SBDC Website Optimization

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A presentation on getting the most out of your website. Presented to Phoenix-area business owners at the Arizona Small Business Development Center in August 2009.

A presentation on getting the most out of your website. Presented to Phoenix-area business owners at the Arizona Small Business Development Center in August 2009.

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  • Distribute cards. Make sure sign up sheet is circulating.
  • We’re going to talk about making your website do all it can for you.We’ll look at some examples.We’ll review some of your websites.
  • In the ancient lands of Burma, Siam, Sri Lanka, and the Mughol empire of India, a white elephant was a rare and venerated beast.Prized for its pale complexion, housed in regal comfort, attended by a corps of handlers, fed the finest foods. (CLICK)It was a sign of high station to own one.But they ate a lot, took up a lot of room, made a lot of elephant poop.And didn’t do a bit of work.(CLICK)
  • So that’s how a white elephant came to be an unwanted gift.It’s lost its sense of something rare and valuable.
  • Three examples


  • 1. Harnessing the White ElephantMake Your Website Pull Its WeightAugust 20, 2009
  • 2. Let’s Get Acquainted
    • Ed Tankersley
    • 3. President of Eight Trails
    • 4. Smarter websites and online marketing
    20+ years advertising and marketing
    Interactive director
    Creative director
    Led the design and development of more than 50 websites
  • 5. Now Tell Me About You
    How many B2B businesses?
    How many B2C businesses?
    Business size?
    Already have a website?
    Is it doing all it can for you?
  • 6. Harnessing the White Elephant
    Today’s agenda
  • 7. A Fable
  • 8. A Cautionary Tale
  • 9. Feeding the White Elephant
    White elephants
    Eat a lot
    Require a lot of attention
    Don't do a bit of work (unlike their ordinary gray cousins, who bust their elephant butts)
  • 10. Remind You Of Anything?
  • 11. Your Website Costs
    Initial investment
    Domain registration
    Content creation
    Search optimization
  • 12. Your Website Costs
    Ongoing costs
    Domain registration
    Site hosting
    Content creation
    Site updates and maintenance
    Problem resolution
  • 13. Make Your WebsitePull Its Weight
  • 14. Make Your Website Pull Its Weight
    Brand support
    User experience / usability
    Site structure and navigation
  • 15. Brand Support
    Does your website support your brand?
  • 16.
  • 17. User Experience / Usability
    Make your website work for the people who actually use it
  • 18. User Experience / Usability
    Eight Trails’ first rule of website success:
    Figure out what your site visitors want, then give it to them
  • 19. User Experience / Usability
    Who are your website’s most important users?
    What do they want? (Ask them!)
    Ask front-line employees (cashiers, customer service, tech support, sales)
    Testing – Watch actual customers use your website
  • 20. User Experience / Usability
    Important stuff first - Make your website an FAQ
    Every page should quickly answer three questions:
    What is this website about?
    What can I do here?
    What should I do next?
  • 21.
  • 22. User Experience / Usability
    Page Layout
    Restrict your color palette
    Emphasize important stuff
    Use containers to group related content
    Use nesting to imply hierarchy
  • 23.
  • 24. Content
    Is it the content that your users want?
    Is it fresh?
    A blog is a great way to regularly provide fresh, relevant content
  • 25. Site Structure and Navigation
    Organize your site to address your customers’ needs
    Think in terms of the questions your customers have
    Jakob’s Law – Put things where your customers expect them to be
  • 26. …and one more that you have to see to believe:
    Web Mountain Bike
  • 27. Findability
    Make sure you’re found by those who want what you’ve got
    Search optimization
    Site structure – web standards
    Clean and logical HTML
    CSS for styling
    Javascript for actions
  • 28. Fly Fishing Outfitters
    Desert Sportsman
  • 29. Findability
    Don’t build your site in Flash!
    What Not to Do: Einstein Bros.
  • 30. Engagement
    Find ways to begin a conversation with your customer
    Provide something of value in return for an email address
    Research data
    How to guide – Pilot Journey
    Planning tool – Dr. Weil
    Free trial – GoToMeeting
  • 31. Engagement
    Other conversation starters
    Email newsletter signup
    Live chat
    Inquiry form
  • 32. Engagement - Blogs
    You’re already talking about your business. Invite your customers into the conversation.
    Your customers are already talking about your business. Join in.
    Participate regularly - answer comments
    Join in other conversations, too
  • 33.
  • 34. Measurement
    “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” – Peter Drucker
    Set up Google Analytics on your site
    Set up conversion goals
    Start measuring important things
    Views of key engagement pages
    Downloads and form completions
    Referring sites
    Search terms
  • 35.
  • 36. Questions? Comments?
    Ed Tankersley