Professionals need Websites. Doctors, instructors, engineers, service companies - regardless of the industry, business in the 21st Century demands exposure on the Web. In this article, CorFun CIO Glen Chancy goes through the process of how a Website is designed for an instructor site to maximize Search Engine placement while providing a sleek, stylish user experience.
Dacia Milescu is a podiatrist and yoga instructor. Dacia had a very specific vision for what she wanted out of her Website for her Yoga practice. Her Yoga practice is called Serenity Now Yoga, so the site needed to have a very visually pleasing color scheme and good pictures. Dacia also had some very definite benefits she needed her site to provide, which we’ll cover below.
As the basis for her project, CorFun used the Joomla 1.0.15 Content Management System. The Joomla CMS provides a database-driven framework that not only met all of Dacia’s requirements for today, but also put in place the ability to grow painlessly in the future. Here are the most important benefits Dacia needed from her site, and how CorFun used the power of Joomla to provide them:
Information Optimization – Dacia provides Yoga services in the Longwood, Lake Mary, and Orlando area of Central Florida. Her site needed to rank at least on the front page of Google results, preferably at the top, for key word searches involving Yoga, fitness, and her geographic area. (Getting top ranking in search engines is called Search Engine Optimization, SEO for short.)
Further, many people interested in a fitness regimen involving Yoga want to know where they can have classes, how much it costs, and why they should use a particular instructor. They want that information, and they want it fast. Many others come to the site looking for information, but aren’t sold on Yoga as a solution for them. The site needed to be laid out so that both groups of people could instantly get to the information they need, and easily find out how to get more information.
How did CorFun meet these needs? First of all, CorFun laid out the site with the express intention of being as Search Engine friendly as possible. The good news is that doing this also produces a human-friendly site as well, so CorFun was able to fulfill two requirements at once through good design. The frontpage of the site features plain text links that are full of keywords that people needing Dacia’s services would be looking for. See this list below:
Search Engines give great weight to what they find on the frontpage of a site. By putting a list of the primary services in a convenient spot for Search Engines to find, the site gets much higher placement in Search Engine results lists. Plus, good old humans looking at the site also get benefits, as the most important information is plainly visible and easily found.
We also added important links to side menus to not only make them more visible to impatient Web surfers, but also to improve the ability of Search Engines to get to key pages. The Web has trained humans to look for navigation on the left and information on the right. There is no need to try and buck this trend.
Further, CorFun used a rotating slideshow to add visual appeal to the site that has one very important characteristic that helps both people and Search Engines. The slideshow images link directly to pages providing more information. Instead of being just eye candy, the slideshow grabs the user’s attention and then lets them get more information with the click of a mouse. The search engines also follow these links, and index the images separately. This is possible because the slideshow uses Java instead of Flash, making the individual slides appear to the Search Engine as if they were articles.
How successful was this design? After less than a month of operation, Serenity Now Yoga is at the top of the results for almost any keyword search for related topics within the Central Florida area. Listing the site in Orthodox Biz, of course, also helped the search engine rankings. Because Orthodox Biz is a high traffic site, getting a link from there to a new site helps to establish the new site in Google’s rankings. The moral of this story is – design well, and consider getting some site links!
By making all the key information easy to find on the frontpage, the site becomes an easy-to-use resource for both folks who are sold on Yoga and looking to book a class, and for folks who aren’t even sure Yoga is what they are looking for. Field testing of the site has produced feedback that the site is easy to use and navigate.
Blogging with eNewsletter Delivery – Dacia is a physician as well as a Yoga instructor. Her unique insights can be helpful to a large audience. For that reason, she plans to actively blog on topics related to fitness and wellness. She also wants interested people to be able to sign up and get her blogs delivered to them automatically. She needed an easy to use blogging tool, with that ability.
Joomla CMS has a great blogging tool called myBlog. myBlog is easy to use, and even allows non-technical people to write up their blogs in Microsoft Word and then paste them onto the Web. The blogging tool even generates a unique RSS feed, which people can subscribe to directly, or sign up to have the latest blogs delivered to them via their email in-box.
The blogging will add a great dimension to Dacia’s site. Just as the basic design of her site helps the search engine placement, but having more related articles helps increase her presence on the Internet.
Easy Update – Dacia plans to manage her site herself, so she needed a platform that she could manage herself.
Dacia, like all CorFun customers, received several hours of instruction on how to change information on her site and add new information. After this instruction, she has been busily updating class times, adding announcements, and even posting new pictures. That is the goal of CorFun – to help our customers take control of their Web businesses. Rather than waiting for a Webmaster to add a new class time or change a picture, Dacia has the freedom to do that for herself. That freedom and independence leads to more active, interesting Websites which are more attractive to visit.
Advertising – Dacia plans to work in the future with other fitness and wellness companies, so her Website needed to have the capabilities to display advertising. Joomla CMS comes equipped with a banner management system that easily allows Dacia to trade or sell advertising space on her Website.
Online Payments – Dacia is totally mobile, which means that she wants her customers to be able to pay her through her Website and then just come to class ready to work. To meet this need, CorFun installed a payment module that accepts all major credit cards. Students can just pay for their classes from the convenience of their own homes, freeing Dacia from carrying around a credit card stamp or bundling up checks.
To find out how CorFun can assist you in putting this same technology to work for you, contact us here.
About Dacia Milescu
Dr. Dacia Milescu is a certified Hatha Yoga Instructor and podiatric physician. Dacia has been a resident of Central Florida since August 2003. She lives in Lake Mary with her husband and three children, where she attends the Orthodox Church of St. Stephen the Protomartyr.
Dacia's background as a competitive gymnast, coach, and physician has given her unique insights into the interaction of the human mind, body, and spirit. This insight has led her to embrace Yoga as a means to helping people regain their health and well-being. She can be reached through her Yoga practice here
or her podiatry clinic here
CorFun is a leading provider of eServices that include: mobile marketing, Website design, business process design, database services, PHP programming, and Joomla training. CorFun's primary Web development platform is Joomla. In addition, CorFun's expertise in mySQL and database design has enabled the company to win multiple contracts for large corporations to design and create custom database solutions. CorFun is Orthodox Christian-owned, and is the primary Web designer for such notable Orthodox sites as the Orthodox Christian Network
and Orthodox Biz