It Need Not Cost a Lot

You run a business. It might be a small business running for awhile, or a start up. Your “to do” list says “Get website”. You think: lots of money, fast talking salesman, technobabble, anguish. You go and do something else instead.

I’ve spoke to a lot of people who have been there. They are very good at what they do, but don’t know much about the internet beyond Facebook. They think that talking to a website design agency is going to cost them a lot of time, money and confusion.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

For a start, Vapour Trail is a small business. We don’t employ salespeople, you talk to the person who will create your website. We are a small business, so we know that value for money is important. We want to build a relationship with our customers so we don’t start off by confusing you. We want to create you an affordable website and see it grow with your business.

We don’t try to sell you what you don’t need.

This is a key point, so let me explain further. If you are a big brand, you want all your marketing (including your website) to be unique to you. You will be spending a lot of money to create a totally unique brand identity. And it will be lot of money because top quality design work is expensive.

An affordable website

In most cases, this is not an appropriate approach for a small business. You want to be distinctive and get your message across, but not at any price. We take readily available, often free to use components and combine them with original imagery and text to create a distinctive, but affordable website. We are big fans of the WordPress Content Management System. This is an Open Source product which means it’s free to use. There are hundreds of free themes to control the appearance of the website. These can be configured to create a distinctive look for your business website.

Do you want to know more?

Call us on 0333 123 0004. We will be happy to discuss your needs and quote you for work.

We will make sure you understand what we are telling you. This is all without any obligation on your part. We believe the web is for everyone, not just the big names. Get in touch and we can help remove “Get website” from your To Do list.

Content Management System

In the beginning, all web pages were written in HTML. Only webmasters understood HTML, so whenever a website needed updating, the webmaster or web designer had to do the work. But life moves quickly, information changes and news needs to be reported. A better way of working was needed.

A Content Management System (CMS) allows someone with basic IT skills to maintain a website. If you can create and save a Microsoft Word document, you should be able to learn how to use a CMS quite quickly.

Blog

New content keeps a website “fresh” and relevant. Human visitors like this because the website looks up to date. Search engines like fresh content too as they use the frequency with which a website is updated as a measure of it’s usefulness. New, fresh content is good for many reasons and a blog is a great way to introduce new content to the website. When a website is based on a CMS, keeping a blog is easy. Just log in, create a new post and start writing!

Updates

The information on your website will change. Prices will change, you will start selling new products and stop selling old ones. A CMS allows you to take charge of all these changes.

Functionality

CMS like WordPress accept a huge range of extensions which will give the website additional functionality. If you want to display Google Maps, have a contact form, sell products, show a gallery of pictures, assess the search engine optimisation of a page, link to social media or display a calendar of events, you can do all this with WordPress extensions.

Marketing

If you engage a marketing professional or instigate your own campaign, a review of your website’s content and some changes are inevitable. A website based on a Content Management System makes this easy.

Do you have a Content Management System?

If you want to get the most out of your website, you need a CMS. We will be happy to provide you with a fixed price quote and advise you on the most suitable product. Call us on 0333 123 0004 to find out more.

 

A Professional Business Website Builder

If you are in business, you need a website created by a professional business website builder.

Here at Vapour Trail we have more than ten years experience of creating websites. We know what works and what doesn’t. We also have more than ten years experience of dealing with business clients and we know what they want.

Expertise

Website creation is a technical discipline. We have the necessary skills in HTML, CSS and SEO to build a website that works effectively: that loads quickly and can be found easily. We pride ourselves on creating websites that are effective business tools and and stylish showcases for our customers.

Products

We advise that business customers should base a website on a Content Management System (CMS). This makes it easy to maintain, refresh and add to the website’s content. If you want to undertake marketing and search engine optimisation campaigns, a CMS supports these. We are happy to advise on which products can best fulfill a business need. We specialise in the WordPress CMS.

Value for Money

We know that businesses want to get the most for their money. They also want a good Return on Investment (ROI). We price our websites sensibly and are happy to work to budgets or fixed price quotes. This is especially the case for small businesses and we offer a fixed cost Small Business Website Package.

Business Website Builder

A website will need to perform multiple functions:

It will need to be easy to find through search engine queries.

It should showcase your goods and services through graphics, text and images.

You should be contactable through your website.

Sales should be qualified by visitors being able to read your terms and conditions, credentials and testimonials.

Products can be sold through the website.

And so on …

We bring together the components that deliver these functions and make them work for you.

Call us

If you are starting out in business or need to improve your website, call us for a completely free consulation. We won’t confuse you with jargon, we will talk about what you need and how it can be achieved. We are on 0333 123 0004

 

 

 

Mariner III website – Case Study

Getting the structure of your website is vitally important. Get it right and the website will provide a great return on investment. Get it wrong and the website will do nothing. Let me illustrate this with a real life case study.

improving search results case study

Case Study

I’ve recently been working with the owners of Mariner III. This is a motor yacht which is available for charters out of New York harbour in the summer. The last version of the website had been created by a marketing consultant with technical work done overseas. Although the website was based on WordPress, the design was poorly executed, confusing to work with and slow to load on the screen. Consequently it did not appear in search engine rankings at all. Even a search on “mariner 3 new york” ( a pretty basic test of a websites performance ) produced nothing at all.

The owners asked me to completely overhaul the website.

I stayed with WordPress, it’s a very good product. We agreed on the use of a freely available WordPress theme that was well regarded for ease of use and all round performance. The structure was carefully planned so that all pages were easy to access and had meaningful addresses. At launch , the website had 22 pages and contained around 16000 words of text. Pages were optimised for search using the Yoast SEO functionality and a large number of pictures were added for visual impact.

The results have been dramatic. Within two weeks of the new version of the website going live, the search engine ratings had shot up. That search on “mariner 3 new york” now returns the Mariner III website as the first result on Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Generic searches have also improved dramatically. A search on “new york yacht charter” now returns the Mariner III site on around page six of the major search engines. It’s these generic searches that will bring in new business and we will continue to work with the Mariner III owners to drive these results even higher.

You will find the new Mariner III website at www.mariner3.com

If you are concerned that your website is not working for you, give me call 0333 123 0004

Chris Jerrey

Is My Website Healthy?

Is my website healthy

Is my website healthy? Here are a few ideas for “taking the pulse” of your website.

Can you find your website? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who knows the name of your business and where you are, but doesn’t know the address. So if you are Bob Clark, a plumber in Brighton, search on “bob clark brighton plumber”. If your website doesn’t appear in the search results, you should think about making some changes. Your website is failing a very basic test.

Do you have a Content Management System (CMS)? If you do, can you use it and do you know the log-in details? Keeping your website up to date with fresh content is vital to ensure that it catches the interest of both search engines and human beings that look at it.

If you don’t have a CMS, is it easy to get updates done? Is your webmaster/designer contactable and responsive to your requests?

Related to the last two questions, when was your website last updated? Do you have old prices and out of date information on the website?

If your responses to these questions are a combination of “No”, “Oh dear” and “I really should be doing something about that”, it’s time to take some action. If you can update your website, do it. If you have been putting off contacting your webmaster, do it now.

If you want some help with any of this, please get in touch. My business is to help people get the most from their websites. Call 0333 123 0004 and you won’t get a salesman, you’ll talk to a website designer and developer who wants to work with businesses to help them use the web to the best effect.