Small and Medium Business (SMB) Web Design

First, please read How to build a Social Networking Command Center and then here is a nice tutorial that hits the nail on the head from Expand2Web.

 

Video 1 – Intro – Successful businesses on the web establish not just a web site, but a Web Presence. This first video introduces the concept of a Web Presence, and the four pillars of successful businesses on the web.

My opening introduction – In the first video the author speaks about dynamic content and you should be thinking about using a Content Management System (CMS e.g. WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are Open Source options). Now having said this, what is the governance and culture meaning who is responsible for your Website (IT or Marketing dept or everyone)?  Also recall the Google SEO Advice Video as a Website must be aligned with the business goals. This also depends on your culture and governance and may even be described by whether the or organization ascribes to a functional or process perspective (Functional vs Process detailed in LM12 Systems Analysis).

You will also hear him talk about the “Clear Call to Action” and this is a combination of my “Clear Value Statement” and “Process Funnels” which are more familiar to academic texts.  Throughout these presentations you will hear the author speak about the importance of SEO and you will see pictures of doctors prominently showing themselves and their staff – what does this convey….. trust….. and trust is the most important element in e-commerce and Web validity and to this extent you must also provide a clear and conspicuous Privacy Statement (all of these elements previously presented in Abstract Web Patterns in Web Design)

Video 1 highlights:

1st and foremost, while not explicitly stated in this presentation -> SEO is paramount as people find you through SEO.  Do your homework searching for your site/organization.

Your competitors are a click away -> URL on same page or single back click and they’re gone forever.

Need to manage feedback -> do it internally on your Website. We need to remain aware of social media both within and outside.  Optimally, provide consumers with Web 2.0 functionality to communicate with you and voice their concerns on your site.  Not only will this keep negative reviews off Facebook, Yelp, Google+ etc. which impacts your Social Graph and SEO but you also get the necessary information to improve your processes.  Recall Stage III and Stage IV of the Web as we need to create and support integrative and transformative architectures.

Lastly, simplicity is best for today’s mobile environment (single column) regardless of cost.

 

Video 2 – Your Website – The first pillar of an effective web presence is your website. Your website should be the “hub” of your online presence. In this video we see how to set up an optimized website that becomes the hub of your online presence.

Video 2 highlights:

Your Website is your centralized Web presence management -> title and main content need to be optimized as they are captured and reproduced in Google search results => see Landing Page Optimization and Snippets.

Fresh content enhances SEO and brings people back which in turn enhances SEO.

Analytics -> Google Analytics is free and provides invaluable market research and understanding

Content Management System (CMS) -> separate content from presentation, fresh content, SEO, plugin architecture, etc.  You know my take on WordPress and I recommend every CISS 100 student undertake the LAMP/WordPress final project even if you do another final project for the grade.

Personalization -> if you are a small business you must include pictures for your staff.  Think about this, if you search for a product and you are presented with 5 local results and one of the local results has a picture of their staff, which one are you choosing or will you at least evaluate their offering? To illustrate this further consider our local car dealerships.  If you watch TV you must have seen the “Huge” commercials over the past several years.  Their sales are zooming and in response note that we are seeing all car dealership ads being delivered by their CEOs or sales staff because personalization positively effects us.

 

Video 3 – Your BlogDid you know that websites with blogs get 7x more traffic than websites without them? Why is this? And how do you set up an effective blog to complement your website? I’ll show you in the video below.

Video 3 highlights:

Fresh content -> SEO, etc.

Manage feedback internally -> CI

User-centered use-case analysis on what users want

See Web Development Life Cycle (WDLC) and Abstract Design Patterns in Web design

 

Video 4 – Social Media EngagementWith over 750M people on Facebook, you need to represent your business there. This video will show you how to create a powerful Facebook Page for your business, and share some best practices for building and engaging with your prospects and customers there.

Now this past February 2013 Facebook launched their Social Search that incorporates their Social Graph.  Consider a present Google search for a “Mexican Restaurant”.  The Google search will use your location however it will not discriminate by your profile and cohort.  As a result you will get generic results and to illustrate this, my taste for Mexican food is very hot and spicy whereas my mom likes bland Mexican but the Google search results will include all reviews.  Facebook’s Social Graph Search will discriminate in accord with my cohort so it will be far more personalized and relevant but it doesn’t stop there and consider the following…

In sociologic research we always strive to study a population without influencing thee population but this is very difficult in traditional sociologic research.  As an example early researchers lived with tribes to study them but the ended up influencing the culture.  Now consider Facebook conversations and data mining Facebook conversations.  Facebook conversations are unsolicited and mining the conversations is completely unobtrusive so the results will not be tainted.  Recall my presentation on the CDCs use of Social Media to identify the outbreak of diseases as Social Media can capture this event far better and days before health services identify the outbreak (e.g. people will write on Facebook they are sick or they have a cold or their child is sick without ever going to the doctor’s office).  Similarly, people will document their experiences with businesses and as a result every CSM touch point becomes important as organizations will have an organizational profile (positive or negative) in Facebook.

Video 4 highlights:

First, don’t be pushy with Social Media!!! I would not require a Facebook “Like” to enter my community but note I stay very conservative with my Facebook use.  Of course we cannot ignore Facebook Search that leverages their Social Graph.

 

Video 5 – Mobile Computing – This year more Internet enabled mobile devices were sold than PCs. Having a mobile, touch-enabled version of your website is no longer an option. We’ll show you how to set up a killer mobile ready website in this video!

Video 5 highlights:

Present analytics reveals we should develop for mobile first.  The simple sites throughout this presentation were simple and mobile ready (simple is now better as long as it provides necessary functionality).  Mobile sites (single column) render fine on desktops.

Auto-detect platform (and use Google analytics) so I’m not sure .mobi is worth pursuing

Use-case driven -> design for what do mobile users want to do,

Content copied with permission from Expand2Web site located here:

http://www.expand2web.com/pillars/

 

 

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