Your website is a reflection of your business, so when deciding on hiring a web designer, make sure you are hiring someone that is looking out for your best interest.
Here at Optical Art, we take the time to understand your business in detail. Understanding your business goals and needs is necessary to make sure that your website can be found by those looking for the services and / or products that your company is offering. A website is not only a reflection of your business but it also plays a huge role in bringing in new customers for increasing revenue. So when deciding on hiring someone to design your website, make sure you are hiring someone that is looking out for your best interest and not someone just trying to make a quick buck.
Remember that knowledge is power and an informed decision usually makes for a better one. While it is our job to make sure that your website works for your business, it doesn't hurt for the client to have a general idea what all is involved in the web design and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) process. Whether you decide to use Optical Art to design your website or even if you choose to go with another web design company, please take the time to read the following information as it will help you have an understanding of what to expect from a new website.
First we look at your business in detail to find out what type of services and products you are trying to sell. Next step is to create a home page that is esthetically pleasing, easy to navigate on all desktops as well as mobile devices, encompasses what your business is all about and finally to build brand awareness. Next is to create individual landing pages for each of the services and / or products that you offer. For instance, if you are a plumbing company, Your home page would be ACME Plumbing. Your individual landing pages would be for services such as: drain cleaning, garbage disposal repair, etc... The final step is SEO.
In most cases no, and if you were told differently then chances are they are being less than truthful. There are a number of factors that can work for and against you when it comes to bringing in business from your website, I will list some of them for you. In terms of searching I will use Google as our default search engine, because face it, Google pretty much has a monopoly on being the number one search engine.
A new domain name generally cost around $15 yearly. If you need a domain name also called a web address, a brand new domain name will automatically have lower rank as opposed to an older domain name that has been around for awhile. Google does this because they want you to prove that you are a legitimate business. One workaround for this would be to buy a domain on an auction that has an age of five or more years. This will allow you to earn trust with Google faster but gives you less options on having a specific domain name, I.E. your actual business name. We can purchase or help you with the purchase of a domain name on an auction, and most of these domains can be purchased anywhere from $10 to $200.
As far as Google is concerned, a business should have the following contact information: business name, phone number and a physical address. In order to create brand awareness, we need to have your business contact information on as many websites as possible. This would include business listings created on: Yelp, Google Places, Bing, Yahoo, Whitepages, etc.. as well as social media websites like: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.. The more you have, the more search engines will trust that you are an established business. This also provides backlinks to your website which is also a ranking factor used by search engines to increase ranking for relative keyword and search terms related to your business.
Depending on what type of business you have, there could be a lot of competition for the services and /or products you offer. If you have a chimney cleaning business in a small town, you could have a new website created and may start ranking near the top of search results right away. However, if you are an HVAC company competing in a city like Charlotte, there are hundreds of companies that are well established and are competing for the very same keywords and search terms as you.
If someone is asking you to pay them a monthly fee to get you to rank #1 or even near the top of Google search and promising results right away, these are scams to steal your money. Once you pay them to start doing SEO for your website, and once you realize that your rank has not improved they will already have your money and will move on to the next victim. Not only will you waste money, they can do more harm than good by creating low quality backlinks for your website. Once Google finds these backlinks and determines that they are spammy backlinks, your website will be penalized by receiving a drop in rank or being un-indexed completely.
There are two options that can bring in business right away, one is Pay Per Click (paid ads) and the other is SEO specific landing pages curtailed to your business for organic search results. I will go into further detail about each:
Paid clicks / Google Adwords
Google provides a paid service called Google Adwords. You can create a campaign for your website with keywords that will trigger your ad with a link to your website. Depending on your business, the cost for these keywords can vary anywhere from $2 all the way up to $100 per click. For instance, If you are selling scales for forklifts each keyword may cost you around $2 to $4 a click. If you are an HVAC company, these clicks can be $10 to $50, If you are a law firm those click cost can go up to $100 a click. Basically each keyword will have a max bid amount, those who bid higher will have a higher position in search results, those who pay less per click will be positioned lower on the page or even possibly the second page. Depending on the keyword and how many others are competing for that search term will have a greater impact on price. Anyone can setup their own Google Adwords campaign, however there is a lot of optimization and a steep learning curve. If you aren't careful, you can end up paying more than you bargained for. Optical Art can setup an Adwords campaign for you, and make sure it is optimized so you are getting the most bang for your buck. If you are paying someone to do an Adwords campaign for you, always ask that they send you a transaction statement and a print out of all paid clicks. Some companies will have you pay a flat amount for the month, and you may not spend anywhere near that amount in actual clicks.
Let's say you are a locksmith and you want your brand new website to rank high for the search term "locksmith". Chances are you will have a lot of competition for that specific keyword. Because your website is new, you might be showing up on the 7th page of search results and by then a potential customer will have likely already found a competitors website on page one or two. The way landing pages work, is we help bring in traffic (potential customers) using more specific targeted keywords. For example, If someone needs a locksmith for a new set of keys for their Honda Accord. Chances are they did a search for "honda key replacement", by creating a page for that specific search, you now have less competition and better chances for potential customers to find your website for that particular service. As more landing pages are created, this brings in more traffic to your website which over time will help your website rank well for those important keywords like "locksmith" in this example.
Because not all businesses are alike, the same goes for a new website. What may work for one type of business may not work for another. I will go over in detail what goes into creating a website and how I estimate the time involved and in turn the cost of a new website.
For a small business they may only need a few pages which might include a homepage, about us, services and a contact page. For a company that offers many services, they may need 20 or more pages. Then you have to take into account how much content will be on each page. By having an understanding of your business and what type of products and services you are trying to sell, I will be able to give you a more detailed quote.
Because so many new devices are coming on the market every day, and because over 70% of all web searches are now done on mobile devices. Your website needs to be optimized to work on all devices. The best way to show all of your content on all devices is by having a responsive website as opposed to having both a desktop version and a mobile version. I have a number of premade templates that I use, by using templates that have already been used for a previous website, you are not having to pay extra for website coding and browser specific optimization as all of this work has already been done. To see how this works, click on one of the websites I have created, and view that website on both a computer and a mobile phone, you will notice the layout changes, yet all of the content is still accessible and easy to navigate.
A website is only as good as its content, not only is this true just by viewing it, but Google's search algorithm can pick up on this as well. This is probably the most important ranking factor for your website that a search engine uses. Google knows if someone clicks on your website and then immediately leaves. They call this "bounce rate" If someone visits your website and stays awhile, Google sees this as positive sign that your website must be relevant to the keyword search that found it and will continually increase the rank on your website for that specific search term. However, if people consistently visit your page then immediately leave, this will have a negative impact on your website for that specific keyword.
Obviously typed content is what conveys your message, and it is also what Google uses to categorize your website for searches. For a website or webpage to rank well, you need to have original content. If you copy content from a competitors website word for word, search engines know this and they will penalize your page by either punishing you in rank, or not indexing your page at all (will not show up in searches). If you already have typed content you can provide us, then this will save a lot of time and will bring down the cost of your website. If you do not have content and you would like to have Optical Art create it for you, this will take extra time to research, find and retype content to make it original.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. In addition, they make websites not only look better, but more interesting as well. A correctly placed image can help a user understand more about a specific page before even reading the content, and images are great filler for those pages that are lacking in content. Overall images do dress up of the look of a website and make for a much more user friendly experience. It is important that any images used on your website are either ones you personally took yourself or have been legally purchased with a license to use them. Because of copyright laws, it is risky to use images or photos found online without permission. If you use an image that has been copyrighted, there are web crawlers that search web pages daily, they are able to detect if a copyrighted image is being used on your website. If one is found and you do not have a license to use that image, you can be sued not only for the original cost of the image, also compensatory, punitive damages as well as lawyer fees. Copyright infringement is big business for lawyers, so the safe way to go is by purchasing images legally from a legitimate photo stock website. Most images can be purchased online anywhere from $2 to 3$ each. Any and all images purchased by Optical Art come with a receipt showing a license to use the image, which can be provided to our clients at anytime if needed.
Option 01 - Pay for the website and its yours.
Once we have a general idea of what all is needed to create a website for your business, we will give you a general timeframe of how many hours it will take to complete your website. A quote will be provide with a list of options and services for your website based on an hourly rate of $50. For new clients we ask that half be paid up front and the remainder upon completion of the website.
Option 02 - Pay monthly for a new website
We also offer a monthly fee option which can start as low as a $100 a month based on your company’s needs. This includes SEO, ongoing maintenance and additional pages added to the website on a regular basis. Because this is monthly option, a first time fee of three months must be paid in advance. You will not own the website, but as long as you continue to pay for the website, you will continue to benefit from it. With this option you will pay less upfront and are able to test out if a new website will work for your business as there is no contract. As an ongoing client, you can rest assured that we are available 24/7 to make any updates to your website and that we will be improving your website's rank and performance weekly.
P. O. Box 19165
Charlotte, NC 28219