The Page Arnold Partnership
specialists in effective web site design and marketing
Great Oakley, Corby, Northamptonshire UK
YOUR WEB SITE
can serve several purposes :
MAXIMISING YOUR SITE'S POTENTIAL
- a. It can provide additional detailed information to back up other forms of advertising - a small ad can effectively be transformed into a multi-page brochure with the addition of a web site address.
- b.It can provide an easy means of providing up to date news and information to your existing customers and contacts.
- c.It can be used as a separate and distinct marketing tool to attract new business from people who were previously unaware of your products or services.
To maximise the effectiveness of your site in the above three areas the following matters need attention.
- SPEED OF ACCESS
People are in a hurry. They are rarely prepared to wait several minutes to view the nice flash presentation you paid a fortune for on your front page. People want information - fast. Pages that download quickly are an essential requirement.
- RELEVANCE OF CONTENT
To succeed as a marketing tool, you web site needs to provide web users with what they want - information, information and more information. Sadly, most web design companies seem to think that users look at web sites just to admire how 'pretty' they are - which isn't the case. People mainly use the web to get answers to questions. Anticipating the sorts of questions your potential customers are going to ask and providing lots of relevant answers and information on your web site will mean you are well on the way to making it a success. They will initially come to your site because it's the one with the information they are looking for - but then there's a high chance of converting them into customers once they are there. We firmly believe that 'content is king' - and historically many of the most successful web sites have been very basic in terms of design.
- MARKETING YOUR WEB SITE
All of the effort put into the site in terms of content and ease of use will be a waste of time if people don't know about it and look at it! This is where we believe we can make a substantial difference to the success of your site. Apart from making sure that the site is given plenty of publicity in the conventional media and on printed matter, there are several ways of marketing the site on the web :
- Search engine placement
Research has shown that around 80% of people find what they are looking for on the web by carrying out searches using the various data bases and directories available. It is therefore critically important that your site is listed with all these resources and that - most importantly - anyone who searches for information relevant to your business gets to know about your site. Searches often produce several hundred or even thousand relevant results and unless you appear in the top 20 of these there is little point in being there at all, as people rarely work further down the list than that.
Search engine placement - getting your site near the top of the list - is an increasingly specialised area and done effectively can make the difference between the success and failure of a web site. As well as making sure your pages are actually listed in all the available databases, (and this submission has to be done manually to be effective - search engines are, in increasing numbers, 'blocking' submissions from automated software packages -), it is important to optimise the pages of your web site to improve your positioning in results listings. This can involve re-writing existing pages, adding additional pages, or even setting up a separate web site with pages used solely for search engine placement purposes.
It is also becoming increasingly common for directories and search engines to offer paid for placement listings in various forms. These can be worth the investment, if chosen wisely, and we can recommend areas worth considering.
- Link exchanges
Exchanging links with other relevant web sites has many benefits:
a. You are adding to the content of your own site
b. You are marketing you site on other peoples
c. You are probably improving your search engine placement, as many search engines now consider how many other web sites link to yours in deciding where you appear in their listings
- Newsgroup advertising
There are thousands of specialist discussion groups on the web, and using these effectively to bring your site to the attention of potential users of your services can be very worthwhile, if done properly. Actually participating in relevant newsgroups can also be a good source of business, although a little time consuming.
- E-Mail Advertising
Approached correctly, targeted e-mails can be very effective. Actually seeking out relevant web sites on the net belonging to potential customers and sending them an e-mail inviting them to look at your web site can often produce worthwhile business.
- Banner Advertising Advertising your services on other relevant web sites can also be effective, if chosen wisely. Don't, however, be mislead by false statistical information on web sites - 'hits' does not mean visitors. But one or two visitors to a web site who are likely to be potential customers can be worth more than hundreds of visitors that are not in the market for your products or services.
As you can see, there are many areas in which time can be spent on marketing. Unfortunately it's time that's always at a premium, which is why we believe our marketing services can be effective. To make best use of the opportunities available you need a detailed knowledge of the internet and its workings, together with some insight into the behavioural psychology of it's users. That's a knowledge that we have.
WHAT DOES IT ALL COST ?
Obviously the more time that is devoted to the above marketing areas, the more effective the results are likely to be and most benefit is derived if the tasks mentioned are carried out on a continuing basis.
For this reason it is generally preferable to commit to a certain amount of time allocated on a monthly basis, which can be devoted to the above areas. We would normally charge at the rate of £ 200 per day for this work.
The one area where a specific exercise is worthwhile, however, would be the initial optimisation and submission of your site to search engines and directories. Our costs for this will depend on the complexity of the web site. A simple submission of existing pages would only cost a few pounds. Optimisation of your web pages and manual submissions can cost between £150 and £750 depending on the size and complexity of your web site. The important thing to do is TALK TO US - and THAT COSTS NOTHING!
Our Northamptonshire Web Site
Our Northamptonshire site is the ONLY commercial web site that consistently appears in the top 10 search results for Northamptonshire on the web - an indication that we're good at what we do. We get around 1/2 MILLION 'hits' - 125,000 page views, per month. We are continually promoting the site both on and off line as well as continually upgrading and adding to the site content. If you are a Northamptonshire business contact us for details of advertising rates, or check out www.northamptonshire.co.uk
© The Page Arnold Partnership 2001