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Certificate for Successful Website Design document sample
Certificate for Successful Website Design document sample
Establishing a Successful Presence on the Web Presentation by P.J. Chambers WebIXI www.webixi.com WebIXI • P.J. Chambers of WebIXI • Located in Harford County, Maryland • In operation since 1995 • Focus on: – Website Design & Development – Website Programming (ecommerce, bulletin boards, custom interfaces) – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Campaigns Types of Sites • What type of site is right for your organization’s needs? – Informational – Ecommerce – Interactive – A combination of the above? Informational Sites • Used mainly to establish a presence on the web • Address your main points: – About Us – Programs/Services – Location/Directions – Contact Us Informational Sites Basic Design Hints and Tips • Keep a consistent and easy to use navigational structure • Three Click Rule • Select a color scheme and keep it • Do not go overboard with special effects • Flash, music, etc • Use Alt tags on all images, pictures, and graphics • Each file should be well named • “/page1.html” vs “/about_us.html” Ecommerce Sites • Ecommerce sites will allow your organization to take donations or sell products/tickets online • Many different options to consider – Template Shopping Cart Interfaces • Google/Yahoo Shops – Off the Shelf Interfaces • Xcart Interface – Custom Programming Ecommerce Sites – Xcart Interface • Xcart interface is highly customizable, and allows its coding to be modified to fit the design of your particular site • Although pages are dynamic, it allows SEO Friendly techniques • http://www.thearcofpgc.org/xcart/product.php?pr oductid=6&cat=2&page=1 • http://www.woodyscrabhouse.com/xcart/home.p hp?cat=2 Merchant Account/Payment Gateway • The merchant account and payment gateway are used to securely take credit card information over the Internet • Double check your payment gateway! Not every payment gateway is compatible with every shopping cart Merchant Account/Payment Gateway Ecommerce Considerations Ecommerce Considerations • Beware of any shopping cart interface that stores credit card information • Your hosting account will cost more each month in order to have a Secure Socket Layers (SSL) Certificate • Sales tax is only applicable if the billing address is from your state Interactive Sites • These sites encourage user interaction • High recurring traffic rate • Some possible features: – Discussion Forums – Games and Quizzes – Calendars – Teaching Modules vBulletin Interface • vBulletin interface is a great tool that allows users to become more interactive with the site • Encourages recurring traffic • Bulletin Board System/Open Forums for discussions • Interactive Calendars • RSS Feeds vBulletin Interface: RSS Feeds • Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Feeds • Allows users to publish updated content such as blog entries, news headlines, podcasts, and information in a standardized format throughout the internet • http://arcofbaltimore.org/forum/ Internet Marketing Campaigns • Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns • Improving Natural Search Ranking Results • Sponsored Advertisements • Networking Sites • Email Marketing Campaigns Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns • Most popular: Google Ad Words • Set a marketing budget – Per click, Daily, and Monthly limits • Choose keywords • Compete for highest position in “Sponsored Results” Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns Pros Cons • Quickly allows your site to reach the • Many consumers ignore these top of the search engine rankings results, as they are perceived as “advertisements” • Easy to track results and traffic from the sponsored ads • Not usually the most effective money spent in a tight marketing • Stay on or under budget each month budget • Unless you have a higher ticket item, you may not make enough money to justify the cost Improving Natural Search Rankings • One of the most important factors in Internet Marketing – Where does your site rank when people use the search engines? • How do you get your site higher on the rankings? • The Basic Elements in a well designed website will address many of the factors SEO: White Hat vs Black Hat • SEO Techniques can be classified in two broad categories – White Hat – Black Hat • White Hat Techniques are rewarded by the search engines • Black Hat Techniques involve more deception, and are penalized accordingly SEO: Black Hat Techniques • Invisible Text • Cloaking • Keyword Stuffing • Doorway Pages • Spam SEO: Black Hat Penalties • Currently two punishments from search engines: – Banned – Penalized • Once a site is banned, it is removed from the index entirely • Search Google for site:yourdomain.com – Results? Then your site was not banned SEO: White Hat Techniques • Content Writing • Keywords • Sitemaps • Links • Increasing PageRank • Submissions • Other SEO Tactics SEO: Content • “Content is King” • This is the most important factor in determining the search ranking results • Text within an image and flash does not count toward this – search engines cannot decipher what these mean SEO: Content SEO: Content Tips and Hints • Writing well and writing well for a search engines are completely different • Make sure your Title Tags are descriptive and include the keywords/phrases you wish people to find you with • Do not try to hide keywords or content on the page • Bullet points work great for both users and search engines • The closer to the top of the page, the better! • Bold or italicize to emphasize importance • Outbound links are a great resource SEO: Keyword Selections • These are the words you want your site to rank well in • A bit of a misnomer, phrases work better than single words • These go in the coding of the site, but should also be emphasized in the content • Page specific keywords can be a great benefit to your site SEO: Keyword Selections Common mistakes made when selecting keywords: – Single word terms – Terms that are too broad, and not focused to what you offer – Terms that are too specialized, which nobody searches for – Terms which are unpopular – Highly competitive terms which you can’t hope to rank well in SEO: Keyword Selections Poor Keyword Choice Improved Keyword Choice CAC Child Advocacy Center in Maryland Ice cream Homemade Ice Cream Harford County Restaurants Seafood Restaurants Inner Harbor Baltimore Insurance Personal Liability Insurance Bel Air MD Vacuum Central Vacuum Installation Towson MD SEO: Google Sitemap • Differs from a normal sitemap • No users can see this file • Allows Google and other search engines to easily index each page of a site – Must be formatted and named correctly – It helps to alert the search engines that one is ready SEO: Links • Anchor Text – These are the words that appear in a link (link text) – Search Engines pay close attention to these • Links in the body copy – Links within the text are stronger than those within the navigation or outside the content itself – Generally, these links will be clicked more often by users SEO: PageRank (PR) • PR is Google’s measurement of how important a site is • Mainly based off how many pages link to your particular page or site • The higher a PR score (0-10), the more important a site is considered • PR is just one of the factors used to rank pages, and not the most important SEO: Link Popularity • The number of backlinks you have to your site • Reciprocal links are useful, but do not feel as if you must do them – If your site is a quality site with quality information, people will link to you – Do not link to a site you consider “poor” or a bad resource simply for the link • Directories are a great source, as search engines use these in their rankings SEO: Submissions • Submitting your site should be done at go live, and once every three months • Submit to the following: – All major search engines, especially Google, Yahoo, and Bing – Directories – Google Caffeine – Ecommerce – Google Shop (Beta Mode) – Google Images SEO: Hiring Outside Help • The algorithms used to determine the natural search ranking results are constantly changing • New research and reports are coming out on a daily basis • Many organizations do not have the time or man power to keep up with the moving target • Be careful, unfortunately there are many unscrupulous companies in this field SEO: Hiring Outside Help • Questions that you should ask your SEO: – What kind of guarantee do you give? – What type of techniques do you use? – Which Search Engines are we targeting? – Are we targeting the Natural Search Rankings? – How often will we discuss results? – Have you ever had a site penalized or banned? If so, when? – Will changes be made to my site without my knowledge? Sponsored Advertisements • Some sites offer banner ad space – Many Chamber of Commerce Sites – Networking Sites • Pay to have a clickable graphic to your site • These advertisements are usually pulled at random • http://www.hdgchamber.com/ Sponsored Advertisements Pros Cons • Inexpensive way to get your name in • No guarantee of how much current front of potential customers traffic the site gets • Easy to track results and traffic from • Only people who to to the site have the banner ad the chance to see the advertisement. Even then, it is not guaranteed they • Ads are usually customizable – will see it design to have the look and feel of your site Networking Sites: Facebook • Extremely Popular Networking Site • Allows people to create profiles, view a real time news feed of recent updates • Many businesses are starting pages / groups • Allows companies to post: – General Information – Photos – Wall Posts – Events Networking Sites: Facebook, cont. • Examples of ways to effectively use this as a tool to increase business and awareness – www.facebook.com/thearcofbaltimore – www.facebook.com/stimulatedyet – http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Vincent-de-Paul- of-Baltimore/46471598929?v=info Facebook – Tips and Hints Facebook – Tips and Hints • Add fresh content and updates regularly, and at different times throughout the day/night • Be careful over over posting! Fans can easily block all communications from your organization if they feel overwhelmed • If possible, each update should allow users the option of linking back to your main website • Carefully weigh the pros and cons of allowing users to post on your wall • Once you hit 100 fans, request a dedicated page name • It can be difficult to separate business with pleasure on Facebook – remember who you are adding! Remember – this is a tool to help enhance and market your website, not replace it Networking Sites: Linked In • Business oriented social networking site • Mainly used for professional networking – Expand your business networking – Post resume • Great way to get a link back to your site – Allows former coworkers, and others to check out what you are doing now! Email Marketing Campaigns • Constant Contact – Most campaigns start as low as $15/month • Customizable Email Templates • Easy to use admin interface • Reporting function is extremely useful • One of the most effective ways to stay in front of your customers Email Marketing Campaigns Email Marketing Tips and Hints • Begin collecting email addresses everywhere! • Excel Spreadsheets • Go for a consistent look and feel • Give the customer a reason to want you to contact them! • Special Coupons/Discounts • Tips/Tricks of the Trade • Offer plenty of links to your site • Do NOT use email addresses that you do not know or that were not given to you • Constant Contact has a strict anti-spam policy • Track results! Keeping Traffic to Your Site • Retaining and Recurring Traffic is just as important as New Visitors • What keeps users coming back to your site? Keeping Traffic to Your Site Keeping Traffic to Your Site • Analyze your site’s layout. Is it easy to navigate? • Keep Content Fresh: • What’s New Section • Promotions • Web Based Coupons • Industry Tips/FAQs/News • Discussion Boards • RSS Feeds • Analyze the Top Entrance and Exit Pages Tracking Results and Statistics • One of the most important things to do – Helps to determine if you are spending your money wisely – Fix issues before they become recurring problems • Google Analytics – Tracks many important statistics for your site – Easy to install and read – Absolutely free, just need to sign up for a Google Account Tracking Results Tracking Results – Which Statistics Should I Focus On? • Hits vs Visitors • Where is the traffic coming from? • Search Engines • Referring Sites • Direct Traffic • Search Terms • Daily Traffic (mass mailings) • Monthly Traffic • Top Entrance and Exit Pages • Rankings (Not available within Google Analytics) Recap • Which site is right for your organization? • Internet Marketing Campaigns – PPC Campaigns – Improving Natural Search Ranking Results (SEO) – Networking Sites – Email Marketing • Keeping Traffic to Your Site • Tracking Results Q&A Any questions?
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