Welcome! Thanks for attending our presentation on Effective Website Strategies. Today we will cover the following topics: 5 steps to an effective website Do's and don'ts for a memorable domain Increasing traffic — tips and tricks Other small businesses website success stories
http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/01/22/internet-2009-in-numbers/ The correct answer, of course, is ‘c’. But it does bring up some good questions: are you frustrated with your website? Do you think your customers are frustrated with your website? Knowing that you’re competing with 239,999,999 other websites, do you think you’re doing all that you can to be effective with the presence you have today?
80% of US adults are looking for you online (81% are men; 77% are women) Up from just 46% in 2000 Potential customers at higher income and education level, are more likely to search for your business website: 94% have College degrees plus; 50% of adults online have less than a high school education; 69% some high school; 88% some college; Age: 92% are 18-29 years old; 87% 30-49 years; 79% 50-64 and 42% are 65+ Community type: 75% Urban; 77% Suburban; 65% rural Race/Ethnicity: 79% white, non-hispanic; 67% black, non-hispanic; 84% Hispanic (english-speaking); 44% Spanish speaking Your web presence gives your business credibility – if you can’t be found online, you won’t be found
We know there are many activities small businesses are doing to market their businesses, and a website is just one of them. In research with small businesses across the country, we found out just what all those activities include. Not surprising that distributing business cards is at the top of the list. But is your website on your business cards? If not, it needs to be there. Note how many times a website comes up in this list of activities that businesses have done or are planning to do – a significant percentage are updating their sites, creating new sites, registering new domain names and selecting new hosting companies; Note the shift in where yellow pages stands in the ranking of activities. Small businesses know that their online presence is more important than paper directory listings, and in many cases, less expensive to use in reaching customers. We know that Most businesses have websites today: 1-2 employees: 39% 3-10 employees: 46% 11 to 20 employees: 54% 21+ employees: 64% And business owners tell us the primary reason for having a website: to grow their business
So how can you more effectively grow your business with your website? It includes 5 primary elements: Selecting a good domain name Populating your site with good and valuable content for your visitors to build credibility Establishing links from other sites to yours Maximizing your opportunity for traffic Using a professional web consultant Now we are going to delve into each with more detail
Tech Crunchies, 1/23/2010 With all the domain names out there, what makes a good domain name? On our next slide, we provide some examples of good and not so good domain names.
Short, meaningful names Avoid hyphens, articles (at, the, and) and plural forms of your name .com, .net. .org? Each can be valuable, depending on your business What makes a good domain name? Your domain name should be your business name – don’t get cute, ie., “myfavoritybakeryisjanes.com” will not produce better results than your business name when someone searches for it “janesbakery.com” Short, meaningful names Domains can be up to 67 characters, but we wouldn’t recommend that! See the example of a photographer we recently worked with that included his name in his business name. You’re better off keeping it simple. If ‘capturethemoment’ is not available, you could add your state abbreviation in the name to help your local search result Avoid hyphens, articles (at, the, and) and plural forms of your name Customers simply will not remember to look for these alternatives to your name; Use ‘compassionhouse.org’ versus ‘thecompassionhouse.org’ If you must use them, then always advertise your business name with these elements included: ie. Visit us! At TheCompassionHouse.org!” .com, .net. .org? .com searches always rise to the top .org used to signify a nonprofit business .net – suitable option if your .com address is not available TO DO LIST: Determine if you have the best domain name for your business Buy additional names and pointers from them to your existing site, if you suspect customers will search for you with a variation/different spelling of your name. Ex: Buy; janesbakery.com and jaynesbakery.com – point jaynesbakery.com to janesbakery.com, where your website resides.
Search engines will bring to the top the websites with: Valuable content Content that is updated regularly The best result for the key words listed in the search Not necessarily in that order! Google has an algorithm that constantly changes, and there’s no guarantee that if you’re on page 1 today, that you will be tomorrow. Rule of thumb on content: Educational/not promotional in nature, Short and relevant to the business, not entertainment Clear, concise, literal, non-marketing oriented, provides answers, REAL Make it easy for the customer to learn the ‘what’ and ‘how’ TO DO LIST: Choose the best keywords and adjust your page title, meta tags and first paragraph to see them (focus on elements 1, 2, 3) Keep relevant text and links in HTML Beware: Flash sites do not result in good search engine results Ask your designer to ensure that you have named your images with alt-tags.
This site has good search results due to relevant convent in headline (1); uniquely written content in first paragraph (2), important terms in headline (Fresh Italian sandwiches); thumann meats (3); Location included in first site sentence (4), to show up in local searches This site comes up as #3 organic listing when searching for fresh Italian sandwiches, turnersville, and 1 st with ‘Thumann meats, Turnersville’ 1 st page listing when searching for deli catering, Turnersville Content tells the user the ‘what’ and the how’ in the first page
An important component of your search engine ranking is determined by what sites link to you; In the early days, Google rankings were almost entirely based on your “link popularity”, and a link from Yahoo was the most coveted commodity in website promotion. Even today, the major value of that $300 a year listing in Yahoo is the credibility it buys you on Google. Quantity counts: - the higher number of links from other credible sites to your site, the better chance you have of showing up in search engines, and gaining traffic from other site visitors Quality counts - From your own site, Focus on quality links only: will it help your visitors? Don’t forget your social media links! Ensure that you link to your business Twitter and Facebook accounts from your website for relevant, updated content To-Dos: 1. Identify meaningful links to/from your website 2. Send personal, authentic emails to other site owners, requesting links from their site to yours Create a ‘links of interest’ page/section on your site Beware of reciprocal links. They do not give you a lot of credibility through search engines.
This site comes up first in search on Google with 25 links to insurance companies, 11 links to designer eyeglass sites, and additional links such as those for College of Optometrics and American Optometric Association; This site also provides useful education, patient forms and valuable FAQs for visitors, all impacting its organic rank. This customer is still working on establishing links from other authoritative optometric sites back to her site.
Now that you have incorporated all the right elements into your website, how do you get traffic to the site? Most importantly, make sure your site has been submitted to search engines. Claim your Google Places page to get your location, address and phone on the organic search 7-pack, page 1 of google. (more on this topic available with Local Search topic on the mobile tour) Build your email address list for customers, and begin sending them relevant communications from your business on topics of interest to them. Link your social media profiles to your website home page. Ensure your web address is printed on all your company literature and business cards. Update, update, update, and resubmit your site to search engines at least once a year. A variety of local search products are available to help you show-up where your local market customers are searching for you. To Do List: 1. Install Google Analytics for free to see what your site visits are today Monitor site traffic with changes you make to the site Employ an email marketing strategy, and print your website on all your collateral
This customer came to us for both brand building – logo – and website. While the content is very text heavy, it’s a good site for showcasing the customer’s work, and has incorporated all the elements of an effective web presence that we have talked about so far: This site has a good search result due to good content (mention of relevant cities in which the business does its work), a good number of links – especially BBB and Angies List, on its home page. And a form to generate leads for future business (to build an email address list for the business). The site could be further enhanced for traffic by linking to Facebook and Twitter, and by eventually producing an email newsletter for customers.
Many of the small business customers we have talked to tell us that their website was created for them initially by friends and family or an employee. While all of them may have professional qualities, most are NOT professional website consultants. A professional consultant can help you re-design your existing site or create a brand new site that will optimize your performance on the web. They can help you find the best deals for hosting, design, local and national search (SEM) products, and provide guidance on other internet strategies that will help you get more from your website. If you’re not currently working with a professional consultant, Deluxe can get you started.
A recap on the things you can begin doing right away to improve your website effectiveness. Deluxe has been in the business of helping small businesses grow for more than 35 years. We are proud of the more than 400,000 small businesses who trust us to host their sites today, and hope you will consider Deluxe for your website needs in the future.
Website Effectiveness - Deluxe Small Business Heroes Tour
What is this number? <ul><ul><li>234,000,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The number of times you have been frustrated with your website </li></ul><ul><li>The number of times someone else has been frustrated with your website </li></ul><ul><li>The number of websites on the world wide web </li></ul>
Why do you need a website? 80% of US adults are looking for you online 94% have college degrees plus 92% are 18-29 years of age; 87% are 30-49; 79% are 50-64; 42% are 65 years + Your website gives your business credibility with all your potential customers – how effective is it?
n=1162 73% 56% 4% 19% 21% 22% 24% 29% 29% 31% 36% 38% 38% 47% 52% 56% Deluxe Business Services Survey -May 2010 Businesses use their websites to get customers
What makes an effective website <ul><li>A good domain name </li></ul><ul><li>Valuable content </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic </li></ul><ul><li>A good consultant </li></ul>
Domain names <ul><li>The number of domain names purchased as of Jan’10 </li></ul><ul><li>.COM : 81.8 million </li></ul><ul><li>.NET : 12.3 million </li></ul><ul><li>.ORG : 7.8 million </li></ul>
Domain names <ul><li>Domain name Don’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Myfavoritebakeryisjanes.com </li></ul><ul><li>capturethemomentphotographybytroyalan.com </li></ul><ul><li>Thecompassionhouse.org </li></ul><ul><li>R-dcomputerconsultinginc.com </li></ul><ul><li>Domain name Do’s Janesbakery.com </li></ul><ul><li>Capturethemoment.com </li></ul><ul><li>Compassionhouse.org </li></ul><ul><li>Rdcomputerconsultingny.com </li></ul>
1 st page Google result: “Italian deli Turnersville” 1 2 3 4
Acquire Links <ul><li>Links =Trust & Traffic: “When an important site gives you a link, it's like a vote of confidence in your site.” </li></ul><ul><li>Quantity counts </li></ul><ul><li>Quality counts </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget your social media links! </li></ul>
1 st page, 1 st position Google result: “family optometrist Fenton Missouri”
Get Traffic <ul><li>How do you get found? </li></ul><ul><li>1. Submit your site to search engines and local directories </li></ul><ul><li>2. Use Email marketing to provide relevant, meaningful information about your business, and link back to your website </li></ul><ul><li>3. Point to your website from your social media profile pages </li></ul><ul><li>4. Print your website on all your business materials </li></ul><ul><li>5. Consider an SEM strategy: google ad words, Easy Local Listing, Easy Name Search </li></ul><ul><li>6. Keep your website updated and relevant to your visitors </li></ul>
1 st page Google result: “home improvement Cleveland Ohio”
Get a professional consultation <ul><li>A website consultant can help you: </li></ul><ul><li>Get started with your first online presence for a new or existing business </li></ul><ul><li>Help you re-design your existing content </li></ul><ul><li>Find you the best deals on hosting and design </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce you to internet tools to help you improve your site performance </li></ul>Most initial websites designed by friends/family
To Do List <ul><ul><ul><li>DOMAIN </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assess your domain name- is it the best it can be for your business? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Buy additional names and pointers to your existing site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CONTENT </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Choose the best keywords and adjust your page title, meta tags and first paragraph to see them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep relevant text and links in HTML </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Beware: Flash sites do not result in good search engine results </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>LINKS </li></ul><ul><li>Identify meaningful links to/from your website </li></ul><ul><li>Send personal, authentic emails to other site owners, requesting links from their site to yours </li></ul><ul><li>Create a ‘links of interest’ section on your site </li></ul><ul><li>TRAFFIC </li></ul><ul><li>Install Google Analytics for free to see what your site visits are today </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor site traffic with changes you make to the site </li></ul><ul><li>Employ an email marketing strategy, and print your website on all your collateral </li></ul><ul><li>HELP </li></ul><ul><li>Get a professional website consultant. </li></ul>