Business Website Strategy Design Guide

Do you need a professional website that is an organic traffic magnet?  There are three primary ingredients for receiving targeted, consistent, and organic traffic from Google, Twitter, and other search engines and social media sites:

  • High Quality Content.
  • A Professional Website that is SEO and User Friendly.
  • Personal Engagement with Your Audience-Tweeting and responding to comments

Are you an entrepreneur, professional, or own a business that excels in your area of expertise but struggles to find an economical means to drive high quality, consistent, qualified leads to your site?  One of my clients, Broadway Performing Arts, needed a solution to organic traffic.  When I first began working with them last summer, the two owners who are stars of current and past Broadway, TV, Major Motion Picture, and National TV had a website that didn’t rank organically in the search engines for any of their keywords and had no ranking in Alexa even though their site has been up for 4 years and they were running an ongoing Adwords campaign.  They had a static site (You can see the snapshot of the homepage here) that was advertising their services but didn’t provide incentive for visitors to come back frequently.  And while we began an incremental marketing and social media implementation for them including a Facebook Page, Google Places Page optimization, listed them in all of the major online directories, and added a site title, keywords, descriptions, and tags, we knew that the primary problem was their static site that gave visitors no reason to return.

There website problem is now solve with the completion their new modern, professional, SEO friendly website running on WordPress.

Their new site Broadway Performing Arts is a perfect example of how a business website should be designed and how a blog should be integrated to keep visitors coming back.

Design Features to Integrate into Your Website

  1. Blog Page-We added a blog on an internal page of the website to generate more organic SEO.  The blog positions the owners as experts with articles on succeeding in show business and training for various performing arts.  This invaluable and regularly updated content will drive organic traffic indefinitely.  We also linked it prominently to the homepage in an attractive footer widget.
  2. Twitter is Fully Integrated-Wordpress seamlessly integrates with Twitter and we will automatically tweet all new blogs posts to their followers.
  3. Search Engine Optimization and Syndication- Their WordPress powered business website automatically pings (notifies) the search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) every time we update the site.  WordPress also generates an RSS feed of their blog page posts to syndicate their content automatically across the internet.
  4. Facebook Page Widget-The Facebook page is a huge part of the identity of BPA so we included a slick widget in the sidebar to integrate their student of the month presence.
  5. WordPress recently enabled mini-posts (micro-blogging) and we took advantage of this powerful innovation to feature specials, highlights, products, upcoming events, and important news prominently on their homepage.
  6. Mobile Website-If you look at the site on your mobile phone, you will see how it converts the format to display correctly on smartphones.  The site switches from the desktop version automatically when it detects that a smartphone is accessing the site.  Almost every client of BPA has a smartphone so it is an obvious decision and integrates seamlessly in WordPress.
  7. An integrated testimonial widget provides social proof in an attractive and powerful way.

As you can see, WordPress isn’t just for blogging anymore.  WordPress just added page templates that give you unprecedented control over how the internal pages of your site display.  Some new premium themes have a blog page template which is what I used to create the internal blog page at broadwayperformingarts.net/blog.

If you already have a business website and want to add a blog page, here is how to do it:

How to Integrate a Blog for Your Business Website

If You Already Have a Website, Here are your Options:

  1. Create a full replacement site in WordPress and use a premium theme with a dedicated blog page that is fully integrated with the site like the Broadway Performing Arts Page.  This will work particularly well for service businesses, restaurants, photographers, or anyone else not running a retail operation with dozens of transactional items.
      Pros of this approach-You realize all of the benefits listed above that WordPress and the long term maintenance costs are lower than a traditional website. However, your expenses can be capped by choosing a good premium WordPress theme to start can seriously reduce your need for major customizations.
      Con of this approach-Building a replacement website is a major undertaking and can be expensive depending on the size of the site and the customization required.
  2. Use a sub-domain on your main domain http:// www.blog.yoursite.com.
      Pros of this approach-This is the quickest and easiest way to add a blog to an existing, non-Wordpress site. A sub-domain site acts as a completely separate site so you can install WordPress.
      Con of this approach-This is a separate website that will require at least some additional maintenance apart from your main site.
  3. The other option is a sub-directory manual creation of a child/manual blog but this is not the solution I would recommend unless you have a competent web designer who can do this for you.

If you don’t have a website yet:

Decide if you want to create and manage the site yourself; do you want to have the site created for you but you want the ability to manage it yourself, or do you want want to have the site created and managed for you?

Why WordPress is a good solution for all of these options:

  1. You want to create and manage the site yourself-It is not easy to learn how to create and modify WordPress site but it is attainable with the web-based software, interface, and a premium theme.
  2. You want to have your website built for you but you want the ability to add or alter posts yourself-Wordpress powered website are web-based and need no special software.  So you can log into the WordPress control panel and add or adjust posts yourself with some training.  If you have a well designed premium WordPress theme with an extensive theme option panel, you can even adjust some of the layouts and formatting of the site.
  3. Do you want to have your website created and managed for you-With 25 million website running on WordPress, you can find a good web designer and management company.

How do you find a good WordPress web designer? Technical skills are secondary to business and marketing acumen.  Designing a site that drives targeted traffic and converts that traffic into leads and buyers is the number one requirement in choosing a design company.  After passing the business bar, the designer needs the specific technical skills required to complete site for your specific business.

Some Recommendations to Layout your new site:

  • If you currently sell or plan to sell products and services, I highly recommend you choose a WordPress theme with a blog template page (yoursite.com/blog) instead of the traditional blog format.
  • If you are doing a website pre-launch prior to go your product or service page go-live, you can easily set your homepage to the blog page, yoursite.com/blog to promote your site, and begin to build organic traffic.  And when you are ready to launch, you can change it back when you go live in seconds all from the WordPress Dashboard/Setting /Reading menu.

A traditional homepage blog format really only works best for content publishers like my Increasing Leverage Blog homepage.  I am running a premium magazine style WordPress theme with a few customizations.  This theme enables me multiple ways to feature my posts by newness, popularity, or in a featured area with or without a slider.

Ignore these Website/Wordpress/Blog Design Principles at your Own Risk

  • Never use a free WordPress theme-It will cost you far more time and aggravation trying to customize it and then you’ll give up and buy a premium theme.
  • You will need to change the default WordPress permalink structure to the permalink structure- /%category%.  This will give your business website the link structure of yoursite.com/page like instead of the default WordPress link structure of yoursite.com/?p=97.  You change this on your WordPress Control Panel in the Settings/Permalinks and then paste in /%category% into the Custom Structure box.  This is important primarily for usability but also SEO.

Automatically Drive Qualified, Organic Traffic from Google, Twitter that Increases over Time

  • High-quality blog posts added periodically over time will build significant organic traffic from the search engines over time.
  • Remember, blogging can take any form-not just written posts.  So if you don’t like writing, start video blogging.  As long as they are highly relevant to your products and services, they will bring you highly qualified traffic to your site.

If you have questions, leave me a comment, send me a tweet, or use the contact form to send me a private message.  Begin building organic traffic to your site with blog content that educates, solves their problems, and grabs the attention of your target market.

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