Not All Web Development Companies Work The Same Way
All web development companies do not work the same. We each have our own internal processes, philosophies and ways of doing business that provide very different client experiences. Some web development projects include an internet marketing component, while other projects can be simple brochure-style website. Some of the experience a client receives is based on how we describe our capabilities to our prospects or how well we convey the value of our services. Other factors that can affect a project, of course, are the project’s goal, purpose and budget.
At Orion Group, internet marketing services are a standard inclusion in most proposals we send out. Occasionally the internet marketing consulting line items are marked as an optional deliverable – it’s in the proposal, our prospects can see it, and they can decide for themselves. If the budget just isn’t there or if they’re confident in doing it themselves, they don’t have to purchase the service.
How The Internet Marketing Team Gets Involved in Our Web Projects
You might be wondering, “What is internet marketing all about?” What it means to you, as an Orion Group client, is that we ensure highly competitive, high-traffic keywords are strategically chosen and written into the text of the website and into the behind-the-scenes portions of the site, like the Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.
The Internet marketing team helps our clients and our web developers determine what the website structure will look like and ensure the various page names and categories are properly set up based on the findings revealed in our keyword and competitor research.
“Who Will Write the Content?” Should Be One of the First Question Asked.
Before a project begins, the decision of who will be responsible for producing the content will have already been decided. However, if at some point during the project our client feels they don’t have the time or the desire to write their own content, we are always available to jump in and help by doing some copywriting on their behalf. We understand that this can happen from time to time – it is a normal part of any process. We have to be flexible and roll with the punches.
When the internet marketing team is involved in a web development project, we review any content that might already exist that was provided by our client in order to make suggestions for optimizing it for search engines. We also work with our client and the web development team to ensure the site structure is going to make sense from an SEO perspective, that the page names are going to have good keywords in them and to ensure the various sections of the website are laid out in such a way that it truly represents the specific services or products that the company offers.
When Companies Do Their Own Content Strategy
Sometimes, when companies do their own branding and content strategy, they make up words that they feel describe their services in a good way from a marketing perspective. For example, a full service manufacturer we almost worked with wanted to refer to themselves as a “premier multi-facturing company.” They wanted to include that word all over their website. We told them not to use the word “multi-facturing” in their menus and as the page headings. The problem is that the search engines don’t know what the word multi-facturing means. If you search for that phase in Google, it tries to auto-correct it to a different word. Until Google knows what it is, it’s probably not a good idea to use it as the main keyword in the headings, URL structure, and titles of the website. That’s an example of where our internet marketing experts can make suggestions that will help the company’s overall success online. Our clients don’t always listen to us, but we at least take the appropriate steps of making the types of suggestions that we believe will help them in the end.
Getting to Understand Our Client and their Content
Early in the web design process, we take a look at the perspective sitemap and talk with the graphic designer before he’s makes the web design mockups to ensure they will be laid out in such a way that the designs agree with what needs to be communicated from a marketing perspective. When the internet marketing team is involved in the initial meetings, we are able to learn more about our client’s messaging requirements. By doing it this way, we get a sense of their important keywords and the navigation and site structure that will be needed to make the project a success.
In an Ideal World, Content Drives the Website Strategy
We can’t just depend upon the graphic design mockup to guide the content strategy. Sometimes, what is presented in the mockups are just conceptual ideas that the graphic designer implemented into the layout because it looks good graphically. We keep in mind that just because the initial mockups might display the content in a certain manner, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will automatically work well with the content strategy. In an ideal world content drives the website. For ultimate impact, we must understand what the brand message is and what our client’s objectives are and compare that to what the graphic design mockups are conveying.
Strategic Marketing Guidance
In summary, spending the time to figure things out strategically from a marketing perspective requires both time and talent. If an internet marketing expert is involved at the beginning and all the way through a web development project, possible issues can be foreseen and avoided. When considering a web development company for your next project, keep in mind that not all companies are created equal. It is important to think things through strategically for the sake of search engine optimization and user experience. Be sure follow through with creating compelling content using competitive and relevant keywords that search engines like. And, if you don’t feel equipped to do it yourself, reach out and ask for help sooner, rather than later.