Technically Speaking, with Rafael Cappucci
visionASP has been in the business of helping businesses grow, just as Newtek, for the past twelve years, specializing in all aspects of web development from front-end and back-end development, to merchant integration.
Newtek Technology Services: Thanks for speaking with us, Rafael. Why don’t we start by you telling us a little about visionASP and how long you’ve been doing business with Newtek.
Rafael Cappucci: visionASP started in 1998, and has been involved in all levels of website development and design — from basic, static page development to more advanced development. We use everything from the .net to PHP programming languages, depending on the development project. Our services also include e-commerce, content management (CMS) applications, and merchant integration, and can be tailored to customers nationwide. Newtek has been a great resource for us since 2004, providing the highest level of services and support.
NTS: Because you’re an expert in just about all aspects of website development, I wanted to speak with you about a subject that doesn’t often get the attention it deserves—content development and copy writing. Why don’t you share with us your thoughts on what makes good content on a website?
RC: Good content is extremely important and needs to be updated often which is why we recommend CMS systems. The content must change frequently, and it must be made easy for the customer to make the changes. It can change it a number of ways, including the addition of website pages and through blogs. It must be relevant to the customer’s services and products, and must reflect the perspective of the customer.
The website also needs to be easy to navigate. This means that people need to be able to find what they need quickly, without scrolling or hunting. The site should not be cluttered. It should have a consistent theme, with colors that complement each other and good contrast. Other things that make it work for the customer include clean lines, meaningful pictures, and people with smiling faces.
NTS: For most of us, when you visit a website, you’re doing so for the content–the information. But for some of us, when we think of the process of creating a website, our primary thoughts are usually of the design aspects only. The look and feel. The navigation. The aesthetics.
So in terms of hiring a firm to create a website, many of us spend a lot of our energy worrying about the design. This is important, of course, but perhaps the content of the site–the point, usually, of the website–becomes an afterthought. Would you agree with that statement, and how do you tackle content strategy and creation with your clients with that in mind?
RC: We agree; there is always a danger that the content can become an afterthought. That is one of the reasons why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. The content needs to be relevant, providing both “automatic,” up-to-date information and generic information. When the website is being produced, particular attention should be paid to titles, keywords, descriptions, and compelling content. These are things that will keep customers coming back.
NTS: From your experience, how much weight should be placed on SEO when creating content? Should clients worry more about creating quality content, or should a good deal of weight be placed on copy that will best hit on keywords?
RC: SEO should be foremost in mind. Your way to expose your business to the world is through search engines. Quality content and the use of keywords can go hand in hand, without sacrificing anything for the customer. The ability to self manage SEO information is also very important. visionASP and Newtek have tools to make this easier.
NTS: Finally, and to go off topic for just a moment, we get the privilege of working with great customers like yourself, and we try to do a lot on our end to be sure our service is always top-notch. Are there any insights you’d like to share with our readers regarding your own philosophy on customer service?
RC: Yes, certainly. We believe that customer service is paramount. We focus on building a relationship, and on doing whatever is necessary to satisfy the client’s needs so that his or her business grows. From our perspective the client is the king!
For the customer, nothing is more frustrating than leaving a website without getting an answer to a question. For the business owner, this can mean a potential loss of revenue. That is why extra time on the front end — good communication, in other words — could make the difference between success and failure. We believe in taking the time to make sure both our clients and their customers are happy.
NTS: Thanks, Rafael. We appreciate you taking the time to speak with us.
So what’s your thoughts on the importance of content development in the broader development of a website? Let us know in the comments below.