The web is not just a marketing tool – it’s a business tool as well.
A good website will help you inform your customers in a timely manner, gain valuable market research, reduce support and customer service costs, reach a broad audience with a message, find sales leads, conduct e-commerce, gain advertising revenue, brand your company, build trust, and reduce printing and mailing costs.
A professional website presence can enhance your marketing efforts and serve as an online presentation of your information. If you ever considered updating your website, perhaps now is the right time. Please consider the following factors when choosing your web development team:
Before making a website decision, it is recommended to evaluate what you are trying to get from a website? Are you building an online store? Are you building a website that requires a constant update such as specials, new events, etc? Or are you looking for a blogging system with ability to post comments?
Today’s technology offers a variety of publishing platforms and Content Management Systems (CMS) tailored to all sorts of purposes, and saves you time and sometimes money by providing the ability to manage and update your site effectively.
Some CMS platforms offer a variety of features that meet all of your website requirements and are scalable so you can add on custom features as you grow your business. Some are limited and provide short term solution. Regardless of what you choose, make sure the platform or system promotes your website more than it promotes the platform itself.
For example, WordPress is a blogging platform that gives you the opportunity to blog on a daily basis, and is free, but is not part of your website. Also, WordPress is not flexible enough to allow you to publish web content across social networking websites such as Facebook or Twitter or bookmarking websites such as Digg or Technorati.
Design should have appeal or energy. Elements such as strong background, sliding images, video from a president or spokesperson can enhance the website as well. Be cautious with Flash technology, although still popular with many, it limits ability to use “BACK” button and offers poor integration with search. Your new design should go along with new technology, and offer flexibility and functionality.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Keywords are the cornerstone of every SEO campaign. The keywords that identify the company or the industry, and most importantly drive traffic to your site must be present on all of your pages and not just your home page. Also, your website must support all browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, or MAC vs. PC environment)
URL Friendly Links
In order for Search engines (Yahoo, Google, and MSN) to cradle (index) your site, your URL links must be recognizable. If your pages says “Services”, your URL link must say so.
Static vs. Dynamic
Static sites do not provide site administrators with ability to change or control the web site content. Data driven or dynamic sites developed with Content Management System (CMS) give site administrators full control to manage every aspect of web content such as text, video and/or images without the help of a web designer or knowledge of HTML. CMS offers administrators an ability to have unlimited amount of web pages, create and maintain company’s news or press releases, update staff listing, have forum for members, upload files or videos, update forms for inquiries, and much more. To stay competitive, websites must be regularly updated, providing fresh, relevant content to your customers, so CMS is a must. Do your research to find a CMS Platform that provides the most functionality and offers competitive cost.
Social Media Marketing
Marketing with social media is a powerful strategy, the process of which involves promoting your website or business through social media channels—such as Facebook and Twitter—to build stronger traffic, brand awareness and user-generated content.
Social media marketing is a low-cost marketing method that will easily give you large numbers of visitors, which a business will be able to retain provided there is solid and relevant information on your website.
Companies that have implemented social media into their online marketing have been able to see immediate results. Evaluate and compare all the social media platforms available on the web to see which platform will support your business strategy and help your business achieve online goals more effectively.