Lights! Camera! Satisfaction!

PRSA PresentationVideo is good!

But you don’t need to be scared of it.

I use it here on this site and I use it a ton during the day in my Clark Kent role.

If you want to add video to your marketing campaign, this presentation may be just right for you, Integrating Video Into Your Communications Plan.

Details

Whether you are focusing on business or personal, I’m going to cover the basics for those who play every role in their company to where video should go in your marketing strategy.

PRSA Tampa Bay

Thanks to the Tampa Bay chapter of the PRSA for inviting me to share with their members for this event.

But it’s not limited to members, so join us for breakfast next week!

Pump Up Your Website With These 25 No-Brainers

<span class="drop_cap">T</span>Whether you’re new to online marketing or a seasoned veteran, it sure is nice to see what others consider important when setting up or taking over the online marketing for a business and its website.

Below is my Top 25 list of things to do from Day One.

It’s a simple list and knocking them out is not really that hard after you’ve done each once.  So don’t let it intimidate you.

Start with the simple ones and move from there!

  1. Implement Web Analytics!
  2. Setup Google Webmaster Tools
  3. Setup Google Webmaster Tools for www and non-www
  4. Track 404 Errors – Pages Not Found
  5. Create 301 Redirects for pages not found
  6. Exclude yourself from Web Analytics (Google Analytics, Adobe Omniture SiteCatalyst, etc.)
  7. Create a mobile version of your site using MobiSiteGalore
  8. Test your page load times using Page Speed
  9. Create HTML, XML and geo sitemaps
  10. Archive your website using SurfOffline
  11. Audit broken outbound links  using Xenu Link Sleuth
  12. Use a trackable phone number
  13. Create robots.txt
  14. Implement Hcard
  15. Redirect non-ww to www
  16. Redirect index.html to /
  17. Claim your business on Google Places
  18. Create a favicon.ico for your website
  19. Confirm your website’s IP address is not blacklisted
  20. Add alt tags to your website images
  21. Validate the HTML used on your website
  22. Claim your business on Yelp.com, CitySearch.com and JudysBook.com
  23. Set up Google Alerts
  24. Validate Browser compatibility
  25. Set up site search within Google Alerts
  26. Set up a globally recognized avatar (gravatar)

My list is actually much longer than this, but these are my top 25.

Do you think they’re right?
What did I leave off?

Tell me in the comments below.

Tracking web analytics goals on all of your websites

Do you have Google Analytics installed? I really don’t want to talk to you until you have it installed!

Install Web Analytics Now

That’s what I tell my friends and family before I’ll even entertain answering a question.  And now I’m telling you that.  If you were a potential customer or a professional acquaintance maybe I’d say it a little more nicely, but I really don’t want to talk to you until you do.

You’re going to ask me why your website isn’t bringing in new business, how to better use Facebook or Twitter, how much to spend on Google AdWords or how do you get to the #1 position on Google for the term “refinance”.

Are you watching them?

Look, if you don’t have any idea how people currently using your website, what could you possibly want me to do to help you?  Anything I did would be credited to some other marketing activity and you’d feel like I wasted your time and possibly your money.

So unless you and I both know where we are starting from, then we’ll never know if anything we’re doing is working.

By the way, if you don’t know what web analytics is, then we’re even worse off.  Go read some good sources and get back to me.  It’s not that hard, but you need to understand it at a high level.

OK, now you have your analytics installed.  I now want to know if people are doing (or not doing) what you want them to do on your website.

Web Analytics GoalsI’m talking about tracking goals

Goals that you have defined as valuable to you and your website.  I’m talking about:

  • Some magical time on your website. For example: 4 minutes looking around your website.
  • Viewing at least 8 pages of your website.
  • Filling out a contact form.
  • Buying a product.
  • Signing up for your newsletter.
  • Subscribing to your website’s RSS feed.
  • Viewed your “About Me” page.

Sure, web analytics track some great metrics out of the box like:

  • unique visitors
  • pageviews
  • bounce rates
  • keywords people used to find you
  • and a whole lot more

This brings me to goal of this post: set up goals on your website now. They’re free and can always be deleted later, but you will never be able to recreate them looking back.

In Google Analytics, you can set up 20 goals in each profile and create unlimited profiles.

So create your goals now

  • If you want to measure how many visitors spent at least 4 minutes on your website, then choose a goal type of “Time on Site”google analytics goal time on site
  • If you want to measure how many people viewed at least 8 pages of your website, then choose a goal type of “Pages/Visit”google analytics goal pages per visit
  • If your visitors fill out a form, then you should have (if not, change your form tool or add the redirect) a “Thank You” page.  That page is your URL destination in the goal page of Google Analyticsgoogle analytics goal form completion
  • If you sell a product, again you have a “Confirmation” page.  Use that as your URL destination.
  • If they sign up for a newsletter, then have use the confirmation page as your URL destination.
  • If you just consider it a success to view your “About” page (who wouldn’t, right?), then use that as your URL destination.
  • If you want to track those who subscribe, it gets a little hairier.  Ideally your feed supplier will have tracking capabilities linked into that support your web analytics tool.  If not, you could create a goal around those that click on the subscribe button (knowing they may never complete the subscription) using onclick=”pageTracker._trackPageview(‘/trackrss’); Check this out for more detail.

We can talk now

Now you’re tracking not just visits to your website, but interactions with your website.  But more importantly you are creating a baseline that will allow you to measure the impact of future changes.

If you don’t know where you are today, you’ll never know if you have moved tomorrow.

OK, so now we can talk.  Now I’ll take a look around and help you with your goals.

Redirecting non-www domain: Do You Have Website Schizophrenia?

Are you schizophrenic?  Or my favorite name-calling from childhood, two-faced?

I’m talking about your website, not you personally.  Those personally schizophrenic can just jump to the bottom and begin commenting.  Your website can have dual personalities.  And if left unchecked it will hurt you.  It will cause you acute pain (things won’t work for your visitors) and chronic pain (the search engines will fail to rank you highly over time).

I’m referring to your root domain address.  You may have bought your domain name, e.g. YourDomainName.com.  But look in the address bar, does it show www. yourdomainname.com or yourdomainname.com?

redirect non-www domains to www domains

What you see up there is important.  Answer these two questions, see how you scored and fix your issues, if needed, with my suggestions below.

Website Schizophrenic Test

Question 1: If you type in ‘yourdomainname.com’ into the address bar does it eventually:

Question 2: If you type in ‘www.yourdomainname.com’ into the address bar does it eventually:

Website Domain Health Chart

Healthy Website BehaviorHealthy – This is what you want.  Personally I prefer my websites exhibit characteristics A and A, rather than Band B.  That is, redirecting the non-www to www domains versus the opposite.

Schizophrenic Website BehaviorSchizo – If that’s you, then you need help and you’re in the right place.  We’ll fix you below.

Sick Website BehaviorSick – If one of those addresses doesn’t show anything other than maybe an error, you have a hosting issue that you need to address with your hosting provider (I use Liquid Web) or your webmaster.  Take care of that first before you work on your schizophrenic issues.

Sick Website BehaviorDead – Why are you reading this?  Your website is dead.  You would be happy to be schizo right now, because your website doesn’t exist on the Internet.  Go see a doctor and hope for reincarnation.

So You’re A  Schizophrenic!

You need to fix this because the search engines are very likely seeing your one website as two because one is preceded by ‘www’ and the other is not.  Tell your webmaster immediately!

If you’re the webmaster, keeping reading.

Apache Web Servers

In the root folder of your website (where your index.html resides) place a new file named ‘.htaccess’. Yes there the first letter of the file is a dot.  If you already have one then you can add to it.  In your .htaccess file you are going to place the following code.  Being sure to replace your domain name with mine.

# -FrontPage-
#rewrite markcregan.com to www. markcregan.com
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^markcregan.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule (.*)$ http://www. markcregan.com/$1 [R=301,L]
IndexIgnore .htaccess */.??* *~ *# */HEADER* */README* */_vti*

That’s it, now test it out and make sure you’re healthy again.

Microsoft IIS Web Servers

If that’s you then here is my suggested websites. I’ve never worked on an IIS machine as a webmaster

If this helps or you have questions, please let me know.  And keep your head on straight.

What is the best way to display my street address on my attorney website?

Do you give enough importance to your street address on your website as you do to your phone number?

If you were to look around at most law firm’s websites you would be hard-pressed to find their address on the homepage.  Rather it is usually buried on their contact page.  As much as you may think your physical address is not as relevant as your email address or phone number on your website, it actually plays a large part in announcing to the search engines where your business is located.

Last year Google announced their formal support of microformats (RDFa) and recommendations on how to deploy them.  With that as an introduction you can now better understand the idea of placing your street address not only on your homepage, but also make sure it is formatted corrector so that Google and the other search engines honor it.  You can create your hCard with no HTML knowledge at microformats.org.  Here’s an example of the resulting HTML and what it would look like on the website.

Mark Regan
mark@markcregan.com

12157 W. Linebaugh Avenue Suite 158

<span>Tampa</span>, <span>FL</span>, <span>33626</span>
<span>United States</span>
</div></div>

Forward those two links to you webmaster now asking him to promote your street address to your home page. You can still leave it on the contact page, of course.

Now I’m not saying your legal website will rank higher because of this addition.  I have not seen it, nor have I heard of anyone out in the wild claiming so.  However if you implement best practices for your law firm consistently you may be ahead of the game if the search engines decide to add this as one of their levers.