Let Electricians do the wiring,
Landscapers do the landscaping, and Accountants do the accounting! Focus your
business on doing what you do best, and hire other professionals to do what
they do best.
Growing up as a child (more than a couple of decades ago), my
perception of the day-to-day dealings between businesses certainly seems much
less complicated than the dealings of today. My dad owned and operated a
business and would often take me along in his truck for the 20-minute ride to
the local supply store where everybody knew his name. Handshakes, wit and wisdom
were exchanged with a smile. If they didn’t have what he needed, they were quick
to refer him to other area businesses… where everybody knew his name.
Flash forward to the present where we are being bludgeoned
with super-cyber-everything ads and offers via every electronic device within
our view or earshot. A present time where we are more disposed to shooting a text than shaking
a hand; a present time where we are more likely to click the ‘like’ than to engage in some face-to-face wit with a chuckle and a grin.
Many (of my
generation at least) will argue that the Mayberry-Esque personal days of yore can’t
possibly unite with today’s fast-paced, tech-savvy, “I need it yesterday”
society. Seriously, when you’re hiring a company to build a website for your
company, how can those age-old, pre-web, flesh-pressing principles possibly apply?
Enough of the nostalgia and reminiscing. What should your company look for when
building your website?
Can I Do It Myself?
Not likely, no offense. Not unless you are an established and
experienced website design
and development company. Not only are today’s web-tech requirements
intricate, extensive, and demanding; they are perpetually fluid, changing
sometimes on a daily basis. PCI Compliancy, bandwidth requirements, hosting,
SEO, e-Commerce, email, Content Management Systems, tiered security access, multi-platform
device compatibility… this is not your father’s static HTML website. You do what you
do best, and hire a website development company to do what they do best, so
that you can continue to do what you do best with the exposure and support of a
great website that amplifies what you do best!
What About Hosting and Email Services?
Major considerations like high security, great bandwidth
speeds, and a PCI
Compliant infrastructure need to be seriously considered and researched
prior to deciding on a website development company. Items like Shared Server
Hosting, Dedicated IP Web Hosting, Dedicated Server Web Hosting, Web Analytics and
Statistics Reporting, Branded Email Services and more need to be top priorities
on today’s fast-paced internet. Settling for anything less plants you firmly
behind the proverbial eight ball.
How Do I Handle e-Commerce To Sell My
Online shopping carts need to be powerful, secure, and
scalable to meet your growing needs. Your site needs to be quick and super easy
to add new products, add options such as size and color, and more. It needs to automatically
keep track of inventory levels so that you'll never accidentally sell a sold-out
product. You also need to have loads of order management and tracking tools built
in that you can access at any time. Your online shopping cart needs to communicate
with your POS system, manage multiple locations, handle complex fulfillment
options, integrate with your retargeting campaigns, and much, much more. People
need to have ultimate confidence in the professionalism, functionality, and
security of your website before they will provide their credit card
Should My Site Be Viewed on Every Device?
That is referred to as Responsive Design. Yes!! It is
absolutely critical that all website designs and layouts are fully responsive
to maintain cross-platform compatibility on any device, be it mobile, tablet,
or traditional desktop. No further discussion required.
How Do I Effectively Market My New
Online marketing services, especially Social Media Marketing (SMM), are among the
most important and fastest-growing marketing services for any business today. Social
Media is not about collecting people, it’s about connecting people. Statistics
show that 71% of people state they are more likely to purchase from a brand
that they follow online. Video Ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand
association by more than 130%!
The fact is that people don’t buy diddly from people they
don’t know, like, or trust!! Today, awareness, trust, and affinity are largely
built online, on mobile devices and on social platforms, long before they call
you or set foot in your store. Social media marketing is an art form. Constantly
pushing advertisements and sales copies no longer works on today's increasingly
social-media-savvy consumers, which means businesses need to take on a more
strategic, balanced, relationship-building approach. A perfect balance of text,
images, video, hashtags, and the frequency of each relevant to the individual social
media platform is critical.
Is Blogging Really That Important?
The idea of blogs is to draw new customers to your website.
That means that every blog post cannot be a thinly-disguised or blatant sales
pitch. Just like the rest of your social media marketing, blogs need to
Entertain, Inspire, Educate, Create Conversation, and then Convince to
use your brand... all on an equal level. A great business blog doesn't sell.
Instead, it shows customers why they should do business with you and not your
competitors. It shows a personal, human and entertaining side of your business.
Think about how many pages will be on your website. Probably
not a ton, right? And think about how often you will update those pages.
Probably not that often, right? Blogging helps solve those problems. Every time
you post a new blog, it's one more indexed page on your website, which means that’s
one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to
your website in organic search.
What Are Search Engine Optimization
The average person
will click on one of the first three links that appear from search engine
results. How do you ensure that your website is found among your
competitors? With new businesses emerging daily, the only way to ensure that
your website gains the exposure it needs is through the use of SEO services. As
time changes, so do the needs of your business, and this is especially true
when it comes to the world of SEO. The rules of the SEO game are always
changing and your website needs to stay one step ahead. Dynamic and innovative
solutions that will increase your overall web presence and drive traffic to
your business are a must!
One of my first jobs – a dream job at the time – was spinning
the latest hits on vinyl after high school on our local A.M. radio station. I
called it ‘The After Hours Show’ meaning after school hours but, in retrospect, I doubt that the area businesses, blue-collar
community members, or truck drivers passing through picked up on that little nuance.
Fortunately today, vinyl has come back en
vogue so at least I don’t have to waste two paragraphs explaining that little nuance.
One of my fondest memories of that job – as well as when
riding in my dad’s truck – was when I would listen to the daily genius of the
legendary radio broadcaster, icon and story teller, Paul Harvey. With his trademark
hypnotic timbre, extended strategic pauses for effect, heart-warming tales,
folksy observations, family values and the old-fashioned plain talk, Paul
Harvey inspired – if not molded – the minds and lives of millions of Americans.
He always aspired to eloquently champion
the American dreamer, innovator, and worker… the doer.
Many of those formerly young
Americans are running today’s businesses and still firmly believe that
people do business with people… not
with brick and mortar, not with cyber and seclusion, not with emotionless entities.
Rather, deals are done with a firm handshake and a confident gaze in the eye.
Successful business owners accomplish what they accomplish through courage,
ingenuity, dignity, gracefulness, honor, respect, morals, values, integrity…
In the immortal words of Paul Harvey, “Our nation was hammered
and hoed and chopped and sawed and clawed out of the wilderness by bare-handed men
who asked nothing, for nothing… There is one fertilizer essential to the survival
of civilization and that fertilizer… is sweat.” Whether you hire a company to build your
building, or build your website, you should settle for nothing less than this
same respect, devotion, dedication, and an occasional handshake.