As a web design professional, I use technical terms everyday that are now second nature to me. Once I have worked with a client for a few months, I notice that some of those words become second-nature to them as well. However, in the initial period of contact, some website newbies (a newcomer inexperienced in a particular activity) are completely bamboozled by the language of the internet and I find myself explaining what those words actually mean.
So in this month’s podcast, I am going to divert from the marketing tips I usually give and instead, I will explain five essential terms that every website owner needs to know in order to effectively market their sites.
What is a CMS?
If you have a website that you can log into and update yourself, chances are that you have a CMS enabled website. CMS stands for Content Management System. This is a piece of software installed on a web server that allows quick and easy changes to the site without the need to understand complicated code.
My CMS of choice is WordPress and it is estimated the 22% of all new websites are created with a WordPress background. My clients can create new pages, add content, insert images and change the navigation menus without any more knowledge than you need to create a Word document. Some of the buttons are even the same.
From a marketing viewpoint, a CMS allows the site owner to keep the content fresh (not stale – see the next question) and, if you are using WordPress, you can optimise each page for search engines as you create. As you would know from my previous podcast, fresh content means return visitors and more interest from the search engines (such as Google –they love it!)
What’s the difference between a CMS site and a brochure site?
The key difference is that the content on a brochure site is static – it isn’t changed on a regular basis and normally has to be changed by a web designer. It is the virtual equivalent of a physical printed brochure.
A CMS site, as already stated, can be updated quite often (several times a day if you have the time) but a brochure site shows the same content for a number of days/weeks/months…..
Just like having an ad in the Yellow Pages really! These sites are effective if you simply need a web presence for search reasons such as people looking for your phone number etc but not good for constantly changing information.
Marketing view – Google likes fresh content! Go for a CMS!
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is quite complex field if you really want to delve into it. In general terms, it refers the way you set up your website in order for search engines such as Google and Bing to catalogue and prioritize it for results when people come looking via their portals.
There is a whole market out there of SEO specialists whose primary job is to look at a client’s website and optimise it. It can be quite expensive depending on the level you want to delve to but fortunately there a number of things that you as the website owner can do yourself.
Marketing View on SEO – It is obviously very important to get your site ranked highly in Google so here are a few tips that you can try:
• If you are running WordPress as your CMS (all my CMS clients are), install the plug-in “All in One SEO”. This allows you to individually optimise each page on your site.
• Look at your competitor’s sites if they are higher ranked in Google. Look for keywords that you should be using on your site and scatter throughout your text (sensibly of course so that everything still is grammatically correct).
• Keep your content fresh (have I mentioned that before?)
What is Social Media?
You might be surprised but when I mention the term “social media” to some of my clients, they don’t know what I am talking about. However, if I use the words Facebook and Twitter, they automatically understand me. Social Media is defined in Wikipedia as “the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities”.
Put simply Social Media is a form of online interaction between people.
From a marketer’s viewpoint, Social Media is essential to any business that wants to grow. It allows interaction between the business and its clients including the passing of information, problem solving, product testing and all varieties of community-based communication. It has the ability to change a client from a customer to a fan (check out the Small Business Big Marketing podcast #117 for more information. Social Media can also be a means of driving visitors to your official website through the release of various information. Discussed in Podcast #3, Facebook can be a great ally in both building community and client conversion.
What are Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a service from Google that automatically generates detailed stats about a particular website’s traffic. It measures conversions / sales via that site so that owners can determine the success of various campaigns that are running.
Just like SEO, Google Analytics has a variety of levels depending on how far you wish to “dive” into it. At its most basic level, marketers can use it to measure page visits and geographical location of visitors. Individual pages can also be analysed to check the effectiveness of the page and how long a visitor spends looking at content. Whilst not directly telling you how to fix the problem, Google Analytics will tell you exactly where the problems lie.
There we are – five frequently asked questions from my clients. I hope this podcast has been informative and you have something to use next time you look at the “backend” of your website. Check your SEO today (see, much easier to say than Search Engine Optimisation) and try out Google Analytics to help sort out where your site is successful and where it might need a little work.
If you have any other questions for me, head on over to www.rustymangodesign.com.au and shoot me through a email. I’ll be glad to answer any queries and I might even share the answers on a future episode of The Marketing Series. Thanks for joining me on the podcast and I look forward to talking to you again soon with Podcast #6.
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