Top 10 Questions to Ask When Creating or Updating a Website

Top 10 Questions to Ask When Creating or Updating a Website

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A company website is critical for businesses that want to compete in today’s marketplace. With so many choices in Web design companies and do-it-yourself tools available online it’s difficult to determine just how to go about successfully promoting your business on the Internet. Consider the following before you begin: 

1. How does a website work with my overall marketing strategy?

In today’s digital world, a website is home base for all other marketing activity. While a company’s marketing strategy may include additional efforts, all other media (Facebook, print media, radio ads, etc.) should point to the website, and not just to a phone number. 

For potential clients, the website is the contact gateway to one’s company and its latest information. For the company, a website provides a record of visits and inquiries as well as knowledge about what information visitors find most valuable based upon viewing history. 

2. What is search engine optimization and why is it important?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website utilizing website copy, images and video, and HTML coding, among other things, in order to give sites the best exposure possible to search engines. It is the difference between a website that gets all the traffic and one that is rarely found. 

When someone looking for specific services types a word or phrase into a search engine, think Google or Bing, a properly optimized company site can be found quickly and easily by the search engines and thus by a potential client. A site that is not properly optimized is like a billboard on a remote country road — it won’t be seen and it doesn’t attract new business. 

3. Are Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools installed?

Google Analytics is an important tool for understanding how a website is being viewed. Content reports outline which areas of a website are performing well, which pages are most popular, how long a visitor stays on the site, and how often they convert to a request for a quote or to a sale. Webmaster Tools provides reports about the site’s visibility on Google. This information produces objective measures to website effectiveness. 

4. Who writes the copy for my site?

Often an owner or manager within a company thinks they have time to write the copy for a new or updated website. The truth is they typically don’t; it’s a daunting task. Website copy professionals know that content must accomplish two important goals: it must appeal to readers and attract search engines. They also know how to create content that is well-balanced, informative, and attractive to readers while utilizing a proper SEO method to ensure that keywords are infused into website content with the proper keyword density. 

Search engines read websites for relevant copy and determine if they are overloaded with keywords. The old method of stuffing keywords into a website copy no longer works because search engines have evolved to account for this approach and to penalize sites that use it. The benefits of proper SEO will not be fully realized without interesting and relevant copy balanced with well-placed keywords. 

5. Is website leasing an option I should consider?

Website leasing can be a great option, especially for smaller businesses, because the company gets the benefit of promoting their products and services without taking responsibility for technical aspects of site ownership, such as maintenance and hosting. Typically a site is constructed using a company’s URL address and includes customization of products and services. Website leasing saves capital and time while still giving companies a platform for promoting their business online. 

6. What is Google AdWords and will it help my business?

Google AdWords is a pay-per-click arrangement wherein Google offers premium placement of links to a designated website. An AdWords client sets a budget with a maximum monthly spend within a specified search radius to attract local work. 

The Google search engine cross references a user’s geographic location with the keywords or search terms he or she typed and creates a unique set of search results. Ad links appear next to or above Google’s organic search results. Businesses get more customers when people click the ad, to gain information or to place an order. Unlike other forms of advertising, AdWords can be turned off or on at any time. 

7. Can videos help my website?

Professionally created videos can be a powerful voice promoting your company on the Internet. Websites with video average a 30 percent higher conversion (the rate at which a website view converts to a purchase) than those without. Current search technology gives website videos a 50 times greater advantage over text when determining the order in which results will appear, also consider that videos promote in ways that other advertising methods can’t. 

They can be cross distributed to multiple video sharing sites, in addition to the company website, and can be shared electronically. Online video advertising is an intelligent use of marketing dollars because well-crafted content can be widely distributed. The activity the video receives can be tracked, which provides powerful insight into its effectiveness. 

8. How should I include social media?

Social media is important because it supports an overall online strategy. There are two aspects of social media to consider. First, like AdWords, it is another advertising tool that can be used to target a specific geography. For example, Facebook user demographics are easily pinpointed so ads can be made personal and micro-targeted to particular users based upon their age, location and social interests. 

Second, social medial platforms are places where a company can build relationships and interact with people. Keep in mind, however, that social media is just that — social. A social media campaign must be regularly maintained and engage others. If ignored, even for a short time, the campaign can hurt a company’s exposure or “likeability.” 

9. Does the hosting of my site include email accounts?

Free email addresses like “mycompany@aol.com” aren’t as professional or easy to remember as corporate email addresses, such as “yourname@yourcompany.com.” In addition, corporate email accounts allow email history to remain with the company should an employee depart. Some hosting companies include email addresses as part of the package. 

10. What are the advantages of hiring a professional website design company?

Unless you have specific training in Web design and SEO, it’s best to hire a professional. Crafting a website on your own requires a substantial investment of time, and the process is a distraction from day-to-day business, which may ultimately hurt the company. 

A quality website requires expertise, strategy, organization and distinctive design. Good design combined with an effective optimization strategy is an investment that will be returned — with interest. In today’s marketplace, we never get a second chance to make a good first impression. 

About the Author
Beverly Lewis runs a marketing agency, the Beverly Lewis Group, dedicated to helping small businesses with marketing solutions. Having served as the director of sales & marketing for two portable sanitation companies, her unique background combined with an expertise in marketing is well suited for the portable sanitation industry. She believes that a company’s image is represented in every aspect of the company. Contact Beverly at beverly@beverlylewisgroup.com or visit www.beverlylewisgroup.com.



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