Websites are a necessity in today’s business world. The vast majority of consumers find businesses, products, and services through the internet. A website, however, needs to be more than just a page (or a few) placed on the internet. It needs to be informative, intuitive, and appealing to visitors. It also needs to conform to standards that search engines are designed to look for in order to eventually place well in consumer searches. Just saying “I have a website” is not enough, it needs to produce.
TLC Webs designs, develops, and deploys websites that meet all of the above criteria. And once the website is in place, we follow up by spending the time to insure search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) are not only aware of the site, but cataloging it well for searches. It doesn’t matter how good your website is if no one can find it.
Some website companies will attempt to prove how well they’ve optimized your website for search engines by searching (Googling) for words and terms that are very specific to your business and website, such as business name, city, and other criteria that will force your website to display well on searches. The problem with that, however, is that the average consumer will not usually be that specific when searching. For instance, most consumers will be more generic when searching and may not know your business name or specific location. As an example, searching for “northern michigan hotels” in Google will return 1,900,000 (one million, nine hundred thousand) results at the time of this writing. With all the hotels who already have established websites, the chances of your new website being listed anywhere near the first few pages of results will be very slim.
This is where experience with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) makes a difference. There is no magic in SEO, but there are ways to increase your chances of ranking higher in the search engine listings over time.
Websites can consist of one or many ‘pages’, depending on your requirements and your intended functionality of the site. A website can be strictly informational, interact with customers in many ways, may be used for Ecommerce (selling products online), or to engage customers and visitors in various ways. Basically, you are only limited by your imagination and your developer’s abilities.
We can create a website based on your criteria, or design one for you based on an analysis of your business and how you want to market your business, products, and/or services. The first step is to contact us for an initial consultation.
There are three primary parts to any website. The website itself, which consists of a group of files required to display your website. The domain name, which is the textual address (the “www” address). And the hosting account, which is actually space on a computer server connected to the internet.
Once the website has been created, a hosting account must be procured. Hosting accounts come in various capacities (sizes) depending on the need, and require ongoing payment. Basically, you are renting space on a computer. Payment for hosting accounts are usually made monthly, quarterly, or annually. TLC Webs can provide hosting services based on your needs and requirements.
In order to make use of a hosting account, a domain name must also be procured. Payments for domain names are usually made annually. TLC Webs can acquire your domain name through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is the responsible party for providing domain names on the internet. A domain name should be descriptive of your business, products, or services, and must be unique on the internet. It is also beneficial to use a domain name that will enhance ‘searchability’.
Though separate entities, domain names and hosting accounts are both necessary parts of a functioning website, and must both be acquired when configuring a website. TLC Webs can handle all the details.
Proper marketing has always been key to being successful in business. We have over three decades of experience in helping businesses market themselves, their products, and services. Many people mistakenly believe that because they know their business or product, they also know how best to market it. We’ve found that in most instances, this is not the case.
Marketing is a profession in its own right, and with the advent of internet marketing this is especially true. You can still place an ad in the Yellow Pages or newspaper, or put up a billboard on the side of the highway, but the fact is that over 90% of all consumers research a business, product, or service on the internet. Which is why the internet is littered with companies claiming to be SEO “specialists” who can, for a fee, make your business an internet superstar. If you’re a business with an email account, you probably get emails regularly from these companies, even though they don’t know you or your business. The question is, without doing a proper analysis of your business and your target demographic, how can they do this. Short answer -
To properly market your business, a marketing professional must study your business, your products and/or services, and figure out who and what your target demographic is. Only then can a real marketing campaign that will produce real results be launched. “But”, you say, “they have hundreds of satisfied customers”. Do they really? Remember, just because something is posted on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. There are good marketing and SEO companies out there, but they are in the minority compared to the preponderance of startup companies with a good tag line, but very little experience.
One interesting statement we hear often is “We can’t afford a website or a marketing plan right now, business hasn’t been that good”. This is interesting, because these people usually don’t understand why business hasn’t been good. Obviously you have to have a good product and/or service, but beyond that it will be your marketing strategy that will determine how much business you do or don’t do. Trying to grow your business without it will usually end in failure, or at a minimum less business than you’d like to have.
Contact us to find out more.
Nearly everyone in business today is familiar with the importance of email, its use is widespread and having a business email account is mandatory for doing business. What is often overlooked, however, is the amount of professionalism your email account does or does not demonstrate. For example, many business owners currently use a free email service such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc., as their primary business email account. Consumers are more tech savvy than you may think, and this (to be frankly honest) makes you look cheap.
As noted earlier, a business needs a website, and your email should appear to belong to your business. For example, if your website domain name was “www.isellstuff.com”, then your email address should be something like “firstname.lastname@example.org”, not “email@example.com”. Associating your email address with your business only makes common business sense.
When we build your website, and set up your domain name and hosting account, we’ll also configure one or multiple email accounts for you that will reflect nicely on your business, and add another touch of professionalism.
Again, consumers today are tech savvy, and they know the difference between a free email account that you spent no time or effort to create, and one that demonstrates you care about your business presence.
This includes computer hardware, computer software, local area networks, WiFi, wide area networks (for companies with multiple locations), security, and training.
TLC Webs, as part of the TLC Systems Integration group, can handle all of your computer technology and business automation needs. From installation and setup, to service and support, to training in the use of both hardware and software.
Customers and consumers expect today’s businesses to be technologically current. This means that they want you to have information at your fingertips when they ask questions, and be able to competently use things like email and the internet for their support. They perceive the lack of these abilities as a fault in your business model, which in turn reflects badly on your business as a whole. Conversely, being technologically proficient in your business operations demonstrates good business practice, and is an attraction for consumers.
We’re of course not saying you have to be computer scientists to do good business, but being able to competently manage your business and customer support using current tools of the trade (computer automation, the internet, email, etc.) is a major factor in business success in today’s marketplace.
Still not sure? Contact us, and we can explain in more detail why this is an important factor for your business’s success, and how we can help you achieve that success.
Don’t care about all the details and just want the highlights? Below you’ll find a shortlist of the services TLC Webs can provide for your business.