Here are some of our most frequently asked questions.
What experience does Web-tastic have with web site design and Internet services?
Web-tastic is owned and operated by Alan Beilgard. Alan built his first computer in 1981. He was creating computer-based solutions for business in the mid 80’s and providing IT support by the late 80’s and into the mid 90’s. In 1997 Alan founded an Internet Service Provider company. He ran this company for nine years all the while creating web presence for individuals and for business. Part of this web site design was the ability for web sites to be found through organic search by Google. Alan has been in the computer, Internet and web industry since before Google existed. Alan understands small business and how small business should be represented on the Internet.
What is a “search engine optimization”, and do I need it?
Search engine optimization is the process of creating original content on an original web site that is friendly for search engines to find your web site. It is not only important to use methods that increase your ability to be found, but it is also necessary to know what it is that the search engine companies (Google) don’t like. There are things that some novice designers do that they think are helping to optimize a web site, when in fact their design style is putting the site at risk of being penalized by the search engines and given a much lower ranking. With over a decade of sustained web design experience, we know most of the tricks of the trade.
Proper content is only the beginning when it comes to search engine optimization. The search engines like to rank popular web sites higher than less popular web sites. With this in mind it is important to have back-links to your web site. This is where social media comes into play. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are great for linking back to your web site. Read more below about social media management and back-linking.
What is a “domain name”, and do I need one?
A domain name is what comes between the “www.” and the “.com”. While “.com” is the most popular extension in the United States, other extensions such as .net, .org, .us are also available. There is a cost associated with registering a domain name. Costs vary for a domain name based on which extension that you choose, and from which registration company you select. Plan to spend about $15 per year for each domain name that you register.
Where should I go to get my domain name and website hosting?
We recommend using Tüfinz for your domain registration and website hosting.
How will potential customers find my web site on the Internet?
The most common methods are through organic search, pay-per-click (PPC), and via social media.
Organic search is when a person types a word, words, or a phrase into the search box of Google, Yahoo, Bing, or some other search engine. These search engines have their own methods for trying to figure out what you really are looking for, and then provide results. Typical result are provide with about ten links per page. The goal of every web site is to get onto the first page of results. About 90% of business is clicked from the first page, about 8% from the second page, and anything below that is almost worthless. We create pages with content that give your business the best chance of getting listed on the first page.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is where you pay a fee every time that somebody clicks on your ad. For example, go to google.com and perform a search. On the right side of the page you will see ads that are three to five lines of text. Every time that somebody clicks on one of these ads, the company paying for the ad pays a fee to Google. PPE can be one of the most expensive methods of advertising for a small business without return on investment. We discourage this form of advertising.
Social Media is a must. Social media allows others to read about you. In addition, one of things that Google really likes are back-links. A back-link is where other web sites link to your web site (but don’t go crazy because Google will punish your site by not showing it in searches if you do it wrong). When you have active social media pages such as with Facebook, G+ (Google+), Twitter, Youtube, and others, you can help your web site rank higher through organic searching.
What are my options for dealing with social media?
Social media is a necessary evil. Most business people do not want to deal with it. Regular social media activity is a requirement, not an option. If you let your social media pages stagnate (by not posting regularly) people will think that you don’t care about your business, and thus about your customers. Not having a social media presence is bad for business, but a stagnate social media presence is much worse.
Should I pay for online advertising?
You know your business best. If you think that you absolutely need paid online advertising, then you should try it. But let me tell you a little secret. When the Internet first came about there soon became banner ads on web pages. Initially, most people were curious about the web and they clicked on these ads, simply out of curiosity. In the beginning the click-through-rate (the percentage of times that an ad was clicked based on how many times it appeared on a page) was in the high 90% range. Today’s ads are lucky to get one in a thousand. However, if you are going to pay for a banner ad, do it through your local Chamber of Commerce, school system, or other non-profit organization.
I see ads stating that I can have a web site built for under $200. Can I get that from you?
Most certainly! For $200 I can build you a web site worth $200.
So…you have to ask yourself “self…is a $200 web site how I want my customer’s to view my business?” If the answer is yes, then maybe you should give it a shot to see what you get.
How much do you charge to build a web site?
This question is akin to asking “how much does a car cost”? As with the price of a car, there is no fixed price to build a web site. I can ball-park a basic web presence. My question to you is “what is your budget”? I will let you know your options based on your budget.
I’m an independent agent for the company that I work for. Do I need a web site just for me?
Your company most likely has a profile page for you already. But that’s not enough. Google won’t provide all of the information about how they rank pages for search, but they do outright state that “associate pages” are virtually ignored by their search. This means that if somebody is searching for your type of business, product, or service, and all you have is your company associate page, you most likely will never appear in a Google search.
In order for you to get the best result possible for a Google search, you must have original content at an original web address. A sample associate page that Google does not like would be something like www.WidgetCompany.com/#TomJones (where the “#TomJones” is your associate page address). A much better address would be one that you register just for yourself like www.TomJonesWidgets.com.
In addition, you need to create original content for your web site. If your company allows it, you should back-link your associate page to your custom page, and from your custom page to your associate page.
How do I know if my web site is getting viewed?
In addition to creating a great web presence for you, we can optionally setup and configure Google Analytics and Bing/Yahoo Analytics.
After a couple of weeks the Analytics will begin to show trends in web site behavior. Analytics show such things as how many times a web page is viewed, where they click once on the page, how long they stay on a page, and what page they are on when they leave your web site. Analytics also show the location of the viewer (city, state, country), what browser they are using, what type of device they are using (phone, tablet, desktop), if they are male or female, and their age range.
We can help you decipher the data. For instance, we have analytics running on a web site for a pizza restaurant in Littleton, Colorado. We noticed that on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from December through April there were an increased amount of views from mobile devices in the mountains along the I-70 freeway. We concluded that these views were from skiers coming back down the mountain looking for a place to eat on their way home.
If you were the owner of this pizza restaurant, what would you do with this information?
I just need a basic web site for people to search the web and find me. What’s involved?
A basic web site that gets found on the Internet requires original content. We will need for you to create this content. Don’t worry, you know your business and it’s easier than you think to come up with some great content.
A typical web site includes a home page with a call-to-action, and linked pages that normally include such pages as “about”, “services/products”, “testimonials”, “FAQ’s”, and “Contact”. Your business might be a little different, but this is a typical web site.
There are many types of web sites. The current Web-tastic.net web site is called a flat page. This is where the bulk of the information resides on a single page with a menu on top that links to sections below. This is a trending style. Other web sites include each section of a different page that needs to be clicked on to access.