Blog, Tips, Tricks and Business Thoughts
I am constantly receiving contact emails from people seeking help with their search engine rankings and when I tell you I have seen just about every nightmare imaginable I am understating but this past week I saw one of the most horrific things ever.
A very nice lady emailed me about her permanent cosmetics site, I get a lot of these because my client Theresa Judd dominates the search engines for just about every permanent cosmetic term you can image, but I digress. This lady had used one of these ‘free’ website builders and the entire site is done using Flash. I told her about the problems search engines had with Flash and ranking well. She promptly went back to the company that these sites ran under and mentioned what I had said. They emailed her back and very nicely told her they had ‘forgotten’ to turn on the SEO features on her site but they were now working properly.
Why is it most of the code provided by advertisers, tracking companies and marketers looks like something that was written in 1999? Seriously, aren’t these companies aware of the fact half the tags they are using aren’t even valid any more? Obviously they aren’t because they are still pumping out this nonsense.
I’ve pondered the idea of creating an inexpensive small business website package for a few months now. With the economy like it is small businesses are struggling to bring in new business and many that have found themselves out of work now looking to the internet as a means of income. The need is obvious, the solution not as cut and dry.
After looking at the problem from every angle I could think of I decided to run a few test projects for two local businesses at a deep discount to what a normal website should cost. These ‘tests’ also included a new, very talented designer I had hired for one job. You see the biggest expense in any website is the design. Creating custom designs is not cheap but if you have talented designers that can look at a company and bring that company’s ‘vision’ to life in a design quickly you just might have a shot at bringing the prices down to the point just about any small business can afford it. While most ‘cheap website’ designers use free templates on their customer sites I wanted something that was unique to my clients and this new designer has helped bring that idea to life.
I recently hooked up with a marketing company in Ohio, really nice people and they do really nice work but I have been absolutely mortified at some of the code on their client’s sites. “Educating” this marketing company so they can explain the problems to their customers has been fairly easy, they are smart people, but educating their client’s programmers seems like it may be one of the most daunting challenges I have ever faced.
What I don’t understand, and maybe will never understand, is why most programmers do not use the information they have for a page in ways that would enhance the customer’s site and better the chances of great search engine rankings. Let me give you a fictional example:
I get emails, phone calls and contact forms all the time from brick and mortar businesses that are curious about getting their business on the web but more often than not they feel spending a couple of thousand dollars for a website just “isn’t in the budget” and that’s really a shame because most of these people don’t realize these days a well built website is the most effective means of attracting new customers.
So I have come up with a set of questions that I ask most potential clients and I really think anyone considering having a website built for them should ask themselves and their friends these questions.
- When you are looking for a product, information or services where is the first place you look? Is it the phone book, the newspaper, the TV or is it in fact the internet.
- When you search the internet for something how many pages of search results will you wade through before you give up or try other search terms?
- When you find a site you think may have what you are looking for how long will you spend looking through it before you move to the next search result?
- Does the appearance, layout of the site effect your willingness to do business with the company?
- Is the site set up in a manner that makes you feel safe buying from them online?
I have been debating about a blog for a long time now. While I have my articles section on the site that area is mostly for developers. I thought sharing some tips, tricks, ideas and business thoughts, geared towards site owners and people wanting to get their business online might be in order.
Maybe we can clear up some of the ‘hoodoo voodoo’ mysteries about the web with some short, to the point blogs that are written in a language just about anyone can understand. Hope you stop back often and if you have a question you would like answered here on the blog please feel free to contact me at dave [at] davidcdalton.com and I will do everything I can to try and anser your questions here on the blog.
Who knows, it might be fun and we all just might learn something, myself included.