Website Investment for Small Businesses

Website Investment for Small Businesses

Websites Are Affordable

Businesses can pay a wide range of prices for their websites. As with any investment, websites need to bring more revenue in to a business than they cost to create and maintain. For a major retailer selling thousands of products online, this investment is millions of dollars. And the return those businesses get from those sites is well worth the investment. For a small business providing just a few services the same holds true, just at a lower level, a much lower level.

An Affordable Business Website

Most small businesses can afford the small investment required to get their company online. Our company has created attractive sites for as little as $300.00. These are usually unique businesses that simply want the credibility that comes with having a web address to put in their other promotional material, such as their print advertising. The businesses potential customers see a web address and it gives them a little more confidence that the business is credible. They may go look at the site, they may not. If they do look at the site it can be a single page that is attractive and provides general information about the company. This is a benefit. It can generate a phone call or an email inquiry. That can lead to a sale.

Avoid “Cheap” Websites

The site shouldn’t look cheap. But too many companies just look for a cheap website. When you use cheap web design, you loose credibility. Visitors to those sites see poor photos and poorly written text, then they elect to avoid that company. Our services will keep your site out of the “cheap” category.

Maximizing Your Website Investment

In determining the amount of funds a business is willing to put into any investment, it should try to maximize it’s return on that investment (ROI). To do this requires analysis of how much money will be brought into the firm by various levels of investment. In the case of a website, the question becomes “Should we build a small, medium, large or super large website?” With the help of a website designer you can come up with the various costs of different sites. Then you need to make a determination as to what kind of marginal revenue those different sites will generate. The one that generates the most is the one the business should choose.

Back to Affordable

Businesses have a wide range of possibilities in creating their websites. And, as you can see, websites are affordable. The questions truly becomes, “Can your afford not to have one?”

Local Search Engine Optimization

Local Search Engine Optimization

Local Business Can Rank On the First Page

Ranking in the search engines can be tough. And small businesses get frustrated when they strive to achieve ranks. Small businesses that target local markets can get ranks through Google’s local listing. These local listings are much easier to achieve.

Local listings typically show up on the first page of the search. These listings will link to their websites and provide a link to the local businesses phone numbers.

Business Information

The local search results give the searchers the option to choose a local business over the other listings. Many searchers prefer a local business for a variety of reasons. They may want to make a purchase immediately or may just prefer to deal with someone local. When the searcher clicks on the local business listing they are given access to more pages, contact information and access to a map.

Get Listed Even If You Don’t Have A Website

Today potential customer rarely go to the phone book or the yellow pages. They go to the search engines instead. In the past they could only click on websites. Today, that is different. Your business can benefit from local search engine ranks, even if you don’t have a website. To get ranked in Google your business needs to be listed in their “Places For Business” registry. Once it is there it will show up on the local searches.

Business Listing

Your business shows up in Google in the local searches box. Your location is shown on a local map. Your listing includes a title and your hours of operation. The site visitor can click on your information and go to a screen dedicated to your business that includes more details.  On the mobile device they can click the phone icon and call you.

Business Details

On the business details page the site visitor can get information on location, hours of operation and the phone number of your business. They can click on the phone icon and place a call. They can click on the directions icon and go to a map. Or they can click on the website icon and go to your website.

More Information

Scrolling down the business information page the visitor can get more information about your business. This can include a map, company reviews and other information.

When visitors see this information on Google it gives your business credibility.

SEO Services for Local Businesses

Our services include SEO help whether you have a website or not. If you want help getting a listing then contact us and we will help you do it.

Redesign Outdated Websites

Redesign Outdated Websites

Many Small Businesses Have Outdated Websites

Over ten years ago many small businesses were creating their websites with a lot of excitement. They were excited about getting on the web and gaining new business from those sites.  Today, too many of those businesses have lost that enthusiasm and have done very little to keep their sites up-to-date.

The Old Desktop Design

A decade ago the premium website was designed for desktop devices. But in January of 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. And we all know what happened after that.

Mobile phone visitors were able to view websites on the small screens of their phones. In the early years those websites were hard to work with on a smart phone. This created a problem for some small businesses and an opportunity for others. Those that didn’t redesign their websites lost mobile visitors. Businesses that invested in site redesigns picked up those visitors.

Website redesign in the early years was expensive. It required web designers with special skills. In effect, two websites had to be created. One for desktop devices, one for mobile devices.  As a result, many businesses did not update their sites.

Small print on mobile devices is hard to read and must me manipulated.

Redesign is Cost Effective

Today website redesign is not nearly as expensive as it was years ago. Software and code improvements have been created to make website pages automatically adjust to the viewers device. Businesses that have outdated websites need to consider redesigning those sites. This will improve their search engine positions and will help them acquire new visitors. And it won’t cost as much as it did several years ago. Improvements in technology have caused the cost of website design to go down.

Mobile friendly sites are easy to read on various screens.

Learn more about website redesign.

Social Media Management

Social Media Management

Social Media Management Services

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social media are impacting businesses more than they ever have. And smart businesses are using these web assets to effectively improve their companies. While some hire expert employees, others turn the duties over to social media management services.

Today more and more businesses are using social media to reach their existing clients and to reach out to potential clients. The management of social media is becoming a bigger job. More businesses are hiring social media management services to do the work for them.

Creating a Social Media Plan

The first thing a social media manager needs to do is create long term plan. Setting goals and creating budgets is all a part of the process. Next comes the content strategy. To reach desired goals, the content needs to be posted that will meet those goals. A social media management company will create a system for the flow of content from its creation to its posting.

Planning Posts

Posting on social media needs to be carefully planned. The manager can use the long term plan to create a flow of posts that will be posted on a schedule. These postings can be automated through valuable tools like Hootsuite. Automated posting creates more time to focus on other company media management duties.

Keeping A Check On Posts

Social media venues need to be monitored. Someone needs to check for negative comments. And they need to reply to those comments. Ideally, there will be many more positive responses than negative. Those followers also need to be nurtured to insure future activity.

 

Keeping A Check On Comments

Just posting on your social media is not enough. Your social media assets need to be monitored for post responses. Most responses are normally positive. Although, there can be a range of negative comments.

Positive Comments

Businesses need to reply with at least a “Thank You!” to positive comments they receive in their social media. It encourages other positive comments. Don’t go overboard in correspondence with these posts. They can appear to be orchestrated and that will have a negative impact on your overall standing with visitors.

Negative Comments

Negative replies to your social media need to be attended to quickly. While they are a pain, they can become a resource of incredible value. This is where you learn about the shortcomings of your business. And you normally get those views from your clients.

Rude Comments

On occasions you are going to get comments that are just rude. The reasons for these can be many. But in most cases this is due to an individual with a personality problem. A simple comment like “I’m sorry your feel that way” shows other visitors that you at least paid attention to the comment. But it may encourage another rude comment from the subject. So no reply may be the best way to go. This is a judgement call.

Receiving Suggestions

Customers and visitors can provide an incredible benefit to a company through social media. That comes through suggestions and constructive criticism. That’s where the person monitoring the activity can be of value. The social media content manager will filter the incoming information and present it to upper management. Ideally, upper management will use the data to improve their goods and services.

Social Media Management Company

Small businesses often don’t have the resources to keep up with their social media the way they should and their lack of experience causes them to spend more time than is necessary to make posts and respond to comments. They should consider using a social media management company. These companies provide services that save time and create quality social media content. Their professionals have the experience necessary to deal with most negative comments. And they know which comments need to be forwarded to the business’s management. A social media management company can also train your staff to use social media more efficiently.

Website Management Services

Website Management Services

Does Your Business’s Website Need a Manager?

Small business owners and managers have plenty to do. And a large number of them put their websites on the back burner after their sites are online. A neglected website loses value quickly. A well managed website will keep the content and the functions of the site up to date and working smoothly. That management will help a site maintain its value.

There are three basic areas that need to be manged in a website. First, a site needs content updated on a regular basis. Second, a site needs to have it’s structure reviewed and updated. Third, a site needs a back end review of things like its domain, hosting and email setup to make sure that services are renewed on schedule.

Websites need to manage content, structure and the back end.

Keeping a website up to date for most small websites is not costly. It just requires a little discipline. Many smaller businesses only need to make a change once or twice a month. This job is normally turned over to someone who has little experience in web work and doesn’t have the time to learn it. This lack of experience can hinder the performance of the site.

We can help by managing your website’s content for you. We will develop a plan and a schedule for updates. We will also review the back end of your website operations.

Content Updates

Content is one of the primary items a website manager needs to update regularly. The frequency of updates will vary for different businesses based on what goes on in their markets. Those that update frequently are often able to stick to a schedule and keep content up to date. Those that don’t find it harder to stick to a schedule. This is where we can help. When we manage your content we will make sure it is updated on schedule.

Determining When to Update

Businesses need to create a program for content updates. For some businesses an update every couple of weeks is ample. For others, they should make daily modifications. This factor is determined by their markets.

A business that is selling heating and cooling services in a small community is likely to have just a couple of competitors. And you wouldn’t expect those competitors to be updating their sites very often. Reviewing the site and posting up to date content every other week will help keep this site fresh and well ranked in the search engines.

A business that is selling cars in a big city needs to update their site daily. Maybe several times a day. Why? Because their competitors are doing exactly that. Car buyers are likely to be looking for cars for several days in a row. And they are looking for new material on the websites. When visitors find nothing new, they probably won’t be back to check the site again. This will cause their site ranks to fall. And dropping behind competitors will have a negative impact on their site’s traffic.

Customizing a Plan for Content

Our website management services will include a plan designed to keep your site updated on a regular basis. We will take a look at your market and your competitors and develop a plan that will work for your business.

Review the Website Structure

Businesses need to review their entire websites on a regular basis. Even those that make daily content modifications tend to forget about back pages. For that car dealership, someone needs to review the entire site on a seasonal basis to insure that a special promotion is not out of date. It doesn’t look too good when a visitor finds an offer on a website that is no longer available.

Review the structure of a website

Comparing to Competitors

In your website review you need to also review the websites of your competitors. Doing so will keep you from getting behind on any new elements in your market. And it will keep you in close competition with others in that market.

Back End Review

There are businesses out there that have posted their sites and practically forgotten about them. That is until someone calls them and wants to sell their domain back to them after it has expired. Forgetting to keep updated contact information on your domain provider or hosting service can cause sudden problems that can be very hard to overcome. A schedule needs to be developed to keep a regular check on those functions.

Are You One Of Those Who Forgot?

Too many small businesses today have put their websites up and forgotten about them. If you are one of those, then now is the time to develop a plan for getting your site active again.

Make Us Your Website Manager

If you find it hard to create a plan for updating your website or for sticking to a plan, then we will be happy to help you. We will review your site, review your market and review your options. Our services range from designing a plan that you keep in-house to creating and managing a plan for you.

Contact us and we can help you develop a plan to manage your site effectively. We can schedule regular content updates, make scheduled site reviews and keep a check on your site’s back end.