Before the design – Choosing a URL for your website – 7 Simple Guidelines

th-2Choosing a domain name can be a big deal. Strike that. It IS a big deal. It is akin to choosing your first child’s name or deciding what color to paint the office – Antique White or Dashing Yellow. Because whatever you choose, you, or at least your child, will have to live with it. And in the case of a URL, it can be the difference between pearls and swine. Here are a few quick quidelines to help assure that your website climbs to the top of search results and receives the traffic it deserves.

  1. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Silly – Euphemism aside, your domain choice should be short and easy to hear in a crowded bar – over martinis ideally. Don’t choose something you need to explain. Make it easy for your visitors to type on their mobile devices. Inebriated thumbs and complex domain names are a curse for getting people to your website. The shorter the better.
  2. Use Keywords – The presence of keywords in a domain name affects its page ranking. Sit down and make a list of 5 main keywords and then research them them using the <link> Google Keyword Tool. </link> If you can incorporate a valuable keyword into your domain NATURALLY by all means do it. But not at the cost of making it too complex or too long.
  3. Use .COM – If for some reason your organization requires a .NET, .ORG or any other extension, make sure that you can acquire the .COM as well and redirect it to the domain you would like. Many people, even techies, almost always assume a domain is .COM first and some of them won’t even think of trying another extension. Don’t lock out traffic from these folks. Traffic is vital to the success of your overall business plan.
  4. Make it Intuitive – Create and fulfill expectations. When you tell someone your domain name they should be able to easily and accurately guess what they will find when they get there. Think of your domain name as your road sign. If you are selling donuts, let people know. Advertise it.
  5. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers – It is just too complicated to explain that ninetofive is really 9to5 or nine-2-five. Spell it out.
  6. Avoid Trends – You need to look at your domain name as an investment over the long term. The equity that you build into it over time needs to be considered. Selecting a URL with vernacular of the moment, that in time will become meaningless, might have you “lol ‘ing” right now, but you’ll be better off with something that will outlast current trends.
  7. Read Between the Words – Seriously. Just learn through example on this one. http://www.boredpanda.com/worst-domain-names/ One of my favorite examples is whorepresents.com, as in Who Represents. Hilarious.

When choosing a URL for your website it is important to keep these basic ideas in mind. But just like anything there is always a caveat and to every rule there is an exception. So if you are getting all worked up and not sure where to turn when it comes to choosing a fitting URL for your business or if you need a fitting website design to go with the awesome domain you just created, let us know. We’d be happy to help.

Whatever you do, don’t name your boy Sue and don’t paint the office Gerbera Mauve.

You will regret it.

Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico launches NetFish

For 25 years, Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico has provided high quality seafood to restaurants and retailers. When they decided to offer their products online to home consumers, they chose Studio Hill Design to create the new company brand.

We coined the name NetFish, along with the tagline “Catch the Tastiest Fish Online.” A cyber bitmapped fish image was developed as the logo, and applied to packaging, a market booth, t-shirts and trucks.

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Define, Refine and Manage Your Brand

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Impressions count and people talk. People want to talk about new exciting things and a huge part of getting people to talk about you is walking the walk.

If your website has not been overhauled since 2008, there is nothing to talk about. It is that simple. In order to generate buzz you need to create it. Hardly a day goes by that you do not head out your front door without thinking about the kind of impression you are going to make. This is exactly how you should be thinking about your business.

If you fail to define, refine and manage your brand, like it or not, the world will do it for you.

But don’t limit this way of thinking to just your website. This concept applies to all of your social channels and your brand’s public persona. This includes your logo, your collateral, your social media and your branding. You need to be regularly evaluating your customers’ expectations and their experiences associated with your company. Are they finding the value and the meaning behind your products or services that you intend for them to see? Or are they seeing something else? Are they seeing something good or something bad? Helpful or neutral? And how can you get them back on track if they have mistranslated your brand?

Once you identify areas where your brand has gotten off track, you can take steps to shift all channels into alignment. You can strengthen your brand message and educate your customers about the value you have to offer. After all, this isn’t 2008 anymore and at some point, every cobbler needs a new pair of shoes. How do yours look?  Do you need a polish or a new pair?

Another week, another website launch

Studio Hill Design just finished another great website design. This one is for Equal Access to Justice located in Albuquerque New Mexico. Eaj-nm.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was started in 1988 by concerned attorneys who wanted to assist New Mexicans facing civil legal problems that had financial hardships such as unemployment or health issues. The type of cases they work with include housing and shelter rights, domestic relations, consumer issues, government benefits, health care, Indian tribal issues, and protection of land and water rights.

The website was built in WordPress and allows visitors to make donations through the site. Take a look. We think it is pretty cool.

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Social Media Tip – Get Visual

pink_eyeVisual content demands attention and people love it. Here are three quick tips to inject visuals into your social personality.

  1. Use Photos – use photos to engage your audience, show your personal side, let them know how you see the world.
  2. Use Video – with video, you can educate your customers about your product or service and let them get to know you even better.
  3. Use Infographics – infographics allow you to tell a more interesting story with your data beyond just facts and numbers.

Are you using visuals to share you message? If you are not, you should be.

New Website Design Launch – Albuquerque Nob Hill Acupuncture

Studio Hill Design is proud to launch a new website for Albuquerque’s Nob Hill Acupuncture. Nob Hill Acupuncture combines ancient wisdom with cutting-edge modern science to maintain and restore health. We designed the website with a warm and comforting color palette that invites visitors to learn how integrated medicine and acupunture combine to create balanced, healthy, and satisfying lives. With the website designed, developed, and launched, we will be turning our effort towards Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Albuquerque Website Design at it’s finest; from none other than Studio Hill Design.

Albuquerque Website Design By Studio Hill Design

 

Update your Site… Regularly

Apps-system-software-update-iconOver the years, Studio Hill Design has built a lot of websites – many of them in WordPress. Powering over 60 million sites worldwide, WordPress has become one of the world’s best blogging and CMS platforms available. But, if you cannot remember the last time you updated the core software that runs your website, you could be facing security risks while at the same time missing out on key upgrades and functionality such as increased SEO.

83% of hacked WordPress sites are not upgraded. Unless you are running the most current version of WordPress you should be concerned.

Your website is an ongoing investment that should be secure and we want to assure that happens – seamlessly. Updating your website yourself can cause errors and damage to your website if you are behind on updates. We recommend that someone who knows your website and knows the issues that can arise from updating WordPress do the update for you.

We, of course, would be happy to evaluate your website for you if you think your site might be at risk. Regardless of what platform your website is running, keep it up to date. Protect your investment.

Welcome to Studio Hill Design

Every company has unique qualities that make them the best choice for certain customers. The discovery and effective communication of these qualities is the foundation for success. 

Using what our clients have referred to as intense listening, insightful questioning and intuitive thinking, Studio Hill Design has developed an expertise in discovering and understanding each client’s potential. With this understanding we create strategic marketing materials that reach targeted customers and provide positive, connecting experiences that produce desired results