Sample goals: Universal goal: “I want a site that looks professional, loads fast, and tells our story.” Show up in search engines so more people visit my website and more prospects call me More interaction with customers (project tracking, etc.) Sell more products online Provide resources for employees Shows off our portfolio and helps me close more sales
Spy on your competitorsLook at other sites in your industry – What do they include that could help you achieve your goals?
Think about your brand What is your value statement? Why should potential customers buy from you? What makes your company different? S.W.O.T. Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats Your site has to convey your brand in all areas: look, content, tools, etc.
Use good design Conveys your brand in colors and style (Modern? Friendly? High tech? Personal?) Clean and simple Keep navigation consistent Make contact information obvious, on every page
Use Good Quality Photography istockphoto.com Hire a professional If you are taking the photos yourself: Good lighting Consistent backgrounds for products Watch the shadows – be thoughtful
Plan your home page Logo, contact info, a brief intro to your company, navigation bar Identify a few top places in your site you want visitors to see What else needs to be on your home page? News? A log in screen? Twitter feed?
First name your site audiences Businesses? Consumers? Customers? Employees? Investors? Potential Employees? What Industries?
What are they looking for?What content do you need to serve them? Write down the top messages for each audience.
Next, if Search Engine Optimization is important – choose your top ten: Choose ten top key phrases Be REALISTIC – not just “engineer” but rather “huntsville engineer” List variations of these too such as engineer in huntsville, huntsville engineering company, engineering company huntsville
Write your content Use your top ten SEO key phrase list and make sure you use these statements on almost every page within your content, several times if possible, but don’t overdo it Keep it simple - short text sections broken up by sub headers - bullet lists are great Make sure all of your key messages are told
Make sure your site is functional and usable Big part of this is navigation structure Watch file sizes No splash screens Add applications that encourage interaction Direct visitors to top content or contact info
Make sure it is well-programmedand reliably hosted
Put search words and phrases in your content Make a list of 10-20 search phrases Use these (and variations) throughout site, combine with location Put in page headers and image ALT tags (don’t go overboard)
Other things you can do: Get as many reputable sites as possible to link to your site Association listings Facebook, Twitter, etc. Use bullet lists <ul><li> Use <H1> title tags
Ways to push traffic to your site Social media Permission-based email newsletters Press releases Advertising Business cards
Run an AdWords Campaign (pay-per-click) You can set your own budget You can determine how long and how often you run your campaign Ability to target specific customers through location and keywords Often has a positive impact on organic Google search results
Pay per Click (AdWords) Trackable results, ability to modify the campaign at any time – integrates with Google Analytics Needs to be actively monitored by tracking results and adjusting campaign Create landing pages to increase conversion rates and (sometimes) lower cost of campaign
Blogging is great for SEO Short articles – very personal, conversational – your thoughts on your business, your industry, your life Cross link with all other social media and feed into your website According to emarketer, 53.5% of internet users read blogs
Cross Link Everything!! Facebook feed and/or “like” button integrations on your website Facebook posts links about news on the website Youtube channel has a video that promotes the company – and website Flickr feeds photo galleries on site
Twitter Growing social media networking site Primarily business to consumer 81% - 25 years and up 58% - 35 years and up 33% - 45 years and up
Twitter for Business Best Practices Post several times per day Know your goals • Connect with others with similar interests • Follow topics and contribute thoughts • Share education, quotable quotes • Share news, blog postings, etc. • Keep top of mind awareness • Grow your network with others
Pinterest Great for referring links Primarily business to consumer Mostly females with interests in fashion, cooking, and DIY 90% - 25 years and up 64% - 35 years and up 35% - 45 years and up
Pinterest for Business Best Practices Consider this if trying to reach women Know your goals • Showcase products • Showcase ideas • Showcase projects
Google Plus Newer social media networking site Primarily business to consumer Much younger, male audience A lot of techies 50% - 25 years and up 22% - 35 years and up 11% - 45 years and up
Google+ for Business Best Practices• Post 4 – 7 times per week, like Facebook• Know your goals • Advertise specials • Share new products • Build a friendly, personal brand feel • Share news• Convey your brand
LinkedIn Great networking tool Primarily business to business 64% users use it for business growth 96% - 25 years and up 81% - 35 years and up 49% - 45 years and up
LinkedIn for Business Best Practices Use daily or several times per week Know your goals • Recruit employees • Target prospects and find common contacts • Portray and active, professional personal image • Request testimonials
Follow to be followed: Follow industry leaders on social media and on their blogs Promote those already championing for you Be an active follower by retweeting, sharing, and commenting Actively participate in LinkedIn Groups Continuously find and add LinkedIn connections
Be your own distributer: Use press release distribution services like PRWeb.com or PR.com Share your own web and blog content through your social media networks Encourage people to connect with you by adding icons to your website and online/ print communications
Conduct a promotion on Facebook to gain fans Be sure you know (and follow Facebook rules) Host a contest using a 3rd party app (North Social, Wildfire are good options) Offer a social media follower only promotion
Pay for exposure: Google AdWords Bing/Yahoo! paid ads Facebook ads Facebook sponsored posts Other online advertising
Give it time! It can take up to a year of diligent work to see the results of a good social media campaign
Know what is being said Whether you use social media or not, people may still be talking about you on it What is being said may change your business model Monitor all social media platforms for comments about you or your company and respond quickly if the site will allow you to do so
Respond quickly to any negative posts Do not get into a “he said she said” argument if the post was negative – respond professionally and move it offline
Find the silver lining: If at all possible, respond to negative posts rather than delete them Turn a negative into a positive by offering stellar customer service to right the wrong (where possible) Make changes in response to common complaints
Good to great: Got a good comment – don’t forget to respond to these too!
NutshellMail.com Offered by Constant Contact Monitors: • Facebook • Twitter • LinkedIn • Foursquare Reports are emailed to you
Twitter.com/Search Search for variations Find people singing your praises and follow them Search for your competitors Search for industry terms
www.Google.com/Alerts Set up alerts for your company name, products, and other identifying keywords Set up alerts associated with your competitors Set up alerts for terms associated with your industry
Google Analytics – Referral Sites If you have Google Analytics or another visitor tracking service, watch for articles, forums, and blogs linking to your site
Tips, tricks, & timesavers: How to make it easier to manage all of this work
Choosing How to Participate What do you have time to be consistent with? (Don’t start a blog if you aren’t committed to keeping it going) Where is your audience?
Take your cue from the magazines: Decide what topics you’ll cover Use an editorial calendar to keep things organized Be prepared to change, add, or completely deviate from the plan to respond to current events
Share the load: Encourage ideas from employees or members of your organization Give others a chance to create blogs, posts, videos, photos, and more Share the floor with other industry experts and guests
Find the buzz: Find your muse through sites like: • LinkedIn Answers • Yahoo! Answers • Twitter Searches • Industry blogs and news sites • Competitor sites
Borrow from others: ReTweet Share Repin Link
Carve out time: Devote a realistic amount of time for social media each week – half hour a day? One hour a week? Make it a priority and be committed to it Scale back and focus on one thing if time is an issue Don’t forget to take the time to plan in advance
Schedule ahead: Great free (to cheap) tools for this: • Facebook – allows scheduling now • CrowdBooster.com – Facebook Page & Twitter • HootSuite.com – Facebook and Twitter • TweetDeck – Facebook, Twitter
Review and adapt: Track changes in web visitor statistics (Google Analytics is great for this) Track which posts, tweets, etc. get the most shares and comments Track which blog posts and authors get the most readers, shares, and comments Check your goals and modify your actions as needed
Sample Website Goals: Increase # of visitors each month at least by 5% Maintain 55% of traffic coming from search engines First page rank for “Huntsville Web Design” 10% of site visitors convert into leads each month
Sample Social Media Goals: Increase the number of people who actively engage with a like or a share or a mention by 5 each month Get three-four responses on average for all posts within one month Gain 10 new followers/fans each month
Measuring Website Results with Google Analytics:Answers questions such as: How much traffic is coming to the site? How did visitors get to the site? What keywords are working best? What content is working best? How did social users engage with the site?
Facebook Insights Answers questions such as: • How did people respond to my posts? • How far is my reach? • How much has my following grown? • Which types of posts are the most shared and commented on?
Measure your personal online influence with Klout.com• Measures engagement with your personal social media accounts• Measures reach by the number of people who share your posts and how many followers they expose you to• Requires very consistent effort and very high quality posts to score high• Great way to look at who is most influential online and how they are using social media
Thank you! Ellen Didier firstname.lastname@example.org 256-560-0098facebook.com/redsage twitter.com/ellendidier linkedin.com/in/ ellendidier