What to ask your web provider: Part 1
As promised, here is my first what to ask your web provider article. In pondering what I wanted to write for the first issue, I realized that you need to start with a self assessment of your business/organization’s needs.
When you begin your google search for website designers/companies, get ready for the “kitchen sink”. To prepare you for this exciting journey, ask your team the following questions. This should get you started in the right direction.
- How will the website compliment our business/organization?
- What features are important for our type of business/organization?
- Do our competitors have websites and what features do they have?
- Can our target customer find us on the internet?
- Who is / is not visiting our current website?
- Are you social?
Ok, some of this is sales/marketing 101 and some is to test what you know or don’t know about websites. I’ll skip to a discussion about phonebooks. Gone are the days of paying for the pretty yellow page advertisements so that your customers can find you. In are the days of making sure your target customers can find you online.
Your first challenge is to google your business/organizations name and see what you can find or not find. If you find that your business name is easily found you can move on to the next article. If not, we have to have a discussion.
If you have been paying for a company to help you appear online, start asking them for ranking reports. Yes, keyword ranking reports exist and they should be able to show your website’s ranking for searches that matter to your business/organization. If your website partner is not able to do this, I would seriously question your investment in their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Granted, SEO optimization is not always included in web design contracts. Dust off your agreement and see if you are paying for SEO optimization.
If you are not paying for web optimization, you need to figure out why your business/organization is not appearing for search terms that it should be. Suggested first step is to go to google.com and type the following:
- site:yourdomain.com (in my case I would type in site:smbbridge.com)
This simple web search will show you any page, post, image, etc… that is indexed by google for your website. If nothing shows up, you have a big problem (assuming your website name has been around at least a week or so). If your website pages do appear, you know that some of your pages are indexed at google. In this case, you need to start looking at your website’s use of keywords, meta tags, and meta descriptions to make sure they are ideal for your business. This may seem elementary to some. However, I have acquired clients who had no SEO settings in place (YIKES!). That’s the equivalent of a printed phone book listing in an uncategorized section.
Ok, I probably lost your attention or close to it by now. Stay tuned for our next weekly article and thank you for visiting our blog! Feel free to leave comments on topics you would like to see or feedback on this post.