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Recently, Rizco’s Debra and Keith Rizzi were guests on “It’s Your Money”, a live-stream TV show with hosts Jo Ann Morgano and Martin Saltzman, two financial planning experts.

They chatted about the importance of design in marketing and how you can account for it in your business plan.

Check out the Q&A below!

1. How does Rizco get started and briefly talk about your roles with the company?

Deb: Rizco was founded in New York City after Keith, and I left our agency, Porter Novelli, after a family tragedy. 23 years later, as a brand-led marketing agency, we have ten employees and recently earned our woman-owned status from the WBENC.

On a daily basis, I am responsible for strategy, sales, and growth of the agency.

Keith: As the Creative Director, I lead the design team and personally still design for many of our clients.

2. A website is a huge representation for ALL businesses. How is the website vital to a company’s brand and marketing strategy?

Deb: Fun fact: According to Siteefy, in Feb 2023, 175 new websites were created every minute and 252,000 each day worldwide. So important. It’s the hub, the core of each marketing campaign.

  • It acts as a 24/7 marketing tool – online presence and credibility.
  • It can be used for automation as a lead is captured. It can activate email campaigns and feed into your CRM (customer relationship management) systems – the most popular being Salesforce and HubSpot.

3. How does a company kickstart the website process?

Keith: The first question is, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE? Are you trying to sell a product or service, promote something educational, source donations, or generate leads? You also have to identify personas or determine who your target audience is. Then, you have to find a domain name. Utilize sites like GoDaddy to search for available domain names, and sometimes your site can be hosted there as well. Finally, design and development can come into play.

4. Why is it important to use a professional agency like Rizco vs. going it alone?

Deb: Our biggest advantage is our branding and technical expertise; websites take a LOT of time. On average, we spend 175 hours on a basic 20-page site. But that’s because we’re thorough. Your website is a reflection of your brand, so from a visual and verbal standpoint, we focus on three main areas:

  • Brand proposition
  • Demographics
  • User experience

Keith: We also can handle the site long-term, so we’ll take care of hosting, compliance, and maintenance. These are all things you shouldn’t have to worry about when running your business.

We typically use WordPress and Shopify with many of the sites we set up. However, if you have to do it on your own, then we recommend Wix and Squarespace.

5. How does Rizco help clients with content development for their website?

Deb: Content is KEY! We look at this in two ways:

  • Research: We look at the competition and do keyword research for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Brand Messages: We identify and enhance the company’s values, key differentiators, and story that needs to be told.

Both of these factors heavily influence the content we implement on our clients’ sites.

6. How can the business measure the success of its website?

Keith: Analytics are vital to measuring traffic, engagement, and conversions, such as filling out a form. Most of our clients use Google Analytics to accomplish this; however, this will soon be referred to as GA4.

GA4 is a major upcoming shift in the industry right now, and a few of our team members have already been training in this area in order to make the shift as seamless as possible for our clients.

Two other quick ways to measure are search engine rankings and, of course, revenue if you are selling a product.

7. How do social media and a company’s website work hand-in-hand as part of a marketing ecosystem?

Deb: Social media is integral to the success of marketing campaigns. It’s another way to tell a story, connect and converse with your customers. Essentially it is used to drive traffic to the website and vice versa. A social post should have a link to drive to the website for more information or to purchase. Websites do the same thing where many times on a blog, you will have social sharing options to click a link to repost on your personal social media channels.

8. Can you discuss the fee structure for website design and development?

Deb: To enter the market with a freelancer, it’s typically a minimum of $5,000, and for an agency, $20,000. However, this all depends on the technical requirements. If you need e-commerce, user accounts, and higher-level functionality, then these types of sites can easily surpass $100,000.

Keith: We always recommend triple bidding and ensure you ask about additional costs such as hosting, maintenance, and the pricing for updates. In uncertain markets, business owners are concerned about making the investment. So, ask for a payment plan and ensure that you can answer “what is the purpose of the site?” before entering the project.

Interested in starting a new website or revamping an existing site? Let’s talk!

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