Hetjou! Website Design | Independent Small Business Website Designer | Pinetown | Durban | Kloof | Upper Highway | Wyebank | Westville | Queensburgh | Amanzimtoti

Frequently Asked Questions

If we don't address your question in this section, please feel free to contact us.

Why can't I find my website on Google?

  • Is your website older than 4 weeks? Once your website is published online it can take anything from 2 - 4 weeks for Google to visit your website and commence indexing the content.

  • Has your website been submitted to search engines, such as Google? Once a website is complete it has to be submitted to the various available search engines for indexing. Your website will eventually be indexed regardless of whether it was submitted to a search engine or not.

  • Does your website have enough content? A website is essentially about information. Information in the form of text. Search engines do not care about images. Ensure that your website contains rich content that is relevant to your business.

  • Has organic SEO been implemented correctly? Search engine optimisation is a task that your web designer performs. This includes listing your website with search engines and ensuring that the website is designed in such a way that encourages search engines to visit and index the website properly.

Number 1 ranking on Google

Getting to rank top on Google is not that hard if you understand what it means. To rank top on Google does not mean that your website will appear first on any and every search. If I search for shoes online and you don't sell it, your website will not appear on the list of options.

Ranking first on Google depends on a few factors. Some of these factors may be out of your control, like the age of your website.

  • How well known is your business name?
  • Which industry does your business operate in?
  • How popular are your products / services in the real world?
  • How old is your website?
  • Do you have quality text on your website that is relevant to your reader?
  • What search terms are your website optimised for?
  • What search terms do the public use?

Google AdWords

With the ability to advertise using plain text or graphic banners, Google AdWords is a fantastic tool to aggressively market your website online in places other than your website and Facebook page. You decide on a marketing budget of, let's say R600 and write up your text ad or design a graphic banner. Then you select keywords or phrases that you feel will bring you the right customer and place a bid on each. Bidding amounts can range from 5c to R50.00 per keyword, depending on its popularity.

Google will ask how often you want the ad to display and in which countries. Based on the bidding amount and settings your ad will appear on Google search results and on affiliate websites as often as possible.

Displaying your ads are essentially free because your R600.00 budget will only be used when an internet user clicks on your ad and visits your website. This is called PPC marketing, otherwise known as Pay Per Click advertising.  Google AdWords can be used to promote your entire business or focus on a single service / product / event.

Below is a banner ad and text ad for a company called Freelancer. If you are interested in this marketing activity contact us to manage your AdWords campaign from start to finish.

Banner advertisement using Google AdWords

 

Text advertisement using Google AdWords

How long does Google take to index a website?

Anything from 2 days to 4 weeks. It depends on how busy Google is crawling websites. Also, if your content is clear so that Google understands your business, indexing should happen faster.

How does Google list my website?

Google lists your website by asking who you are, what you do, where you do it, how you do it and when you do it. If your website can answer these questions properly, then Google will index your website properly. The old cliché of "rubbish in, rubbish out" applies.

My friend's website is more popular than mine!

Tom and Jane both have a website designed by the same website designer. Tom promotes his coffee shop while Jane sells her watercolour paintings online. Their websites were designed in the exact same manner, but Jane has fewer website visitors than Tom. What is going on then? Firstly, let us look at real life. A coffee shop by it's very nature will have more interest from the general public than watercolour paintings. Just because you have a website does not mean your product or service will suddenly make you lots of extra money. How many people drink coffee versus buying art?

Website visitors will not just come to your website for the heck of it, they are actually looking for something specific. And if you are not selling that something specific they seek, they will not come. What are you selling? Who are you trying to sell it to and where? Is it a luxury item or a necessity?

The second point to consider is your contribution to the website. How much information did you give your web designer? Is it well written full sentences with useful information? Are the images of your products professional? How are you promoting your website in the real world?

What is website content and why is it important?

Website content refers to information. Information in the form of text and images. The information and images that you publish will be indexed by Google when it visits your website for the first time. Google reads your content like any normal person would, then tries to make sense of it and then places it in the index which users can search through. Google also looks at all the pictures on your website, reads their content labels to learn what the image is about and then indexes the images too which users can search through.

A good looking website was designed for the website visitor and not for Google. Google is a pure geek - it cares about information, knowledge and technical correctness. Too much "pretty" actually irritates Google as it makes it harder to find the information. When a page takes longer to load, you essentially lose points with Google for wasting time.

Good website content is the information that your future customers would want to learn about. Good content is written for the customer and not for the website owner, nor for Google. The secret to great content writing is knowledge about your customers. When you know what your future customers will want to see and read on your website, you will most likely get their business. Company vision and mission statements are useless to your customers. They are more interested in where you are, what you offer, how much you offer it for and a good reason why they should do business with you.

What is the difference between a static and responsive website?

With the introduction of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones a new trend was born - the responsive website. Up until this point all websites were static, and a great many still are. Neither design is better than the other.

A static website is designed to look the same whether it is viewed on a computer screen, tablet or smartphone. The layout will not change. Website visitors that use mobile devices will zoom in and out of the website to read or click through it.

A responsive website is designed to adapt to the screen size of the device it is viewed on. The layout will change. Instead of having items next to other spread across the screen, it is displayed in narrow blocks underneath each other. Website visitors that use mobile devices will not have to zoom in and out to view information on the website. Regardless of the screen size, the website layout will move around and resize to fit the screen width.

Static websites are often far cheaper than a responsive website. For a static website the designer has to code one stage of CSS code, whereas with a responsive website it requires numerous stages of CSS code to display correctly on mobile devices.

What is a CMS website?

A Content Management System, or CMS, uses a platform to operate from. The platform we employ is WordPress. A CMS website allows for more than one person to have access to the inner workings of the website in order to manage the content of the website.

CMS simply put is the ability to add or delete information from your website yourself.

A web designer will have administrative rights to the website and provide the website owner and chosen delegates with editor rights. The website owner and chosen delegates will be able to log in to the website from any internet connected computer or mobile device. Once logged in, they will be able to add, change, update or remove text and images to the website. Updates happen immediately once the content is published.

Structural changes to the CMS website is done by the web designer to ensure the integrity of the website. When a website owner wants to add additional elements to the website, it is still necessary to contact the website designer for this purpose. As a website owner you are permitted though to request full administrative access to your website should you feel confident enough to take on the responsibility.

Why is WordPress the platform for CMS websites?

There are numerous platforms to select from, such as Joomla, Drupal, Wix and so on, but WordPress in our opinion remains on top of the pile. WordPress is known for its stability and offers a wider selection of templates and tools. Furthermore the interface is fairly user friendly and a large technical support base exists.

What is a theme or template?

The colour schemes, layout, font types, text size, navigation structure, etc. is all determined by the code that makes up the template or theme. A theme or template is what gives your website its look and determines how it behaves.

Themes or templates come in a variety of ways:

  • OpenSource templates were designed by a third party that made it available to the public free of charge
  • Premium templates were designed by a third party that sells you a licence to use and modify it
  • Some web designers, like us, can design custom templates by using HTML and CSS to hand-code the website from start to finish

Can I update the website myself?

The answer is yes, if you have a CMS website.

But, rather ask yourself why do you want to update the website yourself? It is not always cheaper. It is not always easier.

CMS websites are really only good for industries and individuals that need to continually update their website. Websites that report on current news affairs, a restaurant running daily specials, a photographer that requires weekly portfolio additions, etc. are well suited candidates for a CMS website.

Updating a website sounds simple enough, but be aware that it requires a learning curve on your part plus the time to do regular updates. Updating the website yourself will require training and support fees to familiarise you with the editing process and tools available to you.

Alternatively, web designers are happy to maintain and update the website on your behalf at an hourly rate.

The top mistakes website owners make

Small business owners can benefit the most from a website and should consider a website as a vital marketing tool. Website visitors are looking for something specific and if your website cannot provide them with the information they seek, chances are good you will not get their business. If you get your website design wrong it could harm rather than help your business.

Think of your target market first. Who are you designing the website for? Your target audience, which will be the bulk of your visitors, should be the focus of your website. It is impossible to target every type of audience. Decide upfront if you are targeting older people or younger people, individuals or businesses, high-end income groups or low-end income groups, to name a few examples. Focus on your target audience and please them with a website design aimed specifically at them with content specific to their needs. The rest will follow.

secrets to great websites

As a small business owner you are an entrepreneur, and most entrepreneurs like to do things themselves. This is great in most cases, but DIY websites are not one of these elements that you should engage in. Again, a poorly designed website will rather harm than help your business. Free website design portals seem attractive because of the low cost involved. You get what you pay for and if it was free it means that you really get nothing out of it. You will end up with a messy website that stole time, effort and focus from your business. Even if you are talented and end up with a good looking website, please consider the actual mechanics of a website such as search engine optimisation. Google will never index your website properly without good SEO.

Avoid flashy websites that are so cramped with fluff that website visitors become overwhelmed. Keep the design simple and elegant. Ensure that your navigation system (buttons / tabs) are clear for visitors to see. Flashy websites do not look good on mobile devices. What may look great on your laptop screen could look terrible on a tablet or smartphone. More importantly, Google dislikes flashy websites.

Website visitors know what they want from a website. And if they cannot figure out where to find it on your website, they will leave. Guide your audience through the website. Once they click on your website link and the home page has loaded, what is it that you want the visitor to see first? This is where knowing your target market becomes crucial.

Once you have the attention of your audience, what is it that you want them to do? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to place an order? Do you want them to request a quote? Do you want them to download something from your website? Do you want them to sign-up for your newsletter? Tell website visitors what to do and how doing it will benefit them.

Lastly, you cannot be lazy when it comes to your website. Write your own content, don't copy it from other websites. Google checks the text on your website when indexing it and trust me, Google is clever enough to know if you copied someone else's content. Your website will be penalised which will result in a poor listing.