Interview with Jason Teichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Web.com
Web.com has a pretty big web presence and thousands of employees in dozens of offices around the world. The hosting and domain name registrar goes beyond the basics, giving people SEO services and other digital marketing offerings. We learned about the Web.com way when we sat down with Jason Teichman, the EVP and COO of Web.com.
Can you tell us about how Web.com was founded, and how you got that awesome domain name?
The company was founded as Atlantic Teleservices in Jacksonville, Florida back in 1997 – and 10 years later, we acquired Web.com. Back then, Web.com was primarily a do-it-yourself website-building business. We officially changed our company name to Web.com when we completed the acquisition.
What services are offered by Web.com?
Web.com provides a full range of digital marketing services to small businesses to help them compete and succeed online. That can be anything from initial domain purchase and registration, to businesses that are just starting out – all the way to complex eCommerce solutions for small business owners who are looking to sell multiple products online. We also offer hosting, website design and management, search engine optimization, online marketing campaigns, social media, mobile products and all the coaching and consultation a small business owner may need to execute these online strategies effectively. No matter where a business is in its life cycle, we are ready to jump in and help business owners take their online presence to the next level.
Can you tell us specifically about the marketing products that you offer? Do you consider that a key differentiator of yours and do you see a heavy demand for the products?
Our biggest differentiator is our people. Unlike many others in the marketplace, we don’t simply sign up a new customer, offer them a few design templates and send them on their way. Our DIY services are important for those customers who choose that route, but there are many more small business owners who need expert advice to build an attention-grabbing online presence. That’s where our people come in. We offer ongoing, real live support for all of our website building and marketing products. It’s not unusual for a new DIY customer to procrastinate when it comes to building their website. We have a dedicated team of coaches who will engage the customer and actively help them build their website. This is a unique service in the DIY market.
And it’s more than just building a website. In today’s online environment, security is very important. Protecting customer information cannot be taken for granted. For example, many websites use open source platforms, like WordPress. Since it is an open source platform, keeping your WordPress site’s security up-to-date is a challenge for most small businesses. Web.com offers Secure WordPress services which offers an SSL certificate, real time malware scanning and removal, automatic plugin updates and more – thus eliminating the onus on the small business owner.
And yes, our marketing products are another big differentiator for us. They include promotion in all the major directories online (including the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing), managing listings in GPS devices, the creation and management of social media channels like Facebook Places and even the online Yellow Pages. We also can monitor a customer’s online reviews on sites like Yelp, help them generate local leads, ensure they have professionally branded email addresses for all their employees, and help them build and execute their SEO strategy as well as their Facebook advertising strategy. Our goal is to help small business owners be visible everywhere and anywhere their customers might be searching.
What is the breakdown of web services that are provided by Web.com?
Our web services are completely scalable: Whether you want you want to build your site yourself, have the Web.com team build it for you, or find an option that is somewhere in between – we have offerings to meet those needs:
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) – Web.com’s Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Website Design packages includes everything customers need to create a unique and successful web presence for their business. Web.com’s SiteBuilder package includes an easy-to-use website building tool with hundreds of starter templates to customize a site’s design. Customers also get starter content, features keeping them connected with their customers and prospects, and a stock image library. Our DIY services include live consultants who are available to coach customers throughout the DIY process, making sure that they have all the tools and support needed to succeed.
- Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) – Web.com’s team of experts build a professional website that represents a customer’s business in the best possible way. This includes content development, design, website marketing and monthly updates.
Again, we believe our people make the real difference.
We also have a number of core services that we offer including:
- Hosting: Web.com offers a complete suite of small business web hosting services to build and power web presence. Services include Developer Solutions, Microsoft Hosted Exchange, and eCommerce packages.
- Domain Registration: When registering a domain name with Web.com, customers receive 24/7 support as well as the option to add Perfect Privacy, which secures the personal information associated with a domain name.
Would you say Web.com is more of a hosting company or a marketing company?
We’re truly both! We know it’s not enough to just offer a website template or the backend technology you need to run your website – it’s important to make sure our customers’ sites are functional, secure and as user friendly as possible, so they can compete and succeed online. At the end of the day, you have about eight seconds for your site to make a good impression. A site that’s unappealing to its target market, or that functions poorly, can harm a new business more than help it. That’s why we’re in the business of helping our customers with every aspect of their online presence.
How many offices do you have, where are they located, and how many employees do you have? What is the breakdown of employees from hosting to marketing?
Web.com has approximately 2,200 employees and has 26 locations across North America, South America and the United Kingdom. Locations include:
- Jacksonville, FL
- Spokane, WA
- Scottsdale, AZ
- Atlanta, GA
- Dallas, TX
- Sugar Land, TX
- San Antonio, TX
- Pittsburgh, PA
- St. Louis, MO
- Columbus, OH
- Dublin, OH
- Herndon, VA
- Manassas, VA
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Drums, PA
- Charlotte, NC
- Durham, NC
- Nashville, TN
- Boston, MA
- Minneapolis, MN
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Barrie, ON, Canada
- Halifax, Canada
- Yarmouth, Canada
- Cardiff Wales, UK
- Buenos Aries, Argentina
What is the demographic and geographic breakdown of Web.com's customers?
We work with customers all across the US, Canada and the world.. We will work with anyone who needs help establishing or advancing their online presence.
What inspired you to show an ad on TV?
Our marketing strategy is simple – we want to be wherever our customers are. Every marketing decision we make takes into account the needs, actions and trends of small business owners.
Can you tell us what your experience in working with Register.com brought to Web.com? What takeaways did you bring to the company?
From 2008-2010, I served as Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management at Register.com, where I was responsible for all aspects of customer marketing, loyalty, pricing, product management and new product development. In 2010, Web.com acquired Register.com and I first transitioned to an EVP & Chief Marketing Officer role with the company before my current role.
The acquisition of Register.com was a transformative event for Web.com, creating one of the largest online marketing and web services companies serving small businesses. I think the biggest takeaway is Register.com’s core competency in domain name services, which has been the perfect complement to Web.com's focus on providing value-added, online marketing solutions to our customers.
How did you end up in IT after working in finance? Can you tell us about your climb on the corporate ladder, as well as how it felt moving to a different industry?
I spent nine years working at American Express, where I held various management positions, most recently Vice President of Marketing within the Consumer Card Group. I’d say the biggest similarity between AmEx and Web.com is that both companies have gone out of their way to help small business owners succeed. It’s what makes me happy to come to work every day.
Do you find the need to evolve your marketing offerings due to the rapid changes of Google, such as Penguin and Panda?
Our business is evolving every day, just like the larger online marketplace is. And I’m pleased to say that Google is an important strategic partner of ours (as are Yahoo and Bing), which helps us stay one step ahead of today’s ever-changing online trends. It’s partnerships like these that enable us to continue to provide the relevant advice our small business customers need.
What tactics does Web.com use to market and stay ahead of the crowd?
To continuously reach our customers and add value, we created a Small Business Forum as a place where customers can access the latest news, insights, data, expert advice, and free resources including e-books, how-to videos and more.
We also offer our Webwise Workshops, a series of free, live educational events held in locations across the country in conjunction with the PGA TOUR. Last year, we hosted more than 50 of these workshops across the US, Canada and South America.
Do you consider yourself more of a website builder company or a web hosting company?
Again, I’m pleased to say that we’re both. We’re really in the business of helping small business owners compete and succeed online – which could mean helping them build a web site, helping them host a web site or helping them market their online presence to the world.
Do you find that people are more interested in website builders than standard hosting these days? Why or why not?
Most small businesses are not sure what they need when it comes to being online. We truly believe that our people are our biggest differentiator. Unlike many others in the marketplace, we don’t simply sign up a new customer, offer them a few design templates and send them on their way. In today’s business environment, many small business owners need expert advice to build an attention-grabbing online presence because they don’t have the time or expertise. That’s where our people come in. We offer ongoing, real live support for all of our website building and marketing products.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
One last thought – if you feel you do not have the expertise or time to spend on a successful web presence, find a trusted business partner, like Web.com, to help you. You won’t regret it.