How to Choose a Website Manager for Your Small Business
We cannot emphasize enough how important your web presence is these days. A strong presence makes it possible to connect to your customers, elevates your marketing efforts, and establishes your brand.
First of all, you need to keep in mind that website management is not just about having knowledge about IT. The IT thing is important, but the manager needs to a pro in marketing, too. Is it all? of course not. we’ll head deep into the details.
About 88% of customers research a brand online before purchasing products or services from them. it has never been as convenient for ANYONE to carefully vet a company online, before making a deal with them. Even though web marketing is becoming increasingly vital, only 64% of small companies have a website. Moreover, only 81% of these are mobile-friendly, and only a small number of 10% invest in their website. Considering how the effects of online presence are unknown to most of these businesses, it is most probable that they only invest a small number, and see little to no results from their efforts.
Let us be honest, it might be scary to start with digital marketing. Building an effective website needs a lot of skill and digital marketing investment is an unexplored territory for most, and that is alright. You do not need to be an IT professional to own a business and grow that business digitally. There are so many elements to consider while expanding your business online, and that can make it frustrating. It seems impossible to manage your business and be in complete control, while also ensuring your website’s success.
Unless your website is an extremely simplistic one, with little online presence, you will need someone more knowledgeable in those areas and can invest in all the time and effort you cannot.
- Steps to Choose a Website Manager for Your Small Business
- How do I find a manager for my small business?
- Do I need a website manager?
- How much does it cost to build a website for a small business?
Steps to Choose a Website Manager for Your Small Business
Understand your needs
You will not be able to fulfill your needs unless you understand them well. The first step to choosing the best website manager is defining your needs. What does your site provide, and what is your business built on? Are you running your website on software that needs constant upgrading? Does your website provide written content that needs editing and updating? Do you need to run backups yourself, or does your hosting provider automatically take care of that? What are your digital marketing strategies? What is your market, niche, and how do your customers interact with your website? Determine your needs, their priorities, and how each of these efforts contributes to the success of your business.
What happens if I do not have a website manager? It is improbable for one person to handle all the different aspects of your websites, and as your business grows, you will need more employees to handle all the different sides. Now if there is no manager to make decisions, and link these professionals chaos occurs. There will be no certainty that the site’s content will be consistent and basic important stuff will not get forgotten.
The manager acts as a core thread that holds whatever else there is tight together. Many websites fail just because without a manager they are in pure chaos. They have different teams of copywriters at different times, resulting in an inconsistent voice.
The design does not match the content as the designer does not have time to read the content and has not been informed of it and no supervisor checked it. Also while the designer is concerned with the aesthetics, the marketing team wants to load the site with links and social media streams. The SEO strategist ruins the copy writer’s clean base by spamming it with keywords.
The site will be mismatched and inconsistent, and that is the key to failure.
Choosing a website manager for your small business
Well, many give the responsibility to the IT professional by default. But it is important to remember that an IT consultant is supposed to be knowledgeable about software and hardware, and not marketing or design. The next choice might be your web designer, but here again, marketing is not a web designer’s field of focus. Though now most website designers are very savvy in business and marketing as well, they are still not marketers or business consultants.
Here is a list of traits that your website designer must have:
- They must understand internet technology, not be strangers to concepts such as hosting and domain registration, and be capable of using the technology needed to update and backup your site.
- Trained eye to recognize high-quality website design and a well-crafted copy.
- Knowledge of online marketing tools. This includes search engines, social media, email campaigns, directories, review sites, SEO, and more.
- A good understanding of offline marketing tools and how to use them in harmony with the online methods. This includes business cards, coupons, brochures, etc.
- The perfect manager never forgets the basics of how complex the website gets. The main goal of a website is to keep the customers coming back while attracting new ones.
Handling your online presence in-house
We do not mean to completely dismiss managing your marketing in-house, but it is rarely effectively implanted. That is the route most small businesses take, and without proper investment, see little to no results.
The upside to going in-house is that you truly get the most use out of your employees and their expertise, and you save up by not having to hire additional overhead. If your digital marketing team is not outsourced, they are always within an arm’s reach. You will always have on-premise support if a question or problem happens. This also gives more direct control over messaging and content distribution.
The downsides are what we have already talked of. The people who are in charge of managing your websites and campaigns, usually do not have domain expertise. There is not a defined budget, and because of that, you do not have a basis to scale your efforts on. Not being educated and skilled in these fields will slow you down more than you probably imagine. There will be no benchmarks and best practices to compare performance. And in the end, you will probably have to outsource some stuff for some highly technical issues, like website revision anyways.
Hiring a freelancer
This is another popular solution for small businesses. They hire a third party through recommendations, personal experience, or a website, who can manage single individual tasks on one-time projects. This is an alternative to hiring a full-time employee, agency, or retainer that manages all your digital marketing campaigns and strategies.
By hiring project-based, you only pay for what you need and save cash on the extra hours. But you should consider the costs of keeping the site running and updated too. Another great thing about freelancers is that you can get the best of the best, and the ultimate expert by hiring specific individuals for specific domains. Besides all that exploring the vast markets of expertise, such as Upwork is an exciting adventure all by itself.
You must keep in mind though, that you might not be able to reach your favorite freelancer when you need them. They set their schedule and do not adhere to what we know as standard working hours. Hiring freelancers does not guarantee all your future urgent needs will be answered as well.
Freelancers do not plan for your company in the long run. They might choose the shortest solutions at times, and they do not give you the strategic insight or input of someone who sees themselves leading your marketing team a year from now.
You will lose the great benefits of someone constantly checking on your website, and improving it. You are going to be the person who is responsible for a constant uninterrupted web presence after all. Once again, the burdens of handling the website will be on your shoulders in the long run.
The final downside to hiring a freelancer is that there is nothing you can do if you are not satisfied with the results. Trying vast freelancing markets means failing many times before finding the person you have been looking for. The inability to guarantee the quality of the outcome may affect the flow of the process overall.
Working with an agency
The third option is to go long-term, and parent with a long-term website management service provider. These agencies have a lot of experience in working with different web platforms and different domains. Hiring a long-term service means great customer support, that will answer any questions you have the moment you want.
There will be less research needed when launching new campaigns as the agency’s team will be able to guide you with expertise. Things such as mobile optimization and SEO will come on naturally with these companies. Along with your SEO and advertising campaigns, your website will be consistently monitored and improved as well.
The biggest reason most small businesses do not want to partner with these agencies is that they do not want to pay for a package they do not use. While many of these management service providers offer you scalable services that make it possible to pay for mostly what you need. However expensive that might be, it will still be well below hiring a full-time marketing team.
Here are some cons to working with a marketing management agency: it might still be cheaper to work with freelancers. This is mostly because of the varying skill and expertise of the agency’s team and all the staff needed to link these members together. Hiring an agency will not eliminate your need of dedicating an employee to handling digital marketing and online presence.
The most common way these agencies work is by categorizing their services (creative, website, admin, billing, website), resulting in having multiple points of contact. Many also believe that because of the number of clients agencies have, your needs might get neglected at times. This is while you will be in-house staff or an employee’s solemn focus point.
How do I find a manager for my small business?
Your main consideration while hiring a manager, must be who can you trust the best. You want your manager to be a combination of things: energetic, dynamic, experienced and mature, and capable of finishing tasks. There is no use in any manager if they are not strong and dedicated. For these reasons, you will need to do a strong test of character and ability to find the correct person.
Defining your needs and goals
The first step is to always define your needs. How can you find the perfect manager if you do not need what you exactly want to manage? Think about your ideal manager on different scales. What is your manager like while dealing with day-to-day obstacles? Think a few years ahead as well, and consider what your manager will be like in a few years. How will your manager’s needs differ by then? Try to hire a person who is not only the perfect choice in the current circumstances, but will also be sufficient in a few years.
Placing the advertisement
Make a list of these needed characteristics and rate each candidate from 1-10 next to it. Use that list of characteristics, to enlist an ad. In this stage, your point is not to screen out people, but to attract them. The candidates can be screened and qualified later on, during the interview.
It would be a great mistake to confine your advertisements to only your local newspapers, or general job websites. Estimate and locate where your potential employees might be and channel your advertisement there. Most industry-specific trade journals have a classified section. Another great option is to try headhunters.
Merely depending on inexpensive trade journals, will result in most curious people, who are not serious about their work showing up.
Before the interview
To pick the best manager for your company, you must not only rely on their skills and what they believe they can do, but you must get into their head and see what makes them tick as well. This is an ability earned by skill, which most novice interviewers do not know how to do.
After putting a great ad out there, you will be contacted by many qualified candidates, and many of them will be sending you their resumes. There are different approaches to resumes, some companies love to browse through the qualities of an interviewee before speaking to them in person. While some believe the employee’s personality is more important and only include a phone number to save themselves a lot of in-person interview time.
There are many great resume templates out there that can help you keep track of all the important details in an employee. Remember to include a salary history as well, so you can filter out people who are not suitable for the job.
If you are browsing resumes first, you can pick several people you are interested in further investigating through these resumes, and set up an interview with each. You must remember that a resume is not a great indicator of personality or even qualifications. You might end up selecting people who are the best resume writers, but not the people that are most suitable for the position.
When a candidate’s case gets serious, remember to check out their references and call them too. They can be immensely helpful in understanding what kind of a person you will be working with.
During the interview
Make the environment as comfortable yet professional as possible. Make sure there is enough time so that neither you or your interviewee will not be rushed. Be welcoming and put the interviewee at ease. Most people are anxious while being interviewed, and that hides their true potential and qualities. Be friendly. You could ask them if they would want a cup of coffee, but do not waste too much time chit-chatting as it will distract you from the main subject. Another thing you can do is to start the conversation from your side. Speak of your company, its goals, where it is going, what the job is, and more. Make sure to be enthusiastic about your own business as that first impression will build a base for all next to come.
Be in control of the conversation, and direct it into different channels to discover as much as possible about the other person. Speak of wages, salaries, and what is expected from the person who earns the position. Avoid questions about race, children, and other potential discrimination landmines.
If you found the candidate unfitting at any point of the interview, end the interview as quickly but politely as possible. Thank them and say that this is all you had for today and will let them know once you have made a decision. Make sure to get back at a person, even if they are unfitting to let them know. This can be as short as a one-line message and will show respect and build your company’s reputation.
Tell a candidate if you are interested in them, and ask how they view the position. Study their resume after the interview, and make sure nothing stays unclear.
Remember that the manager is a vital part of the company, and hiring one is a way more serious matter than hiring a secretary or a receptionist. Ask questions you currently need the answer to in your business, to truly understand a candidate’s knowledge and point of view. Ask them how they would take care of some problems that you have faced in the past, and think about the potential problems that can happen in the future, and see how they approach them as well. This way you gain valuable insight while rating the candidate at the same time.
Do I need a website manager?
In the early stages of building a small business, it might occur to you that I need a website for my small business, but do I need a website manager as well? Website management helps your small business’s website to function effectively and actively.
Website management also creates a professional business website for you to operate your business plan and ideas. Learning more about the responsibilities of a webpage manager and what they offer to your small business can help you figure out whether you need website management for your small business or not.
webpage manager’s roles and responsibilities
Having a professionally designed website is a crucial element but maintaining it is equally important and requires expertise. A webpage manager knows how to manage a website and improves your website towards your business plan and ideas.
You can learn about the abilities of a webpage manager and how they can transform your website’s performance down below:
Web hosting arrangements
To understand how website hosting is related to website management let’s learn about what website hosting is and how it works.
Website hosting is the process of purchasing or renting space on the world wide web for your website. Your website’s content such as images or HTML needs a server for being able to connect to the internet and be viewable.
A reliable server is important for your small business website and keeps it functional. The website hosting plans vary from free with limits or purchasable and specialized for business.
Choosing the right servers for your website creates more customer engagement. The right server helps your website to load quicker and limits website crashing issues that visitors don’t enjoy.
Your webpage manager’s responsibility here is to maintain a relationship with whoever provides your website’s servers.
Domain name availability
One of the first steps of creating a website is purchasing a domain name. The domain name is the name of your website. People notice your online presence by your website’s domain name.
You can purchase a domain name from domain name registrar companies like google domains. Finding an unused domain name, paying the annual fees, and registering the name are some parts of your webpage manager’s duties. If your domain name expires your website presence from the internet will be deleted in a short period.
Maintaining your website
Website maintenance is referred to the tasks your website needs to function properly and be up to date. Your webpage manager regularly checks your small business website to fix any issues or update it and add related content.
Maintaining a website requires knowing how to manage a website and here are some reasons why you need to maintain your website:
Around 87% of customers tend to search your business online before making any purchases. Since your website’s design and appearance is your first impression with your customers you need to avoid any negative impression or your customers are likely to switch to your competent company.
If your website is out of date and it doesn’t work properly due to technical issues at first glance, customers probably don’t bother themselves and click away. You need to do your website management professionally then customers will know you are a professional business.
Your website needs to work without issues since it’s the main element that guides customers to make a purchase, this is especially important for eCommerce business. If your website doesn’t work as it should you’ll probably lose potential sales.
If you regularly maintain your website the risk of getting cyber attacks is low since your security system is up to date and helps you avoid any repair costs caused by cyber-attacks which are often expensive. Having an updated and improved security system makes your customers feel comfortable making purchases.
Maintaining your website will support your SEO strategy. If visitors keep leaving your website shortly after visiting it google might consider this as a sign that your website isn’t relevant.
This might take your website to low-ranking search results and decrease your website’s traffic and engagement rates.
Technical issues, not updating your website’s design, security issues, and not having up-to-date content can affect your search engine rankings.
Your webpage manager is also responsible for your website’s content being updated and new. If you have a regular updating system and keep your website fresh your customers will get back to you.
Not adding new and relevant content or just using videos and images doesn’t help your website’s rankings and probably people won’t revisit your business’s website.
Having written content has a deeper impact on your customers and showing up in search results. A professional business website adds regular content on a schedule about their products, services, and what they have to offer.
Search engine optimization
Managing your SEO strategy has significant importance in the process of website management. By managing SEO we mean modifying and developing your content in the way that search engines prefer. Your website management team develops, modifies, and leads your content in a way that your website can benefit from maximized results and improves your business plan and ideas.
Your webpage manager can help with your SEO content aiming towards ending up on the Google SERP, if your website gets on the search engine result page you’ll get a ton of visibility.
Your website management team can offer you a range of services in the SEO management area:
Knowing the competition
Businesses that have good SEO and business plans have a deep understanding of their target audience. They constantly do their research to get to an understanding of their business’s flaws and issues, products, services, and what their customers need. Having a website management team will give you the benefit of early acknowledgment.
Knowing the competition
Analyzing your competitive businesses is an important part of SEO management. Competitor analysis can provide great information, working with a webpage manager can give you a head start towards improving your plans and ideas.
After doing your audience research and knowing your competition your website management team starts optimizing your website for search. This process can take time and patience but having a webpage manager makes the process easier on you.
Being a business owner comes with a long list of errands, therefore, hiring a webpage manager is a logical choice. By owning a small business you will have your hands full and taking on a secondary role like website management can be more time-consuming than you think.
Website management is a delicate element that affects your online presence directly so it needs personal and individual attention. Managing a website needs to cover a wide range of different areas, from adding content to updating SEO and checking issues.
How much does it cost to build a website for a small business?
Whether you run an eCommerce business or offline business your website is the first thing that your audience is going to know about your small business. It makes sense that you invest in a professional business website while hiring experts for your web design.
The costs of building a website for your small business depend on the features that you consider for your website. The average cost of website management for small businesses and building one is around $2000 to $10,000, this includes purchasing a domain name, website hosting services, and website design. However, it depends on the website’s features, complexity, size, etc.
There are a few factors that can have an impact on website building and website management expenses, we know the average cost but what factors build this average? We’ve gathered some cost factors to make your budgeting easier:
Domain name costs
A domain name is basically your business’s address. For example, let’s consider Amazon. Amazon resides at Amazon.com, so it’s common to purchase a domain name that is identical to the name of your business.
If the domain name that you have in mind is not available you might need to go with an alternative option since approaching the current owner and purchasing it might be a little costly. Domain names are purchasable within companies like GoDaddy, HostGator, and Dreamhost and cost around $0.95 to $12 per domain name.
Website hosting costs
Website hosting is the reason that your website is visible on the internet in the first place. The website hosting prices range from $24 to $24000 annually. As a small business, you don’t need to use overpriced hosting services and you can use other options.
For example, using shared servers is one way to lower your expenses and it’s common for small businesses to do so. As the name implies you’ll share a server with other websites which costs around $24 to $120 per year.
However, shared servers have limited server resources but this usually works for smaller websites since they don’t need too many resources, to begin with. Using a busy server will probably slow your website so whenever you face this problem you can switch to a more private server.
An SSL certificate is a small data file that digitally binds an encryption key to your organization’s details. When you install an SSL certificate on your website’s server it enables the HTTP protocol and creates a secure connection from the server to the user’s browser.
The major use of SSL is to protect money and data transactions, login information.
Using an SSL certificate gives your customers a reason to trust and go on with their purchases, it also protects customer information from hackers and many websites consider this an essential element.
Some web hosting services, offer you a free SSL as well but depending on your website’s needs you might need to purchase one as well. Purchasing an SSL certificate can cost you around $1500 per year so that you can secure your website.
Website design costs for a small business can have a pretty variable range. Depending on your preference you can have a minimalistic website or you might want to go with a high-end design that can be time-consuming for the designer.
You’ll probably need multiple designs for your home page, contact page, and product and services page. Therefore your website design might cost between $2000 to $15000 but most small businesses don’t reach $15000.
While you are interviewing with a website designer for a small business be direct about the prices and ask them so that you can have realistic budgeting. For example, request to see what their high-end design or basic design looks like.
If you check the eCommerce business’s websites you can see that they have more than 100 pages, comparing this to a service-based website they might feature with 10 or 20 pages. Even though these pages share some layouts, it can be a time-consuming process for the designers.
For example, if an eCommerce business has around 60 product pages, the designers use the same design template but they need to upload the images and videos and copy these to the main and test pages. Since these processes take time, the cost of websites with more pages is higher.
For a 1-50 pages website, the costs might range from $1000 to $5000 which is the average expense of website designers for small businesses.
If your business wants to accept online payments or orders, you should plan the feature fee, with your small business web design cost. In web design functionality means a range of features focused on how capable these features can be in eCommerce.
Even if your website offers door payment services or landscaping, having an online payment feature is vital and can bring you more customers since it gives them a sense of convenience.
Web design functionality features can cost $2000 to $25000. however, for a small business, it costs less because you don’t need robust payment services.
A content management system is a kind of software that lets your business create, edit and manage content without coding knowledge. For example, if you want to change the price of a product, you can log in to your CMS and make the change.
An average cost for a CMS is $2000 to $25000, it depends on the type of CMS that you choose and how much it’s customized for you. The more customization your design group does for the CMS the more it costs.
The cost difference between DIY website design and professional website design
The cost of building and designing a small business website depends on the fact that your business is going to have an in-house website or a professional business website.
Usually, a do-it-yourself web design using a web builder costs $0 to $300 on the other hand, a professionally designed website can cost $2000 to $10000.
Even though a website builder looks like a cost-effective plan, there are some downsides to it as well:
- All the work is done by you, this can have an impact on your product launching schedule and delays it.
- You need to learn how to manage a website and start troubleshooting your website by yourself, the immaturity can cause you problems.
- A cookie-cutter website is the best you can get
Other than the $300 that you are paying for a website builder, you are putting in your precious time. The process of learning how to manage a website, using the website builder, web design basics, etc, will be time-consuming.
Investing in website designers for small businesses will save you time and you can have a professional business website.
Website design and website management
website management for small businesses has a direct relationship with website design for small businesses. Using a small business web design company helps you create a professional business website that you can manage and improve with the help of your webpage managers and team.
Website management, especially website management for small businesses is an evolving job. As your website grows, it needs more creativity and different approaches to issues.
This means that your website management team must evolve and grow with your website. Since your website is the main medium that you use for reaching out to your customers, you need to properly maintain your features. A properly maintained website gives you long-term service and can help you avoid any serious issues in the long run.
If your website needs any additional care for a functional operation, do not hesitate to add it to your website management routine.
What do you need to do to maintain a website?
Choose the right website builder/ website management, team
Update your content regularly
Makeover and redesigning is helpful
Review your old content
Optimize it for SEO
Use social media