Friday, July 20, 2012

How to Buy a Website

Six basic questions that we consider vital to making a good buying decision when purchasing a website for your business.

Our firm has been in the internet industry almost since the technology began to be used for commercial purposes in our country and have lived very closely how companies have matured their concept of this tool and its application to business processes and operational business.

After receiving over a thousand applications for web design projects over the past two years, from companies located in different cities within and outside of Mexico, we regret to say that companies are doing things wrong, as entrepreneurs and managers are still not well informed on the subject of Internet marketing, perhaps because of disinterest, as virtually the only question asked when a project is listed how much the development of the site.

Indeed, the executives responsible for web projects rarely formulate the right questions before making your purchase decision, so often end up acquiring a financial website, and ineffective course, which unfortunately prevents them from meeting the objectives business initially raised.

Probably the greatest effect of this disinformation is reflected in the lack of adequate promotion of websites, as often companies try to address this issue months later when the website is already designed and there is very little chance of achieve effective promotion through search engine rankings of pages. Then take the decision to completely redesign the website, which is a costly alternative, it is very difficult for most of these companies have already made a significant investment in the project.

It is a good sign that you are reading these lines, as this means that aims fully informed about the website before making decisions. This will give your business a significant advantage over other companies, probably even over your competition.

We present then the six questions that we consider vital to making a good buying decision when purchasing a website for your business:

What is success on the Internet?

The success is primarily to publish appropriate content and properly promote the website to reach the largest number of visitors may be interested in the products and services your business offers. Additionally, other factors are also important as selecting the correct kind of site, technology platform and development tools.

A common mistake is to design a site with shopping cart when in fact customers are not buying online. However, even when these other factors are important, we are sure that success depends essentially on the promotion of recruiting website along with the design.

How I can get traffic to my website?

The web site traffic can be achieved through a good system of promotion and the most effective means of achieving this is the search engine positioning because everyone, including you and myself, we use search engines like Google and Yahoo! to find the pages.

Most people know that you arrange a promotion service for your site and it is right that this service is contracted with the site design, not months later when the site is already developed and is virtually impossible to position it. The reason is that the site should be designed with certain development standards recommended by the search engines.

A deeply rooted belief among the community of entrepreneurs and managers is that the positioning should be simple and easy to achieve, be that in practice is very complex, the process takes several months and requires a large commitment from the companies that pretend to be in the top positions in the lists of search engine results.

How do you evaluate websites?

The graphic design of a website is not the only feature, or most importantly, to evaluate a website. Even if you do not see it as necessary, its promotion is vital to your business. In fact, companies design their web pages just to be visited and to promote their products and services.

It is very rare to find a case that comes out of this scenario. So the two most important features to evaluate on a website are: content and positioning. If you intend to evaluate the projects in a web design agency to select a provider, do not make the mistake of many companies who only visit sites to review the work of graphic design.

In addition to artistic consideration, select the search engine of your choice and try to locate the products and services offered by these companies to get an idea of ​​the level of positioning achieved. Search engine is where you earn the business, not the beauty of your pages. You can have the finest site in the world, but no good if it can be located through a search engine, at least in the field of business sites.

How do you evaluate suppliers?

In addition to traditional concepts of evaluation of technology vendors such as experience, customer success stories, repo rate and technologies that offer, in the case of websites is very important that you inquire about the level of knowledge and experience agency in positioning of websites in search engines. Everyone will probably say they are experts and have little knowledge of the subject you will surely be difficult to determine if they offer this service with good results as promised.

There are two things you can do to evaluate with good margin of accuracy, how much experience in positioning the suppliers you are considering. First, check the level of positioning of websites that each vendor has developed as projects. To this end, the only thing you have to do is visit the site, scoring two or three of the products or services that the company offers and find these products on the Internet through the browser of your choice. Second, ask the agency about what the two factors that determine the position in search engines and what is the performance curve of the positioning of websites over time, from day zero to the desired position is achieved and how this.

You certainly do not know the answers, but the agency that is truly specialist will respond to these questions in a clear, simple and compelling. After talking with two or three agencies, you will immediately realize who really is the expert in SEO.

What is it and how to achieve search engine rankings?

Search engine optimization is a web design technique through which attempts to bring the site to the top of results on major search engines like Google and Yahoo!.

The goal is not the position itself, but the traffic (number of visits to a website) that will be generated as a result of having that level of visibility on search engines around the world used to locate web pages that contain the information , documentation, products, services or news that people are looking for.

The positioning of web sites is complex, much more complicated than people imagine, and is not achieved simply by including phrases in the meta-tags as many people think. Depending on the sector in which your company and the languages ​​in which you want to promote their products and services, will be less or more difficult to achieve the desired positioning, but never easy.

In a project of this type is vital that the client follow the exactly the recommendations issued by the specialist. The positioning is achieved mainly through good content and application of design standards required by Web search engines.

What information must I provide to my project list?

Probably due to workloads, the vast majority of executives responsible for web projects usually seek to obtain a budget without providing the minimum information required to quote a project. In some cases even mention the sections will the site, but never have to detail what each contains.

The question is very simple, just as an architect needs to know the size, style and finishes to determine the budget for building a house, a web design agency needs to know from the start site size, usually expressed through a same map to determine the exact number of pages and the languages ​​they want to publish the information according to destination markets.

If the budget is reached based on a simple list of the sections of the site, the agency might be thinking that the site is, for example, 50 pages, when in fact the site will contain 200 pages and some web applications.

In practice, inadequate specification of the project scope is the most frequent cause of disputes between customers and web design agencies on projects that do not come to fruition. If you request a quote without clearly specifying the scope of your project, do not expect to receive a realistic budget that will help you make decisions.

In summary, the following three actions can facilitate their purchase decisions and substantially improve the results of your Internet marketing program:

There are many things you know about web pages. Ask before taking decisions.

Take time to determine requirements before requesting quotes for the design of your website.

Hire SEO services specialist agency along with the design of your site.