All posts by admin

Web-Op Announces Launch of Cell Nutrition on

Web-Op Inc. recently announced the launch of the product Cell Nutrition on the company’s supplement website worked with dozens of supplement manufacturers located in countries across the globe in its 15 year plus existence, and decided to create King Supplements to sell a select number of premium products they encountered. King Supplements is now often approached by companies to market and sell their supplements.

King Supplement’s CEO David Bailey was approached to carry Cell Nutrition in July of 2013. Before the supplement reached the company’s site the product had to be reviewed and the quality be tested. When asked about the process King Supplements goes through to add a new product to its website, its CEO David Bailey said, “I have worked in the supplement industry for over 15 years and have traveled across the world marketing, selling, and developing some of the most successful products in the supplement industry. It is through these experiences, I learned quickly the value of a quality product and a quality guarantee.” He continued to say, “At King Supplements we only carry the best, highest quality products in existence. I personally inspect every product that appears on our site and if it doesn’t meet my quality standards, it will not be featured, period.”

Cell Nutrition is described by King Supplements as a “Energized Health Concentrate.” Each bottle comes with 90 servings, each serving consisting of 8 drops. The product shows its ingredients consisting of a proprietary formulation of purified active water, dissolved oxygen, colloidal silver, seawater extract, plant sourced enzymes, amino acids and trace minerals. The product also lists that it is yeast and gluten free.

To learn more about the company’s supplement website King Supplements, please visit

Brand Development

Brand Development is about more than the brand name. Otherwise, you’d be able to buy your way to the top by gluing yourself to an extant famous name. Tell that to the guys trying to sell Polaroid televisions. You’ll find them underneath the smouldering pile of defective sets.

Instead, brand development has to be a holistic process– you can bring in some purchased or inherited imagery or naming, but you’re probably going to have to put the effort into it to make sure it all speaks the same language. Are you trying to position yourself as a premium product, but your box design still resembles unbranded merchandise grabbed off Alibaba with your logo pasted in the corner? Fail. Built a gorgeous product, but your website looks like an unstyled 2006 X-Cart install? Fail. Search for your brand clogged with eBay sellers dumping its prior incarnation at 6 cents on the dollar? Fail. It’s worth the cost and effort to roll out all the branding components at once, ensuring you aren’t fighting against the work you did before.

Even once you’ve built a solid brand, it’s a constant battle to retain your territory. The accessibility of the web and the reach of social media have made any angry customer incredibly dangerous. Remember “United Breaks Guitars?” While the best strategy is, of course, to satisfy your customers reliably, you also need a bulletproof search profile– making sure that negative reviews are hidden well below the patience of a typical searching customer.

The good news is that there’s frequently plenty of room for entry. Customers frequently shop on the “negative”– “I don’t want another Brand A, it failed on me”– so a whole-new brand can enter the market without a lot of inherited baggage. The trick is to make sure you don’t show up with fresh baggage, and a solid brand-development plan is the key to that.

Quality of Traffic Matters.

If you’re looking at the website of a SEO company, it’s probably not the only way you’ve considered building traffic. No doubt, you’ve been bombarded with spam from people eager to show you how to get “50,000 hits on your site every month for $100” or similar promotions.

While it might, at first, sound appealing to be able to say, “I’m getting 50,000 visitors per month to my site”, it’s the quality of visitors that matter far more than the number.

When people are willing to promise you specific quantities of traffic, your first question should be “how can they do that?” Although we may know, for example, that 500,000 searches per month are made for a given keyword, real customers do not come in neat boxes of 1,000 users that can be blindly pointed to your site. When you see guaranteed traffic packages, it usually comes from one of a few sources:

  • Malware. A classic symptom of undesirable software installed on your PC is when the browser starts popping up windows you didn’t ask for. Those windows don’t choose their destinations for fun. If you have an army of compromised computers opening whatever pages you order them to, it’s easy to ensure that your site gets 50,000 hits this month.
  • Automaton Users. A similar story to malware, but with user cooperation. I’ve seen programs where they’ll basically pay users to leave their PCs on a special homepage, which uses browser-scripting to shuffle from one paying customer’s site to another. No matter how compelling your content is, it’s unlikely a user will be willing to turn off the automatic cycling”and his 10 cents per hour credit”to read it, assuming the sponsored browser window doesn’t turn into background noise altogether.
  • Sham sites. It looks like a search engine, or legitimate directory, but the results have been partially, or completely stacked, to ensure that users end up at the sites that paid for their position. There’s nothing wrong with paid directories in and of themselves”Yahoo! is a shining example of how one can be a legitimate and trustworthy resource, and many of them represent strong B2B presences”but there’s a thin line which seperates “legitimate resource” from hall-of-mirrors scam. And “Hall of Mirrors” here is more than a cute metaphor: I’ve seen sites where “Page 2” of the results are almost complete duplicates of “Page 1”! They’re serious about moving people to those links.
  • Domain parking and forwarding. This is, in a sense, a cut over the sham site, in that it doesn’t promise to be anything but a dead site. There’s a little more integrity there. However, the user who typed in the dead site’s address probably wasn’t looking for you.

What do all these traffic sources have in common? Two things:

First, they’re going to be fountains of poor-quality traffic. If the user didn’t even want to go to your page, the odds are extremely high he’ll bounce. Meanwhile, “sham” search engines and directories have a motivation to ensure every user clicks something, even if it’s not a really useful site for his needs. The sham-search may consider your site relevant enough to promote, but the customer probably won’t.

Second, they have terrible reputations. Nobody wants to be associated with spyware or attempts to decieve users. Users may do more than bounce- they’ll remember who was associated with their frustration.

Still, many people will respond to the siren-song of guaranteed traffic, believing “even if a handful of those 50,000 visitors explore my site, I’ve gotten business I didn’t have.” Wrong. You’d be astonished how low click-through rates can be with low-quality traffic. I can quote statistics from a site using one of these programmes: over 80,000 visits to their front page in one month, and less than 50 visits to all the other public pages combined. The click-through rate, overall, was approximately one-twentieth of a percent. Notice I’m not saying “conversion rate”, or “sales rate”, just “rate of visiting a page other than the site’s front page!”

Basically, it’s a rehash of the old “pay-per-impression” advertising model, except instead of paying for uninterested customers to ignore your banner, you’re paying for uninterested customers to ignore your entire home page, plus the additional hosting expenses associated with the extra “junk” traffic.

Moreover, it diverts your web budget from places it will do good. $100 might buy you 50,000 low-quality clicks from a guaranteed-traffic service, or 1,000 hits on a smartly-targeted pay-per-click advertisement campaign which lets you choose, to a much greater extent, who you’re paying to bring to the site. Once you consider the conversion rate of advertising clients, versus the guaranteed-traffic client, the advertisements become an undeniable bargain.

You might be tempted to say “Isn’t SEO very much the same as a sham site or parked domain” fooling customers into clicking on your site?”. The answer is a resounding no. Ethical” and productive” search optimization is about attracting customers for the services you’re actually offering. The visitors SEO produces are customers who already were interested in what you’re selling. Optimization ensures that they know you’re offering it. That’s a far cry from the world of bought traffic, which would merrily hand out the same site to viewers actually seeking information about European vacations, reptile care, and new video cards.

After all this invective, I must admit that there is a potential narrow niche for bought traffic: if your site actually benefits from impressions above all else- such as a site swimming in pay-per-impression advertising- then, by all means, shovel those low-quality clicks on. Just don’t be unsurprised as advertisers grow increasingly sophisticated and wonder why 500,000 views of their banner produce zero clicks.


There are a few basic things any website owner should know if they’d like the world to find their website. If you have already built a website and have never used the term “SEO”, we have a problem. SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and is as important to a website as water is to man. Millions of visitors a year use search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN to find information on a particular topic. The search engines are equipped to have a web visitor input complete or partial phrases into the search bar to find information on specific topics. Google is the “search engine giant” at the moment has over over 75% of the searches worldwide. Google has published many articles and guidelines to take in to consideration when constructing a website if you’d like to be found by potential customers in their search engine. Every search engine is a little different in the way it displays it search results. Google has 10 positions on the left column of their site that display search results for no charge. The first page results on Google for certain industries can be worth thousands of dollars in revenue if taken advantage of. There is some more reading you will need to do regarding how the search engines decide which sites to display first.

My goal in this article is to make you realize the potential your website has if optimized correctly. In years past, if the neighborhood boys accidentally hit a fly ball into your living room, you would get out phone book and find a window replacement company. While the boys were figuring out how to pay for the window, you continue to go through phone book hoping that you can somehow differentiate the best company based solely on a phone number. These days are visions of the past for most folks. Search engines are now the replacement. They offer an organized list of companies that fit my exact search terms in seconds. The search engines also offer a very good overview of the company you are thinking of giving your hard earned money to. The website of a company can tell a lot, and allows you to do some quick comparisons without leaving your house. Since the search engine wave started, companies have been targeting those 1st page positions. With the search engines possibly providing thousands to millions of visitors a day to your site, the profit potential is huge. This has lead to some fierce competition and a willingness to understand how Google works more than ever. You’d probably be money ahead to hire an SEO company rather than try and understand the algorithms. If you choose to “do-it-yourself”, you can simply start researching through the search engines themselves. This has been a quick and brief overview of SEO, leaving much more to learn. My goal with this article was to bring an awareness to a tool that could possibly make you millions, or simply keep you competitive with the rest of your industry. Happy searching!

Brett Mitnick

Business Development

No, You Really Don’t Want A $200 Template

At Web-Op, we’ve heard some prospective clients look at our bids and announce “We’ll get ourselves a $200 commercial template”.  Wow!  Think of the up-front cost savings!  Of course, that’s ALL you get with a $200 template.

First off, a canned template is likely to need customization immediately to fit your logo and corporate colours, unless your name is “The Lorem Ipsum Corporation”.  The sample images may show your competitor’s products, or nothing useful for your business.  Chalk up 10 to 20 hours of graphic design time, at $50 an hour or more, to fix these problems.  In tne end, the requisite changes may be so severe that your purchase ends up only a “skeleton” of tables and boxes that you can hang appropriate imagery on.

Running Tally:  $700-1200

Now you have a website, but it’s a shell.  That template probably only came with enough text to stretch the boxes on the screen to their intended width, or generic copy.  Someone has to write it, and in addition, someone else should read it.  It’s always worth the expense to have a second set of eyes scanning that content.  You need someone with the guts to say that “Interactive Business Synergy Solutions” is a lot less clear than “Wholesale Janitorial Supply and Uniform Service”.  If you hire professional developers, they’re reading and checking the content as they put it into the new site.  But if you have to stick with in-house staff, it’s worth paying a few users fifty bucks a head to be in a focus group.

Running Tally:  $800-1300, plus the cost of copy

If you knew you had a specific need ahead of time, you might have started with a template designed to work with a back-office system like Drupal or Zen-Cart to do the heavy lifting.  This decision shows some foresight.  You’ll have the facilities to manage an updated news site or a shopping cart.  However, even the easiest to use of these systems requires you to do a significant amount of setup to ensure that when you go live, credit card payments don’t get sent to the Central Bank of Zimbabwe.  An experienced developer may well have done this several times over, so he knows the catches and the correct choices.  You can either spend $300 to eat the first order that went astray or locate a press-release that disappeared, $300 worth of extra time testing and bug-fixing these components ahead of going live, or pay an experienced developer $300 to do things right in the first place.  The choice is yours.

Running Tally:  $1100-1400, plus copy

Finally, all web development contains significant amount of repetitive work.  It could be fixing the bad HTML Microsoft Office dumped into fifty documents.  It could be describing 30 new products for a shopping cart.  But these are hours that you won’t get back with a template.  If you earn a reasonable $20 an hour, expect to spend between $200 and $500 on this, for a small site.

Running Tally:  $1300-1900, plus copy.  You’ve already spent over a thousand dollars more than you originally planned, and the site isn’t live yet.

Finally, spend $1,000 to hire someone to go through your site, add keyword-focused your titles and headers, and remove the boosted Wikipedia article copy to ensure that Google sees the site in a reasonably positive light.  Now, at last, you can go live!  Once you buy hosting and set the site up, of course.  Depending on the type of backend you’re working with, this can easily be a day’s labour.

Running Tally:  $2100-2900 plus copy and hosting.   The site is finally ready to go live, but now every corner you cut to get it even THAT cheap will begin to show.

After a few weeks, you’ll probably find you long for certain features, perhaps ones you wrote off in order to accept the affordable template.  Either you’d better start learning PHP, or you’re going to have to hire a new developer.  Since he’s new to your particular project, it might take 20 hours for him to do what someone who had built the site from zero could do in ten.  So add another $1,350 to cover that extra ten hours of labour.

Final Total:  $3,450-4,250 plus the cost of hosting and acquiring copy.

You chose to accept a wide range of compromises, little if any on-going support, and only minimal expert guidance, and it still ended up costing in the same ballpark as having professionals do it right the first time.

Building your own website should be approached like other do-it-yourself projects.  While many of us can change an oil filter and save $20, or even add a new phone jack to save $75, few of us would try to replace our transmissions or install central heating.  We simply don’t have the skills to do the job.  Producing a quality web page requires at least four distinct skills:  research, programming, graphic design and writing.  Many smaller organizations, and even some larger ones, don’t anticipate that they’re going to have to call in professionals when they reach their limits.  That’s when $200 turns into $3000+.

The Case Against Standards Compliance

If you frequently visit personal or non-commercial websites, you’ve probably noticed the small badges at their footers announcing “W3C valid HTML / XHTML / CSS”. Some web developers strongly argue the merits of standard-compliant design, as though it has value in and of itself, and some people seeking a new site will boldly insist that it complies with official standards. However, people chasing the conformance badge often lose track of the real objectives of web design: developing useful, attractive tools with the audience in mind.

Standards can be limiting.

At first, this argument sounds like a whine, issued by developers who can’t be bothered to find ways to work within the new standards. I’m sure many designers were heartbroken when the <marquee> tag didn’t quite make the cut. However, in certain cases, the standards actually DO only provide a subset of the functions developers need, and little recourse. An excellent example of this problem is with the XHTML STRICT spec– the “target” option on links has been removed. You can, therefore, no longer specify a link to open in a new window without either requiring a client-side script, or breaking the spec. Since many sites make use of this feature for user benefit, the standard actually moved the state of the art backwards.

Standards often get misinterpreted

In some situations, the W3C has supplied sample implementations which should clarify how standards are supposed to be implemented. A good example of this is “Amaya“, the obscure browser which serves as a model of how recent HTML specs should work. Sample code is, in theory, the best specification, because it eliminates any ambiguity left in a written guideline. However, not only are many specs without sample implementations, those that do have them are often ignored. This often leads to inconsistent interpretations of the specification, and poor cross-browser compatibility.

An example: Although all major web browsers “support” the CSS standard, only Opera 9 navigates the ACID2 “torture test” page as its designer intended. If your developers write code to the actual CSS spec, they’ll find it looks bizarre in real browsers.

Standards can represent a cop-out for real testing.

A poor designer may try to use the excuse “It’s standard HTML/XHTML/CSS” if you have trouble rendering under a specific browser. He’s blaming the browser because HE chose to ignore compatibility with the real world. This is an unacceptable excuse at any time; the first lesson of web design is that no mainstream browser implements the standards 1000% accurately. Would you trust a car that was built with every part in tolerance, but never test-driven?

Know your audience: Sometimes, standards just don’t work.

The best of modern browsers (IE7, Opera 9, Firefox) generally come within shouting distance of supporting the W3C standards. If you don’t “game” the standards or make excessively complex designs, compatibility is generally good. However, the rules are completely thrown out the window when those aren’t your target market. Internet appliances (WebTV and similar), mobile phones and PDAs, and even just users stuck on specific older browsers can torpedo standards-compliant code instantly. Advanced markup simply goes over their heads, or worse, is interpreted in ways ranging from comical to unusable.

Much like newspapers are written to the lowest reading level of their target audience, so webpages must be written to accomodate the buggiest and most primitive browsers they will encounter. If that means IE-specific tags and browser-detection code to keep order, so be it.

Like the United Nations

I have no problems with the standards-setting bodies themselves. They remind me of the United Nations: well-intentioned, but with little actual enforcement power.

Their lack of power comes from two sources:

First, since HTML and CSS have reached an adequate level for most design needs, there’s little that can be offered in new standards to make them worth embracing. There is very little you can render in XHTML that you couldn’t render in HTML 4.0, so why bother changing existing designs and habits to meet XHTML standards unless you have a very specific need?

Second, the real standards are, perfectly honestly, the behaviours of Internet Explorer 6 and 7 and Firefox 1.5 and 2.0. For an eye-opening experience, try surfing with Amaya (mentioned above), and see how many successful commercial sites have chosen to appeal to the real standard, and not the official demonstration of how HTML and CSS are supposed to behave.

What can make standards matter?

Right now, standards-compliance tends to earn you nothing except a feeling of superiority and likely several more billable hours for fixing the tags that actually work in browsers but cause the validator to puke. Instead, standards need to present a clear value-add to the developer and user. If new standards allow developers to easily add desirable effects you couldn’t do before, then browsers will clamor to embrace them and the standards will succeed. May I suggest:

  • A tag structure for the definition of nested, collapsible or drop-down menus.
  • The ability to have multiple languages or character-encodings in a page, and let the browser display only the relevant ones
  • An embedded font system.

People will embrace those standards, because they fit clear design needs, while things like “Now your webpage is valid XML too!” didn’t.

How to Communicate With Your Designer

By Brendan Dekker

If you’re the type of person that gets confused with words like aesthetics, visual tension, fluidity, dominance, and balance then this article is for you. In many industries (and the web industry in particular), it is extremely important that a designer and a client can communicate their thoughts and ideas in a very efficient manner. It is often difficult for a designer to grasp a business concept, as well as for a businessman to understand the importance of good design. This is a gap that must be closed for a project to be executed efficiently.

It must first be established that the client/designer relationship be founded in TRUST, each one knowing undoubtedly that the other is good at what they do. Contrary to popular belief, a designer’s job is not merely to make something look nice… that job belongs to an artist. A designer’s efforts attempt to merge functionality and ease of use with style and attractiveness, as well as to do so in a way that fits with your company’s image. This is not an easy task. At the same time, it becomes the clients responsibly to communicate to the designer their wants, needs, and initial ideas (if they have any) BEFORE the design process has begun. There is nothing more inefficient than a client telling a designer what they want AFTER the efforts have been made to create a good design.

The next step is communication throughout the design process. If your designer starts rambling off an assortment of terms that don’t make sense to you, stop them. The designer’s job is not to confuse the client. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out what something means. After all, the designer is working for you. In contrast to this, always remember that you trust your designer. Why would you have hired them in the first place if you didn’t? If efforts are made to communicate ideas throughout the process in an organized manner, the result will effectively be a happy client. If a “happy client” is something you’d like to be, it is important to remember three key terms… trust, organization, and communication.

Meta Tags: What are they good for?

What are meta tags you ask?
It is kind of hard to start out without a brief description of what meta tags are. You have probably heard about the importance of the ‘keyword’, but what does that mean? The meta tag is a way to place site relevant information on a web page without it distracting the visitor, and making sure a passing search engine will find the content, hopefully adding you to that particular search engine’s list of search results. So, in short, meta tags are part of a web page’s code that is only meant for search engines.

Why do you care?
In the past it was thought that meta tags, or meta data was the way to get ranked higher on a search result at you favorite search engine. If you had site relevant information in your meta tags, you should place higher on a search than a site that did not use meta tags, or a site that had tags that were not related to that site’s content. But then the abuse started, sites placing keywords in the meta tags that not only were not related to the site’s content, but since the tags were commonly searched on the search engines, these sites started ranking higher just for this fact. So if you did a search for “ice cream” you were given a result of an adult-orientated site. Obliviously not related to your search, but since the web designers knew how to manipulate the primitive search engines, you were stuck with the fact that you had to manually search you search results. This defeated the entire logic of searching, since it still led the searcher to do most of the work.

So what happened?
In late 2002, most search engines released information that they had stopped supporting the keyword meta tag for input for search relevant content. “In the past we have indexed the meta keywords tag but have found that the high incidence of keyword repetition and spam made it an unreliable indication of site content and quality. We do continue to look at this issue, and may re-include them if the perceived quality improves over time,” said Jon Glick, AltaVista’s director of internet search. Many search engines followed Alta Vista, but not all.

So now what do I do?
Since the ‘keyword” meta tag is not really supported by any major search engines, what does this mean to the design and optimization of you web page? There are other meta tags available to use and that are supported by search engines, such as the ‘title’ tag, the ‘robots’ tag, and the ‘description’ tag, not to mention some others. Having other tags in your page is helpful for the search engines, it just may not help you placement in their rankings. Spending time developing the title and description tags on you pages so that your page content is clear and informative is much more important. When the search engine indexes your site, the information in the title and description will be benificial to the searcher, and in turn, be beneficial to you.

In conclusion…
Since there is no real way to guarantee search engine ranking placement, and since meta tags aren’t the “secret ingredient” to maximize those rankings, what have we learned? Meta tags are useful for delivering data to search engines that is relevant to the content of a page. Meta tags will help with the display of your content in a search, just not the actual ranking position. There are alot of things to consider to optimize your web page, but spending endless time creating meta tags, especially keywords, is no longer worth it. The focus of content on the page is much more important, and there are other ways to optimize your site, but that is a whole other article, or few.