Website Redesign: Define Success By Defining Your Purpose

Bruce Aristeo Website Purpose

Bruce Aristeo Website Purpose

When it comes to website design or redesign, the rules of engagement and best practices for your virtual storefront are always changing. But hey, nobody ever said ranking #1 was easy! It takes effort and time, all of which are better served by a little planning.

While your design or redesign is certainly important (two columns, three, or none?), you need to focus initially on how you intend to develop, maintain and build your presence while expanding your lead-generating tool chest.

More than simply an online presence, today’s marketplace demands that websites be a hub for all things that generate education and engagement; where conversations begin and progress. It’s where leads are generated through Inbound Marketing, rather than through traditional means, and with the right tools provided, prospects convert into customers.

The problem for many is that design has all to often taken a front seat to purpose.

Defining your goal is ground zero, including a detailed outline of how you will go about fulfilling your goal. Some of the more obvious include:

  • Retail Sales
  • Marketing of a Product or Service
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Advocacy
  • Networking

While it’s true that any successful website may contain elements of each, not all types of content and features are not created equal, and depending on your foundation of purpose, some may actually work against you by distracting, overwhelming, or worse, irritating your visitors.

By defining your specific aim, you’ll be better able to:

  • Develop value-added content and inbound marketing tools
  • Reduce wasted time, money and energy

Marketing gurus have been touting the essential “elevator pitch” for decades, and for good reason; only when you can define your product or service within a 30-second pitch …what your service or product is about and why you’re the best person (or company) available to solve a problem, can you successfully pitch it to another.

Whether it’s in person or online, the same holds true about first impressions.

Get clear about your goal and drive that commitment home with content that will produce more quality leads and a more profitable outcome.

Has a lack of goal-driven clarity created a nightmare in your website design? Share it with us in “comments” and get some tips on how you can easily regain control.

Inbound Marketing: Website Design and Redesign Must Have’s

bruce aristeo inbound marketing

 

bruce aristeo inbound marketingInbound marketing, simply put, is a method (set of tools and actions taken) designed to lead unknown potential customers to you via your website, rather than you venturing out into the world to contact them directly, either in-person, by phone, or traditional advertising (print, radio & television).

More than online industry hype, studies now show that compared to a decade earlier, inbound marketing is not only a more effective means of attracting new customers, it also costs 62% less per lead compared to outbound, or traditional marketing.

It’s not necessary to implement all the aspects of inbound marketing at once, but you should become familiar with them and add as many as possible, always testing and tracking your success. Here’s a good list to get you started:

  • Search Engine Optimization (on-page SEO), including keywords and long-tail keyword phrases. (Example: keyword, accountant; long-tail,small business accountant servicing construction trades)
  • Titles and Meta Tags that contain your keywords/long-tail keyword phrases
  • Blogging; considered to be #1 by successful marketers
  • Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, Google+
  • Newsletters; weekly, monthly or quarterly (focusing on quality of content over frequency)
  • Email Marketing Platform
  • Call To Action (CTA) Strategy for Lead Generation (free consultations, free and/or paid downloadable content)
  • Landing pages designed specifically to assist potential customers in fulfilling a CTA, such as complete a form with their contact information. Landing pages are also indexed by search engines and assist with SEO.

Website Design: 5 Call-to-Action Locations

Bruce Aristeo action button

Bruce Aristeo action button

Over the past few months you’ve probably seen a number of Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons placed around our website. If you’ve reloaded the page in some way, either by clicking a link and then clicking back, you’ve also noticed the CTA’s change with each reload. Well, we’ve been doing some extensive A-B testing on blog pages, emails, landing pages, and each of the static pages within the website.

One blog article posted not too long ago revealed the results of one test we did concerning color. Those results showed more people selected the lighter colored background over the darker, so we altered the entire website’s color scheme. The results of that change decreased the bounce rate between 5-10 percent. We used markers in both HubSpot’s CMS and Google Analytics.

As for the testing of CTA offers, we’ve seen a greater number of people interested in Human Behavior whitepapers over instructional eBooks. I’m not surprised at this, and in fact I’d love to gather more information when the offer is downloaded, but asking gender and age might deter people from doing so. Facebook would be the perfect venue for this since its insights keep track of subscriber details.

Here are some great places I found to place CTA’s on a website.  Remember, Calls-To-Actions (CTA’s) are the openings you need to generate more traffic to your site. Listed below are 5 important places where CTAs should be added.

  • Pages Within Your Site: All pages within your website should include a CTA, but not your landing pages. Do not include a CTA if they already have a form for an offer. You don’t want to confuse or distract visitors from completing the form.
  • Blog: Include CTAs in your individual articles, the sidebar of your blog, and include text CTAs within the content of your blog.
  • Email Marketing: Include a call-to action for email marketing messages and lead nurturing emails. This allows subscribers to gain more information and content. It’s also a good idea to include a CTA in your personal email signature.
  • Ebooks and Webinars: Continue to support your leads with other related content and offers even if they already downloaded your eBook or registered for your webinar. Add CTAs for these offers inside the body and at the end of your eBooks and webinars.
  • Facebook Page: Get your CTAs noticed using Facebook’s custom business page tab, Ads and your wall posts. Hubspot has a Welcome App. for Facebook, which allows you to generate leads within Facebook.

I receive great emails from readers about our blogs, and always ask them to share their thoughts through comments. If you have any stories you’d like to share, take a chance and place them in the comment area so everyone can participate. And… please share this with others, it doesn’t help to keep great resources to yourself.

How To Protect Your Website Content From Theft

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

PROTECT YOUR CONTENT FROM THEFT

My last article featured a true story about mywebsite content being copied, which happened a few days ago. As I rambled on, I stated how my avenues of removing my (intellectual property) content from the offending website became exhausted, and there was nothing I was willing to do legally, nor would the host provider shut down the site. At the end of this article, I’ve included how to search the Internet for anyone copying your content.

Meeting The Attorney

As my story unfolds, I attended a seminar at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce a few weeks back. The subject was “How to Keep Social Media From Being a Legal Liability”, and Dina Leytes Esq. of Griesing Law LLC was the speaker. Ms. Leytes spoke about the growing legal issues businesses face in the realm of social media, and how the rights of free speech and communication become finer lines as technology advances.

Keeping The Lid on The Pot

With the onset of instant postings, live video, and facial recognition, businesses are finding it more difficult to keep the proverbial “lid” on the internal issues “pot”. Ms. Leytes included a handout at the seminar containing 10 legal updates and strategies you should know before launching your social media campaign. With Ms. Leytes’s permission, I’ve attached the 10 Steps on How to Keep Social Media From Being a Legal Liability handout as a downloadable PDF, which you can retrieve here.

Knowledgeable Insights

How this ties into my issue… I called Ms. Leytes and asked if she would be willing to offer some insight to what you the reader can do to protect your postings, articles, or content. Please note: this is not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer about your specific situation.

There are a number of steps that can be taken, some practical, others legal:

  • Display a copyright notice on your website.
  • Display a copyright policy on your website advising users that you respect intellectual property rights and you expect them to do the same.
  • Periodically submit your website content for registration to the U.S. Copyright Office. This is a relatively inexpensive ($35 electronic filing fee) and easy way to protect yourself in the event that you need to file a lawsuit against a copyright infringer.
  • Send a cease and desist letter to the owner of the website that is making unauthorized use of your content.
  • Send a notice pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to the infringer’s Internet provider/hosting company.
  • Depending on your comfort level and the facts, consider posting something on your website telling the world that this website copied your content without permission. 

Giving Thanks

Armed with more knowledge, my wish is you never have to partake in what I’ve experienced recently, or over the past several months. I wish to thank Dina Leytes Esq. for including her insight and offering a few quick tips to help protect your property rights in the future… Thank you Dina

The Tools For Searching

To conclude, after finding the website with copied content, I didn’t wish to spend the time checking each page looking for other copied areas. Also, there might have been one or two sentences copied and embedded within other content. To make the process as quick and painless as possible, I used a free website service called “Plagiarism Checker”. I’ve tried other free services but this one worked the best for me.

The service offers the option to copy and paste or type a section of text, or you can enter the URL of your page. I used the URL function because I wanted the service to check my entire page against other pages on the Internet. By using the URL function, I was able to find three other pages using my content in a matter of minutes.

After entering the URL and searching, the listing page is that of Google’s SERP. You can expand on the listing for duplicate repeated pages, which have duplicate content.

Once you have your data, it’s up to you to find the right avenue for resolving the issue. You don’t have to worry about Google, the duplicate content won’t hurt your SERP ranking.

Mobile Marketing: Steps In Making A Mobile Web Landing Page

Bruce Aristeo

bruce-aristeo-web-mobile

Here are the instructions as promised, and after receiving a number of requests asking how to make the Mobile Web Landing Page on the HubSpot platform. Anyone using another platform such as WordPress, I have a notation at the bottom. The header CSS I’ve supplied is what you’ll need for any platform, without the “#foxboro_” of course.

HUBSPOT AND OTHER PLATFORMS

From the pull down menu at the Dashboard, select Create and then Landing Pages 

Select the Create Landing Page button

Select the simplest layout

You can follow through the steps if you know exactly what modules you’ll be using, but I’d suggest skipping the landing page wizard at this point.

Select Page Properties and fill in all the details as if you were creating a static page on your website.

Be sure to include your search engine tricks and tips to be found by Google

Select the Show advanced options link

Select the following options: Viewable by public and Hide navigation

Deselect Show in menu

Select the Layout option of One column. This will enable you to include any module you wish. Plus, one column helps with the simplicity of managing the page. Too many columns require more time to control the look and placement of your graphics.

The HTML Head Tag Text along with Custom CSS for the page is very important! Detailed below.

For this example, I’ve chosen to create a form mobile web landing page. So when visitors scan a QR Code, opt-in to an event contest, or sign-up for a blog/newsletter, they have the form fields show immediately. You can also set up buttons to take them throughout your website or redirect them to your YouTube channel. No matter what you choose, the data is being monitored and you have live updates on the information you’re collecting.

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=320″>

This tag sets content for the device. The 320px is a standard setting for smartphones, and you can make it any size you choose, the phone will then adjust the graphics accordingly.

The next group of tags is CSS typed into the header of the landing page; remember to include <style> to tell the browser what to do. You can also have a custom CSS file in the file manager if you wish. Since the page is basic, I chose to keep the tags in the header.

Foxboro is the name of the template I use, and this layout will work on any template.

The width and height are important because Blackberry phones seem to lose the tail end of the landing page if left open. So set the height accordingly

<style>

#foxboro_body {

overflow: hidden !important;

}

(Keeps the screen from scrolling left and right on a phone, you want the screen to fit perfectly side-to-side)

#foxboro_header {

            display: none !important;

}

(If you don’t need a header, but if you do, leave this out and create a custom header to size. You’ll need the background-image: url() tag for setting a header)

#foxboro_content {

background: #E20303 !important;

height: 520px;

}

(Your background color and height)

#foxboro_container {

width: 320px !important;

}

(The width of the container holding the form module)

#foxboro_footer {

display: none !important;)

}

(This is so your footer is hidden. To keep the footer, set the width of the footer as with the container)

</style>

After you’ve completed the mobile web landing page, remember to use the Quick Preview when checking your work. The Add Module buttons push the graphics around a bit and distort the page.

The best part of this layout is you only have to duplicate the completed page when you want another mobile web landing page. Then go into the Page Properties and configure for the next campaign.

Below is an example of what you should see when viewing through your standard web browser, but when viewing through a smart phone, you’ll only see the colored area with form contents.

NON-HUBSPOT PLATFORM

The difference in setting up a Mobile Web Landing Page on a platform such as WordPress compared to HubSpot is you’ll need to find the names of the template tags, which control the page. My suggestion is to set up a basic HTML page on your server using the configuration I have here. Then use FTP access when making changes. Using any number of text editor apps or full paid programs such as Coda, Dream Weaver, BBEdit, etc., will give you the same results, and in some cases, you’ll have greater flexibility.

Content Condoms and Backlink Checker For Your Protection?

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

What would you do if you woke one morning and found your website was violated, and you thought you were protected as if wrapped in an electron microscoped Trojan? Well, here’s the truth! There is no tight fitting wrap (law), which keeps your content safe from health robbing diseases (content swashbucklers).

Early Morning Riser

I got up the other morning with great expectations. I sat with a cup of coffee, enjoyed the beautiful morning, and began to think about what changes I was going to make to my website. But, after opening the portal to my site, I felt compelled to use my backlinks checker, you know what backlinks are… links from an external site to your website or blog.

The Inspection

As I scanned and ran through the list of links created with the backlink analyzer, I noticed one stood out over the rest. I clicked the backlink, and found an Internet Marketing website, but it seemed familiar in some way. I looked through the page, and there was not one mention of Brucearisteo.com … how frustrating! Where was the backlink coming from I asked, and why was this page linked to me?

Taken By Surprise

After reading through the page further, it dawned on me. This is my content, OMG! Here, the owner of the website found my content so compelling that he copied 4 entire pages and placed them throughout his website. This is the second time my intellectual property has been stolen, and being knowledgeable about intellectual property laws, I was more armed now then in the past.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

This person copied my content onto his website and also copied the backlinks from the pages which lead back to other pages on my site and not his. That’s where the backlink checker was reading from. Can you believe this person and the stupidity of copying content directly, including the internal links that lead back to me?

The Interrogation

I decided to call the phone number and speak to the owner directly. It was 9AM EST, and 7AM CST their time. The phone rang a few times and a young sleepy voice answered the phone. I said, “Hello, are you the owner of XYZ Internet Marketing?” The voice said, “Yes I am.” He sounded about 15-16 years old.

I asked him if he built the website or had someone do it for him and if he knew the content on his site was taken directly from my website. His answer was apologetic and he didn’t know it would be a problem. Do you think he has a problem in school when writing book reports?

Google Eyes Are Watching

His website is promoting a knowledgeable Internet Marketer, but he didn’t know that the duplicate content on his site is being penalized by Google. Meaning, his pages are not being counted. Here is an excellent resource of what to do with Duplicated Content from Google Webmaster Tools. I usually like to bullet point lengthy posts, but all the information on Google’s page is worth the read.

  • Now, back to what you can do legally… NOTHING!
  • What the IP provider will do is… NOTHING!

The Jury Is Out

Sure there are laws, rules, etiquette, ethics, morals, and various other names for that which society instills so we can live civilly. But, it all comes down to money. How much are you willing to part with to pursue justice and your rights? The law is NOT the law as explained in school or on television, it’s NOT about facts or evidence, it’s about perception. If you put on a good enough show, then you got it made… or do you (Divine intervention article)?

Payback’s a Bitch

Where is this issue today? The content is still posted after asking nicely to remove it and offering to help create new content, and I’m flattered he thought the quality of my work would draw business in for him. You have to trust that those who roll loaded dice will one day find themselves staring down the barrel of a loaded shotgun. So make the best of what others have taken, and receive the benefits from that which you believe was lost, so in your mind it becomes a gain.

Oh yea… Keep an eye on your backlinks with a backlink checker tool or a website link checker!