Create The Movement Podcast #3
Brad Post – Welcome to Create the Movement Podcast My name is Brad Post and I’m here with Liz Montgomery.
Liz Montgomery – Hello
BP – Liz, how are you doing?
LM – I’m excellent.
BP – Today, it’s kind of early in our podcasting but we are going to be talking about websites. For instance why would a small business or a law firm need a website?
LM – Why would they need a website, Brad? That is a good question. Well, first of all nowadays, and maybe this wasn’t true five to ten years ago before we had smart phones and ipads so many electronics devices available to access information. But, now when you want to find a new service or a new product or if someone needs an attorney the first thing they are going to do is pick up their phone or go to their computer and google, find the best person, right. So this is why SEO is so important on a site. But a small business needs a website because they need to be found. If someone says I’m opening a bakery downtown how is anyone going to know about it except for the people who live on that street. It’s important to have a presence online.
BP- I kind of feel too that traditional advertising, which is expensive, like radio ads, billboards, television can be expensive. Websites can be less expensive than traditional marketing.
LM – That is true. If you are on a budget as a new business starting out it could be a more cost effective way to get your name out there. If you do it right. And you can do it right for not a billion dollars. Then you can create a lot of engagement online and that will attract people to your business and will put the word out about you.
BP- You mentioned the SEO. It is important. Would you say an optimized website is important?
You kind of touched on when you google something.
LM – What is an optimized website, some would ask. What is SEO and what does that mean. So, search engine optimization is what SEO stands for. The reason it is important that your website is optimized is because you want to show up in search engine results. What you have are hundreds of thousands of other businesses competing for those keywords. And depending on what market you’re in or maybe what city you are in, you will have different levels of competition for different keywords.
BP- Keywords are what people are searching for, right?
LM- Exactly, so if I just got into a car accident and i don’t know, do I need an attorney? I might google “car accident attorney Tulsa” or where ever I am. So you will start going down the list and the first folks on that page that showed up on your search list. Also, it’s really cool that google tells you the way to optimize you website so you show up in their search results. It’s almost like having a healthy website that google responds well too.
BP – Google gives you certain guidelines such as meta-descriptions and title tags, right? And how you should follow their rules in order to show up well.
LM- It is definitely down the rabbit hole of information because it is very complex and there are a lot of terms that could get confusing. Even saying that meta-description and title tags for someone that doesn’t know anything about the website industry could be easily confused by that. Having somebody who knows all those standards and is familiar with those best practices from google and is setting up your website according to that, it’s like night and day in terms of how you are going to show up in search engine results.
BP- It’s not just about having an amazingly pretty website, you also have to make sure it is optimized.
LM- Right, you need both things. Because we also come across websites that are not beautiful but they are really well optimized and the problem with that is that they may show up really well in search engine results and then you go to the website and then you leave it really quickly. Like, this isn’t giving me the information that I need or it’s just not nice to look at. Or that it doesn’t look updated so it doesn’t look like they care about their presence online.
BP- or are they even still in business?
LM- Right, You want you website to be your online face to your business.
BP- So it even needs to be refreshed every few years or more. So we talked about a really good looking website and a lot of times those are image driven and I have seen a lot of videos. So what’s up with that?
LM- We are totally going into the image and video world. So again, the reason you are seeing so much about that is because it’s about engagement. It used to be that about four or five years ago it was about filling up your website great keywords that people are looking for then you will show up in search results. So everyone started doing that and google went, ok we can’t put everyone on the first page. Google started paying more attention to how long someone hangs out on a website. How long are they staying there? What pages are they going to? Google is tracking all of that. Then longer someone stays there, the more they engage with your website the better you look to google. So video does that phenomenally. If you have a three minute video up there that will bring your on site time up immensely. Because someone is immediately engaged with and interacting with the website. As opposed to just text where they have to read it. Just in general images capture your attention.
BP- Absolutely, with high-speed internet now the videos are a lot easier to watch than just reading the text. Let’s talk about a call to action. What is a CTA or call to action?
LM- Okay, so a call to action or CTA is when the website or the information you are viewing will ask you to do something. They might tell you a little bit about the attorney, I do a lot with attorney’s that’s why I keep referring to law firms. They tell you about the attorney and what their practice areas are, so give us a call. If you need a consultation here is our phone number contact us now. That why you will have features like click to chat where the little box pops up on your screen and says “Do you want to talk to us right now?” So that’s a call to action. In addition you are engaging the person on your website. Especially if there is a video up there and they are watching the video and then at the end of the video what is really cool now is that you can put a call to action or CTA at the end of the video saying, “enter your email here for more information” So it’s a way to capture and connect with an anonymous viewer who may need your help.
BP- Liz, you all on a lot of businesses. You look at their website and you call on them. Can you walk us through the process of what you look for on their website before you call them. Do you make recommendations to them?
LM- There are a couple of things in the evolution of website over the years and what we have learned is most effective and engaging. So, first I look at the overall website, the images that were chosen and the overall function. So I’m scrolling down, maybe clicking on pages making sure the pages work. Sometimes they just don’t. So that’s one thing I would point out to the business to see if they are aware that you have broken links on their site. That will stunt the engagement of the viewer.
BP- Like the 404 page errors.
LM- Yes, Like those. Now here is some wanting information from your site and they are not getting it. I look to see if they are blogging. And I’m sure folks ask ”what is the big deal with the blog? Why s it so important?” Well, for many reasons, but the primary ones being that you are giving out information about your business to the world. So when they come to your site there are fresh new updated information about you there. Because the more you update your site, Google says, “his person cares about their online presence. They are investing in it.” So I look at the blog, I look to see if they have any images or video and if they don’t I will call and tell them about the ways we can help them. Maybe ask how their online engagement is going? are they getting any business from the site?
BP- Sometimes too, asking companies “Why do you have a website?”. Because sometimes they are wanting to get more clients and sometimes they just want to have a sort of online resume.
LM- Sure, I think that falls in different practice areas also. I don’t know if I gave this example in the last podcast because I give this example a lot. I remember speaking to an aviation attorney who I’m talking to about online marketing and SEO. He was like “Listen, the CEO of American Airlines is not going to google to find out who he wants his attorney to be. There is a short list of us that do this kind of work.”. So I’m like, great! The you don’t need to hustle to make sure you are showing up number one in search results. But, what you do need to do is that when that CEO of American Airlines comes to your website he better be blown away. So that he will pick you from that short list. You want to be the one that he picks. So it’s kind of a different approach. There are businesses that work totally on referrals, maybe they are an exclusive business and they aren’t looking to be found in search results then it is a different approach that we would take with them. And some website companies might just give you the cookie cutter option no matter what your website needs are. But I think it is important to really know your client. How they are bringing in clients.
BP- Our approach with our company is a more individualized and customized site to match the needs of our clients.
LM- Yes, we like that!
BP- We have some exploratory questions and that type of stuff to make sure that we are building the website that suits their needs.
BP- Well, feel like we could talk all day. But we are going to go ahead and end it for now. If that’s ok.