Archive of ‘Small Biz Tools & Resources’ category

39 Ways to Build A Killer Website

Build a Killer Website: 19 Dos and Don’ts

 

Build a killer website: 19 dos and don'ts

 

Your website is a marketing tool. For many businesses, it’s the only source of business. If done right, it can be a major part of yours.

Here’s my quick-hit list of the top dos a before you get started:

Do:

  1. Set smart goals. And make sure they’re measurable. Here are a few great ones a Web designer wants to hear: increase conversion rates, increase sales, generate more leads, reduce overhead, and improve brand awareness.
  2. Plan on becoming an SEO wizard. Sure, you’re going to want help from the pros and eventually you might even need your own in-house SEO expert, but search engine optimization is something you need to know about too. It has one of the highest ROIs in marketing. Plus, do it right and SEO can literally put your marketing on autopilot, allowing you to focus on improving the quality of your business, instead of figuring out how to bring in customers to your site. Start reading SEOmoz and stay up to date with SEO changes by reading sites like Search Engine Land.
  3. Use open source tools. You could go with a proprietary content management system (CMS) but that means you’re typically stuck with one company and paying hefty license fees to boot. Do yourself a favor and go with an open-source system—I like WordPress and Magento—that any developer can access.
  4. Think about your mobile strategy simultaneously. Research the percentage of your visitors that are likely to use mobile devices to access your site. If it’s high, you may want to consider building a separate mobile version of your site, or even an app. If it’s relatively low, just make sure your website works on smart phones, but don’t invest into a mobile version.
  5. Steal from your competitors. Before you build your site, check out your competitors and write down the things they do well. If you like the look and feel of another site, there’s no reason not to start with something you like and then make it your own.
  6. Develop your content. The biggest slow-down in the Web design process is content. If you’re going to sell products on your site, get product photos and product descriptions ready. If you sell services, you’ll need a description of each service. Get as much of your content together before you start building your site—it will save you weeks. And while you’re at it…
  7. Write with calls to action in mind. Good calls to action allow visitors to quickly decide what they want to do next. Having a big sale? Don’t just write a banner that says “50% off all products.” Write one that says “50% off all products, CLICK HERE to view them.”
  8. Always answer the question “why?” Have you ever walked up to someone you’ve never met, handed them a business card, and walked away without saying a word? Likely not. If you want people to do something on your website, such as sign up for your newsletter, don’t just put up a box that says “enter email” or even “sign up for newsletter”—you’ll get a very weak conversion rate. Tell them why they should do it: “Sign up for our newsletter to receive weekly specials.” Same thing goes for Twitter and Facebook logos. Just putting them up isn’t smart. Tell people why they should follow you on Twitter or friend you on Facebook. What will they get out of it?
  9. Trust your Web designer. I tend to see the worst end results with customers who come in with a “I know what I want, just do what I tell you” attitude. You hired an expert because they know more than you, right? Let them do what they do best and they’re more likely to meet and often exceed your goals.

If you do it right, your website can be the best marketing tool you have.

10 Things To Consider When Designing a Logo

Your company logo is a vital part of your company, giving the outside a world an instant visual impression of your brand, but it’s not easy conjuring an image that captures your vision and emphasizes your company’s strengths. While company logos often change or evolve along with the intent of the company, a misstep can greatly affect the success of your whole operation.

The Next Women, an online business magazine, has a great article on logos based on the advice of several real life experts. Take a moment to head over to read the entire article: Ten Things to Consider When Creating Your Company Logo by Lucy Smith.

Pingraphy-Schedule Your Pins!

pingraphyPingraphy is a Pinterest management tool that allows you to schedule which pins to upload over time. Why should you schedule your pins? Scheduling is important because you want to pin during popular times to increase exposure for your pins. At the same time you want to avoid posting too much content at once and overwhelming your followers.

Creating a Pingraphy account is quite simple.  Simply sign up using the same email and password you used when you signed up for Pinterest. Them be sure to drag the pingraphy button into your toolbar up top below your address bar for easy scheduled pinning, and you are ready to go!

Understanding SEO

If you’ve ever uttered the words, “I just don’t get SEO!” you’re not alone.  When I first started blogging, I totally resisted the idea.  I thought I could just ignore it and skate by without really taking the time to fully understand it.

There were already a thousand things I needed to learn about blogging and trying to figure out SEO was like trying to understand hieroglyphs.  I felt as if I could figure those symbols and pictographs out faster than I could understand the proper keyword density for my blog posts.

I decided to go anti-SEO, and my blog suffered because of it.  Then one day, it hit me – if I was ever going to truly succeed as a blogger, I had better accept it and commit to learning how to use it to my benefit.

No matter how much it made my eyes cross, I decide it to keep researching until I figured it out.  I didn’t have the help of a New York  Search Engine Optimization company or any other experts to mentor me through the process.  It was brutal – at first.

But then I discovered various tools that could help me.  I discovered free SEO analysis tools and combined that with Google’s keyword tool.  I found that the keywords I thought I was targeting were completely different from what actually came up in the analysis.

It made me rethink the way I had been writing.  Most times the keywords that I started off with weren’t as optimized as I’d thought.  It was frustrating to find this out, but if I hadn’t taken action in the first place, I’d still be stuck in SEO limbo!

Here’s what to do:  Get Help

The good news is that you don’t have to try to figure it all out for yourself.  You can get help.  If you just don’t get SEO at all, you can outsource the task to someone does.  Obviously, you should proceed with caution and avoid any company that promises first page or first position results.  Take the time to research the company and try to locate reviews from some of its past or current clients.

I wish you the best with your SEO journey, hopefully it won’t be as bumpy as mine.

No Matter How Hard I Try, I Just Don’t Understand SEO – What to do? is a post from: We Blog Better.

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