Websites, security focus of January chamber luncheon

CEWebsites graphic designer Eppie Adams speaks about websites and security during this month’s Evanston Chamber of Commerce luncheon. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

EVANSTON — Disability:IN Uinta County was recognized as the Business of the Month at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Jan. 9. Disability:IN was recognized for 21 years of service in helping those with a disability to achieve inclusion in all areas of life. Accepting the award from Chamber Director Tammy Halliday was Disability:IN Director Wanda Rogers and NextGen Mentoring Coordinator Bethany Shidler.

Keynote speaker for the day was Eppie Adams of CEWebsites. Graphic designer Adams and her husband Chris are the owners of the online website business. Adams said the business was started 20 years ago and 10 years ago they branched into Internet marketing. They set up and help to manage business websites. They start with a mini-strategy session to better understand the customer’s online business needs. Their motto is “Your online success is our success.”

Adams’ presentation included 10 steps for an “online fitness health check” for online marketing/websites. Her computer-generated presentation combined with a hard copy handout checklist was informative and easy to follow.

“How many of you have a website for your business or for an organization you belong to? I’m a firm believer that you should run an audit and update your website annually and continually update the information. Never set it and forget it or it is not working for you any longer,” Adams said.

The first step on Adams’ checklist was to ask the question, “Is your website friendly?” She said Google will do a test run by using: search.google.com/test/mobile/friendly/. Second, the design needs to have some negative space so the viewers’ eyes can rest, and paragraphs should only be two or three sentences long with bigger line spacing. Any image should match the brand of the business and appropriate credits should be given for use of any images based on copyright law.

Step 3 is all about structure and navigation of the website, which should be clear and intuitive. Any “footer” at the bottom of the page should be current and correct. Adams moved to Step 4, which deals with content management and the importance of checking for any broken links, both internal and external, and getting rid of dated content and replacing with new and relevant content using the same URL. Brokenlinkchecker.com will show where any broken links are found.

“Step 5, privacy and security, is one of the most important steps in online fitness. You need to get an SSL Certificate (secure socket layer), as it protects everyone: visitors, yourself, and employees. Your website host will provide it for a fee, or it might be in your original contract. Google is leading the push to get all websites in the world secure,” Adams said and added, “If you have an https: you are secure. Privacy is also a big issue, so you need to be compliant and if you use a website in the EU you also need to be compliant with their privacy requirements. Check out this website for information: www.privacypolicies.com.”

Adams’ Step 6 dealt with the website platform or importance of speed, and Step 7 was all about search engine optimization. She said any metadata should have accurate title pages, keywords and descriptions. If the website had any CTAs (calls to action) and targeting contact information they should be highly visible and tell the visitor exactly what to do, which was Step 8 of online fitness.

In reviewing Step 9 on her checklist, Social Media and Directory, Adams recommended that company brands and how you present yourself online should be consistent across all social media. She asked the audience, “If you removed the logo on your page, would people still know it was you?” If you don’t fill out your profile page you do yourself a disservice, Adams stated. Her advice was to use as much social media as possible and remember to be consistent and current with information.

Step 10 on the checklist was an editorial calendar where businesses can post and manage content on a consistent and current basis. The editorial calendar helps you manage what and when posts go out. She said that this calendar can be used for websites, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and all other social media.

“Just remember, whatever you do to be ADA (American Disability Act) compliant, take a comprehensive look at audit categories and an overview of your current online marketing strategies. Any type of marketing shouldn’t stand alone. Studies show that more than 50% of usage today is on mobile devices so spread your marketing to all social media,” Adams concluded.

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