Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I choose a web designer/developer?
There are many options and a wide array to choose from when it comes to finding the best web designer for your company. You will come across many levels of technical skill, development platforms, and visual design abilities. We recommend that you determine what’s most important to you and then find a web designer who can provide that. If marketing effectiveness is most important than you want to hire a web design firm that has skill in that area or make sure you bring in a marketing specialist to be part of the team. But if you just require a hot shot visual design, then a graphic designer whose work you like is your best bet. We focus primarily on creating sites that will boost business. We believe that graphic design and visual attractiveness is very important, but that it should serve the site’s marketing plan.
Don’t websites cost a lot of money?
Your website might be one of your most significant expenses for your business, but considering what you get and how you can use free social media venues to drive traffic to your site, it is an investment with incredible potential. When designed by a marketing specialist, your site will earn its keep by attracting targeted prospects, engaging them and initiating the sales process.
What will a website cost me?
The small business sites that we design and develop start at $2,500. The specific features and marketing-optimized content and configuration will determine the final cost. We caution against bargain hunting for web designers. You could end up in a nightmare. We focus on the marketing effectiveness of your site and our prices reflect the value we provide as well as the elements, features, and services you require. For more information and to get a price quote, see our Website Project Inquiry form. We’re happy to discuss cost-saving options but we won’t cut corners with your most valuable marketing asset.
I am a very small business. I’m not sure I need a website. How do I decide?
There are businesses in some industries that may not “need” a website. But for 95% of businesses, a web presence is important. Customers expect to be able to find you on the Internet and at their leisure, learn about your company and its products or services. Our question to small business owners, is – why wouldn’t you have a website? The objection is almost always the expense, but no business runs without some financial investment. And even though your site might be a large investment for a small business, the marketing opportunity and sales initiation that a website can provide is worth every penny of the cost. The key, however, is creating a site that is an effective marketing tool. If you spend a lot of money on an attractive design but your site has not been optimized as a marketing tool, you might have wasted your money. That’s why we specialize in marketing-focused websites.
How do I decide what to put on my website?
Obviously, you want to include information about your business, but the secret is to present that information in a way that doesn’t just toot your own horn. This is where it’s beneficial to use professional copywriters (like us!). A copywriter will take what you’ve written about your business and revise and configure it on your site in a way that engages and meets the needs of your web visitors. Good marketing copy will almost “read the minds” of your targeted potential customers. It will answer their questions, address their concerns, create trust and begin the process of turning them into your customer.
What is “marketing copy,” and how is it different from the written material we have about our company?
Marketing copy is written by a professional copywriter and skillfully shifts the focus from being about you and your business, to being about the customer. The truth is that in most cases your web visitor doesn’t care too much about your vision or even your mission. Not that you should not include those, but what your web visitors care most about is “WIIFM.” This is Copywriting 101 – the orientation of the customer is “What’s in it for me?” They want to know what you can do for them. So the copywriter’s job is to present your business in a way that meets the needs of the web visitor. This is a tall order because for a website you also have the complexity of what to say and where to say it on the site. This is where a copywriter/marketing specialist comes into the picture. Web marketing specialists (like us!) are skilled at not only creating content but configuring it on your site in a strategic manner. Websites that don’t go beyond the typical dry service descriptions, vision, mission, bios and history of the company, and the like, are missing an opportunity to actually generate sales leads. Sure, you’ll get business from the warm leads who show up at your site and need exactly what you offer, but your site won’t excel at generating sales from cold leads.
I’m a good writer and have the most knowledge about my business. Shouldn’t I write the text that will go on my website?
You might be an excellent writer, but unless you are a marketing expert and skilled copywriter, you’ll end up with well-written content (text) that your friends will tell you is great, but won’t result in converting web visitors into customers. As we described in the last answer, there is a huge difference between “great writing” and “great copywriting.” As copywriters, we will start with the written material you provide us. Then we transform it into great marketing copy that will make your site outstanding.
What does the TV show Mad Men have to do with my website?
If you watched this popular show you probably learned a bit about marketing and sales. The show was about an advertising agency but the principles are the same. What you will notice about many websites and most web designers is that their design process is exactly opposite from the creative process used by the ad agency in Mad Men. On the show, it is the concept developers and copywriters who were the center of the process. They came up with a brilliant idea for selling the client’s product. They understood human behavior and got into the mind of the targeted customer when they developed a concept and wrote the ad copy. Then the Art Department created the graphics that best portrayed that concept. The graphic designers worked in service to the copywriters, not the other way around which is so often how small business websites are created. Our approach to web design and the creative process of how we work is like the process you witnessed in Mad Men.
We already have a site that we like. Can you just make a few improvements?
Of course! We are happy to offer whatever level of marketing or web design assistance you need. Sometimes a site only needs a few changes to increase its effectiveness. We want you to be happy, so we won’t try to talk you into services you don’t need or can’t afford. We will give you our honest assessment and explain your options.
It all seems so complicated, how do we get started?
You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by a website project. Many of our clients have numerous questions and concerns. Learn more about our website planning and creation process. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. And the perfect place to start is to fill out our short info form – then we’ll get back to you to answer questions and decide if you want to move forward.
Will I need to hire a Graphic Designer also?
That’s your choice but probably not. We offer graphic design as part of our web development packages. We created all the graphic design elements that you see in the websites on our Portfolio page. If you desire a higher level of design for your header, logo, icons or background image, we are happy to incorporate graphic art from your chosen designer.
I am very busy. How much time will this require of me?
Your time will be required but we work fairly independently once we have gathered the information we need and discussed the goals of your website. We will keep you informed of the progress of the site design and may check in with you with fresh ideas that are generated during the creation process. We try to streamline the process in order to not take up your valuable time, but we will be requesting certain information from you. Collecting that information can take place by phone or email. Initial information gathering can sometimes take place by phone, or video conferencing if you are not in the Boston area. Once you have approved the initial concepts, the layout design, and have provided the information and images we need, we will only require your attention on an occasional basis to answer quick questions, review the content on specific pages or to view the site in progress.
How does Social Media come into play with our website?
All our websites are optimized for marketing and therefore we incorporate digital marketing and social media strategies into your website. As we’ve stated before your website is the destination of your social media activity and traffic will be coming to your website from your social media pages and accounts. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and the zillions of other venues, can funnel your Followers and Likers to your website where they can become sales leads.
What about Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is one of the buzzwords you hear a lot these days. We approach Search Engine Optimization from several angles. First of all, we use the WordPress software platform because search engines love it. It is a database driven platform designed for dynamic content. The web crawlers can easily index the content of a WordPress site because of the way the code is configured. You don’t need to understand any of this, but just know that older websites that were built on “tables” are not search engine friendly. Some small businesses still have websites on that outdated format. Using a platform like WordPress can be one element that helps put you ahead of your competition. The other aspect of WordPress and the frameworks that we build on is that there are elements built in that make Search Engine Optimization easier and more effective. This involves custom title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords. With all that said about SEO under the hood, the most effective way to optimize your site for search is to feature good content. And the more the better. That’s why sites that have an integrated blog (any WordPress site) with new content being published regularly, will do well in this regard. And even without a blog, any site where you update and add content on a regular basis will make the web crawlers happy. Your content can be articles and new pages with information of value to your customers. So the Search Engine Optimization “secret” is fresh, great content. As marketers, we can help you with your content also – we can help you brainstorm ideas and even write it for you.
Can you help us with Web Analytics?
Absolutely. Most of our clients use Google Analytics. We can help you set up an account and embed the code into your site that will track your traffic. And we can teach you how to access and monitor your statistics.
Why would I even think of hiring a firm other than Christine Green Consulting?
That’s one question we can’t answer! Maybe it’s the gift basket they’ll send you for the holidays with the stale cookies? Otherwise, we can’t even begin to guess. 🙂
Let’s start the Process! See our Website Project Inquiry form. There is no obligation.