<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Ignite Your Site: January 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Website Packages Now Available!

Are you on a budget and can't seem to find a development firm that will give you a great website and keep it within a certain budget? Well Ignite Media realizes the tough times we are all living in and has put together some budget conscious website packages. We have everything from a starter package up to a fully integrated ecommerce package.

What do I get with my website package?
Depending on package you choose you can get a basic 5 page website with a custom design or a 20 page ecommerce website with a custom design. The key here is CUSTOM DESIGN. That's right, we're not making you choose from a set of templates that we through your logo into. No, we're designing and building a website that carries your company colors, look, and feel throughout.

How many website packages do you have?
There are three different standard website packages to choose from and three different ecommerce packages to choose from. We've done our best to put together packages that are both budget friendly and accommodating to the various sizes and needs of all our potential clients.

Do I have to choose a package with Ignite now?
Absolutely not. Our website packages are meant for those people who know exactly what they want and what they are willing to spend for it. If you are looking for a custom solution that doesn't fit within any of our solutions, we'd be more then happy to discuss your project more in depth to give you a custom proposal based on your needs. We don't believe in a one solution fits all approach, which is the reason for the variety of packages as well as our custom solutions.

How do I get started?
Simply go to our website packages page on the Ignite Media site and choose which direction is best for you - Standard Websites or eCommerce Websites. Once you decide you'll be provided with a variety of packages each of which has more information available by clicking on learn more within each box.

Remember: Just because the economy is rough it doesn't mean there is not a solution out there for you.

Ignite MediaLLC, Ignite Your Site™
Website Design & Development eCommerce Development Search Engine Optimization

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What is your website worth?

Almost daily the question is asked of us "how much do you charge for a website?". To which our answer is always "it depends on what you want". After a few minutes of us explaining how it all depends, the potential client usually understands that just throwing a number out there won't be of much use to them and we need to be more specific on the scope of the project before we can say "your website will be...". However, lately I've been wondering if the question that they should be asking is "what would a website be worth to me?".

What would a website be worth to you?
Rather then thinking about the cost that you have to pay for your website, perhaps you should be thinking about what your website will do for you once it is built. For instance if you build a website and within the first year that website brings in $20,000 of new business, then isn't your website worth $20,000 at least? So the price quote you got for $5000 is only a quarter of what your website is worth. If you had an employee that brought in 4 times what you paid them would they be worth the cost? I certainly would think so, and I'd probably even give that person a raise.

How do I know my website will be worth anything?
You don't know for sure what your website will or will not bring in, but chances are if you skimp on the development costs the return will be less. Think of your website like a house, if you do an addition and you use the cheapest material and cheapest labor chances are you won't be very happy with the end result and people who come see the house probably won't be very impressed. You also won't get as much when you go to sell the house because the inspector will notice the imperfections. A website is no different. You have visitors coming to your "house" (website) everyday and if your developer didn't understand usability then you'll have some very disappointed visitors, which could result in lost/unseen business.

So do I go with the most expensive developer every time?
Absolutely not. What you do need to do is make sure you are comparing apples to apples. The page counts, what platforms they are programming on, what you are and are not getting with your contract, etc. You also want to be sure you see samples of previous work and call a few of the portfolio clients they have. Don't ask for a referral you can call because they will always give you the best client they have. Call any one of the samples in their portfolio and get the raw reaction from the client.

So what is a good price?
It all depends on what you are getting and what you expect to get. $5000 might be cheap if you are getting a lot for it and feel confident your site will be built to convert visitors into leads/clients. $5000 might be expensive if you don't have the confidence in your developer. Knowing what you are getting is key and working with a company you feel comfortable with and can freely express how you feel about certain things, and answers all your questions is very important.

Remember: A websites value is based on what it does for the business, not on how much it cost to build.

Ignite MediaLLC, Ignite Your Site™
Website Design & Development eCommerce Development Search Engine Optimization

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Simply Business on the Web – Part 2

The often overlooked parts of business via the internet

As promised, here are a few more simply business tips/suggestions that can make the difference between a successful online presence and one that’s just there.

Online or Offline, it’s about building relationships.
Whether you have a business that is solely online or is half off and half online, you need to concentrate on building relationships. Those relationships should be with everyone from your visitors, customers, vendors, etc. Anyone that you have regular contact with is someone that can be beneficial to you. Take for example your vendors. If you get to know them, treat them like you would your employees and let them know you value the business relationship you may find that you start getting better deals, faster delivery of goods, etc. This can also be true with your existing clients or potential clients. Making them feel like you really understand their needs will let them feel more comfortable doing business with you and allow them to feel confident in referring other people to you.

An online store (ecommerce) doesn’t run itself.
Many people think that as soon as their online store is setup, the money just starts flowing in and they never have to do anything. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. An online store takes just as much time and dedication to maintain and grow as a brick and mortar store does. Some people might even suggest that it takes more time. With an online store you have to make sure inventory is correct, prices are adjusted, messages are updated based on store conditions, etc. The more time and thought you put into your store, the better chance that your store will be successful.

Requiring people to login is like having an open house but keeping the door locked!
There are times when a login is necessary, but many times website owners just don’t know when that time is. If you have sensitive information that you need to share with a select group of people, or you have different levels of pricing based on whether the client is wholesale or not then it makes sense. Ecommerce stores also make sense (after they’ve placed an order, or added things to a cart) to have login so people can check their order history, delivery status, etc. On the other hand, a login screen just to capture your visitor’s information is a poor tactic. People expect to get information on the web without having to give-up their identity. By making people register/login to your site just to get general information you are in effect telling them “come here to get good info” and then shutting the door in their face. They’ll hit that back button and be off to your competitor’s site where the information is available without any hassle.

More simply business to come. If you have any to share please feel free to list them in the comments below.

Remember: Do to your site, what you’d want to experience on others.

Ignite MediaLLC, Ignite Your Site™
Website Design & Development eCommerce Development Search Engine Optimization

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Simply Business on the Web – Part 1

The often overlooked parts of business via the internet
There are thousands if not millions of books, articles, reports and more out there about business and all the tips, tricks and pitfalls. There is even information about business on the web and how to “become a master of the internet” through your website. For the most part the books, articles and information that are out there are useful in some way to someone. But what about the simple stuff? What about the things that people just assume you know, and skip over to avoid “wasting space”, or time writing it out? What about the things that just happen in the “real-world” but need to be thought about when conducting business online? Hopefully the following will help those who need a reminder of the “simple” side of business, specifically on the web.

Your site is for your visitors, not for you!
How many times have you heard yourself saying, “I think this should be here”, or “I like this information there” or “I like the website the way it is, let’s keep it”. Where did the “I” come from in all of these sentences? Are you the one looking at your site on a daily basis? Are you the one looking to your website for your product information? Are you the one ordering your products/services from your website? Probably not, so why are you making the decisions about what happens? I mean ultimately it is your decision, but shouldn’t there be a basis behind that decision? Remember, that your visitors will ultimately determine what works and what doesn’t, so listen to them by looking at your website analytics, asking those clients that you speak with about what they do and don’t like, etc. Then based on that information you can make an informed decision that takes the “I” out of it.

An email isn’t just a note, it’s a contact/lead:
Have you ever pushed aside an email because you didn’t have time and ultimately never got back to it? Would you do that to a potential client if they were standing in front of you? I would hope not, and the same should be true for your emails. I realize you can’t answer every single email as soon as it comes in, but you can schedule time to answer them. Set aside an hour or two each day (even if it means coming in early or leaving late or doing it during lunch) to respond to all the client emails that came in. You never know which one of those could be your next big order. If your goal is to increase business, then every missed opportunity means another day until that goal is reached.

The quote isn’t the end of the line:
So you sent out that quote to the potential new business lead. Now what? Have you set a plan to follow up with them? You have to remember that the person you are sending the quote to has a job also, and just because you sent the quote doesn’t mean they will read it right away. By setting up a reminder or schedule to follow up, you are in effect reminding your client that they have the quote and should let you know if they are interested.

We hope you got something out of this as there will be more simple business to come, so please check back soon.

Remember: It’s not that it’s hard it just takes discipline

Ignite MediaLLC, Ignite Your Site™
Website Design & Development eCommerce Development Search Engine Optimization

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Set Goals for Your Website...

Everyday we set goals for all kinds of things regarding our business. We set sales goals, production goals, employee goals, management goals, etc. The one place that people seem to leave out is their website. Why not set a goal for your website? It's known as the 24/7 salesman after all.

What type of goal would I set for a website?
It could be anything really. Perhaps your site is an ecommerce site, then a financial goal might be appropriate. For example by March 1 of 2009 you want the site to generate 1000 orders (or more if you are a larger company with more traffic). If your site is more informational and less sales oriented then set a conversion goal. For example by March 1 of 2009 you want to get 50 new sales leads (conversions).

Setting goals for your website makes it even more a part of your everyday business. It makes you realize that you have to treat your website like you would any other employee. If it's under performing things need to be adjusted. If it's just not working out it gets fired and a new one replaces it. The best part is, if it's working well you don't need to give it a bonus or increase it's salary, you just make sure you keep paying attention to it.

How do I set these goals for my website?
The best place to start is in the past. What did your website do for you last year or last month? Figure out as much statistical information about the past performance of your website as you can and set goals from there. Remember to be realistic about it though. If your website only brought in 5 sales leads last month, setting a goal for 25 leads might be a bit of a stretch. It would be much better to set the goal at 8 or 10 for this month and if you go over it's just an added perk.

The point of these goals is not to set the bar so high it's unreachable, but rather to hit your goals as often as possible. You also don't want to set the bar too low, then it just becomes something to check off each time. Each of these smaller goals should lead to a much larger end of the year or quarter goal as well. By setting the smaller goals you then won't feel overwhelmed by putting one very large goal on the board that just seems daunting to hit.

When should I start my goals?
Yesterday! OK, so that's not possible, but you should start planning and setting your goals as soon as possible. The longer you wait the harder it is going to be to reach your goals. Remember, don't try to tackle everything at once either. Start with one part of your site, or one area of your business and only after you've reached a few of those goals start going after other areas.

Remember: Your website is like an employee, some work and some don't, don't hold on to the dead weight.

Ignite MediaLLC, Ignite Your Site™
Website Design & Development eCommerce Development Search Engine Optimization

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