Scott Lipow is not a fan of do-it-yourself website building, especially if the site is being created for B2B purposes.
“If you are starting a business and your resources are limited, you have to do what you have to do,” said Lipow, president of Six7 Marketing, a Fairfield-based agency that specializes in website development, search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing. “But once you hit a certain point, the web builders of the world just don’t cut it. So, if you’re using a GoDaddy web builder or a Weebly web builder, you can only go so far with those. They have a lot of limitations — they are drag and drop, so you can’t really customize it much. If your business is growing and you feel it is time to have something much more robust and professional for everyone out there to see you, then you have to go with a professional.”
However, Lipow pointed out that not all professionally built B2B sites are created equally. And some, he acknowledged, are decidedly less efficient than others.
“A big mistake that a business will make is to build a website and not really pay attention to how it is built for Google until later on, or just totally neglect that,” he continued. “You want to consider everything that Google is looking for in a website. Without getting too nerdy about it, you want to make sure the website is structurally set up for Google. The page-by-page layout needs to have the information displayed to the user in a way that is topical — one page for one topic, one page for another topic and that way you can tell Google that on this page you are experts on this topic, while on that page you are experts on another topic.”
For example, Lipow explained that if the site is being created on behalf of a law firm, “you want to have different pages for your different practice areas. If you are an e-commerce site, you want to have different pages for different product categories.”
Lipow, who launched his business in September 2011 and whose client base includes the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts and several law firms and financial services consultants, believed that many business professionals are not quite up to speed in comprehending the basic tenets of SEO strategy.
“To somebody that doesn’t know much about it, sometimes you have to educate them about it,” he said. “People understand the concept and want to know how you are going to make it happen.”
And how does it happen? “It’s all keyword based,” he said. “You put thought into how the end customer will be looking for you on Google. There are certain keywords that are a lot more competitive and all of your competitors will be trying to get to the top of Google with those. And there are other words that are known in the industry as longtail keywords that are more niche and less competitive — and if someone has less resources dedicated to SEO, you look to be more competitive for those less competitive keywords.”
Lipow admitted that while adding audio and video components to a website can help jazz it up, those elements will not make it stand out via search engines.
“I think strategically,” he said. “Other web designers may think from a design standpoint, but I think strategy first. What is the most important thing: for your website to look nice or for you to get more customers?”
Still, Lipow had no qualms on incorporating real media into a website as long as it circles back to the search engines.
“The thing you want to do is take advantage of anything that Google has its fingerprints on, which is YouTube owned by Google,” he said. “If you can have videos on YouTube that are integrated on your website, then it is advantageous to your website.”
And while Lipow is patient in explaining the basic fundamentals of website development and SEO strategies, he admitted that there are still many people who are a bit too far behind the learning curve.
“I think people understand their iPhones better than website functions,” he said, with a laugh.