Launch Your Brand: Domain Names, WordPress as a platform, Local Search and Website Redesign Revealed


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An Entrepreneur's look at how to choose, register and retain a domain name, the advantages of using WordPress for websites (not just blogs), Key Word Research and Local SEO factors and a behind the curtain look at website redesign iteration that demonstrates the power of good web design.

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  • Web design and SEOMove blogs from platform to platform and host to host – 10k posts, 23k comments, 1,800 tags moved
  • Web design and SEOMove blogs from platform to platform and host to host – 10k posts, 23k comments, 1,800 tags moved
  • Here you can think about marketing stats or the webs evolution as people consume online media.
  • Geo as in local
  • Simple, straight forward, trusted. Tell the story of the trucking company.
  • Beware of how this looks…and Industry siteTravel siteCelebrity representation site
  • You look surprised!
  • Consider keywords in your domain name the business….Social Media = your nameLawyers = your nameWRONG; what’s the exit strategy?Buy them both of course … always protect your asset and your name … but then pick the best one for branding. $20 a piece in essence with time to purchase and manage.
  • How to Choose
  • Inbound linking strategy did not make the list when this domain was chosen.
  • Wonderful tools to combine key wordsTo find domains available for reg fee.Shop in the After Market when your choice is takenOr don’t worry about it and move on …
  • The little man upstairs is not happy. Now What?Shop in the After Market when your choice is taken
  • but it’s a valuable asset … like real estate.Yes never lease a name …If you really want a name you cannot buy, put a buy order on it via GoDaddy … alerts you to any changes. $20 last I checked on one. I have several .nets where we have watches on the .com name.
  • Domain name auction house, offices in CambridgeDomain name ParkingDomain escrowDomain appraisalAnd so on
  • Register. Spammer register for one year. Don’t be a spammer.I don’t know … auto renew and go a year at a time … not sure it’s significant … except maybe for the first purchaseHowever it is important as many folks will try to bill your client or scare them about losing the name. I feel that names with annual renewals are much less likely to get lost because you keep track of them every year.
  • Longer registration is a quality signal to the search engines.Google is a registrar, they know everything.
  • Not an organization or company name. They don’t have photo ids.Multiple way to access account.
  • Set up an annual audit process to account for domain names.Calendar it so you look at them the same day every year.Use a renewal date consolidation service so they all renew at one time.Consolidate your registration accts into one.Set up an annual audit process to account for domain names.Calendar it so you look at them the same day every year.Use a renewal date consolidation service so they all renew at one time.
  • Another SEO tid bit.Pick one and Setup your server to permanently redirect to the other. Use a 301 redirect.URL’s are case insensitive so you can capitalize in print material etc.www is no longer necessary
  • They aren’t making any more .coms any more.Most 3 and 4 letter domains are sold.Keyword domains provide synergy with keywords in text and meta data
  • Now you have to build your new website.HTMLCMSWordPress built with the owner in mindDrupal built with the programmer in mindWordPress is DIYDrupal is hire outWordPress over 7,000 pluginsDrupal over 3,000 pluginsWordPress over 7,000,000 downloadsDrupal over 200,000 active sites
  • No duplicate content worriesLots of features Content and Thematic Display are divorced one from another … easy to change look with no impact on content.
  • No duplicate content worriesLots of features Content and Thematic Display are divorced one from another … easy to change look with no impact on content.
  • No duplicate content worriesLots of features Content and Thematic Display are divorced one from another … easy to change look with no impact on content.
  • Not just for the little guy anymoreCNN, newspapers, celebrities
  • Actual Websites, not just blogs.WPMU
  • Just like your favorite document softwareWysiwig/toggle/html
  • YARPP written by Mitch over in SomervilleThese things make life easier than coding HTMLSome plugins now placing ad’s and contact/help information encouraging your clients to contact them if they get stuck … Potential for abuse – so don’t be plug-in boy – know what you are installing.Discuss the new works in version x bit for plugins.
  • Great Content rules.Inbound links are useful
  • Key Word Research is first.The Custom frame shop story.What words are being searched for.
  • What’s the volume?What’s the competition?
  • Great to see search volume over time. Seasonality matters
  • Great to see search volume over time. Seasonality matters
  • You want to sell that hat?Here is how to implement
  • Your key words get used in all these placesThink about where you use key words and phrases … in title, in url, in headings, in strong … trim garbage words … phrase the important words first
  • Meta Title is most importantMeta descriptionMeta key wordsAll important. If you are an excel wizard it takes no time to get it doneBlogWrangers use scripts that will count words in a page and propose keywords … if your word counts don’t match your meta suggestions reconsider the point of your page
  • Run zenu – or hire us to validate links regularly – remove broken and redirected links or update the links.
  • Use title – search-ability and helps impaired readers and those with images disabled (which includes most crawlers)
  • Based on the US Post Office standards, which many directories, aggregators and rating services emulate. Definition;hCard is a simple, open, distributed format for representing people, companies, organizations, and places, using a 1:1 representation of vCard (RFC2426) properties and values in semantic HTML or XHTML. hCard is one of several open microformat standards suitable for embedding in HTML, XHTML, Atom, RSS, and arbitrary XML.
  • Always always encode your email addresses on the page! almost all spam
  • Provide linksProvide local citations
  • Those who fill out more info win
  • Trusted linksMany other directories, and Google, get data from YahooThey can also send trafficObtain links from topical things you like to support anyway like your trade organizations.
  • Local Citations are very importantParticipate in your communityBE CONSISTENT USE YOUR WEB ADDRESS IN EVERYTHING YOU DO … BRAND IT
  • Business Listing Quality Guidelines
  • Here is a home page to be redesigned, while maintaining current branding.Better focusStronger call to actionsimpler
  • Here is the end resultNow lets see a few steps of how we got hereThis client is from Holland
  • Logo moved far leftColor palette maintained so we didn’t scare anyone awayBigger Horse – horse more prominent component of graphicsShowing Competitor – the riderCall to action clearly obvious – position, color, contrastPhone number prominently displayedPrefer to flip logo, but we couldn’t do thatNav highlights 3 most important pages w/ images of horsesOn page indicator has been addedRed jacket too strongWrong type horse
  • Purple nav too strong, distracting, dark, unbalanced3 images on the right of the horse distracting Blue ribbon 2nd place. We want first place.Blue ribbon is 1st place in everything I’ve ever done … I think you are wrong on that.Red is second.White is third …Hence Blue Ribbon Beer.
  • Navigation now greenIntroduce Globe on Right to represent international flavorHorse image confinedHorse looks unhappy
  • Call to action weakMuch stronger image, more active and athleticNo face of person was a plus. Leaves it to your imaginationHorse head is strong, but horse looks scared. YikesReignsGlobe all point to call to action = FabulousRider looks like someone you might want to meet, right?
  • Introduced Blue Sky – makes sense, additional colorHorse image no longer confined in box – most commented factor is the horse breaking out of the confines of the pageHorse image is largerFemale rider remains a plus for the clientHorses’ eye colored in so no longer looks scaredDropped blue font in call to action – simplification, fewer colorsRevised call to action text, shorter, to the pointBonus tip. 301 permanent redirect. Don’t throw away all of your existing links due to new page names or architecture. Very important.REDIRECTION PLUGIN OR OTHERWISE TRACK 404’S
  • Launch Your Brand: Domain Names, WordPress as a platform, Local Search and Website Redesign Revealed

    1. 1. LaunchCamp Boston, 2010<br />Search in the Website Lifecycle<br />Examining;<br /> Domain Names<br /> WordPress for Websites<br /> Local SEO<br /> Website Redesign<br /> by Jim Spencer<br />
    2. 2. Hi, I’m Jim. @fairminder<br />on Twitter for the last <br />2 years, 10 months, <br />2 days, 21 hours<br />
    3. 3. Here’s where you’ll find me.<br />JBS Partners, since 2002<br />We are a web design & marketing firm.<br />Our web (.com) properties include: <br />JBS Partners<br />Blog Wranglers<br />Web Page Advisor<br />Tweet Advisor<br />
    4. 4. Why is this worth your time?<br /><ul><li>Affirm what you need to know
    5. 5. Common Sense
    6. 6. Simple and Effective</li></ul> AND…<br />
    7. 7. Free chocolate when you ask questions. ;)<br />
    8. 8. Overview<br />Domain Name screw ups to avoid<br />CMS. WordPress Works for Websites<br />SEO is GEO. (Local)<br />Design Process for All: KISS<br />
    9. 9.
    10. 10. Choosing Your Domain Name <br />is <br />The first Step In SEO.<br />
    11. 11. What’s in an URL? <br /> is Therapist Finder.<br /> is Pen Island.<br /> is Who Represents.<br />
    12. 12. You Registered What?<br />
    13. 13. Which one would you choose? <br /><br /><br />A<br />B<br />
    14. 14. Domain Naming Tips<br />Keep it 6 to 12 characters<br />Three words Maximum<br />No numbers or dashes<br />Understandable over a cell phone<br />Memorable<br />.com is King<br />
    15. 15. Sound legitimate<br /><br /> OR<br /><br />
    16. 16. Key Word Rich Domain Tools<br /> – prefix, suffix, root<br /> – combine keywords<br /> – primary/secondary<br />Bulk Domain Checker<br />
    17. 17. Domain Not Available?<br />
    18. 18. Know your max $$$ before making contact.<br />Use a broker who is not emotionally invested.<br />The AfterMarket<br />Use an escrow service (this is like real estate!)<br />Know what you are paying for.<br />
    19. 19. Resources for AfterMarket <br />
    20. 20.<br />
    21. 21. Domain Name Registration<br />Like registering a car more than buying a car<br />Longer registration good idea<br />
    22. 22. Keeping your Domain<br />Renew 6 months before expiration<br />Register for 5-10 years<br />Like smoke detector batteries, review regularly and keep up to date.<br />Buy .org, .net too<br />Plural, mis or alternate spellings <br />
    23. 23. Retain Account Access <br />Registrant – person with photo ID(not organization or co. name)<br />Admin – different email address<br />Tech - yet another email address<br />
    24. 24. Your Domain name <br /> is a<br /> valuable <br />corporate asset.<br />
    25. 25. Ownership<br />Make certain:<br /> YOU OWN YOUR DOMAINS<br />Know where your website is Hosted<br />Know the URL of the registrar<br />Know the username and passwords<br />Where do you store Corp. info for a decade?<br />
    26. 26. Choose ONE URL and stick with it<br /> resolves to<br /> resolves to WWW.<br />301 Redirect.<br /> www is no longer necessary<br />
    27. 27. Be Happy!<br />
    28. 28. Benefits of your Asset<br />Foundation of your web presence<br />Increases in Value<br />Build a portfolio with .org .net .us<br />Key words can bring traffic<br />
    29. 29. Build on a Strong Foundation<br />
    30. 30. A Foundation to Build On<br />Fundamental components are in place<br />Specialized functionality added via plugins<br />Very customizable using design Themes<br />Word type interface to keep content fresh<br />Usually simple to upgrade<br />Content and design are separate<br />
    31. 31. Search Benefits<br />The HTML and CSS code is already valid<br />Search Engines can easily index<br />Duplicate content issues are handled<br />Friendly URLs<br />Allows for alt text and tags<br />Pingomatic – actively notify search engines<br />
    32. 32. WordPress for a Website?<br />Take advantage of the content management and publishing platform of WordPress for websites, even when there is no blog.<br />
    33. 33.<br />
    34. 34.<br />
    35. 35. From Good to Great<br />Install and Customize WordPress themes<br />Apply Custom Design<br />Configure <br />Add Content<br />Optimize<br />
    36. 36. Making Changes<br />
    37. 37. Plugins that Work<br />All in One SEO Pack<br />Google XML Sitemaps<br />Yet Another Related Posts Plugin - YARPP<br />Contact Form 7<br />Subscribe to Comments<br />Share This<br />Google Analytics for WordPress<br />WordPress File Monitor<br />Akismet<br />
    38. 38. S<br />E<br />O<br />IS<br />G<br />L<br />O<br />B<br />A<br />L<br />
    39. 39. GO<br /> L<br /> O<br /> C A L<br />
    40. 40. SEO Best Practices<br />On Page SEO<br />Key Word Research<br />Meta Data<br />Content linking<br />Images<br />Local SEO<br />
    41. 41. Key Word Discovery<br />
    42. 42. Google Keyword Tool<br />
    43. 43. Google Trends<br />
    44. 44. Meta Data<br />Meta Title<br />Meta Description<br />Meta Key Words<br />Image Alt Title Attribute<br />Tool Tip<br />&lt;address&gt;<br />
    45. 45.
    46. 46. KWR to sell Red Baseball Hats<br />Think in Themes and Parallelism<br />Page URL<br />Meta Title<br />Headline or Page Heading<br />Content<br />Sub Headings<br />Image captions<br />Alt title attributes<br />Tool Tip<br />
    47. 47. Red Baseball Caps<br /><br />Baseball cap, base ball hats, red sox, red hats<br />“RedSox Release new Red Baseball Cap Style”<br />Embroidered red baseball caps<br />Personalized red baseball caps<br />Papi sporting the latest red baseball cap<br />Personalize red baseball cap worn by Papi<br />New red baseball cap<br />
    48. 48. Meta Titles<br />Meta Title<br />Meta Title<br />Unique Meta Title on every page<br />Use Keywords to inform, be clear, compel<br />
    49. 49. Internal Linking<br />Keyword anchor text not “Click here” <br />Link to deep “Pillar” or “Evergreen” content<br />Minimize # of links on a page (-25)<br />Link out to helpful, authoritative sites<br />
    50. 50. Image Optimization<br />ff-375_xl.jpg or red-baseball-cap.jpg<br />Include useful caption under the image<br />Use descriptive alt attribute text<br />Consider allowing Google Image Search in WMT<br />
    51. 51. Local SEO comma formatted<br />Company Name and Service,<br />Street,<br />Street Address,<br />City,<br />Province/State,<br />Zip code<br />Country<br />Use hCard format<br />
    52. 52. Address Code sample<br />&lt;div class=&quot;lsrfcontent&quot;&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;address&quot;&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;org&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;url&quot; href=&quot;;&gt;David Mihm, Inc.&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;adr&quot;&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;street-address&quot;&gt;1919 NW Quimby St&lt;Br&gt;Suite 402&lt;/div&gt; &lt;span class=&quot;locality&quot;&gt;Portland&lt;/span&gt;, &lt;span class=&quot;region&quot;&gt;OR&lt;/span&gt;&nbsp; &lt;span class=&quot;postal-code&quot;&gt;97209&lt;/span&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;tel&quot;&gt;(503) 560-2755&lt;/div&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;email&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt; &lt;/div&gt; &lt;/div&gt; &lt;/div&gt; <br />
    53. 53. Address Sample<br />
    54. 54. Local<br />Search<br />Registration<br />
    55. 55. Fill out Each Section Available<br />Consistent use of contact information<br />Also Include<br />Photos<br />Videos<br />Service description<br />Coupons<br /><br />
    56. 56. Top Directories (not just Local)<br />Yahoo Directory ($300)<br /> ($300)<br />Joe Ant ($40)<br />Your Industry Directories<br />
    57. 57. Local Citations are NOT Links<br />Company name and contact info on a local Charity event website<br />Chamber of Commerce member listing<br />Local paper or other media citation<br />All confirm/validate your location<br />
    58. 58. Links and Citations<br />Quality .gov and .eduCAN trump .com<br />Quantity: More quality is better than less<br />Review Sites: Yelp, Merchant Circle, CitySearch, Local, Angie’s List<br />Distance from Centroid<br /><br />
    59. 59. Design Iteration Revealed<br />
    60. 60. How we got to the final design<br />
    61. 61. First Mock Up<br />
    62. 62. Third Mock Up<br />
    63. 63. Fifth Mock Up<br />
    64. 64. Seventh Mock Up<br />
    65. 65. Final Design<br />
    66. 66. Factors of Revision<br />Use of color<br />Position<br />Spacing<br />Simplicity<br />Eye Movement<br />Call to Action<br />
    67. 67. Launch<br />Be smart about domain names<br />WordPress is a CMS king<br />Optimize your site<br />Be sure the design supports the brand<br />
    68. 68. THANKS<br />This presentation will be available at <br /><br />I look forward to connecting with you <br /><br />781-640-8874<br />@fairminder<br />