Help More People Find Your New Website With These 3 Strategies (Strategy 1)

How do I get more people to visit my new website?

This is a question I have been asked on a number of occasions recently and is the main concern of most new website owners.

There are a lot of different things which affect the number of people that find your website. These include marketing, content creation, publishing schedule, social media and website construction to name a few.

As a web developer it’s my job to construct websites which are easy to find and share. In the past 6 years of doing this I have been learning as much as I can about the subject so I can build websites that will help my clients projects succeed.

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Bulk Upload and Watermark Your Photographs With WordPress

watermarked image

This article is part 4 of this Creative Transmissions guide to launching a professional photography website. You can find part 1 here: How To Launch A Professional Photography Website With No Free Time.

It has been a little while since the last post in this series which explained how to choose the best photography website theme for your new website. The main reason for this is that the next topic – WordPress plugins is a big one so I have decided to split it over a few posts.

Now that we have a theme in place to handle the look of the website the next step is to installing some plugins which will give WordPress some extra feature which will make updating and managing your photography website a breeze.

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How To Choose The Best Photography Website Theme (Including 6 Tips To Narrow Down Your Search)

This article is part 3 of this Creative Transmissions guide to launching a professional photography website. You can find part 1 here: How To Launch A Professional Photography Website With No Free Time.

A theme determines what your website will look like. Layout, fonts and colours and all other visual aspects of the website come from the theme. Choosing a theme for your website is one of the most fun parts of setting it up.

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The Building Blocks of Your Online Photography Showcase

This article is part 2 of this Creative Transmissions guide to launching a professional photography website. You can find part 1 here: How To Launch A Professional Photography Website With No Free Time.

The Building Blocks of Your Photography Website
A modern website is more than a static page or resource. It is constantly changing, growing and includes systems and connections to external networks to help it catch the eye of its intended audience.

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How To Launch A Professional Photography Website With No Free Time

MacPherson Landscape Photography Home PageIn January I had a lot of fun building the website for MacPherson Landscape Photography and seeing it successfully launch and attract over a thousand visitors in it’s first month.

The project had been delayed all year due to lack of time so Maureen and I took decisive action to build and launch the website for January 1st 2014.

To make this happen we used some specific tactics which I am going to share on the Creative Transmissions blog in the hope that they will inspire more creative individuals to break through the not-enough-time barrier and let their work out into the online world.

This project was different as Maureen is not one of my regular website development clients – but also my girlfriend. As the web developer this certainly made communication and goal setting easier but it also added its own set of requirements for success and of course for me the stakes were high!

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A New Year Of Creativity Is Yours

Strathpeffer Woods

Strathpeffer Woods courtesy of MacPherson Landscape Photograpy

A million roads of exciting possibility stretch out ahead of us. This is always true but some experiences – like sharing your stories at the beginning of a new year with the people you love – makes it all the more real.

To kick of this new year I am helping my talented photographer girlfriend with a 31 day photography challenge. Every day in January Mo will be posting at least one new photograph on MacPherson Landscape Photography each day.

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Is Your Work Important?

Sometimes you really have to take a good look at how you are spending your life and decide if you are doing what is important to you.

I’ve just watched Adam Baker’s amazing documentary “I’m Fine Thanks” which captures the stories of many people who while following the traditional path through life of corporate jobs, mortgages and 2.5 children found that something just didn’t feel right. I highly recommend watching it here.

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Learn from Everything

ZX Spectrum +2A (The A meant it was black..)

ZX Spectrum +2A (The A meant it was black..)

One of the best things about working for myself is how much I learn constantly.

As a web developer I’m already working in a field which is changing rapidly as Internet technologies evolve.

  • New techniques for building websites are invented every day
  • New phones and tablets with ever-better capabilities are released constantly
  • New programming languages and Frameworks are constantly being developed
  • Web browsers are constantly being updated with new features added

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Content – The Core of Your Website

Part 2/5 of A Simple Guide to Your First Website

What is Content?

Content refers to the information and media that your visitors come to your website to see. This could be articles or reference material you have published, music, photography, video, spoken work audio such as a podcast, a live audio or video stream or even online games.

Recent improvements in the technologies that make up the web have made all these different forms of media possible and relatively easy to publish on your website. While this opens up many exciting possibilities it is still important to do some planning before you start uploading.

How to Decide What Content to Publish

If you are thinking of setting up a website you most likely already have a main topic in mind. The most successful websites are usually focused around providing information about a single topic or theme. The more relevant your content is to the main topic the more useful it will be to your visitors.

A good place to start is with the purpose of your website. Are you trying to educate your audience about something with your website? If so each post or piece of content should increase your audiences knowledge of your topic. Trying to sell a product? The information you post should explain how your product will help your target audience.

What Your Audience Wants

Knowing your target audience is also a big consideration when deciding what type of content to post. Are you trying to reach academics and experts that need detailed reports? Perhaps you are reaching out to people with busy lifestyles who would prefer audio content they can listen to in their headphones while travelling or working.

If you can put yourself in your visitors shoes you have a better chance of creating content that they will enjoy, find useful and share.

Organize Your Content

Organizing your website into a number of sub-topics will help your visitors find the information they are looking for more easily as the size of the website grows.

Deciding on the organisation and types of content you will provide on your website is something you should do before you start talking to a designer or start building yourself. The content will determine the structure of the website.

For example a simple website about a particular musician could be organised into the following sub-topics:

  • Biography
  • Songs / Releases
  • Gigs

The website can then be divided up into a number of sections for each sub-topic, which will form the basis of the website’s structure.

Once you have your sub-topics you will then find it helpful to decide what format you would like to prevent your information in. For our musician this could be:

  • Blog Posts announcing upcoming gigs or reporting on previous ones
  • Image galleries of events
  • Streaming or downloadable audio recordings of songs or concerts
  • Streaming or downloadable video of songs or concert footage
  • Audio or video interviews
  • A tutorial on how to play a particular songs
  • A shop for buying merchandise

Knowing the types of media and format of the content will help you or your designer come up with a structure and layout for your web pages.

Do I Really Need To Plan My Content?

If your website is going to be anything more than a personal journal then you should spend some time planning your content. It takes time to write articles, record audio and make videos so why not make sure it’s time well spent. If you want you website to be a useful resource that hits the spot for your target audience you should make sure everything you post is relevant to your core topic.

Planning your content in advance will help you to set up a website that is:

  • Useful to your visitors by providing material relevant to the website’s main topic
  • Well structured and easy for your visitors to navigate and find what they want
  • Constructed in a way that allows you to publish information and media in the most appropriate formats for your visitors

An added bonus is that the more relevant and well organised content your website is, the higher is will appear in search engine results when people search for your topic in Google and Bing.

Put Your Content Plan Into Action

Once you have a plan for the content you are going to publish you will find yourself coming with ideas for new content all the time. At this point its time to spring into action and get creating. It’s never to soon to start.

Don’t wait until you have the perfect design, the perfect name or even a website at all. If you are working with a web designer or developer then the more content you can provide them with have in advance the easier it will be for them to create a website that works for you.

When you launch your website the more relevant content you have the better it will look to your first visitors. With a good plane you can start creating now with the confidence that everything you produce will help you and your target audience achieve their goals.

Give Your Project A Head Start With A Great Domain Name

Part 1/5 of A Simple Guide to Your First Website

Setting up a website can appear to be daunting if you have never tried it before. There are so many options, tools, services and website builders that it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Understanding what you need to get started online boils down to the five essential building blocks which I will be explaining in a short series of articles. The first of these is the your domain name.

What Is A Domain Name?

Your domain name is the name that uniquely identifies your website on the Internet, such as “google.com”, “amazon.co.uk” or “wikepedia.org”. You can also use your domain name as part of your email address to give a consistent and professional impression to your contacts.

A good and meaningful domain name will help your visitors discover your website and will increase your chances of being displayed high up in the search results on Google or any of the other search engines. A good domain name means more visitors.

Registering a domain name is a good place to start with your new project. The process of choosing a name will help you clarify your ideas, the cost is minimal and taking your first definitive action towards making you idea a reality will give you the excitement and momentum to move forwards.

Choosing Your Domain Name

To be effective your domain name should be or contain the title of your website. For example Creative Transmissions has creativetransmissions.com as a domain name so it is obvious to both Google and anybody searching for the business that this is the requested website.

If you are providing a product or service from your website you should think about what your potential customers would be searching for online and try and include some of the words they might used in your domain name.

For example if you are a photographer specialising in landscape photography you should used the words “landscape photography” in your domain name such as: macphersonlandscapephotography.co.uk.

The Suffix

The part of the domain name at the end is called the suffix, for example “.com” “.org” or “.net”.

If you offer any kind of commercial service should choose .com (short for commercial). This is the easiest to remember domain suffix so will help your customers remember you. If you are running a non-profit organisation .org would be appropriate or if you are running a local company you might like to use a national level domain name suffix such as .co.uk.

Domain Name Pricing

New domain names are inexpensive to register as the only cost is administration – you are paying for the name to be reserved for your use. Top level domains such as .com are more expensive and are usually around £5 – £15 where as national level domains are usually cheaper and registration for two years is usually less than a .com name would cost for one year.

Sometimes companies will offer you a free domain name which includes their own business or organisation name, for example “yourbusinessname.blogger.com”. These are not true domain names and are not given a high priority by search engines. At the end of the day they just give more exposure to the website you register with instead of your own. In addition you are not usually able to use these in you email address. For maximum exposure, control and flexibility your domain name should include only the words you choose and nothing else.

Getting Started

Registering your domain name is usually your first step to setting up your first website. The main points to consider are:

  • A domain name should clearly describe what your website is about
  • You will be more likely to get more visitors if your domain name contains the words your visitors are likely to search for in Google.
  • Domain names which include another companies name should be avoided

If you have an idea for a website you can use the Creative Transmissions domain name checker to see if your domain name is available for registration. You can visit the domain names page here to try it out.