For many small-medium sized firms in aviation, construction, and manufacturing, developing a company website internally may be the most convenient and cost effective measure to improve marketing online. Creating a website is much more affordable, accessible, and manageable now than ever before; even without extensive training or a programming/coding background. Before looking into the different platforms out there (which there are many to choose from), here are some basic terms and factors to consider before launching your own site in 2023.
Domain. A domain, or web address, is a must-have for any website. Many platforms allow you to purchase or source a domain for 1-3 years (specific to your firm's name) with an account/reoccurring charge. Look for a provider who not only offers a domain, but a hosting platform as well. Domains can also be transferred to a new site (if previously purchased or in use elsewhere) if desired. It's important to make sure that a domain gets SSL Certified, allowing search engines to deem the site safe to enter and navigate. Failing to acquire (for a small fee in addition to domain cost) an SSL can inhibit users accessing your site when searching for it online. Beware of companies or individuals who charge an insane amount of money to buy a domain. Make sure to forward any payment or renewal communications to a frequently viewed email account within your organization to avoid missing an annual payment, as someone may buy the domain out from under the current user once it expires and charge an obscene amount to get it back. This does not happen often, but it can occur. Best bet is to "set it and forget it" on a credit card or account that will not expire within three years.
Google Business/Google Search Console. Google encourages businesses online to grant Google access to their site, as well as for users to post relevant information to be viewed at a glance. After submitting an application to be the "owner" of the business online, Google will verify by mail with the user who submitted the request. Following verification, the user can then upload basic info that allows web users access to a website URL, business hours, location, reviews, images, etc. Connecting to the Google Search Console enables Google to index website pages for safe navigation and usability to increase page ranking on their web platform. The end result is a professional and searchable web presence as well as a resource for potential customers to find and interact with companies online.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a mix of activities and methods of web management that increase the performance and searchability of a website. While professional companies offer SEO services for a monthly fee (some with real results), there are some basics that web owners can do on their own to increase SEO. Factors such being aware of a sites loading speed (under 2-3 seconds to load: not having too much media on the site), adding meta descriptions (for pictures, content, and pages), use of keywords on page (targeting location, industry terms, searchable words), listing services (deleting duplicates, location based, backlinking across the internet, listing your site on other sites like Yelp/Yellow Pages/Social Media accounts), sitemaps, contact information listings on multiple pages, and many (many) other attributes can boost a websites searchability without utilizing Google Ads. Many website platforms also offer SEO checklists and tools to help you get started on your own, so don't feel overwhelmed going into a web project. For additional help with SEO, Contact Edge Solutions LLC Today.
HTML VS. CSS. HTML and CSS are "markup" languages that are used to help create web-based documents. For non-programmers, it is a good idea to do some research into the different kinds of markup languages as well as actual code that go into websites. Even if you do not plan on doing much back-end web development in the future, having a basic understanding of how these basic attributes translate to web-page experiences will be helpful when talking to a developer or working through an issue with IT. When you hear HTML, think web page structure; the building blocks for a website/webpage to be built. When you hear CSS, think page style, how assets and text appear on a page. Many website platforms today are able to take code and markup language and translate editing actions via "plug-ins" to corollate changes (made by dragging, dropping, copying, pasting etc.) into code that the website can read and change via manipulations made on the GUI/CMS. In short terms, drag and drop usability on select web platforms can produce a professional-looking website that functions efficiently WITHOUT having in-depth coding knowledge.
Before launching into the search for the best platform for your team, do some due diligence online researching best practices for websites. Learning the lingo, industry standards, and even reaching out to local firms providing website development services in your area is a great way to get ahead of the curve when it comes to internal web development. Contact Edge Solutions LLC to learn more about web development, even if we're not the one's doing the work for you. Our team would be thrilled to offer our assistance!
Next time, we will share some of the more user-friendly web development platforms to look for in 2023. Stay tuned!
For marketing assistance in and around the construction, aviation, and manufacturing industries, contact Marketing@edgesolutions.online today.