Pierre loved riding his bicycle. Almost every weekday he could be seen pedaling down the streets of his suburban Paris village en route to work and home again. On weekends he'd take longer rides into the countryside, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Imagine his delight when it was advertised that a bicycle race was coming to his little town! He filled out an entrance form immediately.
In the weeks leading up to the race, Pierre practiced. He rode as fast and hard as he could. He made sure his bicycle was ready. He watched videos, ate right and told all his friends about it. Then the big day arrived. Donning his new stretchy shorts and best helmet, he thumbed the bell on his handlebars and took off for the town square, where the starting line was forming. As he approached, Pierre's excitement quickly soured into complete terror.
Racers in flashy matching uniforms were conferring with their managers and testing their radio equipment. Coaches, team doctors and mechanics busied themselves with strategy, hydration and multitudes of bicycles, all of which looked more like aircraft than bikes.
It was obvious to Pierre that he had missed a few steps along the way. Why did his competition have to be so extremely prepared? Sadly, he coasted over to a little café at the edge of the town square, ordered an espresso and pondered his love for cycling and what it meant to go up against all those other riders who actually knew what they were doing.
The Moral of the Story?
The sidelines are for the unprepared. And that's where your business will be without a website that competes at the same level as those that are serious about getting found on internet searches.
Website marketing with a "free" website builder?
Case in point- "free business websites" that you see advertised online and on TV. While a few of them give you the opportunity to optimize some aspects your site for visibility on Google, they aren't comprehensive, and once you get beyond a very basic level, they aren't really free either. And if you really want to make sure your site is competitive, you're looking at learning HTML, and keeping track of all the changes in search algorithms that affect your ranking.
If you have a business, you have competitors- it's that simple. Though you may be able to ignore it for a while, buying and selling anything in this country generally means that there's more than one company doing what you do.
Even if you're in business for the fun of it, competing is part of the picture. Many business owners and entrepreneurs find it fun, if they are prepared for it.
In today's commercial environment, winning the battle for buyers requires marketing, and marketing means taking your business to the internet. Here's our message to businesses that are ready to compete: If you want to give your business a fighting chance to thrive in a competitive marketplace, publishing a free or super-low-cost home page on a free website builder won't cut it.
What a business website marketing company can do for you
What are some of the behind-the-scenes factors that affect your search visibility? Here's a quick listing of what SEO companies might do for a client, and what United WebWorks does when putting a site together:
Hosting- This is the agency that actually holds the digital ones and zeroes on physical computer servers. Data security and downtime are critical issues here, and you get what you pay for. In other words, cheaper hosts will not offer the same guarantees. Your hosting company is also the source of your domain, or the part of your web address before the dot. If you want your business name in your URL (address), a host may or may not be able to provide it for purchase.
Social Media- What good is a killer site if no one knows about it? The most visible companies know that over time, consistent and regular interaction with the public through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
SEO- There's a lot more to internet marketing than meets the eye. SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization," or simply, managing the details that makes your site match the criteria Google and other search engines use to determine relevance when someone types or speaks a search phrase into their computer or phone. Some of it is apparent to a site viewer, other elements are hidden. On-page, site architecture and local SEO is critical to competing with any and all other websites similar to yours. Let your competitors ignore this, not you.
Content- Adding certain kinds of content on a regular basis is another key to building your reputation online, like blogs and other articles, freshening up your main web pages, and linking to other authoritative sites and pages.
Photos- the online experience is getting visual and knowing how to add graphic elements in search-friendly ways is another way to keep ahead.
Email- when done in concert with all your other marketing activities, email marketing can by surprisingly effective. Do you know the current best practices for email?
Google Ads- Still a bargain, targeted ads that show to a defined audience on select pages can really help your visibility. Creating and managing ads includes a learning curve, but a good SEO company can do it in their sleep- not something you get with that "free" website builder.
Analysis and adjustment- Learning Google Analytics, or monitoring a plug-in on your free site isn't for the faint of heart. This refers to the practice of watching the performance of the pages on your website to see where the traffic is going, and putting opportunities there that can lift the number of visitors to the rest of your site. Pages that perform poorly can be redone or eliminated.
What's behind a high-performing website that generates leads on its own? As Pierre found out about his beloved cycling hobby, there's a heckuva lot that goes on behind the scenes of a successful internet marketing plan that wins. These are a few of the details we take care of for our clients with a marketing package to boost their awesome website. If you're ready for more leads and more revenue, start a conversation with our staff at United WebWorks!