Spotlight on Websites
What You Get When You Hire Me
So let's say you want a 3-5 page website, you've never had one before and you need some help on the social media side. You don't need a store, appointment setting or payments to be on the site. You really just want an online business card that fleshes out what you do and you're hoping to get some business that way. Chances are we'd arrive at a price around $500. You may wonder exactly what you would get for that amount, so here's a sample of what I do.
Most entrepreneurs and small businesses are so busy doing what they do, they have no idea who they are - or in other words, what their brand is. My first job is to get an understanding of this concept for them. This will determine everything else - what template I choose for their site, the colors and fonts utilized, what kind of images I'll post and the voice I will use in the verbiage. When the client sees the site for the first time, I want them to think, "That's me! That's exactly what I wanted!"
One of the biggest jobs your website will have is establishing your identity, location and contact information. This is easy when there is a URL to match your DBA and email address, but for many first time websites, this is not the case. The owner does business on their personal email, their DBA name is not unique, the URL they want is taken, all their social media accounts are personal and they think it's Google's job to find them and put them on the map.
So along with figuring out who you are in colors and font, I will need to establish an online business identity for you, identifying an appropriate URL, setting up accounts and passwords and everything I set up will have to be populated with the correct information and images. Then when everything is finished, it all has to be linked together to create a cohesive online identity.
Website Provider, Plan and Template
Part of the Identity project is setting up your account with the Website Provider and selecting the plan. Our favorites are WordPress and Wix. I prefer WordPress if a blog is involved and I love their apps. Bill prefers Wix because he likes the ergonomics of their templates.
This is where the real creative work begins. WordPress and Wix have untold numbers of templates to choose from, so the first task is to find the one that best mirrors the vision I have for the finished site. Virtually anything can be changed on a template, but the final product is best when the initial template clicks with my vision. Then I go to work populating the template with the client specific data, including, but not limited to:
While all this is going on, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is part and parcel of what I create. Every item listed above goes into the quality of your SEO. A website that can't be found is useless, so I include everything I know and I am learning about searchability. I say "am learning" because search engines modify their algorithms constantly. While the basic rules, like spelling things correctly and adding alt text to images, stay the same, the latest SEO trends are constantly changing. Meeting the consistent parameters and following the latest trends can be somewhat of a challenge in some cases.
The Website Providers offer tools to help with SEO. I will use every tool I can to insure your website is searchable and earns a favorable ranking. Explaining how ranking works would take at least another 600 words, but it is a very important factor to consider.
When all this is done, it is time to go live. Sometimes several creative meetings (via phone or live) with the client are necessary, before I actually publish the site. Other clients just trust my instincts. Either way, after I push the publish button, there are always adjustments we find that need to be made. Sometimes it is only after the client sees the site they realize they completely forgot to tell me a unique aspect of their business. When they are satisfied with the site, I will go through it and test all the buttons and links. Then, if social media is involved, I do the tasks necessary to link everything together and make sure the social media aspects work, too.
That, in a nutshell is what I do. Every client's experience through this process is a little different, but this is a good picture of what goes on. If you're ready to get a website or upgrade the one you have, just call 214-499-6519 and we'll get right on it!