Digital MastersTM: Growing Your Web Dev Business

How Focusing on Digital Accessibility Improves SEO and UX

I believe so strongly in building websites following digital accessibility best practices that I literally made it the second episode of this podcast.

But I taught digital accessibility to my MBA students just a couple of weeks ago, and I noticed some common misconceptions around the concept itself and why it’s important.

I also noticed that most of my students cared less about building an inclusive website and more about what building a website that way could do for them. Continue reading “How Focusing on Digital Accessibility Improves SEO and UX”

An Introduction to Schema Markup

Do you have your own blind spots when it comes to coding and building websites?

I’ll be honest – I definitely have mine. I do a lot more than the “average” web developer to ensure good on-page SEO and I’ve been preaching focusing on quality content vs keyword stuffed since before Google made the formal switch.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own blocks. In the last few months, I’ve gotten more and more careful about my Schema markup. If you’re not quite sure what people mean when they talk about Schema or how some Google Search Results have those rich snippets instead of a generic search result, this episode is for you. Continue reading “An Introduction to Schema Markup”

Telling Google Your Website is Live (or Updated)

Do you find yourself launching websites for clients and they call you annoyed that they “can’t find it” within a couple of hours or days?

When I got that first call from a client, I was confused. It was live at their domain. Everything was working how it should. What I didn’t understand was that their employees were, instead of typing the domain in the address bar, trying to Google and find their website. Continue reading “Telling Google Your Website is Live (or Updated)”

10 Steps to Build a Marketing Machine Website

A website on its own will not bring customers in droves.

A poorly built website is, frankly, just a waste of money.

Unless you build a website that has the components it needs to actually convert browsers into buyers, a website won’t do much for your clients.

In my 16 (really 20, but let’s not get into that) years of building websites, the key pieces that make a website go from present to great haven’t really changed a whole lot. Continue reading “10 Steps to Build a Marketing Machine Website”

Optimizing Images for SEO & Page Speed

If you’re not worried about the page speed of the sites you’re building, you should be. Most of us won’t wait very long for a site to load – research says we have about 3 seconds before our users will go elsewhere.

One of the key ways you can speed up your website is by ensuring that your images are optimized properly.

That means your images are the right size – both dimensionally and are the correct file size – and ensuring that you use the right image types. There’s also an awesome side benefit to optimizing your images – improving your SEO and on-site accessibility. The key thing here though is most of this work happens before you even think about uploading your images to a website.

Let me walk you through 4 easy steps to optimizing your images every time.
Continue reading “Optimizing Images for SEO & Page Speed”

Writing Website Copy that Sells – in 5 Steps

Look, I’m going to be harsh with you.

That pretty, modern, clean, user-friendly website you built can only get your client so far.

Those expensive photoshoots they did are great, but the pictures aren’t the main thing a customer cares about.

And you can build a website that moves at lightning speed, but your client is still not going to win on that alone.

What is it, then, that takes your website from everyday to something that actually stands out and converts?

Hint: it’s what you’re reading now. Continue reading “Writing Website Copy that Sells – in 5 Steps”

How to Create a Site Structure for Better SEO

When it’s time to start a new website project, we often want to skip ahead to the “fun” parts. But the very first step you should be working on? The site structure or sitemap.

Having a solid site structure can do way more than what colors you choose. In fact, it can improve your click through rates, lower your bounce rate, and increase your crawlability. If you’re trying to build better websites for your clients so you can get better results and charge more, you’re going to want to improve their SEO from the beginning through a solid site structure.

So how you create a site structure that will improve your SEO?

Continue reading “How to Create a Site Structure for Better SEO”

Stop Building Websites in Wix, SquareSpace and Webflow

Look, this is going to be a rant, so fair warning.

Website builders like Wix, SquareSpace, and Webflow have their place to help small business owners get their first websites off the ground.

But web developers and even designers shouldn’t be using them.

Continue reading “Stop Building Websites in Wix, SquareSpace and Webflow”

5 Ways to Improve On-Page SEO

When you’re building a website for someone, the whole point is that it can be found on Google and other search engines.

And yet, I often get brought in after someone else has built a website to perform an SEO audit and find the missing pieces. Do you want to know something? I find the same missing pieces in most of the websites I review.

Get ahead of your peers and churn out higher-quality projects by following these 5 easy steps to improving on-page SEO. Continue reading “5 Ways to Improve On-Page SEO”