With my first post on this blog, I would like to clarify what the Webmaster Service service is all about, and how small businesses in Edmonton can benefit from this service to have a worry-free web presence.

How it all started…

I have owned a small service business in Edmonton for just over a year now. Getting my business online is one of the first things I had to do when I started. To me it was critical to use the website for information and to start establishing my brand. I was lucky that I had the skills to get this done without hiring anyone. In addition, as my business evolved, I was able to easily make changes to my website;

  • add and edit content,
  • add products and services,
  • perform regular backups,
  • contact the hosting company to update TLS certificate when PayPal released a security update,
  • make sure the hosting company updates hosting software version when needed, etc.

As a small business owner in Edmonton, I know the joys and pains of having not only an awesome website, but also one that helps the business add to the bottom line – that is why I started YourWebPro.ca.

Beauty and brains – what every business needs!

A website that looks good AND works for their business.

Other than being the professional front face of my business, I wanted to achieve more with my website:

  • Refer potential clients for more information about my services
  • Respond to evolving business needs
  • Get more clients!

I provided informative pages that reduced the number of questions I would have to field on phone calls and emails. Potential clients who called after visiting the website were always more informed than those who hadn’t. The information on the website helped reduce the amount of time it took to make a sale. They were also more motivated to buy, because they had accessed the information they needed, when they needed it.

Using my website to get more customers essentially meant I needed to appear on the search engines for the keywords that potential clients were using to search for my kind of service. This practice is called Search Engine Optimization (or SEO). The goal is to appear on top of the search results for keywords that relate to your business.After many many  weeks and months of SEO effort, I was able to achieve #1 rank on Google for my keywords.

After a few months online, I reviewed my website statistics. These indicate how many people visited my site, where they visited from, etc. Web analytics tools these days (e.g. Google Analytics) can provide an incredible amount of detail – location, browser type, device type, how long each page was viewed etc.

Notably, 61% of my visitors were accessing the website on cell phones! Approximately 59% from iPhones and the rest shared between Android and Windows phones. I was really surprised by this! Even though it shouldn’t have come as a surprise given the ubiquity of cell phones these days and well known stats that show that more than half of internet users are accessing websites on cell phones. My design was definitely tested on PC monitors and different browsers; but I had not optimized my mobile look. I went back and made sure the website was fine on cell phone and tablet screens. Lesson learned!

Webmaster Service vs Web Design

Getting your business online is only a starting point. A website can add a lot of value for your business beyond branding. Whether you can achieve more with your website depends on

  • your business needs,
  • how you use the website to get those needs.

For some, an online-billboard type website is enough. Others may want to accomplish more with their website; online forms, interactive plugins, blog publishing, e-commerce.

Small business owners may not have the skills or time to build and continually maintain their websites. What are their options? Hire a web agency to do this or hire a freelancer. Out of curiosity I looked around at all those options available in Edmonton and the rest of Alberta.

You rarely find that personal, tech-savvy and customer-oriented service that is also affordable for small business! And I am not referring to those formal meetings with web agency executives to discuss requirements. Nor am I talking about a freelancer from Kijii who builds your website and moves on to the next job, leaving you to take care of all the maintenance. I am talking about having a “web geek” on call to build a great website and take care of mundane tasks involved in web maintenance. The kind who will not invoice you for calling on Saturday evening to ask what an SSL certificate is.

There is definitely a place for large web agencies. A small business may want to create something great online,yet they may not be able to afford the agency fees. There is need for a knowledgeable, local, personal service that can get the job done at an affordable price point. If I was not web savvy, I would certainly appreciate an affordable solution that not only builds my website, but takes care of all the nitty-gritty of keeping my business website online. I call that kind of service Webmaster Service “web management” because it goes beyond just getting your website online.

Webmaster Service is a great solution for Edmonton small businesses

As my business website story has illustrated, there is much more work that goes into having a website online. Webmaster Service ensures that the ongoing maintenance, hosting, and updates are taken care of. For  a flat monthly fee, the  Webmaster Service at YourWebPro.ca includes:

  • Discounted web design
  • Domain name registration
  • Web hosting
  • Additions and edits
  • Regular reports (web activity, backups, web statistics)
  • Proactive updates
  • Improvements
  • Troubleshooting
  • Priority service for related services (SEO, graphic design, copyright-free images, content strategy etc)

I value the effort and time you are putting towards getting your business online. I am excited to use my experience and skills to help you do so in the best way possible. As a local Edmonton-based service, I will be available to all my clients on the phone and for face to face meetings.

The ultimate goal is to have your business enjoy the benefits of a functional, well-designed business website, and concentrate your time and effort on running your business.

If you are thinking of getting your business online, please reach me at 

 or give me shout here.

 

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Author: Barry O

I am the Chief Web Pro at YourWebPro.ca. You can call me Your Web Pro… or your web builder, your web manager, your web concierge, your web guy, or Barry.

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