If you are thinking about building a website, let me share some insider thinking which might improve your existence on the Web.
I get many people coming to me and asking for a website, and I try to explain to them that having a website is useless without SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). You can have a wonderful website all singing and dancing but It is useless without SEO as no one will see it.
Building a website is wasted money without the SEO which should go hand. This of course is an extra cost, but it would be the best marketing strategy that a business can implement, and certainly the most cost effective and economic use of time and money as a viewing of your site by anyone searching the net is potential money or exposure. Marketing your site in this way can also be measured with the vast array of tools out there predominantly Googles Analitics, giving you graphs, visitor flows and many other useful data which can be used to not only track your sites progression, and development, but can be used statistically to help grow your business not only in commerce but in many other fields. This is why SEO is still so underestimated, in its potential in building your business, and in the process of SEO we have an array of tools and procedures in which to help improve our rankings, and this is what this article is intended to help you with here.
Firstly, how you should think about your site, or even how a developer should think about your own site, a task which in-tails a lot of imagination and worldly experience to begin with. First consider this, You are the one who knows your business, you know all the little nooks and crannies, from the bottom to the top, and if we as developers get a small insight of what you know about your business then we are doing very well indeed. A breakdown of this workflow might look something like this:
You (the Business Manager) > The Business>Developer > Web Site
or if you are building your own website:
Website <> You <> The Business
So like your early business mentor would have explained to you that you must consider the business as another entity, and the same can be thought of your website, and it may not be a bad idea in business terms to consider it a completely separate business. Thinking about the workflow in this way makes sure that the Website is given as much attention as strategic planning as your business, given that it is the worlds window directly to you, commitment to the project is paramount top all success.
Once you have committed to building your site and you have the basic information up there, your site now begins to take a life of its own. As the site grows with information, it begins to take a a life of its own, and the only way that can be described is as another business, this business is predominantly involved in marketing and advertising, and as you make your transformation from Business Manager to Web Developer you will of course gather information from your analytical sources and of course other business sources and make adjustments, eventually ending up with a business model which will then in turn influence your actual business. This wonderful circular development of both businesses and is the most rewarding aspect of building a site, it really can onlybe measured to that feeling you first had when you decided to start your business.
So lets start on this journey, to release digital promotion and Internet Presence.
Of course it goes without saying you must have an Idea you want to develop, you may already have an existing business in which you can transfer to the site. Research pays dividends, both in finding out your competition as well understanding the style in which your web perchance would suit. Look at colours layout and images, every industry type seem to have their own individual style which can give you great ideas on how to proceed.
Layout and the basic design the site:
Consider how a user might navigate around your site, a good way of doing this would be to sketch out your site on paper, and some of the pages that should be included are as follows:
Yes, this is where you can let your creative side let loose, if your snappy with a camera, or already have a collection of useful images for your site, Put them in a separate folder on your computer (not the desktop putting large files here uses up ram and slows down your computer)
You will need a Logo, this needs to be professionally done, it needs to be crisp and pop out from the page, if you are not much good at graphic design then this might be a case where you need to pay to have one done. This agin needs to encapsulate your business in a single image, the colours need to suit your colour pallet, and you need to have it in photoshop format so it will sit on top of any page you put it on without having a square white background.
The type of images you use on your site are very important as well, You might want to think about using the colours from a collection of images as your colour pallet, this makes for a very smart and silk working website.
Images of people humanise a site where as a site with no people seems cold and inhuman, and therefore not so appealing. I am sure you have seen the image of the pretty call girl……….telephone centre receptionist on the home page of many sites, this reinstates to the user that this is a human organisation and not a computer at the end of the phone.
So you have your folder full of images, now you want to rename them as
image name | websitename.com |©your name2012 .jpg
The image name must be descriptive of the image in its basic form. Google images helps an awful lot in promoting your rankings, having your website address here will reinstate its popularity when google images scans your site. Images will also see that your pictures are well described and your copyright should insure intellectual property to a certain extent, but should certainly cover you should you wish to charge or sue someone who uses your images.
You can see I have left it as a jpg image, but if you have a lot of images then we need to look at optimising your images for the web and saving them as tiff pic or gift files. Photoshop is great if you can afford it but try to find an application which will deal with many file types and as well as saving the images for the internet. These programs can compress the image into a smaller file without losing picture quality, this ensures that your site does not take ages to load up and keeps consumer interaction running smoothly.
Meta Tags or Keywords
Long since has the days of stuffing your site full of keywords to get yourself up the rankings makes a difference. Now you should be limited to about 20. Think about them carefully for every page and ensure that they are relevant or mirrored in your content. It would be useless to have a site about fish for example and not have the keyword as such. This helps the Seach engine Bots quickly calibrate your site as being suitable content of a regulated standard. Offering trust to the user and the Search Engines.
Meta descriptions are also important, giving a summary breakdown of what is included in the page. Write this out to the exact incorporating some of your most prominent keywords and and Subject Matters. To make the Sentence look easy on the eye Write All Your Main Words Beginning WIth Capitals. Exceptions to this rule might include it, the, and , a etc…. This gives prominence and stature to your description when it is brought up on a Search Engine
To be continued……….