The business cornerstone

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The Business Cornerstone is a presentation given as part of the <a>Small Business Internet Marketing Secrets workshop</a> in Sydney, Australia on 28 September 2010.

During this two hour workshop we looked at the importance of an organisation's website and how it works with traditional, online and social media channels to establish a brand.

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  • Marketing Recruitment This is the first place where customers come to when confronted with a problem When suppliers, banks and other credit providers are checking you, this is where they come One could argue that all of these have become part of the marketing tool The website has become the cornerstone of business Almost all sales decisions by consumers and businesses are now preceded by a web search Our websites are our platforms to tell our story, sell our products and explain why we are the greatest at what we do It’s not just marketing though; potential staff, creditors, lenders and competitors are all checking our websites to establish our credibility We’ve entered the era of the pervasive brand. Everything we or our staff do will affect our good name.
  • Our business names are critical Just like our names define us as individuals, so too do they define our business and products On the web, our name is the key to all our other online activities. The web is world wide, so a mistake in Sydney could bring down the ire of someone in New York, Beijing or London. Using a similar name to a competitor doesn’t help your business, it only confuses the market We need to make sure we get our names right.
  • Do the obvious first, search online to check who’s around If you are looking to foreign markets, use the translated search
  • If the name is clear, check domain availability Check for all jurisdictions that you intend to trade in
  • For Australian businesses, you’ll need to check name registration Different states have different rules Rules have changed; You no longer need a registered business name before you can buy a .com.au domain
  • Trademarks are more legally powerful than business names Even if a business name is free, it could be trademarked Registration is more thorough than business names Trademarks are now cheaper than business names in most states Registering a trademark is probably better than a business name, particularly for products.
  • What type of domain? .com versus .com.au Other types such as .biz .net.au, etc. Can you afford both? Do you intend to trade in other countries? Should you buy from domain squatters? What can you afford? Check language meanings. Does it mean something funny or offensive in other target markets?
  • What features are Included? Price? Check their reputation               http:// www.whirlpool.net.au Ensure admin, billing and tech contacts are in your name Make sure you haven’t chosen recurrent billing Be careful of upsell, domain registation is not a high margin business
  • Does it include at least 20 email addresses, preferably unlimited At least 10Gb storage Is PHP hosting included Other services such a shopping carts Price Has it an easy to use control panel Do changes take immediate effect Phone or online support Operating hours Reputation                    www.whirlpool.net.au
  • Do you need a designer? Many sites now have templates? Has the designer a portfolio? Check reference sites, are they valid and current? Are they using open source tools? Will you keep control of site? Can you update your own content?
  • Open source does not lock you into one designer or provider Flexible and portable several hundred available most based on php and mySQL programs Beware religious battles Three main contenders
  • Originally a blogging application 90% of businesses can run their sites adequately on Wordpress Large support base Easily configurable Originally a blogging application Simple languages, if you or a staff member can figure out basic HTML then PHP is a doddle Wordpress doesn’t deal well with very high traffic sites with many users and features like user forums and photo galleries
  • Paulwallbank.com is an example of a Wordpress based site, all running on WP plug ins
  • Small Business Internet Marketing Secrets is another This site took two hours work to get online, including domain registration and hosting Total investment $90 Easily configurable and everything can be updated or redesigned quickly
  • This is the Wordpress dashboard for the paulwallbank.com site Control comments, drafts and post Easy to navigate layout
  • Themes are the design of the site Thousands of free themes Paid for themes with more features and better design Customisable: You can add your own branding elements Large community of designers that can create custom themes for you Very easy to install and maintain Can change entire look of your site in minutes
  • Plugins add features to your Wordpress site Can add almost anything to your site with plug ins; contact forms and shopping carts are two common features Many plugins are free Paid for plugins are usually more robust and have more features than their free equivalents Extremely easy to install and manage Can be customisable Sometimes conflict with the features built into certain themes.
  • Means come together in Swahili A wide range of support: popular with geeks Wide range templates Great for community sites Good support for galleries and similar media features Excellent platform for collaborative sites with lots of users
  • Joomla control panel a bit less intuitive than Wordpress Control Panel shows the emphasis on media and users
  • Like Wordpress, Joomla! has a wide range of add-ons, called Extensions Easy to integrate with site More emphasis on working with other tools
  • Drupal is the heavy open source website management system You will need a developer’s services to get the most out of Drupal Necessary if you are going to be running a high traffic, feature rich site Probably overkill for the majority of small business.
  • Extremely robust: lots of traffic and users Out of the box configurations. Very good for internal or techy sites Sexy stuff needs a big investment in developer costs Powerful tool with great results if used properly
  • There are a number of basic free tools to advertise your site and business online A business should be listed with all of them as the start of their Internet presence While necessary, your business will still need traditional media, social media and paid tools as well to get the best coverage
  • Google Places (aka Google Local Business Center) is the most basic and essential Gets local businesses onto the first page of search, just below paid results Essential for all businesses Can be a rough substitute for a website if you’re cash strapped or starting up
  • The more detail you can fill into the Google Local Business profile the better. Add photos and videos to increase relevance Google loves vouchers so make an offer for customers; buy one, get one free, 10% off on Mondays, etc
  • True Local is the News Limited online advertising platform Plugs into News Limited local classifieds and other channels Also provides results Yahoo7! Search Plugs into Navman GPS search as well. Mobile search is becoming powerful.
  • Sensis free listing is essential for businesses not listing in Yellow Pages Even if you are listing, put in details here Integrates with Telstra searches
  • Social media is a key driver for your online presence Online business names should be consistent across your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all other SM channels Social Media channels should refer back to your website You don’t own social media channels so you have to accept their rules Your website is your own property so you aren’t held to other organisation’s priorities and business objectives
  • Your website has become your window to the world. The world now sees you as what you project on that website Be informative, be interesting, be unique Show why you are the best
  • The business cornerstone

    1. 1. The business cornerstone
    2. 2. what is in a name?
    3. 3. Google search
    4. 4. Domain search
    5. 5. Business name search
    6. 6. Trademark search
    7. 7. Types of domain
    8. 8. Choosing a registrar
    9. 9. Hosting your site
    10. 10. Designing a website
    11. 11. open source CMS systems
    12. 12. Wordpress
    13. 13. Paulwallbank.com: Example of a wordpress site
    14. 14. SBIMS: Another wordpress example
    15. 15. Wordpress dashboard
    16. 16. Wordpress themes
    17. 17. Wordpress plug ins
    18. 18. Joomla
    19. 19. Joomla control panel
    20. 20. Joomla extensions
    21. 21. Drupal
    22. 22. Drupal control panel
    23. 23. Basic advertising tools
    24. 24. Google Places                    www.google.com/local
    25. 25. Google local business centre
    26. 26. True Local                   
    27. 27. <ul><li>Sensis free listing                </li></ul>
    28. 28. social media
    29. 29. The business cornerstone
    30. 30. Web links <ul><li>www.wordpress.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.wordpress.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.google.com/local </li></ul><ul><li>http://yellowadvertising.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.truelocal.com.au/list-your-business/ </li></ul><ul><li>www.paulwallbank.com </li></ul>
    31. 31. Contacts <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.paulwallbank.com </li></ul><ul><li>@paulwallbank.com </li></ul>

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