To create a website you need three parts:
1) A Domain
Most web-developers own client domains meaning that they can hold your site hostage if you decide to change direction. I always suggest that clients manage their own domains. Godaddy is the biggest provider of domains, have impeccable customer service, allows clients to publish on outside builders, and are often way cheaper than the competition.
The traditional way of building websites requires software that is complex, expensive and needs specialized skills to update, manage and maintain. If you go the traditional route when creating your website the most basic update can be time consuming and so also expensive. These days we have many mainstream website builders some easier than others. Most of these builders have a free version with limitations that can be overcome if creative. I have tried and tested most of them. Weebly is by far the easiest, most affordable and most consistent in updating while staying within algorithm requirements.
Hosting is the bread and butter of most domain providers. Because of this they try to force you to use their in-house builder (often a limited 3rd party version of a free builder) while making sure you pay a steep price for hosting. To be able to cut your dependency on hosting to save money, I would suggest looking at social media for social hosting and thinking outside of the box.
Below is an image of how we do business....
So, if you are not ready to drop your webmaster and are still sitting on the fence deciding, then you can use the following questions to help you determine your website status.
Search engine optimization does not have to be a BIG THING too difficult for normal human beings. Using the four questions below your are covering the four main building blocks of the internet to determine how well your site is really doing.
These days we have multiple free tools available to help professionals do a quick DIY website SEO test:
1) Website Grader by Hubspot will give you an overall score for your website. This newer version of the tool can however be misleading as it does not look at the whole picture as it's predecessor Marketing Grader did. I would suggest a website score of at least 65/100 for a site created in the last 6 months. Make sure you note the SEO parts and that all needed pieces are in place.
2) Your Moz ranking can sometimes be tricky to find for free. Depending on updates a tool might not work properly so make sure you try multiple sites. A good score should be at least be 4-6/10. Try Sinium SEO or Check Moz.
3) Content is crucial for your site to be sorted in searches. Without any words there are nothing for search engines to match with queries. As your social feed fills so does search results change daily. Old school web-developers will often try to dodge this requirement with keyword stuffing hacks and hidden pages that gets your site penalized. Check your text to code ratio with Sinium SEO. Google suggests 20%. Very old sites with very little code might also score high so keep that false positive in mind.
4) Lastly if you are not Plugged in and setup correctly online with consistent info over multiple platforms, search engines does not know who you are. This means they are also unable to sort you. The easiest way to check would be to do a basic Google Search of your company name. If Google knows you, there should be a Knowledge Graph Box on the right hand side of the page with your info. If you are not being sorted then Google does not know you.
These four questions and their answers are key to holding your website developer and marketing consultants accountable for work done. Not all developers are knowledgeable in SEO and with technology changing so fast it is really hard for marketing companies to stay on top of things.
If you are however ready to break free from the corporate ball and chain of monthly fees, we can help. There is nothing traditional about our methods as our aim of empowerment is pretty unique. We are however transparent in making sure that our clients understand how to check the quality of our work while learning the basic requirements.
By Melien Lavoie (PluginMuse)