What’s your digital strategy for 2019?
Do you need a new website or to get more bite out of your existing one?
READ THIS PAGE IF:
YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GETTING A WEBSITE
YOU WANT TO UPDATE AN EXISTING WEBSITE
YOU FEEL YOUR BUSINESS IS UNDER-PERFORMING ON THE WEB
Some reasons to read on…
Your website is not bringing the leads you need
Your competitors are scaling up their web presence
Your Facebook page has very few followers
Your brand online doesn’t look right anymore
You have no idea if digital can bring anything to your business or know where to start
You’ve heard that SEO is important but don’t know where to start
You’ve thought about getting a website but don’t know where to start
Your business has grown and you need more from your website now
Have you weighed the impact of the digital assets you need for your business, like website, social channels, email campaigns or have you just settled for what you knew how to do?
It can feel very complex out there, with terms like Algorithms and SEO being bandied around to explain why you don’t get results or need to work harder at it. Then there’s the time looking after these online assets can take. So many business owners are passionate about their business but not so much about ‘working it’ online.
Most business owners can talk for hours about their business strategies and goals, but find it hard to get down to the nitty gritty of how digital can help achieve them. There’s often this feeling that digital is a black hole of time and money wasting, detracting from getting on with the business of running a business. But… that’s so far from the truth!
Most of my clients want to be informed and want to understand but the realities of running a business get in the way.
So, you don’t need to read this – just get in touch. It’s a gentle process where you get the support you need to decide what digital footprint is best for your business.
As much as everything is ‘on the web’ these days, it’s still an important decision to go for a website at all, or at least to be realistic about what it can or can’t achieve, or how much ongoing effort it will take to have one.
Whether it’s a businesses’ first website or an overhaul of an existing site, the story is often the same, it’s about where the business is going, what it wants to achieve and how an online presence can be curated to help with that.
So, how does a small business know what to ask for or what kind of site to build?
That’s where some of the other services come in (Digital Footprint Analysis, Digital Clinic), helping to figure out what’s a good fit and good strategy for you.
JOOSE DIGITAL SERVICES
Digital Footprint Analysis
This is a process of looking at what is currently online for a business, looking at how well it’s performing online, both on social media and the web in general. How well is the business described, how fresh and up to date or accurate the content is, and whether it matches the current business brand and values. It’s a mix of research, data and opinion. A digital footprint analysis is the starting point for any good digital strategy and for any rebuild/rebrand of a business website. However, it can be done as a standalone process to help inform a businesses own strategies.
A digital strategy is similar to a business strategy but with a focus on all things digital: website, social channels, email, newsletters, digital media etc. A business without a digital strategy is less likely to get ROI on effort and money or have positive impact on business goals. A digital strategy is a custom plan, which makes the best use of the resources and skills available to deliver on specific business goals. It can be a high level set of objectives or something more detailed, but the purpose is the same, to guide what and how digital is used to best effect.
Digital strategies tend to have a shortish shelf-life, particularly if a business is in rapid growth or new. A good digital strategy is a great tool for small businesses where the management team are doing everything, so that there is greater impact for effort ratio.
Creating a digital strategy can be part of the website development project or a completely independent process.
After a few years, social media, website and other content found online can get messy, out of date or even become inaccurate. Part of the process of building a great digital footprint is curating what’s out there. This can be part of a new website build or done separately. The quality and consistency of content found in searches impacts positively, while inconsistencies can do damage.
DIGITAL BRAND REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Not all the information about you/your business is owned or accessible by you, but can still impact for good or bad on you/your business brand or reputation. Cleaning and/or curating a ‘brand’ reputation online can be a one-off or an ongoing process, via a number of different tactics. Not everyone needs it – but a Digital Footprint Analysis will show if it’s necessary.
DIGITAL CLINIC SESSIONS
It’s like a speed dating phone call or meeting; nothing written, totally based on what you tell me, an on-the-fly Digital Analysis, which outlines advice to help you plan your next steps digitally. It can include some digging into current business goals or issues and typically helps to consolidate thinking and frame plans for moving forward.
In the case of new business, it will help with the business plan and in the case of an existing business it will help to better strategise next steps.
I offer a free digital clinic session to all my web clients before we get to the quoting stage.
The 360 approach to marketing online often puts the website in the centre. For some businesses, building marketing assets into the site can help shortcut some marketing efforts, for others it’s about consolidating the brand which marketing relies on or making sharing the message easier. Now that most marketing efforts are driven by engagement, it’s also about driving that and the story, the feeling which helps bring the marketing home.
Aside from these more subtle web elements, digital marketing has taken over for many as the primary means of reaching customers/visitors, and is significanlty more complex than traditional marketing, with different formats and social media algoritms to navigate. For the smaller business, agencies and experts are too big a leap and cost, sometimes it just needs a little more expertese to cut through the noise and find a strategy. This can be as an overarching conceptual plan when a website is constructed or on a project by project basis for particular campaigns or targets.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the means by which websites can take advantage of Googles’ search algorithms to get their website to show up in searches. SEO is made up of a long list of things which google looks at to decide whether to show your site or not when people are searching on different search words or phrases.
Some SEO attributes are built in at the core of a website, some change and some are ongoing.
Factors like, how business critical being at the top of search is to your business, your budget, whether you are building organic reach or paid with Google Ads, determine how much SEO effort needs to go in.
My website builds have good foundational SEO built in. More advanced SEO building comes as a custom extra. For those needing to understand more about SEO and how it relates to their website or business, my digital clinic sessions can cover this.
Websites are not like brochures, not only does the technology need maintaining and updating, but to be effective the content needs to stay fresh and up-to-date. Some of this, clients can do easily themselves with a wordpress website, others need a bit more technical know how. Care packages (paid monthly in advance) can cover regular essential maintenance, proactive maintenance, updating, content adding, social media sharing, digital marketing, reporting analytics and SEO or any mix of these. Monthly packages are always customised to both need and budget.
Care packages are also available for clients with existing websites.
WordPress is a web content management system (CMS) which currently around 1/3 of the internet globally is built on. Its free to use, although ideally clients need to purchase a domain name and hosting to run their own wordpress site with their own domain name (web address).
While the core wordpress software is free, additional functionality is added through specialist themes, customisations and plugins, which are often not free. The beauty of so many people using it, is that pretty much anything you can think of in the way of functionality, someone has made already, meaning that wordpress websites can be highly functional relatively quickly.
While wordpress can expand to accommodate the needs of even big complex businesses it’s actually ideal for the smaller business or web user, who wants to have some control over whats posted. Once it’s built, it’s about as easy to add, post or change content as running a Facebook page.
Don’t let the lure of e-commerce (selling stuff on your website) get the better of a good business decision. Some timely Digital Strategy advice can help you pick the right solutions, potentially save money or at least avoid risking it on systems which might not work for you. There are many solutions, picking the right one for your business needs, can mean the difference between success and failure.
- Initial Interview/Digital Clinic
- Pre-quote interview
With 3 phases before any money or contracts are signed, clients get plenty of useful advice whether they proceed or not.
All builds are custom, contain great starting SEO infrastructure and built with functionality to help deliver on business goals whatever they might be.
Clients can go lean or multi-faceted including digital curation, brand reputation management, digital strategy, care packages and ongoing SEO. So, there is no set website development fee, each site is different and negotiated as a one-off.
Small organisations, not for profits, creative brands, portals, offline services & businesses, can find themselves confused by systems, services and help which is not completely suited to their goals. Not every website is about sales, not every website is about growing numbers, not every website is about size. That’s where custom solutions really come into their own, helping clients to understand what kind of website is best for them right now, something that’s a good fit to push things forward without breaking the bank or leaving a client with a digital strategy they have no time or skill to fulfil. Custom solutions in the web world can mean spending less money not more.
Updates & Rebuilds
When refreshing existing websites, I take the same approach and only re-use old architecture if it fits with the business moving forward. This means that rebuilds can sometimes (but not always) be more expensive than a new build, especially if there’s lots of archival material to move.
If you’re interested in getting a quote for a website for small business, rebuilding and old one, maintaining a current one, or some digital strategy advice, get in touch via my contact form.