About Us...

We specialize in affordable small business website development. Our goal is to help small and medium business owners get a better return on their advertising dollars by utilizing a comprehensive search engine optimization process tailored to the geographic area your are targeting and combining it with a professional image to create a profitable online presence. Give us a call and let us show you what we can do for you.

Why Web Nation?...

Unlike most web development companies nowadays, our roots are in search engine optimization. We are not a web design company posing as search engine optimization specialists. If you want to get exposure in your local areas on the web, check us out and get in touch. All of our packages are affordable and comprehensive. We invite you to benefit from our commitment to excellence today.

The Importance of Reviews

In one of our previous posts we took a look at 3 easy ways to get more out of your website. This blog post could’ve been the fourth way to get more out of your website, however sometimes getting reviews for your business is not so easy, even if you provide high quality work.

First, let’s establish the importance of reviews and clarify what we are talking about. Reviews are user-generated content that your customers provide in various online listings for your business. The three most prominent user reviews usually come from your Google Map listing, Yahoo Local Listing and your Yelp listing. Your customers will need to register to these sites in order to leave a review. This shouldn’t be too much of a hassle as many people already have a gmail or yahoo email account they could log into.

Let’s take a look at an example of how reviews can help online rankings. We’ll take a look a local company in Naperville IL called Knoll Landscape Services. When you do a search in Google for landscaper Naperville IL, you will find this company as letter A in the Google Map listings. You will also notice that they have 3 reviews for their business. As you take a closer look, you will find that 3 out of the top 4 listings have reviews. This is just one example, but we have seen many businesses rise up the rankings quickly after fully completing their online profiles and getting more reviews for their business.

The hard part becomes getting your customers to actually leave the review. The easiest way to get more reviews is to simply ask your customers after the job is completed. If they don’t know the importance of these reviews they probably will not bother with them. We supply our clients with a document to send their customers that includes all of their online listings and a step-by-step guide on how to create a review. This document also includes their Facebook and Twitter accounts so they can stay connected with each other in the future. Feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll send this document over to you free of charge if you would like to start using it.

If you have good relationships with your clients, it may not be a bad idea to shoot them an email about it. You may want to give a little incentive like a free service that you provide or a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Trust us, it will be time or money well spent. Other good people to ask would be local companies you may have bartered with or members of your chamber of commerce. We participate in a forum www.contractortalk.com that helps others in the online community “like” their facebook posts and gain more twitter followers.

Hopefully this post gets your creative and networking juices flowing and helps you realize the importance of reviews. If you are serious about increasing your exposure online, then you need to start an active review campaign. Thanks for stopping by, see you again soon!

Design For Show, SEO For Doe

As many of our friends on twitter may know, we here at Web Nation Group are big golfers. A common phrase in the golf world is “drive for show, putt for doe.” This got us thinking about how this saying can relate to web design.

A web designer’s main goal should be to make their clients happy. Unfortunately this usually means a “cool” web design that fits into their budget. The optimization of the site is an afterthought, even though this is probably the biggest factor in determining the effectiveness of their web presence.

That’s why we thought the golfing phrase was a good analogy for how people think about web design. For the recreational golfers, they may be happy if they can go to the range and hit a couple good drives. As time goes on and they start playing more frequently, their desire to shoot better scores increases. As they learn more about the game and analyze their strengths and weaknesses, it becomes apparent the best way to shave strokes off their game is to improve their short game (chipping and putting).

A similar scenario plays out all too often when developing websites. Many times a business owner will have a graphic designer create their website. They will be happy with it at first, but after six months to a year, they start to realize that they are not receiving the response they thought they would. That’s when they start looking into search engine optimization.

The best way to go about the process is to address your search engine optimization during the initial development. I heard a comparison to seo before that stated seo is similar to the electrical wiring in your home because it needs to be accounted for during the building process and is integral to how the home works. Most people think it is like an addition to their home, similar to a deck.

Of course there are many ways to combat this error if this is the case. It is more difficult and takes more time though. Search engine optimization done organically takes time to develop correctly. There are no short cuts. So if you don’t do it right the first time, you are looking at another 3-6 months to get you back on track probably. You can always pay for sponsored links, which can provide value, but also cost more money. Link building and social media are two other ways to combat poor initial search engine optimization as well.

It all depends on what you want, but the point is, more emphasis should be placed on your optimization from the beginning. We’re not knocking the importance of high quality web design, because nowadays you need both good seo and professional image once people visit your site. At the same time, you can have the best-looking site in the world, but if nobody can find it, it doesn’t do you much good.
All we’re saying is make sure that you develop a strategy and work that into the initial development of your site. Don’t be like the novice golfer who only concentrates on the part of their game that makes them look good. We encourage you to have a well-rounded site to ensure its effectiveness. If you’re web designer is not talking to you about keywords and link building, I would highly recommend looking around some more.

3 Easy Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Website

Most people know they should have a website nowadays, and many people do. The question then becomes; how do you get the most out of your website?

Here are three easy ways to help you do that:

1) Keep Your Website Updated

This may seem like an easy one, but the more frequently you update your website, the more reason people have to come visit. It’s similar to when you make changes to your home. You don’t necessarily have to go through a whole remodeling process to have a desire to show something off. Every new project, new photos, new staff members, etc. are great opportunities to keep your community involved and updated on what’s going on with you. A blog linked to your website is a great way to do this.

2) Claim Your Online Listings

This is the one of the best ways to get more exposure online, and it is very easy. All you have to do is know where to look and claim your listing in various popular directories throughout the internet like the online yellow pages, Merchant Circle, the Super Pages and more. For a list of great resources online to claim their business listings at click here.

It does not take very long, and could easily be some of the best time you have invested in your company in a while. Simply fill in some basic information like your business address, phone number and website and you’re done. People won’t always find you through ordinary searches online for your keywords, so by claiming your listings you are diversifying your online presence and giving yourself more of a chance to be found.

3) Utilize Social Media

Many small business owners would be amazed at the amount of traffic they could drive to their website if they utilized social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. A few minutes is usually all it takes to add some basic information about your company and create a profile. About five minutes or so for every new post and you have the potential to increase your exposure exponentially. A couple simples sentences with a link to your website or blog can go a very long way towards expanding your business and developing relationships with your clients.

When you get involved like this, you are going where the conversation is, instead of relying on the people to come to you. You don’t really have to spend a lot of time here, at least once a week would be ideal, but even if it’s once a month, just having a presence helps your company immensely.

If you feel like spending some extra time, list yourself in some twitter directories like wefollow.com and twellow.com. You can also do twitter searches at search.twitter.com, which are similar to google searches and will provide results with the keywords you are searching for. For example, if you are a landscaper, you may do a search for “landscaping services” and find some potential clients who are in the market for what you offer and made a posting with your keywords in it.

I would also highly recommend creating posts on Craiglist to your appropriate categories with a link to your website. Again, very easy to do and you will be placing yourself in front of many eyeballs who are already there and open to looking at what you have to offer.

Ideally you would like to sync all of your online marketing together. For example; make a new blog post that is linked to your website. Then post a link on your twitter and facebook accounts, and you will be getting maximum exposure for the time you spent on your new blog post.

The best thing about all of these resources is that they are free. Every business owner has access to them, all it takes is a little time. These are great tasks for office managers or assistants to handle if you are fortunate enough to have their services available to you. If you don’t have the time but do see the value, you can always pay somebody to do this for you, like us over at Web Nation Group.

We would be more than happy to give you a free consultation and show you how some of these online marketing tips could help your business. Feel free to contact us anytime with questions or to request a quote.

Top 10 Ways To Spot A Web Designer Posing An As SEO Specialist

Finding a good company to create an online presence that you are satisfied with can be an arduous task for many business owners. Most people know they want a professional looking site but don’t know what to look for in order to make sure that you are reaching your target audience.

Unfortunately with the popularity of the internet and potential to make money online came many web design companies who incorporated search engine optimization into their services without really knowing what they were doing. Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a complicated and lengthy process. It takes time to build your company’s trust and legitimacy online. Of course there are some ways to combat this if a company is willing to invest in pay-per-clicks ads. However, in a society that demands quick results, all to often web companies have given into the temptation to promise more than they can deliver thus making it difficult to trust anybody when it comes to fair market value for your website needs.

Before I realized what was really going on, I had the misfortune of working for one of these companies, which led me to write this article and try to help other businesses and people in a similar situation.

The problem is most of these companies have read enough about search engine optimization so they can sound good, but they either don’t know enough about SEO to implement it correctly or they are not willing to do what it takes to get the results you are expecting. They will say anything to get your business and it will all sound good if you don’t know what to look for.

You want somebody who will be reasonable and also realistic. So when these companies start to get overzealous and greedy, that’s usually a good sign they are just trying to get your money. Below is a list of inaccurate/misguided sayings web design companies posing as SEO experts will say while pitching their product:

  1. “If nobody can find your website it’s useless.”- First of all this statement is just not true. A website can be a great reference point for any existing customers and business contacts and as long as you let them know the name of your website, they will be able to find it. A website can also help you sell products, take payments, create an image, connect socially with your audience and much more that provides value to your company.

  1. “Your current website is like a billboard in the middle of forest.”- This is usually overcompensation to make you feel like you need to do something more. Every market is different but the more specific you can get the better. There are many ways to get visibility online, so make sure to shop around.

  1. “We don’t want to put too much information on your site because then it may be considered spam.”- There are free tools that you can use to look up what’s called your keyword density. The accepted standard is about 10-20% of your content be keyword rich. If it’s more than 20% than it may be considered spam but don’t let somebody con you into thinking more is less in terms of content. It is widely regarded that “content is king” nowadays and the only reason somebody would say otherwise is because they just don’t want to do the work. A good company will know the standards and stay on the slightly aggressive side of this ratio to help you rank better.

  1. “Nobody uses the phonebook anymore.”- This is another statement that should throw up a red flag. The phonebook comes into play more for companies focusing on a local market, but this just isn’t true either. Yes, more people are going online to get their information nowadays, but that doesn’t mean nobody uses the phonebook anymore.

  1. “I did a search for your company online and couldn’t find you.”- They didn’t do a search for you and even if they did there are many different search words and phrases that might be relevant to your business that they are not aware of.

  1. “Every day millions of people are doing searches online, can they find you.” This is true however exaggerated, especially when it comes to small business. It gives the impression that millions of people are doing searches relevant to your business. In reality it’s more like thousands and probably more like hundreds. While this is still a big market, it’s just not as big as some make it out to be.

  1. “We do such a good job of getting you ranked that you don’t need to bother with PPC.”- Most likely they just don’t want to bother with having to manage your adwords account. You will almost always need a couple weeks and usually a couple months to get ranked for your keywords, so looking into PPC in the meantime is not a bad idea at all. It can help drive traffic in the early stages of your web launch and help get you ranked earlier.

  1. “We do link-building by placing links to other websites on yours”- Link building is a very important aspect of search engine optimization. When somebody says they will place links on your site to others that is called an outbound link because it goes from your website outward. Good link building should consist of getting you links from other websites to yours in order to drive traffic and build legitimacy.

Think of what big cities look like on a road map; the bigger cities have more roads leading to them and this is they same way search engines look at sites in your industry. Whoever has more relevant links usually has a better website. So don’t let them fool you, be sure to ask how many in-bound links you will be receiving from your web provider.

Here are couple things to look for after the launch of your website. If you’ve already made a decision and are skeptical that your current provider might be one of these companies, check to see if they say anything along these lines:

  1. “Oh, you probably didn’t tell enough people about your website.”- This is what they say when you ask them why you haven’t seen any more calls or business form the web. The classic “blame game”. If they really cared about your website’s success they would help you get links and drive traffic, not just design a nice looking site.

  1. Social Media isn’t relevant for your business.”- I would highly recommend that you ask your web provider about social media like Twitter and Facebook and I would highly recommend reconsidering your SEO relationship if your company tells you that it’s not relevant for your business. Social media is the future of online marketing and will play a big role in search engine rankings in the future. If a web design company tells you this it is in my opinion indicative of a company that would rather spend more time making excuses for why not to do more instead of taking the time to ensure that their clients are represented in all phases of creating a professional online presence.

If you are looking for more visibility online and/or a professional online presence and would like to work with a reliable, reasonable web design company please contact us at info@webnationgroup.com for a free consultation today.

Web Nation Group's New Business Model Creates A Stir In The Small Business World

Web Nation Group launched their website recently www.WebNationGroup.com. Based out of Naperville Illinois, Web Nation Group specializes in affordable small business websites. Their unique business model creates a fresh alternative for small business owner's looking to gain a professional presence online but not spend an arm and a leg.

Web Nation prides themselves on creating a product that delivers everything their clients want while not making them pay for anything they don’t need. Their goal is to help small and medium business owners get a better return on their advertising dollars. They are able to accomplish this by utilizing a comprehensive search engine optimization process and combining it with a professional image to create a profitable online presence.

Co-Owner Steve Tracy says,

"In today's economy most business owners can't afford to pay for anything they don't need right now. Unfortunately most web design business models are not created with this in mind. We believe we have found just the right mix to produce the results small business owners are looking for while staying within their budgets at the same time. Our clients benefit from our integrity and work ethic from the very beginning of our relationship. Whether they need to generate more business or just establish a professional online presence, we can accommodate their needs at industry low prices."

Web Nation is not your typical web development company. Their two-phase approach scales down the typical lengthy and expensive process involved in developing a professional website while still including everything a small business owner wants.

Co-owner Joseph Campbell says,

“We understand smaller business owners’ and their frustrations. One of the keys to our success is that we listen to what our customers want and then give them choices as to what fits their needs and budget the best."

Besides the designers and search engine optimization experts Web Nation Group has on staff, they also feature professional copywriters. These copywriters get to know the client to determine important aspects of the website like the goals in mind, keywords, target areas and much more. Then they coordinate all projects with designers and write all pages of the website to make the process very easy for their busy small business customers. Each copywriter possesses a unique ability of being able to write keyword rich content for search engines while creating user-friendly copy at the same time that will reflect professionalism from start to finish.

The Web Nation Group website features more information about their unique approach, search engine optimization expertise and results they are able to produce. Web consultants are available for a free consultation to better explain their process directly as well.

Check out their website or social media pages like twitter and facebook and get in touch with them today!