Top Reasons Why You Should Have a Business Website

 
Categories
Website Design

If you’re still a Yellow Pages kind of business, this article is for you. Did you know that nearly 90% of consumers do online research and read reviews before choosing where to buy a product or service? By not having a business website, you are taking yourself out of the mix of businesses that people consider. Sure, you may be listed in some directories, but if you don’t have a website that tells prospective customers more about who you are and what you do, they may think you’re behind the times, or have something to hide. This is especially true for people under 45 who have had internet access for most of their adult lives.

Hiring a professional web design company to build your website is an investment in your company’s future. A functional website design is one of the most important pieces of your marketing plan. Take the money you’ve been using on Yellow Pages and newspaper ads and put it towards a website. Your new website should be attractive, easy to navigate and provide valuable, informative content to current and prospective customers.

There are several reasons a website should be a part of your marketing campaign:

Flexibility. Websites provide opportunities to post new and different content daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Your website can also be easily revised and tweaked for constant improvements and/or changes in your business’ product or service information. This includes adding special promotions as well.

Convenience. It is far more convenient for a person to research a product or service, schedule a free quote, sign up for a class, or buy a product online, compared to driving to a store to accomplish the same task. And if it’s after hours, don’t you want people to be able to contact you through your contact form? A lot of people can’t call during regular business hours.

Credibility. A website gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers what you do, what products and/or services you offer and why you deserve customer’s trust and confidence. As discussed above, not having a business website these days sends a negative message to a large part of your potential customer base.

Cost. The cost to build and maintain a website is relatively cheap compared to print forms of media. Shop around. Get several estimates from local web design companies. Going with a professional is your best bet, because they have the expertise in what is really a pretty technical area. The best way to spend your marketing budget is by creating an attractive and easy to use website that helps you attract customers.

Customer Service Your business’ website can provide valuable and informative content. This can be through the content on each web page, blogs, videos, FAQs, and industry specific information. Quality content enhances the visitor’s user experience and satisfaction. And by having a contact form or customer feedback form, you make it easy for current customers and prospective customers to interact with you, day or night.

Your website really is your best chance to make a good first impression with prospective clients. For more information on Maryland web design and SEO services, call Coastal Web Services today at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form and someone will get back to you shortly. We offer a free, no obligation consultation, complete with a written estimate. We serve small business clients in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina and Alabama.

5 Things That Belong on the Home Page of Your Website

 
Categories
Website Design

5 Things That Belong on the Home Page of Your Website

Whether you call it a Home page, a Landing page or something else, that first page that visitors come to when they visit your site is your chance to make the right impression. Potential customers should be able to tell right away what products and services you offer, and what you’re all about. Sure, it helps if your business name tells what you do – ABC Plumbing, for instance – but there’s more to it than that.

Coastal Web Services is in the business of helping you make the right first impression with your website, and to us, all of these items are no brainers. But if another web design company tells you differently, at least this way you’re informed.

  1. Contact Information But you would be surprised how many small business websites don’t have a phone number, email link or contact form on their Home page. How are people supposed to contact you? And having an email link or a contact form is crucial, because a lot of people do their research on products and businesses after hours, so if they have a question for you, you want to make it easy for them to ask. You should also have your physical or mailing address included on the page. The common location is in the footer of the page. You really should consider having the same contact information included in all of your interior pages as well. It’s pretty easy to build it into your website design.
  2. Images that Represent What You Do If you’re a plumber, show a photo of running water, or someone working under a sink. Make sense? You’d be surprised how many small business websites have flowers, scrollwork or family photos that don’t relate to what the business does.
  3. Clear Navigation With Working Links Visitors to your website should have an easy pathway to get where they’re going. Have clearly named navigation menus at the top of the page, the side of the page, or both. Using the plumbing business, things could include Plumbing Repairs, Water Heaters, Septic Systems, etc.
  4. An Email Sign-Up Box Ask visitors to sign up for your email newsletter, with the promise of discounts, special offers, pertinent news, etc.
  5. Social Media Links Help customers stay up to date and engaged with social media. Use the standard icons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Call us today at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form to get started. We provide web design and SEO consulting services to small business clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as the Carolinas and the Gulf coast. We’d love to work with you.

Google Video: How to Hire an SEO Company

 
Categories
SEO

We’ve posted blogs before about how to hire an SEO company, but sometimes hearing it from an independent source is more persuasive. How about tech giant Google? Google recently released a video named How to Hire an SEO, by Maile Ohye. Ohye has been part of the Google search team for more than ten years.

According to Google, the SEO hiring process has three main steps:

  1. Conduct a two-way interview with several SEO companies. You ask them questions, and they ask you questions. For suggestions, check out this blog.
  2. Check their references. Call up existing or previous clients. Don’t just read the testimonials.
  3. Ask for a technical and search audit and analysis of your website. Most companies will do this for free.

Here’s the video.

If you’re in the process of hiring an SEO company to optimize your website, Coastal Web Services would love to meet with you. We offer free website analysis and SEO analysis to help us and our clients see what’s working and what needs to improve or be scrapped altogether.

Coastal Web Services is a Baltimore area web design company providing web design and SEO services to clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as California and Alabama. Call us today at 410-420-9390 for a free consultation.

Is the Page Load Time on Your Website Costing Your Business?

 
Categories
SEO Website Design

Simply put, page load time is the amount of time it takes for a web page to fully load into a person’s browser. We’ve talked before about the need for speed when it comes to your website. We are an instant gratification society, and when we click on a website, whether from a laptop or a mobile phone, we expect instant results. People are impatient. No one wants to see that little spinny thing. We’ve said they may not wait around for your site to load. Well, it’s worse than we thought.

A new study shows many online shoppers and researchers won’t wait more than five seconds for a page to load before clicking over to the next retailer or service provider. The study from Soasta, a company that measure’s website performance, says a third of shoppers will leave a site if they have to wait more than 5 seconds for it to load. People who leave your site while it’s loading comprise your “bounce rate.” If another second is added on to the load time, making it 6 seconds, the bounce rate increases by a full 3 percentage points.

Now, people are more inclined to wait if they know internet traffic is heavy, such as on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or if you have another big sale going on. But if it’s just a regular day, a lot of potential customers are going somewhere else. And mobile users are especially impatient. If a page doesn’t load in 3 seconds, they are out of there.

So, have you checked the page load time on your website lately? Have you tested it on both a PC and a mobile phone? What were the results? If you’re not happy with your page load time and you’re looking to increase website performance, we can help.

There are a number of things our web developer can do behind the scenes to speed up your page load time and make your site faster and more attractive to potential customers. If you’re ready to work with a web design company to improve the performance of your website, call Coastal Web Services at 410-420-9390 today for a free website analysis. If you don’t yet have a small business website, we can design one for you, and start with SEO from the beginning, to make the most of your investment.

Featured Categories:

Authors: