Experience in Website Design and Development
proprietor operates another business, Classical Coins (
www.classicalcoins.com ), an online retail
store specializing in ancient coins. The 180 plus pages of that
website would have cost a fortune if developed by a commercial website
provider. During five years of intense effort, David developed the site himself, learning a great deal about
the practical realities of website development and search engine optimization.
its first year of operation, this award-winning website ranks in the top ten in
its field for both
visitor traffic and search engine results, surpassing long-established sites of major numismatic
firms which have traditionally dominated the ancient coin business.
David also developed this website. It is a typical example of the "corporate
presence" website many small businesses and professional offices (such as
accountants, attorneys and engineers) might desire. The major difference between
these sites is that
Classical Coins is a complete online retail store with a shopping cart, order
processing system, product and inventory databases and related retail business systems. That is
a much more complex development task than a website such as
this one, which focuses on announcing ATM's
presence to the world of the Internet, attracting customers and clients to contact
If you like this website, you can have one too.
Online Success in the Real World of the
If you operate a business or professional
office, you have doubtless been contacted by providers of website
development services. A bewildering array of choices was presented, at a cost that
not clearly defined. You may have sensed that this website proposition is quite
a bit more complicated and expensive than advertised, so you haven't gone ahead
with a site yet. That was a wise decision.
Now you have found a developer who will tell you the whole
truth (and nothing but the truth) up front, will design and manage a website
that is really right for your business, and won't accept your account in the
first place unless it will result in a big success for you. ATM has never had a
dissatisfied client, the policy being to cheerfully decline payment rather than
allow a client to become unhappy.
There is a reason why many website developers don't discuss real
getting your website up and running is only the beginning. It is like
furnishing and stocking a store, putting a sign up, then waiting for
customers to walk in. Few customers will walk in, unless you also advertise.
The real cost of establishing a successful website comes in
marketing your site, not in the up-front effort of creating it. Many site
development providers focus on creating new sites for fixed fees, and can
rapidly set up an impressive looking website. That might seem to be a really
good deal, until you discover that your jazzy looking new site doesn't show up
in searches and no one is visiting it. The development fee didn't cover
that. A successful website has to be carefully designed from the very beginning
to get good search engine rankings and to attract visitors.
Advertising can be expensive -- whether in the
Yellow Pages, online directories or "sponsored results"
that bribe search engines to show your link on their top page. Such
advertising can be very effective, and many businesses owe their success to
judiciously managed paid advertising campaigns. ATM advertises in the Santa
Pages, and has also advertised in online directories.
Conventional wisdom holds that the most effective advertising is "word of mouth."
Satisfied clients and customers are the best possible advertisement for your business, which
is why ATM will never allow a client to be dissatisfied. There is an Internet
equivalent to "word of mouth:" search engines. These robotic visitors do an
amazingly effective job of measuring how the rest of the Internet has reacted
to your website, and how relevant its content is to the needs of the person
who orders a search. When a search engine sends a visitor to your site, it's
free advertising - costing you nothing beyond what you invested in designing and
managing your website.
There is one great challenge in
relying on search engines: only a tiny fraction of websites will get many visitors
from search engines. The reason is simple - there may be
100,000 websites whose keywords and content match the search criteria. Only the
top twenty have any chance to be visited by the person ordering the search,
and most will not look beyond the top ten. The key to successful search engine marketing is to get
these coveted top ten positions. Classical
Coins presently has five first place positions for important keywords, 45 top ten positions,
and 78 top twenty positions. More than 100 quality, targeted visitors per day
are sent to Classical Coins by
search engines (hundreds more are referred by online directories that rank sites
by search engine results). According to Alexa traffic statistics, Classical
Coins now ranks ninth among all ancient coin dealerships in the world. This page will require frequent updating,
because these numbers increase every week.
Engines Look For
When a search engine spiders your website
to index it in its database, there are four things that it is interested in and records:
Design quality. This has nothing to do with how impressive
your site looks to human eyes, and everything to do with how easily the not very bright spider can find its
way around on the little web you have built. If the spider gets lost and can't
traverse the entire site, it will only report on whatever part it was able to
visit. The great majority of websites are effectively eliminated from rankings
simply because they are not "spider friendly."
Content. Each page is indexed with a list of keywords that
the search engine will refer to in its rankings for relevance. The search engine
will analyze the text of your webpages to determine whether a keyword really
represents what your site is about, or whether it was just thrown in to attract
visitors. That practice ("keyword spamming") results in severe penalties
when detected, such as
banning your site.
Popularity. The search engine knows which other pages
link to your site. This is the single most important factor in rankings, and is
the basis of Internet "word of mouth" advertising.
Link quality. The search engine has its own estimate of the
importance of each webpage in its index. That estimate is used to weight each
link and both inbound and outbound links are considered. If your site has a few
links from important pages, that will weigh more heavily than many links from
What Your Site Needs to Succeed in Search Engine