Business Process Automation for Website Creation

Business_Process_RobotBuilding new websites for your business, whether online only or offline/online, can be a time-consuming, and for some, a frightening task. But today, there are quite a few tools to help you automate the process to give you more time for your building your business strategy, building your relationships, building content that your readers – and search engines – are looking for… and being with your family.

Content Management Systems

Content management systems (CMS) allow you to quickly and very easily set up websites without creating them from scratch (or paying quite a bit of money to have it done for you). You don’t need an in depth knowledge of HTML (though I’ve found that understanding the basics is very helpful). When you use a CMS, once the structure is in place from installing the CMS, from that point on, you simply plug in your content that customers and readers are looking for, and, et voilà… you have a growing web site.

WordPress_LogoProbably the most frequently used Content Management System is WordPress (on which this site is built). Most web hosts, like HostGator that I use, have simple one click installs of WordPress on your site, and once you click, Install, in a few seconds, you have a site up and running, “on the web.” From that point on, content is king – it’s what your visitors will be looking for, and will keep them coming back. And if content is king, quality is queen. Your visitors are looking for content that is relevant (a term you should keep top of mind as you create or pay to have content created) to their information needs. And, as search engines twist and turn the algorithms they use to display results to search queries, the one constant that has held true through all their iterations is… quality. Quality always yields the best and most consistent search results.

Most people, rightly, are concerned about the design of their site. One of the many advantages of WordPress is all of the free and very inexpensive “helpers” that make a WordPress site good to look at and easy to find information, for both search engines, and your readers.

There are several parts of a WordPress site that you will quickly become familiar with: themes, posts, pages, categories, tags, plugins, and widgets. Let’s use this site to show you very simply what these terms mean:

  • Themes – are what the site looks like, the header at the top of the page, how many columns (in this case two) that appear, the fonts that are used, how links are displayed and how they act when you roll over them… and all the other little “design things” that will make your site attractive and convenient for your visitor. And themes can be changed as often as you change socks… or can be just left alone for the life of your site. On this site, I use the Socrates Theme as it gives me a lot of places to add valuable links for you and all I do is put the information in there.
  • Posts – are the content that makes up the day to day information that I share with you, my readers. This entry is a post. And every time I add a post, it, “pushes down” the posts before it so the most current information is always at the top of the page. The nature of posts is constantly changing information, that’s why they are always on top.
  • Pages – are “static” information that changes less frequently, but you always want available to your site visitors. Generally, pages are used for: About Us, Resources Pages, Privacy Policies, etc. As I said, information that is more static but that you want easily accessible all the time. You can see the links to the pages right under the header image above.
  • Categories – are how I “organize” the information I am sharing. Each post is in an established category: for instance, this post is categorized in, “automate your business processes.” If you select a category (from the dropdown over on the right hand side), the page will display ALL the posts I have created in that category. The general practice is to only use one category per post – though you can actually select more.
  • Tags – are what I call, “Inside the Post” categories. Additional selectors at a more detailed level to help readers – and search engines – find specific information about which I, and my guest posters, have written. When readers find a post that interests them, using the Tag Selector, also over on the right hand side, they can find all the articles that incorporate that tag to dig deeper into the information. Unlike Categories where you generally use only one per post, each post can, and usually does, have several tags.
  • Plugins – are small programs that automate various website tasks – almost likes the “apps” that you use on your smartphone. These “little helpers” can: remove spam comments, manage blog comments, automatically tag posts, add social media and social bookmarking options, automatically back up your site (for instance I use the plugin, Back Up Buddy from iThemes to automatically back up this site) and so on. For the sites you create, you can have a set of chosen plugins that you automatically add to each. You’ll want to choose the plugins you use carefully. Make sure you get them from a reliable source (like WordPress) so they don’t contain viruses that will harm your web site and your site’s reputation. Also, having too many plugins active on your site will slow down loading time… for which search engines will penalize you (meaning they show your listing lower down in search results).
  • Widgets – are the things over in the right hand column (on this site – different themes, or theme variations, will let you put them in different places) that provide access to additional information and resources. Here on this site, I have: an RSS feed subscription link, a subscribe to our newsletter link, five “ads” for services that I use and recommend, a dropdown selector for access to prior months posts, a dropdown selector for choosing from categories (see above), a Related RSS feed from outside sites, and several more ads. Each of these is a widget placed in the column, and the necessary information added into the widget. They are easy to reposition, add, edit, or delete.

That’s it. Keep those basic concepts in mind, and you can comfortably navigate your way around keeping a WordPress web site informative for your readers and attractive to search engines.

A Business Process You Shouldn’t Automate: Content Creation

There is one business process for your web site that you really don’t want to automate… Content!

Automated content is usually duplicate content (content that has been already published elsewhere, for instance in an article directory), and won’t help your site’s search engine positioning. If it has been published elsewhere, the search engines have most likely already indexed it and won’t index it again for your site – you get no benefit.

One shortcut some site owners use to create content is article spinning. This means taking an already published article and slightly rearranging its wording so that it’s, supposedly, ‘unique.’ There are software programs to do this, but the problem with this method is that it often produces articles that are almost unreadable with awkward wordings that no person interested in quality content would create. Your readers, and usually search engines, will know that the content has been “spun” so you are really better off creating original content based on your knowledge and your experience.

Business Process Automation – Content Curation for Your Site

Another quick method for creating content for your site is called content curation. You pull together content from various sources and present it to your readers, adding your own opinion, ideas or information. Adding your comments to the curated content is important to tailor the content to your audience and add value to it.

Here is an example of content Curation: David Meerman Scott has a good blog post about content Curation here. I recommend you read it as it is relevant to this post, and provides you with additional information. I am not copying David’s post, I am not rewriting it, I am recommending it based on my own research.

There are some software programs that can help you find relevant content for your site based on keywords and other indicators you select. But you really don’t want to run these programs on autopilot. Don’t let some anonymous machine select and post content without your review and opinion. Without that, you might as well just give up your hard earned traffic – and your reputation – to the other guy. Remember, everything that appears on your web site represents YOU. If you recommend someone else’s content, always give your reason for the recommendation and your commentary. This also lets you review, and NOT publish content that doesn’t fit your business. You need to act as editor, and only publish what serves the interest of YOUR readers and YOUR business – not someone else’s. Make sure that your content is relevant to your readers – or don’t publish it!

Learning Building WordPress Web Sites the Easy Way

As I mentioned earlier, when it comes to website creation, automation using WordPress is the easiest and fastest way. And there are two great people I know who run great courses teaching how to quickly get websites up and running… and productive. Angela Wills and Christina Hills (rhyming last names is pure coincidence… Angela is in Canada, and Christina is in Southern California.) But location doesn’t matter because their courses run on the internet, so you can be anywhere to learn, and I recommend both of them.

So business process automation will easily help you get your web site built and keep it productive – while you spend more time with your family.

Great WordPress Themes

DanSig-02




One Response to “Business Process Automation for Website Creation”

  1. diving bali says:

    I really like it when folks get together and share
    views. Great blog, continue the good work!

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