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Building Effective Websites


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Building Effective Websites

  1. 1. Building Your Business With Your Website
  2. 2. About Terry <ul><li>Developing and managing corporate websites since 1994.
  3. 3. Tripled online sales for a catalog retailer.
  4. 4. Improved search results for local businesses – including moving a dog trainer to top of Google search.
  5. 5. One-stop website shop – design, writing, programming, hosting, SEO and marketing.
  6. 6. Developed diverse sites for life coaching, restaurants, non-profits, dog trainer, car dealer, tool maker, law firms, and many more. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Do you need a website? <ul><li>Websites are key to your customer's buying decisions for everything from what to have for dinner to what church to go to.
  8. 8. It's relatively inexpensive promotion compared to advertising and print material.
  9. 9. Holiday online sales - $25 billion.
  10. 10. Your competitors have a website. </li></ul>
  11. 11. 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?
  12. 12. What can I do here?
  13. 13. Why should I stay? </li></ul>(Source:
  14. 14. 4 Seconds to Engage Visitors In this example we re-designed for, 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”
  15. 15. Restaurant hours were placed in header. They were not on the original site.
  16. 16. Link to Facebook page for updates added.
  17. 17. Catering and Happy Hour Specials added </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul>Your Website Should Draw Attention to Your Business, Not Itself </ul>Visitors aren't looking for <ul><li>How cool is this site?
  19. 19. How much Flash does it have?
  20. 20. How pretty are the pictures?
  21. 21. Keep it simple and relevant to your business. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Domain Names <ul><li>DO select a domain name that's easy to remember for your customers and as short as possible.
  23. 23. DO select a .com name if at all possible. (I know I broke this rule.)
  24. 24. DO select a good hosting service to register through. Transferring takes time.
  25. 25. DON'T pay more than $10 for .com unless absolutely necessary. </li></ul>
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. Middle content: Value proposition – Clear quantifiable statement of what differentiates you from your competitors. Not a tag line!
  28. 28. Navigation: Top and/or left.
  29. 29. Right: Call to action, specials, newsletter subscriptions. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Home Page Focus Areas <ul><li>Company name and contact info prominent in header.
  31. 31. Value proposition emphasized in home page copy.
  32. 32. Navigation at top and side.
  33. 33. Specials on right. </li></ul>When we re-designed for, we worked on areas of focus:
  34. 34. Look for a Website Partner <ul><li>Don't just look for a website designer or developer. Look for a partner who understands can work with you and help your business grow.
  35. 35. Don't choose on price alone. A free website your nephew built is going to look exactly like that.
  36. 36. Look for someone who can offer a range of services, either in-house or with partners. </li></ul>
  37. 37. How Much Will It Cost? <ul><li>It depends.
  38. 38. Starter/brochure websites can cost $1000-$3000 at a marketing or design firm.
  39. 39. Extra functionality – shopping carts, content management, will add to the price.
  40. 40. There are more affordable website design firms – so shop around. Ask for an estimate. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Website Makeovers designed for under $600
  42. 42. 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.
  43. 43. 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.
  44. 44. You have special requests – like content management, shopping cart, and so forth – that need more support.
  45. 45. Technical support is included in the fee.
  46. 46. They are an effective partner for your business. </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. 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
  48. 48. Get an expert and be prepared to put money into testing. </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. Search Engine Optimization <ul><li>Google is all that matters – >70% share.
  50. 50. Yahoo if you want to be thorough
  51. 51. So be wary of companies that want to sell you submission to 1000 search engines. Weigh the cost-benefit. </li></ul>
  52. 52. 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.
  53. 53. Probably not, if you have a brochure site or highly targeted audience. </li></ul></ul>
  54. 54. Yes, needs SEO: wanted to be prominent in certain information security markets to draw conference business. No, doesn't need SEO: was designed for local author who wanted a site to promote book to agents and publishers he contacted directly.
  55. 55. 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!
  56. 56. How active are you? - Google loves sites that are updated frequently.
  57. 57. How popular are you? - Google loves lots of links to your site. Get links back from relevant directories.
  58. 58. But don't cheat! - Google bans cheaters.
  59. 59. Be patient. It takes time. It can take months. </li></ul>
  60. 60. 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”
  61. 61. Be relevant! - Don't drive people to your site with “Paris Hilton” if you are selling chainsaws
  62. 62. Use these key phrases in 3-4% of your content and in titles, links, bolded copy. </li></ul></ul>
  63. 63. SEO Success <ul><li>Chose specific, relevant key search phrases: e.g. “kansas city protection dogs”.
  64. 64. Used key words throughout content, especially in emphasized text.
  65. 65. Implemented a photo gallery with text that was updated often with new content.
  66. 66. Added links back from specific directories. </li></ul>We improved search results for to the top of the first page. Originally they weren't even in the top 100 for their targeted key words.
  67. 67. 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.
  68. 68. Hosting Services – We prefer Hostmonster
  69. 69. Google Webmaster Tools – Includes free traffic analysis, key word tools, site map tools
  70. 70. Shopping Carts – Leverage Yahoo, Google, ebay </li></ul>
  71. 71. Beyond the Website <ul><li>Email marketing – Allow visitors to subscribe to a newsletter or updates. Use or
  72. 72. Blogging – Your own blog – but keep it updated! - or comment on other blogs
  73. 73. Social Media – LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, etc. </li></ul>