Since 2002, ITAcceleration has painfully endured multiple website revisions and attempts to gain exposure on the web with outsourced hosting and SEO services. Our ROI was insignificant. In fact, it was a waste of time, money, and resources.
We had a couple of different websites we were running on a well-known, outsourced web hosting environment. The sites were slow rendering and sometimes not accessible. The support was far less than adequate.
Our sites also weren’t showing up in search results so we hired a couple of different SEO companies only to have vendors demonstrate their efforts were marginal at best. Not only that, we had to commit to a long and expensive contract to find that out.
Because we advise and manage technology for a wide range of clients, we found ourselves hearing the same thing from them. One client shared that their company had paid as much as $75,000 in one year for SEO services and earned zero new business.
I call bullshit.
We Took Control
It is unclear why vendors made promises yet never delivered. We decided to take control of our own destiny and set out to create and optimize our own website, hosted in an environment that we managed and controlled.
- Because of our past experience, we wanted to see evidence that our efforts were going to produce results. We did a quick test, aiming for immediate benefit and took before and after measurements. We knew pretty quickly that our efforts were going to pay off.
- We used a tool that increased our self-sufficiency. The tool made it easy for us to add and maintain content on our own, without the intervention of programming staff. “Keep it simple” is how we like to do business!
- We partnered with an SEO specialist that was on board with our philosophy and objectives. We did that early on to ensure our design and implementation choices stayed aligned with Google’s ever changing ranking algorithms.
- We established our own WordPress Managed Hosting environment. We had the infrastructure and expertise in place already. We just weren’t taking advantage of it.
Before and After
We did not want to repeat past mistakes and find ourselves 6-8 months down the road with no meaningful results.
We did a simple test. We optimized one page, one that we’d stuffed with the terms we wanted to rank for and followed SEO best practices to see what the result would be.
We ranked higher. We got our very first piece of new business from the website. Our confidence grew.
Keep It Simple
Content management systems (CMS) have been the buzz for a while now. They provide a way for non-technical people to create and maintain web content on their own. There are hundreds, if not thousands of content management systems on the market.
Not all content management systems are the same. They all have different installation and support requirements, pricing, features, and functionality. Some need a lot more expertise and experience than others. Even the advertised as “easy-to-use” ones can still occasionally require programming intervention (or at least a programmer’s mindset) to do the things you need them to do.
With “there’s an app for that” mentality, WordPress leverages off it’s huge development community to provide web themes (templates) and plug-ins (add-on features / functionality) to quickly and easily create websites that can be simple as a five page site, to a highly complex and dynamic site with a store and custom applications.
Once a WordPress template is in place, a non-technical person can perform the content updates with minimal instruction. Properly defined and deployed, there is no reason the new website cannot stay relevant for 5+ years without having to endure major modifications.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In our experience, SEO is so specialized it requires dedicated, highly-trained staff just to keep up with the competition and Google’s constantly changing rules and preferences. On the flip side, we did not want to be held captive by SEO companies asking for an annual commitment in excess of $30,000 … with no guarantees.
Enter B-SeenOnTop. I met Donna Duncan, CEO of Philadelphia SEO company B-SeenOnTop, as part of our research into SEO providers. I instantly gravitated to her approach and mantra. Like ITAcceleration, B-SeenOnTop provides personalized service and does not require a commitment for services. Their success is based on your success – just like ITAcceleration.
So with Donna’s help, we embarked on a journey to re-create the ITAcceleration website and to validate and exploit the mysteries of Google’s ranking algorithm at the same time. The end result is a new website that provides everything we need from eye candy to a meaningful and accurate explanation of our business philosophy, management team, and services.
With WordPress, website hosting and SEO, we have the ability to easily post content ourselves. We have self-sufficiency, control over our environment and the ability to please Google at the same time.
High Availability, Speed and Support
The last piece involved ensuring our website was up when we needed it to be (all the time!) and running like a finely tuned engine. Donna told us that speed was an important ranking factor for Google, and we knew we could do better on our own.
We set up a managed WordPress hosting environment in our Exton data center using our own site as the first pilot. It was surprisingly easy, but then we are a managed hosting provider for a wide range of clients and technologies in the Philadelphia area, so why wouldn’t it be? We had all the processes, tools and expertise already in place. We just needed to “plug-in” WordPress.
We Take Business Personally
ITAcceleration takes business personally. We cultivate and value lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with our clients, vendors, and partners.
With meaningful metrics, an established WordPress managed hosting environment, highly skilled in-house development resources and now B-SeenOnTop (for WordPress SEO services), we can proudly provide comprehensive and effective web solutions at a fair price.