Who do you call when you want to fix your website? The answer is a lot more complicated than you think.
You migh think that your website is broken if it’s “down” or not loading or maybe if it got hacked. These are all serious problems. But there are probably much bigger and more invisible problems going on with your website — and you don’t even know about it!
The purpose of your website is to attract and convert customers. And, when it’s not functioning properly, you are losing sales.
Where to Get Website Technical Maintenence and Support
Websites are a lot like people. There are many moving interconnected parts and technologies all working together. And it can be tricky to diagnose exactly where the root of your problem is and where and how to start fixing it.
To keep your website fit, secure, and healthy, make sure that you have a developer on retainer. A good developer will make sure that your plugins are updated in a timely manner, they will often recommend tools and resources to keep your site functioning.
Check out these resources:
The services I mentioned above will help with the basics, but now, let’s talk about your website performance. In other words – is it doing what it’s supposed to do?
- Are visitors finding what they are looking for?
- Is traffic growing?
- Are visitors signing up for your offers?
- Is your company and brand being found?
If you feel like your website isn’t doing its job, I’ve laid out a list of website technical professionals, their responsibilities and when to reach out to them.
Website Experts and What They Do
Here’s a quick review of the people you might reach out to for help with your website.
Please note, these are my observations, based on my experience. If you are one of these folks that I mention here, I would LOVE to hear from you!
UX or UI Designer
UX (user experience) or UI (user interface) is related to how easy your site is to navigate. These web professionals are primarily focused on how your visitor experiences your website. How easy is it to find what they are looking for.
This often includes where you put things on the page, but it can also include how you organize your site.
When to use a UX or UI designer: These folks are a great first step when you want to re-design an existing website or start a new site. The UX or UI designer speaks for your customers or website visitors. As you are going through the design process, it’s a good idea to keep a UX designer in the loop for their feedback.
Web designers are typically a creative bunch. Think of them as the architects of your house. They translate your vision into beautiful web design.
They make your website beautiful. Their expertise lies in creating a website design that helps people find what they are looking for quickly and easily. This is called usability, customer experience, or user experience (UX).
When to use a web designer: Hire a web designer when you want to design a new website or re-design an existing website. You might already have a WordPress theme that you like, and a good web designer will be able to customize that theme for your business.
Web architects are responsible for creating and implementing the overall organization of your website. A web architect conceptualizes the structure of a website and plans exactly how its different components will be linked together.
When to use a web architect: If you’re starting a new website or you realize that you need a major redesign of your website, you’ll want to speak to a web architect. Think of a web architect as the person who takes what the UX designer gave you and making it work on the back end.
Web developers are responsible for all aspects of website development, from the design and technical components, and in some positions, assisting with content.
They are the engineers of your web property. Web Developers take the design from the web designers and literally “build” those visual features into the code.
Web developers can also inspect your code and see if there is anything malicious going on in there.
If your website has been hacked, a good web developer can often clean that up for you.
When to use a web developer: They are often the first person you call when your site is “down” or your site has been hacked. Think of them as the General Practitioner of website doctors.
You want to have a web developer on your team (even part-time) to make sure that your website is updated and secure. Even with the best maintenance. Things can and do go wrong and you want to have someone on call who can fix it.
Types of SEO Services
This is a broad-reaching category of people. The world of search engine optimization is broad and ultimately complicated.
In its effort to deliver exactly the results that users want, Google has created an entire eco-system and industry of Search Engine specialties.
Here are just a few types of SEO services that I’ve used. In fact, After diagnosing some specific problems I wanted to resolve on my website, I had a hell of a time trying to find exactly the right set of skills to fix it.
I suppose you can say that I know enough to be dangerous. And this has both helped me and hurt me. Hopefully what I share here will help you.
Technical SEO includes having expertise in the following areas:
- Code Efficiency
- Mobile Response
- Website Speed
Web architecture is how your site is organized. This would include categories, navigation, menus, mobile, and more.
Technical SEO also includes expertise in and ability to fix Google Search Console errors. But not every technical SEO person can do this. You have to find someone who
“Content SEO refers to creating content that helps your web pages to rank high in the search engines. It includes everything to do with the writing and structuring of content on your website. There are three major elements you need to consider to produce content that will make your website rank well: keyword strategy, site structure, and copywriting.” (Yoast)
This is the most common understanding of SEO. Content SEO includes keyword research, basic site structure, copywriting, and content design. Most of the SEO advice you see online are from this area.
You have an important role when it comes to content SEO. The business owner begins the process by seeding the keyword research process, and setting up the basic website organization.
But, if you are in a competitive business, you will want to get some help with this. A good content SEO expert can help you create a content plan, designate your categories and pillar or cornerstone content.
“On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines.” (Moz)
It’s critical to invest in on-page SEO, especially for product or service pages as well as specific blog content.
According to Moz, “Off-page SEO” (also called “off-site SEO”) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs).
Optimizing for off-site ranking factors involves improving search engine and user perception of a site’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority.
One of the most popular areas of off-page SEO is backlinking. Your business may have received cold emails from people offering to get backlinks to your site. Or maybe some SEO agencies have told you that backlinks are a driver of authority and that they can get you those backlinks. BEWARE.
The best way to get backlinks is to create powerful and useful content for your audience. In the past, guest posting was a popular way to get those backlinks from reputable sites. But times have changed.
These days, guest posting is fine to reach new audiences to gain credibility from a reputable site in your industry. But Google has made significant changes to its rules on linking back to sites.
Rand Fishkin of Moz has said: “Don’t build links. Build relationships.”
- The Scoop On Backlinking & Content: How Should “Getting Links” Fit Into Your Content Marketing Today?
- How to Get High-Quality Backlinks
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Originally, Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization were interchangeable. But today, Search Engine Marketing is used to describe “Paid Search” such as Pay Per Click.
“Organic search, also known as natural search, refers to unpaid search results. In contrast to paid search results (pay-per-click advertising), which are populated via an auction system, organic search results are based on relevance to the user’s search query, links and domain authority, and other organic ranking factors.” (Wordstream)
Organic SEO is something your business should be doing by default. It’s understood. If you’re doing a content marketing strategy, organic SEO wil be 80% of your effort.
Pay Per Click Advertising
The other side of organic SEO is paid advertising or PPC (Pay Per Click). Even though you’re paying for your content to be listed at the top of the SERP, there is a tremendous amount of organic SEO skill that goes into setting up a successful Google Ads PPC campaign
If you want to do PPC advertising, it’s very important that you have solid organic SEO and content SEO practices in place. Your advertising will be much more effective if you have a firm understanding of the keywords you are targeting.
“OK Google, what’s voice search?”
“In 2018, voice searches made up 20% of Google search queries, 25% of Bing searches” Voice SEO is required for your content to show up in results for the voice questions asked of voice assistants. (TechTarget)
Small businesses that jump on the voice search trend can reap big benefits. Whether you’re a plumber with the best answer for “how to unclog a toilet” or a looking for the closest coffee shop.
Most voice assistants still struggle with general questions that an expert in your industry (probably you) could answer.
Reputation management is so much more than Google or Yelp reviews. Your goal in managing your online reputation is to make sure that your company, product or brand is at the top of the search results.
If your business has gotten a few bad (or irrelevant bad reviews), the best way to overcome them is to push them further down in the search results.
A good reputation management company or contractor can help you shore up your content and positive brand mentions online.
How to Search and Find the Right Person to Help You Maintain Your Website
Do your research and read credible sources
Using this article as a headstart, create a trusted library of sources. Here is a list of experts and publications that I follow religiously.
- Yoast SEO Academy
- Yoast Blog
- The Write Blog by Express Writers
- Orbit Media Blog
- SEMRush Blog
- Backlinko by Brian Dean
Reach out to your network
If you suspect that your website could be doing a better job of attracting and converting customers, share your concerns with your network and see who they might recommend.
Find an expert on UpWork
If you’re pretty sure that you know where the problem is and what you want to do to fix it, you can find terrific experts on sites like UpWork.
My recommendation is that you focus your search on US-based contractors and that you look at those people who are charging more than $40/hr and have received ratings of 4+ stars.
How Much to Budget for Fixing and Maintaining Your Website
Maintaining and optimizing your website never stops. It’s an ongoing project because technology is changing, your customer’s wants are changing and Google is constantly updating something.
You will need to set aside a monthly budget for maintaining, fixing and supporting your website. Depending on your situation, you may end up paying more for a few months to fix any glaring errors. Typical charges for website maintenance and security is about $100 per month. If you need help with any type of SEO, average rages are anywhere from $75 – $150 per hour.
If that sounds like a lot, believe me, it’s money well spent. DO NOT skimp on this and hand your site over to someone you do not trust.
The Bottom Line
Your website isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it project. It’s a lead generation machine and a 24/7 sales rep. The least you can do is keep that lead generation fire burning.