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Getting Online Fast – The Art of Discoverability

How to get online fast and make sure the search engines know you’re there.


This first in a series of videos about getting online fast explains the basics on how to build an effective web presence. It outlines everything you need to know in order to get off the ground fast and build a solid base from which to grow your online brand.

Show Notes:

0:00 – 0:37 – Setting the stage

Laying out the premise for todays conversation.

1:53 – The first question

What are the first steps to getting my website found online? And how do I prioritize what I need to do first?

4:17 – Step 1 – Start Publishing

Promoting the content and getting links back to the site. These provide early signals that something new is happening at this web address and lets Google know that they should start paying attention to that URL.

Pro Tip: Be careful with offers to build links back to your site that seem too good to be true – Many of these networks use “Black Hat” SEO strategies and can end up negative affecting your search results as opposed to helping it.

5:30 – Looking for collaboration

It is important to find authority links back to your website. A good way to do this is to start getting involved with other online communities. This is a great time to introduce social interactions to the website, but the social activity should bolster your online efforts.

6:30 – Always keep your eye on the prize

Always make sure that the website is at the core of the online strategy and use the rest of your activities to drive people towards that central property.

7:30 – Common misconceptions about publishing content online.

Just because you publish something does not mean that everyone you know read the article. The truth is that most people will not read everything you create, so repurposing older content is a great idea to bolster a new website and start

The value of evergreen content and how to repurpose old content to build brand authority on a new website.

Pro Tip: Evergreen Content is content that has no expiration date. For instance, the weather is not evergreen content because no one would ever go back to look at yesterdays forecast so the value of that content is short term, regardless of how valuable it may be. However, putting the history of your hometown in context would be evergreen because that story does not change often and would be relevant no matter when a reader finds it. For new website owners, focusing on evergreen content is important because it creates content that is relevant to the target audience no matter when they get to the website. This means that instead of constantly churning out new articles to stay relevant, each article actually adds to the overall value that the website offers its readers. This is a great way to approach building a website, especially in the early phases of your website development.

Quick tips on how to refresh your web content

  • Rework the headline
  • Quick skim and update the articles
  • Combine multiple articles into an E-book or longer form content that might be more engaging.

8:35 – Consistency

The value of remaining consistent at the early stages of your website development.

10:00 – Anchor content

Using long form evergreen content to build authority and build value on your blog. Anchor content is usually more than 2,000 words and includes lots of resources and links to other content online. Typically these posts teach a concept, explain a theory, or otherwise lay out a lot of information in a single place.

They can be powerful tools for building a web presence because once you set them, they will continue to work for you long after you have created it. This is where the real value of the web begins to show itself.

11:00 – Measuring progress

Google Analytics – Create an account and add the tracking code. Then spend some time familiarizing yourself with the different metrics you can track.

  • Here are a few things you should be paying attention to.
  • Bounce rate
  • Page views
  • Unique visits
  • Time on page
  • User flow through the site
  • Scroll depth

Other tools you can use:

Sumo Me – Social sharing plugin, scroll depth indicator and heat maps.

13:20 – How often you should update your site.

Using some of the measurement tools we talked about to understand what the user behavior means. How to set goals in Google Analytics and why it is important to measure your growth and progress online.

15:50 – The order

Now that we have a simple understanding of what we need to do, we begin to outline the process for doing it and where to start.

  • Get the tracking installed
  • Create a content calendar – This holds you accountable and goes back to
  • Start sending signals (social signals, content, etc) – (WordPress Wednesday reference)

17:20 – A quick overview of how search engines index your website and why constant content updates are important to growing your online brand.

18:45 – Introducing a small amount of advertising. How and why you can use some basic advertising to understand what works and what doesn’t.

19:45 – Conversation hacking

Tricks I use to distribute content online and get other authority bloggers visiting my website.

The basic steps to hacking an online conversatio

  1. Find a relevant conversation online – Search your subject matter and find out what other people are saying about it.
  2. Join the conversation – Find a way to insert yourself into the conversation without coming across as a spammer
  3. Divert attention – When the time is right, send a link or reference a post you created by sending them a link.

21:15 – How to engage an early audience

Answering the most commonly answered questions about the things you do is a great way to get your website working for you.

22:15 – Email marketing

The basics of building a list and why you need to start segmenting your audience early.

MailChimp – Free email marketing for beginners.

25:00 – Testing everything

So often the person creating the website is wrapped up in the idea and thinks things should be a certain way, but often that can leave the user feeling neglected because you make certain assumptions based on your through understanding of the topic that your user may not have.

26:50 – The use of traditional media

Teddy asks me if I think they should use any traditional media to grow their online exposure. And while I think you should use it if you have access to it, I am not sure that it is the most effective way to gain online exposure. Mostly because of the cost and lack of measurable results that are associated with this type of advertising.

28:30 – Finding your target audience

If you do want to add a little bit of advertising to your online efforts, it is smart to start out with a basic AdWords account or Facebook Advertising. They have the ability to specifically target your advertisements to a specific demographic as opposed to just broadcasting them to the entire world.

30:35 – Using Social Groups

As a final thought I mentioned to Teddy that Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups are a great way to find relevant conversations about the things you are trying to promote and a great way to drive some easy traffic to your website.

31:20 – Just do it

The key is to just get started. Most people think about it and then get caught up thinking about the process and then never actually do it. So if you want to get going online, the best bet is to just start working at it.

Once you are online, then you can begin to shape and modify your presence until you work it into whatever you want. And that iterative improvement is what the web is all about.

Want some one-on-one help building your online brand?

 

Boys & Girls Club Wins First #GiveBack Website From Clear Idea

Clear Idea is happy to announce the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee County as the winner of our first Give Back Campaign.

The voting for our first Give Back campaign was incredibly close, but at the end of the day, our team felt that the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee County would not only benefit greatly from a new website, but would also be able to effectively leverage that website as a tool for greater good throughout the community.

Serving more than 4,000 kids and operating a number of club locations, the Boys & Girls Club will primarily benefit from a brand new, responsive web design, which will eliminate the need for them to continue managing two different websites. One for the web, and a secondary mobile website.

Tech note: Having a seperate mobile websites was very common years ago when the mobile web was in its infancy, but now the two website system is outdated and inneficient. Not to mention it can negatively affect your overall online performance. Learn more about the importance of responsive web design. 

Additionally, the Boys & Girls Club has a large real world audience, who will immediately benefit from the ability to explore all of the information, services and events that they have to offer.

“We feel confident that our investment in the Boys & Girls Club website will pay off exponentially for the organization as a whole, but by no means, does that mean this was an easy decision.” Said Teddy Matheu, CEO of Clear Idea Labs.

The stories submitted by each of the nonprofits were extremely compelling. And we wish we could have helped each and every one of the applicants, but in the end, there could only be one winner.

The good news is that we plan on doing it all over again in 6 months, and we might even talk a few other digital agencies into joining us in giving back to the nonprofit community.

Who knows, maybe we’ll start a trend!

But wait… That’s not all!

In an unexpected turn of events, we have also decided to create an unofficial runner-up prize.

As we learned from their heart-felt submission, the webmaster over at Rob’s Rescue Foundation passed away, leaving them locked out of their website and unable to update it, or collect online donations. It didn’t take us long to decide as a team that we wanted to help them get ther website back on track, regardless of the final vote.

It won’t be a comprehensive web overhaul like our grand prize, but we wanted to give them a fresh start online, and provide them with the chance to grow their small yet effective organization.

I don’t think we’ll make a habit of picking two winners for each Give Back campaign, but this time around, we couldn’t help ourselves.

Thanks for following us on this journey… Please share The #GiveBack Campaign with a nonprofit who couldbenefit from an online boost! Thanks for sharing the love.

Fill out the short form below for notifications about future Give Back campaigns.

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