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Expert Interview Series: Daniel White on web design and inbound marketing

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Posted by Mark Parent - December 15, 2016

Web design

Daniel White is the Founder and Lead Developer at 422 Studios, a Dallas web development company specializing in web-based software, SAAS, and search engine optimization. Daniel recently spoke with us about business websites and how web design can aid companies' inbound marketing efforts.

Tell us about your background. Why are you so passionate about web design?

I started doing web design and development about 10 years ago. I've run my own company since the beginning which has really taught me a lot about how to hustle, how to get clients, and most of all, how to keep clients. I started in the design side of things and quickly realized I had a real passion for the technical side of things. These days, I'm leading software builds in Vue.js, Laravel, and javascript.

What are some of the current trends in web design for business websites?

Flat design is still pretty big. Also, the use of javascript frameworks for software and web app type builds is huge. It's hard to get caught up in what is the "latest and greatest."

We try and use a framework as long as the framework still makes sense and isn't completely beaten down by the features of a new framework, such as when we switched from the Codeigniter PHP framework over to Laravel.

Image of MacBook Pro with Google search engine screen.

A strong search engine optimization plan, complete with a good long-tail keyword strategy,
will allow your website to better support your marketing efforts.
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Which aspects of a website are best-suited for aiding a company's inbound marketing efforts?

Organic search engine optimization. You have to have a good long-tail keyword strategy and identify keywords that can actually bring you traffic; then you need to do as much on-page optimization as possible. Title tags, description, meta tags, canonical links, optimizing images, alt tags, and most importantly, content.

What are some of the most effective tactics or strategies for a website to turn visitors into leads or potential customers?

You need to have a great design. If your site looks like it's from 1999, people are going to be gone faster than you can blink. Videos are amazing at creating conversions as well. Finally, I think it's a given these days, but the site must be mobile friendly.

In today's online marketing landscape, how important is link building to a company's inbound marketing strategy?

Honestly, we have a ton of success with our SEO clients without a massive amount of link building. Don't get me wrong; we do build links, but we go for high page rank links and don't bother with links that are not totally and completely relative to the content.

What do you see many websites doing incorrectly when it comes to search engine optimization?

So many people are doing things that just don't work anymore. Stuffing keywords into content, writing phrases that don't sound human, and adding front facing site maps/link farms.

How can you tell which aspects of an inbound marketing campaign are working and which ones should be tweaked, changed, or eliminated?

We use a tool at the studio called "Moz.com." It's an excellent SEO software that will tell you what keywords are ranking, what position they are in Google, and a whole bunch of other related metrics. Best of all, it has tools to rank pages from A - F based on content and page optimization. We find Moz to be our best tool when it comes to successful inbound marketing and SEO campaigns.

What do you see in the future of business website design as it relates to inbound marketing?

I think we're in a good place as an industry right now. As far as the future goes, we will all continue to bow to Google and optimize our codebase and websites for whatever changes they throw at us through yearly updates to their search algorithm. It's all about Google!

Learn more about using inbound marketing to influence your web design and vice versa. Get your free copy of our Growth-Driven Design Playbook to see how this innovative new approach to web design is optimizing web and sales performance for businesses.

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Topics: Website Design/Development, SEO


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