What is your marketing strategy?
We don’t have one. Over deliver, care more, work harder. At Strategy Lab we believe in being so good at what you do that you don’t have to rely on telling others about it. We want to ensure the work we do is remarkable enough that people will inherently want to talk about it. Permission based marketing.
Pull > Push
How do you pick a website domain?
Two words: chat roulette
YES, finally someone answers all those questions we’ve had over the past two years about domain names and best practices for picking a URL. It’s changed so much because of how competitive search engine results have become.
At one time you could have bought the domain name “www.ReginaWebsites.com” and you’d get all the organic traffic for people search for websites in Regina. Times have changed. You can’t just “get” to the front page by setting up a keyword heavy domain name. Yes there will be exceptions to the rule and if you’re on the front page of Google with very little work it won’t last long.
Make it brand-able and pronounceable
The other day, Brandon and I went to a Campbell entrepreneurship class taught by Jordan McFarlen. Mr. McFarlen invited us to talk about how we started Strategy Lab and the entrepreneurial experience. The way Mr. McFarlen teaches the class is he divides them in two groups and they have to start companies which over the semester they will run like an actual company (last years company actually imported iPhone cases from China, pretty awesome). Mr. McFarlen is one in a million and the Campbell Business program is very lucky to have him. The passion and excitement for learning he has is such a bright light in our ever troubled education system.
Instead of talking about ourselves for an hour, we decided to do something different.
In the first 15 minutes we talked about as a company what we believe in, our 10 values, and the story of how Brandon and I met.
Then Brandon went to work.
This first thing Brandon did was made each company decide on a domain name and he bought for them. Then he set each website up on WordPress and give them the login. There’s a lot of technical work that Brandon didn’t do (like 18 hours worth of work he’d do on a regular website) but the students will figure that out, they can learn how to hack WordPress to get it to do what they want.
It was amazing to see the looks on their faces. Something that most people think takes days, weeks or even months, Brandon created in front of their very eyes. It was amazing to witness. A website doesn’t have to take months to create, you can have one in an hour, it won’t look great but you’ll have your very own online publishing platform.
Websites don’t take that long to build. Yes there is a lot of technical and design elements that you should trust a professional on but for the most part people spend an insanely long time on design. Why? Because they’re trying to appease everyone. But when need to build a bridge, you don’t ask a committee or a board, you hire the best dam bridge builder around. Something to think about the next time you want to “re-design” your website.
I’m really excited to see what the students at Campbell will end up doing with the websites. The last thing we said on our way out was, experiment, try new things, and try to break the website. Get Creative.
Hopefully they teach us an entirely different way that websites should look and feel.
The other day going a bunch of websites that Brandon had built a while ago we started noticing something odd. Whenever we would Google the obvious search terms that a website should be ranking for they turned out to not only rank but usually rank within the top 3.
And yes I checked the actually universal search terms not just the Google results on my laptop. Any time you Google something it’s customized based on your past search, location, and activity on Google+. For a true search you must turn off personalization.
Here are some examples: Read more
Have you ever heard about a company and look up their website to find what looks like a Chimpanzee’s art project in MS Paint? Five years ago you could get by without a website and still do business just fine. Today very few companies can get by without having something resembling their brand online.
Today just having a website doesn’t suffice. If Google can’t find your website you’re not going to acquire search traffic. If you’re not putting anything worth while on your website no one’s going to care (no your newsletter doesn’t count as something people care about).
People buy from people and companies they know, like and trust. Here are six things you can do to make your website stand out and be more trustworthy.
1. Have your contact info (e-mail and phone number) very easy to find on every page. Make it easy for people to ask a question. If it’s difficult to find your contact info it feels like you don’t want me to contact you. Unless of course you in fact don’t want people to contact you ignore this one and move on to two.
2. Give your “About Us” page some love. Of the websites analytics I’ve seen, the About Us page is by far the most popular page other than the home page. Your potential customers want to see who you are before they do business with you. The more the can find out about you before you meet the better. Lots of pictures and video if at all possible.
3. Have blog posts that get comments, Retweets, Likes, Shares, etc. The more social shares and comments a website has, the more you know people actually give a damn about what they’re writing about.
4. Have links to your company/personal Twitter accounts, Facebook Pages, Google+ Pages, Pinterest Pinboards, LinkedIn Pages. But only on the very important caveat of “if thou shall keep a link to a social network on thy website, be certain to stay active on thy social network”.
5. Display badges of associations, affiliated websites, and awards you have won. If you’re a home builder a link to the Home Builder’s Association makes a lot of sense. Being on the AdAge Power 150 or completing a course in Google adds a lot of credibility to your company. As long as it doesn’t seem sleazy or to cheesy, include your Best Employer award, Your Customer Service Award, Your JD Power & Associates, heck if you win a Juno, put er up! If you’re winning awards you must be doing something right, right? If you’re associated with websites that add to your credibility ensure images and links to those sites are visible.
6. Include testimonials either on the home page or one click away. People often hide their testimonials or keep them on a page deep in their website. If you’re as good as you say you are, other people will say really nice things about you. Put what they say on your homepage. There’s no more powerful marketing than a recommendation from someone with authority.
We here at Strategy Lab are big fans of WordPress. It really is the cats pajamas when it comes to building a valuable online presence. Cost effective, beautifully designed websites with a backend so simple a chimpanzee could update it. Yeah, that’s pretty simple hey?
The majority of the time when you’re in WordPress it’s because you need to: