FAQ

Q.My business is small with only two employees and our products aren’t sold online. Do I really need a website?
A.

That’s a good question and yes, every business needs a website these days, period. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to computers to cars to real estate to jet airplanes, and they need to know about you. It’s not enough that you just have a website. It must look professional and evoke trust since many consumers search for information online prior to making purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. The playing field has been leveled by the Internet; whether you’re a one-man show or a corporate giant, you’re losing business if you don’t have a good site.

Q.How much should I pay for a good website?
A.

That’s a tough question because you can almost pay as little or as much as you want. Many business owners who make the decision to build a website have no clue as to what is involved. In many cases, they’ve seen advertisements for cut-rate sites costing less than a few thousand dollars. As a result, they make the assumption that the process is an easy one and anyone charging more is ripping them off. A simple hub and spoke site for a solo doctor might cost as little as $2,000, but companies wishing to drive business and take advantage of interactive features that make the Internet effective will likely spend two or three times that amount.

Q.How can we attract visitors and keep them coming to our website?
A.

This one is easy, utility! There are several easy ways to “optimize” your site to increase traffic, but optimizing is less important than providing information that is of value to your target audience. First, make sure your site is well designed with quality content. Avoid fluff, useless prose and low resolution images like mobile phone photos. You can minimize your bounce rates by providing clear navigational aids on your landing page design that also creates an initial sense of joy, trust, respect and amusement, as well as the promise of utility.

Q.Our business intends to contract with a credible out-of-state website developer who plans to communicate mostly with Skype. Is this a good idea?
A.

It depends. How finicky and organized are you? Will your mainland developer turn out to be as accessible as you expect? Two-way communication can be critical during development, and time zone differences can delay production. Though most of your contact would presumably be with a project manager, your own interaction with technicians responsible for your site’s underlying architecture, as well as graphics specialists who design web pages may be necessary at times. Unless your site is aimed at non-residents, working with a developer who possesses local marketing savvy is probably the way to go.

Q.My business has been solicited by several website designers lately; how can I identify one who can produce a website that will really help my business.
A.

Check out their most recent website! Is it easy to use? Are navigational aids intuitive and located where you expect to find them? Does the site appear helpful to users apt to visit it? Just because a company is large or has been around for decades doesn’t mean it can develop an effective website. Sit down with prospective developers and share your thoughts and expectations. Then ask for specificity regarding steps they might take to make your site work the way you want it to. Look for responses leading to critical discussion in key areas including functionality, ease of use, content quality, legibility and optimization.