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A web consultant can provide a wide variety of services to businesses, from designing a web page to maintaining the activity that is generated by the site. While web consultants can serve in an on-site capacity with a company, they typically are brought in for special projects for a limited time. Consultants are sometimes kept on a retainer and used as advisers throughout the company’s business cycle. Start-up businesses may employ a web consultant when they first open. The designer works with the owners to define the company’s goals and find out what they want the website to do for the business.
Many website consultants specialize in search engine optimization (SEO) and will create a site based on the number of hits that certain verbiage receives. They may monitor the Internet for these popular word searches themselves or take advantage of other programs designed to inform users of high volume Internet searches. SEO specialists will incorporate those popular search engine words and phrases in the copy they create to make sure the website receives maximum exposure. The original website creator may continue to monitor the site to track how many visits it receives or install a program that can track the activity for the business.
Web consultants often are marketing specialists as well. They are well-versed in what draws customers to a site and what will keep them there to conduct business with a company. The web consultant may work in tandem with a company marketing team, partner with another full-service ad consultancy or design complete campaigns for a business.
A marketing strategy often includes a thorough study of a company’s competition. While each business wants to portray a unique identity with their products and services, it is useful to understand what strategies are working for businesses in the same industry. Conversely, a new website should not employ an unsuccessful strategy that’s already been tried.
Consumer research plays a big role in the work a consultant brings to the table. By understanding the business or consumer market the client is trying to reach, the consultant can better create a website that meets those needs. Internet consulting companies can host a website on servers they control, or utilize the Internet service provider the company already employs. With proper access codes, consultants can maintain a website by tracking email responses and processing orders, updating the site with current information and reviewing the traffic on the site.
A web consultant also may direct paid web advertising programs by selling the space and tracking its effectiveness. The web consultant will generally be available for ongoing service such as SEO updating, correcting errors and changing contact information when appropriate.
Costs for web consulting services range from one-time website creation charges to ongoing retainer fees or hourly consultation rates.