From the blog

The 5 Pillars of a Website

The 5 Pillars of a web site project

Throughout the years I have created hundreds of web sites and web related projects. Recently, I presented to my BNI chapter a short 10 minute presentation about the 5 pillars that I see when creating a web site for my clients. These pillars promise that the project is covered in a holistic 360 degree fashion and allow the project, the client and me to be all aligned to the end goal.

The 5 pillars are:

  1. Content
  2. Design
  3. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  4. Security and Speed
  5. Marketing

Content

Content is the building block of our website.
It’s the way we communicate with users, visitors, stakeholders and it can come in various forms and ways. I would like to take a minute and highlight a few of these:
Video – highest form of content, as it involves script (text), sound and pictures. From a good piece of video we can create various types of content. From a 5 minute video we can create a 500 word article on our website.
Articles – how to’s, educational pieces, photo galleries, market research, the 10 best…
Users use search engines to find out about you and your site. Search engines use text – so write clearly about you, your offering and your product or service.

Design

When a user lands on your website, the first thing he will notice at a subconscious level – is how well the site is designed. Are the fonts readable, is the color combination right, is the structure and the layout of the website done well to allow the user to easily navigate the website and find the content?
Is the site mobile friendly? Today , more than 50% of your visitors are accessing the site with their mobile device (in some industries over 80%). Your site must be mobile friendly, or you will lose business.
Users expect this and when visiting an “old” type site, they will assume your business is “old” style too, even though your product or service is the best in it’s field.
The design governs the UX – user experience by it’s UI – User interaction.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

Users find out about you, by search.
And for you to be found you must be heard – web spiders – little robots scan the web for content (text, video, images etc..) and we have to do our best to make our content accessible to these spiders (and by doing so we are making it great for our readers).
How do we amplify our SEO efforts? Create good, readable, enjoyable content for humans (google will sort out the rest). Be consistent about it – have a weekly / monthly plan, map out your core key phrases and use them as an outline for your content. Collaborate with other websites, get your articles on high authority websites (government, educational, well known establishments) that can link back to you and promote you site.

Security & Speed

Speed

Who doesn’t want to get fast answers? Our time is a limited resource and we won’t spend it waiting for slow websites. Just like waiting in line make us anxious – think about a supermarket that always takes forever to get to the cashier – you end up going to a different store.
People don’t like slow websites, they don’t like slow services or products. Guess what – search engines don’t like them too…they get demoted and faster competitors get ranked higher. With a faster website you will see happier users, more transactions and an overall better experience.

Security

Would you leave your car parked, keys inside and windows wide open in a sketchy neighborhood?
Then why is your website parked there? Your website is hosted on the web with a hosting company – it’s important that this hosting company is in a good neighborhood, keeping your site locked out to burglars and open to good users.
Keeping your site safe and secure is important for your business. Users who visit a spammed or breached site, will not visit again, or it will take a lot of effort to bring them back. Search engines will remove your site if it has been attacked and not taken care of quickly. And your reputation – it’s down the drain… Invest in good hosting and they will take good care of you.

Marketing

Think of your website of a big carrier ship – holding all your content, products services, support etc.. this ship would be worthless without a fleet of helper botss bringing in supplies, gas, food, assistance.
How does this work? We need to help our site with an array of marketing efforts, there are hundreds of options out there, but I suggest focusing on no more than 4-5:
Newsletter – email marketing – send out a consistent weekly / monthly email to all your clients, prospect and interested users. It’s one of the best ROI methods out there
Youtube – remember the videos we created in the content section? Create a Youtube channel for your business and upload all your videos there. Youtube is the 2nd largest search engine (after who?) Linkedin – this is the network for business. After creating you own personal profile, create you business page too and share your content linking back to your website
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest – which ever social network rings your bells and you have a fun time using it – use it. Be persistent, offer good content and link back to your website.

 

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