Category Archives: Web Design

Westward Strategy Welcomes New Friends

By | Client Successes, Web Design, Westward Strategy, What Are People Saying | No Comments

Word seems to be traveling around Reno that when you work with Westward Strategy & Design Group of Sparks, you and your business get more than just a great website or email marketing campaign… you inherit a new strategic team devoted to your all around SUCCESS!

We wanted to say Thank You and Welcome to our New Friends…

  • Reno Sparks Chamber
  • Ionic Water Technologies
  • Lyman Public Relations
  • Dayton Valley Turf
  • Koonce Consulting
  • Recycled Furniture
  • The Pearl Planner

Give us a call (775) 626-8330 or visit: www.westwardstrategy.com.

Read Some Testimonials
View Some Work
Contact Us for a Website Appraisal

Integrated Wealth Counselors Website Recognized on CSS Mania

By | Client Successes, Portfolio, Uncategorized, Web Design, Westward Strategy | No Comments

Integrated Wealth Counselors - Designed by Westward Strategy
We are proud to announce that our client’s newly launched website has been picked up and showcased on CSSMania.com and Web Creme: Integrated Wealth Counselors, LLC.

About Integrated Wealth Counselors, LLC.
Identifying Business Needs and Integrating Solutions in a Single Environment
Utilizing our professional team (either independent of or in conjunction with your existing professional advisors) we can help you identify your needs and bring essential services together for you in a single package.

www.integratedwealthcounselors.com

Westward Strategy & Design Group Launches Three New Websites

By | Client Successes, Portfolio, Uncategorized, Web Design, Westward Strategy | No Comments

Our team at Westward Strategy & Design Group, LLC. recently launched three seperate websites for our local clients: ACS Business Insurance Services, Inc. of Sparks-Nevada, Integrated Wealth Counselors, LLC. of Reno-Nevada and Marv McQueary Excavating of Carson City-Nevada.

Allthough each business is in a completely different field of service ranging from Medical and Life Insurance to Business and Financial Planning an then to Excavating Dirt for the New Carson City Freeway, all three businesses had one goal in common – generate more traffic to their websites through Search Engine Optimization and Natural Search — and that’s just what we did.

ACS Business Insurance Services, Inc (775) 425-3233ACS Business Insurance Services, Inc. – www.acsinsurance.com

About ACS: ACS Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides you with quick access to health care plans and affordable health insurance quotes from leading medical insurance companies. Understanding your health care options is critical to finding affordable insurance coverage; whether you are looking for group health insurance for your small business or individual and family insurance.

Integrated Wealth Counselors, LLC.  (877) 572-0019 Integrated Wealth Counselors, LLC. – www.integratedwealthcounselors.com

About IWC: Identifying Business Needs and Integrating Solutions in a Single Environment
Utilizing our professional team (either independent of or in conjunction with your existing professional advisors) we can help you identify your needs and bring essential services together for you in a single package.

Marv McQueary Excavating (775) 246-3976 Marv McQueary Excavating – www.marvmcqueary.com

About Marv McQueary Excavating: Marv McQueary Excavating, Inc., is a leader in public works, commercial, residential projects consisting of earthwork, underground utilities and paving for Northern Nevada and surrounding areas. Founded in 1979 by the McQueary family, Marv McQueary Excavating, Inc., has earned a solid reputation for dependability and customer satisfaction.

FOR MORE EXAMPLES OF WESTWARD STRATEGY’S WORK AND MARKETING AND WEB SOLUTIONS, VISIT WWW.WESTWARDSTRATEGY.COM

Coming Soon:

  • Winnemucca Works
  • Creating Effective Organizations

Vanity in Your Address Bar – WWW or no-WWW

By | Natural Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Web Design | 3 Comments

This is one of those elliptical conversations that seems to never really go away, it just keeps coming back again and again. This time around it is SitePoint that tossed the boomerang in one of their blogs. As they say this is really a rather geeky topic that stays mid-brain with most designers and developers, but is not something most business owners would even care to think about. However this is a top-of-mind topic for most SEO experts and can carry big implications if not handled correctly. First I will touch on the vanity aspect and then move on to the SEO concerns.

Is the WWW Necessary in Today’s Internet?

The answer – it depends.

It depends on a lot of things including the psychology, demographics and the users’ comfort level with computers among many other things. In the SitePoint article they note the launch of their own site, 99designs.com, as well as the social networking service Twitter.com as two examples without the WWW prefix. However, these two sites are targeted at a younger, more technically savvy, demographic that most likely will not even bother typing the WWW prefix in the first place.

With an older demographic on the other hand I would argue it is a requirement to include the WWW. When I used to do computer training courses for a public entity with a large percentage of older employees, instinctively I would speak domain names without the WWW and inevitably someone would ask if they needed to type WWW before that. Their limited knowledge in this area dictated how they interacted with websites. No amount of explaining the how’s and why’s of the internet would make them more comfortable in their interaction.

Any Ol’ Domain Will Do

While browsing through the comments on the SitePoint blog I noticed an overwhelming majority of people stating they didn’t care either way, but they set up domains to work with both the prefix and without it. They do this by changing the setup of their domain records. Few of the respondents indicate whether they use 301 redirects. While I am a proponent of having WWW and no-WWW take the user to a working website I also understand that if you fail to set up a redirect to one or the other it is possible to create a real search marketing snafu. More and more we are finding this to be one of the most overlooked aspects of web design and development. As an example we just took on a client who has had a website for over 7 years and yet their was no domain preference set via a 301 redirect.

The problem with this is referred to as canonicalization errors or canonical problems. It is a huge ugly name for something very simple. Basically search engines will count www.domain.com and domain.com as two separate pages. It doesn’t end there either. They will also see all of the variations below as separate pages.

  • www.domain.com
  • www.domain.com/
  • www.domain.com/index.html (or index.php, index.asp, index.cfm, etc.)
  • domain.com
  • domain.com/
  • domain.com/index.html (or index.php, index.asp, index.cfm, etc.)

Having multiple instances recorded by the search engines is a bad thing. Your website will suffer in the SERPs. One quick way to find out if your site is suffering from this problem is to use the site: and link: commands in Google and look at the total number of results returned.

So for example, type in site:www.domain.com and then try site:domain.com

If the numbers vary then you may have a canonicalization problem.

Which One Should You Use?

From an SEO standpoint I analyze all of the potential versions floating around that may or may not have links to them or may or may not be indexed by the search engines before I just hop on board with one or the other. If the non-WWW version has more backlinks and is generally performing better, I might redirect the WWW version there. However, coming back around to my first point in this article, current SEO performance should only be one piece of the puzzle. Usability and understanding your demographic should also play a role, because your domain name will be on everything (remember Integrated Marketing) from business cards to outdoor billboards to email marketing and PPC campaigns and should always look the same. Right down to how it appears in your address bar.

SEO Do’s and Don’ts: Website Architecture (Structure)

By | Business Intelligence, Definitions, Natural Search Engine Optimization, Tips and Tricks, Web Design, Westward Strategy | 3 Comments

This is part two of our Do’s and Don’ts series. The purpose here is to provide quick actionable snippets of information to help you avoid any pitfalls in developing a strong web identity.

Do: Link to every page of the site from at least one other page on the site.
Do: Use absolute links in your link code, starting with the “http://”.
Do: Link key phrases within your copy to other relevant pages on the site.
Do: Use keywords in your page and folder names. However, keep the names short and simple. Separate words in page and folder names with a hyphen or an underscore. Do not use spaces or special characters in your naming conventions.
Do: Validate your html code and correct any errors. Use this online validator from the W3C.
Don’t: Use javascript menu systems and links. Links of this kind may not be indexed.
Don’t: Use frames or iframes in your html code.
Don’t: Serve different pages to the search spiders than your human site visitors. Nothing will get you dropped from the SERPs quicker – just ask the German BMW website.
Don’t: Use lots of folders and subfolders in your site structure, spiders like relatively flat websites.

Opera Takes Microsoft to court over Internet Explorer

By | Web Design | No Comments

That’s right, Opera has filed an antitrust complaint with the EU over Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Their primary complaint is that IE’s dominant market share is restricting the web standards movement and hindering the ability of the entire web development industry to grow by not properly supporting the standards set forth by the W3C, both legacy and modern standards.

As a side note they also want IE “detached” from Windows. So in an ideal world consumers would have more of a choice in their browser.

Personally, I file this in the “too little, too late” category. I applaud Opera for their noble effort to inflict overdue pain on M$ for their “modern browser”, but this should have been done at least 2 years ago and probably more like 5 years ago. This way it would have had a greater impact on their development of IE7. Developers everywhere thought M$ was finally going to support web standards in a much broader way with IE7, until we started testing the beta. Quickly it was discovered that IE6 bugs were just replaced with new, equally frustrating bugs in IE7. Now we’re left hacking our sites and applications not only for IE6, which still has the dominant market share, but also for this new PITA (IE7).

I just don’t see Opera winning this one by themselves. Maybe they should form a Web Standards Browser Coalition (WSBC?) with Mozilla/Firefox and some of the other browser developers to really call more attention to exactly what they are fighting for.

So I’ll be rooting for David (Opera) but betting on Goliath (Microsoft). How about you?

Nevada Insurance Agency Company Launches New Website

By | Client Successes, Portfolio, Uncategorized, Web Design, Westward Strategy, What Are People Saying | No Comments

Nevada Insurance Agency CompanyNevada Insurance Agency Company, has recently launched the company’s first corporate website at http://www.niacnv.com (Designed and Developed by the team at Westward Strategy & Design Group).

About Nevada Insurance Agency Company

In the past 72 years, Nevada Insurance Agency Company has grown into one of the state’s leading Insurance Agencies. We have never prided ourselves on numbers. Instead, we pride ourselves on client satisfaction.