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Website Design and Development

Applied Technology Management provides Internet marketing services including website design, search engine optimization,  traffic analysis and ongoing maintenance. Capabilities and services are described  and selected websites are provided as examples. Please have a look around, then advise how ATM can assist in achieving your Internet marketing goals.

ATM's Experience in Website Design and Development

ATM's proprietor operates another business, Classical Coins ( ), 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. After 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 ATM. If you like this website, you can have one too.

Online Success in the Real World of the Internet

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 was 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 costs: 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 Barbara Yellow 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.

What Search 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:

  1. 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."

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 unimportant pages.

What Your Site Needs to Succeed in Search Engine Rankings

  1. Design quality. A search engine will never appreciate how good and how relevant your site is unless it can spider the whole site successfully, and unless the guidance your site gives it is harmonious with the contents. The best site from a spider's viewpoint is simple, has very clear navigation markers and easily parsed text that yields clear keywords.

  2. Content. Your web pages must be filled with high quality content that not only reads well and is attractive to your visitors, but can be easily recognized by a spider as being relevant to important keywords.

  3. Popularity. Your website must attract high quality visitors who will link to it from their websites. That's easy to say and very, very hard to do.

  4. Graphics. The Internet is a graphics medium, where the adage that "one picture is worth a thousand words" is truer than in most other situations. It may not be possible to employ graphics on a page like this, but elsewhere on this site and on Classical Coins you will see how important graphics can be. Although graphic content is an essential requirement in impressing visitors, use of graphics must be judiciously managed because spiders cannot view images.

Contact with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2003 Applied Technology Management
Last modified: February 16, 2007