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Podcast #5 – Common Terms for the Website Newbie

ConfusedAs a web design professional, I use technical terms everyday that are now second nature to me. Once I have worked with a client for a few months, I notice that some of those words become second-nature to them as well. However, in the initial period of contact, some website newbies (a newcomer inexperienced in a particular activity) are completely bamboozled by the language of the internet and I find myself explaining what those words actually mean.

So in this month’s podcast, I am going to divert from the marketing tips I usually give and instead, I will explain five essential terms that every website owner needs to know in order to effectively market their sites.

What is a CMS?

If you have a website that you can log into and update yourself, chances are that you have a CMS enabled website. CMS stands for Content Management System. This is a piece of software installed on a web server that allows quick and easy changes to the site without the need to understand complicated code.

My CMS of choice is WordPress and it is estimated the 22% of all new websites are created with a WordPress background. My clients can create new pages, add content, insert images and change the navigation menus without any more knowledge than you need to create a Word document. Some of the buttons are even the same.

From a marketing viewpoint, a CMS allows the site owner to keep the content fresh (not stale – see the next question) and, if you are using WordPress, you can optimise each page for search engines as you create. As you would know from my previous podcast, fresh content means return visitors and more interest from the search engines (such as Google –they love it!)

What’s the difference between a CMS site and a brochure site?

The key difference is that the content on a brochure site is static – it isn’t changed on a regular basis and normally has to be changed by a web designer. It is the virtual equivalent of a physical printed brochure.

A CMS site, as already stated, can be updated quite often (several times a day if you have the time) but a brochure site shows the same content for a number of days/weeks/months…..

Just like having an ad in the Yellow Pages really! These sites are effective if you simply need a web presence for search reasons such as people looking for your phone number etc but not good for constantly changing information.

Marketing view – Google likes fresh content! Go for a CMS!

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is quite complex field if you really want to delve into it. In general terms, it refers the way you set up your website in order for search engines such as Google and Bing to catalogue and prioritize it for results when people come looking via their portals.

There is a whole market out there of SEO specialists whose primary job is to look at a client’s website and optimise it. It can be quite expensive depending on the level you want to delve to but fortunately there a number of things that you as the website owner can do yourself.

Marketing View on SEO – It is obviously very important to get your site ranked highly in Google so here are a few tips that you can try:

• If you are running WordPress as your CMS (all my CMS clients are), install the plug-in “All in One SEO”. This allows you to individually optimise each page on your site.

• Look at your competitor’s sites if they are higher ranked in Google. Look for keywords that you should be using on your site and scatter throughout your text (sensibly of course so that everything still is grammatically correct).

• Keep your content fresh (have I mentioned that before?)

What is Social Media?

You might be surprised but when I mention the term “social media” to some of my clients, they don’t know what I am talking about. However, if I use the words Facebook and Twitter, they automatically understand me. Social Media is defined in Wikipedia as “the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities”.

Put simply Social Media is a form of online interaction between people.

From a marketer’s viewpoint, Social Media is essential to any business that wants to grow. It allows interaction between the business and its clients including the passing of information, problem solving, product testing and all varieties of community-based communication. It has the ability to change a client from a customer to a fan (check out the Small Business Big Marketing podcast #117 for more information. Social Media can also be a means of driving visitors to your official website through the release of various information. Discussed in Podcast #3, Facebook can be a great ally in both building community and client conversion.

What are Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a service from Google that automatically generates detailed stats about a particular website’s traffic. It measures conversions / sales via that site so that owners can determine the success of various campaigns that are running.

Just like SEO, Google Analytics has a variety of levels depending on how far you wish to “dive” into it. At its most basic level, marketers can use it to measure page visits and geographical location of visitors. Individual pages can also be analysed to check the effectiveness of the page and how long a visitor spends looking at content. Whilst not directly telling you how to fix the problem, Google Analytics will tell you exactly where the problems lie.

Conclusion

There we are – five frequently asked questions from my clients. I hope this podcast has been informative and you have something to use next time you look at the “backend” of your website. Check your SEO today (see, much easier to say than Search Engine Optimisation) and try out Google Analytics to help sort out where your site is successful and where it might need a little work.

If you have any other questions for me, head on over to www.rustymangodesign.com.au and shoot me through a email. I’ll be glad to answer any queries and I might even share the answers on a future episode of The Marketing Series. Thanks for joining me on the podcast and I look forward to talking to you again soon with Podcast #6.

Also available on Apple I-Tunes

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Who is my Ideal Client?

On my walk this morning, I listened to a new podcast from America. A marketing guru of types, Amy Porterfield discussed creating meaningful content and the process that she works through in order to get new ideas. When I got home, I jotted down some notes (so I wouldn’t forget them straight away, as I tend to do sometimes). One of the first things I wrote was a list of the 10 most common questions that I am asked as a web designer. I also listed 10 questions that I need to ask myself as the business owner. In no time at all, I created 20 new topics to cover in both my Blog and the Website Marketing Series podcast! With no further adieu, here’s the first one….

Who is my ideal client?

Anyone would think that this would already be covered in any good business plan and to a degree, it is. However it’s very important to draw up a clear image of the target customer you want heading into your website. The site needs to be created and managed in such a way that this customer finds what they need with a minimal of hassle. Remember, if they can’t find what they want from you, they will go to your competitors.

Here’s a series of questions you need to ask yourself and the answers that I would supply as a website design business owner. Obviously, your answers may be vastly different to mine. Below each answer, I will also discuss how this affects my website content.

1. What type of client is has a need what you have to offer?

My Answer

  • Small to Medium size business owners.
  • Has products/services to market.
  • Needs a web portal as a medium for advertising and information dissemination.
  • Would like to make online sales.

Website Content

  • Site needs a professional business-like appearance.
  • Wording needs to be concise and to the point.
  • Added value to my site for the visitor in the production of marketing tips and information.
  • Services clearly outlined with an emphasis on the website design aspect.

2. What type of client sees the value in what you have to offer?

My Answer

  • A technically savvy business owner with prior experience in websites or a consistent user of online services.
  • A business owner who wants to “out-market” their competitors.
  • A newcomer to websites who has realised that the Yellow Pages are dead 😀

Website Content

  • My content needs to remain fresh and current.
  • I need to reflect the marketplace with new services outlined clearly on the site.
  • My point of contact / call to action needs to be prominent on the site.

3. Financially, who has the money to pay for your services and will they pay you on time?

My Answer

I might find a client who understands where I am coming from, provides great information to build a site and is an absolute dream to work with however, if they can’t pay the bill at the end of the work, there is no way that they are an “ideal client”.

Once a client has accepted my initial quote, and before we start work on the site, I insist up on a 50% down-payment for the work. This has two purposes – one, it spurs the business own on to get the content ready for the site launch and two, it ensures that after I supply an initial design, they don’t “jump ship” and take that design to a competitor.

Where to?

Once you have answered the questions above, sit down in front of your computer and take a good look at what you have online. Does it match up with your idea of what an “ideal client” would be looking for? If not, log in and starting updating it today. Unless you check your site statistics on a regular basis, you might not know how much business you are missing out on!

Bonus Tip

This one applies to everyone. Look at the front page of your site – is there a clear business statement visible for your “ideal client”.

This statement defines your business in terms of who you are, your priorities, what’s most important to the business and what is great about your business that you want to share, sell and make money with.

Make this a priority for your front page today!

Rusty Mango Design

Rusty Mango Design