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Benefits of a Customized Website

Published on April 24th, 2017 by Adrian Trela

I think we can all agree that having a website that properly represents you is essential in 2017. While there are a ton of options available to business owners, not all websites are created equally. Over the years we have encountered clients who have run the gamut of the perils and pitfalls of making the wrong choice when it comes to website design. Quite literally, this is one of the single most important decisions you can make for the future of your business.

With that in mind, let’s talk about how to make the correct moves and avoid a lot of headaches.

Ownership

One of the first questions I ask a potential client is “Do you own your website?” Surprisingly, many business owners do not know the answer to this question. While many business owners have purchased their sites, they do not actually own them. Many agencies will provide a template that a customer can purchase, but the agreement is actually a lease of a site that locks a business owner into a relationship with the agency. The domain name, the site itself and the content included in the site are actually the property of the agency, and if the business owner decides to terminate the relationship, they end up losing the site and all of the investment they made in building the site and its visibility. While this is a great way for an agency to hold onto a client, it is definitely not good for the business owner.

At EM Search Consulting, our mantra is to do what is best for our clients. While this seems rather cliché, it is something that we strongly believe, and it is reflected in our philosophy when it comes to websites. This is why our clients retain ownership of the websites we build for them. We figure that if a client buys a site, it is only fair that they own the site and its content. Makes sense, right? If you are planning to purchase or upgrade any site, make sure that you will actually own the domain, site and content.

Templates and Cookie Cutter Options

In order to cut costs many agencies provide templates or “skins” that a client can personalize with their own logos and pictures, but offer very little in the way of customization. While it may save a little money in the short term, often these types of “cookie cutter” sites not only look and feel generic, but they leave a business owner with extremely limited options when it comes to marketing and aesthetic.

Your business is unique – why would you want to have a site that looks and operates the same way as dozens and sometimes hundreds of others? Hiring an agency that will tailor a site to your vision will not only allow you to showcase what is great about you, but it can also be a very fun process that forces you to ask important questions about your business that can help you in other areas as well.

Unique Content

This is an extension of point #2 – templated sites not only look the same, but very often the agencies that offer these products will use the same batch of content for the sites as well, changing out only the business name and address. This is not only an unimaginative and (quite frankly) lazy approach to content writing, but it can have a negative impact on your ability to rank on search engines. Having rich and useful content that is unique to your business is a ranking factor for Google and other SE’s – recycling content from other sites can potentially be seen as “black hat SEO” at worst, and it will decrease the likelihood that your site will be interesting enough for a visitor to actually interact with your site. User experience is becoming more and more important to search engines like Google, so make sure that your site’s content represents you in the best way possible. In short – be you!

SEO and Marketing Capabilities

It is critical that a business owner, you have the ability to access all levels of your site. This includes being able to add new pictures and employee profiles, but extends to coding and design changes as well. For a site to rank well on search engines, it needs to properly communicate the “facts” of the business. While human eyes will see the pictures and content of a site, a search engine looks at much different things. Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Schema Tags and Schema Tags are all contained in the coding of the site and it is imperative that they are written correctly. Website design and Website Optimization, for example, are very different things. Most web designers do not code a site with the goal of ranking well on search engines, which is natural. After all, their job is to make the site look great and easy for visitors to use. However, in order to optimize a site, some coding changes will most likely be necessary. Many agencies will not grant access to templated sites to business owners or their marketing consultants and this will hinder their ability to make these changes. As a result, it will be extremely difficult and often impossible to market the site properly. This also extends to implementing useful tools like Google Analytics and Remarketing Pixels.

In short – when it comes to websites, it is always best to choose a customized site that allows you not only the control of ownership, but the ability to change and adapt with the ever-evolving online landscape. To get started on your own customized website, contact EMSC today.

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