Friday, December 19, 2008

Web Design and MySpace Design, What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between a web site design and a MySpace Design is that a MySpace Design is used for social media and is more for SEO, search engine optimization and Internet Marketing versus being the front door of your business.

If you think of your web site design as the front door of your business, your MySpace page is your radio or newspaper advertisement. You’re virtually advertising your business in your social media network, adding specials and deals on a daily or weekly basis. It’s a great way to get news out there about your business.

The biggest difference in the design aspect of a MySpace page is that the MySpace page is a template that you add CSS, a cascading style sheet too. And a good MySpace designer will keep branding in mind and design your MySpace page to flow with your Web site design as well as your business if it’s brick and mortar. Branding is very important and you want to make your visitors feel like they are at home.

You can also reap the benefits of a MySpace page by using it as your blog. You can link to your site and provide valuable information to your customers and help to increase the page rank of your site all at the same time. If you have a web site, you should really consider using social media as a viable tool to helping your business to grow.

Web design and MySpace Design go hand in hand, like peanut butter and chocolate! They both taste great alone, but together they are divine! For more information on web design or web copywriting, please contact BLaST creative today!
A few MySpace pages designed by BLaST Creative include:

Tarantino Pizza

Mamacita's Cafe

BLaST creative

Papis Grill

Meredith Haberfeld Coaching

Sunday, November 23, 2008

MySpace for SEO and Web Marketing

Teens and young people have been using MySpace for years. For many, it truly is their social circle; they spend hours cruising their sites and their friends’ sites. Businesses are now catching on to the marketing explosion that is taking place in cyber space.

“I opened my pizza place and just wasn’t seeing any business during the lunch hour,” says Jay Frichtl, owner of Tarantino’s Pizza. “I had a MySpace page designed and within 2 days I had a waiting line outside my front door. My parking lot is now full during the lunch hour. The kids are literally lining up out on the street to get in.”

A MySpace page can drive traffic to your front door, literally. The page should be designed with branding in mind. You want your page to resemble your home website or business. You can offer specials or deals. You can communicate with your customers and your customers can leave unsolicited comments about your business. It’s a great way to generate “New” business.

You can post comments or not. Millions of people are on MySpace every single day, ever single minute; you can get the word out about your business quicker than any other media ploy!

I set up an account to design a page for a Mexican Restaurant, Mamacita’s CafĂ©, and before I even confirmed the email address after registering it I had a hit from someone asking about the restaurant. It was that quick.

To design a MySpace page costs between $100-$200. They are easy to maintain and provide a great backlink for your web site. MySpace is a win-win for everyone.

A few MySpace pages designed by BLaST Creative include:

Tarantino Pizza

Mamacita's Cafe

BLaST creative

Papis Grill

Meredith Haberfeld Coaching

At BLaST Creative we are certified in Internet Marketing and can assist you with all of your Internet Marketing needs. We design MySpace pages with usually a 1-2 day turnaround time. For more assistance, please contact BLaST Creative.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BLaST Creative Web Design

So you’re wondering how BIG to make your web page or even how BIG a web page actually is?

Truthfully, a web page can change size depending on the computer that you use to look at it. The different size screens on computers affect how a web page is displayed.

Screen sizes are measured in pixels with the smallest ones being 640 pixels wide and 480 pixels high (640 x 480). These screens are become obsolete, the majority of computer screens today are 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768.

So where does that leave you? Well, the first decision that you need to make when it comes to web design is how to make your pages.

If your page is bigger than your visitor’s screen, then they will be forced to scroll to see all of your site. Most people don’t mind scrolling down, but you don’t want to make this a habit and it’s best to avoid it if possible.

Basically, it’s important to decide on the width of your web pages. If it’s too wide, your visitor will have to scroll horizontally.

Most web designers choose to design for 800 x 600 screens, so they design the page at 770 pixels wide or less, leaving space for the scrollbar.

For more information about web design or seo services, contact BLaST Creative.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

BLaST Creative Web Design-Grab People With Headlines

When you get up in the morning and reach for the newspaper, what’s the first thing that you do? I don’t know about you, but me, I skim all of the headlines to see which stories I want to read. Well, the same is true online.

We are creatures of habit, we scan websites, reading headlines or what we in the design world call “headings” to help us decide if want to read or stay on this site or not. If you want to give your copy a chance to be read or if you want your visitors to stay, you need to make sure that you use punchy, descriptive headlines.

Your headlines should be a summary of your web content on each specific page, it should be a hook, making people want to read more. Try to use as few words as possible, but make them SNAPY!

And don’t ever pass up the opportunity to use keywords in your headlines. One way that search engines rank you is by looking at the text on your page and especially your headlines. If you want to be listed in “BMW Repair in Billings MT,” it will help if you include those words in your headline, “Metric Wrench offers BMW Repair in Billings MT.”

At BLaST Creative we are certified in Internet Marketing and can assist you with all of your Internet Marketing needs. For more assistance, please contact BLaST Creative.

Monday, June 9, 2008

BLaST Creative Web Design


Here are for more handy tips about web design from BLaST Creative.
A key element in web design are your headers, you want to get the attention of your visitors with killer headlines.

Think about it, when you are standing in line at the grocery store, what attracts you to all of those magazines? Isn’t it the killer headlines? You pick one up and skim through it, reading all of the headlines, deciding if you want to purchase it.

Well, the same is true with web sites. The majority of us scan websites, using headlines or what we in the design business call headers. Headers will help your visitors decide if they want to read what you have to say, purchase your products or go elsewhere. If you want your content to be read, you need to make sure that you use attention grabbing, descriptive headlines.

Your headers/headlines should tell about the contents on your web page and at the same time HOOK your visitors’ attention so that they want to read more. Try to say as much as you can using as few words as possible.

Another thing that you can do that will help your rankings with the search engines is to use keywords in your headlines. An important element about search engine optimization that you should know, is that search engines rank your pages by reading the text on your page, especially your HEADERS!

For more information about web design or seo services, contact BLaST Creative.

Monday, May 26, 2008

BLaST Creative Web Design


There are very few web sites if any in today’s market that don’t use images. And most commercial sites use images accompanied with FLASH.

I will even go as far as betting that there are waaay more images present on a typical website than you realize. Because HTML was created to share academic papers, anything more detailed on intense than simple text or a web even a web form has to use an image. At BLaST Creative Web Design, we’ve even used an image in place of text for the heading, because it provides us with more control over the fonts as well as positioning.

Even using some text can really be created into an image making it easier to use. Background images in a web page can be tiled or repeated horizontally, vertically or in both directions.

Next there are lists and what do you do with them? I imagine that you’ve used bullets points or numbers in your word documents and in web design this is similar.

There are three applications for lists in HTML:

• Unordered lists (bullet points)
• Ordered lists (numbered lists)
• Definition lists (used to define words or phrases like those found in a dictionary)

Lists can be helpful when you wish to group segments of data together visually. If the segments of data weren’t in any specific order, for example, a list of favorite websites, then you would use an unordered list. But, if the list were of your top ten favorite sites, then you’d use a numbered or ordered list.

Definition lists aren’t really used that much, but they can be great if your site has a glossary.

At BLaST Creative Web Design, we utilize lists to group together segments of data that are related, it makes more sense to group related information links into a list. However, for aesthetic reasons you may not always want your data to have bullet points.

This is where CSS can be quite helpful. Just because something appears in the HTML as a list, it doesn’t need to look like a set of bullet points. You can use CSS to style a list to look any way that you choose. You can use pictures or images in place of bullets or as bullets, you are only limited by your imagination, you can style you data to look any way that you’d like.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

BLaST Creative SEO Services and SEO Copywriting


One of the first things that you probably notice when you visit a website is that there are lots of words on them that are used for navigation, in logos and as headlines. BLaST Creative SEO copywriting is the name of the game when it comes to forming web site content like product descriptions, blogs and article marketing.

Content Is The Name of The Game

For any website the content is the most important aspect of the site by far. For a news website, it's not only important to have a great design, but people go there to read the articles, so content is key. A car dealership, people want to see cars, but they also want to read content about the dealership and their philosophy. If your site is not up to snuff, your site will struggle to get visitors back.

If a customer comes to your site to read an article or a product description,it's important that they can read the copy easily. Use a reasonable size font on a plain or a light colored background. This will also make your pages easier to print.

BLaST Creative Copywriting Headings

Headings help your visitors scan a web page to decide if they want to read your body content. You need to split the content in to manageable sections and can be used by blind people using screen readers to navigate the web pages. Headings, if used correctly, also help search engines to index your web page.

How XHTML Handles Headings


In a printed document, like a newspaper or brochure, you can use headings whenever you feel like it. However, since web pages are written using XHTML you have to use them in a certain way.

XHTML has six levels of headings. The main page heading uses an h1 and should be near the top of the page. There are then five levels of subheadings from h2 to h6.

Remember headings are used to help the reader scan the page. Each sub-heading should break the page down into smaller sections of information.

If your page is "BLaST Creative Web Design", that should be your main heading (h1). You could then have (h2) sub headings on Search Engine Marketing, Web Site Design, Logo Design, and Graphic and Web Design and (h3) on another section that you want to break down the copy.

Each time you're breaking the page into smaller, more specific sections. So, if your visitors want to go straight to your portfolio, they can with one click without having to read all of your BLaST Creative content.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

BLaST Creative Web Design


In our world of advanced technology web design can be done cheaply, you can purchase templates that have already been designed and in matter of a few hours have a page up and representing your business. Or you could utilize the services of reputable design studio like BLaST Creative Web Design and rest assured that you have a unique design that was created just for you.

Your web site is the front door of your business, web design is everything, yes it may cost a little more to receive a well designed site, but you want to put your best foot forward for your customer.

You want people to come back to your site, to come to your business, you want to be original and unique. You want them to be hooked by web site design so that they will walk into your business or purchase your product.

Do you have a logo? A logo can help to identify who you are, it provides people with instant recognition. Having a logo on you marketing applications as well as your site can assist in promoting your web site.

Do you have an advertising budget? Consider splitting your advertising budget and adding web marketing to your list. Do some pay per click advertising, press releases, and blogging. These call all add to you web site, increase revenue and provide you with a better ROI on your investment, which of course include the little extra that you paid to have quality web design for your site.

Well that's all for this week, come back next week and learn more about web design brought to you by BLaST Creative Web Design.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

BLaST Creative Web Design


Here are some more key points that you should take into consideration when designing a web site. A key element to keep in mind is that the most popular web sites are always rich in content.

Stay on task with your subject. Don't try to be all things to all people. It's a good idea to write down the goal of your site before starting any design work. It will help you make designs for the site as a whole. Keep your goal in mind.

Creating a web site can be challenging and fun. The temptation to put as many bells and whistles as you can on a page can be overwhelming. But unless your site is involved with bells and whistles, don't do it! The purpose of designing a site carefully is not to make it look cool or win awards. It's to accomplish the intended goal of the site.

Remember that with anything in life, first impressions count! Think about the message you are sending to your customer. The first page of your web site should be a concise description of the website. Don't make this page too busy, you want to give your visitors the desire to dig deeper into your site through the use of inviting text and interesting graphics. If you are serious about your business, buy your own domain name and don't use a "free" hosting service.

Design sites, not pages. Your primary concern should be the site's overall design. When starting to design a new site from scratch, you should try to create a design that will make sense to users, has a consistent look and feel, and is not to difficult to extend in the future. The consistency of design of a site is one of the factors that differentiate amateur sites from professional ones.

Make it easy to get around your site. Your customer should be able to easily navigate to any page on your web site from any page on your site. It's important to link in a consistent, well thought out manner that users can learn to navigate. Have clear links to your pages and, if you are selling a product, make it easy for people to buy it! Make sure that your contact page can be reached from every page. Invite customers to contact you with their questions or comments. Add links to other sites only if it’s necessary, or on a special links page at the end of your site. You want visitors to go through your site before surfing off to another!

View your site through the eyes of a stranger. Once you have completed your site outline, view it in other browsers. Does it look like you wanted it to look?
Don't forget to tell the world about your new site. Make sure that your URL is on all your company business cards, letter heads, brochures, phone systems, etc. Swap links with other related web sites and consider banner advertising. List your site with the major search engines, but read their rules of submission first!

Keep your site current. Come up with a reason for people to visit and revisit your pages and recommend them to their friends. Blogs are a really good way to keep your content relevant. Other words most likely to attract visitors are: Free and Special. Be sure you offer something of value if you use these words!

Survey says... Ask users about your site. Create a survey and give a reward for responding. Ask friends to check out the site, and then grill them on what they thought about it. This can be valuable input on what improvements are needed. Often, things a designer might never see as a problem can throw users. Don't ever stop looking for ways to improve your website. Subscribe to professional E-zines, and keep surfing the web doing market research. What are your competitors doing better? Ask for feedback from your friends, relatives and customers. They will often see things with fresh eyes.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

BLaST Creative Web Design 101


Okay, so you have a name for your site and web hosting, are you ready for the next step? If so, then let’s go. What exactly do you want your website to do? What are you trying to achieve?

Set realistic goals that are achievable. Are you trying to sell a product? Or a service? Is your site going to be showoff family pictures or are you planning on using it for advocacy? It’s important that you only set one or two goals for your site. If you have an over abundance of goals, you’ll set yourself up for failure.

Your goal can assist you in the decision making process for your site, helping you to create the perfect site. Ask you make decisions for you site, make sure that they are inline with your goals. Stick to your goals.

Small text looks nicer, but larger text is more readable. Verdana font size 12, is the most easily read text on the net. Make sure that your headers are Bold and you have plenty of keywords that pertain to your site, but don’t do an overkill on the keywords.

Once you’ve done this, then you’ll need to decide who your targeted audience and create a call to action. If your site is for business, then you’ll want your customers to make a purchase. If your site is non-commercial, what exactly do you want your viewers to do?

How do you get your viewers to do what you want? That’s simple, you have to ask them and your request needs to be obvious. They have to see your call to action button, for more info click here, to buy, click here, it must clear to your viewer what you want them to do.

Your entire site, from the design to the writing, should be focused on getting your viewers to engage in the action that you’ve requested. For some sites like Amazon, the action they want the viewer to perform might be to make an online purchase, but for others it could simply be tempting your viewer to make a phone call or send an email.

No matter what you choose to have for your call to action, you need to understand your target audience in order to get them to perform it. It your targeted crowd is under 25, you can use abbreviated scripts like BTW for by the way, they are all texters and that is their language. If it’s for an older generation, they aren’t going to understand the lingo. So be sure that you are talking to your targeted audience in your script.

I hope that this information has been helpful. If you are interested in learning more about web design, web marketing, SEO or article marketing please email me for further information. I can provide copy that drives sales leads, online and off. Proven BLaST Creative strategies that work, from e-mail to Web to print. There will be less wasted time, you won’t be sending my copy back for endless rewrites or doing it yourself because it isn’t up to snuff. Project work delivered on time, every time.

Friday, April 4, 2008

BLaST Creative SEO Copywriting


If you type “web design” into Google, thousands of results will be generated, with links to everything from web designers to directories featuring web designers and ebooks and even this blog. However, only ten of those sites make it to the first page. If you want more options, you have to click to the next screen.

So how do those lucky 10 make it to the top of the ranking? A major influence on search engine rankings is what is called SEO copywriting. SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is simply a technique to finding and placing certain words and phrases in your copy that will help push the Web site to the top of the heap whenever someone types in a particular search phrase.

SEO techniques also include strategically placed text within the HTML code (the underlining code used to create most Web sites).

One of the most important aspects in SEO copywriting is integrating certain words and phrases into the text. This is called keyword placement. This sounds technical, but it’s really quite simple. For example, when writing a Web site to promote your freelance copywriting services, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll have to use the term “copywriter” somewhere in the copy. Otherwise, people looking for that kind of service never find you!

Search engine companies use software programs called spiders to regularly crawl the Internet and analyze web sites. Spiders glean information from each site visited, making judgments about the content and determining how best to categorize and describe the Web site in search engine results. This is the data that search engines use to rank a Web site.

SEO copywriters take this idea a lot further. They make sure that the most popular words and phrases typed into search engines by people who are looking for copywriters, or whatever product or service that is being promoted, are mentioned in the copy. To optimize a copywriter’s Web site, you would have to integrate the follow words into the text:

Copywriter
• Copywriting
• Copywriting services
• Marketing communications
• Freelance copywriter
• Copy
• Marketing writer

If you are interested in learning more about web design, web marketing, SEO or article marketing please email me for further information. I can provide copy that drives sales leads, online and off. Proven BLaST Creative strategies that work, from e-mail to Web to print. There will be less wasted time, you won’t be sending my copy back for endless rewrites or doing it yourself because it isn’t up to snuff. Project work delivered on time, every time.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Web Design Billings MT


In our world today over a billion people are surfing the web everyday that is one sixth of the world’s population. With that people cruising the information super highway there is a need for incredible design and marketing and that is where BLaST Creative, web design in Billings, MT comes in.

At BLaST Creative, we know about HTML. Basically HTML is the language in which websites are written in. The letters stand for HyperText Markup Language. It might sound complex and overwhelming, but it’s really not.
In truth, a web page would look plain and boring if it weren’t for HTML code called tags to dress it up. Here is an example:

p is for paragraph /p tells your web browser to stop
b is for bold and /b tells your web browser to stop
i is for italics /i tells your web browser to stop

There’s also a tag to add an image

As well as tags to make text bold or italic, HTML has tags to change the font, add headings or colors link to another page or even add sound or movies.

HTML may sound complicated, but it’s easy to pickup and there are a multitude of programs and books out there to assist you in learning this new language. Web Design in Billings MT can be achieved!

If you are interested in learning more about web design, web marketing, SEO or article marketing please email me for further information.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

BLaST Creative Billings MT Web Design


Lara Tallman and Brenda Segna both started separate business ventures, trying to run businesses from home. Lara, a graphic designer and Brenda, a professional writer, but it wasn’t long before the two realized that clients wanted something from both of them.

From Lara, they wanted marketing and web design, from a graphic designer and from Brenda they wanted marketing and web content written by a professional writer. In searching marketing businesses it was hard to find the combination of the 2 types of professions. Thus, BLaST Creative LLC was formed tapping into a market niche of professional writing and graphic design.

For over 20 years both ladies have worked respectfully in their fields of expertise. With requests from friends and acquaintances streaming in for both ladies, to create a logo, or write an ad or mission statement, the requests have been numerous and both ladies knew that it was time to start charging for their services which has turned into a full-time Marketing and Design company.

Their business, BLaST Creative LLC, now keeps both ladies busy. “I used BLaST Creative for the re-design of my web site and they did an incredible job,” says Bonnie Vezain, owner of Carriaged Away. “Our old site took a long time to load and we just weren’t happy with it. With the redesign it loads in under 5 seconds, the design is better than anything we could have hoped for and the writing is an added bonus.” (www.carriagedaway.com)

This dynamic duo has not only created web pages, but maintains and writes medical blogs for numerous Internet Sites. “I own a web design business but cannot write,” says Ali Jahangiri. “Writing and design go hand in hand and you need both elements in order to succeed. We’ve outsourced the majority of our Blog content to BLaST Creative and are very impressed with the writing style and format. The turn around time is excellent and we couldn’t ask for better quality, the numbers of hits to our sites verify that we made the right choice. We went through numerous writers before stumbling upon BLaST Creative, we are very, very happy with their services.”

Prices vary for the writing, but customers pay a $1750 retainer for the web design with the balance of BLaST Creative’s $3,500 fee at the project's completion. In the beginning, clients are asked to define their ideal site.

“We tell them to brainstorm about the aesthetic they'd like to see,” Lara said. “Find sites they like, sites they don't like. What are their favorite colors, what do they imagine their site looking like, what is their idea of the perfect site? Do they want something modern or basic or do they want us to be creative?”

After Lara reviews their notes, she gets to work on the basic elements of a company Web site: a logo, a template for headers and footers, and the technical mechanisms and visual appearance of the content area, where product images are displayed.
Brenda starts with interviewing the client to find out as much as she can about the business to begin writing the copy for the site.

They both work with clients to develop the five printable items that come with their basic design package; things like business cards, fliers, Web banners, gift certificates, letterheads or stationery. A project's start-to-finish timeline is usually around two months, Lara said, and clients walk away with the copyright.

Lara says that aside from her and Brenda both being creative people, the three things that stand out as primary assets in a crowded field: the professional writer/designer combo, personal experience with running an e-commerce business and dedication to customer service.

Sharing with clients efficient, productive ways to streamline a small, online business, from shipping and marketing to optimizing a site for online search engines, is all part of the expertise that BLaST Creative has to offer.

Brenda works from Billings and Lara from Salt Lake City which works well for the two and their clients come from all across the United States and they are even writing web content for sites in Panama!

What Brenda has discovered is how many people telecommute in our world today. “The other day I was on a conference call for a project that I am collaborating on, there are 5 of us working on this project, one person lives in Las Vegas, one in Reno, one in New York, one in Seattle, and me in Montana. And it was no big deal, we all contributed our parts and it ran very smoothly.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there are now more than 18.3 million homebased businesses in the United States. With more and more people searching for the opportunity to work from home.

“I enjoy working from home,” Lara said. “I can fix my sons breakfast in the morning and I’m here when they get home from school in the afternoon. I can be a full-time mom and still work full-time too! It’s the best of both worlds!”

BLaST Creative LLC has never advertised, but often attracts clients from across the world after they encounter our work.

“Brenda and I work well together because we each have our own distinctive craft’s and we aren’t stepping on each others toes,” Lara said. “Brenda writes and I design, it’s a good combination.”

For both Lara and Brenda, BLaST Creative LLC has been a good business venture. Neither expected the onslaught of business that has incurred and both are happy with being able to work from home, on their own timeline, and have the freedom that comes with owning your own business.

If you are interested in learning more about web design, web marketing, SEO or article marketing please email me for further information.

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