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Getting a Poor Return on Your Website? Try SEO or Internet marketing!

Website ROI

We hear it all the time. Companies contact us and say, “My website is not working, can you do something about it?” We then go out to their website and it is a horrid mix of broken links, missing images, misspellings and multi-colored font sizes and colors all over the website.

“Yes, we can help.”

We usually end up starting from scratch and discussing with the client what the goal of the website is. Then we explain the process of SEO and internet marketing and what kind of effects it can have on a customer’s business. Almost immediately, the client’s eyes open wide and they say, “Yes, we should go that route.”

SEO and Internet Marketing Effects

The effect that SEO and internet marketing can have on your website also is dependent upon your budget. These campaigns are time intensive, but can have a significant impact on your bottom line. We have seen clients rank #1 after just an initial clean up on their websites. We have also worked to get high rankings a little farther down the road. Either way, it is invaluable to start building your website base as soon as possible.

Climbing the Search Result Ladder

As an SEO and internet marketing campaign is being executed, you should be able to see your listings climb up for the targeted keywords. This will allow more people to come across your website and learn about what you have to offer. In our experience, we have seen many sites climb the rankings and then fall, but usually they end up closer to the top in the long run. This is in part to Google sifting through what you are offering them in accordance with relevant information for the particular search query. I believe it also has been termed the “Google Dance”.

That’s all great, but can I really see results?

Yes. Will it make you a millionaire immediately? Probably not, but it can definitely help with increasing sales from the internet. The more places your website comes up in front of searchers, the more likely they are to learn more about your business and do business with you. More often than not, it is important to rank highly to get in front of the searcher so they can quickly solve a problem that they have.



The Economy: What we have noticed

Recessions and business

I believe everyone by now has heard of the recession that we are all in. Some businesses have fared just fine. Some have gone out of business but one thing is certain, it is not pretty out there. We have also felt the recession mainly because we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes and some have been hit pretty hard. Lately though, we have seen some light on the horizon and it seems as though things are picking up out there.

What we have noticed

The time frame I’m speaking within is about January 1, 2009 through August 24, 2009. We talk to many businesses and early this year we heard many stories that businesses were cutting back. Any B2B (business-to-business) can most likely agree that it has been a little slower lately. Lately though, the business owners we have been chatting with are opening up to the idea of spending more money and increasing their business. This is a great sign for anyone in the advertising industry, partly because in a recession scenario, advertising is one of the first things to be cut.

What you can expect

While businesses deal with the current economic conditions, you can bet they are looking for ways to stay in business. This usually means that businesses that can help them spend less and be more efficient will be in demand. You can also expect that most of the businesses that are choosing to do nothing during a recession will be going out of business. This will also mean that the customers that those businesses served will be looking for other companies to complete the work. If your businesses is able to pull through these tough times, I imagine the internet and a great sales staff will be key to the survival. You can also expect the internet to grow, even through the recession. People will tend to stay at home and use tools that they are already paying for. They will also be looking for additional ways to save money, ways to educate themselves, cheaper products and services and coupon shop. All of this brought to their doorstep by the internet, courtesy of web designers everywhere.

Bootstrap marketing ideas

If your business is in rough shape, you may find help on the internet for some ways to get the word out about what you offer. I would recommend sitting with key decision makers in your organization and brain storming for ideas that could help you get the word out. Here are a few:

  • PPC (pay per click) search engine campaign
  • SEO (search engine optimization) optimize your business for the search engines
  • Write articles for your website
  • Restructure your website
  • Keyword research
  • Call your current clients and ask how they are doing and if they need additional services
  • Add some additional services to your business
  • Go to a few tradeshows and strike up conversations with business owners that could use your services
  • Send out a mailer to businesses you’d like to work with. Add on a great offer.
  • Think of where your potential customers might go to find more information about the industry you serve. Send an article to a magazine that they read.

Chin up! Charge the mountain!

Staying motivated is necessary in a recession climate. Keeping all sales staff on top of their game and looking at the bright side of what is happening can have a positive effect on your business. Recessions are part of today’s economy. If you structure your business the right way, you will roll right though a down economy and be in a position and pick up business that your used-to-be competitors dropped.



Increase ROI with a pay per click (PPC) website campaign

Increase Website ROI

Many companies today are currently using PPC campaigns to bring in jobs from the search engines. It is a great way to immediately get in front of potential customers and see if there is a demand for your product or service. It is also possible to closer track where those visitors came from and make a decision to continue with the campaign or to move dollars to other forms of advertising.

It’s working for others…and it can work for you

Many businesses have already taken the plunge and are grabbing clients that could have been yours. There is a reason that it is almost impossible to pick up any publication and not see some article talking about the search engines and how your business should be in the listings. It is a valuable tool to get in front of prospective buyers and let them know what you can do for them.

Immediately get in front of searchers

With a PPC campaign, it is possible to run a campaign with your ad at the top of the search results for a couple of months and see what type of conversions you get through the website. This is a great way to see if it is worth it to get into the top spots in the “organic” search results that appear when an online visitor searches the search engines. It is also possible to switch text in the ad and test different variations to see if one ad has a higher conversion rate. It is these characteristics of a PPC campaign that keep companies coming back to the search engines for sales increases.

Tracking Sales

Tracking sales from a PPC campaign is one of the reasons why so many companies are switching to online advertising with the search engines. It is possible to see what the user clicked on, how long they were viewing your website and the pages they went to on your website. Another great part of a PPC campaign is that if it isn’t working, you can stop after the initial campaign and use those dollars for something else. Tracking all of these factors can give the owner a better understanding of where their website stands in the buying process and what to improve to turn visitors into customers.

So, if you have a marketing budget and are willing to give internet marketing a try in the search engine realm, take the plunge and see if your business has what it takes to increase ROI with the help from the search engines.



Professional Website Design Services for Professional Businesses

Professional Website Design Services

Why have a professional website design?

In today’s world, a website is an extremely useful tool. I can’t think of another advertising tool as versatile and effective than a professional website design. We have all seen the “Build It Tonight” website templates, but when it comes to being found on the search engines, you’re better off having the professionals get the job done right.

Professional Website Design + SEO = Traffic = Conversions = $$$

PLUS it is important to take in the value of Client Retention, how long they will be customers and other services you can provide for them

Establish Trust and Credibility

Establishing trust and credibility is very important on the internet. Recently I was searching for a lawn care provider to take care of my lawn. I found a few in my area on the search engines and had a look at their websites.

One of the websites had an incomplete “About Us” page with random text. Why would I go with a company that can not even come up with text on a page that is so vital when someone is looking to find more information about their company?

Having all the pages on your website filled with relevant text about your business should be priority number one. This is your opportunity to showcase your professional business on the internet.

Usability

Having a website that is easy to navigate is one of the true signs that a professional web design company is indeed a professional. When visitors are able to contact you from any page, find the information they are looking for and able to make a decision, that is when you know your website was built professionally.

Additional Products/Services You Have to Offer

When your visitors know about the other products and services you have to offer on your website, it is a great way to increase sales and show that you are a professional company. When you have that additional information about your other products and services, visitors can learn more about those specific items or services you offer and establish that professional image that you want to portray.

When a little extra thought is put into the information you are placing on your website it can help your visitors make decisions is another way how you know that your website was designed professionally.

Lead Generation

When your website is educating potential clients and letting them know more about what you can offer them, they can make a buying decision. Leads are generated everyday by a company’
s professionally designed website. It is important to have these leads contact you by email, phone or any way possible! Having your website generate leads for you also cuts down on the time you have to educate those potential customers because they will already have done some research on your website.

When it comes to getting your professional business website built, let a professional web design services company use their experience, expertise and knowledge work for you. It will save you money in the long run, and continue to build up your professional image.



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.