How Much Should A Website Cost? The Older And Wiser Edition.

How Much Should A Website Cost? The Older And Wiser Edition.

Listen to this episode. http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0125-blog-how-much-should-a-website-cost-the-older-and-wiser-edition.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. In April of 2012 I published an article called How Much Should A Website Cost? To this day that post dominates our analytics, outstripping every post before or since in terms of visits. But that was then and this is now and I often think that it’s time to update that post because three years on the Internet is something like 30 dog years, I think. Perhaps most significantly, I’ve had the chance to experiment during the past three years with different pricing structures, different packages and different feature sets. I’ve discovered what works (at least for me, my company and my clients) and what doesn’t. I’d like to share that with you today so that you can be smarter about budgeting and so that you can understand why one guy wants to charge you $500 and the other is asking for $5,000. First Of All, Let’s Stop Calling It A Website Yes, it’s a website. But if you want it to do more than sit there and look pretty, kind of like wallpaper or that strange half-vase your Great Aunt Tilda bought you, the one you have to keep on the counter in case she visits… then you have to stop thinking of your website as its literal self and start seeing it as a marketing tool. A website can have various roles and serve different functions at different points in your sales funnel, from signing people up for your email list...
How Do I Get More Traffic To My Website?

How Do I Get More Traffic To My Website?

Listen to this episode.http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0042-blog-how-do-i-get-more-traffic-to-my-website.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. Of All The Questions I’m Asked By Customers And Prospects Alike, This One Ranks In The Top Three. Even people who don’t check their analytics and barely know what analytics are have the presence of mind to ask how to get more people to visit their website. I’m going to tell you one of the best kept secrets of increasing website traffic: It’s easy. I’m also going to share some tactics for doing it but there’s a twist at the end, so stick around. Blog Let me start this simply by telling you that if you’re not blogging for business then all bets are off. Getting traffic to your site is no longer so easy. Building an audience or an email list or getting listed in search results is no longer so easy. Blogging is about as close to a secret recipe for success as you’re going to get. Sites that don’t publish regular content are at a distinct disadvantage in the battle for attention and traffic. In fact, if you’re not blogging for business then you can probably stop reading because most of what I’m about to say depends on you having regular content. So what does that mean? It means you know who your audience is and what they want. You know what their questions, fears, problems and concerns are and you address them honestly. It means you infuse your personality into your writing in a way that helps people put a...
Is Your Website Generating Leads? Fix These Things Now To Improve Your Chances.

Is Your Website Generating Leads? Fix These Things Now To Improve Your Chances.

Listen to this episode.http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0034-blog-is-your-website-generating-leads-fix-these-things-now-to-improve-your-chances_mixdown.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. When It Comes To Your Website, You Make The Rules. You’ve probably heard me (and about a billion other people) say that when it comes to online marketing, your website is the home base for your business. You own it (or should! If you’re not sure, well that’s a whole other story…) Nobody can tell you how much text to put on a page or how many characters you can use or what type of content or language is appropriate. With such an important job to do, it’s a wonder that there are so many thoughtless websites out there that do nothing to advance the goals of the business. If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone complain, “My website isn’t doing anything!” I could stop writing right now and retire to that villa in Barcelona. Building a customer-focused, lead-generating site is no joke. Free website builder tools aside, it’s a lot of work to dig deep to the bottom of what your customers and prospects really want and need and what will get them to take action. The “building” part of a website is the easy part. But knowing what to build? Not so much. The three lines of text at the top of our own home page took us an entire weekend to write. We tossed out one idea after the next as we aimed to hit the right note. Is it perfect? I don’t know. But we’re testing...
Your Marketing Is About To Explode. Read This To Defuse The Bomb.

Your Marketing Is About To Explode. Read This To Defuse The Bomb.

Quick: what’s at the center of your marketing universe? Tick tick tick… Do you hear that sound? That’s the sound of your marketing getting ready to explode if you didn’t immediately answer “my website”. Without a website you have no home base. No place to send people where you have all the opportunity in the world – on your terms – to convince and convert. But simply “having” a website isn’t enough. You need to care for your website like the precious possession that it is. But so many people – too many people – build and run. And when your website is feeling unloved and untended, things can go very, very wrong. Just recently I had the good fortune to be invited on Mallie Hart’s “Simmer Down Sassy Pants” podcast where we talked about some of the things that can go wrong with your website. I got a little rant-y about mistakes and preventable catastrophes that I see all too frequently and Mallie gave me a good dose of “simmer down”. Actually, Mallie agreed with every word I said and threw in her own nightmare scenarios because this is just that serious. If you’re not scared right now, let me assure you that you should be. Because if you’re neglecting any of these absolutely vital parts of your website then your marketing is going to detonate. Here are a few of the key takeaways from our chat and be sure to listen to the podcast for the full effect. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sdspcast/Episode15.mp3 Your Website Is Not Tech Me to client: Let’s talk about content for your new website. Client: Ok,...
4 Mistakes That May Result In Your Website Being Held Hostage: Part 2

4 Mistakes That May Result In Your Website Being Held Hostage: Part 2

Last week I started a discussion on how to prevent your website from being held hostage. Here are avoidable mistakes 3 and 4. You Can’t Control How And When Your Site Is Updated I met with a small business owner recently who was frustrated by lack of marketing results and asked me to evaluate his website. This business owner had long since paid another developer for his website and was now paying a monthly fee for “SEO services”. The monthly fee entitled him to request two changes to the site per year. After I took a good look at the site, I made some recommendations for improving the site but since my new client had already used up his allocated “two changes”, he was unable to implement any of my suggestions. When I asked the developer how much it would cost to make additional changes to the site, he told me it was not possible to make any additional changes. Not even for an additional fee. When I asked for a rationale on behalf of my client, the developer said that more than two changes was bad for SEO. If you’ve been reading this blog or know me or Carol Lynn, then you already know that updating your site more than twice a year is not bad for SEO. But just in case, let me be clear that this is a preposterous thing to say. The truth is the exact opposite. Search engines can learn more about you if you maintain and update your site with some reasonable frequency. As it turns out, the rationale for the “two changes”...
4 Mistakes That May Result In Your Website Being Held Hostage: Part 1

4 Mistakes That May Result In Your Website Being Held Hostage: Part 1

Alert! Make sure you stay tuned for my sucker punch at the end of Part 2 next week. Over the past few months, my company has focused on promoting its branded service offering called Web.Search.Social. In a nutshell, Web.Search.Social targets small and medium sized businesses in the area of web, search and social marketing. We’ve been running a series of cost-saving promotions to entice people to hire us. The good news is that we’ve closed a bunch of new work. The bad news is that the work has come with some stress. Not for us, but for some of our new customers. As it turns out, some of our new clients discovered that rebooting their marketing wasn’t so easy because their websites were being held hostage. In some cases, a fee was required to disengage from an old developer. In others an attorney had to be called in. In still others, there was nothing to be done and we had to start from scratch when our customers realized they would never be able to access their original websites again. Here are the first two of the top four mistakes that I’ve witnessed and how you can avoid them. You Don’t Know Who Owns Your Domain Name If you want to buy a car, you go to a car dealership. If you want to buy a domain, you go to a registrar. However, you can’t really buy a domain. It’s more a like a lease for a fixed amount of time. After that time expires, you can renew the domain otherwise it becomes available for anyone to purchase and use. Registering a domain is...