Tuesday, September 22, 2020

New NC Business Directory Launched

  Shop local NC, save jobs, feel good.

NC Business Directory

The NCBizList.com mission is to help support locally run companies throughout North Carolina. They recognize that small businesses are the lifeblood of the NC economy. Keeping money in nearby neighborhoods by shopping locally will help ensure a thriving community.

NCBizList was built using Google's updated WYSIWYG website design tool called "new Google Sites".

Patrick LaJuett is a digital media architect in Charlotte, North Carolina. Patrick has more than two decades of experience in visual communications, information technology and brand marketing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

New Google Sites - Fast, Easy, & Responsive

The New Google Sites is great for quickly building mobile friendly (responsive) websites.  I have migrated three sites in the past few weeks.  The drag and drop GUI makes it super easy to get a website up and running.  Here are a few examples below.


Patrick LaJuett is a digital media architect in Charlotte, North Carolina. Patrick has more than two decades of experience in visual communications, information technology and brand marketing.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Monthly & Weekly SEO Task Checklist

Doing a bit of searching this morning, and was quite surprised to not find a succinct weekly SEO checklist.  So I decided to take a few minutes to outline my approach.  Hope it helps!

Monthly SEO Tasks 2019
 

Research:
Industry, competition, target audience, target keywords.
Tools: Google, Answer the Public, Word Tracker, Ubersuggest, Excel.

Website Maintenance:
Create backups, check for broken links, fix spelling errors.
Tools: Plesk, Expression Web

Weekly SEO Tasks 2019
 

Monitor Performance:
Traffic analysis, CTR, keywords, sources, devices, demographics, funnels.
Tools: Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Data Studio by Google

Website Audits:
Check for valid HTML structure, URLs, metatags, mobile friendliness.
Tools: Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, Varvy, Siteliner, Think with Google

Create Content:
Create core site pages, write Blog posts
Tools: Blogger, Grammarly, Expression Web, Notepad, XML sitemap

Social Sharing:
Spread your company message.
Tools: Google Tag Manager, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google My Business

Do you have additional tasks as part of your routine? Let me know what I missed.
 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Logo Design Process for New Brands



The logo design process includes three main phases:

Discovery Phase:
Learning about the client's product or brand. It's important to also know the target audience.  The more you understand about the brand, the easier it is to visualize a logo concept.
    Conceptualization Phase:
    This is the fun part, in this phase you put "pen to paper". I like to rough in 3 different concepts for the client to choose from.

    Here are the applications used:
      • Google Chrome (industry research)
      • Sketch pad (a.k.a. pencil and paper)
      • Adobe Illustrator (vector based illustration)
      • Gmail (email communication)
      • Google Fonts (downloadable typeface)
      • Adobe Fireworks (drop-shadows, bezels)
    Refining Phase:
    After determining which style the customer prefers, it's time to finalize the logo. This includes experimenting with color combinations, and minor position tweaks, letter kerning, etc.

    Cost:
    Typical small business logo design cost is $200-$400, this is ballpark estimate of course.

    Examples:
    See some of out logo design samples here: http://lajuett.com/sample-logo-design.html

    Patrick LaJuett manages a website design agency, where he supports clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy adviser.

    Friday, May 13, 2016

    WordPress Site for Rochester Dance Lessons

    Dancing with WordPress

    We finishing up a new local website for Rochester Dance Lessons.  The Website was designed and developed using WordPress 4.5.2.

    WP Plugins:
    • Visual Composer - Drag and drop page builder
    • Wordfence - Security, anti-virus, firewall
    • JotForm - Contact form
    • UpdraftPlus - Secure site backups
    • Yoast SEO - Organic search optimization
    • Sassy Social Share - Sharing tool
    • Photo Gallery - Responsive image gallery
       
    Dance Lessons website built with WordPress
    http://rochesterdancelessons.com

    Patrick LaJuett
    Patrick LaJuett manages a website design agency: + LaJuett.com, where he supports clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy adviser.

    Monday, March 14, 2016

    A Better Google Sites Slideshow

    Create an HTML5 Ready Google Sites Slideshow using Joomeo

    Since Google suddenly pulled the plug on Picasa, it left me scrambling to find a replacement for the old Google+ / Picasa Flash-based slideshow gadgets.

    I found a great solution to replace the "retired" Flash-based Google+/Picasa slideshows.

    Joomeo features and benefits:
    • Insert via Google Sites iframe gadget
    • Mobile-friendly
    • Device Responsive
    • Non-Flash based
    • HTML5 ready
    • Hosted in the cloud
    • HD capable
    • See example below
       


    Patrick LaJuett
    Patrick LaJuett manages a website design agency: + LaJuett.com, where he supports clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy adviser.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    WordPress Site for Rockbridge Realty Group

    Rockin' with WordPress

    We launched a new local website this morning for Rockbridge Realty Group.  The Website was designed and developed using WordPress 4.4.2.

    WP Site Specifications:
    • Hosting: GoDaddy
    • Theme: Spacious (Mobile-friendly)
    • Plugins: WP Property, Yoast SEO, UpdraftPlus Backups, HungryFEED, Header and Footer
    • Other: Dedicated IP
       
    Optimization and Metrics:
    • Google Search Console
    • Google Analytics
    Rockbridge Realty Group is a real estate brokerage firm based in Rochester, New York 

    Patrick LaJuett
    Patrick LaJuett manages a website design agency: + LaJuett.com, where he supports clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy adviser.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

    Sites - Passing Google's Mobile-Friendly Test

    Responsive menus, adapative columns, and 100% width images

    One of the biggest benefits of a Google Site is it's built-in RWD (responsive web design) feature.

    Be sure to enable the general settings... mobile checkbox: "Automatically adjust site to mobile phones".

    The adaptive rendering maybe not as elegant as some WordPress themes, but the ease of set-up and rapid development is a benefit to small business owners with modest budgets.

    Update: I forgot to mention a feature that I haven't seen with other platforms.  Google Sites allows you to "Preview page as viewer" and toggle between mobile | desktop views.  Very cool UI tool.

    Google Sites pass the "mobile-friendly test"

    Patrick LaJuett
    Patrick LaJuett manages a website design agency: + LaJuett.com, where he supports clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy adviser.

    Monday, February 8, 2016

    Google Sites for Colleges

    Google Sites is a great collaborative web development tool for colleges and universities.

    Here's a project we worked on with Mount Marty College in South Dakota.

    Requirements:
    • Rapid development
    • Match existing branding
    • Incorporate document library pages
    • Set site-level permissions
    Take a look at the "policy portal" screen capture below:

    Integrated with Google Apps and mobile friendly.

    Patrick LaJuett
    Patrick LaJuett manages a website design agency: + LaJuett.com, where he supports clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy adviser.

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