5 Questions to Ask Your Web Designer

Just as you would interview a new employee, you’ll want to interview candidates for your web provider as this will likely be an interactive and ongoing project.  Below are 5 great question to ask your potential Web Provider:

What will my role be in the process?

You know your business, designers know design.  Most likely, you will be asked to submit content (text, images, videos, links etc.) to be used on your website.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, you can login to your account and follow the wizard to submit your content, thoughts and ideas.  All of your submissions will be stored here so you don’t have to worry about big files, sending multiple emails or trying to keep track of everything.  Once you’ve completed the wizard, we will send you designs and other items for you to review, request edits or approve.

How do you manage your workflow?

This is an easy way to distinguish a seat-of-your-pants company from a professional company.  Web projects require a lot of interaction and pieces that need to be put together.  Organization and communication are critical which is why a project management system is necessary for the success of a project.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, each client is assigned a Project Manager who interacts with you and the various teams that work on your project. You will have an online account with access to every part of your project.  This account is also visible to your project manager and various teams who work on your project so that everyone always on the same page.

Do you design for best SEO practices?

There’s a difference between uploading your menu natively and simply scanning in a PDF or JPG of your menu.  The native upload will work serve you better on search engines.  Ask your designer how they keep the site’s organic SEO value in mind when they design.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, we don’t take short cuts and we will always advise you if there is a better way to do something.  Sure, it may take us more time to natively upload something verses scanning an image but the success of your website is our top priority.  We don’t have contracts to keep you locked in with us.  Instead, we have to earn your business each month and one of the ways that we do that is by doing things the right way.

What if I need more time to get you content?

Most design firms will charge you extra if your project takes longer than planned.  As a traditional business owner, you are probably very busy and would want to determine your web designer’s stance on this.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, we will adhere to our timeline commitments to 100% as long as we have everything that we need from you.  If you need more time to get us information, we will adjust our timelines accordingly but never charge you extra for that.  Our Design Packages clearly state what you will get for each product, even if it takes you a few extra weeks to gather some content or other info.

What kind of ongoing support do you offer?

Some companies only work on new projects and offer no ongoing support.  Some charge per hour, with minimum times.  Some include support. A website is never finished and is an ongoing project so you’ll want to know what the plan for future support is once your site is launched.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, we offer award-winning unlimited 24/7 support for your site.  We have specialists in Site Editing, Ecommerce, Domains/Emails, Digital Marketing and Social Media in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  In addition, you can always request to work with specific members of our tech support staff!  If you would prefer to have us manage your site for you on monthly basis, ask about our “Managed Monthly Membership” program.

Ask the questions and find the right provider for you.  Get more information at http://www.BusyGalFridayWebsites.com.  If you would like to discuss these or any other question that you have, feel to call us at 972.863.1128 or 800.861.4183.

Writing Great Content for Your Website

One of the most common questions we hear from our customers is “How can I make my website better and more appealing to customers?” Whether it comes from our long term customers just looking to improve their website or a brand new customer just getting started with us, the answer is content.  Quality content can help to make your website stand out from your competition, both to potentially customers as well as Google.

A website that contains a large volume of information about its products and services can inspire confidence in consumers. This makes them far more likely to purchase from you than from a competitor.   In browsing the internet for the best deals on products we have all come across a website that appears on the surface to  have what we need. However the website may look dated, or  lacks vital information about the product. The product picture may be right, but without a product description or other vital information you are left wondering if that product is really the one you want. If the site appears very old, infrequently updated, or has very little other information the customer is left without confidence the company will be able to deliver the product as described. Many people faced with this reality would choose another website to purchase from, even if the product costs a bit more.

The good news is that you, or someone in your organization is often the best source to generate that content. You know your product.  As a business owner you chose to make your product your livelihood and know far more about it than the average consumer. Throughout your time as a business professional you have likely fielded any number of questions from potential customers about your products. You may think that talking about your product is boring, or that none of your customers would ever care about that information. The reality is the complete opposite.

Modern customers are educated. They want to know as much as they can about the product. While they may not want to know one particular piece of information right now, they want to know that information is out there. They want to know if they have questions about your product you can answer them. A customer seeing a large amount of information on a product may skim to make sure you have the right size, or use a certain material, or to see if any other information is available. In skimming through your content they gain confidence in you as a seller, the more knowledge you display to them about your product. If they are reassured you know your product, they feel more confident purchasing from you.

Finally content is one of the best ways to increase your exposure on Google by improving your search results. Outside of Ads, Google’s business is to serve users quality search results.  By serving quality results people come back to Google, and continue to use it to find what they need. Google’s ability to continually refine their system to provide meaningful results is what has caused their business to thrive.

In the old days keywords were used to tell Google what is important on your page. People abused this by including any number of keywords and phrases on their page that had nothing to do with their product just to attract visitors.  Google has responded by ignoring the keywords provided by clients and instead generates what it believes your keywords to be by examining both the underlying code of your web page and looking at your content.

Beyond just generating what it believes your keywords to be from your content, Google scans your content. There is a positive correlation between well written content and Google rankings. When your website contains a large amount of a content about a topic Google feels more confident in serving your page as a result over competitors that have much less information about your product. Google wants the websites they serve as search results to be topical, up to date, and exactly what their users are looking for.

For those seeking advice on what to write just imagine you are selling someone your product. What is a new customer likely to ask, and what do they need to know? Who are the primary customers of your products or services? Why do they want or need them? What makes your product or service special? If the answer is you, then talk about yourself. Talk about your years of experience, your training, and other qualities that set you apart.

For our busy customers with no time to write, or customers who have trouble generating content, maWebcenters is happy to offer access to our onstaff copywriters.  They will work with you to generate up to 500 words of original content, for a nominal fee.  Once you have begun to generate content our 24/7 technical support can work with you to add it to your website.

Quality original content helps you grow your business by increasing user confidence, providing a better user experience, and giving Google confidence in your credibility.

By: Brian Mosich, Lead Copywriter (maWebcenters)

Increasing Traffic To Your Website Organically

There are two ways that businesses can drive traffic to their websites:

Paid Adspace – A lot like renting out billboards or running commercials on the internet

Organically –  Strategically building your site to rank on the search engines

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Let’s take a look at a number of components that factor into helping your website to perform well with search engines! While each of these items can help your company’s SEO Strategy, the real win is when you’ve got them all working together!

CONTENT
Google is in the referral business.  When you go to the internet and search for something, Google’s job is to scrub the web and find the most relevant results for you. Therefore, antiquated tricks of driving traffic to your site are all thrown out the window.  The content on your website is just as important to your SEO Strategy as any other effort you put forth.  Make sure the content on your page is well written, original, and contains some of the keywords and phrases you would actually use in a campaign. That’s right – keywords and key phrases should be built right into the content of your actual site!

RESPONSIVE DESIGN
When a user searches on Google using their mobile device, Google gives preference to mobile-friendly websites.  So, you need to have a mobile website!  The most effective and efficient way to have a mobile presence is to design your website “responsively”. You build a single site, that automatically adjusts based on the device its being viewed on.  Now, you only have to update one website AND you collect the total combined traffic of all visitors to your site which increases your sites’ value.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Social profiles show up on Google too! Increasing your social reputation, through increased engagement and high-quality content syndication, will lead to increased online brand presence.  Couple of Suggestions / Action Items:

  • Create profiles and maintain a good online presence
  • Create posts that encourage “likes” and “shares” (Don’t just sell to your audience)
  • When sharing posts, include strategic descriptions in the post
  • Tag and engage with local establishments – leverage their networks

META
Treat each page individually.  Make sure to include a descriptive page title, page description, keywords and key phrases.  This will help the search engines to know exactly what’s on each of your pages so they can return them as results when people search for your products/ services.

DO THIS:

  • RELEVANT AND OPTIMIZED PAGE TITLES
  • TREAT EACH PAGE INDIVIDUALLY
  • RELEVANT AND OPTIMIZED PAGE DESCRIPTION
  • KEYWORDS SHOULD BE RELATED TO WHAT’S ON THE PAGE, PAGE TITLE & DESCRIPTION
  • KEYWORDS DRIVE CONTENT & CONTENT DRIVES KEYWORDS
  • THINK LIKE A CONSUMER, NOT AN EXPERT
  • FOCUS ON GOOD PHRASES (NOT JUST SINGLE WORDS)
  • VALUE OF REPETITION: “DOG FOOD REVIEWS”, “DOG FOOD RANKINS” ETC
  • INCLUDE DEMOGRAPHICS AND GEOGRAPHICS
  • RUN A REPORT – DO YOUR RESEARCH (GOOGLE TOOLS)
    DON’T GUESS, KNOW WHAT PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR
    CREATE SEVERAL CAMPAIGNS AND GROUP RELEVANT TERMS TOGETHER

AVOID THIS:

  • AVOID “VANITY” OR “ROOT” WORDS (WORDS THAT ARE TOO BROAD)
  • SINGLE WORD TERMS
  • WORDS THAT ARE TOO SPECIFIC / UNPOPULAR– WHICH NOBODY SEARCHES FOR
  • HIGHLY COMPETITIVE TERMS
  • IRRELEVANT KEYWORDS
  • MAKING THE MISTAKE OF ONLY DOING KEYWORDS, USING
    OUTDATED STRATEGIES, IRRELEVANT BACK LINKS ETC.
  • COMPANIES THAT PROMISE YOU RANKINGS
  • COMPANIES THAT RUN ADWORDS WITH REPLICATED SITES (VERSES MARKETING YOUR ACTUAL WEBSITE)

Building up your website’s organic traffic takes time and effort but it’s totally worth it.  Follow these 3 simple steps to do it yourself, or give us a call at 866-WEB-HELP if you’d like to learn more about our Local and Regional Organic SEO Packages.

ASSESS:
YOUR WEBSITE CONTENT, RESPONSIVE & SOCIAL STRATEGY

RESEARCH:
BRAINSTORM AND RESEARCH KEYWORDS & PHRASES

IMPLEMENT:
CONTENT, SOCIAL, RESPONSIVE, META

Visit our YouTube Channel for recorded webinar on Increasing Organic Traffic:

By: Sarah Rose Stack (maWebcenters)