We hope you enjoy reading the MEANit blog with all the guides and tips. If you want our team to help with your web presence click here

The articles here will give you everything you need to plan, design, develop, market and maintain your website, if you have the time required – Enjoy.

Basic Questions to ask Yourself before starting a web presence to ensure that you get the right site for you and gets results

MEANit Web PresenceWhat is your business ?
What service or product do you offer?
What problem do you solve?
Do you need a website really?
What do you want to achieve ?
Do you understand what is required ?
Will you commit the required resources – money and time ?
What are your options based on required resources, including a platform and your ability to use it ?
Can you create a plan and do it in stages?
Who and where is your market ?
Do they use the web and why ?
How do they access the web ? Pc, Laptop, Tablet, Mobile ?
Would your customers benefit from your web presence and why ?
What will make you different or stand out?
Will your audience interact with you ?
Who will they talk to ?
Will they buy online ?
Will you use any Social Media channels ? Why ? Who will manage this on your behalf ? Which Channels do you need ?
Who else does what you do or offers what you offer ? How do they use the Web ?
Do you understand and accept that creating a web presence takes time and resources to build and then to manage and maintain ?

The good news is that going online can be a much lower investment than opening another Bricks & Mortar store for tens or hundreds of thousands, but it will cost thousands, if it is to be a decent solution that will bring you good returns. A good website will help you to expand your market, increase sales, save you time, reduce overheads and costs per sale, stay open 24/7, and be easily managed, if built by the right web partner.

So whats the bad news ? There is none, other than remember this – Using an amateur can seriously damage your wealth. Partner with someone who can plan, design, develop, then market and maintain your web presence.

5 Dangers of NOT having a good web presence

MeanIT web presence1. A poor web presence will not be found at all when people browse the net looking for something, as in what you have to offer
2. A poor web presence will reflect badly on you, Shoppers see your web presence and it looks bad which is a turn off
3. A poor layout in your web presence will stop buyers from buying – lay it out well and test it continually
4. A poor web presence will send your potential customers away to a web presence that looks good and facilitates easy shopping
5. A poor web presence will highlight any failings you have in terms of price or customer support and fail to capitalise on potential good testimonials or case studies.

Many companies buy a website like it is some sort of commodity, like a printer or a bit of signage, rather than work with a Web Partner to develop a web presence that is easy to manage and continually looks good, delivers well across all platform and allow visitors find, then buy what is for sale.

A good web presence built on a solid CMS Content Management System such as Wordpress can work like a second outlet, treat it as such, rather than as some unimportant expense, like a company order pad or corporate floor mat. If you have a shop or office, do you ignore how it looks or what people think of it ?

Do NOT leave your Web Presence to someone who is not Web Savvy, especially the Boss !

What are the 5 stages of creating a good web presence?

Find a reputable Web Partner with the right proven experience and the resulting positive Testimonials.

MeanIT creating a web presence

 

 

Then the 5 main stages of creating a website are:

1. Project Manager defines the brief or plan with the Client, aims and objevtives, pages required, layout content etc.
2. Designer creates the Website Design for approval using the approved brief
3. Developers produce new website using the agreed website design
4. Content is added – supplied by Client, including text & images
5. SEO optimises the site for the search engines – it takes weeks to get indexed and months to get ranking.

Then the real work begins, as you try to promote your website to drive business.

A good web partner can do all five stages or better still can work with others for parts of the project, Clients can make that call. You may have a favoured graphic designer or developer or digital marketer, you want to include in the project.

Make sure that your Web Partner understands your business and your objectives as well as understanding the technology of the web and how to use it to drive business for you. Ideally it will be an ongoing fruitful relationship rather than a ‘one site stand’.

The spend on this should be paid from your normal marketing budget as you reduce your spend on old advertising methods. A good Web Partner will show you how you are benefitting from any spend, in a way that newspaper or radio does not do for you.

Here are two quick tasks for you to do, in order to see how well your website is performing.

Quick Task – How to check your existing website in an Ingognito window.
To open incognito window on Google Chrome
Open Chrome .
Tap the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen.
Tap “New Incognito Window” option in the pop-up menu. In mobile app, you can only open tabs, not windows. …
This will open a new tab in Incognito mode. At this point you can search for your name or company name. Or for the product or service you offer.

In an incognito window Google does not see your browsing history, so this will deliver unbiased search engine results. Note: Without the use of an Incognito window, Google will show sites you have visited before, such as your own site. This may lead you to believe that you are ranking higher than you actually do rank.

Quick Task 2 – Check how well your website performs, using this Free Google tool.
Google has laid down the gauntlet, and we need to get in line with their current expectations… or else we risk losing valuable business! Don’t let Google Prioritising Mobile Friendliness or Speed Load Times negatively affect your business. Check how your website scores at Google Page Insights. Aim for close to 100 out of 100. Fix what needs to be fixed, as soon as you can.

meanit-website-design-guide-for-planning-your-websiteAction step: Read our ‘FREE Guide to building a website‘ that will work for you.

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 40 ‘Professional Services Businesses‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 40 in 2022?

MEANit-Web-Design-Agency-Michael-MacGinty

Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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Essentials Website

Get a clean, fast, mobile friendly, custom designed website that ticks all the boxes. By focusing on the essentials we can get you an online presence that makes a big positive impact on your business without investing a fortune initially. Build your brand and grow your audience with a Mobile-friendly, WordPress website typically 5 to 10 pages, along with all the training provided, so you can grow your site yourself over time, adding your own content and Search Engine Optimisation to get you found in Google search results over time

Best suited for:

Small firms, practices or businesses, who need a high quality custom design website without needing any large initial investment, but a platform that they can build upon over time.

Intended to get you online and give you a platform to start building your brand.

Includes simple Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 5 to 10 pages, Initial SEO Search Engine Optimisation and Training.

From €4,800

Optional items include: Keyword Research, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

Custom Website

Let us get you noticed with a totally custom designed, fast loading website built to your specific needs. Then we can engage your target audience with unique page layouts perfect for feature content and focused landing pages. Training is provided with this custom designed WordPress website, typically 10 to 30 pages – this allows you to make all the changes you want.
And we can add in the critical Search Engine Optimisation, so your website ranks well in Google. Plus a full written plan for your team to follow..

Best suited for:

Medium-sized firms, practices or businesses who need a quality custom website and a marketing plan along with some ongoing help every month to generate the leads they want

Intended to make you more effective online and build upon your brand at a steady pace.

Includes Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 10 to 20 pages, Initial SEO Search Engine Optimisation and Training.

From €6,000

Optional items include: Keyword Research, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

Strategic Website

You probably have an underperforming website, but realise you need a better web presence. One that will consistently generate the ideal pre-qualified leads and work you really want.
However, you do not have the team time to be doing all this digital marketing stuff. So you want some expert help.

Lets start with a meeting, then we can write up a digital strategy or plan, to ensure we set some agreed goals or targets for us to deliver for you.

Best suited for:

Growth focused medium sized firms or practices, who want to outsource all the website management and digital marketing responsibility to a competent, reliable Irish team, who will generate the new business.

This allows your whole team to focus on what you do best. Results Guaranteed by us!

Includes Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 20 to 100 pages and Training, plus SEO Search Engine Optimisation.

From €9,500

Optional items include: Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

A Web Presence Checklist, for the senior partner

12 things to oversee the web presence for your legal practice

LinkedIn including company profile page and personal profile for you and all employees. Post some articles about your services, giving some useful advice, sharing insights or sharing industry news. Connect with logical potentially good connections. No sales pitch, just hello with a short line to make the connection, like swopping a business card at a networking event. Read our Linkedin Guide.

Facebook – keep it a basic entry for the practice just to turn up in Facebook in search or get reviews. You could use it to get reviews from people who spend a lot of time on this platform. Or use Facebook to advertise your services, if it is right for your target market.

Website focusing on the services that you want to specialise in, the ones that make you the most margin and that you are happiest to deliver. Bear in mind that you can offer services that you do not personally have to deliver, but make you margin. You do not have to deliver you do not necessarily have to be involved in the process whatsoever. Who is responsible for your SEO Search Engine Optimisation? Read our Guide.

Include SSL – This is the little padlock that appears on the top left corner, to indicate the site is safe. This is not just for eCommerce websites.

Google Business Profile – Have you got one? Is your Google Business Profile profile populated, as in photos, service details, opening hours, blog items, reviews. Independent Google Reviews are fuel for your practice. Get as many as you can. Remember to reply to every single one of them. These are happy clients or people who are in need of attention. Read our Guide.

NAP – Include nap NAP everywhere that you write your address, search Google to see where you appear and ensure the NAP is exactly the same everywhere, including the Eircode.
Do any Google search of your name in an ‘Incognito window’ to see what people see on their computer when they do a search of your company. Whilst you’re there also do a search for solicitors in your town or area. Also do a search for the legal services that you want to promote in your area. Such as conveyancing in Dundalk or conveyancing solicitors in Dundalk.

Recruitment – Your website can also be used for finding new team members, rather than going through the expense of recruitment agencies. This tactic would generally be known as being a part of your overall content marketing strategy. This is where are you create content on your website that will attract people who are looking for certain things. Whether that be a specific legal service or a job in a legal practice that looks attractive to them.

Google Page Insights is a tool that is free and will give you an idea of the speed of your website. Google gives a lot of weight to a fast loading website, especially on a mobile view. Websites are being measured by Google more and more for their mobile view as a key metric.

Google analytics is also free and will give you an idea of the number of people travelling to your website visiting your website on a monthly basis. Use the overview to see how many people visit your website on a monthly basis to see if it’s going up or down. Google Analytics is a great tool but having a high numbers visit your website does not guarantee a conversion to a customer. In order to get conversions you continually need to add content and optimise content and compete with whoever your competitors are. A very simple search for a legal practice in your area will show you who is ranking number 1, 2 or 3. These are the competitors or people you’re competing with, so you need to be better than them. Read our Guide.

Google – With Google Ads you can spend a fortune easily. So if you want to use this platform, get to understand it or engage a specialist. It can be very useful in the short term or to use whilst you are working on your website and SEO. Read our Google Ads Guide.

Conversion. However, bear in mind even if you are number one and you get click through so people visit your website when they land on a page on your website. You have to work on the content in order to get them to convert from visitor to customer. This is your user experience as in UX through your User Interface referred to as the UI.

Reports – Ensure someone is producing a monthly report to measure the numbers. As Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”. Ensure you get a Google Analytics report. And ideally have a report created, so that you can see the numbers at a glance.

Conclusion:
As a senior partner you do not need to do all of this work. This is not what you’re qualified to do and could be way below your paygrade. Unless you engage someone who can deliver a high return in the long term and needs to be well compensated in the short term. Get a proper Digital Marketing Plan drawn up.

However, somebody has to do the work. It would be good if you could use some of these tools to see if the person, practice manager or web agency is doing a good job with your investment.
The bottom line is the practice should be kept busy. And ideally be able to recruit enough staff to deliver services. As a senior partner if you allocate a half hour every month to review these basic reports, you will then be in a position to see what is being done on your behalf.

Read the monthly reports from your Digital marketer. And if needs be, have a conversation about what needs to be improved. The Digital marketer will need a budget to do the search engine optimisation or create graphics for the website. And possibly doing advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook or anywhere where your potential customers are hanging out. Without sounding like an ambulance chaser you can have your content found when people do a search for chiropractor or osteopath or bad back or medical negligence. Get ahead of the curve.

How much time, hassle and money would it save you to have any and all advertising done online through your own website by a competent specialist agency?
Also posted here.

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