HOW-TO: Create a "Top-Shelf"­ Website ...on the Cheap

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Done right, your website can be the best marketing tool you have. Want a top-quality site without spending a fortune?

Join us for a discussion that cuts through all the SEO hype and other misconceptions...we'll cover everything you need to know for a website you can be proud of.

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HOW-TO: Create a "Top-Shelf"­ Website ...on the Cheap

  1. 1. HOW-TO: CREATE A “TOP-SHELF” WEBSITE The Easy Way to Separate Yourself Online +Chris Mohritz | chris@mohritz.co
  2. 2. OUR JOURNEY ● Website goal ● Page goals ● Design theme ● Customize the theme ● Optimize ● Improvements Interrupt me at anytime for questions / comments
  3. 3. WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT ● No “website in 10 mins” hype ● It works ● This stuff will put you WAY ahead of the curve! ● Principles can be applied to standalone html websites, wordpress blogs, or other popular CMS platforms
  4. 4. PREFACE ● Not going to talk about cheapo point-click tools ● Doesn't have to be overnight, do something each day and it'll rock! (CANI) ● Don’t over-complicate it, really ● Keep a separation between Form & Function ● Think about overall experience, not just how it looks (form) ● What it does (function) is more important than how it looks (form)
  5. 5. PLAN WEBSITE GOAL Step 1
  6. 6. PRIORITIZE DESIGN & CONTENT 1. What your audience needs 2. What your audience wants 3. What you want mobile.smashingmagazine.com/2012/04/19/why-we-shouldnt-make-separate-mobile-websites/
  7. 7. ONE THING VISITORS SHOULD DO? ● The Function ● Take a “freebie” action? (reservation, etc.) ● Opt into your mailing list? ● Make a purchase? ● Contact you directly? ● Follow you on social media? ● Subscribe to your blog? ● Read a specific article or ebook?
  8. 8. IMPRESSION THEY SHOULD GET? ● The Form ● Defines the overall look & feel ● What emotion should they experience when visiting your website? ● “These guys are high-end” ● “This looks pretty easy to do” ● “They make it look easy” ● “They understand my problem” ● etc.
  9. 9. WHY SHOULD THEY FIND YOU? ● Reverse engineer a searchers experience ● What problem are you solving for them? ● What question goes to your answer? ● Do keyword research based on question ● Pick 10 (highest traffic, buy intent, etc.) ● ubersuggest.org ● marketsamurai.com ● wordstream.com/keywords ● spyfu.com (check your competitors) ● alexa.com (check your competitors)
  10. 10. PLAN PAGE GOALS Step 2
  11. 11. ONE PAGE, ONE PURPOSE ● Each page should have one specific purpose, no more, no less ● Search indexed or not? (money page, site links, existing backlinks, etc.) ● Target keyword? (can determine creation of page) ● SSL or not? (submitting personal info, etc.) ● Implement a “no bounce” strategy
  12. 12. EXISTING BACKLINKS? ● Redirect inbound links, especially google sitelinks ● “301” (permanent) redirects pass link juice
  13. 13. FIND A DESIGN THEME Step 3
  14. 14. BUY AN EXISTING TEMPLATE ● Get as close as possible to desired look & feel (convey an emotion, colors, etc.) ● Shoot for CSS-based design (fewer images) ● Responsive not optional ● Recommend theme is based on getbootstrap.com (simple & standardized)
  15. 15. PLENTY OF MARKETPLACES ● themeforest.net ● wrapbootstrap.com ● templatemonster.com ● elegantthemes.com (wordpress only)
  16. 16. BE AWARE OF ● Theme designers are not SEO'ers ● Theme designers are not marketers ● You’ll probably won’t find many options that put a call-to-action above-the-fold, etc. ● You’ll probably won’t find many options that structure <h_> tags properly, etc. ● They are only providing the Form, you’ll need to integrate the Function
  17. 17. CUSTOMIZE THE THEME TO ACHIEVE GOALS Step 4
  18. 18. THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE ● Be explicit, don’t make them think ● Keep it as simple as possible (especially mobile) ● Most websites try to do too much
  19. 19. CODE IS EASY ● Learn basic HTML/CSS/JS ● Also recommend basic PHP ● Learn 10 commands/tags (Google the rest) ● testking. com/techking/infographics/ultimate-html5- cheatsheat ● Use a color-enhanced text editor ● fiverr.com for image/graphic work (or use pixlr.com)
  20. 20. MANY MANY SCREEN SIZES ● Check it on multiple devices & browsers ● browserstack.com
  21. 21. OPTIMIZE Step 5
  22. 22. AVOID SHINY OBJECTS ● SEO has UFO syndrome ● Forget all the SEO hype ● Real SEO hasn’t changed for years ● Google has just gotten (much) better at weeding out the loopholes/scammers ● “The Practice Formerly Known As SEO" ~ they had it wrong to begin with ● Most SEO propaganda is confused with “SE manipulation” (avoid it) ● Expect “Google dance” when make changes
  23. 23. PUTTING SEO INTO PERSPECTIVE ● Google is a “Reverse Matrix” ● An electronic world trying to mimic reality ● Functions similar to how we interact ● Trust, credibility, popularity, truth, lies, etc. ● Think of a backlink as “word of mouth”
  24. 24. THEIR GOAL IS YOUR GOAL ● Search engines want a better experience for their customers (your website visitors) ● So give the engines what they want ● Just need to help them understand what your site/page is about
  25. 25. SPEAK THE CORRECT LANGUAGE ● Search engines only understand one language: html (and related) ● Learn their language, at a minimum “conversational html” ● Validate your site’s html (each page) ● validator.w3.org
  26. 26. TELL THEM WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT ● SEO basics ● moz.com/learn/seo/on-page-factors ● searchengineland.com/guide/seo ● traffictravis.com ● yoast.com (wordpress plugin) ● webgnomes.org/blog/10-seo-analysis-tools ● Everything is page-specific, protocol- specific, host-specific, etc.
  27. 27. MAKE IT SNAPPY ● Better visitor experience ● Speed is a ranking factor (happier visitors = higher rankings) ● Optimize Images (kraken.io) ● Minify (closure-compiler.appspot.com) ● Use a CDN (watch CORS) ● Use a quality host (cheap ones are slow) ● gtmetrix.com ● developers.google. com/speed/pagespeed/insights
  28. 28. LOCAL BUSINESSES ● Optimize directory listings ● Similar SEO principles apply ● Citations (address mentions) ~ backlinks ● Include geo meta data in website ● localseoguide.com
  29. 29. DON’T LOOK LIKE SPAM ● Predictive modeling of spammers ● Google Authorship (identity platform) ● Avoid “SEO schemes” googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/using-large-scale-brain-simulations-for.html
  30. 30. THE STUFF YOU DON’T SEE ● Meta tags (moz.com/blog/the-web-developers-seo-cheat-sheet- 2013-edition) ● Rich Snippets (google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets) ● Pinterest rich pins (developers.pinterest. com/rich_pins/validator) ● Other social media integration (Twitter Cards, Open Graph, etc.) ● rel="me", "author", “publisher” ● "nofollow" (didn't hear it from me) ● etc.
  31. 31. IMPROVEMENT CYCLE Step 6
  32. 32. FOLLOW THE DATA ● Click tracking (google.com/analytics) ● Search performance (google. com/webmasters) ● Heat map (crazyegg.com) ● Split testing (optimizely.com)
  33. 33. TO SUM IT UP... ● Plan before you start ● Function is more important than form ● Buy an existing template to start ● Customize it one day at a time ● Tons of free tools to tweak with ● No need to guess, tools will tell you what to change (SEO, html errors, etc.) ● Shoot for the top grade and you’ll rock it!
  34. 34. DIG DEEPER ● From the horse’s mouth (support.google. com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en) ● Mastering keyword research (noblesamurai. com/dojo/marketsamurai) ● More tips (inc.com/ilya-pozin/build-a-killer-website-19-dos-and- donts.html) ● Psychology of color: (testking. com/techking/infographics/the-psychology-of-color-must-see-for-web- designers-infographic)
  35. 35. LEARN CODING BASICS ● Automate business processes (learn basic code & save money, time, headache) ● Learn 10 html tags & 10 php commands ● Search YouTube ● codecademy.com/tracks/web (html) ● codecademy.com/tracks/php (php) ● If you have to, force it ...gets easier
  36. 36. Feedback? Questions? chris@mohritz.co

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