Why does my local business need a website?

If you are a new business or an existing one without a website you maybe overwhelmed with options and a sense of being oversold. Budgets are tight and you want to ensure you get what you pay for so a good place to start is to identify the reasons why you need a website at its basic level.

In simple terms a website provides you online ‘shop front’ for your business. It demonstrates that you are a ‘bona fide’ company, have an air of professionalism and it goes hand in hand with your business card & flyers.

It needs to explain who you are, what you do in simple terms, where you do it and demonstrate your work via testimonial and/or pictures. It is imperative this is fast to load and easily accessible on a phone.

Critically it provides a quick and simple mechanism for people to get in touch which

  • Facilitates existing clients and their referrals
  • Provides new customers a way of finding you and getting in contact.

For existing clients & referrals

In this day and age people are bombarded with information and so much is transitory. Customers may not always save numbers year on year or may not be able to find them; especially if written on a scrap of paper. They may want to know if still in business or contact you during a job if their schedule changes.

The same applies to referrals, if a neighbour or friend asks who did the garden they are just as likely to pull up a website on a phone or ipad and send a link.

So optimization for mobile phones is paramount.

If you are not online but your competition is or their information is clearer and easier to find than yours, they will get the call not you.

Getting new business & appearing in search engines

A website provides the opportunity for new customers to find you and get in touch. This is dependent on how well you appear within search engines; a product of how the site is built and how prominent your online profile is.

All sites I build are optimized for search engines by default: using WordPress and by advising on the copy you use. I also register your site with Google and Bing so that they can index it.

How you are ranked in search engines next to your competitors is then dependent on raising your online profiled – being listed in directories, linked to from other sites, recommended or mentioned by other people on the internet forums as well as profiles and recommendations in places like Facebook.

Simply having a website cannot guarantee search engine visibility. If a similar company in a similar area has a higher profile then it will be indexed as a site of greater interest than yours.

However, this is built up over time. It’s a balance between budget, your time and the energy you want to spend or can justify.

If this is your first site and/or a new business I generally recommend re-visiting this once the site is up.

Do not hesitate to contact me with further questions

 

Start the new year with a new website or landing page for your business or new venture.

If you’ve started a new business or thinking about it then now is a really good time to get the wheels in motion, equally if your current web site needs a revamp or you need advice on how to get more from the web then speak to AgilityWeb.

If you’re not ready for a website yet then now may also be a good time to secure your domain name and get  landing page up so you can start registering interest and get recognized by search engines.

AgilityWeb specialises in html5, Drupal and WordPress websites that are mobile enabled and track your visitors for you.

I can provide technical advice and office productivity support including domain names, hosting and basic IT support.

I’ve worked across all sectors and advised for sole traders, small businesses and enterprises alike.

I can help with content and copy writing as well as provide custom graphics or work with existing partners.

AgilityWeb provide discounts for those trading in Lambeth and Croydon or those on the NEA scheme.

Get in contact today

The importance of SEO

I’m often asked about the importance of SEO so I thought I’d compile a few thoughts from the last year.

Moz.com summarizes it perfectly.

“SEO is the practice of improving and promoting a web site in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to you on the web. Sometimes SEO is simply a matter of making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand.

Search Engine Optimization isn’t just about “engines.” It’s about making your site better for people too.”

(From http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo)

However SEO isn’t simply a technical exercise to get more people to your website; it must work in conjunction with the content you have and if the two work hand in hand then you will see results over time. The bottom line is that whilst a website that is optimized for search engines may start to attract more traffic there has to be something meaningful when a visitor gets there otherwise the point is lost.

Clear navigation, concisely written copy, non-ambiguous content as promised and a site that works are all equally, if not more important.

A site that people return to or recommend is worth a lot more than a site visited once and forgotten.

Start the year by spring cleaning your dead or erroneous content and give something back to your visitors!

Here are a few links to help optimize your content.

http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

http://plainsimpleseo.com/

http://www.thewonderforest.com/2013/06/seo-basics-for-bloggers-10-tips-for.html

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/10/22/blog-seo-tips#.

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/10/02/50-one-sentence-seo-tips-for-bloggers/

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-ways-to-optimize-your-blog-for-search-engines/

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