Tag Archives | websites

Beginner’s guide to WordPress

wordpressAccording to Wikipedia, WordPress was used by more than 26.4% of the top 10 million websites by April 2016. That’s more than a quarter of the world’s websites, including this one.

You can use it to run a blog or even a whole website, whether or not that website includes a blog.

In WordPress jargon, ‘posts’ go on your blog (one long page with the most recent post at the top), and ‘pages’ are static.

There are thousands of options so you can make your site look and behave exactly as you want. But it’s a target for hackers. If you don’t want to unexpectedly find your site selling Viagra or promoting the Bristol Gerbil Society, it’s wise to do regular updates that add the latest security patches.

There are two flavours of WordPress. Both are free. Yes, free! Confusingly, both have the same name.

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Are you writing for humans or spiders?

People or spiders

Who’s your reader?

Human beings search the internet for specific ecommerce products, information and/or entertainment.

Search engine spiders crawl the internet looking for content to match the search phrase that has been typed in (because it’s the World Wide Web, ha ha!).

Before you write each blog post, you need to decide on your objective.

Are you trying to demonstrate expertise and add value for human site visitors, or are you writing in the hope that your content will be found (and ranked highly) by Google?

The art of a professional copywriter is to craft words that influence, persuade and change behaviour e.g. making someone click a ‘buy now’ or or ‘subscribe’ button.

The art of an SEO copywriter is to help a webpage or blog post appear in the organic (aka natural or free) search engine listings.

I can do both, but if you’ve read my articles before, you’ll know I prefer writing for people than for machines.

Read my SEO articles to find out more:
http://jackiebarrie.com/tag/seo/

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Homepage headlines

GrabTranscript from a 5-minute speech

I could grab you with my first few words – or I could lose you.

With a website you have less than three seconds to grab attention and make an impact.

But what impact do you want your website to make? What’s the objective of your website? What’s the point of having one in the first place?

Most of my clients tell me it’s to be found on search engines, and/or to convert site visitors into enquirers or clients. And how do you do that?

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4 x 4 x 4 approach to enhancing your homepage

4 objectives for your homepage, 4 words NOT to use, 4 elements to include

In the Lewis Carroll book ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’, Alice fell down the rabbit hole, where she met the Cheshire Cat.

‘Pray, tell me, where should I go from here?’ she asked.

‘That very much depends on where you’re trying to get to’ he replied.

‘I don’t really care where I get to’.

‘Then it doesn’t really matter which way you go’.

Marketing is all about objectives. That’s so important I’m going to say it again: marketing is all about objectives. If you don’t know where you’re trying to get to, it doesn’t matter what you do; it doesn’t matter which way you go.

The main objective of your homepage is to get people to click the ‘buy now’ button or contact you. (Top right is the standard place for contact details, as that is where people will look.)

Aside from that, here are four more key objectives.

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Wonderful Website Webinar

Here are the edited highlights of a webinar I did to follow up the talk I gave at the #MakeItHappen conference in Marbella. I hope you find them useful. Of course, if you want any further help, you know where to find me…

PART 1
13:00 minutes
What does Alice Through the Looking Glass have to do with websites, Review of EFT Costa Blanca, What the banner printer did wrong

PART 2
7:30 minutes
Review of Guide to Malaga, Q&A: Should your website be scrollable?

PART 3
13:30 minutes
Review of Change My Life, How your website fits with your other online marketing

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Is your website generating leads? Find out why not…

Some people fondly imagine that their website will attract 7 million visitors on the first day that it’s launched. Sadly, that’s unlikely to happen.

Your website is just one step in the whole marketing process, and one element of your whole marketing strategy.

It will have two audiences – People who already know who you are, and people who don’t already know who you are but are searching for what you sell.

Chances are that people who already know you only want your contact details. Continue Reading →

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New year, new website?

FireworksMany people use the festive break to refresh their website. Here are some of the things you need to do, to make the sparks fly in the new year.

Analyse where you are today

Look at your Google Analytics (or other webstats) to see:

  • How many unique visitors your site already gets
  • What keywords they search to find you
  • Which page they initially land on
  • How long they stay
  • Which is the last page they look at

Even more importantly, establish how many enquiries, leads, sales, newsletter signups etc. you get from your current site.

This sets a benchmark that you can compare against when you launch your new site (be sure to measure using the same tools so you are comparing like with like).

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Why writing your own web copy could be a false economy

School

photo credit: Homework via photopin (license)

  • Have you got a website?
  • Has that website got Google analytics or other web stats on it?
  • Have you ever looked at those analytics?
  • Have you ever made a change to your web content as a result of your analytics?
  • When was the last time you updated your web copy?

Those are some of the questions I ask at the beginning of a website workshop.

There is usually some embarrassed laughter at question three, when people realise there is no point having analytics if you never look at them. I give out a prize after question five to the person who has updated their website most recently as a result of what their analytics show.

These days, many people have a Content Management System (CMS) website that they can update themselves. WordPress is by far the most popular CMS platform. According to W3Techs quoted on Wikipedia, it was used by more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites by January 2015.

But, just because the technology exists to enable you to write your own web copy, it doesn’t mean you should.

Learning how to throw a sentence together at school doesn’t mean you can write effective, compelling web copy.

Admit it. You don’t know what you don’t know.

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