on top – you want to get on it. Don’t be like the final example below where, apparently, there are no Korean Restaurants in the entire Nellis AFB area.  We have our doubts and would STRONLY encourage our Korean Hotdog favorite, Budogi’s,  to open a location – since it’s a Korean Restaurant desert. Hungry soldiers need Bulgogi Hot Dogs IMO. 

Where are you Korean Restaurants near Nellis AFB, where are you
Seriously, give us a call we can get your business on the map and in the search results!