a beginners guide to website strategy

A beginners guide to website strategy


In the real world if your store has a better location, if you can get in front of more people, if everyone can recognize your store from a mile away, you have a distinct advantage.

 

The Internet doesn’t work that way.

 

If you rent space in the West Edmonton mall beside a popular retailer you’re sure to increase your foot traffic. The catch is, retail space beside Holts, the Disney or Apple store will come at a premium.
When you build a website it’s like you put your store in a farmers field somewhere near Grenfell, SK. As your site acquires more links, is updated more often, you move closer and closer to a bigger town (more “traffic”). The front page of Google, the epicentre for qualified traffic, takes time and deliberate effort to get to the front page of and every day it’s getting more and more competitive.

The front page of Google is a zero sum game…

as one website goes up, another has to go down. All four major players in the market can’t rank number 1. As one company builds links and increases their rankings, other websites feel the equal and opposite reaction. If you don’t start being proactive about your online presence you’re going to see you traffic decrease from Google.

And I’m not sure if you’ve checked your traffic sources report in Google Analytics lately, Google organic search is probably your websites largest traffic provider. Might be a good idea to build a strategy to increase that traffic from Google.

You could advertise on Facebook or LinkedIn or reddit or the Leaderpost.com. Telling more people to come to your website should help you get closer to your goal.
You have defined a goal haven’t you?

OK we may need to take a step back here. No one really “needs” a website, think about it.

You need a contact us page so people can get a hold of you. You need a products page so people can see your new products regularly. You need a staff page so potential customers can see ‘who’ they’ll be dealing with if they so choose to set up an appointment. But no one really needs a website, a website is a tool, a tactic within a strategy. The sooner you recognize this the sooner you can being to use your website to its full potential.

 

No one really needs a website, companies need to be found, they need to be searchable, within a couple words hopefully. So that in the moment when your next customer has a problem, they pick up their phone, pull up Google and search for (insert your company’s keywords here) “funny marketing speaker Regina” and boom you’re right there.

Funny marketing speaker regina

Read More
Most creative ads ever - she's tired of waiting

99 of the Most Creative Advertisements in the World

Every year in my class at SIAST (or Saskatchewan Polytechnic) we always go over Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick. One of the best breakdowns of why some marketing messages stick and why others don’t. The authors break it down to the “SUCCES” principles. Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories. Using this framework you can apply it to any campaign, message, or advertisement. Read the book if you want to actually understand the SUCCES principles.
I use a slide deck like the one above and ask the class to run the ads in the presentation through the SUCCES criteria. You’ll find an interesting correlation between the SUCCES principles and the best ads.

Could it be that advertising isn’t an art form but more of a science? Are the smart marketers using frameworks like the one from Made to Stick or the one in Jonah Berger’s Contagious?

As much as advertising is an art form, there’s more science to it than you think. The slide deck of the 99 most creative ads is to show you how many companies go about their advertising. These are the best of the best, for every amazing ad there are 1000 mediocre ads that just become noise in our world.

If you want to standout, if you want to create a truly remarkable ad than read Contagious(Jonah Berger) and Made to Stick(I already told you who wrote this book). They will at least give you a framework to work under to create the next viral sensation.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.apple.com

Bad online reviews

How To Combat Bad Online Reviews – a Video from John Taffer

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

What do you do when someone leaves you a negative online review? 

On sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon, Google Reviews, a few bad reviews can ruin your company entirely. At the same time you can use these tools to give your company an unfair advantage.

I love John’s comment about the social media world not being fair. No one police’s it, no one is held accountable, it’s a dog-eat-dog online world. The smart companies are creating an unfair advantage, they’re outsmarting the competition by building a positive online brand. As Mr. Taffer says, if you have lots and lots of positive reviews and fans of your place, a couple negative people here and there will be drowned out by the positive comments.

So how do you ready yourself for the troll attack?

1. Kill em with kindness – if you’re a great company people will want to share your story.

Your employees should be brand ambassadors. They should be the ones promoting you and your story to everyone. “But Jeph, they aren’t, what do I do?”. If people aren’t sharing your story enough you have one of two problems, a) you have the wrong people on the bus* or b) your story isn’t good enough to share. Go back to the drawing board. If you story isn’t interesting enough let your staff come up with it. I love the quote from David Kelly, founder of the innovation firm IDEO “In a world filled with so much creative potential, it is dangerous to assume that all good ideas are found at the top.” -David Kelly, IDEO.

2. Make it everyones job to say nice things about your organization.

If your own staff don’t want to tell people about how amazing you are you have a problem. Why isn’t coming up with an internal word-of-mouth strategy not done by more companies? If your staff are excited about what you’re doing, if everyone that comes into your store feels that excitement, sooner than later the word-of-mouth will spread.

Why don’t more people come up with word-of-mouth strategies Jeph?!? Well I’m glad you asked. Few companies focus on word-of-mouth because its hard. It’s hard to come up with a viable plan, it’s even harder to execute it. Once you’ve executed it it’s still hard to hold your staff accountable for something that’s very difficult to measure. If you’re still have trouble with a word-of-mouth strategy move on to point 3…

3. Encourage word-of-mouth by offering an incentive.

If you’ve read any of Stephen Dubner’s or Steven Levitt’s Freakonomics series of books, shows or podcast you would completely understand why offering an incentive may be your best bet. If you offer an incentive people will keep it top-of-mind, they’ll be much more likely to share your message. Don’t assume people want to talk about you, assume you need to make it worth their while to spread your message.

*Wrong People On the Bus was an analogy coined by Jim Collins in Good to Great. Getting the right people on the bus is critical to any organizations success. 

Help people even when they cant help you back

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Favours For Other People

1. It makes you feel good. 

(^Article from Berkley citing several studies on why doing good deeds makes you feel good not just emotionally but biologically as well)

2. It’s the morally right thing to do.

As in, it builds good Karma. (In the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson he talked about the point in which Apple was coming up with iTunes. Everyone was stealing music on the Internet and Steve didn’t agree with that, he wanted a different solution. When the media was critical of iTunes in the beginning Steve was questioned about if iTunes was viable and if it would last, his response was “stealing music isn’t going to last, it’s bad Karma.”

Stealing music hasn’t stopped but iTunes has done very well since it’s inception. Jobs was right, we don’t mind paying a small amount for music, it’s the morally right thing to do.

Everyone could use a little more Karma.

3. The more people you’ve helped, the more people there are out there to help you in the future when you need it most.

Reciprocity suggests that doing things for others is the best way to help yourself in the long run. We’re all going to stumble in the future, we’re all going to make mistakes, you can guarantee it. If you help people without expecting anything in return, when you’re at your worst the people you’ve helped will step up and be there for you.

 

Go on, make some good Karma.

 

Help people, even when you know they can’t help you back.

Create holy $!%& moments

Most events aren’t meant to be remembered

that’s why most events aren’t that good. How many presentations, conferences, lecture’s, speeches, keynotes, and guest talks have you been in that have completely bored you to death? It’s become an epidemic, and I hate it.

If you don’t intentionally try to create a memorable event why do you think people will remember it?

 

Start with: why will people remember this? Why will my event be different? How do we get people walking out after the event saying “holy $#!& that was amazing!!”. Maybe therein lies the secret: to create “holy $#!&” moments.

 

Most events aren’t meant to be remembered, but why not? Don’t you want your next event to go down in history as one of the best _________ of all time?

When planning you must ask how are we going to get people to remember this? If you don’t you’re almost guaranteed that people will do the opposite.

NYTimes Innovation Report

The Leaked New York Times Innovation Report and Why It’s Important

The New York Times (on purpose or not) leaked an innovation report which ended up being a scathing analysis of how far behind the times the Times really are. From one of the worldwide leaders in Journalism comes a humble look at their own efforts digitally. They recognize how behind they really are but it seems that they have a plan to become more relevant to a larger audience in the future.

Some important highlights of the 90 page report:

  • Competition is increasing and some of their competitors are producing some massive numbers. EG: Flipboard getting more traffic to the New York Times’ own articles than the Times’ receives to its’ own site.
  • The journalism industry is being “disrupted” with a cheaper easy to find version of “news”. The example given in the report is strikingly similar to Clayton Christiensen’s The Innovators Dilemma. In the book he talks about when entities get too large within their own industry, smaller, faster more nimble businesses innovate to create the future product offerings.
  • They’ve named and provided stats on some of their competition. Some very familiar names on the list such as: Huffington Post, Flipboard, and Buzzfeed.
  • The mentioned the NY Times “Influencers”. Every organization at one point will needs to know who their influencers are and how to leverage them.

The NewYork Times Audience:

  • 30M web readers in U.S. per month
  • 20M Mobile readers in U.S. per month
  • 13.5M News Alerts audience
  • 11.3M Twitter followers
  • 6.5M E-Mail Newsletter Subscribers
  • 5.7M Facebook followers
  • 1.25M Print Subscribers
  • 760K digital subscribers

The Proposal:

  1. Discovery – getting our work in front of the right readers at the right place and at the right time.
  2. Promotion – we need better advocates of our over work.
  3. Connection – our readers are perhaps our greatest untapped resource.

This seems more like a game plan for ANY organization that wants to grow in this new digital world. They’ve identified that is has to start at their core if they hope to have any chance of surviving the disruption that the journalism/publishing industry is facing.

Some important quotes from the report:

“Digital staffers want to play creative roles not service roles.”

“We need makers, entrepreneurs, reader advocates and zeitgeist watchers”

“Evergreen content is appealing to readers if resurfaced in a way that is smart”

“The newsroom can fall into old habits about experiments like this one, raising concerns about  turf, quality control and precedents.”

“One-offs are laborious, so we should focus on making such efforts replicable and scalable.”

 

social-media-icons

How The C-Suite Are Using Social Media

They aren’t, that’s the easy answer. Well not yet. The executives in and around Regina and Saskatchewan are slower to adopt this new found social technology. Sure there are some very social executives (and a social Premier!) you’ll find out about them in the presentation but for the vast majority of leaders in the business community have fallen prey to the “I don’t have enough time” and the “I don’t get it” virus.

So how is the C-Suite using Social Media? They use Twitter and LinkedIn. The presentation below is mostly focused on Twitter.

In the presentation you’ll find:

  • Some of the most important Tweets of all time
  • 5 Myths about Social Media
  • Several case studies of business/political leaders and organizations who use Twitter specifically (and use it well!)
  • We finish off with 3 “How To’s”, tips on making you better on Twitter.

If you want to learn more about presentations similar to this, book Jeph to speak or host a workshop, check out our speakers, presentations and workshops page here.
24 Quotes on leadership, shipbuilding, management and much much more

25 Inspiring Quotes On Shipbuilding, Leading, Design and Happiness [From 8 Books]

From 8 of my favourite books comes these inspirational quotes. From shipbuilding to eating order, you’ll find a beautifully selected cross section of smart, inspiring and quotes that simply make you smile. Enjoy.

Have-wild-expectations-quote
I love this quote because I think most people are driven to shoot for the moon. They’re told to have a modest life, sit in a row, do what your told, don’t talk out of line, and hopefully after 13 years of this they’ll want to work in a factory taking orders from people in big offices. Well it turns out that’s no fun, especially for those just starting at the bottom of the totem pole.

Have a vision, have a big hairy audacious goal, have something! Go on now, create your wild and crazy expectation.

Read More

Want To Make a Change? Kill A Sacred Cow

Change doesn’t “just happen”. In any environment forces combined to create friction or resistance which changes the environment over a long period of time. In nature, sacrifices are made to ensure the long term stability of the eco system. You can’t have change without sacrifice.

Change and growth don’t happen without some sort of friction.

If life is difficult that means you’re sacrificing short term gain for a long term payout.

I love the Hugh McLeod quote of “choosing an easy life rarely ends up with much of either”.

The most successful people in our world made more sacrifices than everyone else to get where they are.

Have you ever asked a truly successful person about their work ethic? The vast majority of people who are a living success will tell you how insanely hard they had to work to get where they are. It was all about the sacrifices they were willing to make.

Change in your business is just like change in your life. You can’t get physically fit by saying you’re going to workout and eat better. You get physically fit by doing something difficult. By changing your daily routine, working out for two hours a day and eating right. Fitness isn’t easy (for some it is, not my fat ass) but anything in life worth having is worth working for. With hard work comes the results. Like in fitness, like in work.

So you want to make a change? Kill a sacred cow, it’s the easiest way to create change. From the book The The Chaos ImperativeChaos Imperative Ori Brafman and Judah Pollack tell the story of when Mayor Bloomberg was first elected Mayor of New York City he didn’t like how everyone worked so closed off from each other. His solution to create a change? Move his desk down to the second floor, right in the middle of 51 NewYork City staffers. His desk wasn’t any larger than anyone else’s. Every cubicle wall on the second floor came down, effectively making the Mayor’s perfect open office space. It even got the nickname Bloomberg’s ‘Bullpen’.

Sacrificing the privacy of a cubicle was the perfect way to create an open workspace.

So you want to make change in your life? What are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to give up? Better yet, what aren’t you willing to give up? Maybe if you start there you’ll understand that it’s your own life style that’s actually holding you back.

You Need To Stop Buying Facebook Likes, You’re Killing Your Engagement

Here’s a video we came across one day scouring the annals of the internets. It makes a clear case as to why you shouldn’t be buying Facebook likes. With every fake like added to your page, every real person liking your page

Facebook isn't for everyone

will see less and less of your content. Basically, if you artificially inflate your your Facebook likes, you’re hurting yourself in the long run.

Many people can’t do it and Facebook isn’t for everyone. Brandon and I have agreed that Facebook isn’t something we want nor should be focusing on right now. Hence we don’t have an undated Facebook page. If you can’t put the time in, it isn’ worth it.I think this is a brilliant lesson for any situation in life where you have the choice to either  a)work hard for something or b) take the easy way out and pay for it. The former is always the harder choice but it comes with a larger reward as well. It’s hard to come up with current and consistent content for Facebook. But if you do it for a long time you get faster and more efficient at it and over time you get a name for yourself. The keywords there are “over time” nothing on social happens over night.

On the other hand, if you do put in the time, you’re going to create a following and inspire a lot of people (COR does a great job of this on Facebook). COR doesn’t pay for likes on Facebook, they acquired them organically from people who love what they share. (that’s why I liked their page, go check out the images they share)

Anytime there’s a choice of the hard way or the easy way, take the hard way. You’ll be happier in the long run. And for crying out loud stop trying to buy influence on Social Media sites, be that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Buying influence never works.

What do you think? Can you buy influence? 

Page 5 of 11« First...34567...10...Last »