Speaking at Knightdale Chamber of Commerce

It’s hard to decide what to speak about specifically when called upon to speak about web things. Do you speak about the technical aspects of things? SEO? General principles?  Aaaack.  Web did NOT used to be so complex. You were a webmaster or you were a user. Now, there are so many areas and the whole area of web has splintered so heavily that pinning anything down to a specific area is very difficult.

In the end, I decided to actually point my 20 minute presentation towards technical. There are a lot of people that try the “roll your own” web site approach – which I can’t say I really support. For the same reason I no longer do my own taxes, I don’t think it’s a particularly good approach.

Most small businesses have spent years honing their skills in their own area of expertise, and the web is no different – it is a skill that is improved over time. Unfortunately two weeks with a web creation app is not the optimum amount of experience time.

In it’s most basic form, HTML is no more difficult than creating a word document with the current crop of WYSIWYG apps or the newer breed of SiteBuilder applications. BUT knowing what should be used and shouldn’t be used in a website is an area that those apps don’t cover. And that’s where having an experienced developer comes into play.

Most people have heard the term SEO but have little idea what it actually entails. Simply put (and this is written about on my website), SEO is optimizing your content for searchability for given terms beneficial to your business.  I reviewed a “home-brew” site the other day for a local hair dresser. The first stop was Google to see where it was coming up. On a quick search for “hair stylist knightdale”, a plumber actually came up before her site. Sad.

I headed over to her site and looked at it. It was the equivalent of “I do hair.” While it is descriptive, there just isn’t enough OF it, nor enough specifics to actually entice a search engine or be accepted as an authoritative site. It would be at best a small ad.  I told her she was wasting her $30/month. It was like paying for a billboard and leaving it blank.

Not everyone needs to pay a developer to do their site, but I think a lot of people trip over the dollars to pick up the pennies. If you find a reasonable developer – read “Lizardwebs” – the cost that you will pay is likely much less than you may have been quoted elsewhere and will likely offer a LOT more value for you with added features and benefits that normal web companies consider “extras”.

So what will I talk about actually? Not sure – it’s only half written 🙂 5 hours to go!

Author: Eric Erickson

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