Finding a Job in Columbus in Web Design and Development

Columbus, Ohio is a great city in which to get a start as a freelance web designer or web developer. Columbus is one of the leading technology cities in the US, being the home of such widely renowned technology companies as Accenture, AOL, and the Battelle Memorial Institute. There are also hundreds of small to medium sized web design and web development companies peppered throughout the greater Columbus area.

Being a Columbus freelance web designer can be achieved by telecommuting, so you do not have to live in downtown Columbus, but being close to the city to do the occasional face-to-face meeting is highly recommended. Some web design companies will not give you a job without meeting you and some web development services require a face to face meeting, which is much easier when all web designers and project members are involved. Columbus, Ohio is a great place to live, and has enough web design job opportunities that you will not need to pitch outside of the city. It makes sense to live there. Although freelancing website design may seem like a terrifying prospect, it is not too hard as long as you have the bravery to go out on your own, and the work ethic to stick to it.

Calling web design companies in Columbus is one of the best ways to begin getting web design jobs. Calling companies takes away the potential clients ability to ignore your presence. Emails are easily erased or forgotten and direct mailing gets lost in the shuffle of bills. Write down a short speech introducing you as a freelance web designer, asking whether the company you are calling works with freelancers regularly. Although some web design companies use freelancers, while others prefer to use an in house web design team, you will find a few web design companies in Columbus that will be interested in your services. The secret to success when cold calling companies in Columbus is doing so in numbers. How many jobs you get depend greatly on your pitch and your experience, but expect to get one out of ten. With there being so many web design companies in Columbus, one out of ten is still a large amount of potential website projects.

Setting up a toll free phone number and getting a fax number will help you land more web design projects also. Toll free numbers allow clients who are outside of your area code to reach you free of charge. Prospective web design clients will need the ability to send agreements and documentation to you via fax. You’re right in thinking that most documents can be sent by email, but it is guaranteed that you will run into an old school client that still faxes documents the old fashioned way.

Setup an auto-responder on your email. This will help land more web design jobs in Columbus because people who email you will automatically receive a response. This could be beneficial because you could setup the auto-responder to include sales copy or your resume or both. If you send out mailers or business cards or advertisements with your designated auto-responder email address and get a reply from someone at that email address, that person will automatically receive your resume and sales text.

After getting a website design job, it is important that you stipulate what is required of you and your client. Make sure to draw up a contract or agreement of some sort just so that you have everything down on paper. Include your fee, the work to be done, the time period the work should be completed in and when you expect to be paid and in what forms (credit card, company checks).

Have a look around on the Internet for web design and website development companies in Columbus and write down the ones you are interested in. The best way to find web development companies in Columbus is to Google them. Search for terms such as “Columbus web design” or “web development companies in Columbus, Ohio”. Some day you may just get their attention and become a successful freelancer!

Tourism, Web-Development, and SEO: A Match Made in Heaven

In 2004, 33 million US and Canadian Leisure Travel Hotel and Hospitality consumers bought, booked, or found their trip online for a total of 65 billion $ in travel revenues through the Internet. This represents a full 59% of the total $120 billion Leisure Travel market. (These numbers are not exaggerations: the source for these numbers is online research leader Forrester Research.)

About 65% of all travelers did at least some of their travel planning online. For example, the ‘young adult’ age group (19-25 yrs) spent $2.5 billion on on-line video gaming, yet that same age group spent a truly astounding $25 billion on on-line travel. The reason for the huge number of people researching their trips online is simple: online travel planning makes sense.

Online travel planners are wealthy consumers who like to travel. They travel more frequently, and they spend more than the average consumer. Average spending is $3,400 per trip and on average they do this 4.9 times per year. Even better – these travel planners that find you online are inclined to be NEW customers who would not have found you otherwise.
These customers are looking for you, but based on our research, they are not finding you. A full 98% of web users use search engines (iprospect.com), and 65% of North Americans use search engines to come to a purchasing decision (Enquiro.com).

Most people are drawn to regular search engine results rather than to paid placements (Enquiro.com) which is why search engine optimization is the best form of search marketing. Consider how you use searches and you will know that the value of showing up on the top of Google’s first pages when someone looks for a hotel, resort, or other facility in your region is huge.

Forecasts show that the Strongest Online Sales Growth areas for the Leisure Travel industry include the following:

1. Hotels (1/3 of all leisure/travel dollars spent online!)

2. Vacation Package Sales

3. Resort and Convention sales

These revenues are there for the taking: showing up on top of searches in your area is the way to capture them. But you need to show up on top because 70% “rarely or never” look past the first results page, and 91% of users modify their search criteria if the first 3 results don’t meet their needs (iProspect.com).

What does it cost to bring in these visitors? The cost of a strong search marketing campaign will surprise you. It can be as little as $1,500-$2,500 for a campaign that will bring in literally hundreds of new guests. Search optimization is simply the most cost effective way to reach a wide audience. Consider how much money is spent on traditional advertising (which often produce questionable results) and compare the results. Shifting some of this purchasing to the Internet will bring a much larger return.

Critical Success Factors: based on consumer stages:

1. The ability for customers to find a website.

2. The ability for customers to find information/functionality within a website.

3. The content offered by a website.

4. The functionality offered by a website.

5. The overall look and feel of a website.

6. The ability for a customer to join into a relationship with a website.

A focused combination of efforts that will produce positive results:

1. Content.

2. Links from other websites.

3. Paid placements.

4. Website submissions.

5. Titles and metatags.

It takes time and a consistent effort to achieve good results. As with anything truly worthwhile, there are no quick fixes, no magic bullets.

Web Development Basics: Understanding SEO and Its Importance

You can help to improve the ranking of your website in the search engines by using SEO, which stands for search engine optimization. The benefit of having a higher ranking with the top search engines is attracting a lot more targeted traffic to your website. SEO is an essential ingredient in building the popularity, traffic and overall sales of your website. There are two main types of search engine optimization, including on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

* Understanding On-page SEO
Relevant optimization of keywords in your website title, tags and content as well as other aspects of your website is what is known as on-page SEO. One of the most important tasks that must be done in on-page SEO is to optimize the website for relevant keywords. You should try to have a keyword density of at least 3%, yet no more than 6%, as anything under 3% probably will not get picked up by the search engines and more than 6% density will likely be seen as spam, getting your site penalized or blocked by the top engines. Keywords should also be included in your website title as well, placing keywords near the beginning of the title for best results, particularly if your website has a very long title. If possible, have your keywords or company name in your domain name as a way to increase traffic by optimizing the value of your website.

* Understanding Off-page SEO
Your options and opportunities for optimizing your website through the use of off-page SEO techniques are limitless. On-page SEO techniques are fairly limited to just a couple of specific tasks, however off-page SEO, which can help you to build relevant, quality backlinks to your website, has absolutely no limits.

* Blogging

* Niche Forums

* Online Ads

* PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising

* Social Networking

* Article Marketing

While it is in your best interest to utilize each and every one of these methods to build up the amount of quality backlinks to your website, you also need to be ready to commit to being consistent, which can be a lot to handle if you try to do too much, too soon. Consistency and variety of resources is key, particularly for the big engines like Google, which give better results to sites that submit one or two articles, blogs, posts or pages each day, rather than dumping them all in at once. Your start-up goal should be to submit at least one article to a top article directory each day and make one blog post each day. Once it becomes easy for you to meet your daily goal, start laying in a single forum post each day and then brush up on your various campaigns for PPC.

You need to set yourself a goal for how many backlinks you want to create in a day and stick with it – that’s the best way to consistently increase the number of off-page SEO campaigns you can successfully master. Your best bet is to commit to a daily, steady stream of quality, relevant content and if you can stick with it, you will be rewarded. Find a pace you can stick with and commit to either daily or weekly submissions for at least 3-6 months before trying something new. You will see a big difference not only in the quantity of traffic that visits your website, but the quality of it as well, if you work to improve and increase both your off-page and on-page SEO.