• By Linda Ray •
Whether you’re a big business leader or a small business owner, you must build a better website than the competition. To do that, you need:
– An attractive, engaging blog that reaches both potential and existing customers
– Keywords placed throughout the site that answer search queries
– Easy-to-navigate web pages
– Explicit calls to action
– Graphics and videos that are inviting but not overwhelming
Put the word out, and there’s no doubt you’ll be bombarded with offers to build a new site, update your current site or maintain the status quo. Not all that long ago, you had fewer options for professionals who could build a better website and even fewer options to be able to do it yourself successfully.
Who Really Builds A Better Website?
As with the internet of all things, times have changed and continue to evolve. You’ve got to keep up or find someone willing to do it for you. The digital marketing landscape is bursting with so many blog writers, web developers, social media experts and SEO analysts that it can leave you spinning in your office chair. You don’t have time to vet them all, and you likely don’t have the resources to experiment before deciding whom to trust to build a better website for you.
According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were:
– 148,500 website developers (expected to reach 188,000 by 2024)
– 136,500 professional writers (139,000 by 2024)
– 240,700 public relations professionals, which includes SEO and social media consultants (255,600 by 2024)
– 495,500 market research analysts and marketing specialists (587,800 by 2024)
Navigating The Maze of Professionals
No writing assignment should proceed without up-to-date, thoroughly vetted research. You have to stand out from the off-the-cuff, opinionated bloggers out there by providing real, authentic information. And that’s the best way for you to approach your decision to build a better website. Find an outside agency or consultant to work with by ensuring that their website:
– Includes testimonials from their clients. And don’t hesitate to contact their clients to get first-hand reports. Every consultant should readily give referrals.
– Withstands a thorough investigation. All website developers, designers and marketers can no longer give you the old “barefoot shoemaker’s kids” excuse. They should have a website that does what it’s supposed to do and what you would like your website to do.
Ask your colleagues for referrals for a website professional to work with. Furthermore, don’t be shy about giving any consultant you contact a test – such as a page to write, a request for a quote or for a quick review of your current website. Watch for:
– The timeliness of their response
– The tone of voice of the report
– A professional communication style
– The likelihood of a good fit for your business
Beware of really long-term contracts, but a one-year commitment to work with a website developer or writing agency is standard and often required to get a true synergy going. Re-evaluate your progress toward your goals at regular intervals, such as every three months.
Or Do It Yourself
You have a slew of viable choices when you want to create your own basic website or build a better website, even if you don’t have any particular IT training or experience. You can find tons of online tutorials and plenty of reviews that give you a pretty good idea of how difficult or easy any one service is.
If you have the time, doing it yourself often is the best option to build a better website for a number of reasons, not the least of which includes:
– Many DIY site-building platforms are free or very low cost, allowing you to slash site development costs.
– As you need to update or make changes, you can do them yourself instead of waiting on someone else’s schedule.
– You also can outsource many of the internal components of your site that don’t cost as much or take as much time – such as the writing, blog creation, shopping cart or SEO.
Guest author: Linda Ray, CEO of Ray Access
Ray Access is a content marketing firm that believes in the power of words to empower your business. Content marketing may be the least expensive, yet most effective way to market your business online.