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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.

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SBDC Website Optimization

  1. 1. Harnessing the White ElephantMake Your Website Pull Its WeightAugust 20, 2009<br />
  2. 2. Let’s Get Acquainted<br /><ul><li>Ed Tankersley
  3. 3. President of Eight Trails
  4. 4. Smarter websites and online marketing</li></ul>20+ years advertising and marketing<br />Interactive director<br />Creative director<br />Writer<br />Led the design and development of more than 50 websites<br />
  5. 5. Now Tell Me About You <br />How many B2B businesses?<br />How many B2C businesses?<br />Other?<br />Business size?<br />Already have a website?<br />Is it doing all it can for you?<br />
  6. 6. Harnessing the White Elephant<br />Today’s agenda<br />
  7. 7. A Fable<br />
  8. 8. A Cautionary Tale<br />
  9. 9. Feeding the White Elephant<br />White elephants<br />Eat a lot <br />Require a lot of attention<br />Don&apos;t do a bit of work (unlike their ordinary gray cousins, who bust their elephant butts)<br />
  10. 10. Remind You Of Anything?<br />
  11. 11. Your Website Costs<br />Initial investment<br />Domain registration<br />Design<br />Content creation<br />Search optimization<br />Development<br />
  12. 12. Your Website Costs<br />Ongoing costs<br />Domain registration<br />Site hosting<br />Content creation<br />Site updates and maintenance<br />Problem resolution<br />Promotion<br />
  13. 13. Make Your WebsitePull Its Weight<br />
  14. 14. Make Your Website Pull Its Weight<br />Brand support<br />User experience / usability<br />Content<br />Site structure and navigation<br />Findability<br />Engagement<br />Measurement<br />
  15. 15. Brand Support<br />Does your website support your brand?<br />Image<br />Message<br />Voice<br />Visuals<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. User Experience / Usability<br />Make your website work for the people who actually use it<br />
  18. 18. User Experience / Usability<br />Eight Trails’ first rule of website success:<br />Figure out what your site visitors want, then give it to them<br />
  19. 19. User Experience / Usability<br />Who are your website’s most important users? <br />What do they want? (Ask them!) <br />Surveys<br />Interviews<br />Ask front-line employees (cashiers, customer service, tech support, sales)<br />Testing – Watch actual customers use your website<br />
  20. 20. User Experience / Usability<br />Important stuff first - Make your website an FAQ <br />Every page should quickly answer three questions: <br />What is this website about? <br />What can I do here? <br />What should I do next?<br />
  21. 21.
  22. 22. User Experience / Usability<br />Page Layout<br />Restrict your color palette<br />Emphasize important stuff<br />Use containers to group related content<br />Use nesting to imply hierarchy<br />
  23. 23.
  24. 24. Content<br />Is it the content that your users want?<br />Is it fresh?<br />A blog is a great way to regularly provide fresh, relevant content<br />
  25. 25. Site Structure and Navigation<br />Organize your site to address your customers’ needs<br />Think in terms of the questions your customers have<br />Jakob’s Law – Put things where your customers expect them to be<br />
  26. 26. …and one more that you have to see to believe:<br />Web Mountain Bike<br />
  27. 27. Findability<br />Make sure you’re found by those who want what you’ve got<br />Search optimization<br />Site structure – web standards<br />Clean and logical HTML<br />CSS for styling<br />Javascript for actions<br />
  28. 28. Fly Fishing Outfitters<br />Desert Sportsman<br />
  29. 29. Findability<br />Don’t build your site in Flash!<br />What Not to Do: Einstein Bros.<br />
  30. 30. Engagement<br />Find ways to begin a conversation with your customer<br />Provide something of value in return for an email address<br />Research data<br />How to guide – Pilot Journey<br />Planning tool – Dr. Weil<br />Free trial – GoToMeeting<br />
  31. 31. Engagement<br />Other conversation starters<br />Email newsletter signup<br />Live chat<br />Inquiry form<br />Forums<br />Blogs<br />
  32. 32. Engagement - Blogs <br />You’re already talking about your business. Invite your customers into the conversation.<br />Your customers are already talking about your business. Join in.<br />Participate regularly - answer comments <br />Join in other conversations, too<br />
  33. 33.
  34. 34. Measurement<br />“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” – Peter Drucker<br />Set up Google Analytics on your site<br />Set up conversion goals<br />Start measuring important things<br />Views of key engagement pages<br />Downloads and form completions<br />Referring sites<br />Search terms<br />
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  36. 36. Questions? Comments? <br />Ed Tankersley <br /><br /><br />@EdTankersley<br />602-361-2001<br />