Day 1, Monday: Business
- Introduction to Business
- What business is.
- What is most important in business.
- The factors you can & can't influence.
- Introduction to Sales
- The fundamentals of sales.
- Why sales is easy.
- How to sell anything.
- Introduction to Branding
- What branding is.
- The importance of differentiation.
- Assignment: Starting your Positioning.
Day 2, Tuesday: Design
- What is Web Design?
- What design is
- What web design is
- Core factors for good communication
- Redesign Analysis
- I discuss the redesign of a client's site, applying some of the core factors of good design.
Day 3, Wednesday: Production
- Introduction to Production
- What production is
- Why you should keep them separate
- Production Basics - Worked Example (9'47")
- I show you how to make a very simple web page using some basic HTML tags and CSS style properties.
Day 4, Thursday: Traffic
- How to Get Business From Web Sites
- What's Wrong With Web Design
- A New Perspective
- Success = Traffic × Conversion
Day 5, Friday: More Traffic
- Introduction to SEO
- Where Your Traffic Really Comes From
- How Multiplicity is the Key to Traffic
Day 6, Monday: Business
- Keyword Research
- An introduction to basic keyword research techniques using Market Samurai.
- Generate a few starting keyword options.
- Use MarketSamurai to identify possible target terms (relevant, with relatively high traffic & lower competition).
- Check the actual page 1 search results, and use the SEO Toolbar information to assess the strength of the top results (looking mainly at number of inbound links for now).
Day 7, Tuesday: Design
- BetAdvisor Landing Page Redesign
- I talk through my recent redesign of a client's landing page, focusing on copywriting and design for improving conversion.
- BT Router Form Usability Problem
- A quick analysis of a poor form design, with a quick suggested improvement.
- PWDC Month Page Redesign
- An idea for adding a new calendar layout to improve the usability of the Month view on the PWDC site.
- Photoshop Intro (PWDC Month Redesign)
- A quick & basic overview of some Photoshop tools and effects.
Day 8, Wednesday: Production
- HTML Intro (PWDC Month Redesign)
- How I mark up the new calendar month view for the PWDC site, using Semantic HTML.
- CSS Styling (PWDC Month Redesign)
- Starting to style the calendar month (header).
- CSS Styling 2 (PWDC Month Redesign)
- More CSS (row headers and links).
- CSS Styling 3 (PWDC Month Redesign)
- Styling the numbered links - more advanced, working with CSS background settings, and I have to work round a surprise new browser feature.
Day 9, Thursday: Traffic
- Web site optimisation
- An overview of the 2 main ways to optimise a web page on a chosen term: on-page and off-page optimisation.
Day 10, Friday: Project
This week's project is designed to show you how easy it can be to get a page to the #1 spot on Google. We'll start by selecting a relatively achievable keyword/phrase, optimise the page for that term, and build a few links.
- Topping Google: Select keyword
- Use Market Samurai to choose a target search term that will bring visitors every day, yet has low competition.
- Topping Google: On-page factors
- Create a web page (using a template I provide, if needed), and optimise the page content around your selected target search term.
- Topping Google: Link building
- Your page needs inbound links in order to be found by the search engines. Creating just a few relevant links can be enough to top the search results (for a low-competition term). This presentation gives a basic introduction to a few link-building methods.
Day 11, Monday: Business
- What We Will Sell
- Exploring choices that deliver enjoyment and profit within the wide world of web design.
Day 12, Tuesday: Design
- Layout Basics
- A quick look at some layout fundamentals: body and background colour, headers and footers.
- How to make the popular “shiny table” effect
- How to make a realistic-looking reflection in Photoshop.
Day 13, Wednesday: Production
- CSS Layout
- Worked example, setting up a basic page structure in HTML & CSS with header, 2 columns, and footer.
Day 14, Thursday: Traffic
- Broadening your Reach
- First steps in expanding the breadth of any web site's marketing reach, by flipping products & services into multiple propositions that can each address a different market.
Day 15, Friday: Project
- Broad Keyword Research
- Focusing further on possible target keywords for your own business, looking at solution phrases versus problem phrases.
Day 16, Monday: Business
- Business Chassis
- A more detailed look at the “business chassis”, what key performance indicators really impact your profit, which you can influence directly, and starting to look at ways of increasing them.
Day 17, Tuesday: Design
- Padero Solar Design
- I talk through a quick web page redesign.
- Photoshop Basics: Working with Layers
- Quick worked example showing some of the basic Photoshop tools, including using layer masks.
- Design Alignment Script
- Starting to look at a professional design process. I share the script we use to get aligned with clients' expectations before starting any design.
Day 18, Wednesday: Production
- Production Worked Example (Padero)
- More Semantic HTML and CSS basics, producing the Photoshop example from the previous day.
- CSS3 Gradients
- Applying gradients to screen elements without the use of images, using new CSS3 gradient properties (link to online tool).
Day 19, Thursday: Traffic
- Introduction to Wordtracker
- Quick introduction to Wordtracker, a strong online alternative to Market Samurai.
- Video on Local SEO
- I recommend you check out this video from Danny Dover at SEOMoz, explaining the fundamentals of optimising your pages for local traffic (very applicable to most of us, and most of our clients).
Day 20, Friday: Project
- Convert! Part One
To complete the first month's studies, I'm giving you a sneak preview of Part One of my new book: “Convert!”.
This will reinforce a lot of what we've covered this month, and introduces an incredibly powerful concept: The Awareness Ladder.
I recommend you try to read through this over the coming week, and be ready to pick up with Month 2.