The Block brings small businesses to the cutting edge by providing affordable, high-quality solutions, which build capacity and visibility through design, technology and innovation.
Established in 2011, The Block sought to shift the conversation about the purpose and process of building a website. No longer is it simply an “online business card”. Now, more than ever, it is a credibility source, lead generator, and in many cases the sole way in which people will interact with your business.
With all the online competition, small business owners are quickly realizing they have to do more than simply have a basic web presence to really succeed. While it’s difficult to provide an exact number of websites in a specific market segment, there are well over one billion total websites today, which means there is strong competition for the business generated online. The Block works with small business owners looking for solid strategies to boost their share of the online market. Our team works with clients needing to generate a website from scratch or revitalize an existing site.
Can Business Owners Still Build Their Own Websites?
There are countless options available that allow virtually anyone to construct a basic website and have it up and running quickly and inexpensively. However, those templates, as a rule, don’t offer the features required to design and implement a truly effective site. Templates tend to provide a few very basic designs, suggesting they don’t allow a creative site that’s attractive. In addition, those limitations prevent sites from including much of the content now deemed essential by Google and the other search engines. That’s why, at The Block, we work closely with clients to construct individually customized sites designed to attract the demographic group that will actually buy goods or services offered on a site.
What Elements are Important to Include in a Website’s Design?
Because every business tends to be somewhat different, the websites must reflect their uniqueness. That means what’s actually included in a website’s design will vary from one organization to another. Every website must provide information that’s fresh and useful for site visitors, so it’s common to see modern websites incorporate a variety of elements that might include blog posts, how-to information, or question-and-answer sections where visitors interact with the site to get information on products and services.
Before we begin generating any ideas for a website, our staff takes the time to understand where the client is today and where they want to be in the future. Once that step is complete, The Block team will generate ideas we present to the client for approval. After the design concepts are approved, we begin the actual creation of a site. While the design is important, so is the content management system (CMS). Each element plays a crucial role in a site’s overall success, so we take every precaution to make sure we cover all the bases.
Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Still Essential?
With Google’s current emphasis on providing a better understanding of what searchers are actually trying to find, there are some people who’ve stated SEO has lost its importance, as Google now provides the same advantages. That’s simply not true. It is true, however, that the strategies used for SEO are evolving rapidly to take advantage of the search engines’ algorithm changes. Keyword use, for example, is viewed differently today than in the past. The importance of long-tail keyword use strategies is a great example. Working with clients, The Block’s team generates a variety of ideas to explore. We also firmly believe every website must change and improve, meaning designing and implementing a site is only the first step in building a strong online presence. In addition, the ways people use the internet are always changing, and websites must always be poised to take advantage of new trends.
What Current Trends Is the Industry Seeing?
Arguably the most important trend is the rapid shift from desktop and notebook computers to mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way people access information and shop online. Search engines now subject websites that are not responsive to the different devices to significant penalties. The Block will make sure every client’s website can easily be read and navigated by devices of any size.
The second significant trend is how site visitors use social media. Today’s users routinely visit websites they’ve been introduced to on social media sites, which indicates site owners must now take steps to make sure they are represented on and linked to appropriate social media sites. There are specific strategies The Block uses to make sure a client’s site makes the best use of today’s top social media sites.
Since web design and SEO are so necessary, The Block encourages site owners to take a careful look at a current site to see if it can be improved. If sales from an existing site are dropping, the causes must be identified and steps taken to update the content so results improve. If you don’t currently have a website, you can’t afford to wait. The percentage of business completed using the internet is increasing every year. We’re here to help build your brand and increase your site’s traffic. The Block has the experience and skills necessary to improve your site’s ranking and garner an increasing share of that valuable online business.