Over the years I’ve been asked a lot of questions about websites. The following are a few of the most common questions I’ve been asked. If you have a question about websites or anything to do with marketing your business online, send it to email@example.com for possible inclusion in a future column.How do I get my site higher in the search engines?
This is without a doubt the most common question I’m asked. The problem with this question is there is no easy answer. My best answer is if you want quick & efficient results, go with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. You’ll show up in the search engines you’re paying for very quickly (within minutes or hours) and you can really target the phrases people will type in to find you. As long as you don’t go crazy overbidding for search terms and you bid for the right terms, you can pick-up a lot of good website traffic and potentially book a lot of business.
The longer (way too long for this column!) and more complicated answer is the old fashioned way…submitting your site to the search engines, paying a service to get your site on the first page and waiting weeks or months for your site’s placement to improve.
So, which method is preferred and will cost the least? If done right, I think PPC is the way to go.
Should I design my own website or hire someone to design it?
I’ve been working with websites for years, have taken several website classes and even designed a few not-so-great sites. My current website I had designed by a professional. After doing that, I would never design another site on my own. Just as we preach to leave it to the pros when it comes to DJing a wedding, we should take our own advice and hire a professional.
What if I’m on a tight budget and can’t afford a professional designer?
While a professional designer will usually yield the best looking results, there are a few other options.
Buy a template: You can buy a template, which gives you the shell of the site and then you add all your graphics, text, buttons, etc. There are a few websites that sell specific templates for DJs/the wedding industry or there are hundreds of websites that sell general website templates. To use this option, you’d need to know how to edit the template and maintain the site on your own.
Use a web-based site builder: A web-based website application will allow just about anyone the ability to create and maintain a website. There are some specific web-based solutions for DJs as well as numerous others that are offered by website hosts. I’ve personally had experience with GoDaddy’s ‘Website Tonight’ and it has worked pretty well for me. I would estimate the monthly cost for a solution like this would be $7-$15 a month, depending on how many pages you have.
Have a designer make you a template: This was what I did for my last website. You can do it if you’re looking to save money or if you are capable of putting the site together but you’re not a designer. I personally did mine that way for the latter reason because I can pretty much do everything except design the site
More questions next week. Again, if you have a question of your own, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
will return next week. If you’d like your website reviewed in an upcoming column send your website address to email@example.com.
Jim Weisz has been a DJ since 1999, primarily serving the wedding and school dance markets. Jim is originally from Chicago, having lived there until relocating to Dallas in 2003 to take a position with JonesTM (formerly TM Century). Jim has spoken at several national DJ conventions about websites and has also written more than a dozen articles for Mobile Beat magazine about websites and a variety of other topics. Jim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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