What do businesses need to know about websites and webdesign?
This link is a slightly technical discussion about what Google’s Panda program now requires from websites. You could summarize by saying that you have to use and promote your website, improve it and measure its effectiveness.
I had a website built a few years ago, so I should still be good.
The days are gone when you can have a website that simply acts as your online brochure. Searchers won’t even be able to find it. Your website needs to be active; alive. And if it’s not changing periodically, it’s dead. And not interesting to visit.
Plus, you probably didn’t truly consider details like color in the last redesign. You probably used your logo colors or your interior wall colors. Do those colors represent what you do now? It’s pretty important. That’s why you’ll see big companies like Starbucks change things every few years.
Having a website is too expensive and too much work…
You’ll see people driving to your competitor up the street because you are digitally invisible. Walk down the sidewalk and look in other car windows. People aren’t looking at your sign, they are looking down at their phones and tablets.
Can’t I just have a Facebook Business page?
You might be able to kludge along for awhile but the format is limited. You can’t always do what you could do with your own website. Plus, Facebook changes things without warning AND is known to shut down accounts without notification or proof. So far, Google + seems like it will be better but it’s not a website replacement, either. You also can’t call anyone at Facebook or Google with a problem like you can if you have a web designer build a site for you.
This is not to say you shouldn’t ALSO be on Facebook or Twitter or YouTube and Google +, but it’s probably not the best idea to put all your online efforts into one basket. What if your only website had been a MySpace page, which was considering a shut down just six months ago?
We already have this phone app…
Apps can have useful features but again, the format is limited. By all means, have an app but you need to be able to provide large volumes of information to new customers and an app isn’t robust enough. Use the app for what it’s good for.
But I got ripped off last time I had a website done…
That might be true. You’ll just have to choose someone better this time, so do the research. Look at nearby business websites and see which ones you like. Find out who made those and ask what the experience was like in working with them. Look at their portfolio, call them and see what they can do for you.
A word of caution
Being cheap will not get you the kind of website you need. You might also not need the luxury model, but the more features and pictures and things you need, the more it will likely cost. Don’t skimp on what you need. Things like built-in SEO are not optional. They are vital, more now than ever.
Be leary of a website design company that charges extra for SEO work in the design of the website. That should be part of the design process, not an extra tacked on. To be effective, SEO should be part of the paint, the furniture and the frame of your website.