Design and Marketing Blog

Design and Marketing Blog

Find out more about some of our clients, and some helpful marketing tips for your business.

3 Ideas to Consider When Marketing Online During the Coronavirus Pandemic

While things may seem bleak, now is not the time to cut back on your marketing, and we'll give you a few helpful tips to keep you going.

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Website Design & ADA Compliance

It's a good idea to make sure you website is accessible to people with disabilities.

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All American Tractor & Tree Website Launch

xclntDesign has launched another new website, this time for All American Tractor and Tree in Leesburg, Florida!

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Nick's Fix It Irrigation Services Launches Their New Website

We are excited to announce the launching of another website…this time for Nick’s Fix It!

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BrightLine Custom Blinds Launches New Website

We are proud to announce our latest website launch, BrightLine Custom Blinds! Through word of mouth, our name made it’s way all the way to the Great State of Iowa and brought us some great people to work with.

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What are Google Beacons and how can they benefit my business?

Google recently launched a pilot program named Project Beacon. As part of their program, Google sends free beacons to businesses with physical locations to make their venues more visible to their customers with mobile devices while they’re within your area.

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Premier Pool & Spa Website Launch!

We are proud to announce the launching of our latest website project for Premier Pool & Spa!

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Google Beginning to Use Page Speed as a Ranking Factor

At least no one can say they weren't warned! Google has officially announced that beginning in July of 2018, how fast your web pages load will become a ranking factor for those pages on mobile searches.

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SEO Matters - Open Graph Meta Tags

On this installment of SEO Matters, I am going to go over the Open Graph meta tags briefly.

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Clear View Optix - See differently

Personal style means a lot. We should know. And so do the people at Clear View Optix in The Villages® community.

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Industry vs. Audience

Which do you think is more important when it comes choosing a web design and internet marketing company: knowing your industry or knowing your audience?

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We Do Print

We're often asked by visitors to our office where our printing presses are. While it is true, we do handle the printing process for many of the designs and marketing pieces we do for our clients, but we aren't printers. Well sort of. In the way distant past, both of the owners at xclntDesign, had worked in print shops before. We've held positions such as graphic designer, pre-press technician, art director and even being a pressman ourselves. So we are no stranger to printing presses…but we do not produce any print materials here at our office. We are now designers, but designers with a full knowledge of the printing process…from beginning to end.

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Form Follows Function

"Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law. Where function does not change, form does not change. The granite rocks, the ever-brooding hills, remain for ages; the lightning lives, comes into shape and dies, in a twinkling. It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law."

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Tracking & Analysis: Find Out Your ROI!

When it comes to advertising campaigns you use for your business, do you know which ones are working? I mean can you tell with actual hard proof to make up your conclusion?

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Exclusive Marketing -- Does Your Marketing Company Do That?

When it comes to your business and promoting it and making it the best it can be, wouldn't it be nice to know that the marketing company you decide to partner with is dedicated 100% to the success of your business? Of course, it would be!

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Dangers of DIY and Off-The-Shelf CMS Web Design Systems

Our friends over at TechCrunch recently highlighted a MAJOR security breach to websites created through the Weebly platform where over 43 million user accounts were hacked, and personal information was stolen. Weebly is one of the numerous DIY website creators out there that lets users create an account (for little to no money) and build a website with relatively little knowledge of programming. Sadly, there are even so-called “web designers” (and I use that term very loosely) who utilize DIY platforms like Weebly, Wix, and GoDaddy to build websites for their clients and charge them for this service. It’s sad, unprofessional and makes our entire industry look bad. Would you pay for a high-end sports car knowing it was built with cheap import parts? I’d like to think if you’re reading this you care more about your business than that. However, that is a blog for another day.

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RJ Builders - Central Florida's Premier Custom Home Builder

Everyone has a dream home they hope to live in someday. When you think of the perfect home, you envision a grand home made from scratch just the way you want it. Home is where the heart is and where memories are made. A custom home should be beautiful, welcoming and designed with your unique lifestyle. RJ Builders, Central Florida's Premier Custom Home Builder,  your comfort, wants, and needs are our top priority. You will be proud to show off your new elegant custom home from RJ Builders to friends and family.

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Google Ads Adds Click-To-Message Functionality

Google Ads adds a new functionality! For years Ads has allowed users to “click-to-call” directly from a Google Ads Ad…but coming soon, you can “click-to-text” as well. Anything to make it more convenient for a user to reach out to you is an enhancement that is worth exploring. 

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Screen Enclosures - The Quality Way

With cooler weather hitting the Sunshine State, now is the time to open the windows and let in the crisp Autumn air! If you find yourself needing repairs to your screens, we have just the company for you. There is one Central Florida company that has been getting much traction lately; Quality Screens & Aluminum, and for a good reason!

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How can I track results of a direct mail campaign?

Direct mail is one of the most frequent types of campaigns we perform at xclntDesign that is "offline." The reason for that is simple, it works.

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The Word Cheap & The Power Of Negative Keywords

The word “cheap”. I absolutely hate this word. I hate using it in ads. I hate when clients say it to me. I hate when I hear myself using it to describe a product or service…unless of course, it really is.

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Is there a way to get fewer junk calls at my place of business?

Dealing with many different types of business I get one question frequently, and it really doesn’t have much to do with marketing. The question we get is:

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Change Is Coming To Google Map Listing (Local Pack) in Search Results

It’s been rumored for some time that a small, but significant change was coming to the 3 Pack Local Map Listings that frequently appear in search results when searching for a specific things, like a business or industry in a specific city. The change was that Google, through their Google Adwords program, was going to start inserting paid listings into the mix….and that appears to be close to happening.

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Benjamin J. Cox - Family Law Attorney With 33 Years Experience

Cox Law Firm, P.A. handles varied and sometimes complex divorce and family law cases, many of which require the input of expert psychologists, guardians ad-litems and parenting coordinators to determine the most appropriate parenting plan and timesharing arrangements with children. Our office has successfully negotiated and settled divorce cases with marital assets totaling millions of dollars. These cases frequently require the ability to uncover of hidden and concealed marital and corporate assets utilizing the help of expert CPAs, certified business evaluators and forensic accountants to account for all assets, despite clever and convoluted attempts to conceal them. Because of my 32 years of experience, I have the know-how and vital skills required to present your case at trial if we are unable to reach a fair and equitable settlement.

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Taking The Pressure - Technicuff

Technicuff Corporation is a Florida based blood pressure cuff research, specification development and manufacturing company doing business in aero-space, health care, and veterinary markets. The executive management has over 39 years in health care physiological monitoring systems design and utilization. Since incorporating in 1992, Technicuff has worked with companies including: GE Medical, Marquette Electronics, Spacelabs, Vitastat, Hewlett Packard, Zoll Medical, PhysioControl, Medical Research Laboratories, Invivo Research, Medical Data Electronics, Ivy Biomedical, VitaTek, Tektronix, Neomed, Smith Medical, Mindray, Surgivet, Philips Medical, SunTec, Winegard, Fukuda Denshi, Nihon Kohden, Dynatech Nevada, BC Biomedical, Fluke Biomedial, Datrend Systems and Clinical Technologies.

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Computer Corner - Leesburg's Trusted Computer People

Are you a MAC or PC? Well, if there is something wrong with your computer, or you are in the market to buy a brand new one...it doesn't matter if you are a MAC or PC because Computer Corner of Leesburg is here to help either way!

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The Importance of Effective Branding

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small. It not only increases the voice and consumer awareness of a brand, but it also gives it an identity and worth. An effective brand strategy can give you an increasing competitive market.

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xclntDesign Earns Fourth Year of Google Partner Status

We are so very proud to announce that xclntDesign has passed it's Google Partner Exams for the fourth year in a row and has met (and far exceeded) the performance requirements to have and maintain our official Google Partner status!

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Top Ranking Factors For Google Search Map Listings

You know that map that appears in Google when searching for certain types of businesses? Ever wonder what it takes to get on that map and be prominent in it? Well, wonder no more as Google has released some helpful information to get on up there!

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Biggest Mistakes of DIY Websites

I think one of the things that make me cringe the most as a digital marketer are the DIY website builders. These things are hideous. Now I can understand the appeal from a business owners standpoint…you get a website for a fraction of the cost of a professional web design firm and a lot of times once the website is complete they see no real difference in what they created and what a professional could create.

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Why isn't anyone coming to my website?

So why isn’t anyone visiting your website? And if they are, why do they seem to not look around much? Interesting question and it leads to two possible answers, it’s either the people searching and visiting don’t care or they don’t like you. In all honesty, it’s probably both! It’s pretty deflating to look at your web traffic reports and see 5 visits and you know 3 of them were you looking at your own website. But we’re here to help! Here’s 5 reasons why no one cares about your website:

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5 Things Missing From Your Website

If there’s one thing we have learned constructing websites is that they are never really done. A website is a lot like the guys who paint the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco…they just hire a crew who works year-round, they start at the top and work there way to the bottom, and when they get there, they go right back to the top and start again. You should see your website and your web developers exactly the same. Your website should never be done. You should always be looking to improve it, make it more engaging and keep up with evolving technologies.

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BIG Google Ads Change: How it affects your Ads and your Organic Rankings

For sometime now, Google has been running a beta test of a new way to display search results on desktop devices, and now it’s official and has started to roll out to everyone’s results. The Change? Google Ads has ELIMINATED their Right Column Ads (for just about every type of query except products) and in most cases ADDED A 4TH AD to the top of the page in their “high commercial results” section. Many of the ads formerly seen in Ad Positions 5, 6, 7, etc have now moved to the bottom of the page, mimicking what is seen on mobile devices.

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Answer Your Phone

When you make the plunge and start your own business, it's pretty standard to have a dedicated phone line to answer customers. A phone call may be your first impression with potential new business, so starting out on the wrong foot over the phone can be very bad. When a customer calls your business, they want to know that someone is going to answer them, right away. We live in such a high tech world, that everyone is accustomed to instant gratification, and if you don’t give it, someone else will.

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The Most Important Local SEO Tip We Can Give

NAP Consistency. No I’m not talking about a nice siesta. That won’t help with local SEO at all. What I am talking about is Name, Address, Phone Number (and to an extent Website)…so it can be referred to as NAP or NAPw.

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Peeling Away The Past

As we prepare to say goodbye to Leesburg, we also are saying goodbye to some of our window vinyl that's been here the whole time. It's tough getting off, but it's no match for our friends over at SignCrafters!

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Is Facebook about to step on Angie's List & Yelp's toes?

Is Facebook about to step on Angie’s List & Yelp's toes? Sure seems like it! Facebook is testing a new service and could soon be using their vast audience and built up ecosystem to integrate a “Service Tool” to hook up people with businesses and contractors. No doubt, if it goes from testing to live that it will be a part of Facebook Places. So if you have been neglecting your Social Media accounts…now is the time to rethink that strategy as active Facebook Accounts will most likely get more visibility than those accounts which are dormant.

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Advertising with the Google Display Network

When you’re considering your options for advertising, you can’t go wrong with the Google Display Network. The Google Display Network allows you to advertise in a wide variety of blog sites, news sites, and any other websites relevant to what you are marketing. Think of Display Network ads being the digital cousins of magazine and newspaper advertising. These are what we call “push mediums”…meaning we are “pushing” your message to a specific type of person who we think could be a potential customer of yours.

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Finally! A plumber you can trust - Kost Plumbing

Homeowners are never short of projects to do around the house and things that need to be fixed. Many times it is good to hire a professional that specializes in a variety of handyman services. That's where our friends at Kost Plumbing come in.

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Happy Birthday Adwords!

Did you know that 2/3rds of the websites we develop we also handle the administration of those clients' Google Adwords Accounts? This year Google Adwords turns 15! Take a stroll with us down memory lane as we see how Google Adwords has grown courtesy of Google Adwords!

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Kristin Churchill - Massage Therapist & Magician.

Here at xclntDesign we know the work week can be stressful and wreak havoc on our bodies. We found the ultimate cure and de-stresser by getting a massage from  Kristin Churchill, Massage Therapist. She really knows her stuff and how to give the right massage for your body and make you feel new again.

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The Benefits of Every Door Direct Mail

When you’re looking to reach your ideal customer, in a specific neighborhood, area or zip code -  Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) is a solution that will reach the customers that matter the most to you.

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Every Business Needs a Good Sign...and Sign Crafters is the place to go!

Being in the graphic design business, I've mad a lot of signs, banners and vehicle wraps for hundreds of clients. But the design is only one part of the process. The production of art into a physical thing is an art form onto itself. And in our area, there's no better source for quality signage than the pros at Sign Crafters of Florida, right here in Leesburg.

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Mansfield Landscaping - The Landscaper's Landscaper!

In Central Florida we love beautiful tropical landscaping and a stunning and welcoming outdoor space. When it comes to perfection there is one landscaping business that stands out above the rest, and that is Mansfield Landscaping. Chances are you have seen their incredible work around town proudly displayed in front of a home or business.

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Accurso Automobile Repair - The Villages #1 Mechanic

I think one of the biggest fears a car owner can have is that when it's time to take your vehicle in for service, that the mechanic or shop you go to isn't qualified to handle your car and is going to be taking you for a ride. If you are in Central Florida though, you are in luck because I know of a auto repair shop you can go to and you will be assured of awesome service at a fair price, at that's at Accurso Automobile Repair in Oxford, just outside of The Villages. 

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Together We Can Make A Difference

Every so often we get approached at xclntDesign with a project that really makes us stop and think, and recently we were tasked with something that made us do a lot of stopping...and a lot of thinking. We were asked to design a website to help educate and inform about the dangers of bullying through the story of Rebecca Ann Sedwick a 12 year old girl from our home state of Florida who took her own life after being the victim of bullying. The website draws attention to helping pass Rebecca’s Law, a proposed law making aggravating bullying a crime and to raise awareness of bullying and develop programs designed to help children raise their self esteem.

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Professional Waterfront Cleanup - Improving Your Waterfront Experience

Central Florida is known for it's gorgeous lakes and rivers that are surrounded with beautiful plant life, and trees adorned with the famous Spanish moss. Professional Waterfront Cleanup takes pride in keeping our waterways stunning and safe for everyone to enjoy. They specialize in removing debris and weeds in and around the water and replacing them with a variety of beautiful aquatic plant life. They offer a wide range of services to keep our lakes, rivers,and canals clean for residential, industrial and municipal clients. No job is too large or small for the crew of PWC.

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C&M Dredging - Improving Florida's Waterways

C&M Dredging is based out of beautiful sunny central Florida. Florida's wetlands are close to our hearts, that's why C&M Dredging dedicates themselves to keeping them clean, healthy and beautiful for all life. C&M Dredging specializes in hydraulic dredging and dewatering services for a wide variety of water ways. Whether it is residential, industrial or municipal, each job gets their full, undivided attention. C&M Dredging efficiently provide navigable waterway maintenance with little impact to the delicate aquatic ecosystem.

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Google Adds an Ad!

Google has rolled out a new feature for search results on mobile devices that effects some search queries.

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Bring in the Breeze with Michele's Hide-Away Screens

It’s no big secret about Florida, we have awesome weather. Flip flops at Christmas…unheard of in most parts of the country, but not here. And with the help of one of our longest tenured clients (almost 8 years), as a Florida resident, you can enjoy the Florida weather a bit more…by bringing it inside! Uncommon up north, but popular here in Florida we bring you retractable screens!

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Gator Clean - For a Cleaner and Greener Home

We want to take the time to show a little love to some of our clients from time to time and today we will be focusing on  Gator Clean.

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Google Updates Local Listings - Drops # of Listings

Big changes at Google have arrived. Google is constantly tweaking their search engine results layout and this is a biggie and will have a big impact on searches performed for local businesses.

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Google Testing New Search Service to Connect Searchers in Google To Home Service Providers

Google has begun testing a new search service to connect Google searchers to home-service providers such as plumbers, electricians, locksmiths and other home-based service providers.

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Google Un-Verifying Dormant Business Listings

Many local business clients of ours are particularly concerned with appearing and how they appear inside Google’s Map Listings. When you perform a search on Google for a local business or a local business type, the map and it’s listings appear, and this image makes people gravitate towards it. So as a local business, being listed in this map can be a huge boost.

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TV Advertising...for the Digital Age!

One of the most obvious goals of marketing your business is to reach your target audience where they are. For many service based businesses, your target audience probably spends much of their time researching ways to use DIY methods to solve problems themselves before realizing they need the help of a professional.

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Blogging! Is it really necessary?

Blogging. Is this really necessary? Do I really need to have one and keep it going? Simple answer…ABSOLUTELY!

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How to choose the best web design agency?

I’m biased, what can I say. I own web design agency, so obviously I want you to choose us for your web design project. But are we really the best choice?

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April 21st is Coming! Are you ready?

On April 21st, Google will be introducing a new algorithm update. This new algorithm uses mobile friendliness as a ranking signal, meaning if your website isn’t mobile friendly your search rankings WILL DECREASE dramatically in mobile based searches. You are either completely mobile friendly or not. There will be no gray line with this new Google algorithm.

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Responsive Websites...CHECK! Responsive Logos...huh?

We talk a lot about responsive web design and how important it is to make sure everyone, on every device is getting the best experience possible when viewing your website. But it’s much more than just making sure your website is responsive…what about your logo? A complex logo doesn’t appear like much on a small smartphone screen…so what to do? Take a read of this article on Responsive Logo design and learn how proper logo design works!

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New Homeowners: Reach Great Customers

Everyday, new people are moving into the area. Many of those are from far out of the area that living here is a new and unfamiliar experience. This market is an excellent prospect for companies selling virtually any product or service. It’s important to build a relationship with these people… before your competition does!

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Who Designs and Builds Your Websites?

This is a very important question for you to remember. If you are contemplating setting up a business website or are looking to redo your current one, make sure this is the first question you ask your prospective marketing or advertising agency. And if they cannot introduce you to their web designer (or design staff) right in their office, you should run.

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Google Testing Web Page Speed Load Warnings

Is 1 second ever slow? It sure can be, at least when analyzing web page loading speeds. Shaving off a second or two from your “page load” speed does more than just give visitors to your site a better experience, it’s been a big ranking factor with search engines like Google when considering where your site appears it search results.

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Web Design. How is xclntDesign different?

Many times when discussing web design with potential new clients, we are asked “What separates us, from other designers?”. Many times the potential client will point out to us price difference between quotes for website design with one person or company and then ask why our price is what it is, as many times we are more expensive then the others (though we aren’t the most expensive by any means). And we are most certainly more expensive than the online, do-it-yourself web building companies. Answering this question is difficult sometimes, but it really boils down to that old saying…”you get what you pay for”.

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Web Page Load Speed. Is It That Important?

There's a lot of little things you can do to improve the page load speed of your website...really nit picky kind of stuff that seems to only change the slightest things...so does it matter? Well, yes! A lot of little issues can pile up into a big issue, and search engines like Google take note of these things, both for organic searches and paid advertising through Google Adwords.

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Three Quarters of Small Businesses Say Internet Marketing Works

It's no secret that xclntDesign are big fans of internet marketing. And a recent survey done my BrightLocal seems to indicate we're not the only ones! They're recent study on how small and medium size businesses perceive the results that internet marketing makes it pretty clear, it works and is here to stay.

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Google Moves Forward with 'Mobile Friendly' Label

Google has made it even more important to have a "Mobile-Friendly" web site. It's been common knowledge for some time that Google has been penalizing web sites that weren't mobile-friendly, but now Google is beginning to reward those that are by alerting users searching within Google that the website they are going to is Mobile-Friendly. Google searches on Mobile Devices will begin to look like this: 

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Website Re-Launch...Michele's Hide-Away Screens

xclntDesign is happy to announce the re-launch of the Michele's Hideaway Screens website! Our friends at Michele's have been clients of ours for many years, and during that time the web side of their advertising as exploded with a large majority of all their product inquiries coming via the internet. So it only made sense to punch up that presence a little to help showcase their awesome product line a little more. Check it out...www.micheleshideawayscreens.com

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xclntDesign Relaunches WXWWRESTLING.com

xclntDesign is proud to announce the re-launching of the website for World X-Treme Wrestling's (WXW) website at www.wxwwrestling.com

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Laurel Nendza Wins First Place in SETI.org

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence might not have found anything...yet...but that doesn't stop people from imagining! And the Kepler Program has brought us proof of the existence of hundreds of exo-planets, some potentially that could support an atmosphere and environment we humans might call "habitable".

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Chat With Potential Customers Right On Your Website!

xclntDesign is excited to announce a brand new product available to all websites using the XD Content Management System -- Online Chatting! What's that? Take a look down your web browser on your site and you will see a box that indicates that we are either on or offline and available to chat in realtime. All the user needs to do is click on the box, fill out some forms and chat away with a company representative. It's just one more way we make it easy for potential customers to reach you.

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Introducing...Dynamic Phone Number Tracking!

It's been around in some form or another for sometime, assigning a specific phone number to an ad campaign to help track its results. We here at xclntDesign have taken that concept a step further with Dynamic Phone Number Tracking for your website!

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#1 Search Result Doesn't Mean Success

I just got finished reading an interesting set of tips about SEO written by Avinash Kaushik from Google. He makes it quite clear that "being #1 on Google" doesn't necessarily equal success. He makes mention that Google's sophisticated search algorithm has come along way and isn't standard across the board for everyone, but personalized or even "hyper-personalized".  So "being at the top of Google" isn't a Holy Grail. Instead you should be looking at metrics like website depth rate (how far people get into your site), your incoming links and growth of your primetime keyword phrases. Also taking a close look at the websites that are referring traffic to your site and which ones are providing engagement instead of just dead end clicks.

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Bing Updates Guidelines on

While most people use the word "Google" as a verb....there are other Search Engine's out there and the next biggest one would be Microsoft's Bing. The world's second most used search engine recently updated their Webmaster Guidelines/Best Practices and Bing minced no words when they said the following:

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SEO - Content Do's and Don'ts

DO have well written content for people, not search engines. The point of any website is to appeal to the humans reading it, not the search engines crawling it. Search engines realize this, and reward pages with well written content for people.

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DIY vs Professional - Your Design Choices

We are a do-it-yourself species. "If you want it done right, you've got to do it yourself."

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Why pay ongoing for website development and SEO services?

We were recently contacted regarding the creation of a website for a small business. The owner wanted to know how much it would be to create a website and gave us a complete outline of what he was looking for. In the end though, he was a little confused when I told him that we charge a small deposit and then ongoing payments per month for web development…and it’s like that for the majority of our websites. He was unsure. He really just wanted to pay and get the site up….he didn’t quite understand why we couldn’t accommodate him.

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Some of our most recent work.

GSI

GSI

GSI is a low-voltage company that specializes in security and data cabling.

Their existing logo spelled out the company name; they wanted to take focus off the security part of their name to promote their other services, so we just went with the initials in a new logo, showing off a connected globe.

Mid-Florida Agencies

Mid-Florida Agencies

Brand new website for a local health insurance agent's office. They have existing corporate branding, so we took that and expanded on it. Our concept was to create something that was both professional and inviting. We used fun graphics and the corporate colors throughout.

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Professional Waterfront Cleanup

Professional Waterfront Cleanup

Website redesign for a waterfront property cleanup company from Leesburg, Florida.

Professional Waterfront Cleanup has been a client of ours for a number of years, and every few years, we suggest a refresh of their website. This keeps the design modern, and the content can be changed to match the evolution of the company's business model.

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Gator Clean

Gator Clean

Launch of a redesigned responsive website for a carpet and tile cleaning company in Lake County, Florida.

Gator Clean had a story to tell, and chose use to tell it. The owner's daughter had become ill, and during a trip to the ER, he was asked "Did you recently have your carpets cleaned?" When he answered yes, he was told that the disease his daughter had developed could have been caused by the toxic chemicals used by some carpet cleaners. He vowed to not let that happen to anyone else, so he started Gator Clean, using non-toxic cleaning agents to keep people and pets safe.

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Got Watts Electric

Got Watts Electric

This was a complete redesign. Got Watts has been a long time client, and they recently refocused their business on electrification, or utility grid independence. So they need a new, dynamic site to reflect this change, and to focus on the main services they offer.

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