Just about everybody understands that having a completely integrated web and social media strategy is important. But for some reason there’s a perception among small business that it costs an arm and a leg to get everything up and running.
It’s true that just a few years back, a website could cost upwards of $10,000. But today you should be able to get something far superior for a lot less.
Great free web tools from WordPress, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter make it easier and more economical than ever to update your web presence.
Just recently I rebranded and relaunched Kurt Shaver’s site The Sales Foundry. Kurt is a professional speaker, I met at the National Speakers Association’s annual convention this past summer in Anaheim.
At the time he had a site that folks generally describe as brochure-ware. Very little interactivity, and no social media integration.
If I were a smarter man, I’d have a screen grab of the “before” to really bring home the improvements in the “after.”
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But alas, all I can do is provide a list of some of the new features to demonstrate how you can improve your own online marketing.
First of all, the new site is built using WordPress. It’s a great little content management system that is very easy to customize and is practically designed to feed content to search engines.
The first thing you’ll see on the home page is a set of rotating banners that promote all of Kurt’s services. You’ll also note how prominent the signup is for his monthly newsletter along with the icons for each one of Kurt’s social media pages.
Above each piece of content on every page we have icons to help people share individual pages across various social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Google.
As I’ve stated before – LinkedIn is the most important social media site for business.
And on Kurt’s blog, we’ve replaced the default WordPress comments with Facebook comments to reduce spam and provide another opportunity for people to bring the conversation into the social sphere.
Staying with the blog for a second, we’ve connected the pipes so that whenever Kurt creates a new blog entry, that content is fed out Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn automatically. We used Feedburner for this.
But if someone is interested they can sign up to receive blog postings via email or install a native Android or Blackberry app.
Social media a a great way to let folks share content. But it’s important to have something worth sharing. Here you will see a quiz that allows folks to do a self assessment for the LinkedIn effectiveness.
Again this is a simple WordPress plugin. But it works great.
Other items a lot of folks seem to miss when building a site, that we’ve included:
- Proper XML sitemap
- Privacy statement
- Feedburner RSS feed
- Physical address
If you’re in the market for a new site, make sure your coder/marketing person reads this article. You can also fill in this form and l’ll take a look at your site for free and give you some tips over the phone or via Skype. And of course, you can contact me and we can talk about building a site that includes all these features – in just over a month and for much less than you think.