How often do I need to update my Website?

“Cartwheel Communications web design and SEO services are second to none.” — Gus Rosemark CPA in San Antonio.

Web Design in San Antonio

The title is a question that we get from time-to-time and the answer is simple.  There are the 3 indicators of when you should update your website:  1.  When your website quits driving traffic to your business.  2. When people quit commenting on you website.  3. Every 1-2 years.

Cartwheel main logo

Just ask yourself:  Have I ever been to a website and, after years, it looks old and boring?  Getting tired of Facebook yet?  Still go to the Netscape or AOL homepage?

Well, your customers are bored with your website and as a web design company in San Antonio we know it because they tell us all the time.  We get people telling us that we need to contact local businesses and organizations because their website is old or the pictures on that website are from 5 years ago or it’s impossible to navigate or because they don’t have a map on the homepage or because they don’t have their phone number on the homepage or because it’s boring and not updated.

The message that an outdated website sends is that it appears that the owners don’t really care about their online presence, their image or their business in general.  We know you do care…it is the reason that you update your inventory, your marketing and advertising strategy, your merchandise and look of your physical storefront all the time. Having an old, out-of-date website is like hanging a vinyl  banner on your shop and not taking it down for 3, 4, 5 or even after 10 years.

We live in a time with a different generation of customers and the online expectations increase every day. They are web savvy and expect to be able to find your site on their phone and expect your business to have a Google Map on the homepage along with the phone number for easy access when someone gets lost  trying to find your location. Use your phone right now and see how easy it is to contact you.  If you have to search around your site then you are more than likely losing customers.  A fresh website is a sign of strength to this technology savvy generation and is as important as is having a WIFI hotspot.

There are ways you can update the content portion with very little effort.  First, demand that your website be built on a content management system (CMS) so that you control the text updates.  Then keep the content fresh.  Update it from time-to-time.  Pictures – add new ones at least once per year if not every month.  And please keep your social media up-to-date.

The design may be a little more complicated.  Recently, Apple announced “flat” images for their latest operating system.  The images will still feel the same, but will look different.  The result: the appearance of more space on the display.  Do the same, change up your logo a bit.  Add a little shadow or change the colors just a tad.  Look at the difference between the logo at the top and the one below.  Or, look at our latest website:  Web design in San Antonio

Cart big banner II

Having a website is not enough…the searcher needs to be able to find it…

Did you know there are over 34,000 Google searches per second?  Next week we will explore the best practices and the importance of optimizing for search results. SEO


It’s more than just the design…lately.

Web Design San AntonioSan Antonio Website Design

It seems that lately a few of my initial website design in San Antonio appointments are going great. I am excited to report we are off to a great 2013! The problem is that our ratio of customers earned is down vs. the number of appointments.

I think I know why…

Cartwheel Communications Logo

Cartwheel Communications Logo

Customer service and understanding customers needs is critical in today’s business world. Understanding their budget is still pretty easy, but perceived value is still the most difficult part of the process. Please let me explain…

When it comes to web design or owning a web design company in San Antonio, it is very important to understand the market and the value threshold of the micro economy. From there you can easily understand your customers value perceptions and thus match their needs to their budgets. But, it get’s tricky when you get into offering Website Design, online marketing, SEO, or other similar services because the value can’t be touched. You are selling something that isn’t tangible. It’s not a car, a train, a plane or a flame.  It’s a concept and it’s a tool.

That said, it seem that many small business owners still have the perception that website design in San Antonio is something that is cheap and should take less than 2 weeks. The old comment (it keeps popping up), “my brother-in-law builds websites and he said it should cost $250.” True, if you want a basic HTML website with some rudimentary flash that is expensive to update down the road…then yes that would be a great choice. But, at least once per month someone is coming to me with a website that they can’t update or when they shopped it with other companies it would be expensive to update.  The brother-in-law is gone….what to do?


A banner ad created by Cartwheel Communications

So, is it the customers that are off their rocker? Of course not. It is our job to make sure we are explaining the process to our customers effectively. Some times that means slowing down or other times it means using visuals to explain the process or sometimes it means going over it more than one time.  After all, they are our customers and it is important that they get the best service we offer and that means clarity.

I will explain this more in my next blog post: Cartwheel Communications offers more than just Basic Web Design. We offer web design with a full back-end system called CMS (Content Management System).  Here is an example of a CMS that really works well for our clients:  Content Management San Antonio.  What is a CMS…It is a system that allows our customers to “run” their own website with no web development knowledge. If you can send an e-mail you can run your own website…If it was built by Cartwheel Communications.

Lately, it’s us that needs to explain that it is more than just the design.

5 Musts of an effective Web Design

Web design in San AntonioSan Antonio Web Design

I have written in the past about the 3 must ask website questions, but what are the 5 most important features of an effective web design? What must be considered before a website project begins and how do you implement those features into your website?

1. The Header: Here is an example of an effective header:

We designed this header for Hill Country Jellystone and as you can see it clearly “tells the story” about what you can expect at the campground. The header reflects family, fun, water, weather, the outdoors and, besides the park ranger (which was placed to show safety), everything in the picture as it is shown is exactly what you can expect from the campground. The well designed Header also shows the phone number and address for quick reference. For more examples of our Web Designs, click here: Web Design in San Antonio

2. The Navigation: This is probably the best example of the best use of navigation: You will notice that when you mouse over her navigation it asks a question. This gives the feel that the client wants. That said, just because the feel is right doesn’t make it perfect. It, also, has to work and by that, I mean navigate. If a person had difficulty finding what they are looking for or if it isn’t easy, they will simply leave the website.

Here is a good example of a navigation we incorporated into the Web design with the header included:

Texas Press Clipping

Notice how the Navigation just “fits” into place. I love this website. You can check out the Texas Press Clipping Bureau here: Texas Press Clipping

3. The Layout (Architecture): We get this from potential clients, “I have this wonderful website idea. I want to incorporate a social media website into a coupon site and then merge it with the local nightlife scene.” After a brief budget discussion, the form of the website starts to evolve into what web developers call “The Project”. This is when the developer is putting the website together in his/her head to come up with the scope of the project, the plan and the estimate of how much time it will take to complete the project.

A client of ours needed over 80 websites to be built (or a system in place) and needed to have the websites built as needed and preferably (down the road) by non-web developers. We scheduled a meeting and determined that what this entity needed was a system for organizing people into teams and allowing those teams to communicate. Out of that we developed: Volunteer, Communication, Organization, Training (VCOTS). The point is that initially one can never be sure how they would like the flow of the website to be incorporated, but usually after a discussion or two, it will become clear and then the process can begin.

I prefer a web design layout that is easy to read with clear information. Most websites today use the “dashboard” look. I like it because it works and if you want more information you and always read more on the next page. Of course…it’s always up to what is best for “The Project.”

4. The Photographs: Use photographs that convey what you want to say and use them instead of or as a way complement your message. Here are some images from a photo rotator from a website we built for an Accounting Firm: Armstrong, Vaughan & Associates: Notice how the two photographs really tell you something about the firm. Photographs placed as the Header above the Navigation Bar really tell a story.

5. The Content. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Make it easy for people to find your information. Make it easy for them to contact you. Make it easy!

Web design is not enough. You really need SEO!

The $1 million dollar mistake businesses make when it comes to Search Engine Optimization

Web Design in San Antonio

A professional website design is not enough. You need good web design plus you need to advertise it online.

As the owner of a web development company in San Antonio I see a lot of errors being made every day but none irks me more than to see a perfectly designed website with obvious gaping holes in the Search Engine Optimization. Some of these errors are so obvious that I know it is costing the company thousands of dollars per month.

About a year ago we met with a small business that wanted to have a website built. The owner was on a very limited budget and demanded a lot of our time to answer all of his questions. At our last meeting, as we were about to collect the check, I asked the guy how he intended to advertise. “I plan to put an ad on my van, maybe do some mailers and get my daughter to set up a Face Book Page.” This was a bad question to ask on my part because he then proceeded to say maybe he can’t afford a website and we lost the deal to his brother-in-laws–son-in-law who proceeded to put up a most unfriendly SEO website. The design is so poor that it screams: we really just put this up “because you are suppose to have a website.”

Click here for web design in San Antonio!

If you type in the name of this company into Google you will find they are listed #78 in a very niche market. On top of that they have no H1 or H2 Tags…very basic stuff. The content on the homepage doesn’t reflect their message and they have not taken the time to set up a Google analytics account. I also noticed they didn’t sign up for Google+, Linkedin or any other Social Media Sites that offer free links. This is costing them hundreds if not thousands per month.

Why do business–especially start-ups–continue to ignore SEO?

The answer is simple: They are under educated or don’t completely understand the importance of how SEO works. They think that spending $2500 on a nicely designed website is enough. They think that Print advertising is still the best. They can’t “feel” SEO as a tangible.

The good news…

I explain SEO like this: In the old days companies once advertised in the phone book. They would pay up to $5 – $15k per month to get a premium spot so that if someone were searching for their services they would be found before their competition.

Now, for a fraction of the price ($500 – $2000 per month) a good SEO Company can deliver those same results or better and the business owners can reap those benefits and (unlike the Yellow Pages) you are the #1 listing on 10 pages. Or, you are fist listing or on the first page. Either way our are the company that get’s the calls while you competition waits for someone to tell them their H1 tags needs to be updated.

Advertising in San Antonio

With over 20 years of advertising experience in San Antonio Cartwheel Communications will help you come up with a complete advertising campaign if you like. We specialize in Billboards, Radio, Print, and Television. In addition we also offer SEO in San Antonio.

Web Design in San Antonio!

Web Design and Business Solutions in San antonio and around the world is what we do at Cartwheel Communications.

In today’s business world one of the most important commodities you have is time. At Cartwheel Communications we recognize that and have put together an entire line of business solutions for you and your company. The days of having to contact multiple vendors for your business card ordering, web site problems, promotional item needs, credit card processing, and advertising are over. With one phone call to your Cartwheel Communications Business Specialist you can take care of all those issues and more… freeing up your time to give your company the daily attention that it needs. What could you get done with a couple more hours a week?

Web Design in San Antonio!
Your wbesite is always on. We make sure it works for you!
Essential for all businesses, a website design can deliver your message, products and image to potential clients throughout the world at all hours of the day. An effectively designed website can be your hardest working sales tool or your very own public relations firm. We offer a wide variety of custom websites with all the extras that will help you serve your customers more efficiently. The short list includes: interactive calendars, email newsletters, content management areas, photo galleries, e-commerce and shopping carts, interactive online magazines or catalogs and more. All of these are designed with your customer base in mind and to give you complete control of your sites message.

With over 20 years of experience, Cartwheel Communications provides the full range of web services. From web design to flash elements, to hosting and maintenance, as well as website and search engine optimization we have you covered. Click here to check out our portfolio.

Domain Name Registration:
Your online name is just as important as your brand. .net, .com, .biz, .org, .tv, .edu, and .info we do it all!

Web Design in San Antonio:
Custom Designs for your company’s online presence. Our team of designers can design and program just about anything.

Website Hosting:
This is the house that your site lives in online. It needs to work all the time