How to build a great website for your business in Lincoln, Nebraska
Your website is not easy for search engines to find and deliver to potential customers searching for your type of business. How do I know that? Simple. The majority of small business web sites out there today are not. No, I’m not saying that it’s your fault. In fact, I am sure that you did the best you could in the past to make sure your web site provided a good Internet presence for your company. The problem is that no one told you what makes a good website.
I’m going to tell you a secret. I’m going to tell you exactly what it is that makes a good website. If you follow these guidelines, and are willing to do the work, your web site will be good. But first, I think that I have to define what a good website is.
What makes a good website?
A good website isn’t a web site that uses all of the latest technologies. It isn’t our web site that is XHTML 1.0 or HTML 5 compliant. It isn’t a web site with a catchy flash animation or web site that plays a video of you touting the benefits of your business. It also doesn’t mean that you spent $10,000 on your website. In fact, you can have a $100,000 a year web developer on staff fulltime and still not have a good website.
If you want a web site that’s going to provide your contact information and a general overview of your product, that’s easy. If you want a web site to show up at the top of google when someone searches for your company name, that’s easy. If you want your website to generate tens, hundreds, or thousands of visits per day from people who want or need your product or service, and to generate those visits by showing up toward the top of the relevant search results pages, that’s hard.
Good for search engines, not art majors
You see, when search engines look at your site, they do not see your logo. They do not see your catchy flash animations. In fact, search engines see exactly zero of the design, color scheme, and layout of your site. From a search engine’s perspective, you can take all of that carefully-constructed, expensive design work, cover it in gasoline and burn it. They don’t care. Search engines see text. That is all. So, if you want your website to show up at the top of search pages when people are looking for products or services like yours, you need to focus on the text.
Before you ever think about having any work done on your website, from the initial site creation to a redesign, the first thing you need to think about is what content you are going to include on your site. Sure, you need to have the basics. Who are you, what do you do, how do I get a hold of you? You need to have all that for people who have, somehow or another, found their way to your web site, and have already decided that they want to do business with you.
But for the search engines, and for people who are looking for someone to help them with their problems, you need to provide information that is useful, relevant, and not just simply an ad for your business. Obviously I don’t mean that the content on your site should have nothing to do with your business. Just the opposite, in fact. The content on your site should be highly relevant to your area of business without constantly reminding the reader that you are the best one in the business.
Good for your customers
I recommend writing pages in an article format. By that I mean you would not be surprised to see this content show up in a trade magazine or even a newspaper. These articles should address general questions and needs that your potential customers would like to have addressed. Providing this useful information builds trust. When people see that you’re willing to give away some of your expertise without promoting your own business constantly, they will know that you sincerely want to help them with their problems, and not just to make a quick buck.
More importantly than that, though, at building a content base like this will provide search engines with more and more opportunities to list your pages in the result list when people need help in the area in which you are an expert. The higher and more often show up in search engine results, the more free traffic will be directed to your site. And the more free traffic your site has, the more business it will generate for you. Some people may refer to things like “search engine optimization”, but really, if your site has quality content and it is formatted sanely, you’ll do just fine on the search engine results pages.
The secret of a good website
If you want your website not to suck, get some content on it. That is the most important thing you can do, and no one else can do that for you. If you need ideas on what kind of content would be appropriate and useful for your site, I’d be happy to help. Use the contact page, or give me an e-mail or a call on the phone. I’ll help you make sure that customers can find your website, and that once they get there, they’ll be satisfied with what they find.