A Website Is Essential for Education Providers .. Especially FE Colleges. But Often a Web Design Company Tie You to Them And You Don’t Realise Until It Is Too Late
This is how it works. Some web companies quote and tell you that you will have full control over the website once it is launched. But over the last few years, we’ve seen too many instances where that wasn’t true. Let me show you how a Web Design Company Can Tie You to them.
Many college sites pull in course info from the MIS system. It’s often a problem syncing the two together and the web design company will use a piece of software to do this. Often it isn’t until part way through the design process that they tell you about the need to use it. And they will blame your MIS system.
And because you are working to a deadline its easy to believe they have a solution and go down that road.
The problem comes when you want to take over full control of the website. The bit of software that links your MIS and website belongs to the web company. They insist you need to pay them a maintenance fee to keep the syncing running. And that’s how they stay in control of everything. In the worse cases, the company will then discover new problems when you want to upgrade plugins etc. The plugin will clash with their piece of software and you will need to pay them to modify it!
How Else Does a Web Design Company Tie You to Them?
Another trick unscrupulous web designers do is to quote for hosting the site. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. But we’ve seen one case recently where the bill for hosting was £10k for a three years contract. When we looked at the external host they were using we found a huge discrepancy. The hosting company were charging £250 a year. The extra £9250 over three years was the admin fee the company were trying to charge.
There are a great number of really good web designers available to colleges. Not all are of dubious reputation. The problem is working out which ones are straight and which ones are out to rip you off.
At times like this, it pays to use an external consultant to advise on what to look for. After years of working with straight designers, and finding far too many that aren’t straight, we are happy to advise any college.
Discover more about college website problems on this site
Or visit Underfunded Education for advice on how to get the best from small budgets
Can Anyone Guarantee Getting You On Page One of Google?
That’s the question that James asked me. He asked having heard a SEO company were making such a guarantee and he wanted my view on whether this was a credible situation. So Can Anyone Guarantee Page One of Google?
The answer is if you give me £1000 I will guarantee you a position on Page One of Google within the hour. But I have to say this is a poor offer as all I’ll do is write a Google Adwords ad and make my bid higher than anyone else. Continue reading
Searcher Intent? What Do Online Searchers Intend
We read a lot about SEO and ensuring that we use the right keywords in our content to ensure we come high up on the Search Engine Results Pages. But to do this, and get highly ranked, we need to know what the online searcher intent is.
Are they just merely curious, doing actual research, want to buy, want to recommend to a friend or something altogether different? People’s intentions are not always obvious, so, when writing content, we need to make some assumptions if our webpage is to match their actual needs. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous, SEO, Websites
Tagged Content, conversion, CRO, Micro expressions, micro-moments, sales, Search, SEO, SME, website
Turn Website Visitors into Students
So many people write or blog about the black art of getting more website visitors; but far fewer focus on getting those visitors to become students (customers).
Converting visitors isn’t a black art. It’s not magic. It’s the application of a very simple marketing process.
There are three parts to it.
Websites Cost a Lot of Money, So Correctly Briefing Your Website Designer is Vital if You Want Value for Money from Your Designer
How to Brief a Website Designer
Over the last ten years I’ve specified a lot of education websites. I’ve also reviewed a lot of website specs drawn up by providers. So How to Brief a Website Designer is now second nature to me; but lots of people struggle with it. Specifying the website is key to getting your site right, but it needs detailed and concise specification.
A lot of good web designers tell me that too many clients haven’t much idea what they want in a website except it should be a “good site” or a site like one of their competitors.
No designer can give you value for money with such an imprecise specification. The good ones will probe for detail but the unethical designers (and there are a lot of them out there) will rip you off by fulfilling your imprecise instructions at high cost (then blame you for not briefing them properly).
Website Specification Detail
In the last few years I’ve specified many websites and my experience is that a specification needs to be at least 30-40 pages in length to be detailed enough to provide a designer with sufficient information. And I don’t mean a document full of screengrabs of sites that are liked or disliked; I mean hard facts.
It is necessary to specify your customer profiles, the products and/or services you wish to offer, the Calls to Action you require to be followed and the apps, plugins and functions you wish to provide. In most cases it is the function we wish to provide e.g. an appointment booking system, rather than the actual app or plugin to be used as the designer should have a more up to date knowledge of these and how they will interface with other systems and functions. Continue reading
As a hunter gatherer species we are programmed to notice movement and that has a fundamental impact on our business marketing.
Of course there are hundreds of things that you can do to attract attention on websites, blogs and adverts but I want to focus on just one that will make your post stand out from all the others.
Say I want to attract people to an equine course ….. a galloping horse will grab the attention of people with an interest in horses. It doesn’t even have to be a perfect image. Continue reading
Yes, I know You Want Website Traffic.
But more traffic means more work and then you have no time to enjoy yourself. So no fishing, tennis, golf, having a drink with friends .. all because your website is attracting traffic.
So, if yo want a quiet life .. and possible redundancy …. this is the infographic for you.
Click the Infographic to Enlarge it
……. and to get sent to the page with the Embed Code