Friday, December 26, 2014

Great Advertising Tool For Social Media

So here is a great tool I have been using, it's called Canva.
Canva let's you design cards, business cards, media headers, email headers, and of course Twitter Cards. It's costs $1.00 per card but there are also free cards depending on the design.  I've been using Canva, for  my Twitter posts, to attract more attention in the live stream. These posts stand out a little more and catch users attention.

The fact that a premium card only costs $1.00 is amazing, considering the quality of the image. The designer itself is extremely easy to use, and offers many backgrounds and text options, as well as title designs too.

I used it to create the header on my website, SMR Website Design, and it looks great. I also rotate a few Twitter cards throughout my daily posting as it introduces a fresh look for viewers.
The fact that they make the cards for a Twitter feed or Twitter header, makes it extremely easy for you to design one that fits perfectly for the feed.

They also offer Facebook and Google+ headers as well.

So if you do need a card made, I could certainly help you out, or just design one for you. But you should definitely take a look at this great tool.

For more info on this design tool or any website consulting or info:  Contact Me

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Don't Let Your Website Get Outdated

Often, as the years pass, businesses forget about their websites. Once a business achieves some success, they point their attention on keeping it going, or continuing to grow.
Websites, like fruit or milk, can become outdated and stale.
New trends in design, structure, and even code, can quickly change. This could leave your once great website, feeble and out of touch.
At SMR, we recently received a request from a business owner. He saw our Twitter Ad Card, clicked on our Promotions button, and checked out our website Plans. He asked us to take a look at his businesses website, and find out why the gallery didn't work, and why there were no paragraphs in the containers provided. He also wanted to streamline the site and bring it up to date.
So after going through his site, we found that he had some out of date plugins that would not work, as well as some code that was no longer accepted by certain platforms. His website was built in 2006, so it was very old, almost ancient in the technology world.  The colors, fonts, and the pics were also dated. According to today's trends and standards, this website was no longer desirable for customers to visit.
His other main issue, was his SEO. Yes even SEO has changed dramatically. New trends in SEO management, as a result of a market flooded with website traffic, has forced SEO managers to adapt. Social media such as Twitter, now plays a huge role in business marketing. And now with media sites like Twitter adding business ads and promoting small businesses with their own app, Twitter Planner, SEO managers now need to know how to enhance SEO for social media. 
For ex. Twitter now provides ads that use keyword searches. These ads will show up when a keyword is entered. Twitter records all the info. Impressions, engagements, cost per click, and how much spent. You can easily use this info to gauge how your ad card is performing. By seeing a daily and final budget, you are always in control. You can customize everything about your ad, how long it shows, language, location, a specific campaign, and so much more.This is the new SEO for website analytics. If you are not on board you will miss out on a lot of exposure for your company.
Needless to say his SEO did not cut it.
So we are in the process of redesigning his site, basically from scratch. His blog, links, and pages, all need facelifts, as well as his content. Since he hasn't kept up with updating his info, it all has to go. A total ground up restoration.
The point of this post is this, just because you have a great website right now, doesn't mean you should forget about it. Constantly updating information, social media, pictures, SEO, and design, will keep your website up to the latest trends.
The importance? If your site is easy to navigate, has a nice user interface, and is clearly categorized, your visitors will will have a good experience, find what they are looking for, and inevitably become your customer.
If you need a website redesign or a new website altogether, contact us. We have great plans for start ups, are very affordable, and we love our business.
We have a couple of new promotions going on. Our best is for start ups.
So take a look at SMR Website Design and let us build your website.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Website Design

So I am the owner of SMR Website Design. I had a great idea for start up companies. A Free Website Promotion. I started this promo, using my Twitter ads. I started a website clicks campaign as well as a lead generator campaign. Both ads led me to more views of my website, which inevitably led to some potential clients.
Start ups usually have little or no money in their budget for a website. As I have received a few inquiries for websites, only to find that these startups could not afford the prices I was charging. Being a web designer, when I was a startup, I was not so strapped. I used my other company to help fund this new one. Also, I am able to do my own website SMRWebsiteDesign , update it, as well as do all my SEO and social media, so that is a cost I did not incur.
But as I have been speaking to people and potential clients, I realized that startups need that first break. You know the one all successful businesses hoped for when they were starting out. So I came up with this Promotion.
-free website
- no charge for the design or build
-$30 upfront for 1 yr of hosting
-$30 per month for site maint, updates, SEO, client management etc...
Now on my end, I will lose out on the price of a completed website. For me that means anywhere from $300-$500! But, the other part of the payment plan is $30 a month, $30,for 1 yr of hosting and I run their site, SEO etc... What this does is provide me with income, but at the same time provide a startup not only with a website which they need, but also someone to run their SEO, client list, newsletters etc... This way their website has a greater chance of generating business for them as opposed to creating one themselves with none of the seo or not having one at all.
Since I have proposed this, I have 5 startups. 3 have committed, and two are just getting their businesses together, but they liked my proposed designs, and assured me they will be in touch soon.
So that's 5 clients I could pick up.  That makes the promotion for me worth while monetarily, while at the same time, helping out some good people.
The other side of the coin is that by helping these people, they will recommend me to their friends, customers, etc.... extending my reach to even more potentials.
I believe this is a win win situation for both parties involved. I am happy to provide this service to them, and honestly can't wait to get these sites published and live.
If you do need a web designer please feel free to Contact me with any questions you might have.
-Frank - SMR Website Design

Friday, December 5, 2014

Website Building Tips: Basics

So you're going to try to save some money, and build your website yourself. That's a great idea, but do you know enough of the basics, to not only design a website with a nice UI or UX, but a website that can be crawled with the important information in the right place?
That basic information is shared through your heading and paragraph styles.
What are those?
Well in whatever editor you are using to build a website with, you need to put in Page Titles, Titles, Subtitles and Paragraphs. In the coding world these are tagged as h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6, and p. (Heading 1,2,3.....paragraph) But did you know that these settings have a direct relation to your search results?
So when the "spiders" come and crawl your site, the most important information will be found in your h1, the largest heading. And the information gets less and less important, the further down the list you go, with the least important being the paragraph.
So what does that mean for me?
That means, that when you are making titles, subtitles etc... You have to take into account that the info you want to be found the most, should be in your H1 or page title.
You also can't make every word you write an H1, your search results will be penalized for that. All your titles should be balanced showing a site that has good content and will therefore be more credible.
Hope this helps.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How Valuable Is A Google + Page?

So do you have a Google + page? Not just a profile, but a separate page for business? This page, like all other Google products, can be a great way to get your website out there in searches.

When you post on the Google page, it is immediately crawled, and all relevant terms in the post are added to the relevant search keywords. For ex. Last night I decided on a new aggressive promotion. So after Tweeting it, I turned to my Google page. I made several posts, each with the keywords I wanted it to show up for. So my first post said Free Website followed by the description. I then posted a couple of others with different terms like Free Website Designer, Free Website  Build, etc... I put my Twitter ad link in the post as well. I then cleared my cache and went to my browser and searched Free Websites. In the matter of minutes it took to clear my PC, and type in my search, my post featured me on the 1st page! Actually the fourth result behind two ads!  After scrolling down, another of my old posts that had the word free came up as well. The same result happened for all the posts in relation to their searches.

So what could be the reason for this?

Is it because g+ is a google product? Absolutely!

Is it because g+, blogger and YouTube are completely engrained  into the Google ecosystem and they get priority? Damn rt!

Remember, Google is all about connecting people, so their services are built on that foundation. They want to connect everything and everyone.

So if you don't have a G+ page, or use Blogger or have a YouTube channel for your business, you are missing out on getting connected.

Hope this helps.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

One of My Most Useful Tools

One of my most useful tools is Pushbullet for Android and Chrome devices. For those of you who don't know, Pushbullet will save any link you want and then sync it to all the devices that you set up. So say for instance, you are thumbing through your Twitter feed, and you come across a great article that you open and want to finish later. Well just share it,  and choose Pushbullet. It will sync to all your devices, or just a specific one. Once it's in your Pushbullet, you can then share that link through sms, email, or to another app.
Then there's the mirroring feature that I use on Chrome. If you're on your desktop working, you can sync Pushbullet to show your sms messages or any pushed links. What's great about this, especially for me if I am working on a client's website with them, is that they can text me their input, and I don't need to pick up my phone. I can reply right from my desktop through a pop-up window! Talk about efficient!
I have all my client's website links stored in Pushbullet, so at anytime on my phone I can view them. I also have links to blogs that I'd like to read later. I even have a how to video saved for a day where I have time to change my memory stick in my Chromebox.
The newest features are Channels and Add Friends. Channels lets you subscribe to feeds that you might be interested in. Add Friends will let you share to your previously selected friends, and push links to them.
One other feature that I use a lot is their version of Copy to Clipboard. You can select any text, and push that text to Pushbullet and sync it to all your devices. So for instance iI want to copy a paragraph I highlight it, then I choose share from my menu, the choose Pushbullet. Now I have synced that paragraph to all my listed devices! Great feature.
While these are great features, my favorite and most useful are still the copying and syncing links, as well as the mirroring to my desktop screen allowing me to reply.

So definitely check out this app. It has overtaken all my others as the one I use most.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Its' FREE!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Different Ways On How To Use Your Website

So I recently had a client ask what were the ways that other clients use their website and which is the best? Well, I said, there are a few different ways to use a website, the best way depending on what you want your website to accomplish.

I have a client who is using their website to get her brand out there. She concentrates on a nationwide customer base. For the type of traffic she wants, when building her site, we concentrated on website verification, SEO, and daily monitoring of analytics to make adjustments. We have an aggressive daily social media plan in place. We try to collect all the info we can from her visitors, and have a news letter campaign. She also blogs once a day on content related to her product, sales, promotions etc... For this type of website to be successful, you need to be aggressive in all forms of marketing and media. Her website has been consistently getting more traffic, and her business is seeing growth in sales. So for her, that is the best way to use her website.

Now on the other side of the spectrum I have a client who owns a pizzeria. His business is successful. But the way he uses his website is completely different. He concentrates all his attention on his current customers. His website is designed, not to reach to the ends of the earth, but only in his surrounding towns.  Other than Yelp, there is no real social media campaign. Analytics and SEO do not interest him. The primary goal of his website is to make it easy for the surrounding businesses and repeat customers, to get their lunch and dinner orders, as well as any catering orders, processed through his website directly from a PC or mobile device. His website has rich pizzeria type colors, and vibrant HD pics of all his dishes. As soon as his website opens, you are brought to his daily menu! No playing around here, right to the product! And the key feature is a click to call button I installed, which is on every page. So as soon as you find what you're looking for, click the icon and a call is placed to the store. Simple, cut and dry.So for him, that is the best way to use his website. 

And then in the middle of the road I have a client who's website does well. She is a blogger and also has her own Youtube channel. She relies on her blog and video to get her word out. She is not getting the most from her website, but it is still generating traffic. Her biggest misuse is promoting in the wrong direction.  I follow her blog and Youtube channel. (this makes it easy for me to know when something new is posted so I can
add it to her site)
Youtube and Blogger will send notifications out to her followers whenever new content is posted. Where she makes her mistake is, she'll go on FB or Twitter, and promote either that new blog post or video. But why is that wrong? Well let's use her blog as an example. All her blog followers have already received a notification about the new post. But what about her Youtube followers? Granted there will be a bunch that follow both her YT and Blog, but what about the ones who only follow one of them? Maybe they don't know about the other? Maybe they haven't shown interest in the other because they haven't been exposed to it. Then what about all her followers on Twitter or FB that don't like blogs but like videos, and never click the blog links? Here's where her website would shine. If she promoted the blog n Twitter or FB, linking it to the website, then every Twitter and FB follower would go to her website and see all her work. On her homepage, you'll find  her latest videos, blogs, calendar of events, Twitter and FB feeds. You could subscribe to her website or become a member, and receive news letters. Viewers who maybe didn't know or weren't interested in her blog let's say, will now see it and maybe take a closer look. A viewer could choose what to look at, or what to follow right from the site.
The point here is choice. The choice of viewing  4-5 different types of media laid out in front of them, as opposed to just one blog post. By giving them that choice, you're showing more of your work, and more people will subscribe and follow, generating more traffic to your website. That WOULD BE the best way for her to use her site.

So there are 3 different circumstances, and 3 different ways to use your website. if you fall into one of these categories, then try one of these methods out. Or contact me and maybe I'll have some good advice for you to use.

Visit us at SMR Website Design

Sunday, November 23, 2014

3rd Day With Webydo No Signs Of Slowing Down

So this is the third day using Webydo. It's been the best day yet. I am now moving around the editor more fluently. My speed in building objects and placing them has increased dramatically. I am now moving around the editor instead of stumbling around the editor.

The one thing I've found to be the hardest task, is customizing fonts. There is so much to go through. Yesterday it took me about 2 hours to build one page to the point where I was happy with it! On my other editors, 2 hours and I usually have the entire basic structure built. So tonight was a breakthrough for me. I built a very text heavy page, (pricelist) in only about 45 minutes. I then built a contact page complete with a Google map embedded in it in 15 minutes. The pricelist page had three different fonts and three different sizes, as we'll as bullet points and a link.

So as I go along, my first impressions of this editor were that it was slow and tedious and a little tough to navigate. My impression now has definitely changed. I now see the flow of the tools in the editor and how efficient working with it really is.

Again I do like Wix very much, and both editors have their strengths and weaknesses.

My current experiment of building two of the same websites with each has been eye opening. In this case, the Webydo site looks more dynamic, and had a couple of rich visual features that set it apart. But in  my prior test, the Wix editor did do a nice job on a less visual type of site.

I think my decision on which editor to use will inevitably be decided by that particular project.

Hopefully my client picks up my Webydo website and I can then show you all what it looks like.

Started Using Buffer

So as a small business in web design, social media is one of the most valuable tools in my toolbox. Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, are the big ones (although I refuse FB and am hoping Ello takes a place up front).

More recently Twitter Planner has been an awesome experience.

So there are a few services that let you post to all at once saving you time. I do use Hootsuite. But they are expensive and their free plan only gives you three accounts. So I am going to try Buffer.

On a recommendation, I was told that you get four free accounts, which is what I have, as well as analytics and scheduling.

So hopefully this will work a little better than Hootsuite. My biggest problem there is their mobile app does not offer Google +.

So I'll keep you posted on how it works.

The other great thing is that IFTT does use Buffer (not Hootsuite). I use IFTT for some personal things, mostly family pics. But now I can use it for Buffer too. That may be the deal breaker for Hootsuite.

So we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

2nd Day Working With Webydo

Well the first day on Webydo was slow. Feeling my way around the vast customization tools and settings was time consuming. But the amount of control you have is tremendous.

One of my biggest issues was a social media bar which Webydo does not have. So what's the big deal, just get an image for whatever icon you need and link it rt? Well the only problem is you have to purchase the image of that icon. That can get expensive if you have many sites, as well as tedious to find the rt colors. As far as getting the image online, the problem is that you don't own the rights and actually can be sued. I was told this by a lawyer so I'll take his word for it.

So I turned to POWr, which makes a bunch of different types of plugins. They make some for specific companies such as Wix and SquareSpace. But they also will let you embed with  HTML <script> and <div> tags that you can put right in.

POWr is great because you can customize every aspect of the icons, square, round, color, background etc... Really makes a great looking social media bar. When you can match those colors to your website theme colors, it brings the ui to a new level.

So I am still continuing with Webydo. As I said on a post the other day, the clarity and vibrancy of the features just make the website jump off of the screen.

So what I did as sort of a test, was build the website for my client using one of the most popular and powerful editors out there in  Wix, and then I built the same website on Webydo. Ive used Wix many times before, and it's a great design editor. So I sent them both to my client, and we'll see which one she goes for.

Obviously I will not be doing this for every client, this is just my experiment. But so far everyone I've showed them to side by side say they like the Webydo one better. So I'm curious to see what the client picks.

There is also another thing I noticed. The Webydo website does load much quicker than the Wix site. Both sites are basically the same with the same elements on the same pages. I was told that Webydo uses Google's servers while Wix uses their own. That could be the difference.

So that's where I am with Webydo.
I'll keep posting as I go.

Friday, November 21, 2014

1st Website Build Using Webydo

Well I started using Webydo for an actual client's website. While it is taking considerably longer then let's say for ex. a Wix site, the designer page turns out some beautiful looking work. After watching all the tutorials and looking through the knowledge base, my first thought was to recreate a website I had already built. This was a mistake. All it did was frustrate me.
So I decided to start with a blank template and work on a website that had not been built yet. Much easier task than trying to copy a website.

There are still a few tools missing that I'd like to see such as a social media bar, but that can be worked around.

So far I am really liking the editor. It really does produce sharp, clear text and colors. And as I get used to all the   features, you really can see the incredible amount of control you have over every single item you put on the site.

So here are a couple of pages I am playing around with.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Abandoned Webflow (for now) Trying Out Webydo!

Well after one night of using Webflow, I became very frustrated. On a suggestion from  a fellow twitter follower, I started working with Webydo. So this is my first day with Webydo. Its very different than the editors I'm used to. But it went smoothly the deeper I went in. I decided to take one of my client's sites and reproduce it using Webydo.
It started off slow, but moved along smoothly after a couple of hours. There are some features that are either missing or that I just haven't found yet, such as a social media icon bar, or a membership login button. So I will continue using this for awhile, at least until I finish replicating my clients site, and maybe building another one for a potential client. I will keep the blog posted with my experiences.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Website Designer Tool

I've just started using a new site designer tool called Webflow. A drag and drop editor based on bootstrap. This editor is clearly not for everyone. To effectively be able to use this, you need to know CSS.
This is my first night going through all the features, and there are plenty of them. The editor is based on a box within a box type system. As Webflow describes the drag and drop is a little awkward and I am having trouble getting things exactly the way I want them, but that's just because of my unfamiliarity with the tools.
Webflow claims one of the best features they offer is being able to build a page or website and export the code to use somewhere else. That can be useful if you use an editor that does not let you alter their code.
I plan on building a sample website to see just how long it would take, taking into consideration again my unfamiliarity. I also plan on building a page and exporting the code to use somewhere else for ex. a website page.
I won't start until I have a good working knowledge of the dashboard. I will blog about my experience using Webflow for anyone interested in trying it out.

Monday, November 17, 2014


At SMR we are offering two great promotions.

The 1st is a $100.00 off any website we build you when you sign up for our Pro-Plan. Our Pro-Plan websites come with everything including, site verification, seo management, custom newsletters, contact list management, unlimited updates, and so much more. 

The 2nd is our Value-Plan website. It consists of a 1-4 page site. The site will only cost you $50.00 and we will maintain it for a very low cost of $15.00 per month.

All our websites come with site verification, seo management, different types of apps which we manage for you and unlimited updates.
So check out our website for more details.


So recently I have been discussing building websites with a few different clients who are new to the website owners game. One question that comes up every time, is ” How does a new website differ from my blog?” Well the answer is not so simple, but in all of my cases was similar. While a blog is a cheaper, quicker, and lighter version of a website, it should actually just be a branch of the website. 
What do you mean by branch? Well, if we think of all the social media that people and businesses are involved in, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc…, their information  is scattered all over the internet making it hard for users to find. Think of a website as the trunk of a large tree. The branches stemming from the trunk are all the social media sites associated with that website. The website is the “Hub” of the tree. From the trunk you can reach up to any branch. A website should work in the same way. 
The website should be where all your users come first. You should try to direct all traffic to the website giving the user the freedom to view what they want. From there, users can access all the other forms of
media that they are interested in. Ex. not everyone wants to read an entire blog post, but maybe they’ll want to read a short Twitter post about it. Or maybe someone can’t watch a video right then, but they would like to read a blog post about the video. All this different info is available to the user without leaving the page!
The website should also be the main point of contact. In the website it should be very easy to access email addresses, phone number’s etc… By using a website for this, you will increase your user’s interaction immensely. It’s far easier to fill out a contact form and input a lengthy message then replying to a tweet with a limited amount of characters. But hey if that’s what they want, a Twitter feed in a website can do that too, and the user doesn’t have to leave the page!
While the blogs and tweets are constantly changing, the website is the anchor that holds all the information together in one place. The website contains all the contact information, social media addresses, and personal info, for users to access easily. While it’s great to have all these social media sites, it’s very hard to search them individually on the internet. By using a website, users can find and view all the important info, (what you’re about, contact info etc….) and then check out the different branches of your site.
If your serious about getting yourself, your company, or your organization more followers or traffic, then you should have a website.


Want your customers to be able to call you with the press of a button? It’s possible. There are a few call widgets out there that work well. I have used a couple with success. I recently installed one in the current website I am building for a pizzeria. My client wanted his customers to be able to call an order in from their pc or mobile. It’s all possible now with some nice call widgets.
These great widgets allow a user, on their PC or mobile phone, to click the widget and get connected to the pizzeria. On the back end, another great feature is that the widget collects the users email address, and is collected to build a contact list for a newsletter or promotion!

We have installed these widgets on a few websites and have had nothing but positive feedback from our clients.
Just another reason you should look to us for us to build your website!


So we have been working the past few weeks with a local pizzeria on redesigning their website. After many changes we finally got it just the way the client wanted it. So we are very proud to present thsi website to anyone interested in seeing our work.
We hope you like this website and if you need a website built or redesigned please feel free to contact us or visit our website for info.