Workshop: Top Ten Steps to Building a Winning Website
Expert: Jay Berkowitz
From the program: “Whether you’re planning a start-up or building out a parked domain, you can maximize your chances for attracting and converting traffic by following a handful of critical steps related to landing page design, optimizing content, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), on-site offers and forms,user-generated content, and driving traffic from social media. Bring a notepad, because you’ll need it to write down all the great tips! Plenty of time for Q&A, too.”
3 Strategies for Building Websites
Three types of generating content for websites:
1. Editor Model
Use editors to write good content
eHow (Demand Media) uses an editor model
Can find great editors at Guru.com or Elance.com
Fiverr.com will help with SEO, install WordPress and a host of other things for $5
Use your local college — find the journalism students who want to be published
2. User Generated Content
Get your users to create your content, through discussion forums, Q&A sites, etc.
Sites like Ning allow you to do it with technology already built-out
WordPress and vBulletin allow you to get a technology up and running
3. Create a Blog
Dip your toe in the water. Get started. Set up a blog at wordpress.org. “As easy as email” once you get it set up (use fiverr.com to setup)
Copy and paste some of your content from, say, a presentation to the blog, and you’re done.
Every website should have:
Advertising (like an AdSense feed)
Logo in the top left corner, click goes to homepage
Slogan (4 second rule: within 4 seconds user determines if website has what they’re looking for)
Copy (content) – Google reads words, need a lot of them to define the website
Navigation on left hand side or on the top, and standardized across site
How to Build Traffic
The funnel of traffic is used by many because we funnel a lot of traffic, then we want to arrange where they go on the site.
Google paid search (pay per click, PPC): Set up a PPC campaign, 15 minutes, need a credit card, set daily budget to $5 per day, set up ads, test. Most important thing is measuring conversions to make sure people are doing what you want once they’re in the funnel (on your website)
Google organic traffic (search engine optimization, SEO): Good architecture: clean code, internal links, site map. Back links: need a bunch of other sites to link back to your website. DNJournal.com, for example, has 60,352 links TO the site, which makes it more important in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
To get others to link to your website, you need great content. Lists are an easy way to create “link bait,” is like the bait you put on a hook to to convince the fish to bite the hook. Other bloggers love lists because they’re easy to link to.
Content: You need the words people are looking for in the content of your page. Google, Word Tracker. Keyword Discovery are ways to find the keyword phrases when writing content. SEM Rush will tell you the search phrases that sites are using (can use for your website, and competitor websites).
Affiliate Marketing: Use affiliates to send traffic to your website. Amazon, for example, has an affiliate program. You can get a virtual sales force who will promote your products and services. If you’re a publisher, you can sign up at Commission Junction and other sites and pay others a commission on clicks or sales.
Email Marketing: Groupon.com is using email marketing to remind people of great deals every day.
Facebook is coming around to a place where we can do things to drive traffic to our websites. Advertisers are now promoting fan pages on Facebook instead of their website. Facebook fan pages get indexed and picked up by Google, so it’s extra exposure on search engines. TIP: Get your facebook vanity URL (like facebook.com/domainsherpa, instead of a long-unruly web address). To do so go to facebook.com/username; you’ll need 25 fans before they allow you to sign up for a vanity URL.
Google Analytics offers a URL building. For each ad you create on Facebook, you can track the conversion metric because Facebook doesn’t offer it right now (they’re working on it).
YouTube: #3 website in the world. #2 search engine in world: more people search on YouTube then Bing and Yahoo. You can search engine optimize your videos by specifying title and description. Drives traffic and subscriptions at your website. Examples: handyman videos, tennis pro training videos.
Twitter: Dell Outlets does millions of dollars of sales only through their Twitter account.
Podcasts: iTunes. You might have 20,000 competitors on the web, but on the iTunes podcasting channel you may only have a handful.
Create a Relationship
Less than 1% of those visiting will fill out a form or complete a registration. It takes 8 visits from a user before they create a relationship. Create a unique value proposition to convince them to sign up. Don’t give up when your website doesn’t automatically get a lot of traffic.
Monetize Your Website
Groupon has a deal of the day email newsletter. When you get permission to send you an email, or you follow them on Twitter, there’s a little bit of magic in that. Contests also work well (website, Facebook page, Twitter, etc.). AdSense is a straightforward way to monetize your website. Affiliate banners on your site are another option.