Do You Need a Website?
Most business websites are worthless for getting new clients. Keep yours from being an expensive, useless bauble.
You have a couple of options, if you don't have a website yet. Well, three, if you want to include trying to build it yourself.
Option One: Build Your Site Yourself
Even if you're not techie, you can build your site yourself. This has been done very successfully by professionals to build connection and credibility with their potential clients, using a program that takes out all the "techie" elements. I love it and highly recommend it to clients who really want to get involved in their site themselves.
Building your own site is the most cost effective option, and can be done by virtually anyone willing to put in the time. The quality of this all-in-one resource can't be be beat.
Check out the story of a cosmetic dentist building his own site using this solution, and consequently increasing his income by drawing his perfect clients from as far as 400 miles away. (Scroll almost all the way down until you see Dr. John Burch on the left.)
The problem with this option is that it takes lots of time. You could delegate the work to a staff person, who may have some downtime. But that staff person still needs to know how to find the keywords you will want to use to put information on your site.
The high-quality research tool for this is built into the program, but you still may want an expert to do it for you quickly.
Most importantly, your staff person will not realistically be able to get all the "off site" search engine optimization accomplished for you. It will take much longer to get back links to your site "naturally", without paying someone to do it for you. Meanwhile, your competitor outsources the off-site SEO for not much money and comes out ahead of you in the local search results.
So, at best, building your own website is only a partial solution. But you may still want to build your own site, and then outsource the task of raising your search engine rankings by getting quality back links to your site.
Option Two: Have a Website Built for You
This is a good option, and it costs less than you might think.
The problem with this option is that you need to be very careful who you hire. There are many web designers who charge a handsome sum to make you a beautiful website that is "gutless" -- it has nothing to attract the search engines in the guts of the site. It's like building your office in the middle of 1000 acres of empty prairie land with no roads. No one can find you. Then, of course, once you have a good website with "guts", you still need those authoritative backlinks. You or your staff will have to build them. Or you can hire it out, for a surprisingly low price.
Option Three: Buy a Ghost Site
You can buy a "ghost site" from a professional in your field of expertise who provides sites for professionals like you.
This option can be an excellent one. A "ghost site" is a site built by someone else and then "copied" for you, customized with your information and pictures. Often these ghost sites also provide a newsletter for your readers, with the latest, excellent information in your profession, designed to spark interest in your services in a casual way. The newsletter is presented as being written by you.
A good example of a ghost site is one provided by Roccy DeFrancesco for financial advisors of every sort at theWPI.org/template. You can find another one of his at HEAPlan.com, which shows people how to pay off their mortgage in a fraction of the usual time, without altering their lifestyle at all. You can have this site for yourself, customized with your information.
One potential problem with this solution is that the ghost site provided may not be search engine friendly, if the provider doesn't know what they are doing. If you aren't allowed to alter the ghost site, then this will not work.
Also, it helps to have the freedom to add your own content to the ghost site so that you can target specific keywords with good content. The online newsletter provided by the site owner can help very much with this, too.
If the on-site search engine optimization is good enough, or can be altered, then ghost sites work great, because all the off-line SEO can be directed just as easily at a ghost site.
Now, if you already have a website, you need to find out how helpful it is to getting you ranked in the search engines. Many beautiful sites are completely useless for attracting new potential clients through the search engines. They function like fancy business cards that you have to hand out personally. Unless you send someone to the site yourself, no one is going to see it.
And if you do have a search engine friendly site with good on-site optimization, you'll still need help with offline optimization.
What to Do Next
Consider the possibility of buying a professional ghost site. If you are in financial services in any way, check out Roccy DeFrancesco's sites at thewpi.org/template or HEAPlan.com for excellent possibilities. If you aren't in financial services, do a search for a ghost site in your field and see what you might find.
If you need a website built, or want a comprehensive website marketing program developed for you, contact us. We'll give you a complementary evaluation of your current site if you have one, or build you one that will suck in the web traffic for you if you don't.
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