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2016 #WCFAY Anatomy of a Website

What makes a good website? What components are a must-have for an effective website? This WordCamp presentation from Jamie Smith discusses how to decide what pieces your website needs and provide tips for producing the best version of each component. This session is designed mostly for the company or organization that is creating their own website using WordPress, or at least is providing most of the content for a designer who is creating the website.

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2016 #WCFAY Anatomy of a Website

  1. 1. ANATOMY OF A WEBSITE Jamie Smith WordCamp Fayetteville 2016
  2. 2. YOUR PRESENTER: JAMIE SMITH Owner of Jamie’s Notebook Lives in Northwest Arkansas Jamiesnotebook.com @JamiesNotebook
  3. 3. AN EFFECTIVE WEBSITE MUST: Be search engine friendly (links, plugins, keywords, mobile) Be intuitive to navigate (function) Be clear with its call to action (what do you want readers to do?) Be clear in how the company/organization can solve the visitor’s specific problem(s) (Content…words and/or pictures)
  4. 4. SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY Plugins-for websites I like All In One SEO Links and keywords Pages (more pages are better for SEO but use menus) Blog
  5. 5. DON’T MAKE THEM THINK Guidelines Navigation should be intuitive Navigation should be uncluttered Consider what order/location most sites place functions Content should be in the logical place Tips/Common issues Use menus function with subpages (usually no more than 5-7 parent pages) Search usually top right Home-About-Services-(Other)-Blog- Contact Social media icons usually near top right or directly under header image Widgets usually right column
  6. 6. CALL TO ACTION All the information on your website is great … what do you want them to do about it? Think beyond “hire us.” Every page and each blog should have a distinct call to action with a link (usually the contact page) Call to action should also be in the side columns (could include call us, connect to us, etc.)
  7. 7. POTENTIAL CALLS TO ACTION Sign up for a newsletter Take a quiz Download an audio or video file Download an ebook or white paper Fill out a poll or survey Make a comment Pose a question Sign up for a webinar or teleclass Make an appointment for a complimentary consultation Refer a friend
  8. 8. CLEAR SOLUTION TO PROBLEM You are a solution to their problem. Tell and show them how you help them and therefore are the best choice Capture their attention with creative words, but don’t sacrifice clarity. “Edginess” often leads to ambiguity Avoid tired buzzwords Be careful with industry lingo-help them understand what you are talking about (pictures are great for this)
  9. 9. GENERAL BEST PRACTICES At least one (the more the better) applicable photo on each page. Write in third person throughout the site (even bios). An exception might be the contact page. Even then, it’s best to use plural first person. Reduce your photo file sizes to help page load time Consider the F-reading pattern when writing Website is a major part of your brand. It should fit your company culture and overall brand Only use content that you have permission to use!
  10. 10. ESSENTIAL PAGES What should they include (or not include?)
  11. 11. HOME This isn’t just a welcome mat-it’s a hub You have mere seconds to capture—and keep their attention Home page should tell very clearly what you do and what hurt point you solve, as well as invite them to engage (CTA) TOO much information causes clutter and will turn them off
  12. 12. HOME Headline-tell what your site has to offer Subheadline-zero in on a common pain point Primary CTA (2-3 above the fold with at least one below the fold. Meet different needs of the buy cycle) Supporting images or video Describe what you do matters- keep the copy lightweight Easy navigation Resources Some form of success indicator
  13. 13. ABOUT Should tell who your company is and why it exists Brief but thorough history Include dates not “X Years” If someone were to write a blog about your company from your about page, how accurate and complete would it be? Pictures help tell the story (don’t use stock photos here) You do business with people. Show your humanity!
  14. 14. SERVICES/PRODUCTS This is where you can go into more detail about what you offer and how you help. You need pictures and words that tell your story Use different keywords throughout the text to fit various searches (keep in mind some may not know exactly what they are looking for) This is one of the first places I recommend moving into subpages List all services at top then go into more detail at bottom
  15. 15. BLOG Blogging more frequently will improve your SEO Key components of a blog post:  350 – 700 words  Attention-getting, key-worded title  Open paragraph has to go immediately to the point  Relevant image(s)  Main body – make it easy to skim using subheadings, bullet points, etc.  Close with a discussion question/call to action
  16. 16. CONTACT Phone number Hours (as applicable) Mailing address (if different or if you don’t want visitors) Physical address with Google map and written directions Social media Contact form If specific requests should go to a specific person, consider listing that email.
  17. 17. OTHER POSSIBLE PARENT PAGES Portfolio/Testimonials/Gallery (having pictures of your work, if applicable, is also great for individual service pages) News/Media (links to articles featuring your company, press releases you’ve written, etc.) Purchase/Hire (Do you sell products online? Do you offer services and want to share rates?)
  18. 18. OTHER SUGGESTED PAGES Their parent pages and best practices
  19. 19. UNDER “ABOUT” Mission/Vision Meet the team Message from our Founder/CEO/LeaderThese pages expound on who you are as a company and to some degree, individuals
  20. 20. UNDER “SERVICES/PRODU CTS” Could also be categories of products/services Link to each page from the main services page and also link back to the main service page from the individual pages Each page should detail what the service/product is but more importantly, how it solves the reader’s problem. These pages are a great place to go into more detail about individual services or product categories, complete with pictures where applicable
  21. 21. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES #WCFAY 2015 Why and How Businesses Should Blog on SlideShare #WCKC The Beginner's Guide to Writing in WordPress on SlideShare Check the blog for the company who created your theme Canva and Picmonkey are great for altering pictures
  22. 22. EXAMPLES