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Our Frequently Asked Questions

Do you use templates?

Whilst all our websites use a common framework, we do not use templates. Each website is designed to meet the requirements of the business and match existing or required branding. Each page layout can be different in order to make the most of the content provided. In fact, we rarely start the design until we have all your content, so we can decide what will work best for you, this will include your business logo and branding colours to give your website a distinct look.

Do I need to provide the content for the website?

Yes. However, we will guide you in the structure and content required for your website to meet your objectives for the website. You will then need to provide us with the text, images, any related marketing material and additional documents necessary. You don't need to worry about the style and format of the content as we will be taking care of this in the website design to make the most of your content. We will also do our best to make changes that will improve the representation of your business and optimise your content for search engines. We will also advise in the use of stock photo images if you don't have the images you need. Ultimately, you are responsible for the content of your website and will have the final say.

Am I contracted for a fixed term for my website?

No. You can terminate your website at any stage. We will contact you each year when your renewal is due to collect your renewal payment. You can let us know then if you no longer wish to keep the website and we will remove the website and any associated emails. If we administer your domain name for you, then we can transfer it to another supplier but there may be a small admin fee to do this (currently £15)

Can I edit and update my website myself?

A full content management system is included as standard for our comprehensive brochure website and online shops as part of the package to allow you to manage your online shop.

What happens once my website is launched?

It can take between 24 and 48 hours for your website to go live across the internet. We'll let you know when this has happened and provide details to access your emails if we are providing this service. We will also be registering your website with search engines in order to prompt them to index your website. In theory, it can take a few months for Google to index your site but in reality it usually takes a few weeks or even days. Until you have been indexed, your site will not appear in search results. Your ranking for different search terms will improve over time but is of course dependent on competition for similar websites in your sector.

How will I access my email?

If we provide emails for you, then you will be issued with login user ids and passwords for each email address after the website has been launched. The emails we provide are POP3 emails and can be accessed via a web browser using a webmail facility, similar to gmail and hotmail. In addition, it is also possible for you to setup an email program like Outlook, MAC mail or a mobile device to access your emails. We will provide you with the necessary settings to do this. The setup will vary slightly depending on the program or device. Whilst we don't support these other facilities we will endeavour to advise if we can.

What maintenance and support do you provide?

Both our comprehensive website package and online shop package include our support and maintenance service. This includes support by email and phone in the use of your website and related online marketing. We will also provide minor updates and changes to your website; most small tasks that take 5-10 mins will be included e.g. add a testimonial, change prices, add an image etc. adding new content, features or work involving the redesign of the website is not included and will be charged at £25 per hour.

We will always tell you when charges will be applicable and can provide a quote for work on request. You will also receive emails from us offering further advice to support you in developing your website as a key marketing tool for your business.

Our online shop package also includes an initial onsite training sessions to get you familiar with updating and running your online shop.

Other support arrangements including ongoing onsite training and support can also be agreed. Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

Do you provide SEO as part of the website package?

All our sites are optimised for search engines. We use code that is friendly to search engines which means it is easy to read and index. We will discuss your key marketing terms which you expect people to use when searching for your products and services. The website will then be built bottom up based on those terms. This gives you the best chance of being found for these terms on Google and other search engines.

However, you are open to competition and so exact positions in search engine results cannot be guaranteed. Good ranking results also depend on how much other promotion of your business and website takes place online. We do provide other monthly SEO services for clients who wish to further improve their ranking for search terms related to their business. Please see www.activseo.com for details.

What's the difference between SEO and Pay per Click (sponsored ads)?

Pay per click are the sponsored ads shown at the top of Google search results and on the right hand side of the results page; normally in a shaded background colour. These are paid ads shown by Google for clients using its Adwords services. You decide what key search term you wish your ad to be shown for and then Google will display it when a user searches with the same phrase. You pay every time a user clicks on your ad. Where you appear in the sponsored results depends on how much you bid to pay per click compared to the competition and to some extent the relevance of your site to the phrase you target. This is basically like other advertising and can work well for businesses, driving traffic to their website. However, it is possible to waste a lot of money if not done properly and like all advertising, once you stop paying you have nothing left.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is about increasing your website ranking in the 'natural'\'organic' search results on Google for your key marketing phrases. It requires a combination of a well optimised website (see above) and promotion of your website online across the internet for the key marketing terms you target.

There are no easy solutions to this and Google constantly changes the way it indexes websites too. However, often local businesses can do very well, picking up business for search terms related to their business in their local area. It takes a lot of effort on a regular basis to achieve good rankings and this what Activ SEO is doing for many of its clients with a monthly SEO service. Approximately 40% of users never click on the sponsored links\ads on Google; prefering to trust the natural search results. Unlike Google Adwords, SEO is more of an investment in your website as all the information that is published on your business on the internet stays there working long after you may have stopped your SEO efforts. SEO can be a confusing topic so please contact us if you would like to know more.

What if I have a bespoke requirement that is not standard to your website packages?

Our website packages provide everything that most small businesses need for a professional online business; saving you time, costs and generating business - all for a fixed price. We can also offer a number of enhanced marketing options to deal with specific client requirents. In addition, we also have a bespoke development team that can add or adapt functionality or even develop a completely bespoke website from scratch based on your requirements.

Don't feel you are limited by our standard packages as we have the resources to develop complete flexibility. It also means that our clients can be assured that we can continue to support them as their business grows and their requirements adapt over time.

Can I transfer my website to another web designer?

Many of our clients have been with us for a number of years now and we continue to adapt their website to maintain and develop it as a valuable marketing tool. We don't think you'll find the need to leave us and we're always happy to discuss options for redesign or upgrade to make sure you are entirely happy with your website and the service we provide.

However, all the HTML/CSS code and images for your website is openly available for another developer to copy and rebuild your website with their own chosen content management system. We don't provide file transfer access as this would allow anyone to access our Activ's great proprietary development software - you need to be one of the Activ team for that. In reality, if you move to a new web designer, it is likely you will want something different anyway.

If we administer your domain name, you will need to arrange to transfer this to a new provider and there may be a small admin charge for this (currently £15).

Does the website work on mobile phones and other portable devices?

Yes. All our responsive website's will work perfectly well on mobile phones and other devices.

We also have a service to provide a dedicated mobile website for clients which is then made available to mobile users. This will reflect the original site design but has content and functionality specifically targeted to the mobile user. This is often a better option for most small businesses where their content does not change significantly in the short term and provides the best experience for the mobile user including specific mobile functions like click to call buttons, location maps, and simple form filling. Our dedicated mobile sites can include some great marketing tools like vouchers, blog feeds, pay facilities and much more. Read more about Our Mobile Websites.

What other online marketing services do you provide?

In addition to our web design and SEO services, we can also support you with a wide range of related services including email marketing, photography, video production and editing, copywriting, logo design and more. If we don't have the skills in house, then we work with other selected local suppliers who we believe are right for our clients. If you are not sure if we can help, then just ask us. If we don't think we are the right people for what you need, then we will say and do our best to recommend someone else. We only take on clients that we know will be entirely happy with what we provide.

NOTE: The above information applies to the services provided by Phillip Dowling at Activ Net Marketing Web Design Middlesbrough. Much of the information will be the same for other local Activ advisors but you should check details with any other local advisor in your area.

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