Question :
Hi, we have a small business that is unable to open at Level 3 and one of the things that we have been looking to do is improve our website to expand our sales opportunities but finding it extremely hard to know where to start. We have a current website that is hosted by a 3rd party for a monthly fee – this is mainly to increase our search engine optimisation. This results in us having limited ability to update or improve our website without additional cost – we can update photos, but not create additional pages/update wording etc outside of our 30 minutes free a month. We have no e-commerce functionality.Can you provide some assistance on the below: – If we change our web host and move to one where we have complete control, is it difficult and time consuming to ensure we have good search engine optimisation? – How much time and effort would be required to ensure a good SEO? – If it is something we can do ourselves, are their suggestions for a good (and free/cheap) option for web hosting that we can create and update ourselves that also has e-commerce options? – Anything we need to be mindful of when selecting a new web host?Thanks GB

Question submitted 04/05/20 @ 12:17pm
Industry: Digital and Technology
  • Hi

    Check out Manaaki’s new ‘One Thousand Free Websites” initiative and register for your free online store today. It sounds like it would tick a lot of boxes for you.

    SEO can be as easy or as difficult as you want. Most of the easy wins are about tailoring your website’s titles and descriptions, headings, and content to include the search terms that you want to target. If you’re in a very competitive market, it is worthwhile to target more unusual search terms that your bigger competitors might not worry about. Google Ads is a great way to gather crucial data on what your visitors are actually searching for. We use MOZ.com to guide our SEO. I recommend you start using it and it will give you recommendations on where your site needs to improve.

    Good luck.


    Hi Anon
    First thing I would do is establish what platform your website was built on, that will hep in deciding how easy it is to move to another provider or ideally bring it “in-house”. If you can migrate it to something like Silverstripe or one of the other many open source platforms it will give you a lot more freedom to manage the site yourself and make any required changes without paying a third party and at no cost. Choice of platform will depend on the complexity of your site and the security needed. You can then still use a third party to help with SEO/SEM if needed. Agree with the other noted points from Matt on the subject. Regards Bob

    Hi Matt,
    I don’t understand why having a third party host your website would hinder your ability to post content, you should have access to a CMS. I wrote a book explaining how to implement SEO in laymens terms (published by Penguin Random House). It is specifically aimed as small businesses in NZ.
    You can buy a copy online (https://www.fishpond.co.nz/Books/How-to-Get-to-Top-of-Google-Search-Richard-Conway/9780143773535) or if you can get down to Northcote once the lockdown is over I can give you a copy.

    Hi Matt,
    As a website developer I see lots of clients who have only been granted limited access to their own websites. I believe that the Developers do this to stop the clients uploading ridiculously large images or installing plugins that could break the site etc. This is your website though and is an important business asset. With a set of technical guidelines (image sizes etc) you should be able to update the site if you choose.

    The SEO aspect of the site is complex and any changes to the site should be made with this in mind. Good SEO is inseparable from good user experience, so if there’s information about your business you need your clients or customers to know, it’s important for them – and for your SEO – that you’re able to add it. I would recommend chatting to your web developer or SEO team before you add new pages or radically change content, so that you can gain their insight into how best to integrate the new content.

    Moving the site to new hosting won’t necessarily affect the SEO but do be aware that the quality of the hosting does affect the speed of the site, so choose a host that is appropriate for your site size and CMS, and has a reputation for reliability and good support.

    Whoever manages your website should be open to conversations about how best to grow the site to match the growth of your business. If they are not then I’d recommend finding someone who is.


    Sorry for calling you Matt, GB! Nice name but clearly not yours!

    Moving a site can be a big job – I have seen it done wrong – have to give you an hour on the phone to understand what you are looking to do – No cost – no sales pitch 021 134 60 59


    Contact David Kelly (david@zeald.com), they are offering extremely subsidised (free) websites as a way to give back during Covid.

    Their pitch:

    GEM = Get Ecommerce Movement = help Kiwi SME’s achieve rapid digital transformation so that NZ experiences a digital revolution = starting with an initial batch of 500 free ecommerce sites.

    Zeald are a great company to work with, hope it goes well for you.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.