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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?

 

WPW#3 – How Dealers United Is Using WordPress to Run A Multi-Million Dollar Online Business


WordPress Wednesday is sponsored by zoing.ly


In this episode we interview Pete Petersen, the CEO of Dealers United.

We dive deep into the details of how they use WordPress to manage their multi-million dollar operation and intricately explore the inner workings of their entire online marketing strategy.

We explore the mechanics of inbound marketing, break down the components of the sales funnel at a high level, and get into the nitty gritty of generating, qualifying, and converting online leads.


Dealers United provides auto dealers with quality products, services and online support, at a discount by leveraging the collective buying power of their growing dealer network.

If you are in Sarasota, you can attend these Interviews in person. Learn more on our MeetUp page.


Show Notes

1:14 – Meet Pete

Learn about Pete’s Background, and why he is qualified to be the CEO of a Multi-Million dollar software startup. Pete also describes the basics of Dealers United, and how they help auto dealerships sell more cars.

2:48 – Why WordPress

Pete explains why he chose to switch the DU website over to WordPress when he took over as CEO.

“I realized real quick that we had to switch to a platform that would allow us to generate more inbound leads, and allow our sales team to have more conversations with our customers about the problems they were solving.”

5:16 – Educating the consumer

I ask Pete how WordPress allows them to use education as a sales tool, how they approach inbound marketing, and why it’s so important to take the time to create quality online content .

8:25 – Introducing the sales funnel

Get the specifics of their top-of-funnel conversion tactics and how Dealers United attracts new leads.
12:28 – How to transition from educating to selling a prospect

Pete explains that to get people further down the sales funnel and explains how they use webinars to take their prospects from marketing qualified lead, to sales qualified lead.

14:40 – The value of evergreen content

We discuss the specifics of how Dealers United sets their content strategy, how they track their leads through the sales funnel, and why evergreen content is so important to all of it.

16:40 – “I’m trying to build a relationship”

How answering questions helps you build relationships with your customers and why relationships are vital to making online sales.

19:31 – The bottom of the funnel

How do you track and measure performance online?

“The number one thing we do is set goals!” – Pete talks about how they use Google Analytics to create online goals so that they can accurately track a user’s progress through their website.

23:48 – What tools do you use? 

Learn what plugins Dealers United uses on their WordPress install.

Hint:

29:00 – WordPress is a tool

Pete still hacks his way through WordPress once in awhile, and I take some time to point out that this is one of the reasons I love WordPress so much. Because it allows non-developers like myself, to go in and manipulate the web, and as a marketer, that becomes a very powerful sales tool.

This is a good section to listen in on if you are using WordPress and wondering whether or not you are using it right. And as we explain in the interview, there is really no wrong way to use WordPress as long as you are not modifying its core functionality.

32:00 – What I think is beautiful about WordPress

Pete specifically describes how much he appreciates the ease at which you can find people who are proficient in WordPress, and how much that helps them when it comes to outsourcing parts of their operation and managing their content marketing strategy.
33:08 – Q&A

Pete sticks around to answer questions about how they pick the content they create, gets deeper into the meaning of Evergreen content and fields other questions from the crowd about how WordPress helps them kick ass online.

41:14 – Is blogging dead?

Someone from the crowd asks if we think that blogging is dead and both Pete and I chime in on this topic. What do you think? is blogging dead?

Leave your thoughts in the comment below, and if you got any value out of this video, feel free to share it with a friend. It’s the best compliment you could ever give me.

WPW#2 – Mason James – Making Money With WordPress

WordPress Wednesday is sponsored by zoing.ly


Last week I (Raymmar Tirado) interviewed Mason James, the founder of Valet.io (formerly WordPress Valet) as part of our WordPress Wednesday Interview Series.

The interview explores his personal WordPress journey, and is filled with insights on how to run a successful WordPress based business.


Valet.io works with brands like Etsy, TimeInc, Nvidia, Harvard University, Mixergy, and more, and is well respected in the WordPress community for top tier development and support services.

If you are looking to start a WordPress business, or want to learn more about how to grow and scale your WordPress business then this might be a good place to start.

If you are in Sarasota, you can attend these MeetUps in person. Learn more on our MeetUp page.


Show Notes

1:45 – Starting out as a freelancer

We start out by talking about the path from freelancer to entrepreneur.

4:15 – Picking WordPress as a platform

I asked Mason how he decided to pick WordPress as the platform for him to build his online business.

6:10 – Getting involved in the WordPress community 

Mason and I dive into the importance of the WordPress community, and talk about how people can get involved in the WordPress community, and why it is such a large part of WordPress success.

13:30 – Breaking the freelancer gap

I asked Mason how he made the jump from freelancer to full fledge business owner. We dive into how he landed his first clients, how he hired his first employees and more.

15:30 – Getting your first customer

We dive deeper into prospecting, networking and getting started as a small business owner.

17:25 – Biting off more than you can chew

Sometimes you have to get a little ambitious when you are trying to build your own business, but that can definitely backfire on you in the online world. Get advice on staying within your core competencies, and how to learn as you grow.

20:18 – To pick a niche or not

Some people swear by the idea that you have to specialize in order to be successful, so I wanted to know what Mason thought about being a generalist, or picking a specific niche.

20:54 – The main goal of any website

If there is one part of this interview which you should listen to, it is this section. In it Mason goes over his process for assessing websites, and outlines the order in which they approach website optimization.

24:29 – I hire people to do the things I suck at

Mason explains how he hires employees, and more specifically, how he hired his first employee. He also dives into his philosophy on how he hires people, and how he vets candidates.

28:48 – Internet freeing people to become their own boss

Mason and I discuss the power of the internet, and how it is empowering more people than ever to go out and become their own boss.

30:07 – You have to fail a lot

It wouldn’t be a proper interview if we didn’t spend some time talking about failure. Listen as Mason explains why failure is such an important part of starting and running a successful business.

34:49 – Creative processes deserve their own brain cycles

Towards the end of the interview, we dive into the creative side of running the business, and talk about the importance of spending time creating quality content, and connecting with a social audience in order to grow your online business.

44:55 – Quantifying the value and getting the money

We end the show by talking about how to stand up for what you are worth, how to set your rates, and discuss how to make sure people understand the value you are providing.

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