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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Get a Professional

It happens time after time, and I'm seeing it more and more.

Money is tight and everyone who wants a website, is suddenly a website developer. There are literally hundreds of online website building applications out there, so it's easy to fall into the trap of maybe thinking you can design a website.

So, when I ask small businesses if they want me to design a website for them, I often get the answer, No thanks, I've built my own" or "I'll build my own for free".

Sooner or later those people will drop an e-mail in my in-box that says "er... how do I get on google?"

This is the point that I can get to tell them why they should have used a professional right from the start.

Sometimes the sites they have built are horrendous and fly in the face of any good web design, and are sure to send the visitor off to a competitor with a grimace, others are quite good but the content could do with a little optimising. But the point is that how a site LOOKS and what it says is just 10 percent of the job, unless you know how to optimise content, and make the site search engine friendly..

In the worse case, the web builder will not allow them to include SEO to the level required to keep search bots happy; at best, the software will, but a) it's gobbledegook and b) they don't know how to optimise, and c) if they did; wouldn't know where to start.

That's when I usually get to re-do their website for them.

If you must DIY a website, make sure that the website builder will let you do the fundamentals.

1. You can add keyword metadata (preferably for each page not just the site).
2. You can add description metadata (again preferably for every page).
3. When you add text that you are aware of whether it is Title or body.
4. That you can add a site map (and know how to offer it to Google)
5. That you can add HTML snippets in the right places so you can validate your website with Google, and sign up for Google Analytics.

Beyond this, your site content will be absolute king, and it must be highly relevant to what people are searching for.

If you are selling 'Brass Widgets', and expect people to put 'Brass Widgets' in the search engine; then your landing page must be about 'Brass Widgets'; not who you are and how long the company has been trading. Google will pass you by if you design your site that way.

But above all, remember that your website is a VERY important tool for your business. It's no good just slapping a few pages on the web and thinking that's all there is to it. It's not, and it's expensive to find that out.

HW Marketing UK are the Chichester Web Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £200.

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