23/07/2014 | 44:45
009 Bye Bye Beatrice!
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In this week's episode of the Squarespace Guru Show, we'll cover some news about the Newport Folk Festival, the death of 6 Squarespace templates, the developer meetup and then tackle a great listener question about Squarespace SEO tweaks...and so much more! Check it out! LINKS TO STUFF TALKED ABOUTNewport Folk Festival On The Boat Promo VideoBest artist video intro ever! AUDIO TRANSCRIPTWelcome to the Squarespace Guru show, your weekly small business guide to building an online presence using Squarespace, the best do-it-yourself website builder. My name is Greg Sargent, and I am a Squarespace consumer platform guru and digital marketing coach...and I’m your host. My goal with this show is to talk about how to build an online presence with the tools Squarespace has created. While the platform is relatively easy to work with, It’s not always immediate obvious how to accomplish certain tasks or how to fully take advantage of the platform from a marketing perspective...so I fill you in on these things. I’ll also cover Squarespace news from the past week...and keep you on the up and up in the internet marketing world...because who really has time to watch that scene and also carry on a normal life… So just go ahead and focus on your business...and check out this show once a week to get caught up on how to use your Squarespace website to grow your influence on the web. If you have a question about Squarespace and would like for me to answer your question on the show, just call this special number I’ve set up and leave me a message, and I’ll do my best to give you an answer on the show! The number is 615-547-8858SPONSOR MESSAGEThis week’s episode is made possible by: Get With It Digital. Squarespace is a great do it yourself web publishing platform, but sometimes you may need a little help with things, and for those times, be sure to get in touch with Get With It Digital. Web design, email marketing, social media marketing, internet advertising, content marketing and more. Get with it digital can either meet with you one-on-one and create a customized digital marketing strategy or will maintain and manage your digital marketing efforts on your behalf. With online presence packages starting at around 200 dollars a month, Get With It Digital will bring your business out of the analog world and into the ever-connected digital world. Mention the Squarespace guru show and get a free search engine optimization report for your business. Go to get with it digital dot com to get started.SQUARESPACE NEWSSo this past week Squarespace sponsored the Newport Folk Festival, and there were plenty of Instagram photos flowing of hipsters rocking out to banjos and tambourines. I have to say, my top favorite songs are not folk songs...so initially I wasn’t all that enthused about the Newport Folk Festival...and I thought to myself people are paying to go to this? Theyre all camping out and stuff. Also...I’ve never understood the whole skinny jean craze...so everything about the festival was bugging me...it wasn’t until yesterday that I was fine….I’ll just check out what the festival was all about...I mean I do have this Squarespace blog...so..yeah. The curiosity was getting the better of me I guess. so I went to the squarespace blog and saw that they had partnered up with The Wild Honey Pie team to shoot some video of the festival, and since I’m really wanting to get into videography I thought well I’ll check out some of these videos. So I went to the “On the boat” series of videos...which by the way has some wonky web design concepts...it kinda gave me a headache looking at it… but to my overwhelming amazement, most of the videos and songs that I watched were actually really good. My idea of folk songs was the super hillbilly grand ole opry sounding stuff...but this music was actually really good. I’ve got two links in the show notes to a couple videos you should definitely check out. The artist named shakey graves was featured in one video...just awesome stuff. So glad I put aside my preconception that folk music sucked...I’ve been listening to Great Good Fine Ok all day today. Anyway I’ve got some links in the show notes if you want to check that out.Some big Squarespace news this week, 6 templates have been retired, bringing the total number of available templates from 26 to 20, so new Squarespace customers looking at the templates page will no longer see the Five, Takk, Devlin, Beatrice, Boutique and Hudson templates. Now this isn't something new, Squarespace does this from time to time; in fact over the past year or so, there’s been as much as 15 templates get the axe. Now while these retired templates don’t have a place on the templates page, the demo pages still exist, and you can click the button in the bottom right corner to use the template for a new site, but you’ll no longer be able to switch to these templates from the template settings within the Squarespace manager. Oh, by the way to get to the template demo page, you just type into your browser window the name of the template then dash demo dot squarespace dot com. So to see the five demo site, just type in five dash demo dot squarespace dot com.Pretty cool, I know some people are going to be upset...it seems that the Five template serves as the starting point for most of the hard core web developers using the Squarespace developer platform, but I’ve never liked any of those templates. So glad Beatrice is finally gone, man I would just cringe whenever clients would ask to switch over to that template. I’m a little surprised that Atelier is still around though. Man that template...I don’t have words for how lame and boring that template is. All the other templates though are awesome! I love the recent updates to the Peak template...of course love the new Pacific template. Squarespace is for sure on the right track...the last few templates are just awesome. Pacific, bedford, forte, galapagos...good stuff. I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next.Tonight is the Squarespace developers meetup in New york city, which currently has 100 people rsvp’d and there’s about 20 spots left, so if you are in the NYC area, that would be a great meetup to check out. Squarespace employees will be giving a demo of the newish developer platform as well as a Q & A session, which i’m interested to see what flows from that.Also at this meetup, a fellow non-Squarespace employee platform evangelist Jason Barone will be speaking too. I’m excited to hear what he has to say. Jason has a Squarespace training website launching this summer called Squarefront...so if you are an experienced Squarespace enthusiast and want to sharpen your skills on the Developer platform, his tutorials, modules and plugins appear to be pretty awesome. Some people have asked me if Jason’s offering is competition to my Mastering Squarespace video series, but it’s not. We’re focusing on two completely different audiences. My audience for the Mastering Squarespace video series is the non-web developer person that is a DIY’er but not a professional web designer or developer; Jason’s offering is though. So while I have great nuggets for both non-web devs and web devs alike, Jasons content will likely be foreign to my audience. So not sure why I felt the need to explain myself there...but I’m digging what Jason is doing, and I don’t want people to feel like they have to choose Jasons content or my content. We both have awesome stuff for anyone looking to rock their online presence. Also looking forward to the Content Structure and Style podcast that Jason and other Squarespace developers will be putting on. Hopefully they start that back up soon. I know they've been talking about it, but I haven't seen any new episodes hit just yet.Anyway back to the developer meetup tonight...any announcements or awesome nuggets shared tonight I will definitely share with you and keep you up to speed!LISTENER QUESTIONS & ANSWERSAlright it’s time for some questions and answers! If you have a question about Squarespace, and would like for me to answer your question on the show, just give me a call to this special number I’ve setup just record your messages. That number is 615-547-8858 and leave me a message with your question, and I'll play your question on the show, and do my best to give an answer.Today’s question comes from Patrick just outside of Chicago illinois, let’s take a listen...Thanks so much for your question Patrick. Great question, and I think it’s one that a ton of people have. And there’s all sorts of ideas floating around about how to improve your site rankings in search engines. And if you ask 5 people the same question about SEO you’ll get 5 different answers. And it’s not because people don't know what they're talking about, it’s because the topic of SEO is an incredibly complex topic with variables that change from time to time and from condition to condition. So it’s not a constant thing that people can take their time to understand, much less explain.So the question that Patrick asked, is there anything I can do to my squarespace website to tweak it and get a better SEO response. And my answer is yes, absolutely there is. Before I get into some tips and ideas on that, I want to first debunk an SEO myth that I’ve detected in your question Patrick… Theres this idea that SEO is like an equalizer to a piece of audio equipment, that you can simply adjust the audio frequency settings here and there to get this sweet spot of perfect sound. Maybe raise the bass a little, then the highs...then ah there it is! perfect audio quality! This isn’t the case with SEO. At one time a few years ago, that was the case, but search engines have changed dramatically in the past few years..even the past few months in the case of Google with the hummingbird update, panda update...and even just a few weeks ago with the updates to local searches.So I want you to get away from the concept of making a few tweaks here and there to obtain the SEO promised land. Because in the big picture, that’s just never going to happen. Squarespace has already taken care of all the tweaks that could possibly be done. As long as you have filled out the general settings within Squarespace and give each page you create a title and a description, you’re set on the tweaks part. But that’s not going to get you very far with the Search engine gods.Instead of this equalizer concept of SEO I want you change your paradigm and think of SEO as a deck of cards. If you are trying to pull out the ace of spades from a deck of cards..you’ve got a 1 in 52 shot at pulling it out right? Since there’s 52 cards in a deck and only 1 ace of spades. but if you replaced a card with another ace of spades, now you've increased your odds! And if you continued to stack the deck with multiple ace of spades, your chances of pulling out an ace of spades get’s higher and higher. Now, this isn’t a perfect example of how search engines work, but it better for you to think of optimizing a website for search engines this way, than tweaking things here and there.Because a search engine has bots that crawl the web all day long every single day. Your website likely gets crawled by Google, a hundred or more times a day...and then yahoo crawls it dozens of times a day...and bing...and any other company that have these crawlers access your site, scan the site and build up an index or a memory of the content thats on your site. And over time, search engines will learn what your site is about, and the type of stuff that your site talks about. Each page of your site, even, is categorized and grouped with other pages on the web with similar content. And when someone conducts a search that matches the content on your page, your site will be offered as a search result, along with all the other pages on the web that match. Now the order of how the sites are offered is a bit more complicated, but the concept of the deck of cards is applicable here. The more times a bot comes across a page on your website that talks about a certain subject, the more you raise your odds of getting a page in the stack of search results. I hope that makes sense. So the strategy with your Squarespace website would be to create lots of pages that focus on a specific topic. Whether those pages are blog posts or regular pages it doesn’t matter too much...but you can in essence stack the deck with as many ace of spades as you have time to create. Each page is an ace of spades. Just makes sure each page or blog post focuses on one topic, has at least 3-500 words on the page, has high quality information...it can’t just be garbled mumbo jumbo. Search engines are too smart for that move.So what I do is identify a search phrase or keyword that I know my audience will be searching for, and create pages that use that phrase and focus on that topic. And I place these pages in a folder in the Not Linked section of the content manager within Squarespace. I name the folder something like landing pages or something like that.Ok, so the search engine holy grail is to get one of these landing pages to rank on the 1st page of google, even in the top three results right? Well, there’s too many factors to consider for a podcast. We could a week or more on all these factors. Google considers about 200 variables when ranking sites for a search result. And it’s pointless to try and identify all 200 factors and consider them when building your website. The best thing you can do is build your website with high quality pages, lots of high quality landing pages, and drive traffic to those pages from social media efforts, sharing links in forums, getting clicks and traffic from email newsletters, and so on.These efforts over time will tell search engines that your site is valuable, and by default you will have quote unquote optimized your site through creating all these pages, and generating traffic to them.Ok, so to wrap up, let me throw out some considerations for you. The first thing to consider is your market competition. How competitive is the space you are trying to build a presence in? A highly competitive market will be extremely difficult to get your site ranking for, and you would need to be very aggressive with your content publishing strategy and social media strategy. A less competitive market will be much easier to break into and get your pages ranking high.If you follow the steps we’ve talked about in the last 4 shows, in a highly competitive market you should expect to see results in 6 months or more. In a slightly competitive market, you should expect to see results in around 3 months. In a market for little to no competition, you could get results in a few days. It’s all about the competitive landscape you find yourself in.So that was a long answer to your question Patrick, I hope that helps. I think a lot of you will get some value out of that question. That very well may be the best rundown of Search Engine optimization I’ve ever given! For free! Wow awesome stuff!Ok, do you have a question about Squarespace that you would like me to answer here on the show? Leave me a message on this special answering system, and I’ll very well could feature your question on the show. Call 615-547-8858 to submit your question.RESOURCE SPOTLIGHTAlright, it’s time for this week’s resource spotlight, where I talk about a resource I use in my business that I love so much that I want to tell you about it.This week’s resource spotlight is Shipstation. ShipStation is the leading web-based shipping software that is built to help online retailers organize and process their orders, while fulfilling and shipping them quickly and easily. With automatic order importing from over 40 shopping carts and marketplaces, like eBay, Amazon, Shopify, Magento, Squarespace, Etsy and more, with automation features like custom rules, product profiles, and more, ShipStation helps online retailers ship out their orders from wherever they sell, however they ship. And the killer thing is it’s integrated seamlessly with Squarespace. So if you are selling your stuff on several different platforms, you don’t have to login to each platform and use all these different interfaces to print out shipping labels and mark things as shipped, and attach tracking numbers in all these different windows..you just do it from one app shipstation. I’ve got tons of Shipstation how-to videos on the Squarespace guru youtube channel, check it out. I cover a lot of the setup process which trips a lot of people up, and how to set up your label printer and all sorts of fun stuff. With plans starting at just $25 bucks a month you can get setup and begin shipping your products out in a jiffy! To get started go to squarespace guru dot com slash apps and scroll down until you see the shipstation section, and click the get started button to get a 30 day trial for free. Give it a shot, i love it! I use it to ship out my Mastering Squarespace video series dvd’s, and I couldn’t be happier.Just a reminder you can catch new episodes of the Squarespace Guru show every Wednesday by either subscribing through iTunes, subscribing through your podcast app of choice on your phone or tablet, or by listening right on my website squarespace guru dot com slash podcast.Just to recap in case this is the first episode of my show that you’ve listened to. The last 4 episodes have been building on each other, so after you finish this one you might want to go back and listen to show numbers 5,6,7 and 8, and if you do that, this episode will be a lot more valuable. But to recap quickly, show number 5 talked about getting setup and preparing for the website traffic that you’ll be getting in the future. Show number 6 talked about creating content that your audience will respond to...which will result in increased site traffic. Show number 7 talked about how to get out there and attract website visitors to consume the content you’ve created. Show number 8 covered the concept of all businesses are content publishers. So Patrick if you haven’t already listened to show number 8, that will further dive into my answer on SEO and talks about that in greater detail.MAIN SEGMENTSo for the last segment of the show today, I want to bring some closure to what we’ve been talking about the last few shows. By now I hope you understand the concept of creating content, sharing the content, and generating traffic, and how these things build an online presence. This process is what’s called content marketing. Rather than interrupting someone with an annoying ad, “hey buy this or hey 75% off hurry in before this deal is gone”...instead offer something of value for free, and build up an online reputation. So to zoom way out and look at your website from a birdseye view, your pages in the Main Navigation section of Squarespace should be the pages that tell a story about your business. The home page should tell a story, the About page should build on that story, the Services page should also tap into that story, the Blog or News page should continue to build the story and the Contact page should tap off the story with a “I want to connect with you” vibe. Then all the pages in the Not Linked section of Squarespace should be all the various landing pages that you create that are laser targeted to just one small aspect of an overall larger story.If you can figure out how to tell a story about your business, and build on that story with each page in your website...your ability to convert those website visitors to paying customers will increase dramatically. The problem with most websites is they just suck. There’s no story, there’s no personal connection, there’s no personality...it’s just hum drum boring. Tell a story, give people a reason to want to connect with you.You might think that your business is boring….or that you are boring. But let me tell you, I am the most boring person there is, and if I can make it work...than you can too. You might be asking yourself in your head, what did you make work Greg? Well my freelance web design services has been boring for years...and I would get clients and was able to support my family. But only because I was out there spending tons of time and effort doing sales stuff. Going from business to business, pounding the pavement trying to drum up business. But then one day I discovered this concept of telling a story, and building a business around that story. Using all the things I’ve learned in the web design world, with the concepts of internet marketing...and now I don’t spend any time money or effort drumming up business. I get leads daily, and interested people daily wanting to hire me. So many in fact that I don’t physically have the ability to respond to everyone...and my existing clients are getting upset that I’m not as easily available as I was before. So now I have a different challenge...it’s a good challenge...but a very different challenge. Now I’m learning how to manage a business...which is not my strong point. I’m not saying these things to brag or promote my business, I’m just giving you an example and saying if you do these things and consider the concepts I’ve shared with you, you will be able to grow your business. And hopefully you're a better business person than I am. I’ve got to hire to help...I guess I need to find a business administration podcast to listen to don’t I? CONCLUSIONAllright so that wraps up the mega concept that took 5 episodes to cover! Internet marketing 101! I wanted to cover this stuff first so I could always direct people back and say listen to those 5 episodes to establish a foundation for being a great owner of websites. I love analogies, because they put things into perspective...and I’ve got another analogy for you. If a website was a vehicle, it wouldn’t be a car. Because most people can get in a car and pretty much figure things out, and drive down the road successfully. A website is more like a large yacht. While the average joe could hop in a yacht and attempt to navigate it down the river...you could get into a sticky situation really fast. It takes some training and understanding of concepts before you can really drive a yacht with skill. A website is very similar, and that’s what this podcast is all about. Once you understand what it takes to be the owner of a website, and how to really use the website to grow your business, the sky is the limit and you can truly live out your dreams if you just understand a few concepts. And we’ve now covered the basics. So from here on out, we’ll be digging into smaller concepts, each focusing on one thing you can do to improve this or that with your Squarespace website.Next week we’ll be talking about niche websites, and how Squarespace makes all that incredibly easy. You may not think that a niche website applies to you and your business, but I’m here to tell you it does. Every business needs to understand niche websites...and every business needs a good two or three niche sites.If you would take a minute and go to itunes and give this show a rating or review I would really appreciate it. I know you probably hear people ask that, and you likely just ignore it, but if you have found my content I’ve given you today helped you in some way, take 30 seconds and tell me about it on iTunes. Those reviews are more valuable to me than a big pile of cash. I’m serious! Reviews tells itunes that people are listening to this podcast...and so iTunes will be more likely to offer this show as a result when people are looking for a Squarespace podcast.Alright that wraps up this show, thanks so much for listening. Do you have suggestions for show content or want to ask a question about Squarespace and have me answer your question on the show? If you're on twitter, send me a tweet to @squarespaceguru or leave me a message at 615-547-8858.Alright! That’s it, I’ll see you next week to talk about niche sites! Did you find this article helpful? Be awesome and help me reach other Squarespace customers in your network! Click one of the social icons below to share this article! :) About The AuthorI'm Greg, and I have a web tech consulting business in Frisco, TX. Since discovering Squarespace in 2012 I talk about the platform every chance I get, and as a result have been given the nickname Squarespace Guru. At first I didn't embrace the nickname since I felt like only Squarespace employees should be given that title...but then I just gave in! I love to teach and help others learn the ways of Squarespace!I am available for hire, but I also have lots of paid and free digital products for you to check out:My Squarespace Services | My Squarespace Video Training | My Squarespace Live Training | My Squarespace Podcast
23/07/2014 | 44:45
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