7 Double Checks to Prepare for 2013

As 2013 approaches, there are a few things you want to make sure you are doing online to ensure next year’s virtual success. Devised below, are the seven most primary things.

1) Make sure your website portrays where your organization stands today- not where it used to be.
This doesn’t mean re-designing your entire website, but you want to make sure the information and content you have available on your website matches your organizations primary directives. Attention should be placed on things that have changed over the course of this year, and what will be coming in the future.

2) Have some form of social media presence and work on building a fan base.
It’s no surprise why Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and many more social sites are so popular- they all offer it’s users the ability to trade ideas and interests publicly and among friends. Ultimately, your business or organization can gain quite a bit of exposure via ‘virtual word-of-mouth’, and you want to make sure you’re setup to be there when it happens.

3) Ensure your design(s) are consistent across all platforms.
Your visitors will feel more comfortable and enjoy visiting you online when everything remains consistent. This may require some design tweaking, or re-designing, but the end result is worth it. If your marketing materials match your website, or your social media splash pages match your website, everything flows. This will be important when handling the release of new content as well.

4) Make sure your pages and content are search engine friendly.
Search engine optimization, SEO, is a crucial element to driving traffic to your website. As long as your site is structured properly and you’re providing visitors with unique content they keep coming back for, your website will show much better success rates over time than others. Many changes regarding SEO don’t pertain to the overall design, but more so the back end of the website.

5) New and relevant content will keep your site interesting and worth visiting.
Take a look at last year’s content and see what had the most impact or response from your audience. Use that information to determine what you should be writing for next year and plan ahead. If you realize that your previous years content was irrelevant or had little impact, determine what type of information needs to be written to improve and implement changes.

6) Are you organized and ready to take on new business?
One primary reason MonkeyBlast.com offers custom web applications is to ensure organizations are properly organized and ready for expansion. The shift to “cloud” based storage and the idea that you can access your client database from any computer, is shifting the way small businesses handle their customer relationship needs. With this in mind, there’s no reason not to revisit your database needs.

7) What type of innovative approach or direction are you bringing to your industry?
It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it… your business has to provide something that another doesn’t. This is especially true for what you offer online. Your website should offer unique feature(s) or information that another competitor does not offer. If you’re in a more saturated market, you can ensure your website stands out with the use of reliable new content, search engine optimization, and an organized design.

As always, MonkeyBlast.com is always here to help answer any and all questions. Please feel free to contact us regarding your desire to improve your online presence. We offer more than just a design process; we offer complete service from original logo concepts to complete online representation. We love helping local businesses succeed online!

I want a website! Where do I start?

I have run in to a countless number of people who are always asking- “What does it really take to own or start my own website?”

First, it is easiest for me to start with the technical side of a website, and explaining some of the things you’ll need to get up and running. There are some key items and technical terms you may have come across in your search to starting your own website.

Choosing a Domain Name
A domain name is nothing more than a ‘landing page’ for your website’s content. A billboard or name if you will- directing traffic to your website’s content.
A domain name will usually be related to your business/company or the idea/content you are representing. However, content or company name does not have the be the driving factor behind choosing a domain name. Many larger companies have done quite well for themselves generating a name for themselves and having no particular correlation to their domain name. Google, Ebay, Amazon… ring a bell? As long as your branding is consistent, your domain name can be whatever you want it to be. For someone with a personal website, you might choose something at random, simply to have something catchy or neat.

Your domain name ‘re-directs’ or points someone to your hosted content…
That content has to be hosted on some sort of…

Web Hosting Account
A web hosting account actually stores the web pages, content, files, etc… that you would like to present to your visitors. Hosting accounts vary in size and available features, but the primary purpose of a web hosting account is a central ‘storage’ location for your website’s files.

Last but certainly not least…

Content and Design
Once you have locked down a domain name and secured a hosting account for your files, the next process is determining what you would like to host on the website, and how you want to present the information to your visitors. With regards to personal websites, you may wish to display your photography, vent about politics, or just post general content on a particular topic. Whatever the content may be, you have to determine how you would like to present your information.

The technical side of designing a custom website from scratch requires fairly decent knowledge in basic web coding languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP, and others. You might choose to run or install a blog script, code something through the use of a web design program, or utilize some other form of integrated template system.

While it may seem easiest to utilize a blog script, try learning a web design program, or utilizing a template- recent customers have come across limitations to a template or blog that they did not realize at first glance. A truly custom website, for most, provides a way for someone to express their content without limitations to how the information is displayed as well as more functionality with useful codes that add a unique appeal to a website.

As always, MonkeyBlast.com is always here to help answer any and all questions. Please feel free to contact us regarding your desire to create a website. We offer more than just a design process; we offer complete service from original logo concepts to complete online representation. We love helping local businesses succeed online!