About Websites and Blogs
As we are preparing for the Ycademy Seminar April 2011 this coming weekend, we will realize that there will be a lot about websites and blogs.
With our Semiomantics XO Scripts we know that we have the most efficient tool in hands when it comes to visibility on Google Top 10 as well as other search engines. That’s already more than the battle for top rankings won. However, besides search engine optimized blogs we also want a captivating look so people who find our posts and articles on Google enjoy what they see and find what they are looking for – and once they’ve found it there has to be a simple, quick and reliable sales pipeline.
About Websites and Blogs
When I talk about websites and blogs to customers, I often come across some underlying resistance as concerns blogging. It’s not seen as ‘professional’ as a ‘real’ website – and it takes some explanation as to the dynamics of Online Publishing to show that nothing could be further from the truth.
Therefore, why not combine both? Meaning the blog for the search engines and the website look for … well, the look?
The question is how?
How to combine a Website and a Blog
The solution is to combine the website and the blog. This we can do by integrating the Blog as part of the Website.
With WordPress 3 this has become easy as the Homepage can be anything – meaning it doesn’t necessarily have to be a blog layout – and this without altering the optimization. We can basically distance ourselves from a website layout that looks like a blog.
The question, however, is: if I design an attractive Frontpage, how many people that find my blog post will get exposed to what I show them on that homepage – or frontpage as I call it to differentiate?
In my latest website project under development I have a header, a couple of sprites, a navigation bar and a footer at the bottom. Instead of the sprites I could imagine a slider – the intent is the same: each item is linked to the next step – be it fixed ads, be it the shop or salespage, a Newsletter signup or corresponding articles on the blog. Here, the Blog is basically a command tab on the navigation menu of this frontpage. My blog is not my main element – my products and corresponding salespages or shop are. Accordingly, everything focuses on those.
With a search-engine optimized blog as we use in our Semiomantics Web Design, most people get to our website by finding a post on Google. Therefore they will end up on a post. My goal is now to guide them to the products I sell – say some form of Consulting. With the frontpage I designed I have: a header, 5 sprites and a menu bar. They are all linked to ads, articles, product presentation pages or a shop – meaning that they take anyone directly or indirectly to the product: Consulting.
This is all about the frontpage with its website look; it has nothing to do with a blog.
The next step is the blog… and the question is: what do I show on the inner pages? Either someone clicks – on the frontpage – on BLOG – or they come to this BLOG via a post that attracted them after finding it on Google. I can now make this ‘Blog section’ very attractive by creating for each category another header (which could be a slider).
If I have a Category ‘Web Design’ this would mean that whenever a post is shown from that Category, a web design specific header would show with a whole slider or an ad on top that relates to Web Design. It could be the same with sprites if used here as well. It means that we could create an environment that relates to what the content underneath is going to be.
If I have 4 Categories, I create 4 headers and add advertising to those. A site doesn’t have to look like a blog. If I have an ad for some ‘Consulting’, it should lead to a static page or salespage – on this website.
If I sell a Semiomantics Script, I put up a salespage on my blog for a Semiomantics website – load a salespage – and add a BUY NOW button on that page.
Alternatively, if this is a website for a hotel that offers 5 major services, I would show those on a slider and have 5 buttons for 5 services – possibly plus the reservation button or contact button. In this case, when we plan a blog and create a strategy for publishing – eg a hotel – the product range doesn’t change over time. The products are clear – say accommodation, restaurant, conferencing etc. This is static knowledge that we want to promote from the blog by dynamically posting posts to the blog… which creates traffic on Google… so people are guided to our product-related slider (which obviously shows beautiful images that invite to click…) and thus empathy is created. Immediately.
other important information may be underneath on sprites or in the sidebar so that people find fast and easily what they came from.
As we see, we are shifting away from just the normal blog view of things.
In terms of normal publishing, if a customer has a need and wants no typical blog but a ‘real’ website – maybe a website corresponding to their hobby and something that looks nice when people go to their site – then it’s not a blog layout they are looking for but something specifically designed… something that stands out.
Most people look for edited content because they want their products defined on the website. Of course, the cheapest marketing is promoting their editorials by using a blog that gets their work up to Google. The only alternative would be to buy Google ads! As they would then be spending money for every click they get, this is where it gets expensive.
If before we have been addressing predominantly a blogging community, we can still do that… but we can also go a step further and offer any kind of layout while using the blog more in the background where it still does the same trick of getting traffic 24/7/365 and attracting Google… meaning visitors. However, now that we reach Google with everything we publish, the place visitors come to once they find it on Google must capture their interest and ensure that the first impression creates Empathy… and then our content does the rest to max out on conversion.
The good news is that WordPress combined with Semiomantics XO allows us a lot of flexibility to fulfill even extravagant customer’s requests and needs.
More information on how Blogs are integrated into websites will be discussed and explained at this weekend’s Ycademy Seminar April 2011 – don’t miss it!