Websites and blogging
Some thoughts about websites and blogs, from
- what you need to know before getting one and things to consider when doing the planning for one,
- to design aspects and development issues to
- actually running and managing one.
You have a lot to offer your clients. Your products and services are good. Your expertise is valid. Your advice is useful. You know you can help those who have the problems you solve.
But how do you “talk” to clients on your website? How do you connect? How do you make them realise you're the one they're looking for?
You see it on a lot of websites: a page that is filled with links to other sites.
Maybe there's a page like that on your site?
The question is, should it be there? Is it doing more harm than good?
The correct answer is...depends.
Some links can be good for your website, some are definitely to be avoided.
First let's just clear up a spot of confusion...
I come across this often when it comes to links and building websites:
“But I've heard links are important for the search engines to find me and I want that. So I want lots of links! Let's make a link page...”
There are a plethora of systems available that can be used to build a website today. And more are coming on to the market all the time.
This makes it very difficult to decide which website system will be right for your company's website. What should you be looking for? How do you know which one is best? What are the professionals using?
We've been building websites for more than 10 years. After extensive research and testing, our website system of choice is still Joomla. (Read more about how we came to choose Joomla.) Here are our top 4 reasons why we prefer to build websites with Joomla:
If you had to ask any business what it wants and would always appreciate, I'm convinced it would say “More sales, please!” But as with any gift, you stand the chance of getting it wrong.
How exactly do you go about giving your business exactly what it wants? Actually, it's a whole lot easier than spending a day in the mall with the kids! You spend some time on the first thing visitors see when coming to your website: your home page.
Reason number one:
See if this makes sense to you...
One day Bob walked into a car dealership and went up to Tom, the salesman.
“Good morning. I'd like a vehicle, please,” Bob said.
“Good morning, Sir. What do you have in mind?” said Tom.
“I don't really know. Just a vehicle,” said Bob a bit impatiently.
The little word “free” accounts for a fair number of bad websites floating around on the web. How so?
First let's consider all the “free stuff” available on the net. From info to games to ebooks to video clips to software, a lot of things are available for you to acquire without spending any money. Among all these free goodies are free website builder programs.
“Whoo-Hoo!” yells George, a delighted business owner. “Now I can build my own website and not have to pay a web developer!”
And so he downloads the program, installs it on his computer and spends hours learning how to make the program create a page, put his text where he thinks it must go, building a menu and adding some pictures.
Eventually he manages to upload his website to a hosting provider and then he sits back and waits for the sales to start rolling in while he's sleeping. (And it better happen soon because all the hours and hours he spent on making his own website meant that he couldn't really pay attention to his business and cashflow is now a bit tight!)
"Every business must have a website."
By now you've heard or read this somewhere but you're not sure. Will a website work for your business, in your industry? How do you know if internet marketing is one of the marketing methods you should be using?
You’ll know you need a website if you answer yes to any of the following 15 questions.
When it comes to websites, many of our current clients have admitted that the first time they asked someone for a website quote, they ended up feeling so confused and that they were about to be ripped off that they decided not to get involved in internet marketing at all. This is a sad state of affairs and in the long run it can cause a firm that really needs a website to lose money.
We've found that by providing some background info about what a website entails and what its basic blocks are, we help our clients to have a better understanding of what they are getting and how it all works.
This is a chat I had with Michael Cowen, Strategic Director at Brandsocial, about the building blocks that you need to follow through on to get your website up and running.
We spoke about starting a website, what to consider, what to put on it, what it must look like, how to get visitors and more. The conversation is based on the article below this video.
The basic building blocks of any website are the following:
A domain name
The "look and feel" of the website (also called the design of the site)
- The development of the site
- The content to appear on the site
- The layout of the content
- The navigation / menu structure of the site (how to move between different pages, articles etc)
A number of other aspects can also be added to a website to add to what it can do and to achieve special purposes (e.g. image gallery, forms, e-commerce, etc), but the above list contains the basics for any site.