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Provide Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for Your Website Visitors

Provide an FAQ web page

Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Having answers to common questions placed on your website can save you time, money and possibly insanity (according to Einstein) :-). One of the best values of having a website is the ability to present information to potential customers. Making your website informative for the user will establish you as an authoritative figure in the field and will encourage customers to return.

It would be to your benefit to have answers to commonly asked questions placed on your website. Having answers to questions also filters out potential customers that would not fit with your business. We have heard from clients who remark that having a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on their website works great for them. When a customer starts asking them questions about their business, they forward that person to the website to find answers to their questions and it ends up saving them both time. The business person saves time by being able to forward that person to the website to find the answer and the customer saves time by being able to bookmark, favorite or print the information out for later review or further questions.

When answers to specific questions are on your website so that customers can find them, you present your business as an authoritative figure in your field. Think about all of the knowledge you have gained from being in business. Think about the perfect client and the qualifications they have. For example, in the web design business, the budget of a client is highly dependent upon the scale of the website. We refuse to do business with customers who expect that we will do a $10,000 job for $500. No doubt, your business runs the same way, or you wouldn’t be in business very long. Therefore, placing information about minimum budget requirements on your website can help you filter out those clients who don’t have the budget to do business with your company.

The more information you place on your website, the better. Don’t get too overwhelmed, remember that you can always add more information as time goes on. Look at it from your own perspective. When you go to a website and you don’t find the information you are looking for, do you look elsewhere? Before your customers get to that point, hopefully you have answered some of their questions and they can give you a call.



5 Ways to Make More Money With Your Web Site

5 Ways to Make More Money With Your Web Site

We all want to make more money with our web sites. There are ways you can invest to get quicker
results. These 5 tips are ways we have seen that are critical in order for your web site to draw
in more clients, which means more ka-ching, ka-ching for your business:

1) Get your web site built by a professional organization.

Some professional web design companies (like Midwest Web Design) have been studying the way
of the internet for years and have watched it grow into the useful tool it is today for
information and business. Getting your web site built by a professional web design company
takes advantage of this knowledge. A business can save huge amounts of time and energy
that they can spend on building other parts of their business, such as advertising,
infrastructure, future contacts, etc.

2) Invest in search engine optimization for your site.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as they call it in the business, can have a huge effect on the profitability of your web site. SEO helps a web site to be found easier in the search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. With approximately 92% of people online using search engines to find information online, it is obvious why companies would like to rank higher up in the search engines. SEO deals with keywords, descriptions, densities, articles and other bits of information that are picked up by professional web design companies.

“Having a web site built by a professional organization does have its benefits”

Don’t be fooled by internet marketers that promise “Number 1 Spots on Google,” this is not the sign of a professional. Prorofessional web design companies that know Google won’t promise a “Number 1 Spot” and they also won’t run away with your money once you paid. We have seen clients who went with these internet marketers because of what they “offered” and have came back to us feeling taken advantage of and left with an empty wallet. Once again, having your web site built by a professional organization does have its benefits!

3) Make your site useful and easy to navigate and read for your visitors.

You should be making your site valuable to customers by showing:

  • Business Hours
  • Services/Products
  • Offers or Coupons
  • Company History
  • Email Address
  • Having the Site Easy to Navigate

Each of these are key ingredients for customers to find your web site useful. We highly recommend our clients to have all of the above.

A web site also needs to be easy to navigate. Less clutter and making your site easy to navigate can make a difference sometimes overnight. Don’t be fooled by thinking you have to have a graphically-heavy web site in order to have customers order from you. In our experience, the more simple the better, both from a user standpoint and from a search engine standpoint.

4) Add your web site to your other forms of advertising.

We are amazed at the number of businesses that do not have their web site listed on all their forms of advertising. It is one of the most valuable forms of advertising in business today. Period. The more information you have on your web site, the better. Customer make decisions while they are on a web site. Think about it, without a web site they are unable to make any decisions and you won’t get the sale.

5) Invest in internet marketing for the search engines.

Companies such as Google, Yahoo, MSN and others offer services that allow a business to be placed in certain positions that will drive targeted customers to your site. Don’t be fooled by internet marketing services that promise 800 clicks a month. You want targeted traffic to your site. Targeted traffic offers the best conversion rate from visitor to customer.

These are some of the easiest ways to make more money with your web site. Keep in mind that having a professional web design company build your web site will maximize your time and stretch your advertising dollars. They know all the little tricks and shortcuts that will help you use your web site as a tool to make more money the most effective way possible.



Organic Search Engine Listings and P.P.C Search Engine Listings: How can they benefit my web site?

Organic Search Engine Listings and P.P.C Search Engine Listings

What is all this talk about how the search engines can help my business make sales? If you are wondering how the search engines can benefit your business in terms of ROI, you’ll want to pay attention and find out the main differences between the two types of internet advertising.

First, the main search engine we will be talking about is Google. Google has a majority of the market share when it comes to searches made on the internet. There are other search engines which have similar programs, (such as Yahoo or MSN as well as others) but in our opinion, at this time Google does the best job of coming up with the most relevant results. We will use them as an example so you have a better idea of what to expect when advertising your web site on the internet.

google's organic search and price per click search breakdown

“Organic Listings”

Organic listings are the results that come up when a person conducts a search on Google. The organic results come up in the middle of the page, or the left of the screen, however you view it. Organic listings are the web sites that are most relevant to the words used by the person’s search. It is rumored that Google’s search algorithm looks over 200 factors to gauge how relevant a web site is when relating it to keywords that a user types into their search engine.

What this means to the business owner is this:

There are many factors that are considered in order to appear in the organic listings in Google. Unless you have the time and energy to learn about:

  • Meta tags
  • Search directories (both good and bad)
  • Paid search directories that pull greater weight with search engines
  • Writing articles
  • All the other aspects relating to showing up higher in the search engines

We recommend that companies leave it to a professional web design company to make the best use of your money.

“PPC listings”

PPC stands for “price per click.” This type of listing is located on the right side of the screen when Google search results are displayed. Companies set up an account with Google and they let customers bid on keywords. When a customer bids on a certain keyword, Google looks at what others are bidding for the keyword and then circulates your ad with others according to an algorithm and the amount of a person’s maximum price per click for a given keyword.

“We recommend that companies leave it to a professional web design company to make the best use of your money.”

What this means to the business owner is this:

This type of campaign can be done by anyone, but just like anything else, what you are paying for is some experience. If you don’t know what you are doing, a PPC campaign can cost huge amounts of money and have very little return on your ROI. If you have the time to set up a PPC campaign and do the research then try it out. Otherwise you might be interested in hiring a professional web design company that knows how to optimize and outperform the competition to make the most of your online advertising budget.

What’s better Organic or Price Per Click?

To say one type of listing is better than the other is incorrect. Like anything else, a little of each is the best in our professional opinion. We believe that (and have seen a trend) that suggests that PPC will continue to grow and be the fastest way to have a web site listed higher up in search results and in front of customers who use Google to perform searches. Although most people look at organic listings, the ability to appear on the first or second page is getting harder every day. Competitors are putting more and more money into trying to achieve first or second page status on competitive keywords. It is definitely possible to rank on the first or second page of Google, but be prepared to open your wallet.

Which should I choose?

Here are 5 things to think about when you wish to do some search engine optimization or search engine marketing for your site:

  1. Main goal of your campaign
  2. Your budget
  3. What products or services are most profitable for your company?
  4. Should I hire a professional or should I try this myself?
  5. What type of image do I wish to portray?

The main goal of the campaign should be very clear. It is necessary to know what you are trying to achieve so that the steps that follow will be a smooth sequence, be consistent and will not confuse your potential customers.

The budget you have available is another key consideration to look at when thinking of taking your web site to the next level of internet advertising. Don’t think that you will have an organic first page Google ranking for a competitive keyword for $20. You are investing in your business, not buying a t-shirt at a circus. Clients usually spend between $100-$2000/month to get decent rankings for organic rankings as well as PPC. The name of the game is ROI. A $2000/month online advertising bill is not much, when it could possibly bring in $15,000-$25,000/month in new sales.

“When considering an online marketing campaign, be sure to look at which items or services make your company the most money.”

When considering an online marketing campaign, be sure to look at which items or services make your company the most money. For example, if you have a construction company and your average profit for a roofing job is $1,700 and your average profit for building porches is $5,000, then you should obviously advertise both, but emphasize porches. Invest your time in building the part of your business that makes the most money for the time invested.

The question of whether a company should track the optimization by themselves is a question that should be answered before the campaign starts.

  • Are you going to put a full time staff member to take care of all the factors in implementing and running your online advertising?
  • Who is going to take care of updating the web site and links?
  • Paid search directories that pull greater weight with search engines
  • What tools will you use to make sure you are making the most of your online advertising campaign?
  • What about all the other aspects relating to showing up higher in the search engines?

All in all, there are many factors that go into optimizing and advertising your web site online. I wouldn’t even think about building a house by myself. The amount of time and energy invested would be overwhelming, not to mention the tools, knowledge of city building codes and permits and teams of people that are needed to accomplish a project of that size. We recommend that you let a professional organization take care of your web site optimization and marketing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when comparing the organic and PPC search results. Organic search results are based on the web pages’ relevancy to the keywords typed into the search engine. PPC is a quick way to have a site listed on or near the top and it is based on the keyword chosen and the highest bid for that keyword. It is recommended that organic and PPC are used simultaneously to reach different types of consumers who look at each type of listing, to draw the most visitors to your web site. We highly recommend that clients wanting to start a search engine campaign talk to a professional web design company that has experience with search engine optimization and search engine marketing that will help achieve the maximum return on investment and stretch their marketing dollar as far as possible. In the end, making yourself easy to find makes a difference. Your clients will thank you for that by helping build your business.



Web Site Redesign: Redesign Your Web Site and See Astonishing Results

Web Site Redesign

We see many web sites that need redesigns. We call them “cob webs.” There is nothing more annoying (well, within reason : -)) than a web site that scrolls horizontally, uses flashing text, has pictures from the 80’s, loads slowly and is hard to navigate. I’m sure you all are familiar with the web sites I’m talking about. Well, these sites not only reflect poorly on the designer, but also on the company image. When you, a business person, think about all the money that is tied up into your business, the last thing you want is customers to look at your image and gasp in horror at confusing messages and leave your web site and go to a competitor. Especially when building a professional looking web site is so easy to have done.

Deciding to get the web site redesign

When a web site redesign is started, there is a quick sigh of relief! A poorly designed web site is equivalent to showing up to your movie premier in Hollywood with an 80’s style afro wearing a light blue and brown striped polyester suit, with pink leg-warmers. You get the idea. What type of business image do you want to leave with a customer?

“What type of business image do you want to leave with a customer?”

When a web site is designed properly, the results can be dramatic. One of the “good” things about your web site online is that your domain name has been maturing on the internet, and is probably indexed with some of the search engines. This is a HUGE plus. Newly purchased domain names usually have a delay for indexing on the internet, called a “Sand Box Effect.” This means that Google is trying to make sure that the organization (business, non-profit, personal site) behind the domain name is “reputable.” What happens is that the domain name will not show up in Google searches anywhere between 3-9 months. Yes, 3-9 months.

A word of warning about some “SEO Professionals” and their infamous promise of a #1 Google spot

Don’t be fooled by those “seo professionals” that promise you fast #1 spots on Google. They often make unrealistic promises, take your money and before you know it, your site will be banned from Google. And with Google getting approximately 90% of the search engine market share, being banned is definitely not where you want to be. So with a mature domain name, businesses can be found on the search engines faster than a newly designed web site. Also, when users get to your site they should know how to get around to find the products or services that you offer.

“We also highly recommend that all of our clients have contact information (phone number, email address, instant message, etc) on each page.”

Navigation is extremely important for visitors

Another aspect the professional web design company will look at is the number of web pages your web site needs and the resulting type of navigation that should be used. This step is critical in order to see great results from a redesign campaign. It is very important for the user to know relatively where they are in a web site. It’s even more important to know how to get around (and where you would like to lead them!). The user should know where the navigation is and it should be consistent on each page. We also highly recommend that all of our clients have contact information (phone number, email address, instant message, etc) on each page, so in the event that a user would like to contact the company, they don’t have to leave the page they are on and navigate back to the page they are interested in. Navigation is a definite key in seeing impressive results from a web site redesign. Navigation is also part of the overall design of the web site and when critiqued correctly, your visitors will thank you in the form of referrals and repeat sales.

Last but not necessarily least, the overall design

Finally, the other important detail of having your web site redesigned is the “look and feel.” You may be asking “Well, why is this part last? Isn’t it the most important?” and the answer is most likely “no.” As any web design professional will tell you, one of the main goals of having a web site is being able to see some ROI. We have talked to countless CEO’s and business owners and they have all expressed the same concerns:

  1. How can I use this to make money?
  2. How can I justify spending the money?

Many web sites online make money. How? Most likely they were ranking in the search engines and they were easy to navigate, so the user could find the product or service and contact the business. The overall design has little to do with making the sale, but it still is am important piece. The design should be:

  • Consistent
  • Crisp
  • Flowing
  • Not confusing
  • Clear

A word of wisdom from a professional web design company

As a web design and SEO professional, I encourage you to be aware of the needs of your viewer. It is they who you are building the site for in the first place. Make it easy for them to find your products and/or services, contact you and do business with and you will see the great results or your investment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a web site redesign can be an extremely valuable investment when done correctly. Optimizing for the search engines will ensure viewers easily come across your web site. Making the web site easy to navigate will make sure the viewer can easily navigate where they want, when they want. The overall design of the site is important. It should be clean and crisp, but it shouldn’t be the main focus. Having your web site built by a professional web site company will make sure that all these areas are covered and you will be on your way to converting more users to customers from your web site redesign.