As many website and online business owners know, trying to manage your small business is often a juggling act – keeping on top of business plans and product launches alongside keeping your site up to date with fresh content to generate new leads and sales.
If you’re running a small business, especially a start-up, you may not have enough of a budget to employ full time content writers, designers and support staff, so might want to think about outsourcing some of the key elements of your businesses to generate new click throughs and sales. Below, you’ll find a few tips on where to go to get the best content, design and support for your business.
When it comes to search engines, especially Google, content is KING! It’s important to make sure that all your content is SEO friendly and relevant to whatever it is your company is specialising in. When you’re hiring a content writer, ensure they can not only write coherently, but won’t fill all of the content heavily with repetitive keywords that can incur Google penalties and lower your ranking on all search engines. Make sure, when you’re looking for a content writer/writers, you write a detailed brief, explaining exactly what you need for your site, the tone of voice (or house-style) and possibly if you want to use British English or American English as these things can make a huge difference to the flow of your site – you don’t want visitors/customers to get the impression that your site is a hotchpotch of guest writers and bloggers if you’re trying to stick to one voice throughout.
Some of the best places to find good quality content writers are:
www.peopleperhour.com, https://www.elance.com/, https://www.odesk.com/, www.freelancer.com: All attract writers from around the world, this can be one of the cheapest places to find content writers, but always check their recommendations on their profile or if they’re new to the site, ask for examples of writing.
SEO content: There are numerous SEO content companies on the web which you will pay more for but they will specialise in SEO relevant content. Have a look at these for some ideas: http://www.branded3.com/blogs/top-25-most-visible-seo-agencies-in-the-uk-according-to-searchmetrics/
Before you start to look for a web designer, make sure you know exactly what you want for your small businesses. Are you looking for someone to create the whole layout, colour scheme, graphics etc, or just tweaks on what you already have set up?
As with content writers, always write a detailed brief outlining everything you need from a designer from the colour scheme to a site map, so your designer will know how the flow of the site should work. Prepare a list of questions to ask potential designers and get recommendations of previous projects plus make sure you get references (do searches on Linkedin). Always ensure you know and THEY know, how long they’re going to be needed for – is this an ad hoc project or if you’d potentially want them working part time on a more permanent basis?
Some key places to look for designers:
www.peopleperhour.com, www.elance.com, www.folyo.com, http://web.designcrowd.com/outsource, www.odesk.com – All of these allow you to post jobs online and receive bids from designers (or writers as above). You can search online for more specialised design companies but as before, you’ll be paying more money for these types of companies.
As with content and design, the upkeep of your site and continued support, is key to keeping your business running successfully.
As with any form of outsourcing, you’ll need to draw up a plan/brief of exactly what sort of IT support it is you’re looking for. The main elements you might want to consider are: data storage, monitoring servers, looking after day-to-day in house computers, is 24 hour coverage needed?
There are hundreds of outsourcing companies on the web, but these reviews should help you find the best ones: http://online-tech-support-review.toptenreviews.com/ and http://www.itdonut.co.uk/it/it-support/outsource-it-support – both listing companies such as Geek Squad, IYogi and Support.com