Redesigning A Website – Seven Tips to Adhere To

1. Goal: More visitors and leads

There should be a good reason why you are redesigning a website. It should not be because you are bored with the design or because your boss wants it green and not grey. It should be to impact your business. So focus should be on the results you want which are more visitors, leads and customers. Every redesign decision you make should be focused on improving these points. Its not about how flash the site is but about what will improve your marketing efforts.

2. Do whatever you can to avoid pitfalls

There are many ways to redesigning your website that can actually have negative impact on your results. These redesigns do have, in more ways than none negative impacts on marketing results. An existing website has a lot of assets that have been built up during its lifetime. These assets help you get found by prospects who can then be turned into leads and ultimately customers. One has to find out what these assets are (usually remarkable content, optimized keywords, inbound links, and conversion tools) and protect them during redesigning a website. You have to understand that many web designers are designers and not marketers.

3. Do not spend money on unique design but on remarkable content:

A guy called Seth Godin said something about this: “I am going to go down on one limb and beg you not to create an original design. There are more than 1 billion pages on the web and there must be one you can start with. Your car is not unique neither is your house”. Most people care about content rather than design or redesigning a website. If that is done it should be purely for marketing reasons.

4. An ongoing content building strategy should be of paramount importance

When or if you have more content you will have more visitors and your business will grow faster. A 100 page blog or website will beat a 10 page website in traffic 90% of the time. A 500 page website will even do better. So the aim should be to build a strategy that builds content on a continuous basis.

5. Let there be conversion experiments

Constantly improving the effectiveness of your conversion tools (landing pages) is the key to effectively driving your conversion rate and the number of leads you get from your website over time. A static website and an IT consultant having to edit the pages every time is a no no. It is better to have a wordpress site that can be edited without having to know code.

6. A blog, RSS, SEO and landing pages should be included

All websites these days should have these basics. They work and are not expensive. Blogs are great for creating ongoing content and for customer rapport through comment functionality. RSS tools allow content to be pushed out to other websites and people, thus increasing the reach of your content. Landing pages will get good value out of your traffic. SEO on the other hand is not hard and gets results.

7. Metrics

Leads And Visitors. If the goal is to increase visitors and conversions then the metrics should be thus: If the CEO says redesigning a website for a new look is the goal. Tell him to go take a walk. Show him your new improved lead conversion metrics. A business website is a business tool and nothing else. Leave the works of art to the galleries and museums.

Rodney Akomas is an Inbound Marketing Certified Professional who helps Local Businesses get found online by their local target market. For a FREE Internet Marketing Kit, FREE Website Redesign Kit and FREE Report visit Local Business Marketing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=C_R_Akomas

0

Why Choose WordPress to Power Your Website?

If you talk to any ordinary business owner and ask them about their website and the process involved when they want to update the content you will most likely hears things along the lines of…

“I can’t update my website!”

“All I want to do is add a couple of pictures . How does it cost that much?”

“Nooooo, I just broke my website!”

Some of these folks may even have the technical know-how of registering a domain name and updating some generic aspects of their website based on the tools their web host provides them. But, what if for example the local flower shop owner wants to add a new bouquet to her website showing a beautiful picture of her new creation that they just snapped with her digital camera. If you’re like me you don’t want to wait and see the new bouquet in a couple of days. You want to update your website now and tell all your customers about it while your still excited. In other words you want to finish the job without shelling out all that money to have it done when it gets done.

WordPress to the rescue

WordPress is the largest publishing platform on the Internet powering over 25 million websites (http://en.wordpress.com/stats/). WordPress is also an Open Source project meaning there are more contributions made to the platform as a whole than its commercial counterparts. There are also no licensing fees for the software, meaning more resources can be devoted to creating compelling content for users.

Although many people don’t know that it is a powerful Content Management System (CMS) that can be used for more than just blogging. With WordPress you can build a blog, a website, or both. In this article we will explore why WordPress is a great choice for small business websites and why it’s the best choice when choosing a platform to deliver your message.

Web Content Management Systems

In short, a content management system (CMS) is a tool that helps you manage the creation and updates to web pages on your website without the worry of learning some fancy new coding language or the fear of possibly breaking your shiny new website.

Integrating WordPress with your Website

WordPress is an incredibly amazing and powerful content management system that is FREE. You heard right – FREE. And its core developers are working hard every day for you to make sure you have the best security and the most flexibility available. It’s perfect for a small or medium business looking for an easy way to manage their website and their content on the fly.

WordPress was originally designed as a platform for blogging, although you don’t have to use it as a blogging tool exclusively. In fact, out of the over 25 million websites being served by WordPress more and more of them are using WordPress to manage their entire website including members areas. With the right theme development it can be used to run your website, with or without a “blog.” At the same time, the fact that WordPress was designed as a blogging platform gives it some very compelling advantages over other CMS platforms like Drupal and Joomla.

As it should be, it’s optimized for easily publishing and updating content. And let’s not forget getting good search engine rankings requires fresh, unique and dynamic content. You need a system and a workflow that doesn’t hinder you when you want to update your website with a new article, newsletter or picture.

Let’s take a quick look at why WordPress is the best choice for you and your expanding business.

 

My Top Five Reasons to Use WordPress for Your Small Business Website

  1. SEO

    WordPress provides great search engine optimization (SEO) right out of the box. On top of that with the installation and configuration of standard WordPress plugins this only increases your strength with Googles search results. In fact Google’s own Matt Cutts says WordPress is “made to do SEO well” in this video: Matt Cutts gives tips to small business owners.

  2. Content

    It’s dead simple to update content on your website without knowing any code like HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript etc. Do you have to “ask” your webmaster every time you want to make a small change to your website that usually costs more than it’s worth to you? Well no longer – once WordPress is set up for you, you can easily create new pages or edit existing pages using a simple rich text editor. If you use Microsoft Word, then you basically already know how to update the content on your website.

  3. Plugins

    There is a living, breathing and ever growing community of developers creating themes and plug-ins – imagine the ability to extend your website with polls, contact forms, ratings, social integration or hundreds of other cool features without having to hire a web developer to build it from scratch.

  4. Support

    If you do have problems, or want to add very custom features, it is easy to find support and developers who can help you. There are literally thousands of WordPress developers out there. And there are so many people writing about WordPress that help is only a Google search away!

  5. Backwards compatibility

    With every new release of WordPress the developers strive for backwards compatibility. This gives you the peace of mind you need when upgrading your core system files but better security and flexibility.

As you can see, these are just a few of the reasons I recommend and prefer to build websites for small to medium sized businesses using WordPress. In the end, it’s all about the user and how easy it is for you to get your content to them. I would love to hear your comments below especially if you have started using WordPress recently. What are your favorite things about WordPress and do you see it saving you time and money?

0

How To Show The Amount Of Comments A Comment Author Made

Here is just a small code snippet I found for showing the amount of comments a comment author made.

Here’s a function you can use to get and echo the number of comments a comment author made. It’s pretty easy just put it in the functions.php file in your theme.

function commentCountAuthor(){

	$oneText = 'One comment';
	$moreText = '% comments';

	global $wpdb;

	$result = $wpdb->get_var('
		SELECT
			COUNT(comment_ID)
		FROM
			'.$wpdb->comments.'
		WHERE
			comment_author_email = "'.get_comment_author_email().'"'
	);

	if($result == 1): 

		echo str_replace('%', $result, $oneText);

	elseif($result > 1): 

		echo str_replace('%', $result, $moreText);

	endif;

}

Then just call the function inside the comments loop and shazam! Magic!

commentCountAuthor();
30

My Favorite WordPress Plugins

This is a short post about two of my favorite WordPress plugins and why I think they’re so great. WordPress currently offers over 9,600 plugins, so I’m sure I’ll be finding more and posting articles about them in the future! You can view the available WordPress plugins by visiting http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/. Out of these thousands of plugins many of them work very well in particular situations if you know about them. Below I’ve named just couple of my favorite plugins that I have found myself installing over and over in most of my WordPress websites.

More Fields

The first plugin is I’ll talk about is called More Fields. More Fields is an excellent WordPress plugin that adds boxes to the Write/Edit page/post. These boxes contain input fields, so that additional (more) fields can be added to a post. For example, if you write about books, you can add a box where you can enter title and author, etc. The boxes can be placed either to the right or to the left on the Write/Edit page. This is a great plugin for any WordPress designer doing theme customization because you can literally customize the backend of the website to force clients to post certain topics in a very specific way and at the same time it allows separation of post types.

Another example would be a business that writes blog posts for their website but at the same time wants to list the employees or team members. I think the easiest way to accomplish this task is to create Custom Post Types. If the company is posting something to the blog the write/edit page contains only the options available to that type of post. Whereas if they were posting a new employee or position then they would choose a different custom post type to make the desired options available. With this plugin you can create as many custom post types as you like and then add or remove any options associated with that type of post.

Facebook Fan Box

I especially like this plugin for the simple fact that nearly everyone has a Facebook profile anymore and this makes it super easy to gain more fans and be more social. For example I recently installed the Facebook Fan Box on a website I did for a freelance client. Before installing the Facebook Fan Box NW Audio had plateaued at about 244 fans after a year or so of having an active fan page. On average they were gaining 1 to 3 new fans per week.

After installing the Facebook Fan Box on their company website NW Audio started gaining new fans immediately. After the first week they had already gained over 40 new fans! Now you ask yourself, “Well haw did the Facebook Fan Box Help?” The awnser is simple. There are many people who know who NW Audio is and they’re certainly interested in them since they have been visiting the website. But do these regular or even new visitors know that NW Audio has a fantastic Facebook Fan Page with loads of updates, pictures and special events? Even more so that most news is released on the Facebook Fan page before the actual website in some cases?

The fact is these people visited NW Audio’s website and discovered “Hey these guys have a Facebook fan page too? I like them and I want to become a fan!”. With the integration of the plugin it’s been made it super easy for them to become a fan without even having to leave the website while at the same time allowing NW Audio to convert regular window shoppers to followers of their personal brand. Which in my own opinion is the ultimate goal at the end of the day.

What do you think about the plugins? Have you seen similar experiences with your own website or someone else’s? I would love to hear your feedback on the topic and feel free to share your own stories I would love to hear them!

0

WordPress Walkthrough

Take a walk through the Backend of WordPress with me to see the many benefits it has to offer!

0