The 2023 Website & SEO Breakdown

The 2023 Website & SEO Breakdown

I want you to have a think about a roadside or building mounted advertisement that has stuck with you for whatever reason…

A good website to me is like a good piece of marketing that you can see from many angles, from many distances and can deliver your message and about what you want to achieve. Some sites, like some signs have plenty of text and some have very little; effective signs like effective sites have the text and images that they need to convey their messaging, maybe some fine print along the bottom and don’t need much else (unless your website is strictly to convey large bodies of text or graphic based information). For me, the sign that comes to mind with effective advertising was one that shocked and scared me in the 90s (which is where this makes me think that I have paid attention to advertising for too long). I’d be in the car on the way to school and a Workplace Safe style sign would be there visible from every angle possible, displaying uncomfortable graphics that while confronting to someone my age at the time, delivered a memorable message of making sure you take safety precautions at work. I’m not a fan of the sign, but it was an effective piece of advertising that conveyed the information that it needed to, and the message was memorable. Like physical advertising, I have seen many websites from a school age until now; some were terrible (either misleading or poorly conveying information (I made several of these in high school and I humbly apologize to anyone who ever viewed them) even to the point of seeing some websites that portray the opposite of what the business should be portraying. I have also seen several amazing websites that are clear, concise at straight to the point. You want clients and potential clients to get your information, or in the case of an e-commerce or online bookings website, you want people to get to the product or to be able to complete the “transaction” in as few steps as possible.

Essential tips for IT.
I’m going to leave you with three points, just three as anyone who has looked for help in building a website knows that opinions are like office stationery, everyone has a bit and there is always someone on the team that walks off with a pen. What I mean is, there is so much information available and I don’t want to just give you a list of recycled tips from an AI platform or one of the hundreds if not thousands of websites dedicated to how to build a good website.

So, the three points I will touch on are:

  1. Where does it live?
  2. What does it say about you? And
  3. How do people get there?
  • Where does it live?

    • Websites are just part of what you see when someone is presenting information to you online. A website needs a home, and this home is called web hosting. Some packages include a whole suite of tools to get you online, others are very DIY and you can build it yourself. The three we see many of are: WordPress, Squarespace and Shopify (with an honourable mention to Square which I feel that I need to mention as it needs to be distinguished from it’s similarly named competitor). While Squarespace and Shopify are brilliant tools where Squarespace is an all-in-one suite that provides tools to build a website (and starting to support people in online sales), Shopify is an all-in-one suite that focusses on online sales or e-commerce. These two allow for fast setup and a reasonable amount of customization but sometimes depending on the constraints you have with your data, although they are secure, they may not store in the right region for what you are after and may miss some data security points that depending on your type of business may be critical. For instance, we require that our data is stored in Australia and only certain authorized people can access the data in the back end of our website. So, if you want to address deeper concerns such as data sovereignty (where data is stored) then you may want to look at WordPress. WordPress has two versions, one being WordPress.com which is like Squarespace and Shopify in the way a lot more of it is managed for you and the other option being WordPress.org which allows you to choose where you data is stored (you could chat to VentraIP or [if you want to support local] Island Hosting to help you get started with a self-managed WordPress install), who has access and if you dive deeper you can fully customize the experience for both your visitors and the staff who work on your page.

 

  • What does it say about you?

    • This is the important bit to getting your customers to stay with the page. If you offer an engaging experience on your website that minimizes steps to get to your information or sale, then the more effective a website will be. You will get exceptions to this, some web pages such as a government or big corporate website, or an online information repository then you will get extra information there along the way but if you can make it as easy as possible for someone to reach what they are after then you are still ticking this box. As for how to connect with people be authentic, use a mix of images, graphics and video (ensuring you don’t slow down your website); you will need to consider being accessible and readable for people who struggle with viewing text, you can learn more here from Vision Australia; additionally, you need to consider if your website is reponsive or in other words does is display and resize well for multiple sizes of screen? If you can’t think of what to say there are tools that can assist you in writing, rephrasing, or expanding content depending on your writing style. To rephrase content, something simple like “Editor” that is built into Microsoft Word, or a product called Grammarly can help you see alternative options for spelling, wording, and phrasing choices. For Writing or Expanding Content, you could use ChatGPT (which is an Artificial Intelligence based large language model, or put simply it is computer software that is given a large set of data that it is able to reuse content or assist in generating new content according to the requests it is given) or soon, you can use Microsoft Copilot (which you can see the difference between the two [as described by Microsoft] and some security and privacy notes, here) which on top a LLM, it can delve into your (if you use it this way) existing documents or writing methods to help you write better but still sounding more like you. If you write blogs, make sure you stick to a consistent rhythm as it makes it hard for people to keep track of what you are doing if you have sporadic entries on your website; we all understand that life gets in the way, but if your blog is a way that you connect with your visitors, clients and potential clients then it’s important to keep that going.

 

  • How do people get there?

    • So, going back to the roadside advertising analogy; you don’t want to place a sign that no-one will see or if you are spending money, you want the best ROI possible by having it in a high traffic area that has lots of different streets, roads and high traffic footpaths going past. Likewise, you want your website to be seen. Social media is a go to (and almost replacement in some cases) to get people to redirect to their website or product. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube and many other platforms are a great way to boost interest in what you are offering at your business and on your website. They allow you to be more approachable, easier to connect to and connect with. Google My Business and Bing Places for Business allow you to strengthen the quality of your business listing when people are searching for you on those platforms (and their respective search engines). Then we get to the thing that you as a business will have received so much mixed messaging about and most likely dozens if not hundreds or thousands of emails about it, Search Engine Optimization is simply optimizing your website to be better read, understood, and shown to others by a search engine. Behind the scenes you could make an efficient Sitemap, add relevant keywords or other metadata or you could submit your website to be crawled by Google. In the front end of your website, make sure the text is easy to read, not loaded with too much bloat, label your pages clearly, link to relevant sources and ensure that if you have images, you have clear to understand alt text for those people using a screen reader or other methods of reading your web page. If you want to give it a go yourself Google Search Central and Microsoft’s Bing Webmaster Tools have freely available and some paid options to help you optimize your website to get it ready for both Search Engines and more importantly, your visitors who will hopefully become clients. The final extra bit to bring in people would be promoted posts (on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn as an example) or advertising on Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising which will bring your website above others and you can set a budget where you only pay when it’s displayed (Cost per impression) or clicked on (Cost Per Click).

This is a huge topic to address, there are lots of ways you can do it yourself and grow your online presence. If you need to be pointed in the right direction of DIY or where to get help, then we are happy to chat. We are the Tasmanian providers of the Australian Government’s Digital Solutions program and would love to help you out. We also have options to help you with marketing, such as a marketing audit where we can help line you up on the right track to get started or help you on the journey to get reliable, trustworthy help in this area.

My name is Richard, I am the Information Systems Manager at The van Diemen Project. I’m a self-confessed geek who enjoys seeing people succeed with their ideas and being able to help them in achieving that by assisting them in navigating digital and other obstacles. Thank you for sticking with me on what is a huge topic.

I want you to have a think about a roadside or building mounted advertisement that has stuck with you for whatever reason.

A good website to me is like a good piece of marketing that you can see from many angles, from many distances and can deliver your message and about what you want to achieve. Some sites, like some signs have plenty of text and some have very little; effective signs like effective sites have the text and images that they need to convey their messaging, maybe some fine print along the bottom and don’t need much else (unless your website is strictly to convey large bodies of text or graphic based information). For me, the sign that comes to mind with effective advertising was one that shocked and scared me in the 90s (which is where this makes me think that I have paid attention to advertising for too long). I’d be in the car on the way to school and a Workplace Safe style sign would be there visible from every angle possible, displaying uncomfortable graphics that while confronting to someone my age at the time, delivered a memorable message of making sure you take safety precautions at work. I’m not a fan of the sign, but it was an effective piece of advertising that conveyed the information that it needed to, and the message was memorable. Like physical advertising, I have seen many websites from a school age until now; some were terrible (either misleading or poorly conveying information (I made several of these in high school and I humbly apologize to anyone who ever viewed them) even to the point of seeing some websites that portray the opposite of what the business should be portraying. I have also seen several amazing websites that are clear, concise at straight to the point. You want clients and potential clients to get your information, or in the case of an e-commerce or online bookings website, you want people to get to the product or to be able to complete the “transaction” in as few steps as possible.

chatgpt ai in business
I’m going to leave you with three points, just three as anyone who has looked for help in building a website knows that opinions are like office stationery, everyone has a bit and there is always someone on the team that walks off with a pen. What I mean is, there is so much information available and I don’t want to just give you a list of recycled tips from an AI platform or one of the hundreds if not thousands of websites dedicated to how to build a good website.

So, the three points I will touch on are:

  1. Where does it live?
  2. What does it say about you? And
  3. How do people get there?
  • Where does it live?

    • Websites are just part of what you see when someone is presenting information to you online. A website needs a home, and this home is called web hosting. Some packages include a whole suite of tools to get you online, others are very DIY and you can build it yourself. The three we see many of are: WordPress, Squarespace and Shopify (with an honourable mention to Square which I feel that I need to mention as it needs to be distinguished from it’s similarly named competitor). While Squarespace and Shopify are brilliant tools where Squarespace is an all-in-one suite that provides tools to build a website (and starting to support people in online sales), Shopify is an all-in-one suite that focusses on online sales or e-commerce. These two allow for fast setup and a reasonable amount of customization but sometimes depending on the constraints you have with your data, although they are secure, they may not store in the right region for what you are after and may miss some data security points that depending on your type of business may be critical. For instance, we require that our data is stored in Australia and only certain authorized people can access the data in the back end of our website. So, if you want to address deeper concerns such as data sovereignty (where data is stored) then you may want to look at WordPress. WordPress has two versions, one being WordPress.com which is like Squarespace and Shopify in the way a lot more of it is managed for you and the other option being WordPress.org which allows you to choose where you data is stored (you could chat to VentraIP or [if you want to support local] Island Hosting to help you get started with a self-managed WordPress install), who has access and if you dive deeper you can fully customize the experience for both your visitors and the staff who work on your page.
  • What does it say about you?

    • This is the important bit to getting your customers to stay with the page. If you offer an engaging experience on your website that minimizes steps to get to your information or sale, then the more effective a website will be. You will get exceptions to this, some web pages such as a government or big corporate website, or an online information repository then you will get extra information there along the way but if you can make it as easy as possible for someone to reach what they are after then you are still ticking this box. As for how to connect with people be authentic, use a mix of images, graphics and video (ensuring you don’t slow down your website); you will need to consider being accessible and readable for people who struggle with viewing text, you can learn more here from Vision Australia; additionally, you need to consider if your website is reponsive or in other words does is display and resize well for multiple sizes of screen? If you can’t think of what to say there are tools that can assist you in writing, rephrasing, or expanding content depending on your writing style. To rephrase content, something simple like “Editor” that is built into Microsoft Word, or a product called Grammarly can help you see alternative options for spelling, wording, and phrasing choices. For Writing or Expanding Content, you could use ChatGPT (which is an Artificial Intelligence based large language model, or put simply it is computer software that is given a large set of data that it is able to reuse content or assist in generating new content according to the requests it is given) or soon, you can use Microsoft Copilot (which you can see the difference between the two [as described by Microsoft] and some security and privacy notes, here) which on top a LLM, it can delve into your (if you use it this way) existing documents or writing methods to help you write better but still sounding more like you. If you write blogs, make sure you stick to a consistent rhythm as it makes it hard for people to keep track of what you are doing if you have sporadic entries on your website; we all understand that life gets in the way, but if your blog is a way that you connect with your visitors, clients and potential clients then it’s important to keep that going.
  • How do people get there?

    • So, going back to the roadside advertising analogy; you don’t want to place a sign that no-one will see or if you are spending money, you want the best ROI possible by having it in a high traffic area that has lots of different streets, roads and high traffic footpaths going past. Likewise, you want your website to be seen. Social media is a go to (and almost replacement in some cases) to get people to redirect to their website or product. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube and many other platforms are a great way to boost interest in what you are offering at your business and on your website. They allow you to be more approachable, easier to connect to and connect with. Google My Business and Bing Places for Business allow you to strengthen the quality of your business listing when people are searching for you on those platforms (and their respective search engines). Then we get to the thing that you as a business will have received so much mixed messaging about and most likely dozens if not hundreds or thousands of emails about it, Search Engine Optimization is simply optimizing your website to be better read, understood, and shown to others by a search engine. Behind the scenes you could make an efficient Sitemap, add relevant keywords or other metadata or you could submit your website to be crawled by Google. In the front end of your website, make sure the text is easy to read, not loaded with too much bloat, label your pages clearly, link to relevant sources and ensure that if you have images, you have clear to understand alt text for those people using a screen reader or other methods of reading your web page. If you want to give it a go yourself Google Search Central and Microsoft’s Bing Webmaster Tools have freely available and some paid options to help you optimize your website to get it ready for both Search Engines and more importantly, your visitors who will hopefully become clients. The final extra bit to bring in people would be promoted posts (on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn as an example) or advertising on Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising which will bring your website above others and you can set a budget where you only pay when it’s displayed (Cost per impression) or clicked on (Cost Per Click).

This is a huge topic to address, there are lots of ways you can do it yourself and grow your online presence. If you need to be pointed in the right direction of DIY or where to get help, then we are happy to chat. We are the Tasmanian providers of the Australian Government’s Digital Solutions program and would love to help you out. We also have options to help you with marketing, such as a marketing audit where we can help line you up on the right track to get started or help you on the journey to get reliable, trustworthy help in this area.

My name is Richard, I am the Information Systems Manager at The van Diemen Project. I’m a self-confessed geek who enjoys seeing people succeed with their ideas and being able to help them in achieving that by assisting them in navigating digital and other obstacles. Thank you for sticking with me on what is a huge topic.

GET IN TOUCH

Have questions, queries, comments? Want help solving a problem? The best way to get in touch with us is via this form. 

The information collected gives us the best idea of how we can help you and what information we need to get you there. 

Loading...
Address

53 Elizabeth Street, Launceston Tasmania 7250

Follow Us