Are You Thinking Strategically About Your Website?

Are You Thinking Strategically About Your Website?

Designing and laying out the pages of a website isn't just about what you think looks right, or about what everybody else does. It requires strategic thinking. If you strategically organize your website, you'll make it more effective and see better results. Starting with the Goal in Mind To strategically design a website, start with the end goal in mind. This should be the goal for your visitor. What specific action do you want your website visitor to take? Examples include: Purchasing a product Purchasing a service Signing up for an email list Spending time reading or learning Applying for a job Donating to charity or investing money Entering your sales funnel Contributing content or something creative This specific action will guide all of the rest of your website planning. Make It Focused Strategic design involves making a website highly focused. You don't want pages and elements that get in the way or distract from the goal of the website. Each page or element needs to have a specific purpose in aiding you toward that goal. For example, you may want to create a resources page for your website. However, this page is full of external links that lead the visitor off your site. If your goal is to provide content and keep the visitor reading on-site, this is an element you should get rid of. If you want to understand what makes a focused webpage, look at a good landing page. A landing page has a single goal, which is usually to get the visitor to sign up for an email list. On a good landing page, there...

Why Go Social when you’re Not?

Do you feel stressed or discouraged at the thought of having to add social media to your business advertising mix?  If you do, then chances are you are one of the secret minority who have vowed never to join Twitter, and you're sick of hearing about Facebook (that thing your teenager haunts). Relax.  Social media doesn't have to mean huge learning curves and wasted hours, all in the name of networking. Once you realize that business networking isn't wasting time at all, it might make a whole lot more sense. Mind you, you might have to work a little at that shift in mindset… but you can do a few things to cut down on your social media climbing without losing valuable opportunities for free advertising. Start Small… You can't get much faster than Twitter for social media networking. Compare the three hours you spent writing that article; then the frustratingly glitchy load time, uploading it to your marketing directory… and waiting 4 or 5 days for it to be approved… Now write out a sentence like this (in less than 140 characters): “10 ways to French-braid your hair”. Add to it a shortened link to your blog post. Voila. You're done. The best way to shorten that link?  There's 2 schools of thought… Some say it's better if you used an optimized post title leading directly to your blog, like so: “http://www.just-an-example.com/brainstorming.html“.  Keyword-wise… yes, it is. But most people shorten their posts with bit.ly, because it allows you to add a button to your browser bar, and check your click-throughs instantly. (And remember, social networking is driven by...

Does your Blog Need a Mobile WordPress Plug-in?

If you have a blog, don't assume it will translate perfectly to mobile:  Chances are, it has at least 2 columns, and runs ads, graphics and is set for a screen width that's (at absolute minimum) 760 px wide. Besides, even if it was able to load in and emerge with a readable format, you need to remember that many people are paying heavily for each megabyte downloaded on their mobiles (not to mention for the time)… and they're not going to wait twenty minutes for all your graphics and plug-ins to load. One superb and very user-friendly plug in is WordPress Mobile edition. If you can't find it by searching the plug-in section via your blog Dashboard, you can easily download it from WordPress.org's plug-in section. (It even allows comments – something that is often a problem.) One word of caution: If you have one of the smaller mobile phones, avoid the popular Carrington theme recommended on the WordPress.org WordPress Mobile editions page.) According to WordPress.org, this plug-in works particularly well on Blackberries, iPhones, Androids, touch phones, all wireless, and PDA. Advertising, Anyone? If you want to display ads, the Mippin Mobilize plug-in (also found at WordPress.org) is a configuration-free plug in. It works by redirecting other mobile users to Mippin's rendering of your blog. This is a nice plug-in, because it scales photographs to conform to your mobile site visitor's screen width, and converts vides to 3G format. Customization, Anyone? If you'd rather customize your blog theme somewhat, a plug-in you might like is MobilePress. This one isn't available at WordPress.org, but you can find it on...