Choosing Your Web Developer

Placing your business online should not be a strenuous or arduous task. It should be a reasonably enjoyable process whose end result should be increased leads for your business. The secret, is finding the right web developer, with the right skills, for your particular needs.

When deciding on who should develop your site you should consider the following:

1. Availability – Is the developer contactable? Will he/she be available after hours and on weekends if you have any issues or problems with your site?

2. Honesty – Will the developer give you truthful advice and recommendations, or just push the company line?

3. Customer Service – Will you be given a personalised service where the developer sees your project through from start to finish? Will this developer be the one who makes changes or additions as your business grows?

4. Services – Does your developer offer the full range of services necessary to get your business online? For example, do they offer Domain Name Registration, Website Hosting, Email, E-Commerce, PHP and MySQL (to run blogs, CRM’s and other database applications) and be able to market your website?

5. Pricing – The cost of having a website built can vary quite considerably.

Always ask for a quotation upfront.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions;

• Ask for a itemised quotation so you can see a breakdown of exactly what you are getting for your money.

• Will you need to pay a deposit?

• Are there any ongoing fees? i.e. Website Hosting.

• Do you charge a flat rate or charge by the hour?

• How long will the website take to complete?

• Will I have to pay for extras, and if so how much?

6. Quality – There is no point in paying big dollars (or even lesser dollars for that matter) for a site you are unhappy with or looks cheap and nasty. Always have a look at the developer’s portfolio. If they do not have one on their website, ask yourself why not? Don’t be afraid to ask to see previous works. Also, read customer testimonials. Even call those customers to get their opinion on the developer’s work ethics and abilities.

Although I would be extremely thoughtless to claim that these 6 points are everything you need to be aware of, I firmly believe if you include these points in when considering your developer you will find yourself one you are going to be happy with and that you will use for many years to come.

Hiring Web Developers for Your Dental Website Design

The Internet helped businesses reach clients more effectively. It also became a source of information, providing consumers what they need. As such, promoting your dental practice online can be helpful. Designing a website and incorporating different Internet marketing strategies can help attract potential clients. It is important, though, to hire a professional dental website design company for this task.

Why do you need professional web designers?

You dental website needs to have a professional, organized, and lively image to be effective. Creating your own website requires a lot of time, patience, and commitment. Simple designs can take weeks or even months to finish. As such, hire professional web designers, as they can efficiently design your site and provide the results you want. Some web design companies might even offer dental marketing strategies to increase your site rankings.

What to do when hiring web designers

Identify your needs. Choose designs that are simple, yet unique. Determine the purpose of your website: Do you plan to gather feedback from visitors? Are you going to sell dental products? Do you plan to use the site as a communication tool? Know your audience to identify your website’s focus. Determine the number of pages you need for your dentistry website-three pages may suffice if you only plan to provide basic information about your practice. Design a logo to make your website unique.

Choose a reliable web design company. Check their reputation before hiring. Look at some websites they designed in the past. Look at websites similar to your practice. Ask former clients for feedback. Get the services of a web design firm with a record of accomplishment in both designs and practice. Find out how long they have been in business. Know if the designers have experience in handling latest Internet tools and techniques such as flash, videos, animation, and so on.

Some developers focus on providing content and information for visitors, while others concentrate on aesthetic and technical matters. Ask if they can provide specifics regarding the website including number of pages, templates, and technical solutions. The developers must understand what you want your website to look like. Get their feedback when you discuss the website’s layout.

Ask the designers to provide a reasonable timeline for completing the website. Setting the project’s duration can help you plan other things accordingly. Web developers must also be responsible for keeping the project on schedule and within your budget. They should also provide updates and changes as they create your site.

Discuss their rates. Find out if their costs include Web hosting, registering a domain name, and updating the site. Compare costs between Web design firms. While high priced developers can deliver your needs, some designers provide services for affordable costs.

Additional tips

Make sure the Web developers will provide a contract that states their responsibilities, schedules, and payment methods. Plan the maintenance to keep your website fresh and updated. Use flash intros and heavy graphics sparingly. Include a patient information form. Use different dental marketing methods to create an online presence.

Are Web Developers Short Changing Your Business – Are You Getting Targeted Web Traffic?

This is a very pertinent question. Are they?

This is a problem that is rife in the Web Development arena.

You already know that in order to grow your business beyond your current customer base, you need to look at the incredible growth potential which the Internet provides. You need a great website and you need targeted web traffic.

Look at the alternative – offline advertising – i.e. newspaper, yellow pages, radio, television, etc. These platforms are extremely expensive and very difficult to analyze any results. Advertising in the various media available will often leave you, the business owner, wondering if the money was well spent.

Did you experience growth in sales directly related to your advertising spend?

How much did your brand seep further into the public consciousness because you spent a certain amount of money promoting your brand?

Was it worth it?

Your advertising company will have ready answers and statistics of course!

Now take a look at how online marketing works.

You are able to track precisely where each and every sale comes from. Using applications like Google Analytics you are able to identify with pinpoint accuracy the exact source of your customer, right down to what they typed in to find you and which site they came from.

This ability to track the effectiveness of online marketing coupled with the massive potential market on the Internet means more and more people are having websites created for their products or services.

Because of the growth in demand for new websites, many companies and individuals are offering (some for exorbitant fees) specially designed and created websites with promises of multiple features, online presence and sales success for your company. All the add-ons are there – at a cost – and a range of baffling technical terms are bandied about to prove how much the web people know about this (and how much of a luddite you are!).

Web hosting, shopping carts, metatags, onsite optimisation, SEO, SEM, online security features are some of my favourites.

They must know what they are doing…right?

Think again!

In my experience many of the sites built for consumers today are almost invisible on the major search engines. After paying a multiple four or even five figure fee you type in your business name and guess what…your website isn’t even on Google’s front page! So you call your web experts and they offer you additional optimisation for a few more thousand to get front page results!

Will this work? Maybe…

What does work are specific online marketing techniques that will put your website on the front page within hours.

In my view, to set up a website in the first place without front page presence in mind is ridiculous.

To show how much small business owners are being ripped off, I ran a little experiment recently to prove a point to a friend who had a website which wasn’t showing up on Google. I created a new business with a highly competitive name. I used a range of SEO techniques and organic search oriented content, and some simple promotional strategies.

Within 3 days the business had the number one spot on Google with over 75 million competing pages! This is the magic that can be achieved with the power of the Internet combined with the secrets of online marketing.

So let’s dispel some common myths here.

  • Metatags carry very little weight with search engines – they are virtually ignored
  • Onsite optimisation usually amounts to stuffing poorly researched keywords into title tag and description areas, resulting in your site looking spammy and amateurish with very little benefit in ranking
  • The traffic you are getting to your site which looks impressive in the statistics is mainly automated (robots) and will not bring you sales, don’t be fooled into thinking these are customers
  • Having hits on your site does not push you up the search engine rankings – having inbound links from authority sites does
  • Having a particular product on your website will not automatically result in it being found by your potential customers. Only by publishing content using the product name in tags, titles and descriptions in the correct way, will your product be found
  • Hosting does not have to be expensive – the two biggest hosting sites in the world; Godaddy and Hostgator will host your site starting from around $10 a month!

This is how it works. All the major search engines follow these rules.

Having a website means nothing. Correct marketing of your website is the only way you will grow your business.

Don’t be ripped off.