Reading Time: 5 minutes
Wordmark for Twitter logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What is it about Twitter? A simple question, a simple program, a complex answer – maybe even unexplainable. If you were to type “twitter” into a Wikipedia field you would find this: “Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications”. If you have a basic understanding of the World Wide Web today you probably understand words like blogging, add a micro- to the beginning and you have tiny blog posts, called Tweets. Simple, Right! What isn’t so simple is why one would ever want to broadcast short transmissions about their day-to-day activities; why would I want to ask questions, and take interest in what a total stranger is doing with their life?
Twitter has been around since 2006, it quietly gained steam at first while people figured out its potential and spread the word. Twitter grew exponentially worldwide and although it has slowed down in the last year, its user numbers are in the millions! Twitter is a tool for the 21st century speeding up the flow of information, allowing people to tap literally into the resources of the entire world. Twitter has no time zone, no deadlines; it is not bound by conventionality! We don’t have to check our favorite news websites to know when a story has “dropped” anymore, no more one sentence emails either – Send a Tweet! Web 2.0 is about life, interaction and feeling like the impossible is possible; the World Wide Web is alive and constantly expanding, now it even has a voice.
Can anyone explain why Twitter has been so successful in such a short period of time? Maybe not, but I do know that in general people want to feel like they have a voice; now, everyone can guarantee an audience, hopefully a full house. The fact that Bill Gates signed on board yesterday says a lot. In eight hours he had over a 100,000 followers!
Reading Time: 3 minutes
It is important to keep your web site current and up to date. Telephone numbers, employee names, addresses and other details change and need to be replaced with the current information. Searching your site first for all the edits to be made can save you considerable back and forth time with your Webmaster.
- Find all the changes to be made
- evaluate the text on the page for need to rewrite
- send changes in one Word document to your Webmaster.
Here is a handy search tip to help you find those items which need to be replaced or updated.
In Google’s search box:
- type the exact text you are trying find
- site:www.yourwebsiteaddress.com (using your address and leaving no space between the colon and the www)
For example, if I were searching www.webconsuls.com for “Darin” …
Returned will be a list of all the instances where that term appears.
If you click the link labeled “Cached” the cached page will come up with your terms highlighted for easy spotting.
Send your list of changes in a Word document to your webmaster.
After the changes are made remember to refresh your page to see the changes. This is especially helpful with larger sites with lots of text and those with blog entries.
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Let’s look at some of the opportunity costs of NOT having a website.
How will people find you? Yellow Pages?
You may want to rethink. The other day as I walked up to our door I passed my neighbor’s doorstep and noticed the Yellow Pages had arrived. There was a copy on our front doormat as well. Upstairs there was a third copy.
I set mine inside.
The next day I noticed the Yellow Pages were still out on everyone’s doorstep. After about a week and some rain I took it upon myself to remove the Yellow Pages and put them in the recycle bin.
What has happened? The Yellow Pages was once the first place a search for a service or product began.
Blog comments to a post on the “LISNews Librarian And Information Science News” also reflect this change in consumer behavior.
By not having a website a good portion of consumers will not find you listed when they search for products and services.
- You need customers to find your business. If they don’t find you they will find your competition.
- A website is flexible. Unlike print ads and other media websites can be altered and changed after they are “published” to the web.
- A website can save you time by describing your services, answering common questions, and providing resources.
- Websites are global. There is no geographical barrier to websites. With one website you have the opportunity to reach anyone in the world with an internet connection.
- Prospective customers expect a business to have an online presence. By not having a website you risk appearing unprofessional and unestablished.
- Websites can provide valuable data on prospective customers. Your website can provide your business with marketing information unavailable in other formats. Statistics regarding popularity of website content, information was most often viewed, where website visitors originate and exit, and if they converted. This important marketing information can be gathered and shown visually in a myriad of methods depending on the tools you choose to use. This information can be used to make immediate adjustments and improvements in your marketing efforts.
- Websites give an opportunity for small businesses to compete with larger corporations. The internet has leveled the playing field. A small company can appear more established with a well designed website than a larger business or even a corporation.
Click here for a website and web marketing proposal.
Reading Time: 4 minutes
How do you decide on what colors to use for your website?
This is the question you start with when designing a website and could determine how the website will look based on your decision. Webconsuls has recently designed Affirmations website which gives a soothing yet bright feeling. Located in Scottsdale, AZ the website’s colors catch the user’s eyes and yet still hold the peace of mind that it is a recovery center. The colors were easier to play with given that the company logo is a simple yellow logo which gives me room to play with a wide range of colors.
To give you an idea of how to relate a theme of the website with the company it belongs to, let’s take a look at some of the sites Webconsuls has designed. Hardhat Presentations has a blueprint in the background since it is a construction business. La Fuente Restaurant gives off a feeling of an authentic Mexican restaurant. Click here to see a partial listing of the sites designed by Webconsuls.
Websites should give the feeling of the company when entering a site. Two things that always help a designer is the logo which is initially the first thing we look at when designing a website and the pictures provided. What you write about your company and the pictures you chose to present your company are what the people see. Therefore, having a professional photographer take photos of your business/facility and your staff is a great investment.
The simple the logo, the more flexibility a designer has to work with. The more complex the logo, the less options you may have depending on the color scheme you are going for.
Websites such as Colors on the Web and ColorScheme are great tools to help you decide on color contrasts that are appealing and catch your eye.
How does your site look?
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Writing a Weblog is one thing, writing a good one is something else altogether! Some people write a blog for themselves and others write them to appeal to a particular audience. It is the latter which I am concerned with, reaching out to the people so they will read what you have to say; when people finish reading your post you want them to have a desire to come back for more. Know Your Audience! Seth Godin says “You only get one chance to make a second impression”.
The key to blogging is choosing a topic, once you have chosen your platform you need to reinforce it with good content. One’s topic and content should appeal to a targeted audience in the field of what you are trying to sell. Most websites today, especially business websites, have a blog affiliated with their site. It gives companies the ability to reach out and have a conversation with their consumers. It is what I like to call “injecting life into your website”. What was once inanimate is now animate, people can get involved in the conversation like never before; this gives the consumer a “it’s all about you” feeling, and by giving the consumer the feeling of involvement you can go a long way .
Whats good for the blog, is great for the website! Once you have created something worth reading you want to make your blog’s presence on the internet greater; in other words you want your audience to be able to find your blog even if they have never read or heard of your blog before. The thing worth noting is that blogging is a means to an end; when people find your Weblog (the means), they also find your website (the end). Google rewards you for a good blog and they reward your website even more for one!
Blogs are the perfect ingredient to making a high page rank in Google! Blogs are updated more often then websites which allows them to be “spider’d” more often by search-engines. Coupled with great topics and content, loyal readers equals high page rank. Keeping search engines in mind is the key to people finding your blog, and thus finding your website; keywords and key phrases are of great importance because ultimately it is those which allow search engines to find your blog and place it where it belongs for your target audience to locate your information. Create a list of keywords you want to be found for and incorporate them into each of your blog posts. The title you assign to your post is the most important place for you to implement your keywords/phrases; search engines place all lot of value on the title of your web page; therefore, how you title your blog post is of great importance for the fact that your blog is a web page in itself.
In summation I believe that there is not one right way to go about creating a Weblog, but there are definitely wrong ways. You will not become an expert blogger overnight and patience will be in order to become successful. As long a you update your Weblog often while always keeping in mind rich content that directly relates to the topic at hand you will succeed. It is completely acceptable to refer to other blogs for guidance as far as ideas and content; look for what’s worked for other people and find a way to make it work for you and your company. Blogging is the voice of your business…it is your billboard on the internet highway!