by Paul Lowans
Here is another installment of the new monthly newsletter article called Techie Tips & Tricks. The theme is interesting tips and tricks surrounding technology, any technology whether it is computers; cell phones; travel or widgets (you know anything). I don’t want this to be MY article so I expect everyone to contribute. Maybe you had a good answer to a question at the Technology Forum this month, write it up and send it in. Of course I will have at least one tip or trick per month but if you have a good one, just send it to Dave Young (RPCN@frontiernet.net) before the newsletter deadline (the 21st of the month) and I’ll let Dave decide what to use. I won’t be mad if he doesn’t choose mine.
As you may be aware, RPCN launched its new website this past month. Many of us have spent a lot of our own time getting it ready. I wish to personally thank Emily Carpenter and Steve Royal for this effort. It wouldn’t be the website it is, if it weren’t for them. I would also like to thank the other members of the Web Development and Communications committee, Linda McQueen and Dave Young, who helped in the decision making of the Logo and website.
Many times at either the Tech or Business Forums the question has come up about how do you create your own website for your business and that’s the subject of this edition of Techie Tips & Tricks. Business websites should be part of your marketing strategy; it should help you attract business, it must make potential clients want to call you for business and not drive them to someone else’s website. In short, if you want to attract clients to your business website, call in the professionals. You may know your business but you unless your Emily or Linda or Barbara or any of the other nine website designers in the RPCN database, you don’t necessarily know how to professionally present it on the web.
Probably one of the most compelling reasons for getting a pro to do your website is search engines. If your clients can’t find you on the web, then all the work you did is wasted. Open up your browser to Bing, Google or Yahoo, and search for rochester consultants. In fact try each search engine and the RPCN link is at the top of the list (not counting the sponsors). One reason it’s at the top is because of traffic, i.e. the members are using the site to find out what it’s all about and to update their profile. The more clients access your website, the higher it’ll be on the search results. Secondly, we have links to other websites that are relative to our site and some of them have links to our website. This can bump you up in the search engines also.
The next compelling reason to call in the pros is that your design will not be as easy to access or use as the pros. When someone comes to your website, you only have a few seconds to capture their interest and tell your story or they’ll go on to the next consultant. That could be lost opportunities that could actually help pay for your website.
For the RPCN website we enlisted the help of a graphic designer to design the overall look of the website. This included a new logo. As Emily pointed out in last month’s newsletter it needed to be updated to “appear as professional as possible to potential members and customers”. This is called branding and Amanda Altman of A3 Design told us about branding at the April 9th meeting. Your website needs to show off your brand. You’re a professional, now show it!
After the graphics were done, it was handed over to a coder who after completing some background research and selecting the appropriate template made the menu links work and created all the basic page designs. This was based on the old site’s site map (hierarchy of the website).
This all happen over a three month period of emails and phone calls to iron things out. Can you afford to spend three months of your time to create your site just to have it not make money for your business?
Finally Steve Emily and I put the content in the site and we’re still working on it. Websites are not easily created and you have to have some artistic talent besides programming knowledge to create a successful one.
All in all I think it is a very professional and functional website for RPCN, a business website like you should have.
Call a professional.