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  • #968309
    ideasgirl
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    Hi guys.
    I am moving forward with my flying solo idea…still in the processes of writing up a business plan etc.
    With all my ideas floating/skipping around in my head, i just had a thought.
    I was just wondering, after my website ( non existent atm ) is set up, and the ball rolling a bit, what happens after that.

    Do business/website owners regularly give their websites checked over to make sure that their SEO (and the rest that i am probably oblivios to) are still relevant etc.
    And how often this may need to happen…
    Sorry the question is probably silly, but i just don’t know.

    Cheers!

    #1032348
    lutrov
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    Do business owners regularly give their websites checked over? No. But they should. Running a website is an ongoing thing.

    #1032349
    Craig_Longmuir
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    at least you should be making sure that the content is current and correct…

    and SEO is an ongoing thing that you should keep plugging away at to maintain/improve rankings

    #1032350
    ideasgirl
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    Thanks guys.
    I do plan on being able to add my own content and be able to change or add things as it comes, my main concern was just to do with the more techinical side of things.
    Thanks again for your input.

    #1032351
    marketingweb
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    • Total posts: 625
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    Hi ideasgirl,

    The phrase “website health check” is a common phrase used by SEO people as a way of getting your contact details so they can do a sales pitch to you.

    Basically everyone likes something for free, so this generally will have a lot more success at getting people to give their contact details than just asking for your contact details.

    The SEO company will then run a report which will give the website a rating, offer a few basic suggestions of things to fix, and then basically state there is a lot more that needs work and they can help.

    I’m in the SEO field myself so I don’t mean to sound cynical, but IF that is where you got the phrase from (i’m guessing), just be aware that’s what you are signing up for.

    I notice you mention you don’t have a website yet…. if you don’t have anyone in mind already i’d love to chat with you.

    Basically my “sales pitch” is I build websites that are designed from the ground up to be search engine friendly which makes the task of getting ranked well far easier than if you are trying to fix up a poorly built site (seo wise) after the fact, via the advice in a “health check”!

    Best of luck with everything
    Matt
    Marketing Web

    #1032352
    Rob T
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    Sounds like you need a CMS (Content Management System) built into your website, so that you can update (some parts of ) the website’s content without having to fiddle around with the programming code or database.

    One thing to be aware of is that software bugs (be it functional or logic errors) can occur throughout the life of the software. You can’t assume that when a website is handed to you that it’s bug-free, no matter how much testing has been done.

    I’d recommend you to make an agreement with the website developer that they will make themselves available to fix any bugs for a certain period (6-12 months) after delivery. Also beware that getting a different developer to fix the bugs would cost you more and has higher risk of introducing new bugs in other parts of the website, due to the lack of knowledge of how the software was designed (if the developer has any knowledge in software design at all).

    #1032353
    AnaLucia
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    Hi Ideas girl :)
    Congratulations in getting your project going on! Well done!!! And I wish you the best luck with it all.
    About checking the website: its an ongoing job day after day, you want to make sure that besides ranking in the search engines: it keeps fresh, updated, modern and interesting because you want people to come back again.
    You will get use to it I am sure, but you have to set some time to do it :)

    Its good fun!

    cheers

    #1032354
    andrewbarnett
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    • Total posts: 7
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    SEO aside, running a website is indeed an ongoing thing. You need to make sure your content is up to date—no outdated products or prices for example. You may need to periodically upgrade the software that runs the site, especially to keep current with security fixes. Whether or not your host performs backups, it’s a good idea to make your own—I’ve seen even high-profile Web professionals stung by incorrectly assuming their host had functional backups.

    Regular content updates will keep your site fresh and can help with search-engine performance.

    Beyond that, Web-design trends change, the way that people use the Web changes—think iPhone and Blackberry—so you perhaps want to think about a refresh every couple of years.

    #1032355
    JayTurn
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    Hi ideasgirl,

    In your situation, I would highly recommend finding a web design business that sets up your website for you and educates you in what you need. People that can support you for at least the first 12 months with everything possible.

    You should really have a site where you can add/edit pretty much everything on your site.

    Running your website isn’t a difficult task when you are told what you should be doing. Regarding regular health checks, when you create your pages with a few search engine friendly things in mind, you should never have to go back through your pages and “check their health”.

    “Health checks” are usually for those who created their website without help the first time round and haven’t followed the basic principles. Other than that, the only important checks needed are for ensuring every page is linked to and monitoring statistics about which pages are receiving inbound links etc.

    Search engines change but miraculously (not really a miracle just common sense), the sites that were focused towards the people visiting the site rather than aimed at purely at SEO are the ones that remain at the top.

    I actually found this site yesterday that provided a very clear and clean explanation of what is needed:

    http://www.absolutetoday.com/blog.net/post/2010/05/13/Top-Ten-Google-SEO-Ranking-Factors.aspx

    If you need any more information about what is needed to build your site correctly let me know.

    Jason

    #1032356
    msaprofessional
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    If you are looking at setting up your own website, I would recommend The Web Showroom, which is a Sydney based company. (http://www.thewebshowroom.com.au). They did my website (http://www.msaprofessional.com.au) and were extremely helpful in putting together ideas, format etc. For an ongoing monthly fee, I am able to update my website using Mission Control.
    Hope this information is useful and good luck with your new business.

    ideasgirl, post: 38826 wrote:
    Hi guys.
    I am moving forward with my flying solo idea…still in the processes of writing up a business plan etc.
    With all my ideas floating/skipping around in my head, i just had a thought.
    I was just wondering, after my website ( non existent atm ) is set up, and the ball rolling a bit, what happens after that.

    Do business/website owners regularly give their websites checked over to make sure that their SEO (and the rest that i am probably oblivios to) are still relevant etc.
    And how often this may need to happen…
    Sorry the question is probably silly, but i just don’t know.

    Cheers!

    #1032357
    ClareS
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    • Total posts: 30
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    I agree with Matt (Marketing Web).
    SEO is something you an do for yourself.
    Do the research, learn more about it, and save yourself a bucket doing it for yourself.

    Good luck!!

    #1032358
    BaM
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    • Total posts: 13
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    Websites are your shopfront to the world.

    And definitely need to be updated regularly.
    Unless you know Flash (XML) or Dreamweaver and I do.
    A CMS (Content Management System) is the way to go.
    There are many templates and companies popping up here and there
    as there is great demand for it now.
    All of my clients ask for a CMS.
    Especially my retail clients as they have product updates, daily.

    I have seen many sites in the past few days that are “Under Construction”
    for weeks or months at a time. Usually they are organising their content, products or designing logos for their new brand. However to me it’s like burning company money and turning away prospective clients.

    Be organised and have a full Structure from Home page to contact us page organised BEFORE you contact any web designer. And PLEASE don’t change your mind 100 times.

    I know, it sounds obvious but it still must be said.
    People who don’t know about the technical side of the process (even HTML) think that its easy to change a few pages of links, but rebuilding a website or relinking pages because somebody wanted fluffy clouds like in Twitter sends cost for YOU through the roof and usually leads to bad blood.

    Hehe. (I can laugh about it now.)

    Good Luck.

    #1032359
    marketingweb
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    • Total posts: 625
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    ClareS, post: 39323 wrote:
    I agree with Matt (Marketing Web).
    SEO is something you an do for yourself.
    Do the research, learn more about it, and save yourself a bucket doing it for yourself.
    Good luck!!

    Hi ClareS,

    Thanks for agreeing with me, but I think you actually missed the point of what I was saying which was to watch out for the sharks rather than giving up on the concept of SEO consultants all together – of which i’m one!

    Yes you can do some SEO yourself and I would recommend website owners have a handle on the basics. That said however, SEO (done right) can be a sometimes highly technical, highly skilled field which takes many many hours to get good at – so it’s worth asking yourself as a small business owner if you have the hours to focus on learning to do SEO properly, or if you are better of investing that effort directly into your business itself.

    The problem is that 90% of web designers claim to be SEO experts (most aren’t!), and a lot of people who know how to spam a few directories/blogs can also claim they are an SEO expert as well.

    It it also something that seems attractive to do yourself and it can be, but unless you are in a very low competition industry OR have a lot of experience and/or bucketloads of time to invest, your may not have a lot of success doing it yourself. What often then happens is DIYers decide SEO is a waste of time because they have either failed to rank OR they are ranking for useless keywords no one searches for and thus getting no enquiries.

    As a comparison – every business needs accounting/bookkeeping.
    1) You could learn to do accounting yourself to save money.
    2) Or you could pay some 15 year old neighbors kid or person in India with poor english to do it for you.
    3) Or – you could hire a genuine specialist, who can get better results in less time, and focus on what you do best, which is running and developing your business.

    For most small businesses when talking about accounting OR SEO, option 1 (doing it yourself) can be good when starting out. Option 2 is rarely good long term, and if you find the right specialist you will get better results.

    In a nutshell what I meant by my “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” is don’t give up on the concept of SEO as it can be very rewarding for your business, but be very careful who you hire. If in doubt you can always hire me! :-)

    Matt

    #1032360
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,464
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    BaM, post: 39327 wrote:
    Be organised and have a full Structure from Home page to contact us page organised BEFORE you contact any web designer. And PLEASE don’t change your mind 100 times.

    I know, it sounds obvious but it still must be said.
    People who don’t know about the technical side of the process (even HTML) think that its easy to change a few pages of links, but rebuilding a website or relinking pages because somebody wanted fluffy clouds like in Twitter sends cost for YOU through the roof and usually leads to bad blood.

    Hehe. (I can laugh about it now.)

    Hehe BaM, have you seen this article from Amanda Gonzalez? She has some great tips here that you might like to share with your new clients and prospects, and there are some extra pieces of advice in the comments section below: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/business-websites/ten-dos-and-donts-of-successful-web-design

    Glad you can see the funny side ;-)

    All the best,
    Jayne

    #1032361
    JayTurn
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    • Total posts: 35
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    I have to bite on the topic of “SEO experts” because there isn’t any special magic formula that “SEO Experts” have that other people don’t, contrary to the marketing they use.

    Google provide everyone with the guidelines for how they rank websites. There is nothing more than structuring your site correctly, structuring your pages correctly around good keywords and generating inbound links.

    For any website owner, you can learn how to structure your site, pages and choose keywords within a few hours. Link building is a different story. You can generate inbound links yourself however there is no avoiding the fact that it takes time. Passing that job on to someone else frees up a bit of your time to create more pages for your site.

    I am going to say that marketing plays a bigger role than SEO. Here is why:

    Search engines know what your site is focused on according to your content. Put good keywords on your site and you manage to reduce your competition. When your site has more oompf, then you can play with the big boys by focusing on more competitive words.

    So, search engines know what your site is about according to your on page content. They measure your credibility according to the other sites that link to yours. Here’s the catch, the majority of link exchange programs, link directories, blog directories, article sites, ezine sites do very little for your website.

    The only real benefit they have is to give you that initial bump, but beyond that, the majority have very little value with the search engines.

    The real impact with links comes from quality sites that search engines consider important within your industry or field. These sites don’t usually pass out free links to just anyone because they value their visitors. Any links going out will provide value.

    These are the links you need to chase. Now back to the marketing, it is how you market your website through your content that gets you these big links. Of course you are going to need to work your butt off contacting people for these links, bringing their attention to your site and what you do. However, with good content on your site, marketed well, you will receive a large number of natural links to your website from quality sites.

    This doesn’t end here either. Search engines measure visitor behavior on your website as well. How long are people staying on your site? Are they leaving after reading one page? Where do they go after your page?

    The majority of search engine rankings are out of the control of “SEO Experts” and in the control of website owners and content writers.

    In my opinion, website owners can learn the fundamentals for building their site and stick to it for every page. If they do not have time for link building, pay an “SEO Consultant” to work on generating inbound links. Beyond that, learn how to engage your visitors and keep them on your website longer, wanting to view more of your site.

    Last but definitely not least, time is a factor. If your website has been up for 5 months and you haven’t optimized your pages (you could learn in a few hours), chances are you won’t receive traffic to your site. Enter the “SEO Expert” who simply adjusts your pages to meet the right criteria and all of a sudden your site has traffic.

    If they did the same thing in the first 1-2 months, your site still wouldn’t receive traffic because time is a factor. Why would search engines give your website priority over another site that has existed for 5 years constantly being updated.

    To sum this up for people to think about this logically, there are only 10 spots for the first page on your most sought after keyword. No “SEO expert” can put you in the top 10 of these search terms. You can put yourself there if you work hard for a couple of years or more, every day adding content, building links and adjusting your site according to visitor analysis.

    BUT, you don’t need to be at the top of these search terms. There are plenty of other terms that will see your website get hundreds to thousands of visitors per day via search engines.

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