Tag Archives for " Website Design "
Join me on my workshop to discover the 7 most important questions you must ask before you buy or build a website.
7 Questions To Ask BEFORE You Buy or Build Your Website
Get on the workshop early to put your site in for a quick review.
You must be live on the webinar to have your site reviewed.
To sign up for the workshop- you need to get my Free Blueprint- “8 Pages You Must Have on Your Website” first.
You will need to know this information before the workshop.
Go here to get my Free Blueprint: “8 Pages You Must Have on Your Website”
After you add your email to get your blueprint do NOT leave your computer. You will get taken to another website page which has the registration for the webinar information.
The blueprint will get sent to your email so make sure you check your spam box. It may be in there!
After you register for the workshop you will be sent an email sent from GotoWebinar with your registration link.
Thursday June 23, 2016
1:00 p.m. Eastern time
This is a live workshop and we will not be having a replay available. You need to be live in the workshop.
Website & SEO Creation | Case Study Update
When you are building your website you want to make sure your site gets indexed as soon as possible.
This gives you time to write your content and set up your posts and pages, optimized with SEO best practices.
If you set up your new website with the correct pages, menu, SEO all your images, get the right keywords down… you should see yourself on page 4 or page 5 of the SERPS within a few days if not sooner. This is a good signal that you are following good SEO best practices.
From there you start to refine your keyword content and narrow in on your target market.
We have been using Rhonda's website that I built as a case study for SEO best practices.
I started Rhonda's website the last week of December in 2015. By January 16th I thought to check her SERPS. It was not my intention to have the site ranking or indexed. It was right around this time there was a subtle Google algorithm shift which really helped agents, small business owners, and marketers to rise in the search engines against some big box competitors. If you were in my webinar: “SEO is Back with a Vengeance”, you will know what I am talking about.
To my surprise and delight her website was on pages 3 and 4 for her keyword phrases. We like to go after about 4 long tail keyword phrases at a time on a website because this will keep the site from becoming diluted to the point that google bots have a difficult time figuring out what your website is about.
We decided at that time to start using the website as a case study.
I finished the design on her website and added all the thin content in February and March.
She keeps climbing up the SERPS.
In April I personally wrote all her in depth content for her long tail keyword phrases. At that time we decided to add another page which are very specific to sellers with a specific keyword phrase we figured we could beat the big real estate boy sites with.
I just checked last night and her seller focused keyword phrases are in spots #1 and #2 on page one on Google now!
This is very exciting news. Does this mean that her phone will ring off the hook? No, not likely. Unless you are in a market where the real estate agents are not doing anything online, it will take time to get leads that are sellers looking to list. There are not as many sellers looking to list as there are buyers looking to buy. But the sellers you do get, are very well worth the effort of making sure you are positioned in the #1 spot on Google page one.
But she is beating out all those sites we all know and don't like:).
Her other keyword phrases have moved up to page 2 and page 3. This is also good news because as we add more content to the site and focus on ranking, her site will keep rising up the SERPS.
Having a great and awesome looking website is important but not the end all, be all. Marketing is an ongoing process. It is not a one time thing. You have to continue to add content to your website. You have to publish to your blog on your website often. The stats show that business owners who post articles 15 times per month receive much more business than those who don't.
Rhonda just had her IDX broker account approved by the MLS. We are going to be adding some IDX pages to her site and optimize them for SEO. We will then allow the site to stew a while before we check the SERPS again.
Once those are in place, we will add some more light boxes to the site that we can send traffic from ads to. This will also help with SEO because it will increase the traffic to the site. This in turn, will get her some buyer leads even though her site is focused on getting listings. This all takes time to gel.
Patience is the key.
We will then start to monitor the traffic. This includes checking analytics to see which keyword phrases are bringing traffic to the website and focus on building content around those terms as long as those terms are congruent with ‘money' terms, ( meaning- those most likely to buy or sell are the ones searching those phrases).
This is an exciting project and I am grateful that Rhonda has allowed me to use her site as a case study.
Rhonda is a Listing Experts Academy member who follows what she learns to apply the best practices for SEO and branding on the internet.
I have more websites I have completed and all the websites are climbing the SERPS. It is so exciting to watch each of my clients' websites climb and also receive compliments from sellers about how great their websites look and feel. Contact me for a list of references if you are considering getting a website built. My clients are happy campers! I do all the design work myself on your websites. I also make sure that you get weekly updates on your website progress.
Of course if you are a DIYer – I have a ton of free website building video tutorials over on my YouTube channel for you!
I will go over why a ‘unique for you' website is important to your target market and your conversions and how you can benefit.
You can have the most beautifully designed website on the planet but if no one finds it, what good is it?
It is good for your own ego, but ego does not pay the bills.
You can have the same template site everyone else has- what good is that if you are not differentiating yourself in the market?
You can have a great website that is found, but it does not convert the traffic that arrives, what good will that do you?
Many people look at a website as a technology based calling card or business card.
Then there are people, like in real estate, who want to copy the website format that the heavyweights have or be like everyone else because that is what appears to be the norm in the particular industry you are in.
Overall, these are very poor reasons to have a website.
Some people say they want to have a website and the only reason they know is because that is what they are “supposed” to have.
I firmly believe that nearly all businesses and solopreneurs and entrepreneurs should have a website.
But they should have one for the right reasons. Those reasons will vary depending on your niche and the strategies of your business plan.
You first need to create your plan for your website. You need to understand how it will play a part in your marketing strategy.
You need to have a goal first. What is the goal of your website?
Don't put up a website, just because everyone else in your market is doing it.
Some niches don't need organic search because they drive the traffic from offline to their websites.
Others don't need organic search because they pay for Facebook ads or Google adwords which drives traffic to their sites.
In both of those instances you should have a landing page to drive that traffic to. If you are using Google adwords, there are a few more items you need specifically on your website in order to get approved for your ads.
For instance: if you are marketing to expired listings and are sending out a postcard to drive the traffic to your website- you need to send the traffic to a specific landing page or squeeze page on your website. Don't send then to your home page.
This is another huge mistake real estate agents and other marketers make – they send all their traffic back to their home page. Unless your home page is your landing page, don't do this.
For each type of call to action, you need to have a landing page or a pop up form that directs the visitor to what to do next.
In the case of expired listings, the visitor needs to be sent to a landing page on your website which is addressing the pain of having an expired listing, their house did not sell. Address this, loud and clear, and then have a very clear call to action.
If you are working with buyers you will want the home search fields above the fold of your website and a clear call to action. You need to then support that with community pages that address each specific neighborhood. But niching goes even deeper than this.
If your goal is to get organic search – that means you want people to find you on the internet and then go to your website- this is called SEO, search engine optimization, then you need to have an SEO friendly website. WordPress.org platform is great to accomplish this goal.
Who is your avatar? In my Listing Experts Academy we have an entire hour long module on doing your avatar research and defining your avatar. An avatar is targeting a specific person in your niche.
Before you ever hire anyone to build you a website you need to know your avatar.
If you are paying someone to build you a website and they are not having a strategy session with you about who your avatar is, you are wasting your money.
Even for paid ad traffic, you will need to know who your avatar is.
You can not be all things to all people. You must target your avatar very specifically.
There is no way that in today's internet you can be a generalist. There is no way you have the money to compete for the same traffic that Zillow and Realtor.com compete for. Get out of their lane. You can fly under the radar of the heavy weights.
Color is very important on your website. Here is an article I wrote about how to work with graphics on your website and social media.
Tips on color:
Here is a video with some samples of some of the websites I am working on to give you an idea of different niches.
There are specific pages that Google will require if you run adwords campaigns or adsense. There are also best practices pages Google likes you to have on your site which help to verify that you are a human and not a spam program creating thousands of websites at one time.
The only time these are not required is when you have a squeeze page. But even with a squeeze page – if you are sending traffic to it, make sure you have in small text under the optin box, your link to your privacy page and your disclaimer page.
For regular niche website you will need:
After you know who your avatar is, start the conversation.
Design every part of your website as part of your conversation with your avatar.
Look at this screenshot of one of the websites I designed. See if you can tell who the avatar is for this website.
The colors not only match the logo but they also resonate with baby boomers in Rhonda's niche.
You want to make things very simple and clean.
Overcrowded design no longer appeals to most avatars. You want clean lines, simple boxes, and lots of white space.
You also don't want your site to look the same as every one of your competitors.
So many times clients tell me, ” I like this website. I want my website to look like this one.” This is the wrong focus. Your website needs to resonate with you avatar not with you. Then your website must be able to include your avatar in the conversation. You do that through the use of color, design, and content.
Text me at 561-502-1577 if you would like me to build your website for you instead. Not everyone is cut out to build their own website:)
Don't forget to register for this FREE webinar where I will be showing you how fast you can create landing pages, add content to your website in wordpress and a lot more.
The webinar is tonight at 8 p.m. eastern time. Save your seat now.
See you all later Wed 8PM Eastern (New York time)!
If you already registered there is nothing you need to do except get on the webinar!
If you have not registered for the webinar yet, Click here to register!
See you at the top!
It's April 21st today. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know today is the day that Google's Mobile Algorithm sets in.
Actually, there has already been movement in the SERPS for a couple of months now regarding Mobile Friendly sites.
First of all, it is NOT the end of the world. So if you are panicking because your site is still not mobile friendly, relax.
There is a lot of “end of the world for your website” rumors and such all over the internet and on social media and landing in your email inbox.
I am not diminishing the importance of being Mobile Friendly. I just want you to know the facts and what can you do to fix your site if you are not passing the Google Mobile Friendly test.
Your site won't be de-indexed or punished for not being mobile friendly.
Google is not trying to punish us. In fact, this is the first time in the history of Google that they have actually come out publicly to announce an algorithm change. That is unprecedented. That right there, tells us that they are giving us fair warning of this change and they also know that this will affect SO many businesses that they gave plenty of time for site owners to make sure their sites are mobile friendly.
What is going to happen is that if your site is not mobile friendly- it will have an impact on the Mobile Search rankings.
Google will show the mobile friendly websites first in the mobile search results. They are not getting rid of your site.
What this means is that Google is going to detect those who are on mobile devices when they are searching. Those results will appear to the searcher who is searching for keywords on their phones.
So if your site is not mobile friendly your rankings will take a beating. But let's say that your competitors are also NOT mobile friendly:). Well, we shall see what this looks like starting today! It is best to be the first one mobile friendly!
BUT this does not apply to your desktop rankings. And Google has announced this will also not apply to iPads and other devices like that. It does not apply to laptop rankings.
What can you do right now, today to get your site mobile friendly?
Before you do anything make sure your site's theme does not have a mobile update.
Sometimes all you need to do is update your theme in your wordpress dashboard and you are set.
This is a quick band-aid that you can do right now if you have a wordpress website:
1. Go to your wordpress dashboard.
2. Move your mouse over “appearance”.
3. Click on “themes”.
You will see these free wordpress themes:
4. Choose any of these themes. Remember, these are not a permanent resolution. But all of these are updated constantly by wordpress. They are the only safe free themes that you can apply.
5. Click on the theme and then click “activate”.
Warning: You won't lose your posts, tags, categories, etc. You may lose other data. Always do a back-up of your site first. There are no guarantees that some of your data won't appear wonky or have alignment issues, etc. We are not responsible for anything that goes amiss on your site or anything else happens to your site.
Now go to the Google Mobile Friendly testing page here:
Add the URL of your site there and it will run a test on your site.
This fast fix is temporary but it gets your site to pass the test. Then you can start working on getting another theme that is mobile friendly.
Mobile Friendly and Responsive are not the same thing.
A mobile friendly site must be usable, legible and available.
Mobile Friendly means that someone searching on their phone clicks your website they get a mobile version of your website. Here is an example of what that might look like:
What is important for Mobile Friendly:
* Large text that's easy to read ( I've been saying this for years:))
* The content fits on the small screen
* Well- spaced links
* Mobile friendly plugins
You are not alone if you are not mobile friendly. Over 40% of the Fortune 500 companies are NOT mobile friendly.
Mobile search is so important today and Google knows that. That is why they are working to make sure that the search that mobile users receive is a great experience. 67% of all searches are from mobile devices now. Google is not making money on mobile search because people don't like the mobile web experience they are getting. Google needs to make money somehow on all this mobile search.
One way they can do that is to force website owners to make their websites mobile friendly so that the user experience becomes a good one, then Google will be able to monetize better.
Responsive design means that your website will adjust to any screen that it is on. Your site determines what someone is searching on – desktop, laptop, smart phone or iPad. It also fits to the size of the screen that is viewing the site. That means that your responsive website looks good on a 21 inch screen or a 12 inch screen.
It is important that your end goal should be for your website to become responsive. There are a lot of great responsive themes on the market.
Right now it is more important for your site to be mobile friendly versus responsive because that is what Google is focusing on right now.
However, the problem that happens with mobile friendly is that ALL your pages may not be mobile friendly. The question arises is:
Will Google rank your pages or just your site?
Right now Google says it is page by page. But we all know that Google changes:).
If your site is mobile friendly with 50% of your pages but your competitor has 70% pages mobile friendly – is that going to hurt your rankings?
Google has not indicated how this will affect your rankings.
What if you know your site is mobile friendly but you are still failing Google's mobile friendly test?
This could be a very simple issue with your wordpress settings. Check your settings.
Make sure the box is NOT checked where the arrow indicated in the above screenshot.
Google bots can not crawl your site in order to even check to see if your site is mobile friendly and worse yet, your site won't get indexed.
Feel free to contact me to go over your website options. We can go over your site together and figure out your best course of action in moving forward and becoming mobile friendly and/or responsive.
Video – How to Choose the Right Website for Your Target Market – Digital Marketing Strategies.
Here is the video version of “How to Choose the Right Website for Your Target Market”.
In case you don't have time to read the text version and if you are a very visual person, this may be the best way for you to embrace the content.
Here is the link to the text version of How to Choose the Right Website for Your Target Market.
Here is the link to the podcast version in case you like to listen and learn:
Click here to go to the podcast post where you can download the audio file.
Here is the link to my iTunes channel where you can subscribe to my podcast and listen at your leisure:
Make sure you subscribe to my blog to keep up to date with Digital Marketing Strategies.
Welcome to another episode of my podcast. How to Choose the Right Website for Your Target Market. We are going to go over the five most important steps in making the right choice in your website design and application. You can listen to my podcast by subscribing in iTunes too.
If you would like to read the text version of this podcast – click here. There are images of screenshots of different website samples that are not shown on the podcast.[powerpress]http://katerinagasset.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/How-To-Choose-The-Right-Website-For-Your-Target-Market.m4a[/powerpress]
You can click the above player and the media file will automatically download to your media files.
Or you can subscribe to my iTunes channel in the iTunes store:
In the podcast:
0:23 – Step 1 – Find out who your avatar is, your ideal client, target market, etc.
0:41 – Step 2 – Choose a website design that serves a purpose not your ego
7:05 – Step 3 – Make sure your site is mobile friendly
8:52 – Step 4 – Choose the website platform that is going to resonate with your avatar and be easy for you to use and add content to on the blog post at least.
23:24 – Step 5 – Now that you have chosen which website you are going to run with get ALL your content together at once.
Websites – What Kind of a Website Should I Get?
What kind of website do you need to have?
What kind of website do you want to have?
Before you answer either of those questions the first step to choosing a website is to find out:
The famous copywriter Gary Halbert would ask his students:
“If you were to open a restaurant what would be the single most important factor for your success?”
The students would give answers like:
Gary Halbert would say they were all wrong.
What you need is a bunch of HUNGRY customers!!!!
It is the same thing with opening up a website.
You need to be in front of the customers that want something that you have to offer.
If you have these words at the top of your website:
“Our real estate company works with integrity and we are honest” Who cares? I am not saying that people want to work with crooked salespeople but that is just not what they are hungry for when they are searching on the internet.
I highly doubt this is the search being put into google right now by buyers and sellers:
” hard working honest real estate agent full of integrity in Wellington Florida ..”
You MUST first and foremost KNOW what resonates with your avatar, what is she or he really looking for? What kind of information do they crave that they are not finding on the other sites?
The biggest mistake that REALTORS® make is they go out to buy a website BEFORE they even know who their target market is. They buy a website based on what THEY like!
Get over yourself. Your website is not about what you like and want unless it is your vanity page.
If you are going to choose a website for your ideal customers – do your research and find out what they want the site to look like.
Don't buy websites because your other real estate friends are buying a certain site. Don't buy websites and pay for high design fees just to look pretty on the internet. That is a recipe for disaster. When agents hire me to coach them many of them have spent over $10,000 on websites that will never rank in Google or be very very hard to rank.
There are millions of websites that are not mobile friendly now. It has become such a problem that Google is actually sending out emails to website owners to warn them that their websites are not mobile friendly. Read more on this post I wrote about Google sending out mobile friendly notices.
If you are starting all over again or are at the stage of choosing a website there are different options and most of those options now have a mobile friendly version that is a click of a button and some edits. There is no reason to have to pay for two websites, one that is mobile friendly and one for computer screens. A small upgrade in price for custom designed sites to add on the mobile compatibilities is normal.
Choose the website platform that is going to resonate with your avatar and be easy for you to use and add content to on the blog page at least.
There are many different platforms and we have tried most of them. After using different platforms and with Mary McKnight's design input when she was here – these are the best suggestions we have:
1. Custom designed wordpress sites that are high end and highly functional will cost you around $6,000 and up. We know a fabulous custom designer for this area of design- Inna Hardison. Not all agents need a site such as this because not all consumers are looking for this style of a site. Let me know if you need an introduction.
2. Semi-custom designed wordpress sites that you can build yourself or have us build for you. If you want to build your own site with a very flexible theme that can have the blog page running down the home page or on a blog page and then have a home page design with a call to action- these will run you around $2,900.
You will need to have your own hosting account on Bluehost, not godaddy. You can get a hosting account for a very low price. I have seen sales at about $3.95 per month which you pay annually.
This style of site works well in Luxury niche markets and to market to sellers. We do not use IDX on our sites anymore. Instead of a lot of pages of unimportant content and duplicate content from IDX providers- we use home search widgets that serve a higher purpose.
Here is a screenshot of one of the websites that I designed for a REALTOR® in North Carolina:
Her home search widgets go right to her Market Leader site where she can capture them in her Market Leader CRM. That way, everything is in one place, saving a lot of time, effort and money.
The website is not totally finished yet. I am still waiting for items from her in order to finish the site.
Here is a brand new site that I am currently building for a REALTOR® in Canada. Again, the focus on this site is for sellers to contact him. Here is a screenshot of the home page which is the only page nearly completed at this time.
We re-designed his sell my home page and turned that into a squeeze page.
A squeeze page has ONLY one call to action and NO menu bar or navigation to be able to click around. The purpose is to either get the person to call you or give his email address. The email address part is not functional yet. They had a very outdated website before we started this one:
The only cost to these websites is your design services and then yearly hosting fees and on the back end you should have a CRM or at least a place where the visitors land for their home search. You can use RealBird for this as well. Many of you have direct MLS home search widgets that you can use and will do the job just fine.
3. DIY yourself Themes in WordPress: you can build your own websites if you have the time and some eye for color and design.
The theme that I recommend for faster building is ThriveThemes. ThriveThemes has a very nice variety of themes that you can purchase very inexpensively. They also have a wordpress plugin that you can purchase and edit all your themes in a visual drag and drop format that is quick to learn and easy to implement.
Shane, the developer is from Sweden and is very exacting and methodical in his design and applications. He provides great tutorials on how to use his themes and he also have a membership forum where you can ask questions about how to do this and that. The team is very responsive. I always get an answer back within a few hours with our time difference. I suggest the yearly membership because it is very very low cost but high support and also you can use ALL of his themes within your membership and the WP plugin.
Here it the link to go to to get ThriveThemes: Thrive Themes WordPress Website Builder
(I am an affiliate of this product.)
4. Wix Websites: Wix had a great Super Bowl ad this year. If you want something simple and fast, then Wix sites may just be for your audience.
Wix sites are in html5 and with just a couple of tweaks to their mobile friendly site you have a great looking site. Wix sites are templated sites with full customization options that you just drag and drop, hold handles to resize and a lot more. You can customize to your heart's content or be very simple.
The sites are free but for SEO you need to upgrade from the free version. You also need to upgrade if you are going to use your own domain name. The hosting is very reasonable. It runs about $8 per month when you wait for a holiday sale. They offer their sites for 50% off on holidays.
Click here to learn more about creating your own Wix website.
Here is a screenshot of a website I created in Wix for a dentist. He is already getting patients from this website and it was just completed a couple of weeks ago.
Here is the link to his site if you want to browse the menu tabs and see how the rest of the pages were built: http://BestBoyntonBeachDentist.com
You can build these yourself but if you want us to build one for you – the pricing is based on what you want on your website. The site prices for us to build one start at $997.00.
5. If your audience is only buyers, if you are a buyer's agent then you can start with a very inexpensive site at Placester.com at only $10 per month.
The placestor option offer templated clean designs for you to choose from. There is no customization available and you can not add a bunch of widgets etc to the sites. But heck, you can't beat that price!!! It does include a blog page. They have a library of content that you can add to your site but I don't recommend that at all- it will dilute the authority of your website. Create your own content!
Your MLS gets pulled in through their home search results pages and of course, your MLS must approve the site. You can use domain names that you already own on the site.
This is also a great option if you want to test a specific niche market before you spend money on site design.
Here is a screenshot of the home page of the placester site that we just started:
Now that you have chosen which website you are going to run with get ALL of your content together at one time.
The biggest complaint that REALTORS® have about web designers is that their sites are unfinished. Most of the time, the agents have not provided necessary items that are requested by the web designer. Make sure you stop and take the time to put together the items that you will need.
Here is a partial list:
That is a partial list but it is always good to have all of those items in a folder labeled with your name on google drive.
Now you are off to a great start with getting your new website!!
See you at the Top! Subscribe to my blog to stay in touch with Digital Marketing Strategies!
There are all different kinds of websites. Sometimes we start to fall in love with a certain way a website we see online looks. Sometimes we start a lot of different styles of websites but never really finish any of them all the way. I am certainly guilty of that:)
We can dance around the best look and feel, the best IDX functions, the best gadgets and shiny objects… but at the end of the day none of that matters. It really does not matter.
The only thing that really matters is: is your website connecting with your ideal client or customer?
Is your website in tune with what your audience is searching for, needing, wanting, got to have? Tune in to your ideal customer's radio frequency: WIIFM ( What's in it for Me?).
Conversions are what counts. Conversions are what matters.
What good does it do you if you have the nicest design on the planet but no one ever sees your website? What good it is if you get a ton of traffic but not one person ever calls you to hire you to sell their home or find a home for them? It is of no use.
You may be in the market for a total website makeover or you may just need to tweak your message!
Learn more about websites makeovers with Coach Katerina: how to design your website, finding a niche that is a good fit for you, developing your message and branding for your audience, how to optimize online for best positioning in SEO and video branding and much, much more….
Go here now: Is Your Website Making You Money? Sign up for the 3 part video series.
Website Design Must Speak To Your Audience
When you are designing your website whether you are doing it all yourself or you hired a web designer you will not have a successful website without knowing who your audience is and what problem they are looking to solve.
Matching your design to their way of thinking is a key in your successful conversion of those who visit your website.
What you like may not be what your potential customers like.
Find out who your ideal customer is and then find out what they are looking for in a website that offers solutions to their problem whatever that may be.
Here is a website that my partner and co-founder of Gasset and McKnight – Mary McKnight designed and created to match the audience for Bess a 19 year old singer. Bess combines soul, blues and rock to create a soft sound.
You can click on this link to listen to her music and to click through her pages because every single page is a different design.
Think about how you can relate to your audience and create in your mind what is the ideal website they are searching for, what information they want to consume and who they want to relate to.
authored by Katerina Gasset