Frequently Asked Web Design and Marketing Questions - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Frequently Asked Web Design and Marketing Questions

QUESTION:

How much does a website cost?

ANSWER:

Much like buying a house, what you spend on a website depends a great deal on how many features that website will have. Will it be a small, informational website? Or will it be a larger, ecommerce site where you intend to sell products?

Do you want a custom website or are you okay with using a template website? A custom website typically costs more than a template website because, as the name implies, the site is custom built for your business. A template website is a website where you can usually choose colors, fonts and possibly some images, but you are limited in how flexible the website can look and, you stand the chance of having your site look much like someone elses.

The cost of a website can vary, depending on how you answer some of these questions.  Even a custom website can vary in price from one web design company to the next.  Paying the highest price for a web site doesn't necessarily guarantee good results, nor does paying the lowest price offer the best deal.

An experienced and internet-saavy web designer can help you decide on the type of website your business needs and will offer valuable input into the features your web site should include. They should also be able to guide you in terms of the content you use on your website to help with getting your site listed in the popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

QUESTION:

I have a website which I designed, but I am nowhere on the search engines. Why?

ANSWER:

The expression "If you build it, they will come" is definitely not true on the world wide web anymore. There are several factors that go into play when you create a website, that are extremely important to establishing a search engine ranking on places like Google and Yahoo.

Content is very important - for the search engines and for your customers, of course.  Think about your business. Think about the keywords or phrases a customer might use to find your business or your type of business.  Once you come up with this list, you should make sure that these keywords and phrases are used on the pages throughout your web site. A program like WordTracker is very helpful in determining what keywords and phrases you might wish to include on your website. Another great resource is your existing customers. Ask them what they would type in to find your type of business. Sometimes the answers you get may surprise you.

I've seen some very attractive web sites that never show up in the search engines simply because graphics were used to design the entire site. Search engines read text, not graphics.  If you must use a lot of graphics on your web site, be sure to include the ALT-TAG command with each graphic. That's A-L-T T-A-G.  If you are not sure how to do this, search the internet for this command and you'll probably find some useful sites that explain how to use this HTML command.

Another important feature is the Title Bar. That is the line of text that appears at the very top of your browser window when you are on a web page. I know from experience that Yahoo places a lot of emphasis on this line of code and Google considers it important as well.

Search engines like Google also want to see relevant inbound or incoming links to your site.  These are links to your web site from other web sites that are in a similar or associated line of business to your business (without being a competitor).  Google's technology shows that the more important Google thinks the associated site is, the more important they will think yours is, and establish your search engine ranking accordingly.

If you are looking for your website to have a good search engine ranking, speak to an individual qualified in search engine marketing that can help you establish your goals.  Designing a website is only the first step in establishing your business on the internet.  Incorporating search engine strategies into your web site is the next step and should be an ongoing endeavor. 

QUESTION:

I have an e-commerce website that's been up and running for months now. My site statistics indicate I have traffic coming to my site, but no one is buying anything. What am I doing wrong?

ANSWER:

According to an industry survey, approximately 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned. That's the bad news. The good news is we know some of the reasons why. Here are the top 3 reasons:

According to a 2006 Websurveyor survey, over 30% of visitors are comparison shopping. If this is true, than you better make sure your site contains good information about your product and that your price is competitive.

This leads to the second reason a shopping cart is abandoned - the shipping cost is too high. Over 27% of users abandon their shopping cart once they see the shipping costs.

 If possible, try to have this information available up front, before your visitor adds an item to their cart.

The third reason for shopping cart abandonment, which over 27% of visitors indicated was an issue is that it took too long to make their purchase. Try to streamline your online checkout process with as few checkout screens as possible.

Your e-commerce site should be user friendly and easy to navigate. Just as you would have with a physical storefront, make your customer's online experience an enjoyable one!

QUESTION:

What is a blog and does my website need one?

ANSWER:

The word "blog" is short for "web log". A blog is an interactive, personalized journal that can be used on the internet to post your thoughts, views, ideas and experiences.

Think of a blog as a diary that other visitors to your website can see AND post their comments to, as well. 

Most, if not all, web site owners would benefit from having a blog, as long as the information on the blog has a narrow focus.  That is, the content should relate specifically to the product or service the web site owner provides.

If you are considering having a blog on your website, you should make sure you are ready to commit to it. Daily postings are recommended, but, at a minimum, be sure to post to your blog at least once a week.  And make sure you post to your blog with good content.

This goes back to a previous question I was asked - how do I get my website ranked in the search engines? Part of my response was to have good content on your website. A good blog, rich with keywords and phrases relating to your product or service, can help make that happen.

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