Designer, Developer, SEO or Marketing Company?
Lizardwebs does web sites – that much is a given. But what is it that customers expect when they get a website – not only from Lizardwebs, but from other companies as well?
I met with Dawn the other day and we were talking about some of our current projects. I mentioned that I had reworked some text on a new site, BarhamsTomatoes.com, for content, misspellings and SEO keywords. She looked at me rather quizzically and stated that she always used exactly what was given her by the customer. What followed was an insightful conversation about what exactly a web company DOES when they turn out a site.
In my work, I always edit, and frequently do the copy writing myself, the content to enhance the keywords, correct grammatical issues, correct misspellings, and generally provide the best possible copy for the situation. In some cases, this can be extraordinarily difficult. I have become a minor subject matter expert in a number of businesses so I could actually WRITE the copy that frequently is NOT supplied by clients.
Understanding a client’s business can take quite a while. One can scan authoritative business sites, talk in depth to the client, scan competitor sites, or do a lot of general reading. Frankly, it usually comes down to a combination of all of these methods. Once one has the basic business type down, the it’s time to learn what makes this specific client different from all the others – what are their strengths, weaknesses and generally what sets them apart from every other business of their type.
It is ALWAYS preferable that a client provide their own content – be it with Lizardwebs or any other web company. A client will always know the right buzzwords, the specific things that customers ask about, and all the general information that surrounds their business. They are always in the best position to provide good relevant copy for a website.
When solid text information is provided by a client and is put in the hands of a skilled SEO person or marketer, it can become golden.
If the copywriting is left to an outside producer, the content runs the risk of being off the mark. While some of my content has hit the mark, I know that I am NOT a true subject matter expert and always have the fear that I’m completely off base. My sites seem to do pretty well, so I guess I’m probably not completely misguided for the most part.
Back to the titled subject though – so where does all of this fall? Designer? Developer? SEO? Marketing? Below is the Lizardwebs interpretation of ALL of these titles.
Designer: Web designers are the people responsible for the general look and feel of a website. They normally do NOT spend their time on content. Some people make a living doing graphics and making unique and special layouts for websites. My opinion is that most designers are HTML based and primarily concerned with layouts. They certainly play a large part in the web industry.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the art/science of getting the right keywords in the right place with the right frequency and emphasis to make the search engines happy. SEO requires, in my opinion, a good overall knowledge of the client business, what ways these companies are found on the web, and from what kind of customer base the client typically draws. In the art side of things, SEO people need to have a good understanding of language and how to output good content while dropping in the appropriate keywords. On the science side, SEO requires a good knowledge of programs that can help one pinpoint keyword usage, frequency, frequent search terms, visitor behavior and other quantifiable things. Google Analytics is popular for this kind of thing, but there are a number of other programs that are used for various functions.
And finally, Marketing: Marketing is all about getting the word out about your company. Marketers want to make sure that when someone decides they need service or product ABC, your company is the first one that comes to mind. Marketing includes website presence usually but includes, generally, a lot more. A website is only part of the big marketing scheme. Print advertising, cards, flyers, leaflets, logo items, cross-promotion,and other media promotion are all part of the marketing for a business.
So where does your web company fit in? I can only speak of my own services.
Lizardwebs provides all of these services.
- Design: We do aesthetically pleasing and visually stimulating designs. A large amount of time can be and is spent on the layout of a new website.
- Developer: We can bring your information out in useful and efficient manner to get your point across from databases, as well as providing advanced functionality to your site.
- SEO: Lizardwebs makes every effort to retool your information to hit your market through knowledgeable optimization of your content.
- Marketing: Lizardwebs works with clients to make the website an integral part of an existing marketing program or serve as a springboard for a larger marketing campaign.
So what IS your website company doing for you?