Content Management for Your Business Website

Having a website to help promote your business is an important step in creating a presence on the internet. Once you’ve made the decision to take that step, you want to figure out whether the web design you choose is static or dynamic. Today I’ll be discussing content management for a static website, and why this may be the route you want to take for your business.

 

Simply put, a static website, or “business card” website, contains information, or code, that doesn’t change. However, the site administrator can go in and update information on the website when necessary. This is a good option for most businesses, if all you’re looking for is to create a site that tells the public who you are and what you do, and you don’t need to update the site on a regular basis. There are several companies that allow you to build your own website such as Go Daddy and Network Solutions, but unless you are at least a little bit familiar with HTML coding, this can be very time consuming and frustrating.

 

You can also choose to have these internet companies build the site for you, but you may find that you aren’t getting the personalized attention and time that you need to ensure your site does everything you want it to or that you get the instructions you need to navigate your way around the administration of the site. If this is the case, you may want to find a web design company that offers a wider range of services. At Datex Media, we take the time to truly get to know our clients and what they’re specific needs are; the message they want to send and the web design that really speaks to who they are as a business and how they operate. Once the site is built, we also take the time to personally train our clients on how to work within the administration of the site.

 

One of the pluses to creating a static website is the fact that it can be built fairly quickly, giving your business a presence on the internet sooner rather than later. And unless your business needs to update your website on a daily or regular basis, a static one will cover everything you need. Once the website has been created, you can always go in and make changes to the content as needed. For example, maybe your business has added a new service and you want to make sure your internet audience is aware of it; all you, or the web design company, has to do is click on the category you want to change and then click on edit and type in whatever new information you want to be shown.

 

Now, there are about as many different ways to go about editing content as there are websites on the internet. Some people are comfortable formatting their own HTML codes and others aren’t; and it’s important for any business to know exactly what’s going into their website content, whether they choose to do it themselves, or leave it in the hands of the web design company that built it. In order to give our clients, and potential clients, the most personalized service we can, we’d like to hear from you, our readers. What administrative tools work best for you, which ones don’t you like and what would you like to see added to administrative templates? Please leave your thoughts, comments and suggestions.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody!  My blog post today is going to be about the positive things we have to look forward to in 2009. The past year is almost behind us, and in many respects that’s a good thing. Come tomorrow, we all get another chance to start fresh. Whether you own a business or simply work for one, you may be thinking the outlook is dim. But there are things to look forward to, and ways to take advantage of the business opportunities that are out there, especially through the internet. For example, If you’re in the website development business as I am, there is always new and innovative technology being produced, and that only helps us serve our clients better. Here are a few positive things to focus on in 2009.

There are business opportunities out there

In an article for Forbes, Saj-Nicole Joni notes that,  “the opportunities will be extraordinary for business leaders who have the vision, skill and courage to move forward.” These opportunities, in large part, involve the internet. If your business has a website or a blog, there are brand new avenues for free marketing available to you on a daily basis. Even more than that, the technology that allows us to create these websites and blogs also allow businesses to enhance their image and leave a lasting impression on a much wider scale.

Encourage others

This comes from a blog post by Danny Brown. He sent a call to his followers on twitter, and asked them to tell him how they would encourage greateness in 2009. Inspiring others not only makes them feel better, it makes you feel better as well. When everybody is feeling positive, more positive things tend to happen. If your business has a website, try using it to thank your customers/clients in some way. Whether that encouragement comes in the form of a simple note, a personalized email or special deals. Let your customers know you appreciate them, and believe me, they will be a customer for life. Make your blog more interactive, this not only helps bring you more traffic and potential business, it’s also a great way to make people feel as though what they have to say matters. One of the things I believe will become bigger in 2009 is social media, which is very interactive, so encouraging this through your own business keeps you on top of the trend as well.

A new year means a new start

Come January 20th, we will have a new president and, for many people, that’s already a huge improvement from the past eight years. But no matter how you feel about the politics of it, a new president brings fresh new ideas and that’s what we need more than anything. The new administration also knows the power of the internet, so I expect technology to grow by leaps and bounds.

It isn’t all just doom and gloom out there. A new year brings fresh hope, and in order to acccomplish the goals you have for yourself and your business, a healthy dose of hope can only improve your chances. Encourage others, think outside the box and focus on the good news. We at Datex Media want to wish you all a very happy and successful new year, and I encourage you all to share your thoughts on what the new year will bring.

How to Provide Quality Customer Service in a Technology World

imagesTechnology has opened up our world, especially with regards to my industry, website development. But it has also opened up a brand new challenge, with regards to customer service. It can be difficult for a programmer to explain what goes into designing a website to a business person who has no knowledge of how the technology works.

At Datex Media, we have a Project Manager, Erwin Smith, who helps us bridge the gap between geek-speak to business owners and executives and vice versa. The following post is written by Erwin, and explains how he deals with customer service in a technology world.

The first thing I make sure to do with any client is to get a thorough understanding of what their business is, how they operate and what their goals are for the company. I know how competitive it is out there, and ensuring I give our clients the time and attention they deserve helps us to create a website that suits their specific needs and objectives. For example, I’ll ask them questions about why they do a certain process in a certain way so the programmers can figure out how best to write the code. But even with all the communication that takes place, issues can and do arise.

A couple of the most common customer service issues that come up deal with the technology that goes into creating a website, and the lack of understanding the average person has of it. For example, getting clients to understand the time that’s required for programmers to provide the best possible solution for their request. It may look like a simple page to them, but there are many things going on behind the scenes that need specific attention and a programmer’s creativity to produce the function or tool they envisioned. Another issue is maintaining proper momentum and not pushing our client’s patience.

In both cases, communication is key. When speaking with a business client, I try and keep it simple. Because I am familiar with technology, and much of the language that goes along with it, I know how to communicate with the programmers that are building the website. Speaking both “languages” is a major plus because it allows me to be a liason between the clients and the programmers. This skill, I believe, is crucial for customer service in this industry.

Trust is another key componant in customer service. I find that keeping our clients updated on the progress of their websites on a regular basis helps build a stronger relationship with them. With this foundation, they don’t have to understand the technology that goes into what we’re doing, because they know we are working to give them exactly what they want. Of course, the proof is in the pudding. Once a business has seen the finished product, they know we heard everything they said.

Customer service in a technology world has some special challenges. I believe that getting to know your client and how their business operates are keys to giving them a website that suits their specific needs, it also helps build your credibility because these clients will provide word-of-mouth advertising for you. So what have I left off? What do you do to ensure quality customer service? Please let us know by leaving your comments, questions or suggestions.

SEO and Your Website: How Does it Work?

Got a website or a blog? If so, than you are at least familiar with the term SEO, or search engine optimization. It has become an integral part of any web design, especially if it’s for a business. So we all know it’s important, but many people are still confused as to exactly what it is or how it works. Because of this confusion, many businesses hire companies that claim to be SEO experts, and often times, they are making lofty promises and charging even loftier prices for their service.

SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” The goal is to get your website and/or blog a higher ranking in the search engines and drive more traffic to your business site. There are a handful of things that go into achieving this type of specific web design, which include: content development, keyword research, expertise in specific markets and html formatting, just to name a few. Now, this type of service can be a good thing, especially if you or your company doesn’t have enough time to devote to this aspect of their business. That being said, many of these companies are promising immediate results and charging an arm and a leg for them.

From everything I’ve researched, it seems as if it takes more than a couple of days to generate heavy traffic to a website, in fact it can take several months. So, if you decide to hire an SEO specialist, be vary wary if they promise quick results. To me an SEO company is like a psychiatrist, in that it’s an ongoing process and one really never knows what is going to happen. Now that’s just my opinion based on what I’ve learned for my own web design company. Another question to ask is, is the money you are paying these people worth it?

Some of the quotes I’ve seen for SEO services range between $20,000-$30,000 and a monthly maintenance fee. It seems a bit pricey to me, especially if you can find out how to do it all yourself. But that’s the question, is improving your website’s ranking worth that much money to your business, and do you really need to spend that much or can you find companies that will do it cheaper? My feeling is that you have to devote a lot of time to your company’s blog and/or website to really get it going. Creating the web design is just the first step; you have to also ensure you are providing fresh, quality content to your blog on a regular bases, you have to research the appropriate and most-used keywords on a daily basis and you have to submit your pages to the various search engines and social networking sites. And that just scratches the surface.

So here are a few questions to all of you. How much do you think a business should pay for an SEO specialist? Do you think you even need to hire outside help for your website, or should you just do it yourself? How long do you think is a reasonable amount of time before you start seeing higher rankings and more traffic to your blog? And what are some of the warning signs to look for, when hiring outside help? I know one thing you definitely want to be careful about is hiring a company that breaks the rules set forth by Google. There are a lot of dirty tricks companies are employing, and they do get quick results; however, these results don’t last and it can get you banned from some of the most important search engines out there. Now let’s hear what you all have to say about it.

Why You Need to Upgrade Your Website

If you’re like most people, you have a website for your business. In fact, as of Oct, 2008, “there were approximately 184,000,000 websites across all domains,” according to the Netcraft Web Server Survey. Websites have become vital to any business, especially in today’s global economy. While the growing number of websites is a good thing, as it helps promote and generate business, it also makes competing in the global market much tougher. One of the key things you can do to say a cut above the rest is to upgrade your website.

Many of you out there had your mother’s cousin, a friend or a college student build your original website. That may be a great way to save money, but in the long run, it could be the downfall of your business. With so much new technology out there, the global market demands you keep up, or you may get lost in the shuffle. Just because your college buddy knows more about how to build a website than you do, that doesn’t mean you should put your business website in his hands. With more and more business’s depending on the global economy, it is more important than ever to ensure you hire a company that is on the cutting edge, with regards to software design.

There are many reasons to upgrade your website, not the least of which is how it can help generate more business revenue. The global market has inundated the World Wide Web, which means you must have more sophisticated software to get noticed by those all important search engines. People do online searches from all over the world, which is how you can get business from everybody involved in the global economy and not just rely on local business. When you upgrade your website, you are also making it easier for your visitors to navigate around and get a good feel for what your business has to offer. There is nothing worse than getting traffic to your website, but losing business because the potential clients because it wasn’t user-friendly.

When you upgrade your website, you are also leveling the playing field with all the big guns in the corporate world. That being said, if you keep the website uncle Charley built for you, you could lose all credibility with future customers. As I mentioned before, technology is ever-changing, and if you have a website that was created for you in 2000, you are losing revenue to company’s that have directed their finances to online marketing. That brings up another good point; online marketing helps generate revenue, and, in most cases, it’s completely free to you. But, many of the software applications and tools you need to get the most out of this free marketing require you to have a website that can accept them and the older software that was used to build websites in years past doesn’t.

Running a business can be expensive, and there are a lot of different aspects of the business to keep in mind, but if you don’t upgrade your website you will be unable to compete the expanding global market, which in turn will cost you far more revenue than you will spend implementing new software. The global economy is growing daily and expanding to include more and more countries, towns, villages and cities. In order to not be left behind, you have to keep up with the changing times, and one of the best ways to do that is by keeping up with the changing technology.

How Corporate Portals are Revolutionizing Business

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Communication; when speaking about any relationship, whether it is personal or professional, good communication is a must. When it comes to corporate business, or any business for that matter whether it be big, small, or just starting out, it can make or break productivity and cause a loss of precious revenue. One of the most innovative technologies to come along in a while, corporate portals, is helping to streamline business, improve employee communication and stop the unnecessary loss of that all important revenue.

 By integrating a corporate portal into your already existing website, you can keep track of everything and everyone that has to do with your business. In fact, “some have gone so far as to call corporate portals the next generation of computing, saying that portals will do for global knowledge-work what the railroad did for the industrial revolution,” according to Information Week Online. The idea is that the corporate portal can automate all your company’s information in one central location on your website, thereby, reducing the amount of redundancy and miscommunication that can wreak havoc with the way you do business. Ok, so now we have an idea of why corporate portals are so important, but what are they exactly and how do they work?

Simply put, a corporate portal is like having the files of every office in your company located in one central location on your website. Moreover, there are software companies that can personalize the portal they are building for you to have separate pages for each employee. This allows the employee to stay on top of the work they have been assigned as well as keep the boss updated on what stage the employee is at on any given task. But there is much more to it than that. As we have come to see, many businesses are going paperless. Doing away with the extreme amount of wasted paper not only saves a company money, but as an extra-added bonus, helps protect the environment. For example, all those forms and contracts that need to be filled out can be accessed on the corporate portal and forwarded to whoever is in charge of organizing them. This would be a good example of a task page for the HR department. Corporate portals can also prevent the loss of valued customers.

Streamlining communication through corporate portals helps everybody in the company keep track of what their customer’s needs are. As any business person will tell you, their company’s survival rests on the attention they give their clients. Imagine missing an appointment because their message got lost; when you have one location to organize all the pertinent information, you are much less likely to run into this type of problem, because as workers move from task to task, job to job, and company to company, their basic work context travels with them. These are just a few examples of how valuable and asset corporate portals can be. The bottom line is that you want to ensure you hire a company that will work with you to design the program that works best for you business. Forget the canned software that’s out there; their limited, complicated and don’t give you the personal attention you need to take advantage of all the different aspects a corporate portal can provide.

The internet has made our lives much easier, and the exciting part is that it is constantly growing and revolutionizing the way we live and do business. In fact, it won’t be long before you can become even more mobile, as new technology will soon bring corporate portals to the iPhone. If you want to increase productivity, generate more revenue and improve your company’s culture through better communication, a corporate portal is something you should look into.

     

How to Take Your Business to the Next Level

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in today’s global economy, it is no longer enough to simply hang a shingle on the porch and call yourself a business. In order to ensure you reach the masses and grow your business, a professional and user-friendly website is a must. One need only look at the statistics to understand how vital the internet has become to people around the world and the way we do business. As of June, 2008, “there were 1,463 million users of the internet, which accounted for 21.9% of the world’s population,” according to Internet World Stats. Those numbers represent the market you may be missing out on, if you don’t have a website for your business. A website gives you a presence on the ever-expanding web so that potential employees, business partners and, most importantly, customers can find out who you are and what products and services you have to offer.

Deciding to create a website for your business is the first step; the next step you make should involve how to go about doing that. There are a lot of different options out there, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you want your website to enhance your business, which is why it is important to hire credible, well-established professionals to handle the job for you. It is crucial to understand that while a well-done website can greatly increase your revenue, a poorly designed one can be disastrous to all your hard work and reputation. When deciding which company you want to hire to create your new website, make sure you ask to see some of their previous work. You want to make sure the samples you are looking at look like they were done by experienced professionals and not just somebody’s third cousin who slapped something together and called himself a website designer. You also want to make sure the site you create is user-friendly; there’s nothing worse than losing clients because your website was confusing to navigate around.

A presence on the web helps level the playing field. With a website your business can compete with the big guns because many consumers today research information on the web before making a purchase, and often times these same consumers will take advantage of the convenience of buying those products online as well. This means that you don’t have to rely only on local business, you can reach a world-wide community of consumers. To give you an idea of how much extra revenue a website can generate for your business, here’s an excerpt from The SBRB / Business Today Study; “A total of 17.5% of the respondents which had Internet sites in 2006 said they generated up to 10% of their company’s total revenue from Internet revenue. Another 14.4% said they generated from 11% to 25% of their revenue from eCommerce and 10.4% said they generated from 26% to 50% of their overall revenue from their Internet sites. Of the remaining participants, 3.1% said they produced 51% to 75% of their revenue from eCommerce and 4.9% produced 76% to 99% of their revenue. eCommerce contributed 100% to the revenue of 3.1% of the respondents.”

With so much competition out there, it is more important than ever to stand out in the crowd. Some of the ways a business can achieve this are by creating a strong brand image, growing brand loyalty and having their own unique voice. You can see from the study above how integral websites have become to businesses around the world, which is why it is vital in today’s market to not only keep up with the trends, but to set them, which is one of the best ways to take any business to the next level.