Web Development. You can spend a lot or you can spend a little. It all depends on how much you want to learn and grow your business. Most of this stuff is not hard at all, but your willingness to do it right the first time makes all the difference.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 478
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[04:29] Tom's introduction to Web Development [12:57] Using domain names that reflect your website [16:16] Using graphics and a tag line that makes sense [19:30] Avoid the forever scrolling home page [23:47] Learn things yourself so you don't go broke [26:40] Graphics and color schemes
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
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How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Disabilities page – https://imtcva.org/disabilities/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Website Readability – https://screwthecommute.com/312/
Website Usability – https://screwthecommute.com/313/
Ask me a Question – https://screwthecommute.com/477/
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Episode 478 – Web Development
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with Episode four hundred seventy eight to Screw the Commute podcast. Today, we're going to talk about my web development method. Now, it's not the only method. It's something I just made up out of my head over the 20, I don't know, 27 years I've been doing this, but it's worked very well for me and my students. So you might want to pay attention to it. All right. Hope you didn't miss Episode 477. That was another ask me a question. And I talked about, oh, quotation marks in searching for stuff, the dangerous concept of frontrunning. If you don't know what that is, you better listen to that episode. Automation techniques, cross browser testing, the perils of underlining voicemail on your website and title tags, so make sure you catch that episode 477 and any time you want to find a back episode, you just go screwthecommute.com slash the episode number 477. All right. How would you like me to send you big checks? Well, I'd love to. Or PayPal or gold bullion or I don't know, silver, whatever you want. But we pay big commissions for referring my stuff. So if you're interested, email me at Tom@screwthecommute.com and we'll give you the details.
[00:01:49] Now, grab a copy of our automation ebook at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And just one of the tips in this book is Save Me Seven and a half million keystrokes. And we actually estimated it. That was about two years ago. That's right. It's way more than that. Now, I still use some of the tips in this book every single day, and almost all of them I use occasionally. But it just saves me a fortune in time. All right. Let's see. Grab a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app where you can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. And we have videos to teach you how to use it so we don't leave you hanging like a lot of apps do to you got to figure it out. Now we show you step by step. All right, please help me out with this big legacy program, this pilot program I'm doing with persons with disabilities, I'm learning so much like all morning I've been learning how to make a word document accessible to people. This is becoming a big issue, lawsuits being filed. And we've been working on it for a couple of years. Actually, it was started when they started bringing out plug ins to help you be accessible. But most of the top people say, well, that's that doesn't quite cut it.
[00:03:14] So I'm learning all this stuff. I'll probably do an episode about it in the future. But anyway, I need your help. I want to do get these people trained and hired or in their own business. And then I want to roll it out really big to help loads and loads of people. But I need your help for this pilot program, so check it out. IMTCVA.org/disabilities. Click at the top of the page. Of course this is going to be in the show notes. You don't have to memorize all this stuff and you'll see to go find my account and you'll see updates. You'll see this guy just put a video up yesterday. I mean he's a 25 hundred vision. He couldn't even see the video camera that he was shooting the video on. OK, so this guy is very inspirational. We're helping him get through the school. There's a couple others we got going. We'll give you more updates on them in the future. So check it out and anything you can contribute, we really appreciate. And if you're really flush, you could you could sponsor a person yourself. Wow. What a what a great thing that would be for your life and your karma bank account.
[00:04:28] OK, all right. Let's get into the main event. This is my method on developing websites. It kind of starts on a paper tablet and some thought it does not start with hiring a Web designer.
[00:04:44] In fact, most of it, if you do what I teach you, would not involve a Web designer at all. OK, so that's a whole different episode. I'll talk about that a little bit later. The value of you learning how to do some of this stuff and think this stuff out yourself. All right, so let's get to the basics of developing a website, so the first thing I do is get a tablet. I'm talking a paper tablet where you can just write and draw out things and and not necessarily the graphical look of the pages, but a home page. What other sub pages that you think you need then? I think about the navigation. This is all thinking at this point, folks, this isn't hiring anybody, buying web, hosting nothing. This is thinking. So most people don't think anymore what they want to accomplish with these things. So I think about the navigation now, the rules that I set with my students when when we're doing going through this process is that. They have they get five navigation buttons. And one of them is about and one of them is contact, so that leaves three all they have to work with is three and they're like, I can't do that. What are you talking about? I got all this stuff. No, you get five navigation buttons about and contact included in that, you get three.
[00:06:13] And what this does is it forces them to think about the most important things on their website where they want people to go, what are the most profitable things they want to lead people to? What should people see first? And then what should they click to and see next in a some logical fashion? You got to think these things out. Say then I have them survey other websites in their field. And we note down there navigation and what features they have, do they have an email sign up? Do they have popup boxes? And I try to tell them, limit these to the first 10 or 20 results in Google because these people that get high rankings are obviously doing something right to come up that high. And now there's lots of other factors that contribute to that, but this just all goes into the thought and development of the site. I mean, what kind of features on those sites, please? Google. And they probably, if they please Google, please the visitor, too, because Google has made a big deal of that in the past few years, that they don't want you playing to them, trying to beat them. They want you to really please the visitor. So if those people are up high in the rankings, chances are they're also pleasing the visitor. And also another ranking factor when you're found in the search engine is time on site. So the longer a person is on your site, it sends a message to the search engines.
[00:07:57] Oh, it must be a pretty good site. It's what the person wanted and they're staying on longer. All right. So you got all of those things play into it. Of course, inbound links and all kinds of things go into ranking factors. But if a visitor comes there and doesn't bounce, all of a sudden that's called your bounce rate, then they must have liked what was on the site and they stay a little longer. So that reduced the bounce rate somewhat. And like I said, the search engines see all of this, they're kind of like the Wizard of Oz, you know, they they know all see all. So you want to see what everybody else is doing and if. There's a trend that they're following and then you have to decide, do I want to buck the trend or go along with it? And it's not always great, a great idea to buck the trend. Sometimes that's the greatest thing in the world to buck the trend, but sometimes it isn't. You have to make those decisions. But if you want to be found on the search engines and you want people to stay longer, you probably want to keep them with what we call comfortable. They're familiar with this kind of say they're just trying to see how you're different and maybe then the other person. And but you really can't plaster the home page full of text because and and I don't know if this is mean or not, but I just try to tell the truth.
[00:09:27] People are morons, right? In the generations that coming up can hardly read. I mean, did you see that? I think it was in Oregon or somewhere. They the mayor passed this or mayor or governor maybe pass this thing where kids don't have to even read and write to get a high school diploma, are you kidding me? So this means that people are getting dumber and it's happening now, you can fight this for your own kids and I hope you are, but but if they're pulling that kind of crap in the country and get away with it, well, those people are going to grow up and can't really read very well. So you have to think about graphics that tell your story. There's one thing called an infographic that's mostly graphics with a little bit of text, not really heavy on text. So you use headlines and bullet points. But I'll tell you, a heavy text is on its way out or you have to lead people with clicks deeper into your site where they are more committed and they do want to learn more. And that's where you can put the heavy text. And besides that, people get eye strain and headaches because there's so much screen time nowadays. So the more you make them squint and look and read heavy text, you're in trouble.
[00:10:48] And then heavy text fills up the whole screen on cell phones and tablets where people are more than half of the time nowadays. So sometimes it's two screens that fills up. While people look at that, they hold their cell phone up, say, oh my God, that's too hard to read. And then they skip it. That's just the way it is. So you want to tell them all how great you are and all the little things you do for them and all the wonderful, unique processes you've invented. Well, guess what? Nobody's going to read it right off the bat at least. And testimonials are the same way people put these testimonials that are four or five, six paragraphs. And nobody I'm saying nobody is ever going to read it. In fact, don't put a testimonial navigation button up there. Nobody reads them because they know you're just bragging about yourself. The best practice with testimonials is to make a testimonial that reinforces what you just claimed you could do. So somebody else is saying, yeah, that's right. They they helped me with X, Y and Z. You may have the author. Well, maybe not the authority, but you certainly have the ability to pare down testimonials. I mean, the people who gave them to you probably love you. And as long as you didn't change the nature of what they said, you can edit them down for clarity. You can pick out the best things that they said and highlight them.
[00:12:18] And now you really should listen to episode 312 and 313 on readability and usability or usability and readability. There's two different episodes, but they will really help. And this is all long before you ever get your, you know, start working on your website. Actually, you're thinking right now thinking it through. Most people don't think, slap something up, spend a fortune and hear the crickets chirp. Well, I don't want that happening to you. OK, so anyway, that was 312, screwthecommute.com/313. All right, now let's get into your domain name and and then you have to consider I mean, there's some rules on that that were different than they were in the old days. First of all, no dashes in your domain name. Never, ever, ever. Now, I know some of you that have older websites probably have a dash in there somewhere. Well, the longevity of the site, I wouldn't throw it away, put it that way. I would probably adapt it or click to your new site from the old site, but from a new site you never put a dash in anymore. That's just totally that's been out for years and years and years. You can do it, but it's just a dumb idea to do it. And then, you know, I'm a big proponent.
[00:13:44] If you've been listening to me about keywords and keyword research. Well, in the old days, keywords in your domain name were critical for search positioning. Now, people have abused it so much, it doesn't really matter for search positioning, however, it does matter from the people's point of view, the visitors point of view. So let's say you were looking for archery stuff and you saw a site that says Joe's Enterprises or you saw a site and Joe's Enterprises sells all archery stuff. But then you saw another site that said archery supplies are us. Which one are you going to click on? It's common sense. You're going to pick the one that said what you were looking for. So domain, I mean, keywords in your domain do mean a lot. It's just that not from the search engine perspective. It's from the visitors perspective. Now, you can put your name if you want to build yourself up as a brand, I have Antion.com, Tom@Antion.com just forwards to it. And so that's my speaker Web site, but you can't find my name on on the main parts of any of my other domains. I mean, I bought TomAntionworld for me a long time ago or something like that, but I don't push any of that. I push what I'm able to do for you like brutal self-defense. I'm not known or haven't been on the cover of Black Belt magazine, but I'm pretty substantial in the in my abilities.
[00:15:18] So I made a site brutal self-defense. Fatso tennis is another thing. I'm no tennis pro or anything, but I'm a big guy. I'm the largest guy ever to to star in a tennis training video. And and but the tennis in the fatso concept, they're out of shape concept. Is what I'm pushing forward, not the fact that it's Tom Antion nobody knows me in the tennis world, they probably don't want to. And if you do do do your name, here's what you got to think about what they call exit strategies. If you ever want to sell your business, then. There's there's a lot of controversy about this, if you use your name. Then people that want to buy the business might think, oh, hey, if you leave, all the business will go with you. So a lot of people don't use their name as the name of the business so that they can sell it in the future. So you got to figure all that out. All right. Let's talk about graphics. Now, I see this all the time to somebody I go to critique a website and there's some gigantic picture of an open field with one tree sitting out in the middle. And the site could be about knitting, I don't I don't know. Anyway, I asked the website owner, what is this field and tree? What what's why is that there? Oh, and then they go into this long spiel about how well, what's individuality.
[00:16:53] And that one tree standing out there is a lightning or a beacon of hope. All this crap, it's only in their mind it never gets past their ears, you know, it's in their head. So, no, you got to make graphics that make sense for what you're doing. Don't put just something. And you got this goofy idea. I mean, it might be a brilliant idea. It's just that nobody on Earth is going to know about it just by visiting your website and seeing some stupid picture. OK, so think it out of what graphics match what you're talking about now. And the other thing is the tagline, you should think up a tag line so that when people hit your site, they instantly know, should I be here or should I not be here? And if they should not be here, you might as well let them go. Just let them bounce. That's why bounce rates aren't as critical as you might think when you see a high bounce rate of 80 percent or 85 or 90 percent. I don't really care about that. The search engines care a little bit, but it's not that big of a rating factor because I want that whatever percentage is left. I want them to instantly recognize they're at the right place and then buy stuff. The worst thing in the world is a good prospect, hit your site and they can't quite tell if you have what they're looking for and they say, I'm going to go find something easier.
[00:18:19] No, that's the kiss of death. So don't worry about bounce rates, worry about making sure people know should they be here or not. An example on the tennis site Fatso Tennis, the site for overweight and out of shape people who love tennis. All right. So if you're a tennis snob with a five point zero rating and you beat everybody and you're in the state, well, you don't want to be here. The only reason you'd be here is to make fun of me because you're a tennis snob or you want to send the DVD and send it to one of your competitors to mess with them or, you know, or as a gag gift. But most of the time, those tennis snobs want nothing to do with me that won the big tennis warehouse. Wouldn't create wouldn't carry my beautifully created to DVD set. They wouldn't. They're tennis snobs, you know, I get it. But we sell them directly to people that say, oh, yeah, I'm overweight, out of shape and I love tennis. This guy is going to give me tips to beat the little whippersnapper at the club that keeps beating me. So that's called a tag line. Think up something that makes sense so that the person you're trying to attract instantly knows they're at the right place.
[00:19:34] All right, your home page, I'm not really in favor of these forever scrolling home pages. Yeah, they look cool, but here's the problem. And again, I'm not a big fan of SEO, you've seen me on other episodes talk about the basics of SEO, which I just did recently, because I don't want you to shoot yourself in the foot, but part of your ranking. With the search engines. Is that your site is substantial, in fact, in other words, a lot of pages now, I'm not talking about a lot of gratuitous pages with nothing on them like we used to do way back 20 years ago. That was a technique we used to beat the search engines, but that's been gone for 20, you know, 15 years at least. So when you make a long home page that I got to scroll 10 minutes to look at all the stuff that could have been 20 pages on your site to make it look more substantial. And another factor you got to worry about is overwhelming. The visitor say with all this text, all these graphics, just smacking them in the face forever and ever and ever, they never have to interact with it. They just you know, you want them to be able to click and go deeper. That's more of a commitment on their side that they really care and want to see what you're talking about. And also it lets them pick what they want to see.
[00:20:59] You might have a lot of different things you do well. It lets them pick what they want to do rather than scroll for, you know, just get overwhelmed. Now, something you can use and once you get the site up, you're going to make adjustments to it. Yes, and what you can do is, is start somewhere where you've really thought this out. And then there's programs. There used to be one called Click Tales. And it would show you all the links on your page and what percentage of people clicked on them. And it would also give you a heat map to show you where people spent the time on your page. Now there's lots of these programs out there now. Mostly the good ones are paid now. Click Tales was free, but I think it's gone or it's paid now. So this really tells you so that you can make adjustments in your site later. And I was telling you about the navigation. Yeah, some you know, a lot of my students end up with more than five, but the exercise I put them through forced them to really think and that's my was my goal, not just to limit them to five. And then you can change him if you find out that people aren't responding, if you use, like click something like click tails and you see nobody's clicking on a certain navigation link. Well, they don't want that.
[00:22:22] So change the name of the link to something else or, you know, put a different topic up there. And one thing I forgot to mention, I wanted to mention just a little terminology thing, because I get people saying stuff and I'm trying to think, what are you talking about? The terminology is incorrect. So just so you know, your basic dotcom or whatever is called a TLD top level domain and then some pages in your site. That's your URL, I think it stands for Uniform Resource Locator, that's like your top level domain slash and then the path to go to your actual page in your site. So, again, you want to think all these things out, the navigation, where's it going to click to? You got to think logically. What are the things that they should see first about me and second and third. But please, I'm begging you, don't bury him in deep text right off the bat. We call this glance marketing. This is a term that came around in the last couple of years so that people really know quickly what's going on. And it kind of sucks them in because it was easy and it was interesting. And then they clicked deeper. And then you can get more detailed about what you you have to offer and let them click their way through it, though, to it, because that is their commitment. That's their engagement with the site.
[00:23:51] And then these changes I'm talking about, you know, I have quite a disdain for people that just will not get their fingers dirty and learn how to do this themselves. I mean, you can literally get a kid from kindergarten and wake him up from his nap and and get him to help you on this stuff. Now, it's that easy, but people have been sucked in by these idiots on stage that just say, well, you should delegate everything, only do what you love. And my standard answer to that is, if what you're good at and what you love is making you broke, maybe you should rethink that idea. How about that? Yeah, learn how to do stuff, because as you develop this website, it's not going to be perfect right off the bat. We're taking an educated guess to start with. That's what we're doing. Most people just slop it up there. They don't even do the educated guess route. So we're taking an educated guess, going to get it up there in front of real people and then we're going to evaluate it and make changes. The problem is these changes take forever and cost a fortune. If you're hiring somebody else to do it, unless they're in your office under your you know, you're already paying them and they're good at this and they can make the change instantly know you're just going to blow a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of opportunities and opportunities.
[00:25:11] So I had back when I did a lot of radio instead of podcast interviews, you know, they'd have a guest at the last minute. And maybe not last minute, but an hour, so cancel on and so they needed to fill the time slot. So I was known as a really good interview. So they call me up all the time. You know, some congressmen blew him off and then they call me to fill in, so. I would throw up a Web page instantly with their call letters at the top and an opt in form and a freebie, and then I get on the radio interview and then. Give away the freebie and they go to my website, which you want to have a very easy to say you are well, you know, usually it was the call letters of the nation. And I can't tell you how many, you know, I got loads and loads of subscribers. I can't tell you how many thousands of them came from that method, being able to put up a Web page and then using publicity to drive people to the page, give them a freebie. And now some of them been on the list for 15 years. OK, so. And buying and stuff the whole time. So, yes, but that opportunity would have been missed had I had to call a web designer, wait for a couple of days and they've been the opposite.
[00:26:29] It was just it would just be blown. They know you lose opportunity cause they call. So basically the idea is write things out on a tablet and all of these things will cost you nothing to think through. And one more. I want to figure out something I want to tell you about graphics. I get these branding people to get people so worked up about their color schemes and this, that and the other, and they want their website to match their 5000 dollar brochure kit that they just made. Well, you could go down the best bipolar, their website up on five different computers, and it'll look different on every one of them. No, you know, that's just a waste of time and money. See, on the printed stuff, you have PMS colors and that's not you know, that's an ink thing that has nothing to do with with anybody's monthly cycle. But PMS colors are going to look exact, but they do not translate to Web screens and all the different devices people are looking on and Mac and PC and, you know, the operating systems, Linux and all the different browsers. Safaa so you are totally wasting your money doing that. Now, I'm not against color schemes because and you should look up in your thinking process. If you don't have a color brand already, then you should. Well, one thing you should do is find the closest what they call web safe color.
[00:28:09] Now, I'm not sure how current that is with all the new HTML5 coming out and all the new stuff, but it's it's definitely safe that you you have a color that's going to render correctly on even older browsers. So think about that. But don't try to make it so exactly that. You pull your hair out and try to spend a fortune with people making the exact. And it ain't ever going to be exact no matter what they tell you. OK, so don't don't spend any money on that. You're just wasting your time. And I'm perfectly happy. If your color scheme matches your brochures and your brand, that's fine. Just don't make it look like a circus tent with all kinds of crazy colors. Unless that's your shtick, you know, that's fine. But but think it out, but don't get whacked out over it because it ain't going to look the same on all kinds of different computers. But I still do recommend you look up the meaning of colors because a lot of colors have a psychological meaning to them. And there's plenty of information on there. If you're starting with no brand colors or maybe you find your brand colors are off-putting to your market, so maybe you change it, say so. But all of this is thought out before you ever put the website up or buy the social media or do anything. By but I mean grab the the names of your social media accounts, think it out, think, think, think, think, think.
[00:29:41] And while you're thinking, think about how great it would feel to help out my people, my persons with disabilities. See how one that smooth the way I segway there. Anyway, I really want your help and you're going to feel really great about it. When you see the progress these people are making, you know, they're going to be able to legitimately learn from home, legitimately be hired or start their own business from home. That's my goal. Very simple. But boy, do they need it. And I'm lucky that I learn a lot about accessibility. And, you know, we have a totally blind person that can only see a little bit of light. We have a blind person that's twenty five hundred and got juvenile macular degeneration. We have another lady that's really got a lot of physical problems. And we're we have two more folks still coming. So give it a shot there at IMTCVA.org/disabilities. That's my school website. When you go there, click on the Go Fund Me campaign. Anything you contribute is great. Please leave a comment, share it like crazy and you'll really be doing good to help change these people's lives. All right, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Go out there and develop that web on a tablet and you'll be way further ahead and spend way less money. All right. We'll catch you on the next episode. See you later.
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