December 2017 – Southern Cross Media
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5 Tips for Working with Your Web Designer

So, you’ve been sitting on the same website since 2008, and you’ve finally decided that a few aesthetic changes here and there just won’t be enough to remain competitive in the marketplace.

You look at your options and decide to go with a professional web designer to create something that is modern and intuitive and looks amazing. You get some referrals and do some research and find a company that seems to meet your needs and can work within your budget. You’re all set to go. But then, for some reason, it seems to take a lot longer than you were expecting, and nothing seems to be easy.

What happened?

Maybe they kept asking questions. Maybe recommended a style that wasn’t what you had in mind. Maybe fifteen other things seemed to slow your progress and delay the launch of your website.
We’ve previously discussed the importance of building a strong relationship with your SEO agency, and most of those principles are absolutely applicable here. A smooth path from concept to launch requires a good relationship. You can play a part in this process and help get your website completed and launched on time by following these simple tips.

Get a free website report and see how your site is performing.

Any business that wishes to be competitive in the online or offline market must have a professional website
1 – Get Prepared

Designers are problem solvers, not magicians. Their job is to come up with a design that looks great and provides long term solutions for your business. Your job is to provide them with a detailed project scope so they can deliver the best solutions possible. Many design processes start with a questionnaire which helps the designer learn more about your business and understand more about your target audiences, competitors, site goals, etc. Don’t skimp on this part. Go into as much detail as possible. The more insight your designer has, the better the design will meet your expectations. Other information that may be needed includes: brand assets, text content, photos, site credentials, plugin information, etc. Make sure you supply these items in a timely manner so as not to delay the project.

2 – Collaborate & Communicate

When your designer provides the first draft, they are eager to hear what you think. Make sure you are carefully reviewing their work, giving helpful and timely (and constructive) feedback, and staying involved as the site progresses through wireframes, mockups, and build.
Don’t go silent! When you sign the contract for a new website, agree with yourself to give the project your full attention for the entire process, or else you’re just wasting time and money. If too much time goes by, the goals may change and the project gets blurred. A collaborative, full-focus approach ensures the best possible outcome.

3 – Don’t Overthink It

Your designer wants you to be involved, but not so involved you start to take over their role and insist on micromanaging every tiny detail. It’s important to remember the trust factor at this point and remember that your designer is a problem-solver first. They always have a reason for choosing a certain font, color, image, or layout and have likely spent hours obsessing over those tiny details. Designers also think about how the site will convert, if the calls-to-action links stand out enough, how the user will navigate the site, what elements should be interactive, how the layout will respond to mobile devices, etc. And the decisions we come to are based on our years of experience building effective websites.
The best question to ask yourself is why don’t I like this particular element? Is it my subjective opinion, or does it affect the end goal of the site? If it’s the latter, then it’s worth bringing up to the designer and starting a discussion about it. Then, let the designer come up with another solution.

That’s what you hired us for.

4 – Avoid Too Many Cooks

After seeing the designer’s mockups, you may be tempted to ask others (like friends and family) for their opinions. two people discussing web design. This can end up doing more harm than good.You may feel confident about it until someone says: “I don’t like the blue” or “I don’t like the way this looks” which can fill your mind with doubt. This can put a strain on the client-designer relationship and will likely result in unproductive rounds of changes while discouraging your designer. At the end of the day, you and/or your stakeholders are the decision maker(s) that fully understand your project goals. Be decisive, leave subjective opinions behind and focus on the goal. If you must ask for an outside opinion, make sure to give them plenty of context so they can critique the design in an objective way.

5 – You Have a Part to Play in This

While the designer is responsible for the way the site looks and functions, the client is usually responsible for providing the content your visitors will read. If you don’t know what your website is going to say, it can cause significant delays. Time is money, so make sure you plan ahead and are thinking of the copy you need to collect throughout the process rather than rushing to write it all at once. If you are having a hard time with copy, ask your designer about copywriting services. Copywriters will take the burden of writing endless pages of content off your hands while including keywords for the search engines and phrases that encourage visitors to engage that will add even more value to your site. In the end, it’s important to remember that we’re working toward the same goals. We want to get your site up and running as quickly as possible, but we cannot sacrifice quality and usability to change its appearance in a certain way.

Quality work will take some time, it’s true, but when you follow these tips you’ll be able to see some great results.

Master Google’s Top 3 Website Search Ranking Factors

You want your website to rank on top?
There are three crucial ranking factors you must consider for Google to give your site rankings a boost.
The highly cited SEO study from Backlinko suggests that the top ranking factors are your backlinks, topical relevance and word count averages.

1 – Link Building
How Link Building Improves Ranking Factors

Google looks at your backlink structure to determine what ranking factors your site is an authority on and how trusted your site is across the web. For instance, a supplement shop will see a ranking boost from getting featured regularly in articles. The main way to figure out a website’s link value is by looking at the following statistics: domain authority, page authority, citation flow and trust flow.
You will also want to consider whether the links are do follow or no follow and how frequently the website links to others. For example, websites like (with many outgoing backlinks) hold less ranking value than sites of a similar site with more posting exclusivity.
For optimal ranking performance, you need to be strategic with your link building methods — one way is by getting industry influencers to guest post on prominent sites like CNN, Forbes, New York Times and TechRadar.
Your website also needs some healthy backlinks from .edu and .gov domains. The key here is to avoid any directory-style link opportunities. You want to offer something unique and receive a citation link from the school, police department, etc. There are two methods that work regularly: offering scholarships and providing proper solutions for dead links, a.k.a. building broken backlinks.
Note: Your anchor text matters just as much as the link itself. You should switch up your keyword usage to avoid getting a spam penalty. But don’t go too general or avoid hitting heavy keywords. Read Gotch SEO’s Anchor Text Guide for 2017 to learn more.

Any business that wishes to be competitive in the online or offline market must have a professional website
2 – Topical Optimization
Topical Optimization for Better Search Rankings

People are turning from LSI keywords to topical optimization. The former focuses on hitting relevant terms in content surrounding primary and secondary keywords. The latter builds content around secondary keywords and naturally hits plenty LSI keywords. What’s the difference? With topical optimization, your website’s header tags will tell a specific story — depicting exactly what your website covers and making you look like an expert in Google’s eyes.
Of course, there will be a need to focus on your primary keywords too. The best approach is to create skyscraper pages for these — this is basically a fancy term for long form content, typically in the 2,000 to 4,000-word count range. You can use these pages when linking to resources from within your site, instead of citing competing experts in your niche.
Internal linking is a major part of achieving proper topical optimization. The anchor text of these links and the URL slugs for the is sufficient indication of your website’s professional expertise. By driving back links to these big money pages and building your site’s topical architect around them, the quality results will follow.

Any business that wishes to be competitive in the online or offline market must have a professional website
3 – Word Count
Best Word Count for Top SEO Ranking Results

The referenced Backlinko study came to the conclusion that the average Google front page result contains 1,890 words. This stat includes many other words, but it also looks at the site’s blog posts in general. Still, the one thing that’s definitely true is that higher word counts correlate with stronger rankings.
Your best bet is to create a structure of content with some long form and some short form writing. Build lengthy foundational pieces around your top tier and mid tier keywords. For your standard blog posts, take the opportunity to tackle long tail keywords instead.


Getting your website to rank better is not rocket science — but that doesn’t mean there’s no science to it. From backlinks to topical dominance and content depth, optimize for these ranking factors now to start seeing real results!

Any business that wishes to be competitive in the online or offline market must have a professional website

Why You Should Hire a Professional Web Design Company

Any business that wishes to be competitive in the online or offline market must have a professional website.
Internet has become the leading resource for people to find information, with business research being a leading reason to perform a search on the web. Businesses that do not have a professionally created website risk losing potential customers on the Internet and in their storefronts. Consumers are evaluating products and companies long before they decide to make a purchase, and if your website does not seem professional or secure, they will simply move on to the next vendor.

When you hire a professional web agency you know that your site will be created to suit your business. The web designer will evaluate your business and products, and work with you towards your goals for the website. Do you want to generate online sales? Walk in sales? Will your site be for informational purposes only? Once these and other questions are answered, your site will be designed to meet your specific needs. DIY site builders limit the capabilities of their site and often restrict graphics and text. A professional web designer is not captive to these restrictions.

Visual properties:

The way your site looks, the way it navigates, and the colors and graphics used are very important. Visitors do not like to search for information, nor do they wish to be barraged with loud colors and crowded text. A professional designer will make sure that your color scheme, text and navigation are designed to be user-friendly.

New technologies

The Internet changes on a daily basis. New technologies, new computer code, new ways to draw visitors to your site happen each and every day. When using a professional web designer, you can be assured that the site is being created with the latest technologies and according to the latest trends, for optimal success.

Any business that wishes to be competitive in the online or offline market must have a professional website
Your Voice

We’re​ ​passionate​ ​about​ ​helping​ ​you​ ​find​ ​your​ ​creative​ ​voice.
Founded​ ​in​ ​2016,​ ​we​ ​champion unique​ ​brands​ ​and​ ​bring​ ​them​ ​into​ ​the​ ​spotlight.

We​ ​leverage​ ​your​ ​business’​ ​strengths​ ​to​ ​build strategic​ ​road maps,​ ​and​ ​deliver​ ​the​ ​right​ ​customers​ ​to​ ​you.
​Our​ ​team​ ​offers​ ​unparalleled creative​ ​solutions​ ​to​ ​all​ ​of​ ​our​ ​clients,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​determined​ ​to​ ​see​ ​every​ ​job​ ​through​ ​to​ ​its​ ​success.

Our co founders, Tom Fritchek and Charles Kiester, spent nearly 30 years in the corporate world until one day they realized, “We can do this better!” They found that small business owners often feel the customer service from large corporate entities is lacking, and that they could create a company that speaks to what businesses want. So, Southern Cross Media was born with an eye toward providing excellent value, quality products, reasonable pricing, attention to detail, and great customer service by a small, locally owned company.

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