I am thinking about buy I have getting a new website and the current website address I have is great. I'd really like to keep it - is that possible or do I need to buy a new one when I have a new website built? Also, what will happen to the Search Engine Optimisation efforts from my current site?
The quick answer is yes! If you have a website address (domain) that you want to keep, then you can - that's not a problem. Websites can be built on other platforms. All you need to do is re-point the settings to the new platform's servers.
In order to do this, you will need to have access to the domain account, rather than your current web provider. If your website was created and set up by your current provider and they have access to your account, ask them to transfer it over to you.
So how does it work?
Think of it a bit like moving home. When you move house, the shell of the property changes (this is your website platform) and when you want mail to come to you, you give everyone your new address (this is repointing the DNS settings on your account).
Then, hey presto, the move is complete and people can find you in your new home.
What else might you want to consider when creating or updating a website?
If you are going to the effort of redesigning your website or creating a website from scratch, now might be the time to check that your company name and your domain are still a good fit for your business. Read one of our previous blogs on domain name registration – 3 tips to getting it right, which is about how to choose your company name correctly.
The world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be hot topic, with opposing views on what the right approach is for your website to climb to the top of search engines. Google is continuously evolving its algorithms, so what might be the right approach today may be different tomorrow.
While there certainly are benefits of having targeted words in your domain, they are not as important as they once were for SEO. However, spend some time thinking over the following points to help you decide on an appropriate domain for your business.
Things to consider are:
These days there are many new domain endings available, but where possible, we recommend our clients to buy a .com or .co.uk extension (where relevant for their business).
Is your domain memorable?
If you over complicate it or have unusual spelling of your company name, it will make it harder for clients to remember you so keep it simple!
Keep it short
Websites with long or confusing names can impede you. It is recommended to use one or two words in your domain. Try not to abbreviate words as only YOU will remember this.
Should you choose keywords or build a brand name?
What business are you in? Consider whether the inclusion of location and business keywords related to your business is better than trying to establish a brand name. Will your brand name resonate with your business, or will it get lost and forgotten?
Does it sound professional and authoritative?
Are you attracting your ideal clients with your name? A name that doesn't fit in with your business could prove costly. Think about what your customer will be attracted to.
Will I lose my existing SEO when I change platforms?
If done properly you shouldn’t see any impact of changing your website to a new platform.
These are some key points, as recommended by Digital Marketing Pro:
Setup the new website on a temporary URL
Test new website and make sure that everything is working and there are no broken links
Create a list of all pages from your old website
Create page by page 301 redirections to redirect old urls to new urls
Switch to the new website (all at once)
Make sure that the new website is verified with Google Webmaster tools
Use 'Fetch as Google' to check that Google can properly read the new website
Resubmit sitemap to Google and Bing
Monitor your rankings
You can read more here about the considerations to be aware of when switching platforms on an existing domain.
Talk to your web designers about any concerns that you may have and ensure that they are following all the recommended steps to ensure that everything transitions smoothly.
Now you can see that changing platform, but keeping your existing domain and SEO, is a straightforward process.
Whilst having a well-constructed, informative website has the obvious benefits of helping promote your business, you can’t underestimate the need to engage with your customers in other ways and on other online platforms.
Engaging on at least one social media platform like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest Google+ and Facebook is a must to get your brand known and the services in your business used by new and repeat customers. These platforms allow you to distribute your business ideas and talk about your services and/or products in a way that entertains and informs the customer.
Facebook, is a platform that you may already be engaged in socially. Sharing your personal information, photos of your latest holiday or passing on clips of a silly video is easy to master. On the other hand, if you have or are thinking about creating a business page to promote your wares – you will have to think deeper about how to encourage people to view, like and share what you’ve posted.
I wanted to keep this blog simple and basically offer some ideas of what you can talk about week in week out to promote your business page on Facebook. This list is also good enough to use on other social media sites, so pick your theme appropriate to the platform you're using and get writing.
You have no excuse but to get into the habit of spreading your news.
The following ideas have been taken from another source that proved to be an excellent read….Enjoy creating!
How a trip to Berlin confirmed my ideas about customer service and branding: how's your business doing?
For October half term I was lucky enough to get away for a few days on a city break. This was a trip much needed (without the kids!) so my excitement levels were pretty high. The thought of having the freedom to eat, sleep and wander around of my own accord pushed me into the realms of surreal joy....as I said, this was a break that was long overdue!
Berlin was our chosen destination. It had always been on our list of places to visit and was a quick plane journey by City Airport so the decision was made. So, what’s my trip to Berlin have to do with telling you about websites?
Well, throughout my trip I was struck by two things that made me reflect on what we offer at Perfect Layout.
From the start to the end of our trip I was taken with the high level of customer service. At least 98% of our interactions with employees at our hotel, in restaurants and in supermarkets etc., had excellent customer service skills.
We were greeted with warm smiles, direct eye contact and the ability (by everyone it seemed!) to flit to English as I stumbled over the most basic of German words.
How did this make me feel? Super relaxed, welcomed and embraced by a nation that has a past that will never be forgotten.
By speaking my language and having a basic understanding of where I was from, they were able to fulfill my needs. They took away my nerves and lack of German vocabulary and supplemented my requirements so that my effort and output was minimal with the same end result. I got what I wanted!
As you know Perfect Layout is still in its infancy. We are a company born from a belief that we can fill a gap in the market that provides good quality websites for local businesses that’s affordable. It’s experiences like this, that remind me that we are on the right track.
Speaking your language is something we do with our eyes closed. We may not be fluent German speakers but we are fortunate enough to understand the needs of our local business community in Essex, London and across the UK.
We absorb your language by listening to your website requirements as well as the details of how your business works. The service/s you offer and product/s you have on sale. The more we understand your business, the more we understand you which allows us to create a bespoke website that shows your business off at its best.
To sum up, principles of good customer service are:
Berlin, the Capital of Germany, comes across as a cosmopolitan, chic city area. It boasts great restaurants, museums and a Palace. It is home to many ethnicities and welcomes tourists from all over the world.
Given this current environment, it feels very surreal that part of its tourist attractions contains museums and exhibitions about Nazi activity during World War II and the more recent historical event of the Berlin Wall
Whilst I found both events horrific on scaling levels, it’s the latter that I found more perplexing. A country that was once whole, split itself into two overnight causing mayhem and disruption to the everyday living of thousands of people. Attempts to cross from either side was met with imprisonment or death.
The Berlin Wall came down on 9 November 1989. This month will be its 29th anniversary.
This Capital city is now an area that (to me) feels united in its past and is unashamed to show others mistakes made. Part of its branding as a modern city is how it’s taken accountability of past actions. It’s current success as a city break destination is how it tells its story. What happened in its past has given it the character and personality it emits today that makes it stand out and attract new and returning visitors.
When Perfect Layout was established, we thought long and hard about how we branded ourselves; how we came across in the web design market and how we could attract and retain loyal customers.
To be honest, this has not been a straightforward process. It’s a job that continues to evolve as we improve our systems to reflect the needs of our customers and market our unique selling point (USP).
We want our customers to know that part of our USP is our; expertise, professionalism, down to earth/friendly attitudes, honest compassion and the willingness to go that extra mile to understand you and your business. We really are on the other end of the phone ready to help and answer queries.
Our aim is to serve local companies across Essex, London and the UK with competitively priced websites that will improve the performance of their business. I’m pleased to report that our branding has started to work as our name and service is being recommended to others and new clients keep on coming. Small, steady steps forward - we’re happy with that!
How’s your levels of customer service and company branding working out for you?
Could the marketing on your website be more targeted?
Let us know your views and opinions by leaving a comment below.