These days, almost all websites are built on content management systems, which is a fancy term for software that makes your website work. Foremost among these systems is WordPress. According to Wikipedia, WordPress is “used by more than 60 million websites, including 30.6% of the top 10 million websites as of April 2018. WordPress is the most popular website management system in use.” And for good reason. Although it was originally created as a blogging platform, WordPress has evolved into a robust system for designing, building, and managing a website. It’s just as likely to be the system behind a bustling online store Read More
Today we’ll examine how to test and assess your website performance from the front end. Code, text, images, and other media comprise a website. Visitors view the website through a browser, and the code tells the browser how to display the site’s content. The code says, “Put the logo up at the top. Below that, place a navigation menu. Over on the side, let’s display some links. And right in the middle, let’s put a big block of text.” The back end of your website is all that raw stuff from which your site is made — the stuff that Read More
Before you think about your website design or any other online marketing strategies and possibly before you even decide on a business name, you’ll have to find an available domain name and hosting provider so your site will have a place to live. But what is a domain name? What’s a hosting provider? How do you get these things, and do you really need them? In today’s market, the Internet is a force to be reckoned with. That’s why every business needs a website. It’s also why every business owner needs to understand what a website is, what it needs Read More
Web design and development is a balancing act. We want a compelling design filled with meaningful content, but we must work within the limitations of technology. We designers work with a bunch of tools and code, some of which come with limitations. Some design tasks are fast and easy; others can take hours to implement. As a business owner, you might find yourself making some hard choices about how to spend your resources when it comes to designing, building, and maintaining your website. Do you want a flashy slideshow that features your services, or do you want a secure store Read More
Web content development is the process of generating material that supports and promotes your online presence. Throughout the course of developing your web content, you will brainstorm, plan, research, organize, and create content for online publication. And then you’ll publish it. For a small business owner, this content should be designed with one purpose in mind: to advance the goals of your business. It usually starts with your website, but web content can include any online content that represents you or your business. It consists of text, images, audio, and video that are accessible on the Internet.
Whenever I’m working on a website copywriting project, I ask my client to fill out a questionnaire that helps me understand their business. This enables me to write copy that truly represents the client’s company, mission, and goals. One of the items on the questionnaire used to be “Please list any keywords related to your website or business.” I quickly found out that very few small business owners understood what I meant by “keywords.” Sometimes, they would jot down something like “use your best judgment.” Usually, they’d list a few keywords, but it was clear that they weren’t researched keywords Read More
There are many different marketing strategies that a small business can employ online: blogging, social media, and ads are just a few examples. But one of the most powerful (and often overlooked) marketing strategies is e-mail marketing, which involves using e-mail outreach to share your business offerings with existing and prospective customers. The roots of e-mail marketing can be found in old-fashioned marketing via snail mail — yes, all that junk mail that clogs your mailbox on a daily basis. But e-mail marketing offers several advantages over snail-mail marketing and other marketing efforts: first and foremost, it costs a lot Read More
With all the available outlets for online marketing, many small business owners are confused and overwhelmed. There are blogs to post, social media profiles to update, and newsletters to send out. Coupons, directories, search engines, and ads all demand attention. The online marketing strategies you’re supposed to be engaged in never end. To make matters worse, small business owners have a hard time latching on to a clear and meaningful message. Some websites are full of industry jargon that customers can’t relate to. Some business’s tweets are self-indulgent braggery (we’re number one!) or desperate pleas (please buy from us!). Small Read More
Today’s businesses are learning to harness the power of niche marketing, and many modern small businesses are being built entirely around niches. This smart strategy puts small businesses in a position to target a smaller and more well-defined pool of customers. Niches are effective for business models in the brick and mortar world, but they’re even more effective when you’re doing business online.