August 2009 - To create an effective web presence requires a solutions-based approach with clear ideas about what you want to accomplish and who the audience is you are targeting. The right elements have to be present; a well orchestrated website design with cohesive branding, solid technical acumen, clearly defined objectives for the organization, reliable small business web hosting services and some method of marketing your site and tracking the results. The web is constantly evolving and search engine competition is fierce. Being successful on the web requires consistently evaluating the site's effectiveness based on your objectives, understanding the latest technologies and trends, having a dynamic website marketing plan and constantly fine tuning.
While you don't have to spend a fortune to create real value on the web, you should also be realistic. Understand that being successful will require an investment that you should plan for and a clear vision of how your website fits into the goals and objectives of the organization. If you don't have the experience and technical resources in-house, working with a professional web solutions provider, preferably one specializing in small business web design and development can provide great benefits. A good starting point in the process is to have an understanding of the core elements that are part of a successful website strategy and how they fit together.
The Elements of a Web Solution
So what's the best way to find a great web or information technology services partner to work with and then get the most out of that relationship?
1. Domain names
Choosing the right domain name is an important branding decision which impacts how your organization is perceived and also how it is found in the search engines. Purchasing names that ar long, tricky combinations of letters, numbers and dashes/underscores can spell trouble.
2. Website Design & Development Services
We specialize in small business web design and development.We offer a solutions-based approach can assist your company in doing thorough needs analysis and in designing all of the elements to work well together. First impressions count!
3. E-mail Management
E-mail is a key communication tool for your business. We will help you maximize communications within the company, on the road, and with your customers.
4. Social Media
Social media such as blogging, Podcasting and other web 2.0 tools can greatly enhance customer communications. We can help you evaluate how social media tools can best benefit your web presence and business objects.
5. Small Business Website Hosting Services
All web hosting is NOT created equal. There are many nuances and technical consideration involved with hosting solutions. We can help you select the right plan for your web solution goals, get your website up and running and support you as it grows and evolves.
6. Website Maintenance
How will your site be maintained and updated? Having both small business web development and managed web site hosting as a package is immensely helpful for maximizing web server resources, identifying problems and keeping the site maintained and updated.
Will you be actually selling on your site or using it for lead generation or information dissemination? If you are selling products, we can create and maintain your product database. How will transactions be handled? What about web server requirements? We can help ensure you make the right choices for your e-commerce site.
8. Business Process Interaction
(database development, customer relationship management, integration with your business management systems) – A website needs to be more than just an ad on the Internet to be effective as a business tool. There are many ways the web can be used to improve your business processes and integrate with your existing systems such as accounting or contact management.
9. Website Marketing
How will people find you on the web? Will you optimize your site for organic search or employ paid marketing techniques or a combination? What directories should you list your site in? Search engine marketing has evolved to be a complex specialty. It's critical that you understand the tools available for driving traffic to your site and if needed, engage us as your web marketing specialist.
10. Website Analytics and Conversion
Having a great site isn't enough if your visitors aren't doing what you intended; buying something, contacting your company or using your site for an information source. Does your site have usability issues? What kind of reporting will you use to track site visitors? What do you need to know and do to convert your visitors into action-takers?
It's a Process and a Work in Progress
While there is certainly a lot to think about, creating the best possible website solution for your business doesn't have to be overwhelming. Your website can and should be a work in progress, evolving as your business grows. Because most small businesses do not have an internal IT staff to handle the technical elements of web development and planning, working with a web solutions provider that specializes in small business website hosting services and small business web design and development is a good start. We can help you identify your goals, manage the technical aspects of your site and guide you in your marketing efforts. We can also help you work within your budget to develop a plan that combines all the elements into a cohesive whole for creating and maintaining a successful web presence.
The web has grown up to be a terrific marketing medium for small businesses and organizations. Done right, it can be the most cost effective and powerful marketing and communication tool in your arsenal. The promise is still there. However, to truly leverage the power of the web, it is important to take a good, hard look at the website you currently have or the one you are thinking about creating. The elements of a successful web presence: small business web hosting, website design and development and web marketing are only the framework for a well thought-out web solution designed to reach your customers and truly benefit your business.
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