Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Buying a Website For Your Small Business in Columbus

If you have the available funds it could be better to buy an existing website that has been around for a while. This is because new websites are penalised by Google and placed in the "sandbox" for a period of time. This is done to prevent new sites from just "spamming" their way to the top of the search engine results for Columbus using immoral methods, often known as black hat techniques. Older websites in Columbus have more chance of being out of the sandbox so you can put them to the maximum improving the revenue and traffic.

There are certain aspects to look out for to ensure that you are investing in a good website with lots of potential. First off, you should look at the history of the website - you can check this online to see what sort of past it has had. If everything looks good then that’s a start. Ask how much revenue the website makes on a monthly basis and by which methods (Adsense, CPM, selling links, etc), always ask for screenshots to back this up as people can easily mislead you at this point and let you think it earns more than it does.

Every Columbus Web Design company will agree that Google adsense is one of the best pay per click companies out there so you have to be dubious if the website isn’t using it. Be sure to ask why and check on the way back machine to see if it was breaking any of the terms and conditions in the past which may mean that it’s banned. This would severely affect the price you should pay as a major method of making money has been cut off.

After you are happy with the revenue you can ask for traffic stats, be sure to ask again for screenshots so that you know they are legit. Check where the traffic comes from to make sure that it’s not boosted up by the same IP address. It would be handy to see which countries and Columbus locations the traffic comes from in case you want to angle the website. Take a look to see how well it ranks for Columbus based keywords or see if you think you would be able to improve them if you bought it. If you buy a website you will need to put the effort into maintaining it in order to get your money back.

If you use Mozilla Firefox you can use the SEO toolbar to see most of the desired information such as back links and indexed pages in the major search engines, age of the website, alexa rank, page rank and many more. If you don’t have the toolbar you can check them out manually, it will just take longer. Take a look at a few of the websites linking to it to see if they have good page rank. Many people spam their website to free directories in order to increase the number of back links. You have to make sure they chose quality over quantity, and that's why it's important to have a professional Columbus Web Design company handle this for you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Branding Your Columbus Business and Domain

All Columbus area companies need to choose a name that will provide an appropriate brand image for them to gain and hold on to customers. However, Internet companies must additionally take domain names into consideration when deciding on their brand names. A good domain name must match up in an appropriate and even stylish way with the company name. Ideally, the decision for both the company name and the domain name should be made conjunctively. It's a good idea to have your local web design company check to see if the domain name is available.

When choosing your company name, consider the potential offerings you'll have and what markets in Columbus they'll serve. You'll want your brand to be fitting for any of the possible directions your business may take. Make sure that the name is easy to remember for those you'll be serving. It must portray an image that appeals to your customers. For branding and legal reasons, avoid names that could be confused with other companies in your area of business.

After you have some company names in mind, you will need to come up with some domain name ideas to see which combination will work best for you. The simplest choice for your domain name is the extension. The extension should match customer expectations. For example, you'll annoy quite a few people if you run a fully commercial site on a .org domain.

If you are going with a .com domain name, the chances are most of the logical domain names you want will be taken already. You will have to decide if the branding value of a domain name is worth trying to purchase an already-registered domain. If not, you might find that substituting numbers for words and placing hyphens as word separators will give you the name you want. However, for legal reasons you must be careful in doing this that the websites with similar domain names do not have trademarks on the words used in your domain name for similar business types in Columbus, or customer regions.

If you want your domain name to be your company name, your company name should be short and easy to remember. It's also a good idea for search engine purposes if your company name relates directly to the products or services for which your customers will search. But if the domain name is not easy to say and remember, offline advertising methods will be less successful. One way to overcome this is to have a slogan or jingle that implements your domain name in such a catchy way that people can't get the spelling or phonetic pronunciation out of their heads.

Of course, in the search for the domain name to be matched to your company name, you have to find out what domain names are already registered. Typing in domain names in the URL or address bar of your Web browser is a common mistake made by people just beginning Web design. Many domains are already registered even though they don't have a site posted to the Web. To find out what domains are available, you must go to a domain name registrar and use their domain name finder to see whether the domain names you think up are still available for registration. These finders tend to be smart tools that will help you by making suggestions of other similar domain names that are available. This makes the process of finding a domain name to match your business name much easier, and prior to registration, all web design firms are going to go through this step.

Once you have a company name that matches well with an available domain name, that's all there is to it. You're ready to register your domain name. Then you have your business name and domain name pair that will begin the branding process of your Internet business in Columbus. Now, all you have to do is find a good web design company!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Website Design Tips for Columbus Small Business

Before you can begin putting your new Columbus business website together, you need to have the answers to several questions. I recommend answering the following questions before you do anything else:

1. Do you need some type of shopping cart or item aggregator?

2. Do you need a payment processor to accept credit card payments for your website?

3. Are you planning on hosting textual or multimedia content on your website?

4. Do you need website interactives that dynamically alter themselves based on visitor action?

5. Do you want to run advertisements for other Columbus based companies to make additional revenue off of your business website?

6. Do you have enough content and/or products to necessitate a database driven website, such as a website utilizing a content management system (CMS)?

7. Will your website require third party plug-ins to play audio, video, or site interactives.

8. Is your target market more inclined to a professional approach, simple casual approach, or flashy approach?

If you're not sure about the answers to any of these questions or you know the answers and you aren't sure you can implement the solutions yourself, you may wish to seriously consider the following tips provided by a top Columbus Web Design company:

1. Find pre-designed Web design templates that meet all of the above criteria. These may be free, but for a more complex web design they may cost a small fee. It is almost always worth it to get a web design template if you get exclusive rights to the template and it meets all of your needs.

2. Hire a professional Web developer in Columbus to put together a website meeting the needs you have. This can be somewhat expensive, but if you hire a good Columbus Web developer, the professionalism will make a tremendous difference in how much confidence website visitors have in placing orders. It will also help things go more smoothly down the road.

3. If your project requires rich media or interactives and you're not already accomplished in these areas, there are many very talented artists available in Columbus for very reasonable prices. Use them.

If the answers to the questions left you feeling confident that you can do the whole company website yourself, then get started. Use your answers to the questions in the creation of your business plan and work flow charts. However, even if you're confident you can do the whole website yourself, it is a good idea to look into using Web design templates. These can jump start and speed up your development process. If nothing else they can get your creative juices flowing and give you ideas on what you want to do with your small company website.

Of course, the place to start with web design templates is by looking at the free stuff first. The draw back of free templates is that somebody else's website may look like yours. But, given that you know what you're doing, you can use the template as a starting place to create something new and unique. If you haven't looked at templates in a while, you might not know that they are no longer just available in pure HTML. Many now implement complex scripts, proprietary media controls, content management systems, and advanced CSS customization. Although if you really want these advanced features, you will probably find the web design templates you have to buy are better options. The cost is usually small compared to the benefit if you find a template that perfectly suits your website goals and your target market in Columbus.