Ask Me Anything! DIY Website Design - Let's talk about the best platforms to essential elements of a website built for conversion.

Tanya Amaya
Jul 6, 2018

Your website should be your 24-hour marketplace where your target audience can get to know your business, your services and get started or reach out to you.

If you are considering building your own website, have website questions or you are not getting the traffic you are working hard for, I'm happy to answer questions and help get you on the right track. After we are done, I provide a website audit and then a one on one 30 minute review to go over what we found and simple changes you can make yourself.

Sometimes it's all about the strategy- your questions can be answered here as well and if you don't have a website or have bigger marketing questions we are happy to offer a strategic marketing session as well. 

I can answer questions about;

  • Website Design for the best User Experience
  • Website Design Elements 
  • Website Platforms (best to use and how they work)
  • Online Marketing (general questions)
  • Online Marketing Tools (MailChimp vs active campaign; wordpress.comvs wordpress.org etc)
  • Online and Offline Marketing Channels
  • Website Analytics
  • Automation and Email Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Steps to create the strongest online presence
  • Website Security
  • and many more topics

Follow us or connect on Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

About Me:

Tanya Amaya is well-known for her strategic imagination in aligning business goals with creative strategy and expression and has successfully led the brand design and marketing engagements for a variety of clients. Her experience runs across a variety of industries—including international development, career development, litigation, technology, healthcare, retail, consumer products and professional services provided globally. 

Committed to elegant solutions based on analytics and powerfully simple communications, her areas of expertise include sustainable design solutions, logo design, integrated brand identity systems, brand design and strategy, print design, web design, digital media strategy, site architecture, and site marketing.

About Analytic Design:

Analytic Design is a privately held, full-service strategic marketing firm. We operate under an optimized consultant model that has proven for years over many client engagements to be scalable, flexible, and cost-effective. We have three pillars of expertise and services: Strategic Branding and Marketing, Website/Application Design and Development, and Technical/IT support.

Analytic Design has been helping clients create more authentic, compelling, differentiating, and relevant brand strategies, brand identities, content strategies and assets, websites, and marketing campaigns since we were founded and, for many of us, well before that.

We've enabled clients ranging from multi-million-dollar global enterprises to entrepreneurial small businesses to more effectively express their services and benefits, expand market perceptions, optimize competitiveness, continually improve marketing metrics, and increase market share.

Our consistent successes for clients tie directly to the quality and experience of our team, our approach to serving clients, as well as our creative, technical, and management capabilities. Analytic Design is a Certified Small, Women-Owned Business.

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Let's get started!

I started my online presence about a month ago with Instagram, Facebook and a shopify store.  I am an older person, and not super digital savy. I have been slowly gathering followers and I have done a little bit of FB advertising.  What would you suggest as first steps for me to take.  I am a fused glass artist and all my pieces are one of a kind.  My site is www.debgibson.com

Jul 13, 11:37AM EDT0
With the rise in the trends of online marketing, do you feel like it could one day replace traditional marketing altogether?
Jul 12, 10:01AM EDT0

There are roughly 19 types of marketing or customer aquisitian  channels if you read the book "Traction" and they are not all online channels. Inbound marketing, Outbound marketing and every other type are essentially reliant on each other and success typically relies on a combination of techniques. 

Traditional marketing such as offline ads in newspapers, direct mail and billboards can be a cost effective solution for some markets which are completely offline. 

If you were to combine a billboard that drove traffic to a specifc url however, combining the techniques may lead to a more complete marketing strategy. 

Jul 12, 1:01PM EDT0
What is your secret weapon when it to marketing on social media platforms?
Jul 12, 4:58AM EDT0

There isn't a secret weapon, but if there was I would say it's authenticity to your brand, company and potential clients. There is so much spam out there that it makes it difficult for real companies to reach their target audiences and then the target to respond to the information. People respond well to education and communication. 

Jul 12, 1:06PM EDT0
Is there a certain time of the day that is best for sending emails to subscribers to ensure a high click rate?
Jul 10, 3:09PM EDT0

This is entirely dependent on your website, marketing strategy and analytics. You are looking to send out campaigns when your clients are more likely to be engaged which you cannot do without analytics.

Analytics are the key to any successful campiagn- this is how you truly understand how to reach your audience, and what they are looking for. 

You will find a lot of infromation, articles and "you must send at this time" but if you think about it, how will that tell you when your customers are interacting with you brand. 

I'm happy to speak more on this matter if you want to chat about it. 

Jul 12, 1:09PM EDT0
Is email marketing really as effective as it used to be in the digital marketing world?
Jul 10, 10:46AM EDT0

Email marketing is one of many marketing channels that is effective. The book Traction talks about the various marketing channels you can use to reach out to potential clients, and is very effective when combined with other techniques that make sense in your marketing strategy. 

The other thing to take into accout with email marketing are the funnels and platforms you use. We use and highly recommend Active Campaign to create detailed automations that make the process easier. Then, based on analytics you refine until you have a good email marketing strategy established. 

Jul 12, 1:12PM EDT0
There are various social media platforms where one can use to market their service or product. How can one decide which platform to use? Is it advisable to have more than one social media presence for a small business?
Jul 10, 8:18AM EDT0

If you think about your business name and search engines, if someone were to search your business name, do you want to leave any room on the front page for other businesses? think about your website, then each social media profile listed, then your personal site etc...

In terms of social media itself, you want to have LinkedIn (business page) , Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also have Google+ since google likes when it's platform is used. 

Reemeber that each social media platform is good for a different type of marketing, and will target different potential clients. 

Here is a great article from Sprout Social that may help you target on different platforms. 

To help decide the platform to spend more time on, use the analytics. Social media platforms have analytics, and analytics should also be on your website and landing pages so you can see which marketing is the most effective. 

Jul 12, 1:18PM EDT0
What does the CAN-SPAM law say regarding email marketing?
Jul 10, 7:58AM EDT0

This law is dedicated to protecting the consumers from marketing in their email without their permission. Email marketing is one form of potential spam activity, and email marketing companies such as Active Campaign monitor your spam complaints very seriously since companies that do not often have their email marketing campaign rejected by the email companies such as gmail and outlook. 

Here is the link to the Can Spam Act , but I can summarize the basics below. 

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.
Jul 12, 1:23PM EDT0
What is unique about your business that makes it the go-to place for potential clients?
Jul 9, 9:13AM EDT0

Analytic Design offers more than just expertise on a variety of subjects. The difference is in our client connection- we understand the struggle of the small business owners and our goal is collaboration. Through collaboration business owners can truly succeed. No business should be an island- and business in general is more than competition. Even competing businesses can learn a lot from each other and establishing strong relationships. 

Jul 9, 3:25PM EDT0
What is the best quality website that a small startup can invest in as part of their marketing but at the same time doesn't break their budget?
Jul 9, 7:20AM EDT0

It depends on the budget, but a website should always be an investment. Find a company like us that offers both financing and the ability to work together to grow so you learn what you need to know. We offer structured payments combined with ongoing collabration and analytics installation to make sure you know where you are going and how to get there. We also offer a strategic conversation at the beginning to make sure you have set steps to move forward even if you decide not to work with us. 

Jul 9, 3:28PM EDT0
What is most superficially tempting metric that is almost never worth worrying about?
Jul 9, 12:47AM EDT0

There are lots of answers I can give for this, but realistically if you are a professional in the field you take a look at everything. The biggest mistake is isolating metrics. Taking a look at a single metric over a short period of time and using it to make decisions can hurt you because true data comes from combined information and a period of time. The most important evaluations are the month-over-month and year-over-year reports.

Jul 13, 9:36AM EDT0
How do you gain insights to improve competitive keywords rankings of websites?
Jul 8, 8:11PM EDT0
Analytics gives quantitative data; surveys: qualitative. What's the best way to aggregate to understand clearly how to improve?
Jul 8, 6:01PM EDT0

It's an excellent idea to run both. The difference however, is that you will get a lower amount of qualitative data since that counts directly on direct user action. Analytics is a great and necessary tool to be able to see what people are doing on your site so you can better isolate what needs to be done. For example, if you have a video, and consistantly users stop halfway through, it is likely that you should cut the length of the video. Once you have the data, you can use surveys to see if the video was helpful to the user which then gives you more qualitative data. 

Jul 13, 9:35AM EDT0
While having many clients in the same profession with the same needs for a website, how do you make sure to stay objective and that each design is unique to its company?
Jul 8, 4:51PM EDT0

When you work with a client, their brand ideals really define the site more than anything, combined with their target audience.

For example, if I work with a construction company, what is their primary area of expertise? Do they work commercially? With residential clients? For the government? What type of relationship do they have with their community? What types of projects have they worked on and do they have awards?

There are so many defining factors for a business, that just like every business has qualities to keep it unique, the same is true for the websites and branding. 

Jul 9, 5:14PM EDT0
How can you convey actionable insights at every reporting interval?
Jul 8, 10:18AM EDT0

Actionable insights are steps you can take to make changes. The answer to this depends what you are tracking. For example, if you are tracking the days you have the most visitors, you can change your blog to publish on the days of the week your visitors are highest. Then you watch and see if that made a difference. If you track social media channels, you can recommend posting to the channels you have the most visitors. The goals and needs of the business determine the types of actionable insights you have to work with. 

Jul 13, 9:34AM EDT0
When you embed self-hosted video on a web site, what format would you use?
Jul 8, 3:08AM EDT0

In most cases, you never want to self host a video- embedding a video is something different. Essentially you upload it to a third party such as vimeo or youtube, and then copying the snippet of information to the page you are working on, and inserting in code. 

We most often use Youtube- but embedding a video vs hosting it on your site will also help with your search engine optimization. Here is a great article that explains the differences and benefits further.

Jul 9, 3:55PM EDT0
What are must-have website features?
Jul 7, 11:03PM EDT0

Must have website features for what specifically. It depends on your ultimate goal, but the items below help with conversion. Please reach out if you want to discuss a more specific approach

Mobile responsive

Call to actions such as

  • View related content on the site.
  • Read what other customers have to say about the product/service.
  • Get a product description or details.
  • Ask about product delivery, service customization or other feature.
  • Chat now.

Clear content

  • Address the needs of prospects and customers.
  • Answer queries relevant to the industry or topic.
  • Highlight the expertise of the organization’s people.

Appointment Calendar if appropriate

Search Engine Optimization (On Page)

Analytics

A search bar to track searches

Social Media for easy sharing

Jul 9, 4:08PM EDT0
When talking about responsive web design, what are the differences between the Mobile First and the Desktop First approaches?
Jul 7, 6:08PM EDT0

Your analytics will tell you the best approach for your specific website, unless the user experience or product dictates a desktop first approach. 

Desktop First approach means that the site is built for high resolution, large screens. The layout and navigation is critical to lead the user across the site and provide the best user experience. 

The mobile approach streamlines and wraps the inforation in a way that hides a lot of indformation while trying to still offer features that make sense for your users. 

Desktop First:

  • Content rich
  • Feature rich
  • creative design

Mobile First;

  • Streamlined approach
  • minimal content and features
  • simple design

Both should be taken into account when building a site. 

Jul 9, 5:26PM EDT0
Would you agree that lots of websites look the same regarding web design? How do you make yours stand out?
Jul 7, 3:30PM EDT0

Why do you think most people use WordPress?

Jul 6, 5:33PM EDT0

Most people use wordpress because of the options it has, including the ability to edit the site yourself. Wordpress is a content management system with unlimited potential. The problem is the learning curve- many assume it will be easy. I usually recommend having a professional design your site and build it, then teach you how to use it so you get the maximum potential without making many beginners mistakes. 

Jul 7, 1:30PM EDT0
What is the best website platform for a small business? What are the advantages of such a platform over others?
Jul 6, 2:37PM EDT0

This depend on the stage of your business. the best platform is Wordpress, and having a professional devlop the site for you and teach you to use it the right way is instramental in your success. Many new businesses opt for Wix or squarespace, which are basic builders. What they don't understand is that platforms like these ar enot owned by you the way a self hosted site is, so although the monthly is less, you are doing your business a major disadvantage by not having the ability to optimize the site to the maximum of it's ability. 

Jul 7, 1:32PM EDT0