DIY Websites vs. Professionally Designed (Part 2)

DIY Websites vs. Professionally Designed (Part 2)

Welcome to WebSIGHT, a series that aims to give you tools & professional insight to make the most out of your online presence. We broke our third episode into a three-part mini-series, and this is the second part. You can catch part 1 over here. And check out our complete list of past episodes over here.

Topics Covered

Part 2 is all about the Strategy & Marketing that goes into a successful website. We will be talking about the following topics, in terms of what you can effectively handle yourself, versus where you should work with a pro.

  • Social Media
  • Integrations & Automation
  • SEO
  • Your Website as a Conversion Tool

Presenters

Watch DIY vs. Pro: Part 2

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Check out Part 3 on hosting, security, support & content management.

Show Notes:

We covered a lot in this discussion, but only scratched the surface for each topic. The important thing to realize is that you need to incorporate these areas of strategy and marketing into your web design process, so that you will have a site that performs at a peak level for your business. Strategy & Marketing is “the trenches” where money is made or lost depending on how well you execute.

On SOCIAL MEDIA…

This could be a discussion in itself, so let’s highlight the important aspects of websites when it comes to your social strategy.

The key, as Lou pointed out in Part 1, is to use your website as a “hub” and your social media channels as “spokes” to drive traffic back to your “hub.” All your engagement and community-building activity on social networks should ultimately lead your audience back to your website, signup form, or shopping cart. Otherwise, you can’t measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

There are a ton of plugins that facilitate this on most DIY platforms, and we’d go as far as to say those sites are better built for social interaction than a custom site. However, and we’ll cover this in more detail in Part 3, the social landscape is changing rapidly, so the plugin that works today might not tomorrow, especially if it isn’t actively maintained.

On INTEGRATIONS…

Automation and efficiency are really important when it comes to maintaining an up to date web presence, and also managing your online marketing efforts. If you rely on your website for lead generation, e-commerce or any other type of conversion metric (and you should!), tying that activity directly into your CRM system is so much more efficient.

The same goes for automating marketing activity. For example: if you add an event to your website’s calendar, how awesome would it be to have that same event data get reformatted into a pixel-perfect email campaign, and sent to your list with a couple clicks of a mouse?

That type of integration and automation is incredibly useful, especially for smaller businesses who don’t have the large teams and human capital to carry out these redundant tasks.

On SEO…

Another topic that could go on forever, and so much is written about it. Here’s the thing about SEO: first off, remember these three things…

  1. Google is not your customer.
  2. Google is another marketing channel.
  3. Don’t write for Google, write for the people using Google to answer a question that you can solve.

With that out of the way, there are tried & true “best practices” that professionals use to make sure you have the best chance of being indexed properly, and found when people are searching for those answers. Working together with professionals to make sure your content, and the website itself, will get you far better results than doing it on your own.

On CONVERSION…

Websites wear a number of different “hats”: they’re receptionists, customer support rep’s, salespeople, PR teams, trainers, and cashiers. All at once.

If your website were an actual employee, it would be stretched very thin, and probably not live up to your expectations. Guess what? Most websites don’t focus on conversion, nor do they identify how each of those roles can serve the customer in the best and fastest possible way.

You probably know how the different elements because you know your business the best, but your web professional can help translate those conversion points into a well-designed website.

About Stephan Hovnanian

I own Shovi Websites, a website design and email marketing company located outside Boston. I spend my days managing websites and staying up to speed with all the latest trends across the web so you don't have to.

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  • https://plus.google.com/105076725141939280120/about Stephan Hovnanian

    Apologies for the ventriloquist act in the first couple minutes, when I’m talking down in the filmstrip while poor Lou is on the spotlight.

  • http://twitter.com/minsardi Matthew Insardi

    I like the seo tips.. so many people worry about on page seo…. if you just talk naturally and get people to interact google will notice.

  • http://www.salyris.com/ Sean Cook

    Yes, stick with “White Hat SEO” and content marketing with SEO in mind. Glad you mentioned these. Good overall discussion topics guys.