You may have heard the phrase ‘Google loves content’, and to a degree it is true. When Google sends its spiders out into the online web, one of the most important elements on a website that they crawl is its content. For SEO purposes we obviously want to have content on our websites but there is more to it than just posting up random articles and blog posts.
To ensure that what you create serves a greater purpose than just being a ‘good read’, you need first to decide on a content strategy. Such a strategy will allow you to create a vision for your content which will cover its journey from creation, purpose, format, and management. In this article, we will take you through some of the key considerations when deciding on your content strategy.
Determine Your Vision
Before you so much as type out the first article title, you need to decide on what the overriding vision is for your business and website, so that your content can contribute to it. This part of the strategy should consider some of the longer-term goals you have, such as building an instantly recognisable brand or primarily selling products on an e-commerce site. These are just two of many possible goals.
Once you have determined the vision or goals, you are more able to plan your content’s direction of travel as it were. In other words, you’ll know why it’s being created, and what its purpose should be.
Who Are Your Audience?
If you were to start playing country and western music to a crowd of heavy metal fans, you are not likely to achieve much, other than emptying the arena you were playing in. The same applies to content online. it needs to match what your audience is looking for, and the only way to do that is to define what your audience is beforehand.
Responsive websites. What are they? Do I already have one? Do I need one? Trying to build a strong online presence can be very difficult if you don’t have a technical background. Lawyers and law firms trying to get an edge on their competitors ask themselves questions like this everyday. Let’s try and answer a few of them.
As a law firm, your website is the most important component of your online presence. If it isn’t well designed, your image can be harmed. After all, a company who can’t put a bit of time and effort into building an attractive website isn’t one who people are going to want to work with.
This Is One Of The Reasons Why Responsive Design Is Essential
The modern world is dominated by mobile devices. The percentage of internet searches on mobile devices recently rose above the percentage of searches performed on computers and laptops. This alone should be enough to make you see how important a responsive, mobile optimised website it.
Basically, if your firm’s website doesn’t look good on a person’s device (be it a phone, a tablet or a computer), they won’t hang around to see what you’ve got to offer. You need to make sure that your site is attractive on all devices. Responsive design lets you do this.
How Does Responsive Design Work?
To put it simply, a responsive website is built to adapt to different device sizes. Different elements will be positioned and sized according to the type of device and the screen size, making sure that they always appear attractive and easy to read.
Online marketing is arguably the most important marketing stream for modern law firms. However, it can be hard to get right. Some forms of online marketing, such as Google AdWords, can drain your marketing budget at a rapid rate, which means that you need to be careful how you do things.
Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable digital marketing strategies that lawyers and law firms can benefit from. To get the most out of these, you need to fine tune your own online marketing strategy, changing the way you do things so that you’re getting the best return on investment possible. Consider the following tips to help you along the way:
- Make sure you focus on SEO
SEO is probably the most effective form of digital marketing for law firms. Although it may seem expensive at first, it’s important to realise that your SEO efforts will net long term results. Things like content creation, guest posting and link building will continue to drive traffic to your website for years, which means that they’re definitely worth doing.
- Be careful of search engine marketing
Search engine marketing – including AdWords marketing – is relatively ineffective for law firms. Most law-related keywords are worth a lot of money, which means that you will be paying a small fortune per click. This can quickly drain your marketing budget without netting a lot of results, especially if you’re not careful.
- Blog regularly
Blogging regularly will show potential clients that you’re familiar with a range of law related topics, that you’re not too busy to spend time on important things and that you’re an authority figure in your field.
- Make sure you use strong calls to action
If you do end up using search engine or social media marketing, then you need to think very carefully about the structure of your ads. Make sure that you use strong calls to action to encourage people to contact you.
Creating your own website can be an extremely rewarding process. However, it can also be somewhat difficult if you don’t really know what you are doing. WordPress is the most popular option for beginners to set up their first website. In this article we will look at the two types of WordPress websites you can set up, along with how you should go about setting them up.
If you want to set up a simple blog or informational website, WordPress.com is almost definitely your best option. It is free, extremely easy to set up, and very simple to use. This platform offers everything from free hosting to a free domain name (within reason).
However, there are a few cons when it comes to using WordPress.com over WordPress.org. These include having .wordpress.com attached to the end of your domain name, a difficulty in monetising your site, and a significantly reduced customizability compared to open source website building platforms. Setting up a WordPress.com website can be done in just a couple of steps:
- Head over to WordPress.com and create an account. During the account creation process you will be asked to create a domain name and website name.
- Once you have your domain and website address, you are ready to start installing WordPress plugins and building your site!
- Although limited, WordPress.com does offer a few different ways of customizing your blog, including using different themes and colour schemes. Choose one which suits the image you are trying to create.
- Start creating content, learn some WordPress SEO techniques and encourage people to visit your site!
Yes, it actually is this easy to create a blog with WordPress.com. This is great for people like hobby bloggers or parents looking to document their family lives.
According to Web Design Perth, if you have decided to undertake the web design of your site in-house, either by yourself or one of your team, then you need to seriously consider the benefits of using WordPress. By this, we mean installing WordPress (available from wordpress.org) on your domain and building your site there, and not going to wordpress.com. You can build a site at wordpress.com, but it effectively remains their property, which is not recommended, especially if you are building a business website.
With WordPress (WP) installed on your domain, and ideas in your head about your WordPress front page design, here are the many advantages of using it to build your website.
#1 Easy to Use and Update
One of WP’s greatest assets is how easy it is to both use and update. Often this is achieved by simply clicking a link in the WP back office. You don’t need to have any special skills or knowledge of HTML coding to create and build a great looking site. The back office that you’ll use for WP is very easy to understand with the use of menus and sub-menus for the various functions that you can operate within your WP site.
#2 Great Looking Themes
Whatever niche or industry sector your business is in, there will be themes available that can give your website the look and feel you want. Some of the better ones may cost, but generally, this is not going to be any more than $100 which is a small price to pay for a stunning looking website.
#3 Plugins For Added Functionality
The number of plugins which you can use with your WP website is vast. They enhance your site for visitors and for you and your team in relation to both building and maintaining the site. Some the functions that plugins can add include SEO, security, design, email marketing, multimedia players, visitor interaction, and payment processing to name a few.
Most digital marketing experts will agree that search engine optimisation is one of the most cost-effective and profitable ways to spend your law firm’s marketing budget. Things like Google AdWords and search engine marketing aren’t necessarily going to be very profitable for lawyers like they are for many other businesses, which means that they should be used with caution.
Building quality content is one of the cornerstones of an effective SEO strategy. Regular blog posts are a very good example of content which has the potential to boost your website’s search engine rankings, especially if they are well written and accurate. In this article you will discover why you should write blog posts, how they can benefit your firm and what sort of things you should include in all your posts.
Why should I be writing regular posts for my firms website?
To put it simply, blog posts are a great way to add more written content to your website. High quality written content is one of the main ranking factors that search engine bots look at when they are ranking your website, and it’s something that you need to focus on.
Regular blog posts will help increase the number of keywords that you’re ranking for, will help portray your website as an authority figure in the world of law and will help encourage more people to visit your website more regularly.
If your CMS of choice is Joomla then you are in good company, with over 30 million websites using the platform, not to mention a developer community of around 200,000. You’ll already know of Joomla’s advantages in terms of features and extensions but how familiar are you with Joomla’s security.
As with other platforms such as WordPress and Drupal, websites built using Joomla are viable targets in the eyes of hackers and cyber-saboteurs, so if you haven’t made the time or effort to protect your site, you are leaving yourself wide open to an attack.
Thankfully there are a number of very impressive security extensions designed specifically for Joomla sites which can protect your content, data and other information, and prevent your site from being infiltrated. Here are 5 of the best which can keep your Joomla site safe.
JomDefender: This extension prevents ‘drive-by’ hackers from identifying applications within your site which are vulnerable by keeping them hidden and protected. It also has security features which make it very difficult for hackers to gain access to your site via the login page by requesting two unique passwords instead of one, and thus making it twice as difficult for them to break in.
Asking whether a content management system (CMS) is better than a static site is a bit like asking whether boots or shoes are the better footwear. The answer is very much dependant on what they are being used for and what the user wishes to do. With footwear, obviously boots are better for hiking, but sandals are better for walking on the beach. When applied to building a website there are circumstances where a CMS is more appropriate and others when a static site would be the best option.
The first difference is the actual building of the website in the first place and how it is done. A static site needs to be designed and coded from the outset, therefore unless the website owner has programming and design skills, this work will need to be contracted out. The programmer you hire will need to have a comprehensive knowledge of HTML and must be happy and willing to work in conjunction with the designer to ensure the functioning and the look of the finished site meets your specifications.
If you are new to building websites you may not realise you don’t have to go with the Content Management System (CMS) your web hosting company promotes. In fact, many offer the option of installing others, often free, CMS that is easier to use and needs much less of a learning curve than others. For instance, you can usually install WordPress, which is one of the simplest and easiest to use.
You might want to have your digital agency set it up for you so you don’t have to worry whether it is done correctly in the first instance. But then you would want the convenience of being able to make simple changes or additions yourself, rather than having to contact them to do it – and have to pay extra each time.
It is really easy to add posts or pages to a WordPress site once it is up and running with everything on it that you need. You simply go into your administration area and click on Page or Post, then copy and paste what you have typed into the page that appears. Or you can type it directly onto the page because it works just like Word on your computer. This is what is called a “what you see is what you get” or “WYSIWYG” editor.
If you have had anything much to do with websites, you’ll know that it is possible to create something as simple as a blog with no knowledge of HTML. But when it comes to a business website or an online store, it’s not quite as simple. A website designer is the best one to create such a website, but you’ll still need to be able to change things or add more product in the days and years to come.
Rather than depending on the web designer to make small changes, it is far better to use a content management system (CMS) that you can understand; one that does not require any steep learning curve or knowledge of HTML. This is possible by using certain software that has been offered up by the many creators for free. It allows anyone to get into the ‘back-end’ of their website, through an admin link, where they can easily remove outdated content and add new, be that images or text.
It is an exciting time to set up your very own ecommerce store. Few people have the time or expertise to do this on their own, so don’t be afraid to bring in expert help. While it will cost you, it will save time and a steep learning curve. Besides that, professional help will ensure your new online business store looks professional and works properly.
When dealing with the public on a commercial basis there are several things to put in place on your website to protect you and to help gain trust so your visitors will become customers. It’s important to be transparent and part of this is to have all your policies clearly explained and in a place where they can be found easily.
WordPress is an online, open source site creation instrument written in PHP. Web designers, free-lancers and at-home-tinkerers all love it which is the reason it is the most popular CMS in the World today. However, in the non-nerd talk, it’s likely the simplest and most effective blogging and site Content Management System (CMS) in presence today.
The Benefits of Using WordPress
1. The Programming is Free
How often have you been given something for free that is completely utilitarian and ready to use? With this free Content Management System (CMS), if you need to upscale your website a little more with premium topics or new modules, you will save a great deal over what you would have paid for a professionally made website.
The reason Joomla CMS is trusted by literally millions of websites online, is because it is one of the very few that can be used to create, edit, publish and manage content. This is why it is considered a good alternative to employing a full time web design professional. The following are some of the main reasons it is so trusted:
Easy and fast editing – If you are not using a CMS and want to make some edits on the pages of your website, Joomla has your back. Using another CMS may not ensure data integrity the way Joomla can. It does this by locking the content so that no one is able to access or make changes to a document that is being edited apart from the approved person. Since the software uses powerful editors to make changes, the person editing a document will have no trouble making adjustments. In fact, a simple document will seem just like a Word file when it is being changed.
Customizable Core – Even though Joomla’s core is called hackable, that is not a cause for concern. It just means that it can be customized by anyone who has a modicum of knowledge regarding PHP. That’s because this open source software is very clean and quite well documented. It is ‘hackable’ so adjustments can be made to optimize it for a specific reason.
Even if you are a whiz at using ExpressionEngine, you can benefit from it a lot more if you download a few add-ons for it. Add-ons can be designed specifically to facilitate the content creation process, help with the website SEO and internet marketing strategies – or some other functions for those using this CMS.
Here are some of the best ones that are a hit with seasoned developers and newbies alike:
As the name implies, this add-on is a field type that can aid you in making matrices for your content. As an administrator you can use this to add several rows for similar content to streamline content management and without duplicating fields or using difficult templates. Some of the things you can do with it is rotating a hero section on a homepage or a personalized field that requires an image, title, URL and link text. You can also allow other admin to make hero messages as per requirement and allot minimum and maximum figures.
Make your mark on the World Wide Web with WordPress
For those who are unaware, WordPress is a CMS or Content Management System that is a good alternative to a fully functioning website. As a website’s content grows, so do challenges on how to represent it to target readers. However with a content management system such as WordPress, you can manage as many pages as you need with the range of options it has to offer.
Attract search engines
Straight out of the box, the content management system comes ready to cater to search engines. Besides guiding them through pages, posts and categories, it can help them collect the information they need to propel your site to the top of search engine results.
Of course, that would not be possible without utilizing the in-built digital marketing tools the CMS comes with. This includes htaccess which can be used to create static URLs called pinging and permalinks to name a few. This is a configuration file that can be used to change a server’s settings for the directory it is based in. Permalinks are used by other bloggers who wish to connect with your blog and you can also use it to link a blog to an email. However, you should not change the URL of the posts if you want this to work. Since WordPress allows users to create permalinks with keywords search engines prefer, creating them will be worth your while.
Even though WordPress did not get much recognition when it first came out several years ago, it quickly blossomed into a critical online platform that has given the humble website a run for its money. The following are some of the main reasons it’s gaining rapid popularity with bloggers and especially in eCommerce.
Affordable and Easy to Use
If this is your first time starting a business, online or off, then money must be tight. However, since today’s consumers are typically dependent on online reviews and eCommerce websites, it’s always a good idea to take your brand online. But rather than hiring a web designer to maintain and create a website, you can just maintain a WordPress account and place all the information for your products and services there.
For successful blogging your blogging platform is very user friendly, so you can add more pages on your own as well, without downloading additional software. This way you can save money and use it to make your business more profitable. Of course, once it takes off, it would be a good idea to hire someone experienced in WordPress to manage your account for you.
Even if you consider yourself a WordPress guru, you will only go so far unless you install appropriate WordPress plug-ins to fulfill all of your needs. The following are some that are preferred by the CMS community, but whatever you do, don’t try and install all of them. Pick those that seem relevant if you don’t want your website to slow down.
W3 Total Cache
WordPress can be great if you have a lot of content to share, but it can get slow fast if it is not managed with plug-ins or is hit with loads of traffic every day. For instance, once your website hits 500 page views, you will need to start caching them. That way they won’t need to be re-generated each time. You can do that easily with W3 Total Cache. The plug-in is affectionately known as The Swiss Army knife of performance plug-ins since it can manage almost everything from delivery to miniaturization.
If you are new to Joomla, then you need to know the difference between modules and plug-ins. These may seem similar to the untrained eye, but they are as different as night and day. Let’s take a look at each in detail.
What are Modules?
Modules are basically flexible extensions in Joomla that are used to render pages. Also known as boxes, these are arranged around the components of each page such as the log-in module. Each one is assigned to a menu item so you can use them to hide a module according to the page you are currently on and some are assigned specific components. For instance a ‘latest news’ module will be linked to com_content and will also sport links to the latest content pieces. On the other hand, you do not have to link modules to components or anything for that matter. They can be used as static HTML or text.
From personal website to community portals, Drupal has been helping site owners make an impact online ever since it was launched. Offering more than 2,000 themes and design options as well as 20,000 modules, it’s loved by both owners and developers alike. In fact, it serves as the back-end infrastructure for several notable custom websites on the World Wide Web today.
Besides the above mentioned, the following are some of the main reasons why this CMS platform is making waves in its industry:
Highly Customizable – With its vast number of themes, designs, layouts and ease of operation, Drupal designers and web developers have a smorgasbord of choices when it comes to creating custom websites. This includes addressing complex client requirements.
Allows Rapid Deployment – Regardless of complexity, this CMS allows business owners and companies to launch functionalities and core features easily and quickly. Using Drupal, developers can also make changes to their creations even after deployment, which is critical post feedback and when making tweaks according to business requirements.
Drupal has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a simple, open source CMS platform. It has effectively evolved into a strong web development program loved by programmers and developers alike. It’s widely used in 200 countries across the globe, is available in more than 180 languages and is used by the likes of Sony Music, Ubuntu and even the White House!
However, just like any tech, Drupal also has its fair share of downsides along with benefits.
- Customizable – Drupal has a number of design features and development tools that programmers absolutely love. Besides literally 1000s of readymade and customizable themes and templates, it has the ability of streamlining web development. This has proven quite handy for developers, especially those who have to maintain an online presence for ever-changing brands.
- Feature filled – The CMS platform comes complete with a number of features that are designed specifically to cater to serious developers. This includes a comprehensive menu, system admin, RSS feeds to name a few and which can be used to manage large websites as well as blogs. This includes the ability to create new user accounts quickly, which can be tweaked for custom permissions for users.
Drupal is a free software package used as a content management system which can be improved by installing modules and by personalized modification. It functions as a publishing platform for different industries to run an online store. Utilizing its e-commerce feature has helped many organizations generate more income in the past decade.
It is well-designed, renowned, and flexible. Drupal consists of an extensive collection of elements that are considered to be extremely important for the purpose of generating profits by webmasters, administrators, and marketing experts.
Here are five easy ways through which you can generate revenue using Drupal:
E-commerce is the demand of the information age we are living in. Drupal E-commerce mainly consists of small modules which simplify the task of setting up a shopping cart, reviewing product and using checkout pages. Furthermore, it also manages balances, taxes and discounts, and facilitates in the organization of inventory and lists of products.
This feature provides you with detailed reports, history of orders, and reviews. Even with all these added benefits, Drupal E-commerce is free of cost, unlike its other competitors. It guarantees a picture perfect e-commerce experience for both customers and users alike.
Joomla and Drupal may be considered some of the best open source content management software out there, but the one you choose should be based on your specific requirements. Even though they are similar in several aspects, they differ in the type of content they can effectively manage. Of course, that is not to say that either is better than the other, but it’s better to look at what you need first before downloading either one. The following guide can help you narrow down your choice:
Drupal is Best for…
Even though large brands such as Yahoo!, McDonalds and Best Buy use Drupal, they use other software for their main websites. For instance in Yahoo it is used to manage style guides, while it is used to manage Best Buy’s online magazine. It is also preferred in the education sector by universities such as Duke, Stanford and Rutger to name a few who use it for their mail site. In fact, MIT also uses it to manage its media lab since it is very easy to use. The CMS may not be suitable for everybody, but it is still popular with those whose skills are not technically strong.
Choosing a content management system (CMS) that can fulfill all of your requirements can be a challenging endeavor. Without clear cut requirements, you might be tempted to download the first one that has the fanciest features! The following analysis will help you narrow down your choices to pick an appropriate one:
Now when most people are looking for a CMS, they look for one that can help them edit, organize, create and manage content on their websites. This is an incorrect assumption since not all content management systems are capable of all of those features. For instance, not every blogging platform allows users to manage pages in a hierarchy. Some even go so far as to post blogs at random or according to date. This may be ideal in certain circumstances, but this limitation can be quite frustrating if you wish to say, post a large DIY tutorial in one go.
Your job is to first ascertain what you need from your CMS along with the basic features you need to make changes if necessary. Be wary of those that do not allow you to accomplish core tasks such as structuring and organizing pages. There are literally thousands of such open source software out there and you will need to test a couple out before sticking to one.
As more and more businesses and government entities opt for open source software such as Linux, it’s clear that the platforms have more to offer than meets the eye. Perhaps its definition can best be explained if we take a look at the benefits it offers.
As the name implies, open source software is open to all, meaning that its code can be accessed by anyone who wants to make changes in it. In other words, no single company owns it and any business can create their own software without facing copyright issues. It is easy to manage as well and can be outsourced to multiple vendors thus eliminating entry and exit barriers. Plus, you can always choose another vendor if the one you chose does not pan out.
Consumers can launch new software solutions in days rather than the years it used to take before. Software that is created using it can be tested prior to deployment and is quite beneficial when it comes to collaborations between two entities and experimentation. Additionally, developers can anticipate the needs of existing and potential users with the results they receive from the number of tests that they will be able to do.
Internet security has become a growing concern for users and breaches are even more alarming when it comes to conducting businesses online. ExpressionEngine provides users security elements that are most inclusive and broad, comprising of highly developed features that can carry out business without having to worry about security breaches.
Security has never been an issue for ExpressionEngine users for almost a decade and it has only had one security advisor in the span of three years. The data you use on this CMS is bound to be safe because of the following features it offers:
Managing Session and Processing Forms
Depending on the security needs of your business, ExpressionEngine is secured by three separate session management systems. Choice on the type of session depends on the control panel and public sites. Duplicate submission of forms and spamming are prevented by allowing single submission of forms for each page.
If you have a blog, the best thing to do is to maximize its readership through a CMS such as WordPress. Over the years, the portal has evolved into a state of the art blogging platform that can be used to create, edit and publish highly customizable content in real time.
If you have used WordPress even once then you know that in order to access your account all you have to do is log into your administrator dashboard using ‘your-site/wp-login.php. You can easily upload new content, modify old blogs or publish new, install plug-ins, themes etc. However, have you ever thought how you can maximize its potential?
The ultimate aim of the CMS is to generate HTML pages on a dynamic basis which is why an HTML page and web page are considered synonymous with each other. WordPress uses SQL and PHP to store data and the PHP code makes up the core for the CMS while the database makes up its memory. Each installation of WordPress gets its own database and the following information you enter is stored there:
If you are an up and coming entrepreneur, then you know your business website is a virtual expression of your brand for the masses. ExpressionEngine (EE) is a CMS that took this fact to heart and made it evident with its flexible and scalable solutions. Using this open source software, you can express your brand message in almost any way you want utilizing the innumerable features EE offers. However, just like any other CMS, this one also has some features that might not prove as lucrative.
ExpressionEngine offers a limitless list of features but some of the important ones are:
- Image management
- SEO friendly URLs
- Ability to create multiple categories
- Add sticky posts
- Status creation for posts
- RSS and ATOM Syndication