Lesson B. Getting Your Site Noticed

thumpinsplishInternet and Web Development

Nov 18, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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W
EB

P
RESENCE

S
TRATEGIES

FOR

S
MALL

C
OMMUNITIES

AND

L
OCAL

G
OVERNMENTS

Module 2


Lesson B.

Getting Your Site
Noticed

L
ESSON

O
BJECTIVES


Basics of website promotion


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

o
5 proven techniques


Analyzing what you have

o
Importance of using analytics

o
Installing Google Analytics

o
Trends over time / top traffic sources / geographic
locations of hits


Sustaining interest among constituent groups




T
HE

I
MPORTANCE

OF

M
ARKETING

Y
OUR

C
OMMUNITY

S
ITE


“Build it and they will come”
doesn’t work!

o
Many communities
assume traffic will start
flowing in once their
website is up and running

o
There are over 200
MILLION websites out
there today


what will
set yours apart?


Source:
Netcraft

Web Server Survey

T
HE

M
ANY

F
ACES

OF

W
EBSITE

M
ARKETING



H
OW

D
OES

Y
OUR

S
ITE

G
ET

F
OUND
?


Search engine optimization (SEO)


Search engines like Google that focus on keywords, titles, and
other factors are THE most important part for larger
-
scale
audiences


Website analytics can help determine which keywords are
working and which ones aren’t


Non
-
Search engine optimization techniques


Locally, word of mouth plays a huge role


Specific tools like email signatures or including your domain
name on all materials can spur additional traffic

Search Engine techniques are important, but are not the
ONLY way to generate traffic

R
EGISTERING

WITH

S
EARCH

E
NGINES


In general, you don’t HAVE to register
with search engines


they should find
your site anyway


But, it doesn’t hurt to tell them exactly
what you think your site is about!


Google:


www.google.com/addurl/


Yahoo:


http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html



Submissions to multiple sites:


www.submitexpress.com


www.addme.com




S
EARCH

E
NGINE

O
PTIMIZATION


How Search Engines Find Your Site

1.
Search engine “spider” visits your site


Determines what the main themes are

2.
Your site information is then added to search engine index

3.
Search engine software finds your site when a specific term is
searched for

4.
Your site is “ranked” based on a number of determinants, including
keyword placement, link popularity, and site organization


How do these spiders “see” your site?

W
HAT

A

S
EARCH

E
NGINE

S
PIDER

S
EES


On any website, click “View” and then click “Source”


We see:



Spider sees:

So


how do you impress the spider

and get ranked highly?

5 T
ECHNIQUES

FOR

S
EARCH

E
NGINE

O
PTIMIZATION

(SEO)

1.
Use appropriate keywords that are
highly searched for

2.
Incorporate “title tags”

3.
Incorporate “meta tags”

4.
Name (or talk about) your pictures

5.
Generate external links


create
content!


1. U
SE

A
PPROPRIATE

K
EYWORDS


You should have a
consistent theme
throughout your web
page


This means repeating similar “keywords” on a page
(particularly the home page), as well as the rest of the site


Each page in your website can use different keywords


There are two basic categories of keywords:


Broad Head


Long Tail


T
HEORY

OF

THE

“L
ONG

T
AIL
” S
EARCH


The “broad head” captures the very
popular search terms, BUT…


The “long tail” with more descriptive
terms may attract fewer


but more
appropriate



visitors


On the next slide we will use
www.adwords.google.com

to suggest
some appropriate search terms related
to your community

Example

Broad head
: retirement

Long tail
: retirement community with
scenic views in Arizona

Y
OUR

T
URN

Finding Highly Ranked Keywords


Go to:
www.adwords.google.com

and click
on “Get Keyword Ideas”


Insert a potential keyword (do you want to
emphasize retirees? amenities?) and fill in the
spam filter


Google gives you additional
keywords to consider


and tells
you which ones are most
popular!


Consider both “broad head” and
“long tail”


Put these into your site


W
HERE

TO

I
NSERT

K
EYWORDS


As many places as possible!


“Entry page”


the first page that a visitor sees

o
Often directed here from search engines

o
Try to keep the visitor’s attention (pictures?)


You can emphasize text (even to a spider) by
bolding, italicizing, underlining.


Don’t be afraid to use keywords in simple,
regular text as well.

2. I
NCORPORATE

T
ITLE

T
AGS


Take a look at the upper left hand corner of any website (in the browser)











Most amateur sites will just say “Home Page” or “New Page”


This title is important


it’s what the spider first sees! Use your community name
and something descriptive or something you want to emphasize (from your
keywords search)


Use different title tags for different pages that are part of your site

K
EYWORDS

IN

T
ITLE

T
AGS


These are the first thing Google looks at!


Can insert in most templates / editors

Good
: Community
name, welcome
message

Bad
: “Home Page”

3. I
NCORPORATE

M
ETA

T
AGS


Typically done in a program like Dreamweaver or
SharePoint


need to have access to html code


Meta Description


describes your community


This shows up in search rankings! (Up to 250 characters)


Meta Keywords


Lists common keywords associated
with your site. List plurals, common misspellings,
phrases, anything you can think of!

Meta tags for Maryville, TN Website

<meta name="Description" content="The City of Maryville, Tennessee web site." />


<meta name="Keywords" content="City of Maryville, Maryville, Tennessee, Blount County,
City Manager, Government, Foothills Fall Festival, Maryville City Schools, Maryville High
School, Maryville Middle School, Foothills Elementary, Foothills Intermediate, Sam Houston,
Fort Craig," />

T
ITLE

AND

M
ETA

T
AGS

Example of inserting this code in Yahoo!
SiteBuilder
: Use Tools


Meta Tags


Then insert phrases you want


T
ITLE

AND

M
ETA

T
AGS


These are Important!


Google results pull directly from these tags


Y
OUR

T
URN


Check out a few of your neighbors’
websites


what do they have as their
title and meta tags?


Remember to use View


Source to see
the html code


Write down what you would like to use
as your title, description, and keyword
tags


4. N
AME

Y
OUR

P
ICTURES


Pictures are a large part of what makes a website user
friendly, but…


Spiders don’t “see” pictures; they only see the names
or text beside the pictures.


So, naming a picture “pic1.jpg” is not helpful to your ranking,
while “grandville_park1.jpg” is.


Text

that describes the picture can also be useful, if it
fits into the context of the web page.


Some programs also allow you to use “alt” tags

o
This shows up when your picture cannot / does not

Do the images on your site have
appropriate file names?

5. G
ENERATE

E
XTERNAL

L
INKS



C
REATE

C
ONTENT


Main priority


content


Exchange links with other sites (state tourism dept /
development sites)


Spiders crawl to these links to ensure relevance


Write articles and make videos that link back to your
community site

V
IDEO

AND

A
RTICLE

M
ARKETING


External links are one of the primary drivers
of how Google ranks sites


So, the more “external” sites you can get to
link to you the better


Videos
: use simple digital camera, windows
movie maker software & submit to:


www.youtube.com


www.revver.com



www.realpeoplerealstuff.com



Articles
: Write short articles relating to your
niche (4
-
500 words)


www.ezinearticles.com



www.goarticles.com



S
QUIDOO
…A G
ATHERING

P
LACE


FOR

C
ONTENT


Squidoo is a popular publishing platform
that allows you to create information
about your community


“Lenses”


overview articles


gather
information on a topic


Offer your perspective on something


Why is your community a great place for
retirees?


What amenities can your community offer
young people?



M
ARKET

Y
OUR

S
ITE

WITH

F
ACEBOOK


You need a personal Facebook account to set up a page for your
community


Visit
www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

to create an official page


Make sure to post a link on your website

o
“Become a fan of Logan County”


Fill it up! Some applications for communities:

o
Discussion boards

o
Events

o
Photos

o
Video

o
The Wall (this is the main focus)

A
NALYZE

W
HAT

Y
OU

H
AVE


Websites are only useful if they are helping you accomplish your
community goals


You should KNOW:

o
How many hits you are getting a week / month

o
Which keywords are being used to find your site

o
Where most of your traffic is coming from (search, direct entry,
other links)

o
Where (geographically) your hits are coming from

24


You can use FREE tools to keep record of your traffic and
how people are finding your site


www.google.com/analytics


Consists of code that you insert into your webpage, then
analyze later








G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS

25


Another FREE tool to keep track of your traffic and find out how people are finding you


www.openwebanalytics.com/



Consists of code that you insert into your webpage, then analyze later


Also has a “
HeatMap
” to see where visitors focus









O
PEN

W
EB

A
NALYTICS

26

What can Google Analytics tell me?


Traffic sources (referring sites, direct traffic,
search engines)


Number of visits


Number of page views / visit


Trends over time


Most popular pages


Search terms used to reach your site


Geographic map of where visitors come from


“Bounce rates”


visitors who only look at a
single page and then immediately leave



G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS

27

H
OW

TO

I
NSERT

G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS

1)
Create a Google Analytics account


Use Google account email address (free)


Enter your website’s domain name


Enter contact information


Agree to terms of service

H
OW

TO

I
NSERT

G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS

2)
Find the “tracking code”
Google provides to your
own website


Find profile (domain name)
for which you would like
to retrieve code.


Click Edit on Settings
Column


Click “Check Status”


html code will show up

H
OW

TO

I
NSERT

G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS

3)
Copy the provided code


Highlight all of the code provided


Right click and select “copy”

H
OW

TO

I
NSERT

G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS

4)
Paste this code into EACH PAGE of your website


Requires using the software program that created the website (SharePoint?
Sitebuilder? Office Live?)


Immediately
before

the </body> tag (very end of page)

H
OW

TO

I
NSERT

G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS

5)
Upload your updated site and ensure that data is
being collected


The “alert” symbol will change to a check mark




6)
After at least a full day of collecting data, “View
Report!”

G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS
:

3 M
OST

U
SEFUL

F
EATURES

1)
Visits over time


Did you change key words?


Put in a new website feature?


Get an external link?


See what type of impact you had…

G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS
:

3 M
OST

U
SEFUL

F
EATURES

2)
Top Traffic Sources


Direct Traffic / Referring Sites / Search Engines?


Which keywords are people using to find you?


What other sites are sending links your way?

G
OOGLE

A
NALYTICS
:

3 M
OST

U
SEFUL

F
EATURES

3)
Geography of your visitors


Are people finding you from within your state?


Nearby states?


How should you change your site to appeal to these
visitors?

A
SSESSING

Y
OUR

W
EBSITE


There are tools available to help you
assess if your website has problems with
broken links, browser compatibility,
spelling

o
www.scrubtheweb.com


o
www.netmechanic.com



Some also offer help with meta tags &
keywords and track your rankings on
search engines…for a fee


S
USTAINING

I
NTEREST

IN

Y
OUR

S
ITE


Many community sites start out with many interested parties, but fade over
time

o
Seeing pictures from the 1990s or a calendar of events from 2005 doesn’t speak very
well for the site


or your community!


Some options to sustain interest:

o
Rotating “Community Website Board” with positions and specific duties each year


President


lays out quarterly meetings of board, handles major changes


Secretary


changes calendar each month


Membership chair


promotes site within community

o
Discuss the site at regularly scheduled meetings (city council, chamber of commerce)

o
Engage students in high school each year


have a class project to improve at least 1
section of the site


G
ETTING

L
OCAL

P
ARTICIPATION


Marketing


make sure people know about the site!

o
Presentations at Lion’s Club, senior citizen’s center, religious
organizations


let people know how others are viewing
their community


Cast Deep


get buy
-
in from as many different groups
as possible

o
Getting interest from multiple constituents is essential


avoid having one person who dominates the discussion

o
A “champion” from several different groups can help
support a variety of views on what should be emphasized


Community Website Board membership should
change on a regular basis

W
HAT

W
E

H
OPE

Y
OU

C
AME

A
WAY

W
ITH



An understanding of why website marketing is so
important


The importance of
non
-
SEO techniques for website
marketing (especially locally!)


Basics of how the major search engines work


5 techniques for SEO that you can implement in your own
site


The importance of Google Analytics or other analytic
programs (and how to install them on your website)


Some options for sustaining the community site after it is
up and running