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When is a website not just a website?
When it's optimized for SEO and marketing, and a key component of a successful business.
Just a Web Company's business name belies its seriousness about the importance of doing websites right. Basic layout and coding is one thing, but optimizing the site and planning a strategy to keep the site fresh and findable takes focus and skill.
“You can build the best website in the world, but if no one knows that it's there, it really doesn't matter," says David Sparks, Just a Web Company, based in California. “We really want our clients to focus on running their business without having to worry about the technology or strategies that market it."
1. How has your business grown?
When we first started Just A Web Company in 2011, we were really focused on web development and social media marketing. SEO was going through a period of enlightenment, emerging from the earlier, easily manipulated search algorithms into something more quality-focused and strictly enforced by search engines. New features started appearing that offered real value to companies and brands wishing to establish their online presence. We knew we could not only deliver value to our clients, but combined with our web development expertise, we could do it better. Our best clients are referrals.
2. What business hurdles have you overcome?
I think all businesses go through this hurdle during times of growth where there is too much business, too fast. We had a few clients that were manageable, but in a very short amount of time we onboarded a couple of big anchor clients. While getting the big client is exciting, we quickly realized we were understaffed and needed bigger office space. We spent a lot of overtime hours working on company procedures policies to account for the growth. We now work on growth issues at least 12 months in advance to mitigate any future growth problems.
3. What should others know about starting a business?
Business owners know they need a website, but most don't understand the importance of having a website developed correctly. Most of our new clients tell us they wish they had known how important it was the first time around.
You truly do get what you pay for in the web development and digital marketing space. If someone is offering a website for less than a few thousand dollars, I would say, save your money. Shop around and talk to agencies about the complete digital marketing strategy that will work best for your business objectives. Web development, SEO and social media may all play a role, but the exact mix will be unique to you. The companies that know what they are doing will spend time educating you and not try to close the deal in a hurry.
4. What has been your most memorable moment as a business owner?
The most memorable part for me was the day we incorporated. Although we didn't gain a new client that day, it was this “we have arrived" kind of moment.
5. What are some of the most common misconceptions when it comes to SEO?
There are three of them that stand out in my mind and all are based on the fact that there's no set procedure to get your site ranking organically at the top of page one. There are strategies and best practices you can implement to increase your chances of ranking higher, but your position depends on many factors.
Misconception #1: SEO is a scam.
SEO is rooted in science and best practice. It is 100 percent measurable for ROI. The scam label comes from people or companies who sell SEO services with promises that can't be met and really have no idea what they are doing. Your SEO company should meet with you at least once a month, reviewing results and strategies.
Misconception #2: I can do SEO every now and then.
SEO is an on-going process that needs constant attention and evaluation. Over time, you will see rankings drop due to an algorithm change or a new competitor. You may need to change your strategy.
Misconception #3: SEO companies can guarantee top position almost overnight.
If you are ever told this, run. SEO project timescales are measured in months and years. It's possible to get low-volume terms ranking in a few weeks, but depending on the competition, it can take years to get to page one.