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Digital Toolkit Website Fundamentals


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This is the updated presentation of the Website Fundamentals course I teach periodically with NYC Business Solutions.

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Digital Toolkit Website Fundamentals

  1. 1. Small Business Digital Toolkit Doing Business Digitally: Website Fundamentals
  2. 2. Instructor Orientation NYC Business Solutions is a set of services offered by the Department of Small Business Services to help businesses start, operate, and expand in New York City. Our services are provided at no cost, regardless of the size or stage of the business. For more, go to: 2 Set of ServicesWelcome!
  3. 3. Today’s course will help you… Determine What You Want Your Website to Accomplish • Building your brand • Selling products or services • Integrating customer service and support • Generating ad revenue • Cutting costs • Reinforce your point of sale • Maintain an anchored presence on the internet Learn Five Simple Steps to Develop Your Website • Selecting your business domain name and web host • Differentiating between in-house development and outsourcing • Developing a framework for your website content • Defining your website’s role in your overall marketing strategy • Understanding tools used to analyze and maintain your website Website Fundamentals Agenda 3
  4. 4. Part I Determine the Objective of Your Website Website Fundamentals 4
  5. 5. Websites are a useful way to deliver important messages to your customers about your products or services and should be integrated into your overall marketing efforts.  You can use your website to: • Build marketing and sales strategy • Sell products or services online • Provide customer service and support • Generate revenue by selling advertising • Save resources • Reinforce your point of sale • Maintain an anchored presence on the internet Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website 5
  6. 6. What is the purpose of Amazon’s website? Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website 6 6
  7. 7. Your website builds your brand and reinforces the message about your products and services.  A consistent marketing strategy can help you: • Increase awareness about your product or service. • Build loyalty amongst your customers.  Website marketing should follow the basic marketing principles of: • Engage your target audience. • Determine the best method for promoting your website  Website marketing strategies include: • Advertising on other websites (Adwords, Bing, Facebook, Twitter) • Creating blog • Linking to Social Media (i.e.; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) • Utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Build Marketing & Brand Strategy 7
  8. 8. Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Build Marketing & Brand Strategy 8 Does this website reinforce RedBull’s brand? If so, how?
  9. 9. Build a site that makes it easy and appealing to buy your products and services.  If you are considering selling products online, answer the following questions: • How will you drive customers to your website? • What inventory levels must you maintain to manage purchases? • How will you ship your products? • How will you ensure secure online payment? Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Sell Products or Services 9 Incentives motivate customers to take action.
  10. 10. What features make it easy for this website to sell products? Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Sell Products or Services 10 Customer Service/Contact information Product Image/ Video Customer Reviews Shopping Cart Product Description Price
  11. 11. Generating revenue through website ads is a way that some businesses make extra money. This approach is typically used by creative content-based sites (i.e. blogs, entertainment sites, news sites).  There are several types of online advertisements: • Text advertisements • Banner advertisements • Video advertisements • Interstitial advertisements • Pop-up/pop-under  Obtaining advertisers on your website requires: • Analysis of current website traffic to understand key customer demographic information (Google Analytics, Clicky). • Keeping customers engaged, ensuring consistent traffic to your website. • Determining payment structure for advertisers. • Making sure that advertisements are relevant to your target audience. Can they hurt user experience? • Advertising networks (Adsense, Tribal Fusion, OpenX, Complex Media, Playwire Media, Hexagram) Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Generate Revenue through Advertising 11
  12. 12. Sample online advertisements: Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Sell Advertising 12 Banner Advertisement Text Advertisement
  13. 13. Your customers’ overall experience and satisfaction should be at the heart of the products and services that you sell.  Your website can be a way to further engage with customers and provide additional support.  You’ll want to consider key best practices to support your online service efforts: • Create standards in customer satisfaction. • Determine appropriate methods of communication. • Select Customer Support Software (ex. Contact Form 7, Qualaroo, SalesForce Service Cloud or H2Desk). • Frequently Asked Questions portal or page. Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Customer Service & Support 13
  14. 14. What type of support does Best Buy offer to its customers online? Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Customer Service & Support 14
  15. 15. Moving your company’s info and services online can help you save time and money.  Use your website to decrease costs if you want to: • Change phone support to online support. • Send emails instead of postal mail. • Move in-store sales to online sales.  It is important that you carefully consider the impact that this will have on the: • Overall customer experience. • Costs for transitioning to selling all products online. • Computer purchasing habits of target audience. Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Save Resources 15
  16. 16. How is CHOPT saving time and money with their website? Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Save Resources 16
  17. 17. How is Pizza Hut saving time and money with their website? Website Fundamentals Purpose of Website – Save Resources 17
  18. 18. Part II Five Simple Steps to Website Development Website Fundamentals 18
  19. 19. To develop an effective website for your business, you need to: 1) Select and register your domain name. 2) Choose a web hosting company. 3) Choose a method for developing your website (in-house vs. outsourced). 4) Develop a structure for your website. 5) Launch and maintain your website. Website Fundamentals Steps for Developing Your Website 19
  20. 20. A domain name is how you will be known on the web and its an essential part of getting your site up and running.  Domain names should be: • Short and easy to spell • Five syllables or less • Company or brand name of your product or service • Free of any hyphenations - or redirected from a domain without hyphenations. Website Fundamentals Step 1: Select & Register Domain Name 20 Domain Name
  21. 21. There are a variety of free and paid domain name options available for your website.  Pros & cons of paid domain names • In-demand domain names are typically available • Allow more flexible web hosting capabilities • Costs average about $2-12 per year  Pros & cons of free domain names • Come with unwanted banner ads • Typically not top level domains • Don’t allow flexible web hosting Website Fundamentals Step 1: Select & Register Domain Name 21
  22. 22. Domain name registration is a critical step to getting your website hosted on the World Wide Web.  To register: • Send your domain name to a registrar. • Provide the name/contact of the domain name registrant. • Select the terms of your domain registration. • Provide payment information.  Once you submit this information, the registrar will process and make the website active on the World Wide Web.  Change the A Record or point name servers to your hosting provider’s addresses. Website Fundamentals Step 1: Select & Register Domain Name 22
  23. 23. Simply put, web hosting services allow websites to have access to the World Wide Web.  Most common type of web hosting is shared hosting • Relatively affordable • Risk of exposure to spam/hacking of other sites • Offers flexibility during growth • Average cost around $5/month • Sharing with potentially hundreds of sites.  Top web hosting providers include: • • • Website Fundamentals Step 2: Choose Web Host 23
  24. 24. When choosing a web host, consider a combination of: • Ease of access • Performance • Security • Price  Web hosts offer a variety of features: • Unlimited email & bandwidth • Personalized domain names • Multiple static IP addresses • E-mail and web marketing tools • Web-based site administration tools • Site design services • 24/7 phone support Website Fundamentals Step 2: Choose Web Host 24
  25. 25. You can create your website by using web building software or by hiring a company with website development expertise.  Both methods will help you achieve your goal, but these key factors will determine the better option for you: • Your technical expertise (develop it at, Udemy) • Cost • Time Website Fundamentals Step 3: Choose Method for Developing Your Website 25
  26. 26. Using web builder tools and software is one way to create your own website.  Choosing the right website building software depends on: • Ease of use • Technical support • Graphic/imaging tools • Features  Free and paid options for website building software are available. • Free website builder software includes: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger. • Paid website builder software includes: SquareSpace, Shopify, Rainmaker Platform, Wix Website Fundamentals Step 3: Choose Method for Developing Your Website 26
  27. 27. Outsourcing the development of your website is a good alternative if you don’t have the time to create one on your own.  When hiring a website developer, you’ll want to: • Obtain referrals • Check out their website(s) • Ensure that they are familiar with your industry • Obtain detailed price quotes • Check references  Once you hire a website developer: • Set realistic timelines • Communicate objectives clearly • Provide outline of website content Website Fundamentals Step 3: Choose Method for Developing Your Website 27
  28. 28. How To Get a Free Wordpress site in 5 Easy Steps: 1. Click “Create Website” at and pick what your website is about on the next page. 2. Choose a theme (a design template). 3. Use a free domain or register a new domain for about $18; or map an already registered domain for $13. 4. Pick a free or premium plan. 5. Create your account and start posting. Website Fundamentals Web-building Resources: Wordpress 28
  29. 29. Create a Title for your website. This may just be your company name, but will let visitors know what they are looking at. Website Fundamentals Web-building Resources: Weebly 29
  30. 30. Try to select a domain that is easy to remember. If your ideal name is not available try a different combination or TLD, such as <.org> <.net><.biz> Website Fundamentals Web-building Resources: Weebly 30
  31. 31. The Weebly Editor is where you will spend most of your time. You can edit and build your site in one place quickly and easily. Click the Design Tab and browse hundreds of themes. Select a theme that best reflects your company, industry and style. With an easy to use drag and drop interface, just drag the elements (video, pictures, content, etc) you want on to your webpages and edit it live! You don’t have to remember all of this today, you can visit our webinars online to see step by step tutorials of how to set up your site. videos.html Website Fundamentals Web-building Resources: Weebly 31
  32. 32. 32 Hospitality Nail Salons, Laundromats, Barbers • Minimalist • Light • Crisp • Charm • Wedding Food Restaurants, Cafés, Bodegas, Delis • Gourmet • Waterscape • Justin 26 • Fixr • Bokeh Retail & Professional Boutique Owners, Sole Proprietors • Distinct • Creative 1 • Efficient • Business • Clear • Identity • Chic 1 Some Recommended Themes to Get Your Business Started Website Fundamentals Web-building Resources: Weebly Themes for Businesses Visit the Business Library online for a detailed guide on How to Create a Website Using Weebly
  33. 33. Creating a framework for your website is important to help organize key information about your products and services.  Basic information includes: • Home – company name and logo • About • Contact information, including directions and hours • Description of products and services • Links to other social media and/or blog • Articles around topics for your target community members.  Follow these best practices when designing your website: • Include your business logo on your website. • Maintain consistent look and feel with other marketing materials used to promote your product and service. • Use consistent language when describing products and services. • Keep it simple. Your site should be easy to navigate and have an uncluttered look and feel. Website Fundamentals Step 4: Develop Website Structure 33
  34. 34. What makes this website’s design and structure work? Website Fundamentals Step 4: Develop Website Structure 34
  35. 35. Maintaining your website once it is developed is just as important as the time and effort you spend putting it all together.  You’ll want to: • Schedule regular updates (i.e. monthly, quarterly) • Determine method of updates (i.e. hire vs. do-it-yourself) • Monitor customer activity on your website  Content Management Systems (CMS) are a good way to manage content, images, etc. on your website. Tools used include: • WordPress • JOOMLA • Drupal Website Fundamentals Step 5: Launch & Maintain Your Website 35
  36. 36. Tracking your website activity is a useful way to understand your customers and provide a better overall experience.  Website measurement tools, also known as web analytics, measure website performance. Web analytics include: • Google Analytics • Clicky • Crazy Egg • Optimizely Website Fundamentals Step 5: Launch & Maintain Your Website 36
  37. 37. Analyzing key performance indicators (KPI) help you understand the areas of your website most and least frequented by your customers.  Typical KPIs include: • Visits • Page Views • Unique Page Views • Average Time Spent • Bounce Rate • Exit Percentage • Conversion Website Fundamentals Step 5: Launch & Maintain Your Website 37
  38. 38. Website Fundamentals  A responsive design allows a varied version of a standard website, optimized and designed to engage your customers on their mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets.  Since mobile devices have smaller screens and use different operating systems and browsers, your website needs to be redesigned.  A few companies, like bMobilized, offer a DIY (Do It Yourself) solution for this.  Visit the NYC Business Library for a detailed Guide on How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices
  39. 39.  91% of US citizens have their mobile phone within reach 24/7.  25% of people in the US have totally abandoned their laptops for exclusive use of their mobile device.  Mobile use is growing and the population is using it to share and communicate. This is an easy tool to get involved with this growth.  For most social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest), almost 50% or more of all users are active mobile users.  By 2013, more people will use their mobile phones over desktop and laptop computers to go online. * Source: Mashable and bMobilized Website Fundamentals Importance of Building Mobile Websites for Your Business
  40. 40. Website Fundamentals Putting It All Together 40 Remember…  Create a website aligned with your business mission and purpose.  Select a domain name that adequately reflects your business name.  Choose website features that you need and will be able to maintain.
  41. 41. Website Fundamentals Putting It All Together 41 What will your website be?
  42. 42. For more info, visit our website at: Website Fundamentals Visit NYC Business Solutions! 42