Website development, mobile websites, online marketing tips in an interview with Urszula Richards from onlineiq.
In this episode I chat with Urszula Richards about getting a website developed and then some tips on how to promote that website once you have it.
- Website development
- E-commerce stores
- Mobile websites
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
Nick: Welcome back to the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. This is Episode 2 and this is Nick Morris. Today, we have an interview with Urszula Richards about website development.
Before we get into that, you may have heard that the intro for this show is a little bit different to the last one and if you stick around to the end of the show, I’ll tell you how you can get intros like that for only $5.00. So, that’s the voice over for $5.00 and the music for $5.00 and you can also get lots of other technical things or various bits and pieces for only $5.00. So that’s the end of the show. Let’s go to the interview now.
Today, we’re talking with Urszula from Online IQ. So, let’s just get started with the interview. What does Online IQ do?
Urszula: Online IQ, thank you Nick. Online IQ basically works directly with businesses to help get their online presence working for them. So, it’s anything that’s required to do with building your first website, if that’s where you’re at, to updating your website, putting it into a content management system through to marketing, training, consulting, anything.
Nick: And what are some things that people should consider about having their website designed?
Urszula: I guess the primary thing is understanding what your customer needs are so that whatever you are creating meets their needs because if it’s not going to attract them then it’s not going to serve your business. So, understanding your customer’s needs, what they’re looking for and then having a really clear idea of what your business goals are. That would be the 2 primary things. Other things that I’ve found, that will help along the way, have a clear idea what your budget is, because you can achieve a lot on a small budget but you have to be a bit upfront about what the budget is so that you don’t run out of budget halfway through what you’re doing or what you’re trying to achieve.
Nick: How much should people usually budget or what’s the range?
Urszula: I mean, some people just put up a one pager just to have something, which, that would be $500 or something. If you’re looking at an e-commerce store, I know you can get them built relatively cheaply, $2000 or whatever but there’s lots of other costs associated with e-Commerce, such as the photography. That’s huge and people often don’t think about that at all. So, photography is what’s going to sell your products that what people are looking for. Also, set up of things like payment gateways, and shipping providers. A lot of people just want a store without thinking all of that through or how it’s going to be bought, the fulfillment side of it, who’s actually going to be managing things?
So, I’ve actually talked a few people out of having a store, because they’ve got, once you’ve asked them the questions, they’ve got no idea who’s actually going to be packaging the products. They don’t actually have the staff to do that. So, I think, thinking it through fully and I guess the only other thing I’d say is, be aware that you actually need to build a long term relationship with your website person because a site does need maintenance like a car. You get delivered a car, but you need to put fuel in it, which is the marketing, you need grease and oil changes, you need other things to make it work. It’s not just going to run forever without you doing anything.
Nick: Yep, good analogy. We’re hearing a lot about mobile websites these days, with people with their iPhones and their iPads and stuff. How important is it to have a mobile optimized website or one that will work on the mobile phone?
Urszula: That’s a very good question because mobile’s a big, big topic, there’s a whole lot of options. The minimum option you should always have is that your site can be viewed on a mobile device. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s a mobile site, it just means that it doesn’t have flash or things that prevent people viewing it correctly, so that’s the minimum. It doesn’t really mean that your website can’t have flash, but flash or in my opinion, is kind of phasing out.
I do have some websites that I’ve moved to a CMS where there was existing Flash on the site, so what I’ve done is a redirection for mobile devices to see the same page that has a non-flash component, so whatever device you’re viewing it on, it’s optimized with that device. So, that’s the secondary option.
The other thing with mobile sites is that you can actually create, almost like a completely separate site that’s specifically for the mobile experience. So, and you’ll see these for restaurants or whatever. When you actually view it in your iPhone, it will look completely different to what the desktop version looks like and I guess, you’ve got to decide whether your business is one that needs that kind of version as well, and some do because it’s the kind of thing that people look up as they’re driving somewhere and going, where do I find this restaurant and you want the contact and the menus and all of that for example, to be really prominent, not to have the whole website as it would appear on a desktop.
Nick: Okay, cool. What are five different ways that business owners can market their website once they have one?
Urszula: I guess just to think, I would just take it more broadly in terms of marketing. I think marketing online and offline is about building solid long term, mutually beneficial relationships. So, with that in mind, I think it’s to do with gathering and storing a customer base that you actually understand your clients, understand their interests, understand where you found them and how to engage with them.
Email marketing is fantastic, particularly if you’ve got a certain kind of system that can segment your customer base, so that you know where you’ve met someone, what your interests are, so that when you’re communicating with them, it’s actually relevant to them, not blasting.
Nick: How should they do email marketing? Should it be a monthly sort of newsletter type of approach or …?
Urszula: Again, similar to when you have a website, you need to have fairly clear goals about it and what I’m finding is the best thing is to keep something regular, that’s of interest in general and that just creates an awareness or a reminder that you exist but it has to be kind of relevant, and then you may have promotional emails once, when you’ve got something decent to promote. But don’t just have one type of email, don’t just promote, promote, promote without building a relationship. So, that’s the email side of things.
The other thing I think pretty much every business should be doing is blogging and creating content and I know that a lot of people still don’t quite understand how blogging is relevant but basically, if you look at your website, that’s your business search of the business. A blog is more the conversation that you have with people that really gets them to understand who you are and it also allows them to interact because you can comment on the blogs and it really shows how engaged you are with your customer and with your area of expertise. And apart from that, it’s really good for search engines, so it’s got multi-facets to why that’s a really good thing to do.
Nick: How often should people blog if they have a blog? Is there a sort of expectation as to how often you should do it?
Urszula: There’s the “What you should do and what actually happens.” Any blogging is better than no blogging, and quality blogging, less frequent quality blogging is better that frequent rubbish blogging, in my opinion but in the ideal world, I would say every week or every fortnight would be good, but I don’t do that. Something regular, because it develops a real body of proving your involvement and your interest in what you’re actually doing and I mean how you get to do that is another conversation, because it is actually quite hard to get down to how to doing it. You may want to employ a content helper to help you do that. It’s probably one of the most powerful things you can do for your business, I think.
Then that kind of leads into social media, which is the next thing, because once you’ve got some content, the social media helps distribute that so it has to come kind of that way around, don’t just do social media when you’ve got nothing to say. Your social media is a distribution channel for things that you’ve got value to say. So, if you’ve got some blog posts, then you can distribute that through Twitter or through Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever the most appropriate is for your market and it can be more than one, but start engaging with social media and the first thing is to start listening to the conversation before you start contributing to it so you get a sense of your market, what people are talking about, what they want to know, and then that should actually lend feedback to what you’re talk about in your blog and then feedback into the system.
Nick: Okay. Should people, is there, how much time should people be spending on social media because I know that sometimes, when I get on social media, I can get sort of sucked in and spend hours on there. So, is there a good way of integrating into a business where it doesn’t suck away your time?
Urszula: That’s just a matter of discipline, I guess. Just to be, because that’s very easy to do and it’s easy to say, I’m just working when you’re not. I think have a marketing plan and work out how often you’re going to do it. Obviously, if you’re on social media, that is one way of listening, but only you know whether you’re wasting time or not, when you shouldn’t be, if that’s all that you’re doing for your business, you’re not really going to be getting too far with it.
The other thing that I thought for marketing is not separating online and offline marketing. Understand offline, understand relationship building in real life, understand all the other print media. Put your website, wherever you can, put the link to your website wherever you can. So, even if you’re signing off a name, make sure your website link is there, because that’s just a free distribution channel and I’ve seen people that have got email signatures that are in an image, which is useless because people can’t click on it and go to your website.
You’ll notice when you get an email from someone you don’t know, the first thing I do is to click on the link to check out what they’re doing and what their website is, little things like that. Get involved in real, genuine networking and treat it like relationship building. Don’t just go there to get something, go there first to contribute and I think the rest of it kind of follows. I think that would be it. Was that 5 ways? I’m not sure.
Nick: 4 or 5, those were great tips there. Thanks for sharing. How can people find you online?
Urszula: Online? Go to my website, onlineiq.biz, b i z for business.
Nick: And you’ve got a blog up there?
Urszula: I do have a blog out there, more information up there, and by all means, get in touch if you’re interested.
Nick: Well great. Thanks very much for talking to us today, Urszula.
Urszula: Pleasure, thanks Nick.
Nick: Thanks very much to Urszula Richards for that great interview. Speaking of websites, you can find ours at webmarketingadelaide.com.au. That’s had a new design just put on it recently, so it’s kind of looking a little bit better than it was before. So, head over there and get the links from the episode and leave some comments or leave some feedback or any sort of ideas for future topics, future shows you would like us to cover.
Now, I said I’d talk about how I got the intro done for only $5.00, so, it was $10.00 overall, $5.00 for the voice over and $5.00 for the music and that’s at a website called fiverr.com. That’s f i v er r.com. That’s sort of a marketplace where the idea is people offer to do all sorts of different things for only $5:00. Often I think its people who do things as a hobby or it’s people in perhaps developing countries where $5.00 means a lot more to them than it does to us, and you can get them to do all sorts of different things, from SEO stuff, which I wouldn’t really trust the internet marketing stuff, certainly things like little cheap bits of design or the audio stuff like the intro, little musical things, and all sorts of other crazy stuff.
You can actually spend sort of hours on there, looking through the various things that people are offering, so don’t get too carried away with buying things or looking for things you don’t need, even though it’s only $5.00 but come on there if you have any sort of quick projects that you want to do, which kind of leads me to a point I wanted to make. It’s kind of a strategy or a concept within business called the Minimum Viable Product concept and the whole idea of that is to, rather than sort of waiting until you have something absolutely perfect before you launch it, which could take weeks or months or whatever within a business, that might be like a website or a blog or a particular piece of content or maybe a new product or something along those lines.
I suffer from this particularly badly, is I always want to try and make it perfect before I launch it, whereas the idea of this minimum viable product is where you get the very basic, simplest idea, so rather than make it perfect, just get the simplest bit of the idea that you can get, and get it out there in the market straight away, so you can start testing it and see if it’s actually going to make you money in the long run. You’ll see if it works so that you can get a sort of feel for things. So, that’s kind of what I wanted to do with this podcast.
You may or may not noticed that I’m not an expert at this yet so, I just wanted to get myself in there, not to worry too much about trying to learn all the bits and pieces before I go into the marketplace. So, I will just sort of get in there, learn as I go, and it’s right, it’s right, it’s right, until it gets better. That’s why a service like fiverr’s really good because I can get in there really cheaply and in the future, if I want to improve the concept and it’s all working, then I can spend a bit more money on getting perhaps a more professional intro or a professional design for a logo or something like that.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode, see you next week.[/spoiler]