Online Business Model For Your Website

Does Your Website Fit Your Online Business Model – 5 Questions You Want To Ask Yourself

In 2017 – everything is online. Communities, shopping, music, and entertainment – it’s all online. Your business should be too. As of January 2017, 77% of Americans own and use a smartphone every day. 88% of America is on the internet daily. What does this mean for you as a business owner?

It means not only should you have a mobile-friendly website, but you need the RIGHT kind of website.

Your website should fit your online business model – think “what is the true purpose of your business”. The wrong kind of website can severely impact your new client base and potential profits as well.

Not sure if the website you have fits what your business is about?

Check out some 5 questions that point to whether your website matches your online business model.

5 Questions To Determine Your Online Business Model

1-    Am I Using My Website To Provide Information About Services?

Is your online business model more about providing a visual aid to the types of services you offer? Instead of focusing on actually selling items, the website functions like a business card or brochure, providing useful information about what your company does and how it does it. Most small business websites are modeled after this one – The Portfolio site. They require minimal content updates and provide a useful visual aid for sales staff. However, unless your business has a powerful sales staff referencing and using the site– don’t expect too much natural or organic lead conversion via search engines.

2-    Am I Using My Website To Provide Sell Products and Services?

Does your business sell products and/or services? Can potential customers purchase what you provide without visiting a physical location? If you provide products directly to your customer than your website should be set up as a Commerce site. What is a Commerce site? Well, similar to a portfolio site, the website not only provides information but also a shop that allows users to purchase products or services online. The Commerce site is a great way to gain additional profit from users who might not necessarily shop at a physical location. With ecommerce becoming more and more of a trend as technology advances, you don’t want to miss out on this potential profit market!

3-     Am I Using My Website Primarily As A Space To Share My Message or Educational/Entertaining Content?

Is the sole purpose of your website to provide specific educational or entertaining content to your desired audience? Are you providing this content for free while advertisers pay you to get their message or product in front of your audience/subscribers? If so, then your site follows the Content model. Imagine the front-page of “Yahoo!” or “Buzzfeed” – There are various types of free content surrounded by ad space. Essentially, advertisers fund you. Consider the classic newspaper and magazine business: whose main source of revenue came from ads mixed in with the daily news or various articles. This “business model” isn’t really new but many business owners and content creators use it to turn profit while sharing their message with the public.

4-    Am I Using My Website To Provide A Sense of Community?

Are you a government body, a support forum, or a collaboration of freelancers/consultants? Then you know the way that your business survives is based on the level of community users feel when accessing your website. Success of the site is determined by the amount of users who interact and collaborate together – bringing them together as a community. Sites dependent on interaction and collaboration are called a Community site. The purpose of the site is to not only provide information but to provide a space for people to work and collaborate – providing a hub to voice concerns and ideas.

Why is this important for an online business model? Because having a place for constituents to interact directly with higher ups provides a sense of inclusion that this opportunity to work together and even interact with “industry experts” creates brand and user loyalty. This is a very unique business model but when leveraged properly online, you can see great success through your digital presence. NOTE: These sites are highly dependent as well on social media integration and management. After all, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are just another example of the community online business model.

5-    Am I Using My Website To Provide Ongoing Services?

Are you providing ongoing service to existing and potential clients? If so, then you might fall into the final online business model type: Subscription. The Subscription site is just that – providing users an ongoing experience for a reoccurring rate (either monthly or annually). Think Netflix, Spotify, HBO – all of these adhere to the Subscription style website – providing content via ongoing registration to their content at a set price. Other business have taken this model and applied them for their services or tools.

An example of this would be MOZ – a well-known SEO campaign tool and report compiling service. Access to their software and reporting toolkits are only allowed via a subscription – something set at either a monthly or yearly rate or which will allow for the user to access their tool or content. This is extremely profitable if you have a particular service you are wanting to sell to potential customers – something that is wholly online.

What is the difference between Subscription and Commerce? Commerce is a one-time payment of a good or service that is bought and sold online but can result in physical products being delivered and inventoried. Subscription is ongoing and service-focused, usually providing the user access to a particular tool or content. Both are quite successful, as long as you are applying it the correct way for your business.

Online Business Model – Where Do You Fall?

Overall, the 5 types of online business models are fairly easy to implement, the hardest part is figuring out which one works best for you and your business. Most successful business websites usually end up being hybrid of 2 or 3 of these items. Research and strategic planning allow for designers and owners to accomplish multiple business models/approaches with a single website.

The key is to figure out what your true online business model is and apply it in a way that achieves maximum potential.

Not sure how to achieve that yourself?

Andromeda’s website development team is here to help you analyze and maximize your online business model and provide your end users a satisfying experience. Call one of our reps today!

wordpress plugins for cms website development

Top 3 WordPress Plugins You Didn’t Even Know You Were Missing

A Website is essential to business; whether you are a startup or a titan of industry – websites provide an essential digital impression for your consumer base. What many people do not know is that for many Content Management System-based (CMS) websites, like WordPress, there are tools available to help take your business website to the next level. In an age where almost everyone is on the internet at any given time, it is key to help promote and protect your site. Here at Andromeda, we know some of the best WordPress plugins to add-on to any WordPress website and want to share our knowledge with you.

Top 3 WordPress plugins you didn’t even know you were missing.

  1. Sucuri Security – The first in our showcase of the best WordPress plugins involved website security. If you know anything about websites, then you might have heard of Sucuri. They are the leading website security platform out there. These platforms include packages offering complete firewall protection against various types of attacks that can be harmful to websites (i.e. malware, DDoS attacks). Packages for Sucuri do cost quite a bit. However, they do have a free firewall plugin that works great as a 1st step, basic protection. Allowing for top tier firewall protection, the Sucuri plugin also has a malware scanner that you can activate at any time – providing you a respected and resourceful tool in making sure your content is secure.
  2. Yoast – Second in our WordPress plugins showcase focuses on search engine optimization, or how users find your website in search engines. Yoast is one of the better-known, and most powerful, SEO plugins out there. While they do have premium plans, their free plugin provides a guiding step for optimizing the pages and content. These steps help your website achieve higher rankings within popular search engines like Google. With very easy-to-use features and guides – Yoast provides the input you need to make sure your website is being ranked and remains competitive with direct competition.
  3. WooCommerce – And the final plugin in our WordPress plugins showcase involved eCommerce. If you are any sort of retail or resale business, you need to look into WooCommerce for your WordPress website. WooCommerce is ranked the #1 plugin for eCommerce, allowing for you to manage your inventory, sales and processing all in one convenient place. The best part? WooCommerce actually comes pre-installed for many templates, all it needs is to be activated. In order to remain competitive, it is crucial to have single inventory/processing system and WooCommerce offers just that!

There are plenty of other WordPress plugins, both free and paid. We have simply found the three described in this article very helpful and user friendly. Site Speed, Spam Prevention, and Interactive Composers – the possibilities are endless. However, don’t feel too overwhelmed. Andromeda is here for all your website needs. We can be sure to guide you in the right direction and make the changes on your behalf.

wordpress content management system web design and development

4 Reasons WordPress Is The Better Choice For Your Professional Website

Times, they are a-changin. When the internet first came ”online” (pun intended) over 20 years ago – websites were a luxury for most businesses. Now in 2017 – they are a necessity. With the world wide web at your fingertips (literally), it’s more important than ever to have a website as a marketing tool for your growing business. With all the choices available – it may be tempting to build a website yourself with proprietary website groups like Wix. However, using for-profit website builders can be costly and have a negative impact on your website down the line. For businesses that truly want a professional website that meets all best practices – traditional based content management systems (cms) like WordPress are the way to go. Let’s dive into a few reasons why:

Reasons To Choose WordPress over Wix

  1. Ads – One of the biggest selling points for proprietary sites is that they are less expensive. Which is great if you are on a budget; however, the less you pay the less you control what content displays on your website. Proprietary sites make revenue on their cheaper packages by allowing advertisements to display on your website. Do you really want your website designer or template creator choosing what ads display on your site? Do you want ads on your site at all? WordPress gives you the control over what content displays on your site. Make sure before engaging in any design for a website, you cover protocol and expectations for ads and content control.
  2. Customization/add-ons – Customization can be pricey. When you purchase a base package or template from a source like Wix, you run the risk of costly add ons adding up (pun intended). Most out-of-the-box templates on Wix do not support ecommerce or SEO. This means add ons need to be purchased in order for your basic functionality. Additionally, you only have access to two levels of pages. This can jeopardize your entire site if mishandled. These templates are also difficult to change. Most companies will not allow you to customize the base template. WordPress on the other hand allows for customization, add ons and SEO. It also plays very well with thousands of plug ins that add nifty functions and unique flare to your site.
  3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)– As stated in the previous point, SEO is not included with most Wix or other proprietary sites unless you pay extra each month. Much of SEO is about keywords and URL selection. With WordPress – you have the ability to customize urls as you see fit. Additionally, there are free SEO plugins that allow you to dive even further into analytics/SEO without incurring additional cost.
  4. Ownership – This is the most important reason to go with WordPress over a Wix site. With proprietary sites – you don’t actually own your domain or your website. The company you purchase from owns all of that. if you want to start something new or change platforms – your domain and your website is the property of Wix. With WordPress – you own your own domain and you own your content. This will allow you to make changes and updates to your overall look and digital marketing as you see fit. It is yours!

Overall, while Wix and other companies like it offer a quick, cheap way to get a website for your business, the cheapest route is rarely going to get you where you want to be. Choosing a cms site like WordPress allows you creativity, ownership, optimization and plug-in-play action you need. Andromeda has had years of experience working with and customizing WordPress websites. Ready to take your business to the next level? Give us a call!

ats website development and design upkeep and maintenance

6 Reasons Your Website Development Is Never Truly Finished

What most don’t realize about website development and design is that your website is your biggest brand ambassador, 24 hours 365 days per year.  It works tirelessly to market your company, constantly finding new clients and educating your existing ones. It is arguably the most public facing and most visible part of your company.  Your website is your brand, culture and marketing rolled up into one neat little ball.

When you are sleeping, it is working.

OK, I think you get the picture.  Website development and maintenance is critical and needs almost constant attention in one way or another.  Whether it is new content, taking down old stale information or just updating pictures – there is always something to do.

Start talking about Search Engine Marketing (SEO) or paid advertising (SEM) and you just added another level of critical web marketing development that constantly need updating.

With that, here are 6 reasons your website development is never truly finished:

Six Website Development Items To Keep Updated

1) Current & Up-to-Date Testimonials/Reviews Are a Must

Remember that client success story you were so proud of 10 years ago?  Well, they went out of business and your prospective client now knows this success story doesn’t really reflect your company today.

2) Images Must Reflect Industry And Product Standards

Woah! – is that a white CRT monitor in the picture of your office.  If you actually still have that monitor, please call us to talk IT – but since you probably don’t – might be time to update the picture.

3) Products Come And Go

No, you don’t sell the XL3000 anymore, but those 10 pages talking about it are driving people to your site, you are attracting valuable customers with the wrong message. Now you disappointed them because you don’t carry the product you want and you are missing out on the clients you do want because you aren’t updating your content.

4) Trends and Aesthetics As Well As Functionality Change Constantly

In the fast paced online marketing world we live in – website trends change every 2-3 years and that 4 year old site really starts looking like that 1986 Saturn.  Now, nothing wrong with the Saturn – great cars, but you probably aren’t going to have people flocking over to check the Saturn out . . . you catch my drift.

5) Search Engines and Bots Reward Change/New Content

Search engines don’t reward sites with old, stale info and they start noticing that people aren’t really visiting your site anymore.  So, you are left wondering why your inbound sales leads are down and that is a vicious circle with a bad ending.  Time to refresh.

6) First Impressions Matter

And, the #1 reason your website is never finished . . . You are trying to grow your business and make more money . . . frankly, your website is the first place people go to check you out – long before they have talked to a single person at your company.  It needs to be current and relevant – always make it a priority.

Keep a look out next month for more web development and SEO content – 3 Reasons You’re NOT Showing Up On Google’s First Page . . . And What To Do About It