It’s Buyer Beware when it comes to web developers! There’s a bit of mystery involved with designing a good site, coding it properly and making sure your search engine optimization is correct. When we are asked to give a quote on revising or redesigning a website, we do research. What we see when we look at your source code and check out your optimization is frustrating. And when we look at the directories? Well, it gets worse. The point is, what you don’t know, CAN hurt you – or at least hurt your business. So make sure, whoever you’re talking to, that you get the whole picture. Here are some tips.
- The design. Are you getting a customized design or a template? While nearly every design starts with some kind of template, how much work the designer does to customize the site to your business makes a difference.
- The content. You might be able to write the copy, but is it really going to enhance the site? Most marketing professionals take an entirely different approach than you will. The copy written by a professional will be more persuasive and value-driven.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). You would be surprised at how many sites we see with no search engine optimization. Or, the SEO is sloppy. There are duplicate page titles, missing or poorly configured Meta descriptions and H1 headers that are not fully consistent with the primary keyword combinations for each page. OK, let me explain. This type of sloppy SEO work means that you’re not going to get traffic to your site that you’re expecting. It can be a beautiful website, but entirely ineffective.
- Site map. Is there one on your site? An XML sitemap is necessary to register your site with Google and Bing – pretty important in today’s world!
- Responsive. A responsive site is one that responds to the device requesting the URL – in other words, the site will look good on phones, tablets or computers. Frequent web searches on phones make a responsive site a necessity in today’s world.
- Directories. After your site is live, you may also want to have the site listed in directories – like Yelp.com, Yellowpages.com, Foursquare.com and others. This is an added service that most web developers can do for you, but you may have to ask. These directories will help people locate you. Even if your company works out of your garage, being listed in directories will help you be found.
If you’re talking to a developer, or just thinking about revising your site, give us a call at 301-467-2501. We’ll be glad to guide you through the process.