How can I create a more professional website?
I've invested thousands of dollars in SEO and marketing companies that have been of no benefit or the wrong fit for me. I'm very gun shy now and my website is suffering because of my inaction. My target audience in medical examiners, funeral directors and insurance agents.
Hey Brian, sorry to hear that you invested thousands of dollars in SEO campaigns and failed to achieved desired results. Many companies faces such trouble due to lack of technical background.
To create professional looking website you need to hire a professional designers and developers. If you don’t have any technical background, it’s better to go with hiring an experienced web development team having proven methods to boost your website's functionality and exposure. While hiring a team of web development team consider following key points in your mind:
1. Find out what type of services company offers? : Make sure to find what type of services company offers. Check whether they are capable of meeting your requirements.
2. Experience in the Industry: Never try hire someone who doesn’t have experience. So always go for the company who has valuable experience in respective field and can create website based on your needs.
3. Check their Portfolio: Browse their previous projects and portfolio.
4. Check Clients reviews: Take a look at the reviews and testimonials and reviews offered by their clients.
5 Ongoing Support: The company should be able to provide you with ongoing support for website changes in future.
6 Identify a firm which excels in creating mobile optimized websites
7 Strength of company: The hired company should have sufficient human resources to undertake the project and deliver it on time.
If you looking for professional website then FATbit is the best option for you. FATbit is a team of experienced wordpress developer that help your business represent your global vision.
You can go to Wix.com, they have a variety of professional templates that you can easily adapt to your purposes.
To create a professional website first thing you need to consider is preparing the right content from your website from image to text .
Second thing is it has to be develop following coding standards so that it is rendered properly in all sort devices.
Also developer should keep in mind the load time of pages,naming urls properly with key information which is a boost for seo.
please feel free to contact me on Skype at rashid.shiplu
Instead of only hiring SEO experts, you should also hire a designer. They can really make your website professional looking which can increase your professional credibility. You should also look onto other non digital forms of marketing to drive traffic to your site, such as brochures, ads in the paper, radio, etc... Also, the content must be great. Investing your own time in writing engaging content is worth the effort. Maybe add a blog to your website - this can really increase traffic. And you can do that on your own. Hope this all helps!
The biggest mistake I find that businesses make when hiring an SEO or marketing company is simply not knowing the right questions to ask and more importantly the answers.
A good website should look great but it doesn't need a ton of bells and whistles to generate business. People go to a website for a very specific reason. They are looking for information.
A website should contain useful and helpful content for searchers looking for your products or services, strong messages that promote your services and a blog that gives you a voice to engage with your target audience. In addition the next thing you need to keep in mind is that if someone visits your site and you have not only provided them with the information they are looking for they are likely going to want to contact you. Make this easy for them by ensuring that your site has easy to use contact submission forms and that your contact information is easily found .
If your curious as to what and how your website can be improved and optimized to increase traffic and conversions feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I'd be happy to take a look at your site and complete an audit to show you specifics and tips, etc.
I hear this story all too often from new clients who have come to us looking for help. I agree with alot of the previous comments. The trouble with so many companies now advertising that they are more then just SEO companies and offer not only use poor SEO techniques but sell professional services that are not in their area of expertise. We all suffer from these types as it not only makes clients 'gun shy' as you have experienced and takes work from dedicated, qualified professionals.
You need to talk to a professional design and/or media company, ensure they are qualified and look at their portfolio. We are always honest about what we do with our clients and like to help their business grow with the most appropriate advertising and marketing. Even if they are not in your local, connecting to them through Skype means you have an opportunity to ask questions and judge through they answers and if they are genuine. it also means you and build a rapport with them.
I always ask a client what their Objectives and Goals are ( at least 3 each) which gives us (and them) a clear idea to plan around. It may seem obvious but it does help.
Then its easier to create a good advertising and marketing plan. This also helps in the design process for your website. The content is then clear, to the point and hopefully the visual design reflects who you are and what your business is all about in a professional way. We don't even use templates as we create bespoke design for every client to reflect their business and look individually and trust worthy.
Having a good local SEO is really important if you are targeting clients locally. I often advise clients to do a short Adwords campaign initially to get business in the door and then drop back to an marketing campaign including SEO.
It really does depend on your profession or industry, your target audience and your approach to what you are offering your clients. It should be customized to your business, not a 'one fits all' approach.
There have been some great answers here already, and most have one thing in common – there are some, shall we say, unscrupulous companies out there offering SEO services. This has been the case though for decades. My own company used to offer SEO, but we realized (around about 1999) how competitive that industry was and if you're doing it right, how much work actually goes into making it pay off. Our specaility has always been handcrafted design with supportive marketing, so while we kept up on all the SEO changes, we stopped offering the service in house. I think there's just a lot of companies out there who saw SEO as a means to profit, and not to help a client's business.
Working with established, experienced companies that have verifiable track records, recommendations, and examples of successful projects is always the way to go.
Another key thing to remember though is that SEO is not the "magic pill" for making your online business successful. It can certainly help (and organic SEO does take time), but if the website itself it not up to par, it would be like trying to put a nice, new coat of paint onto a rusted out car. Without fixing all the rust damage, you're not going to see any benefits from that new paint job and all the money you sunk into it will go to waste.
There is a whole list of technical things that can apply to your website AND effective SEO. For instance: is the site mobile friendly, is the code clean, does it load fast, etc. Then there is the design aspect. When people get to the site, does it have a professional, polished appearance? Is there an absolutely clear call to action? Is the content professionally written (with attention to basic SEO)? I tried to bring up thecrimescenecleaner.com and I wasn't able to pull up a site there, but I'd be happy to review it with you (I do give free, 30 minute website review consultations) and answer any questions you might have.
Like the others have mentioned, seeing your website would help us provide better feedback. The issues you are having may not be related directly to the design of your website, but to who and how you are targeting.
A lot of my prospective clients ask about Search Engine Optimization and I try to dissuade them from thinking about that until they have the basics nailed in terms of the website content. You can pay for SEO services and bring lots of traffic to the site, but if it's the wrong traffic, the wrong time, or your message is not compelling, you will not get conversions (phone inquiries, signups, etc.). In your industry, your website doesn't have to give too much detail, you just need to have your contact information prominently displayed.
You mention that your target is medical examiners, funeral home directors and insurance companies. You may remember it's the first responders who may be the best referral sources for your business. In the quiet minutes as the call is wrapping up, they may be able to provide a referral to your company.
While I'm in the Digital marketing and web design business, this is an instance because of the sensitivity of the product you sell, a personal connection may be more effective. Make an effort to build relationships with the people who can send you business: first responders, insurance agents, and disaster repair companies that don't have the HazMat certifications. Have good, high quality marketing collateral that EMS and Fire can hand out, that points to your website--or even better, a simple landing page with your contact information and your certifications displayed.
Hope this helps you break through,
Brian, your story is too familiar. Too many SEO type companies can't provide the service they offer. With the ever changing algorithms, they may not be keeping up with what works. Content is always the most important part of your website, not just keyword after keyword, but useful and unique content. Your content needs to be formulated not only from a search standpoint, but from your prospects viewpoint as well.
You are in a specific, niche industry and I would imagine that the companies you worked with did not understand your industry. Some people argue this point, however, I do not believe that SEO or website branding is one-size-fits-all. You said yourself they were the wrong fit for you. I don't work with clients in your industry, but the niche I work within, I do so because I know the industry and the audience so well that my clients get the results they expect. I have a better understanding of the changes in the market and can adjust the website, SEO and the marketing to fit. That being said, I would suggest you find someone who has had success with your specific industry. You may have to look at competitors websites to see who they are working with or what you like about their internet presence. When interviewing a SEO or web branding company, ask them how well they know your specific market.
You need to have a plan.
You should have specific goals you want met. You can ask - what is their strategy?
You should be able to describe your exact target market and why they should do business with you. You can ask how well they can reach this specific niche market. There are many marketing tactics than can be used to reach your specific market. The company you select should be willing to share with you the methods they will be using to get you your results.
Have a time frame and measurable milestones in your plan. Can this company work withing what you need or what can they deliver?
Working with the right company is best when it's approached as teamwork. You need to provide certain information and payment, and they need to provide certain actions and results. Communication throughout is crucial.
Wishing you awesome and continuing success.
Sorry Brian for the experience. You are at the right place to take this as a lesson learn and keep moving. Adam Brewer put it well for you. Besides all those back works and links, just make sure the content speaks your target market language. Let your home page show your prospects frustrations, fears, struggles. Engage them with hope that those issues of theirs have solutions. Educate them with a video if possible on the issues related to your field. Make offers (free assessment, free consultation, whitepaper...) by collecting their contacts information. Bring every person you visit your site to leave you their contact and feels that you understand their problem.
Best of luck
What is the URL of your website? Your experience with SEO and marketing companies is all too common. They have been sprouting up like mushrooms, ready to take your money for some grandiose concepts of digital marketing. Using a very experienced web development company who is able to implement powerful, proven methods to boost your site's functionality and exposure, will enable you to cut out the middleman and get real value for anything you invest.
Unfortunately, I hear about these types of horror stories all the time. Since one of my businesses operates in this space, we tend to adopt clients who have had their trust shattered and building up their trust again is a bit of a slower process, but I'm happy to say that my team is quite good at what they do (under promising and over delivering) and we've founded some very long term relationships (and success stories) with these clients.
A couple suggestions for you in create a more professional website:
- don't be gun shy; but be diligent in researching a new company
- ask for references (lots of them) and make sure you grill the references to flush out your concerns
- perhaps meet them in person. We are Vancouver-based but we fly out to meet our clients (or at least video conference)
- here's a big one - when you do move forward with a company, ensure that you set milestones and set a pricing structure to pay them on performance. Understand that delays can happen, but don't pay until a milestone is completed. This will minimize your risks and ensure that you're paying for a result as you as satisfied with it.
Now, when it comes to SEO.. a lot of people are full of sh*t and will sell you on a monthly subscription where the contractor, themselves, really don't know what they're doing. In fact, there may be the offshoot perspective that your business may benefit from more strategic (in-person/phone/email) reach-outs and then supported by a light SEO strategy. I guess what I'm saying here is to talk to a few companies who specialize in marketing and get their perspective. Again, vet the companies that seem to be a good fit for you and move forward slowly and at a pace you're comfortable with. If they deliver results, crank up the involvement.
I could go on about this stuff all day, but feel free to be in touch if you'd like to use me as a soundboard.
Brian, I believe there are a good amount of companies who can create a nice looking and SEO rich website and am sorry to hear if that did not happen for you. But even if it did, it's a not a "Build it and they will come" situation. Even the perfectly SEO scripted website that is the best looking website in the world won't generate the traffic and activity you would like w/o a marketing plan, and in my professional opinion, a solid content marketing plan in place. Will be happy to talk this out with you and best of luck with your endeavors.
Hey Brian! Sorry to hear that you invested in SEO and marketing companies with no real ROI. It is always frustrating to hear stories like yours that make the industry appear to be shady or a scam.
A great website starts with great keyword research and consumer behavior thinking. You have to step into the shoes of your target market, figure out how they would look for the services you offer, then hop on your keyword research tools and see which keywords are most used.
The second thing I always mention about great websites is a unique mobile experience. EVERYONE turns to their smartphones these days, and if you do not cater to that crowd, Google has said your search results will suffer.I am not talking about merely having a responsive website, I am talking about taking a good look at your website on smartphones, removing elements that do not work and adding in elements that work better. Also include a "call us" "email us" and "find us" button on every page (unless you don't have an office, etc)
The other thing that makes for a well performing website is well written content with clear calls to action that lead to lead capturing forms and pages.
Lastly, do not try to be too fancy with your website. People want to find the information they are looking for. Remember when cell phones used to be an entire bag that had to hook into the car and companies spent billions trying to get them to be smaller, more powerful and easier to use? That is kind of how websites are right now. "Minimalistic" is the term.
Lastly, and one of the biggest things is making sure that you do the things that help your website get indexed properly.
- Google Webmaster
- Bing Webmaster (for both Bing & Yahoo)
- Sitemap Creation/ Submission
- Google My Business Page (formerly Google+ for Business)
- Bing Local Page
- Yahoo Local Page
- Yelp Page
- Facebook Page
- YP.com Page
With a business that is in such a niche, like yours, regardless of the competition level, you should be able to rank easier than most industries.
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a PM.