4 Seconds to Engage Visitors Visitors are looking for a reason to click off your site. In one study, 17% of visitors spent less than 4 seconds on a site. Visitors read 20% of the text on the page. <ul><li>Where am I? Am I in the right place?
Why should I stay? </li></ul>(Source: MarketingExperiments.com)
4 Seconds to Engage Visitors In this example we re-designed for mayasmexicanbistro.com, we considered why visitors come to a restaurant website: <ul><li>Location and phone number were placed in header. Before were they were hidden in “Contact Us”
Restaurant hours were placed in header. They were not on the original site.
Keep it simple and relevant to your business. </li></ul>
Domain Names <ul><li>DO select a domain name that's easy to remember for your customers and as short as possible.
DO select a .com name if at all possible. (I know I broke this rule.)
DO select a good hosting service to register through. Transferring takes time.
DON'T pay more than $10 for .com unless absolutely necessary. </li></ul>
Home Page Focus Areas <ul><li>Top: Business name, contact information, call to action in header of every page. Don't make visitors look to figure out who you are, how to contact you, and what you want them to do.
Middle content: Value proposition – Clear quantifiable statement of what differentiates you from your competitors. Not a tag line!
Starter/brochure websites can cost $1000-$3000 at a marketing or design firm.
Extra functionality – shopping carts, content management, will add to the price.
There are more affordable website design firms – so shop around. Ask WebsiteMakeovers.net for an estimate. </li></ul>
Website Makeovers designed womenswoods.net for under $600
Trade Secret <ul>“ Hosting fees” have a sky-high markup. <li>Website design firms often use hosting/maintenance fees to provide continuing income from customers. In most cases, they are actually paying pennies for hosting if your site is not high traffic with complex functionality.
If your website design firm charges for hosting find out what you get for it. The fee might be worth it, if </li><ul><li>Updates to the website are included in the fee.
You have special requests – like content management, shopping cart, and so forth – that need more support.
They are an effective partner for your business. </li></ul></ul>
Driving Traffic <ul><li>Promotion </li><ul><li>Put your website on your business cards, email signature, stationery, everywhere </li></ul><li>SEO – Search Engine Optimization </li><ul><li>Getting to the top of Google </li></ul><li>SEM – Search Engine Marketing </li><ul><li>Pay per Click Ads on Google and other search engines
Get an expert and be prepared to put money into testing. </li></ul></ul>
Search Engine Optimization <ul><li>Google is all that matters – >70% share.
So be wary of companies that want to sell you submission to 1000 search engines. Weigh the cost-benefit. </li></ul>
Do you need to be at the top? <ul><li>Do you really need it? </li><ul><li>Yes, if you have a lot of competitors or need sales.
Probably not, if you have a brochure site or highly targeted audience. </li></ul></ul>
Yes, needs SEO: techforumtrends.com wanted to be prominent in certain information security markets to draw conference business. No, doesn't need SEO: pilatescross.com was designed for local author who wanted a site to promote book to agents and publishers he contacted directly.
What Google Looks For <ul><li>What is your site about? - Google looks at the first 200 words on your site to figure out where you belong. Make them count!
How active are you? - Google loves sites that are updated frequently.
How popular are you? - Google loves lots of links to your site. Get links back from relevant directories.
Be patient. It takes time. It can take months. </li></ul>
Key Words <ul><li>Choose “key words” - Phrases that should be tied to your business in search results. </li><ul><li>Be realistic! - You're not going to be at the top for “cheap travel” or “diet”
Be relevant! - Don't drive people to your site with “Paris Hilton” if you are selling chainsaws
Use these key phrases in 3-4% of your content and in titles, links, bolded copy. </li></ul></ul>
SEO Success <ul><li>Chose specific, relevant key search phrases: e.g. “kansas city protection dogs”.
Used key words throughout content, especially in emphasized text.
Implemented a photo gallery with text that was updated often with new content.
Added links back from specific directories. </li></ul>We improved search results for ironheartdogs.com to the top of the first page. Originally they weren't even in the top 100 for their targeted key words.
Free, Cheap or Easy Tools <ul><li>DIY Website Design – Most hosting services offer website building wizards. Try the wizards out before you sign up for hosting.