Website Design

Boost Your Blog Traffic: Post About Current Events & Hot Topics

Posted on November 3, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Content, Entertainment, Marketing Strategy, SEO, Technology, Website Design | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Kim Kardashian Kris Humphries Wedding

Don't be like Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Choose Web Technology that will last more than 72 days.

Can Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries push this blog post to Page One of Google? Let’s find out.

This post is actually a follow-on to one I wrote at the end of October about the keywords people search on that bring our posts up on Page One of search engine results pages (SERPs). One of the examples was a post I wrote about Apple’s new SiRi app for the iPhone 4s and IBMs artificial intelligence counterpart Watson.

Comparing the two turned out to be a very hot search topic and sent scads of traffic to my blog that might not have found it otherwise. Some of those seekers subscribed and are now part of my blog community. Since the flow of hits from Siri Watson searches hasn’t yet ebbed, I suppose that this post will come up, too.

This has led me to think about how useful posting about news events and hot topics can be to building blog traffic. A precept of inbound Marketing is that people are already online searching for the information we provide and all we have to is to help them to find us.

Think ‘news you can use’. What’s going on today that you can write about – that either falls into your area of expertise, or that you can use as a metaphor for something that does?

As an experiment, I’m going to use the next couple of paragraphs to compare the Kim Kardashian Kris Humphries divorce to what can happen if you happen to choose the wrong website designer and technology platform in a web 2.0 world.

Like Kardashian and Humphries you may be dazzled by a package that promises a fairy tale online future – a beautiful website with great design, lots of pictures, built with dazzling Flash technology that animates the whole shebang. While the price tag might not be $15 million, it’s still a pretty penny, but, you feel, worth every shekel.

Fast forward to 72 days after the launch. You wonder why you’re not getting any leads from the new site. The title tag announces your company name, after all. Great if anyone is searching for you specifically. Lousy if they’re searching generically for what you do.

You complain to a friend who explains that Flash is basically invisible to search engines and not supported by the Apple OS. And by the way, why don’t you have key words and search terms in your title tag before your company name – SEO best practices?

You also soon learn that if your site had a connected blog, you could drive lots of traffic to it. If it had a conversion form and you had the ability to add a piece of content on a hot topic for visitors to download in exchange for providing their email addresses, you could start to build a nice list of leads who you could then nurture with more useful information and who would likely become customers.

But you can’t do that because you built a beautiful online brochure not made for an interactive internet environment. Just like Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, you accept the fact that you and your new site have irreconcilable differences and you kiss it all goodbye – including the cost of development.

Maybe you should have looked a little bit closer before taking the plunge. The dream dashed, like Kim, you’d might as well head off to Australia to pitch your business there and start anew.

OK. I’m going to tag this post with all of the hot topic names and let’s see if Kim and Kris followers bring us up to the top of the Google world! I’ll let you know – or try googling some of the keywords in the tags and see if you find New PR Words and Music. Let me know, ok??

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A Marketing View: 20 Steps to a Website that Maximizes Business Growth

Posted on September 26, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Strategy, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, Small Business, Website Design | Tags: , , , , , |

Grow Your Business Online

Marketing Strategy is the First Step to Growing Business Online

In the past, if you wanted a new website – or to redesign an existing one – the first step was to find a web design firm. This was fine when your website was an online brochure.

Today, if you make your first concern the design and look/feel of your site, you’re missing valuable opportunities to use the web project to refine or redefine your business focus, to add new business lines – and to get found.

A marketing/business consultant is well suited to help you in this effort and is a prudent first stop. Getting an outside eye on your business and online marketing can yield fresh ideas about how you can use your web presence to grow.

Then find a good design/web development firm capable of implementing your brand identity and web strategy, offering technical advice, and organizing your content for usability. Your marketing consultant will undoubtedly be able to help you source the right partner.

Here are 20 steps to structuring a website project to maximize business growth:

1. Review and audit your current marketing, as well as new marketing approaches you’d like to add.

2. Be able to articulate, “What’s our business?”

3. Do a lot of competitive research. Look at other sites. See what your competitors are doing or not doing. A good consultant will come up with ways that you can leap-frog them with your expanded web presence. (Tip: SEO utilizing current best practices provides fertile soil for growth. Most businesses simply aren’t doing it, or doing it right.)

4. Be sure to answer the question: “Are there any new products, services or offerings related to our core business that we can and should add?”

5. Make sure you’re focused on the right customer.

6. Identify your market positioning.

7. Think out of the box to identify all stakeholders and key influencers.

8. Interview a few of them

9. Develop your key messages – the most important ideas you want to convey consistently to your audiences.

10. Do your keyword research – identify the words/phrases people are actually using to search on line for products/services like yours. (Hint: Not necessarily the words you’d use to search for them).

11. Organize your site by developing a sample navigation. Be sure to include a blog if you want to drive maximum traffic to your site. Have your consultant recommend internal linking strategies to help users work efficiently through your site.

12. Decide: What existing content can be re-used? What content should be scrapped? What new pages do you need to develop?

13. Determine the level of control you want or need to have over your website. What edits do you want to be able to make in-house without tech assistance. We recommend having as much control as possible if you want to use your website to help grow your business.

14. Source a web designer/developer who works in technology platforms that will accommodate the level of control you desire.

15. Provide the navigation and all the guidance you’ve developed in completing the steps above to your web developer. It will help them prepare a realistic budget.

16. Write/develop the content for all of your pages – including all SEO information for each page, any photos, videos and other media you’ll want to use – and provide the content to the web developer.

17. Get into the design process and have fun with the visual.

18. Code the site in accordance with the provided SEO, content and linking strategies. In the case of website re-do’s, make sure to properly re-direct existing pages and to retain important backlinks to the site.

19. Test and tweak for usability.

20. LAUNCH!!

Emphasizing business and marketing strategy first in the web development process has never failed to yield new directions for our clients’ businesses.

The illustration “Dollar Sign in Space” is by DonkeyHotey under Creative Commons license.

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