I receive a lot of calls regarding websites. It’s confusing to most people and unless you’re entrenched in this media it’s likely you find it all frustrating and so you put it off, filing it in the ‘too hard’ pile.

Common questions I get are:

Can you get me on page 1 of Google? Sure, but depending on your business it could cost you many thousands of dollars each month to stay there. This is a big misconception about websites, what’s far more profitable for your business is to speak to your target audience and show them why they should choose to do business with you.

I have a website, but it’s looking tired. Can you help? Absolutely! But I need to know the goal of your site and the part it plays in your business before we can get started, and even before I can get you a quote. If your site looks like it was built in 1999, then it likely needs to be refreshed. If the content is still good and it’s ranking, then perhaps change up images, font (so many more are now readable by the search engines), tie in all your social media, etc. First impressions are everything. And please (I beg you) remove the counter at the bottom of your site. That’s a dead giveaway your site should be put out to pasture.

I used a canned solution for my site and it’s not performing. Any suggestions? Depending on the solution you’re currently using, you may have to start from scratch. I won’t mention names here, but there are some that simply won’t work because they cannot be read by the search engines. Thankfully, WordPress has made it a lot less expensive than it used to be get a new site, so for under $75 (and sometimes even under $50) purchasing a template that can be customized is a great solution.

Not all websites are created equal. For example, if you’re an artist or designer, you may want to use your site as a digital portfolio to showcase your work. If this is the case, then fewer words and more visuals are the way to go. I wouldn’t recommend spending on SEO or related items. I’d just make sure the images are the highest quality they can be (but, please…protect yourself by using watermarks and/or copyrights on your original works.)

Or, if you’re selling product you’ll likely want a fully-optimized site picking up all the keywords that people search on so they can find your site.

[Quick note here: just because it’s found doesn’t mean they’ll purchase from you. That takes a lot more strategy and includes many other moving parts.]

What if you’re a service provider (like my business is)? Then you want testimonials, lots of content highlighting you’re expertise, perhaps case studies or white papers too. SEO is important here so that you incorporate the phrases needed so people can find you.

Websites are critical to your business success, but each business must tailor their site accordingly. Using the right blend of images, words, content, great strategy, calls to action, and more all with a great marketing spin is the key to success.

Once your site is done, the real marketing begins. You can’t stop there. Your site is just one marketing tool of many to build a sustainable marketing presence in your targeted audience.

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