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Websites 2012 for small businesses

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PowerPoint presentation to support website on Digital Marketing, adress of website section as follows: http://tinyurl.com/axsufmz

PowerPoint presentation to support website on Digital Marketing, adress of website section as follows: http://tinyurl.com/axsufmz

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  • I have been giving this presentation for 3 years now. I laugh when i look at the original version “effective websites for small businesses”Such is the rapid changeCome complete circle on some issuesOnly an Introduction – not a how to!Small Businesses perspective onlyRe engineered it in the light of past comments and made it an overview only. Taken out a lot of detail to get within 1.5 hoursAbout apprcistion “know what you dont know” rather than “how to” education.
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    • 1. Websites 2012: for Small Businesses Richard Masters1 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 2. Contents  Role of websites for Small Businesses  Types of website  Basic website design  Building websites  Further resources/information2 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 3. Does my Business Need a Website? Not all businesses need a website, but if you need a digital presence you probably need a website as the core element of it3 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 4. Small Business Websites  Whether or not a business needs a website depends on:  The nature of the businesses products/services  Characteristics of current and future customers (Personas)  Where they hang out and spend their time  How their buying decisions are influenced  It is fair to say as the population is ageing, and digital media is becoming more prevalent, fewer businesses would no longer benefit from one.  It is possible to suggest a loose typology for4 business websites based on increasing Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012 complexity. See next slide.
    • 5. Typology of Business Websites. Type Content Characteristics Nameplate/Business Static Tend to very simple, often third party card based and free. Electronic Brochure Static Basic information in a fairly standard format. Often “Cookie Cutter” sites. Low cost. Specialist/White label Hybrid Sites part built for certain common industry type with limited update: Estate Agents, Restaurants, Hotels/Villas etc. CMS based Dynamic User specified with content updated and amended on an ongoing basis by authorised agents Database linked Dynamic User defined with certain content updated usually from another linked database.5 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012 Ecommerce Dynamic Sites that allow commercial
    • 6. What type is best for my business?  This depends on a number of factors:  Your business offerings (Products/Services/Brand)  Your go to market strategy (Direct or Indirect) (B2B or B2C)  The nature of your customers (Personas, Demographics)  The extent of your market (Global, Regional or Local)  The nature of the sales transaction (Simple or Complex)  How your competitors are addressing the marketplace  How are you looking to differentiate your offerings6  A consideration of these factors should provide a Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 7. Basic Website Design Every businesses website will, by definition, be unique. There are however some basic principles which are best followed.7 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 8. Essentials of Website Design  Websites are, in essence, just another form of publishing, there are some accepted basics common for all sites: 1. Basic layout 2. Basic contents 3. Further design factors 4. More complex websites  These are outlined, in more detail, in the succeeding slides Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk8 04/07/2012
    • 9. 1.Basic Layout Generic screen layout should be something like this. Current thinking suggest menu’s may be better on the left hand side and vertical CTA= Call To Action (see later)9 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 10. 2.Basic Content Content type Characteristics Home page •Standard layout(only got 6-8 seconds to engage) •Top level CVP (Customer Value Proposition) •Site contents and navigation apparent About us •History/ Size / Vision or Mission/Values •Profiles of key individuals( not too stuffy) Products/Services •Summary of main customer benefits of offerings •(not product centric descriptions) •Structured by persona type if appropriate •Multi media if this aids understanding/appreciation Customers/Review •Customer lists/Logo’s s/ Testimonials •Reviews of offerings by actual customers •Testimonials from clients (video’s good) Contact us •Address and telephone number (fixed line) •Map/Directions (if appropriate) •Email contact form10 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 11. 3. Further design factors Factor Points to consider Visual design •Do not over obsess about visual design (only 10% of users think it is important!) •Key is :people want to find the information they want quickly and easily (78%). This is, therefore, the key design parameter. •Don’t invent a new design-use one users are familiar with! Navigation •Clear and simple navigation a “chimp” could manage is essential. •Generally not more than 3 levels of hierarchy •Use contextual (“Breadcrumb”) navigation (see resource paper) •Site search box also an option Landing Pages •The most obvious landing page on most sites is the Home page. • In more complex sites multiple landing pages are11 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012 used for different offerings or client groups
    • 12. 4.More Complex Websites Increasingly the role of small business websites in the Web 2.0 world is expanding in two directions: 1.They are becoming “Content Rich” in that they contain a much wider range of the businesses information.(see below) 2.They are forming the centre of all of the businesses online activities. They are often depicted as Hubs, Portals or Ecosystems (see below) These two concepts are described in more detail12 below: Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 13. The Content Rich Website  A Content Rich Website hold more than basic information: is at the central repository of all marketing information and activity.  Content is now regarded as the most important aspect of any website. It is not only king but pope and president as well! Three areas of rich content can be identified: 1. Multumedia Content. This extends the range to media types from text such as Image and Video etc 2. New Content types. Content generated by other marketing activities such as: Blogs, Slideshows, Podcasts, Articles, Forums, Newsletters etc can be tightly integrated into the website 3. Social Networking Interactions. Not only can new forms of social publishing be incorporated but so also can content generated during social interactions.13 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 14. The Website as the marketing hub The incorporation of new activities and content repositions the role of the business Website to the centre of the hub of marketing activities Sometimes also called: An Ecosystem14 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012 A Portal
    • 15. Websites as portals or hubs...15 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 16. or the centre of an ecosystem....16 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 17. Website as the Marketing Hub “Think of your online marketing like a wheel. Your strategy should have several spokes that connect back to one hub in the center. A website is the hub of your online marketing. It serves as the one place to which you drive prospects and leads for information and business transactions. Using only social media removes the hub, and the wheel crumbles”. Kipp Bodnar:17 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 18. Building Websites This section looks at some of the alternative methods available to build small business websites.18 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 19. DIY or Outsource? Basic decision is will you contract an external supplier or Do It Yourself. The implications of both of these options are considered below.19 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 20. DIY Websites The increasing sophistication of the available tools and the need for the majority of sites to be dynamic in terms of adding new content on a regular basis, has let to a huge rise in DIY websites for small businesses20 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 21. DIY: Alternate approaches21 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 22. The approaches: more detail Approach Tools (e.gs.) Pro’s and Con’s HTML/CSS Text editor (e.g. •Get exactly what you want Notepad), FTP •Significant learning curve •Need to organise own hosting etc HTML code Dreamweaver •WYSIWYG : dont need HTML Generators (Adobe) skills Microsoft •Faster development/Integration Expressions •Need to have separate hosting etc CMS Wordpress •Much easier to learn. Blogs too. Drupal •End user content/Widgets/Themes Joomla •Some technical skills Website Jimdo, Weebly, •One stop shop. End to end Builders Wix. Moonfruit, managed service. Yola etc. •Very easy to use (Word type skills only) •Good integration with email/social22 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk •Not for complex requirements 04/07/2012
    • 23. Which DIY approach is for me?  Approaches one and two are appropriate if you have clear technical leanings and you see your website growing into something more complex.  The CMS approach is hugely popular with Wordpress, in particular, having a large and passionate user base. These do, however, require some investment of effort in learning the basic skills or the use of skilled freelancers for design and construction.  The Website Builder approach is the simplest and newest approach. It is a cloud based managed service approach which incorporates all of the various aspects of websites in one service. Only basic Word type skills are required and content can be23 added and updated and external services integrated. Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012 Can outsource design and copywriting to freelancers
    • 24. Website Builders Features Guidance  Domain registration  Start with free  Web space (storage) version!  Email account  Design templates  Cost free-£15 per  Text/image editors month (includes own  Domain integrated domain) Blogs  Excellent comparison  Downloadable Widgets website: (for service integration) www.websitetooltester.com  Basic SEO  Evaluation paper:  Technical support https://www.box.net/shared/4e7c20824 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk eb7f8e4aa0515 04/07/2012
    • 25. The rise of Website Builders Top 5 now have nearly 50 million Websites Current growth rates in excess of 20% Functionality and ease of use come on dramatically25 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 26. Externally Sourced Websites Some small businesses will still choose to outsource their websites to external providers such as Web Designers or Web developers. This can because they are either too complex to develop with DIY tools or because they would rather deploy their resources more productively elsewhere.26 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 27. Various Overall Approaches Tools  100% bespoke site  CMS (or hybrid with above)  Website builder Management & Resources  Completely outsourced  keep management control and use freelancers for certain activities: e.g. coding, design and copywriting.27 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 28. Important Considerations 1. Fully document your actual objectives and requirements 2. Get the balance of requirements right 3. Co to Tender and objectively evaluate the bidders 4. Enter into a firm contract based on the ITT and responses28 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 29. Choosing an external supplier (1)  Spend some deciding what type of site you want, and the features you require, and how you might like to develop it in the future. Dont let the supplier drive the requirement!  Always go to tender.  Spend some time writing a comprehensive ITT ( for a downloadable example see: )  Avoid “Cookie Cutter” offerings for anything other than static brochure type sites.  If you intend generating any degree of content on an ongoing basis- ensure you specify the use of29 a CMS for those parts of the site. Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 30. ....cont (2)  Dont obsess with design. Request an a industry standard layout and design  Do obsess about content, ease of navigation/use, SEO basics, social integration, user control of content, forward path.  If you look at reference sites: evaluate them analytically not visually: Use Marketing Grader tool, check them off against your requirements30 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 31. 1.Document your requirements Write down your current and future objectives. Capture them in an ITT.( example in resources) Request a response to the ITT from a number of suppliers and draw up a shortlist “Beauty parade” and question the31 shortlist Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 32. 2.Get your requirements right What users want is easy access to the information they want. Dont obsess over visual design. Its not very important. Use an accepted industry standard layout and content. Navigation, basic SEO and social are32 important. Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 33. Objectively analyse the competition Use a structured framework ( download an example: ) Use tools such as Hubspots Marketing Grader33 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 34. Written Contract -Written Contract, based on the ITT and responses to it -Fair to both parties. Include termination clauses. -Include how future changes to be charged for. -Specify how content is to be handled and Updated.34 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 35. Further Downloadable Resources Document Title View/Download from Box.net Are Web Design and SEO companies reaching the https://www.box.com/files#/files/0/f/319455687/1/f_2562543593 end of their lifecycle? https://www.box.com/files#/files/0/f/319455687/1/f_2562543639 Existing Website Diagnostic: Pro forma Can Small Businesses build their own Websites? https://www.box.com/files#/files/0/f/319455687/1/f_2555743741 https://www.box.com/files#/files/0/f/319455687/1/f_2562542963 Website Design: Resources Document https://www.box.com/files#/files/0/f/319455687/1/f_2562542083 WEB Developments: Questions for an ITT Website Development: Resources Document. https://www.box.com/files#/files/0/f/319455687/1/f_2562546237 Website Planning : Resources Document https://www.box.com/files#/files/0/f/319455687/1/f_256254592735 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012
    • 36. More/Contact Email: richard@rjmasters.co.uk Website: www.rjmasters.co.uk Linked In:http://uk.linkedin.com/in/richardmastersj http://www.linkedin.com/company/masters-associates- limited Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Richard- Masters/170520949660575 Twitter: @mastersassoc G+:http://www.google.com/profiles/richardmasters.richard36 Richard Masters www.rjmasters.co.uk 04/07/2012