Why do I need to market my business online?
With over 80% of all transactions starting from an online search, it is almost impossible to ignore the importance of a strong web presence these days. No matter what your business is selling you can almost be certain that your prospective customers will be going online to learn about what you sell and the best companies to choose from to get started. If your business cannot be found, then your competitors that can will be taking a lion’s share of these opportunities.
Why do I need to work with an agency like Online Impact?
Although you are never limited to working with an agency, we do highly encourage and recommend it. If you do not live and breathe online marketing and web development like we do, then there is no way that you can specialize in it and provide yourself with efficient and effective results. You would not try and build a house if you have never done it before would you? Online marketing and website development is too important to try to do piecemeal. On top of that, it can get very expensive and time consuming if you don’t know what you’re doing. Focus on what you do best, running your business, and let someone like us help you grow.
How long does it take before I can expect results?
This may be our most common question, and it’s a good one. The type of results and the time to see results are going to vary based on (1) the services you are using and (2) the aggressiveness of your marketing efforts. More comprehensive marketing strategies tend to yield better, quicker results and will always be recommended by Online Impact. However, if you have a very specific goal, then certain services may provide results faster. An example would be Pay Per Click as it can be activated and delivering traffic to your website within hours of setup. Search Engine Optimization and Social Media services can and do take weeks, sometimes months, before any direct results are noticed.
Why do I need a website?
Your website is the first impression that prospective customers get about your business online. If you do not have a website or if you have a dated, poorly designed and developed website, then there is a very good chance that this prospective business is going to move on to a competitor that has put the proper time and care into their website.
Why can’t I just use a free or cheap website service?
There is absolutely nothing preventing you from going with a free or cheap service provider to build your website. As a matter of fact, going this route is better than not having a website at all in our opinion. However, if you’re looking to build a website to actually help your business grow, then going through the proper planning, design and development process to create an effective website is 100% necessary. Your website is your first, and sometimes your only, impression as well. Make sure that it makes the best possible imprint by having a professional team like ours build it correctly from the start.
Will I own my website?
Yes. All Online Impact websites are owned entirely by the customers we designed and built them for. Although we have yet to have a client move their Online Impact website to someone else, you most certainly have the option to do so at any time.
What do I need to provide to you to build the website?
The more information we have from each customer before beginning a project the smoother and quicker the project goes. Ideally, we would like to have the following things before any website build is started; (1) approved sitemap, (2) high resolution logo files, (3) high resolution image files, (4) completed content, (5) domain registrar login info, (6) current web host login info, (7) current CMS login info, (8) current analytics and webmaster tools login info, (9) 3rd party tool login info.
How will you be building my website? Using an existing theme? A custom theme?
Depending on what your budget is we will determine which option is best suited for your business. All of our custom sites are built on custom themes developed specifically for your business. All of our template websites are built on pre-built themes we’ve developed for use with template websites. If you have a particular theme that you’ve purchased, then we’re happy to work with that as well.
What access do I get to my website?
All of our website clients get full access to their website. This includes control panel access, WordPress administrative access, FTP access and database access. We do require customers to sign a waiver of liability though if and when they request this information as we cannot be responsible for anything that goes down or breaks as a result of someone else’s error.
How will you make it easy for me to manage the content on my website?
Before any website project enters the build stage we completely plan out how the approved designs will be coded into a working website. This process helps us to make as many elements of the website easy for any user to edit.
What plugins will be included with my initial install / build?
The plugins we use will be determined by the project specifications and needs of each client’s business. Our philosophy on plugins is to keep them limited to only the core, necessary plugins to improve website performance.
Will my website be mobile-friendly?
Unless a client requests otherwise, all Online Impact websites are built to be responsive. Responsive websites are entirely mobile friendly and are the method of choice by our development and marketing teams for performance and SEO reasons.
What will you be doing to preserve my current website’s history and SEO value?
If you have an existing website, then it is first your responsibility to notify us of that website. And if you wish to replace any existing websites with a new one, then that must be communicated to our team. In these situations we will quote out the necessary work to properly migrate your old website to your new one so that any chance of significant SEO value loss is limited, if not entirely avoided. This process is very involved, especially if you have a large website, as we must identify each existing page and link that has been indexed and then properly map and redirect those to the associated pages on your new websites.
What SEO features / fundamentals will be included with my website?
Since we build the majority of our websites on WordPress there is not too much we need to do to make a website SEO friendly out of the gate. That said, there is some additional optimization work we include like proper setup of a recommended SEO plugin and assistance with setting up and verifying accounts with Google and Bing webmaster tools.
How will the website convert visitors?
Our team will assist with helping you identify your calls to action, but ultimately these important elements will need to come from your business. We will make recommendations and help to build in conversion elements like forms and features to capture leads or sales, but the most effective websites are ones that have strong, unique calls to action. Those must come from you, as the representative of your business.
What will you be doing to keep my WordPress site secure?
If you select to take advantage of our website service plan, then we will not only host your website, but also perform regular checks and updates to keep it secure from any malicious behavior. And, in the rare instance, your website does get compromised then our specialists will work to resolve the issues until they have been completely eradicated. If you choose to opt-out of our website service plan, then any and all security and maintenance will be your responsibility.
Will you be performing website core, theme and plugin updates as they become available?
For customers that use our website service plan, they will not have to worry about any updates being properly installed, implemented and updated. For customers that choose to opt-out of our website service plan, then they will be responsible for any and all updates.
Will you be keeping backups of my site?
If you select to take advantage of our website service plan, then we will run and store regular website backups that can be delivered on request. However, if you decide to not use our website service plan, then backups will be your responsibility.
How easy will it be to add features / functionality to my website in the future?
Since we build the majority of our websites on WordPress, adding features and functionality is typically much easier than with most other platforms. Doing so will be very easy for you in most cases, but any complex additions or changes may require the knowledge and experience of one of our developers. In these cases we will provide cost and time quotes for the applicable work.
What will be used to help me track my website traffic?
With each website that we build we assist with the proper setup and installation of Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools. For customers that need regular consulting on what their data means or how to use it, then we offer consulting services at $100/hr.
How do I request help if I need something and is this included in what I am paying for?
Although we provide many different ways for our customers to get support, we prefer that they take advantage of our support form to get the quickest response possible. If, for some reason, you don’t like filling out forms, then you can call (+61 8 9467 4488), email (support [at] Online Impact.com.au)
Are there any additional fees outside of what I have paid / am paying?
There are only two situations that may require additional payment: (1) you have used up the included hours of technical support in your website service plan and (2) you are requesting a change, fix, addition or removal that is outside of the mutually agreed upon scope of your project as it was outlined upon contract or quote initiation. In situations where additional fees are required we will always provide a cost and time quote that will require your approval before we ever bill you for anything.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimisation. SEO is something that can be done on your website (content development, coding, internal linking, etc) or off of your website (link building) to help your website organically rank for its relevant key phrases.
How do I know if my website is ranking or not?
The easiest way to see if your site is ranking is to simply go to Google, Yahoo or Bing and do a search for the key phrases that you feel are relevant to your website. If you do not see yourself on the first page of those search engines for those key phrases then your site is not getting the placement and exposure it needs and you have some work to do. Our team of SEO professionals can help you achieve the organic rankings your website needs to be found online.
Why is my website not ranking for my key phrases?
If your website has not proven itself as a relevant, authoritative, legitimate resource for the key phrases you think you should be ranking for, then it will most certainly not compete for the coveted organic rankings on the first page of Google, Yahoo and Bing. To make your website “relevant, authoritative and legitimate” your website needs (1) quality content, (2) quality backlinks and (3) proper coding. If you do not have experience recognizing these things or accomplishing them, then we can help.
Paid Advertising Questions
What is PPC?
PPC is an acronym for Pay Per Click – a form of online advertising that allows companies to show ads on the major search engines and social networks based on key phrases or demographic information. The idea of pay per click is to have relevant ads only show when a user performs a search or meets a certain set of demographic info that an advertiser has selected. One of the most well-known, and effective, pay per click ad platforms is Google AdWords.
I’ve heard pay per click is a waste of money. Why should I use it?
Pay per click can most certainly be one of the quickest ways to blow through a marketing budget without any results….when you don’t know what you’re doing. A professionally setup and managed pay per click campaign can yield very quick, consistent increases in relevant traffic to your website. With budget being your only real limitation, the increase of new, qualified traffic to your website can be enormous. We highly encourage customers, especially those with brand new websites and specific marketing campaigns, to use pay per click to reach the right people at the right time – when they perform a search.
Why is my ad is not showing up first (in the first position)?
You, like every other advertiser using pay per click ads, would typically like their ads to be in the first position. As a result, this creates a large amount of competition, thus making it difficult for a novice to get their ads placed above everyone else’s. Ad positions, with pay per click, happen in a couple ways – (1) you have outbid your competitors for a key phrase and/or (2) your ad is higher quality and more relevant than your competitors’. Different platforms rank paid ads differently, but these two reasons are generally going to answer this question.
Social Media Questions
What is SMM?
SMM is an acronym for social media marketing, which is an online marketing method of using social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, to promote your business. By promoting content, engaging customers and showing responsiveness and accessibility on highly trafficked social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc) a business can grow their website’s exposure and authority.
Which social networks should I focus on?
Social networks have been coming and going since the advent of social media and this trend will most likely not change for quite some time. There are some obvious networks, like Facebook and Twitter, that boast the largest user bases, but to generalize these as the best for every business would not be correct. The best social networks to focus on are the ones where your customers spend their time and where you enjoy spending yours. If you don’t know who your customers are, then you need to figure that out first. And, if you don’t enjoy using a certain social network, then you most likely will not get much out of it. Social media marketing requires constant, ongoing engagement if you want to see results.
I don’t want my clients to see my personal info on my social profiles. Should this stop me from using social media?
This may be our most common question in regards to social media marketing. First and foremost, it is important to know that there are options that will prevent your clients from seeing your personal social media profiles so this should never be a deterrent. Secondly, you may want to really think about how and why your business could benefit from social media before you consider using it. If you’re really that worried about a client seeing something about you, then you may need to focus on bigger issues that may be preventing your business from growing. Social media is all about transparency so if this is not something your business believes in, then other options may be better suited.
Other Common Questions
What is the best way to send email blasts to this list I just purchased?
The short answer here is to find a company that is willing to help you with this. Online Impact does not condone email marketing campaigns that send blasts to purchased lists as this is basically spamming. Even with our beliefs aside, reputable email marketing applications like MailChimp, Constant Contact or ExactTarget will not accept email lists that have been purchased. The best, and most acceptable, email recipients to send these campaigns to are ones that have opted in to receiving your messages.
Where should I host these videos I just created for my business?
There are many options for video hosting so here is a little direction for you. If you are willing and able to host your videos on your own server, then this is usually recommended. If, however, you are not as tech savvy or don’t have easy access to your web / IT person, then hosting your videos on services like YouTube or Vimeo will usually suffice. As long as your videos are good quality, properly embedded on your website and optimized for SEO and social sharing, then your hard work will pay off.
I would prefer to learn and implement my own online marketing campaigns. Are there options for customers like me?
Yes, Online Impact offers a very valuable consulting service that can be scheduled and adjusted to fit your calendar and budget. Instead of us actually implementing online marketing campaigns on your behalf we will spend time with you, on the phone or in person, to teach you how to do things yourself, how to test them, how to track them and how to continually optimize them. Our consulting services are charged on an hourly basis and each session is followed up with a detailed recap that provides you with actionable things to accomplish to start seeing results.