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What The Heck Is A Website Nowadays
 

What The Heck Is A Website Nowadays

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Businesses may be changing the way they look at web presence. Can you just have a blog? Is a Facebook presence alone a good idea? Does Web 2.0 mean the demise of websites?...

Businesses may be changing the way they look at web presence. Can you just have a blog? Is a Facebook presence alone a good idea? Does Web 2.0 mean the demise of websites?

Shashi Bellamkonda, Social Media Swami, Network Solutions (Twitter @shashib) (Moderator)
Kelly Harman, President, Zephyr Strategy
Melanie Mitchell, SVP, Search Strategy, Digitas (Twitter @melaniemitchell)
Ramon Ray, Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com

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  • Thank you for the introduction. Things have changed in the affiliate world in the last several years. It is not as easy as it used to be to get your web sites noticed for a variety of reasons – increased competition, search engine algorithm changes and user behavior among other things. So for this panel discussion, the better question is….   Are affiliate web sites dead?   Before I get into that, you may be asking yourself why would you listen to me.  
  • If you google “Melanie Mitchell” the 1 st result is this person who is a professor and author of a book on Genetic Algorithms. In other words. Not me.   I have been an online marketer for over 10 years focused on online acquisition marketing, PR, content development and search marketing – both PPC and SEO.   Recently I left the company side and now work for Digitas, a large advertising agency, where I help clients find their target audience, uncover opportunities and reach their goals.   Also, bug eyed goldfish freak me out. Ick.
  • So back to the topic. We know web sites are not dead, but if you are going to be successful, there are things they should and shouldn’t be.   What they shouldn’t be is a thin, shallow site with little to know value either lacking in content or just aggregating content from other sites adding nothing original to it. These sites, other than not being of value to users, will struggle to rank well in search engines.   The search engines continually tweak their algorithms to try to return the most relevant results for users.   These changes will affect the way big, established brands are ranking, the way duplicate content is treated among other factors so when creating and building out a web site it is better to create value rather than constantly chasing the algorithm.   What your web site should be is your workhorse. There are a number of things you need to think about besides professional looking, easy to navigate and UI design.   You need to consider the search engines, original content, establishing yourself as an expert, building trust and moving beyond doorway pages and light content. You need to provide value and a way for not only users to find you, but also to rank well in the search engines.  
  • I turn to tools to find opportunities. It is important to be passionate about a topic you are going to invest your time in promoting, but it is equally important to understand what people are looking for, how they are looking for it, and if there is an opportunity for you to fill that need.   For example, it may not make sense to target the term “travel” even though it generates a lot of searches, but are there other areas that are less popular, but more targeted.
  • Another cool tool is Google Trends where you can look at seasonal events and when they start to generate buzz. It can help you focus your energy of when you start to focus more efforts on these events such as the example of “summer vacation” starting to generate more volume in January.
  • You can use these tools to monitor real time conversations and study the people having a conversation. Then figure out when and if to engage with them.
  • You can also use cloud keyword tools to start to cluster keywords and dig deeper into the data to search for opportunities of where you can focus your efforts.
  • Opportunities are everywhere and you should use these tools to help you find your niche and focus your efforts on building and creating content for your web site.
  • Another consideration after you figure out what you are going to market is how will people find you.   So let me ask you this – what is one of the biggest factors of SEO ranking that you cannot control? This factor also helps with promotion, marketing, and traffic. Links! What is a way to increase links to your site and content? Social Media!
  • Social Media visitors convert at lower rates than search visitors, but promoting in social media is key to branding, awareness & loyalty .   A secondary factor with links to your site is that they can help with SEO Ranking leading to more visibility .
  • Social media is the hot topic these days, but you need to have a strategy before you jump in.   Step 1: Listen Social media is a term we use to discuss the tools that facilitate conversations. Before you can be a part of those conversations, you need to know what people are already talking about so you can determine how you can best contribute.   Step 2: Prepare Once you have a sense of what people are talking about, it’s time to identify the tactics to execute.   Find the People People want to have conversations with others who are experts in their area, who are passionate about their work and who are empowered to act on the feedback they receive from the community. Find the people who would be interested in what you have to say and the expertise you have to offer.   Set Rules of Engagement Make sure your company has a social media policy in place that offers guidelines to your employees on the appropriate way to engage in online conversations.   Define Your Strategy Social media is comprised of many different platforms. Rather than trying to participate in all of them, begin with one or two that seem to make the most sense. Having an engagement strategy will help to determine how much time to devote to social media communications, what will be the focus areas for engagement and define how you measure success.   Step 3: Engage Depending on where your target audience is, this could mean leaving comments on blogs, uploading images to Flickr, building a community on Twitter or FriendFeed or whatever else that strategy entails that helps further the discussion and illustrates your company’s commitment to developing these online relationships. Step 4: Go Offline As stated in step one, social media is simply a group of tools that help facilitate conversations, but there’s really no replacement for face-to-face interaction. Use trade shows and other events as opportunities to build even stronger relationships with the members of your online community. This could be in the form of an exclusive session, an informal breakfast or even a group picture on the event floor. Step 5: Measure Success Unlike other campaigns, measuring social media success begins by asking more questions:   – Did you learn something about your customers that you didn’t know before? – Did your customers learn something about us? – Were you able to engage our customers in new conversations?   Remember Social Media isn’t necessarily a direct response tool. It may generate sales, but think of it as helping you build relationships, establishing yourself as the expert and increasing loyalty.
  • Little Spoonfuls – using Craig’s List to advertise, but also has a page that talks about them, their value proposition, links to their site as well as their twitter page. Then they use twitter to engage with consumers – not necessarily driving a hard sell. They are trying to develop and deepen relationships.
  • Missy Ward is one of the co-hosts of Affiliate Summit. She also has a Facebook Fan page. However, she does not use the fan page to push Affiliate Summit. She uses it to engage with the Affiliate community as one of the experts in the field by posting original content and videos. Then she provides links to make it viral to spread her message, her presence as well as provide numerous ways for people to find her. She is providing value to the community and developing/deepening relationships.
  • Dan Schawbel is an expert on reputation management and personal branding. He wrote a book recently called “Me 2.0”. He has his book to sell, personal branding summits to fill and other ways he makes money, but he uses different mediums in different ways. It is not always about making money. Again, he is also developing and deepening relationships. When it comes to a successful marketing plan, there is no greater tool for converting potential prospects into long term clients than developing a relationship with each of your prospects. You may be able to offer potential business prospects the best quality products and service, but unless they see you as something other than an impersonal web page or catalog, there is little else to keep them loyal when another clever advertising campaign comes along.
  • Use Data to Find Opportunities By designing with search in mind, you can open up new acquisition channels.   Do Your Research Know where your target audience is, listen to what they have to say and join the conversation. Don’t try to create one on your own and hope people will care about what you have to say. Have A Social Media Strategy Having an engagement strategy will help to determine how much time to devote to social media communications, what will be the focus areas for engagement and define how you measure success.   Then use metrics to gauge effectiveness of your efforts and identify adjustment points   Provide Value to the Community People want to have conversations with others who are experts in their area, who are passionate about their work and who are empowered to act on the feedback they receive from the community.   Social media can help develop your branding, create awareness & increase loyalty.   Rinse and Repeat Social media, promotion and content development are never ending. You must constantly use the data to refine your strategies and tactics and react accordingly as to where your target audience is, what they care about and how to reach them in a way they will be open to hearing you. By doing so, you have a much better shot of staying in front of your competition.

What The Heck Is A Website Nowadays What The Heck Is A Website Nowadays Presentation Transcript

  • What the Heck is a Website Nowadays? Shashi Bellamkonda Head of Social media Strategy/ Social Media Swami Network Solutions LLC
  • Online Tools Used by Small Business
    • Network Solutions – University of Maryland Small Business Success index http://growsmartbusiness.com
  • Online Presence Strategy
      • Your personal brand
      • Connecting with customers
      • Community outreach
      • Get new business
  • Web Sites: Your Online Brand Presence AOL in 1996 10 year old in 2008 July 28, 2009 Prince William County Greater Manassas Chamber
  • Social Media - Another Way to Build Online Presence If chips can have a page so can you Twitter is not only for celebrities July 28, 2009 Prince William County Greater Manassas Chamber
  • Blogs - Web presence Channel
    • Thought leadership
    • Share experiences and value w/ community
    • SEO
    • Provide capture point for marketing initiatives
    • Influence the media
    • Crisis PR
    • And much, much more
  • Online Selling becoming Easier
    • Add a Paypal Or Google CheckOut button to a web site
    • Amazon
    • Ebay
    • Network Solutions Ecommerce
    • Etsy
  • Key Takeaway
    • Have your own branded web presence
    • Build as your needs grow
    • Expand it by making use of channels like Social media
    • Tips
      • Start early
      • Update regularly
      • User experience trumps anything else
      • Keep it simple
  • About Network Solutions
    • Domains
    • Find-a-domain services
      • Certified Offer
      • Backorder
      • Premium Domains
    • Domain Web Forwarding
    • Private Registration
    • Communication
    • Business E-mail
    • Secure E-mail
    • Sell Online
    • E-commerce website packages
    • E-commerce Tools Merchant Account
    • Do It For Me E-Commerce Website Design Service
    • Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Pay Per Click Advertising
    • Optimized Press Releases
    • Directory Services: Monster Marketplace & ThinkLocal
    • Enhanced Business Listings
    • Link Building
    • Content Creation
    • Security
    • SSL Certificate
    • PC Security
    Small Business Lifecycle
    • Websites
    • Website Hosting
    • Statistics and Website tools
    • Professional Website Design Services
    • Professional Logo Design Services
    • Mobile Websites
    PR Measurement Summit June 2009 We service over 3 million SMB customers and manage 7.5 million domain names.
  • Questions ?
    • Shashi Bellamkonda [email_address]
    • Small Business Success Index
      • http://GrowSmartBusiness.com
    • Network Solutions Blog : http://blog.networksolutions.com
  • Are Websites Dead? Kelly Harman, President, Zephyr Strategy www.z3strategy.com
  • About Zephyr
    • Zephyr Strategy offers practical, sales-driven marketing and strategic planning services to companies in the U.S. and abroad. We help our clients integrate Web 2.0 technologies with proven, sales-driven strategies to make them more effective in winning new business and expanding their existing customer base.
    • Past & present clients include:
  • Are websites dead? Events Collaborative Tools Wikis Audio Blogs Photos Videos Social Networks Microblogs & SMS Email Outreach
  • Carry your brand promise through to your site
  • Build it smart
    • Design is last
    • Use Open Source Tools
  • Use outside resources
  • Promoting your business
    • What was old is new again.
  • Contact Info
    • Kelly Harman President, Zephyr Strategy 703-594-1152 ph [email_address] linkedin.com/in/kellyharman
  • What the Heck is a Web Site Nowadays? Melanie Mitchell SVP, Search Marketing Strategy Are Affiliate Web Sites Dead?
  • Who Am I?
    • Not me =
    • Online Marketer over 10 years
    • Recently went agency side
    • Bug eyed goldfish freak me out
  • Are Affiliate Web Sites Dead? What they should be What they shouldn’t be
  • Where Do You Fit In?
    • Plenty of FREE tools to use to find opportunities
    • Keyword Research
    • Google
    • https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    • SEO Book
    • http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/
    • Microsoft AdCenter
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
  • Where Do You Fit In?
    • Plenty of FREE tools to use to find opportunities
    • Keyword Research
    • Google
    • https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    • SEO Book
    • http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/
    • Microsoft AdCenter
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Keyword Trends
    • Google Trends
    • http://google.com/trends
    • Keyword Forecast
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Twist: Twitter Trends
    • http://twist.flaptor.com/
  • Where Do You Fit In?
    • Plenty of FREE tools to use to find opportunities
    • Keyword Research
    • Google
    • https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    • SEO Book
    • http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/
    • Microsoft AdCenter
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Keyword Trends
    • Google Trends
    • http://google.com/trends
    • Keyword Forecast
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Twist: Twitter Trends
    • http://twist.flaptor.com/
  • Where Do You Fit In?
    • Plenty of FREE tools to use to find opportunities
    • Keyword Research
    • Google
    • https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    • SEO Book
    • http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/
    • Microsoft AdCenter
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Keyword Trends
    • Google Trends
    • http://google.com/trends
    • Keyword Forecast
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Twist: Twitter Trends
    • http://twist.flaptor.com/
    • And More…
    • Quintura
    • http://quintura.com/
    • Keyword List Generator
    • http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-list/generator.php
    • Google Sets
    • http://labs.google.com/sets
  • Where Do You Fit In?
    • Plenty of FREE tools to use to find opportunities
    • Keyword Research
    • Google
    • https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    • SEO Book
    • http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/
    • Microsoft AdCenter
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Keyword Trends
    • Google Trends
    • http://google.com/trends
    • Keyword Forecast
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Twist: Twitter Trends
    • http://twist.flaptor.com/
    • And More…
    • Quintura
    • http://quintura.com/
    • Keyword List Generator
    • http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-list/generator.php
    • Google Sets
    • http://labs.google.com/sets
  • Where Do You Fit In?
    • Plenty of FREE tools to use to find opportunities
    • Keyword Research
    • Google
    • https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    • SEO Book
    • http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/
    • Microsoft AdCenter
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Keyword Trends
    • Google Trends
    • http://google.com/trends
    • Keyword Forecast
    • http://adlab.microsoft.com/Keyword-Forecast/
    • Twist: Twitter Trends
    • http://twist.flaptor.com/
    • And More…
    • Quintura
    • http://quintura.com/
    • Keyword List Generator
    • http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-list/generator.php
    • Google Sets
    • http://labs.google.com/sets
    Opportunities are everywhere. . .
  • Question…
  • Where Is Your Audience?
    • Social Media visitors convert at lower rates than search visitors, but are key to branding, awareness & loyalty .
    • Links can help with SEO Ranking leading to more visibility .
  • Have A Social Media Strategy
    • Listen
    • Prepare
      • Find the People
      • Set Rules of Engagement
      • Define Your Strategy
    • Engage
    • Go Offline
    • Measure Success
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Thoughts To Take With You Use Data to Find Opportunities Do Your Research Have A Social Media Strategy Provide Value to the Community Rinse and Repeat
  • Thank You!
    • Melanie Mitchell
    • SVP, Search Marketing Strategy, Digitas
    • Twitter: http://twitter.com/MelanieMitchell
    • LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/MelanieMitchell
  • Are Websites Dead? Ramon Ray , Editor,   http://smallbiztechnology.com
    • Ramon Ray
    • Technology Evangelist,
    • Editor of Smallbiztechnology.com and
    • Author of Technology Solutions for Growing Businesses (Amacom).
  • 10 key take aways
    • Focus on the customer
    • Have a plan
    • Easy to remember name
    • Easy navigation
    • Informative
    • Security
    • Easy customer contact
    • Fresh content
    • Be found
    • Be simple - KIS