(704) 706-5432

K Town Design Blog

Small Business and Church Solutions
Small Business Website Build Needs

Small Business Website Build Needs

Does My Small Business Need a Website?

Well, probably, it depends on your needs.

Don’t just have a website because everyone else does. It needs to be part of your business plan and part of a strategy.

Let’s look at some data first

(How many times consumers used the internet to find a local business in the past 12 months. Photo credit: Search Engine Land)

https://www.yelpblog.com/2012/04/survey-85-of-consumers-use-the-internet-to-find-local-businesses

  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Only about 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. (Econsultancy, 2016)
  • The first position on Google search results on desktop has a 34.36% clickthrough rate. (Advanced Web Ranking, 2015) The first position on Google search results on mobile has a 31.35% clickthrough rate.
  • (Advanced Web Ranking, 2015) For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them. (Econsultancy, 2016)
  • Ecommerce 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. (Retailing Today, 2014) 44% of people go directly to Amazon to start their product searches, compared to 34% who use search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to search for products. (Marketing Land, 2015)
  • Mobile commerce makes up 30% of all U.S. ecommerce. (Internet Retailer, 2015)
  • Local SEO 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (WordStream, 2016) 30% of mobile searches are related to a location. (Google, 2016) 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. (Google, 2016) Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day. (Google, 2014) 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases. (Search Engine Land, 2014)
  • Mobile Search More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan. (Google, 2015) 49% of B2B researchers who use their mobile devices for product research do so while at work. (Google, 2015) 65% of smartphone users agree that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information. (Google, 2015) 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their smartphone. (Google, 2015) 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine. (Smart Insights, 2016) 26% of consumers start mobile research with a branded app. (Smart Insights, 2016) Organic Search Google gets over 100 billion searches a month. (Mashable, 2015)
  • The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words. (Backlinko, 2016)
    • 50% of search queries are four words or longer. (WordStream, 2016)
    • 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2017)
    • 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search. (Google, 2015)
    • B2B researchers do 12 searches on average prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. (Google, 2014)
    • 72% of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic. (Ascend2, 2015)
    • 40% of marketers say the most challenging obstacle to search engine optimization success is changing search algorithms. (Ascend2, 2015)
    • Voice Search 19% of people use Siri at least daily. (HubSpot, 2015)
      • 37% use Siri,
      • 23% use Microsoft’s Cortana AI,
      • 19% use Amazon’s Alexa AI at least monthly. (HubSpot, 2015)
      • 20% of search queries on Google’s mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. (Search Engine Land, 2016)
      • 60% of smartphone users who use voice search have begun using it within the past year, with 41% of survey respondents having only begun to use voice search in the past six months. (Search Engine Land, 2015)
      • 43% of mobile voice search users do so because they say it is quicker than going on a website or using an app. (Statista, 2015)
      • 21% of mobile voice search users do so because they say they don’t like typing on their mobile. (Statista, 2015)

(Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statisticsInternet Statistics 2017)

https://hostingfacts.com/internet-facts-stats-2016/

  • There are now 3.74 billion Internet users in the world as at March 2017. This is compared to 3.26 billion Internet users in 2016.
  • Asia is the continent with the most Internet users. In fact, interestingly, the number and percentage of Internet users in Asia has gone up compared to 2016. Asia now accounts for 50.1 percent, or more than half, of all Internet users in the world. The runner up is Europe, with 17 percent of all Internet users.
  • China has the most Internet users of all country. At over 731 million Internet users at the time of writing this, China currently accounts for more than 25 percent of Internet users worldwide — a notable increase compared to 21.97 percent of worldwide Internet users from last year.
  • The number of people using the Internet in China is more than double the population of the U.S.
  • As at January 2017, the United Arab Emirates is the country with the highest Internet penetration in the world — with an impressive 99 percent of its citizens, or about 9.2 million people, using the Internet.
  • The internet influenced sales to the tune of $2.1 trillion in 2016.
  • For the very first time in history, with a projected $205 billion Internet ad spend compared to a projected TV ad spend of $192 billion, global internet advertising spend is expected to exceed TV advertising spend in 2017.
  • Over 2 million blog posts are published on the Internet every day.
  • Over 5.5 billion Google searches are made every day.
  • Domain Name Statistics 2017
  • There are currently over 330.6 million registered domain names as at the first quarter of 2017. This explains why it can be difficult coming up with a good domain name that is yet to be taken. Thankfully, we have prepared a list of domain name generators for you.
  • Domain name registrations have grown by 3.7 percent year over year.
  • About 38.8 percent of all domain names use the leading .com domain name extension.
  • There are 1,547 domain name extensions (TLDs) as at the 17th of August 2017.
  • The most expensive domain name ever sold is LasVegas.com, which was bought in 2005 for a whopping $90 million.
  • Web Hosting/Website Statistics and Facts 2017
  • As at August 2017, there are 1.24 billion websites in the world.
  • The world’s first website was published on August 6, 1991 by British physicist Tim Berners-Lee.
  • 51.8 percent of all internet traffic comes from bots, while only 48.2 percent of internet traffic comes from humans.

What does it take to have a Website for your business?

  • Hosting: You will need to have a place on a server. That server needs to be maintained and protected from hacking and malware. That server needs to be quickly (site loads in less than 5 seconds) available to consumers in your market area.
  • You need a Content management System (CMS): This is software that decides how to format and organize your site content and make it updateable. There are many types but a few of the most popular are Word Press, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
  1. A content management system (CMS): manages the creation and modification of digital content. It typically supports multiple users in a collaborative environment.
  2. CMS features vary widely. Most CMSs include Web-based publishing, format management, history editing and version control, indexing, search, and retrieval. By their nature, content management systems support the separation of content and presentation.
  3. A web content management system (WCM or WCMS) is a CMS designed to support the management of the content of Web pages. Most popular CMSs are also WCMSs. Web content includes text and embedded graphics, photos, video, audio, maps, and program code (e.g., for applications) that displays content or interacts with the user.
  4. Such a content management system (CMS) typically has two major components:
  5. A content management application (CMA) is the front-end user interface that allows a user, even with limited expertise, to add, modify, and remove content from a website without the intervention of a webmaster.
  6. A content delivery application (CDA) compiles that information and updates the website.
  7. Digital asset management systems are another type of CMS. They manage content with clearly defined author or ownership, such as documents, movies, pictures, phone numbers, and scientific data. Companies also use CMSs to store, control, revise, and publish documentation.
  8. Based on market share statistics, the most popular content management system is WordPress, used by over 28% of all websites on the internet, and by 59% of all websites using a known content management system. Other popular content management systems include Sitecore, Joomla and Drupal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_management_system

  • Uniform Resource Locator (URL): This is the thing you type into the search bar in the browser. For example, for my company; https://www.ktowndesign.com. These are managed by a few companies and you purchase a URL on an annual basis. One of the most popular sellers is GoDaddy but there are many others. An URL is just an alias name for your unique IP address with is a unique number that is assigned to your site by an international organization, IANA https://www.iana.org/numbers
  • SSL (Secure Socket Layer) This is not absolutely necessary, but highly recommended. If you keep any personal data on your website, then it is necessary, particularly if you take money on your websites. Your SEO ranking is affected by whether your site is secure or not
  • PPP (Personal Privacy Policy) Your site needs a Privacy Policy and a way for you to handle any request for removal of personal information. In the EU it is the law. In the US it is good policy and may leave you open to fines or blocking in any EU country that you sell goods and services to.
  • Must be Mobile Device Friendly: Over 50% of searches are done on mobile devices such as smart phones and hand-held devices. Your website must display well on them. Google will penalize your ranking if your site is not mobile compatible.
  • Maintenance: There are constant updates that come to fix holes and back doors in your site security. You should update your site on a weekly or at the minimum a monthly basis.
  • A Good Landing (Home) Page: The Home Page should say immediately, who you are what you offer and where you are located. AVOID wordy commentary, no one is going to read it. Avoid in most cases Carousels on the above the Fold part. Very Few will sit there and wait to read every one of them. Be aware of your Titles, they are prime beachfront real-estate for SEO.
  • A Page Action: Every Page on you Website needs to lead the viewer to an action. For example, sign up for a newsletter, lead them to a product or service page, or make an appointment.

How do people find my Small Business Website?

There are getting close to 2 billion websites out there and growing

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is the process of designing a website to find key items or words that  match what people are typing in the search bar on their browser. A Search Engine try’s it’s best to match the words and phrases  that you are typing into the  search bar, to results from sites it has “crawled”  over the internet. I t then sends you to the sites that it thinks best matches your search. These are called keywords. The problem with keywords is they are seasonal and ever changing. Let me give you an example. I am interested in purchasing a Tacoma pickup truck. If I type in Toyota, I will get results from all over the world and it could be any year model or price. If I type in 2018 Toyota Tacoma long bed red near Charlotte, I will get something totally different and more meaningful. The second example is called a long tail key word and will get me more exact results. If it is Christmas I am less likely to be looking for a new car but Christmas gifts or decorations. For Example, you would expect to see Christmas Gift ideas searched for more than cars, before Christmas and How to return a gift, may be more common  searches, after Christmas. The last example is a seasonal change in searches..

There are companies out there that specialize in SEO. You can spend hundreds or thousands keeping your SEO current. It is certainly worth it for huge on-line e-commerce companies such as Amazon and QVC for it can bring in millions of dollars. But for a small business it is not practical in most cases.

Local SEO

Let’s face it, you as a small local company, can’t afford or even need expensive PPC (Pay per Click) campaigns or high dollar SEO budgets. That is where local SEO comes in. You want to bring in local customers. Someone in Seattle Washington is probably not going to call you to fix their car anyway. Any good web design company will do some basic SEO and Local SEO research, during your website design. One example what if I searched for Air Conditioner repair companies in Concord, NC. Then if you own an AC Repair Company in Concord and your website is optimized for local SEO, you are likely to pop up on the first page of the search.  Anything listed after the first couple of pages will never likely be looked at. That first page is the golden ticket. That is what local SEO is all about. It is very important to small businesses.

Small Business, thinking of building your own website?

It’s simple, there are many website builders applications out there, where you can build a website yourself and not spend a dime, if you just want a website.

Wix is one that you see advertised. Weebly and Square Space are others. Just type free websites into your browser search bar and you will find many more. How can they do this, you may ask? You can build a nice-looking website, quickly and easily. But is it really free, there are cost to them, after all they must purchase a server to store the files and people to run and maintain it. Well, the answer is they are not actually free. Many of them will run advertisements on your page, that is how they pay the bills. If you just have a personal site for the family and you are going to tell people the URL address, there is nothing wrong with that, go for it! But, what if you run a business? do you want some other business, who may be competitor,  running advertisements, on your site? The host company, usually will give you a way to get rid of that advertisement. They  lead you to their paid plans. Well, there goes the free part. Some of those paid plans can be very expensive. They add things like paid backup, custom URL fees and many more. These options can really add up if you are not careful.

What do you lose by building your own web site?

Well, you can learn how to do all the above, find a fast hosting company, spend a year learning how to do SEO, learn WordPress, Joomla, learn to write PHP, JavaScript, HTML and CSS and go. The other choice is to use WIX or one of the other free drag and drop designers and possibly get lost among the Billions of other websites. I have to admit, it is a lot of fun for us tech geeks, but my guess you neither have the time or the desire. You may want to consider hiring a professional designer and use your time to grow your business

What Does a Good Designer Cost

Well, that depends on your business and your needs. A good design company will spend time with you and get to know you, your business, and your market. They will do a lot of research define what you need and like, and what you can afford. Some designers work by the hour and others have a fixed price based on the project. Hourly Prices for a good designer can go from $100/hour to over $200+ for large agency. Some will contract out any development work to an India based company, and other large agencies will have people in house. Prices per project again depends on your needs and your budget. Typically prices from $1500 for a simple site to over $10,000 for a complex site. The average for a small local business would be in the $2500 to $3500 range. You can get a really nice small business site for that range. You can tailor your site to fit your budget and always grow it later if needed, if you don’t have the budget now.  Another option is to lease a site. With a lease site you pay a smaller development fee and the an annual lease fee. Leased site fees again is based on your needs.  Most agencies can get you started on e-mail and social media marketing, and that is a whole new topic we will discuss later.

Small Business Website Strategy at K-Town Design

Our Strategy here at K Town Design, is not to just throw a website at you. That is a waste of your time and more importantly money. We will first get to know you and your business. I will research your local market and competition and tailor your site to your on-line presence to your business and situation needs. I can help you with email marketing, video promotion and any type of graphics, particularly motion graphics. I work with local artist if you need graphics beyond my skill level. We provide fast hosting and web security, or you can provide your own. All my designs are mobile friendly and include a free SSL certificate to keep your data safe. I offer maintenance plans in case you do not want to worry about keeping your site updated. If you prefer to do your own maintenance, I will include 3 hours of training. I can provide more for a reduced hourly fee.

If you have any question just give me a call at 704-706-5432 or got to https://ktowndesign.com and book a consult time right from the website.

David Christian, K Town Design

 

Church Websites Part 3

Website Planning for Churches Part 3

Yonug people with Adults

Adult’s mentoring young people

This is the final part of website planning for churches series. Following this I will be making a video reviewing various church websites and see if they meet the needs that we have established in this series.

In the first two parts of this series we talked about the need for a church website and what a visitor is looking for when they visit your website. Are the basic rules of design there? Who am I? Where am I? and what do I believe, what do I offer and a call to action.

Today we are going to talk about our members and attenders. They already know the answers to the above because they are already members or are attending on a regular basis.

So, what are members looking for on a web site, basically falls into two basic categories. They are either looking for information or resources.

Information

What events are coming up, what time are the events? What groups or ministries are available that I may be interested in participating in? For example, the small group for young mothers meets on Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM. They have a devotional and this month they are reading a book on how to teach your children to pray. The men have a Bible study on the Book of Mark and then they are going to talk about how to be a better husbands and leaders. They meet on Thursday night at the Chick Filet on Highway 150 at 7:00 PM. You get the general idea. When is the next mission trip, what will it cost, and who do I see for more information? I need to get in touch with Bob Smith, what is his email address and phone number. Is there easy access to the church directory and is personal information secure.

Another thing is for facility reservations or asset reservations. I need to use the Fellowship Hall on Saturday afternoon for my daughter’s birthday party. Is it available and how do I reserve it?

Resources

Another thing members need is access to resources. Do you have the church bulletin for next Sunday available? Can I find a copy of new and past newsletters that I can review? What is the nursery policy? I want to study the Westminster Confession, where can I find it? What does the Book of Church Order say about officer nominations and where can I find a copy? I want to download a copy of my small group study guide. I want to watch or hear the sermon from last Sunday when I was out of town.

Suppose the Pastor wants to expand on a topic of his sermon last Sunday. A pastor’s blog is a wonderful place to do that. A pastor’s blog is also a great resource for visitors too. Blogs also, rank well on search engines because they are usually specific on a certain subject that people search for on the internet. It establishes credibility on the internet for your church and your pastor.

Much More to Consider

There is much more to designing websites that is important, such as keywords for search engines, back links and internal links and external links that affect your Google ranking. I would be happy to talk to you about it if you have any questions. As I said earlier in the series, I feel God has called me to a ministry to serve Him using the technology that He gave us. My advice is free and if you want to talk just give me a call or book a time and I will call you. You can book a consult at https://ktowndesign.com/contact-me . It is free and I would be happy to help you any way I can.

God Bless you my Brothers and Sisters and let’s grow His Kingdom until the Return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

David Christian

 

Website Planning for Churches Part 2

Church Websites For Visitors

In Our Previous post, we talked about your focus, does your church have a well-defined mission. We also discussed the need to know who is in your community and who you are trying to reach. Today, we are going to talk about the beginning the planning of your website.

Matthew 5: 13-16

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 

Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Get  A Visitor Perspective

Take a step back and look at your church from the perspective of a potential visitor. What would you like to know about your church if you were considering visiting?

First you would want to know where you are located and what time your services are. Then you would want to know what your church believes. Then possibly the size of the church. What opportunities do you offer to grow my faith and knowledge and that of my family? What is your worship style, here the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” applies and a video is worth millions of words, is even more true? Who is the Pastor and who are the leaders?  How should I dress. Casual or more formal? You probably would want to listen to an audio or watch a video of at least a sermon. Then if I have decided to visit, what can I expect and, don’t laugh, but where are the restrooms?

 Give Virtual Tour of Your Church

For visitors, you need a special section or page where you lead a prospective visitor through a virtual tour of your church from the point they enter your parking lot to when they leave. For example, do you have visitor parking spaces, what door should I enter. Where is the handicap entrance and is there a ramp for easy access? Is there going to be someone at the door to greet me and answer any questions? Is there a bulletin available for me to see ahead of time? Then finally you need to guide them to an action. This can be to fill out a contact form for more information, a phone number to call or to click on a map for driving directions. Another consideration, do you want lead them to a signup form for a newsletter and event announcements? An email list is golden. Even if they do not visit your church now, if you notify them latter of a future event then that may bring them to your campus. Then every time they are on your campus gives you another opportunity to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After the service is there a fellowship time, is there a meet the pastor time or luncheon. Information allows people to plan and know what to expect and that makes people more comfortable and more likely to visit. Just think of how you felt when you visited a new church for the first time. Wasn’t it a little stressful?

Serve as Christ Served Us

We are here to Worship God and to serve others as Christ served us. We need to welcome the stranger and the lost so that they too may partake of the bread and drink of the feast of our salvation. My brothers and sisters Preach and Teach the Gospel above all other things. Use every tool at hand given by God to make Him Known to the desperately lost and those seeking Him. Share the Good News with excitement and joy!

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

I think to maintain my goal of keeping this short, we will talk about how to serve our members and how we plan our websites to achieve that for next week.

God, Bless You ALL

David Christian

Church Websites Part 1

 Church Website Design | Part 1

family bible study

Family Bible Study

Pray, then pray some more then have your members pray for God’s wisdom and will for your church. After you finish that then go Pray again, I am serious, that is the most important thing you can do.

Websites for churches are very different than a business website but also have many things in common.

Website for a business?

  • A business website is designed to bring people to buy your product
  • A business website is designed to drive customers to your location
  • A business website is designed to make people aware of your business and your services.
  • A business website is designed with a lot of thought and planning
  • A business website needs to be well planned and designed so people can easily find what they are seeking.
  • A business website targets your customer avatar to those most likely to purchase from you.
  • A business website needs to be easily found on Google and other search engines.

Website for a church:

  • A church website needs to bring people to seek Christ
  • A church website is designed to bring people to your campus
  • A church website needs to make people aware of your church and your service and missions
  • A church website needs to be well planned and designed so people can find easily about your church.
  • A church website should be targeting your community likely to attend your services
  • A church website needs to be easily found on Google and other search engines.

Wait a minute, those are not major differences, in fact they are very similar in some respects. The only difference is what we offer has a permanent warranty, is free, but more important than any product or service it will last for an eternity. It will never disappoint you and will never fail you. Our Christ will comfort you when you are sad and He will bring you peace when you are mad.

As I said in my previous post, we need to use today’s technology to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. Today almost every person has a computer or smartphone. People under 70 frequently use the internet to search for information. New people moving into town are likely use the internet to find a church before choosing one to visit.

How do I get started?

The first thing you need to do is sit down from the perspective of someone who does not have a clue who you are and where your campus is located. Think from the prospective of a new person, who has moved into town, and is looking for a church home. You need to think like a prospective new member. What groups are available to best serve them and where can they can serve. Do a lot of planning and then do more planning. I cannot stress it enough, planning before you do anything else, before you write one word of content. A church website needs to almost be two sites that are interlinked. One for the potential visitor and another for the member who needs information or resources.

 

Who are These People?

You cannot get everyone in the world into your front door, so you need to think about who in your community you are trying to serve. You will get an idea by looking at your current members. Are they mostly in their 60’s or are they young families in their 20’s and 30’s. What type music do they like? Do they dress in coats and ties or more casual? Who makes up the community around you? Most people are not going to drive 50 miles to attend your church, so look in a 1-20 mile radius.

What is your message?

The message is already given, Preach and Teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If that is not what you are doing, then you need to find your foundation again. Does your church have a vision statement or mission statement that is clear to everyone? At Shearer Presbyterian Church, ours is “Knowing Christ and Making Him Known to Our Community and the World”. Your vision statement is the general focus for your website. Everything on it should lead or point to that vision. It makes you unique from any other church. If you do not have a vision statement, then do one as soon as possible. It gives you focus for all you do in your particular church.

I hope you find these insights useful and enlightening. My point is don’t just throw up a website and hope for the best. It can be a huge asset to your church. I am trying to keep these post short, so, not to bore you too much at one time.

God Bless

David Christian, RE

Part 2 next week will be on an expansion on planning a website

Technology For Small to Medium Churches

Shearer Presbyterian Church website

Shearer Presbyterian Church

Feeding His Sheep Through Technology for Small to Medium Churches

The world today is full of sin and evil. This is very evident every time we turn on our electronic devices. The promotion of sin on television seems to be on almost every program. Throughout the internet pornography is readily available at the click of a mouse. Satan is alive and doing well in our society. It seems that Jesus Christ Church is having a less and less influence on society as God’s way is rejected for the ways of immorality and sin.

All Things are From God and are Good

In today’s world, how does Christ’s church compete with such an exposure to sin? Well I only know what the scriptures tell me in Romans 11: 36: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.” What does this tell me? It tells me that today’s technology is to be used to Glorify God and to carry out the Great Commission of Matthew 28: 19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  So, if all things were from God then so was technology. So, this leaves the question of how does His Church use technology as a tool to “Feed His Sheep”, especially for the small and medium church who only staff is the Pastor and a part time secretary?

My Ministry

The area of using modern technology for the glorification of God is an area to which I feel God has called me to minister to small to medium sized churches. I am a Ruling Elder in a church whose membership is 130 communing members. We depend on volunteers and their families to do the work of the church. My plan is to help share the knowledge that I have gained, through a series of blogs to help you use what has been given to you, by God  to reach outside your walls, to your community and the world for Christ. I spent my career as an engineer in the medical technology and since my retirement have started a small web design company. I have been designing websites for over seven years and have some knowledge of IT and video technology. At our church, we have gone from having little outreach other than a small inefficient drag and drop website to one of reaching the community and the world through live stream, video and a monthly professionally done bluegrass venue with sound stage and lighting in our fellowship hall. However, one word of caution, we are Christ Church and everything we do is  to be centered around presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If what we are doing is not centered around that, then we have no business doing it.

In my next blog, hopefully next week, I will share with you the proper way to put together a website that is meaningful to both potential visitors and for members. There is a lot of research and thought that goes into producing a productive and useful website. Your website can be your window to your community where you can see the world and the world can get a glimpse of Christ’s Church through your website’s window. It should be an inviting view.

Until then may God bless you and your church and may you serve our Lord and Savior in a way that is pleasing to him.

Matthew 5: 14-15

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. 

David Christian

Search Engine Optimization

When does Search Engine Optimization make sense?

You can spend a lot of money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but does it always make sense? It depends, on the market you are in. WordPress the primary Content Management System (CMS) is already pretty darn good at SEO. The amount you spend on SEO can get rather large if you hire a company that specializes in SEO. Well my answer is yes it sometime makes sense but at other times it is a waste of resources. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and others keep their ranking systems very secret. No one know exactly how they rank websites, no matter what they may tell you. Any good web designer always designs with SEO in mind. Yet I just said that no one knows exactly how they do it and that is true. However there are some general principles that we do know. One is is your site secured by using a SSL certificate. Another is how to design a site that is easily crawled by search engines.  Does the site properly configure meta data. It takes many hours of research on just how customers can reach your site. A lot of time is done researching what customer type into a search engine. This is called keywords. Keywords can point to thousands of websites that may be in the in the same business as yours. The secret is to find  unique keywords that potential customer may type into a search engine that will lead to your business. Then the kicker is that it may all change over time. SEO optimization is an ongoing and constant process. If done properly it can point new customers directly to your business by giving you a top ranking so that your business shows up on search results on the first page. Results are not instant. It may take from 4 to 6 months before you start seeing results. It can be of great value to you but it does come at a cost.

So back to the original question. Well it actually depends on how much competition you have. If you are one among thousands of businesses in your area, the chance of getting a top ranking right off the bat is pretty small. If you are a business that is very unique then I would say yes it does make sense. A good web design company will research your competition to see if it makes sense to spent your resources on SEO.

SEO ranking usually builds over time. It may make more sense to get a free listing on Yelp or Yellow pages which is quick and free. If you have a unique place in the market and have the resources, then I say go for it.

I hope this helps you decide.

CALL ME
+
Call me!