WordPress is the underlying website software for over 50% of the sites you see on the internet.  Before you dismiss it as “just for blogs”, (which is what I did for over two years, by the way), you need to understand the simple fact that Google, and all the other search engines, are designed to read WordPress sites. Yes, WordPress is so big and so dominant in the market that Google, Yahoo, Bing, and all the others are especially designed to respond to the things that can be built naturally into a WordPress site. Now, this is not a commercial for WordPress, but I have to say that I tried building parallel sites for small businesses, and it simply wasn’t as effective as what business owners were able to do with the WordPress sites I built for them. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel. Whatever your business is, there’s no reason to have anything but a WordPress site as the foundation. Certainly, you may need to have extra pages with very narrow features and purposes, but those can be added on and “around” your WordPress gravity well. If that doesn’t convince you, then perhaps the fact that the biggest names in internet marketing, such as Jeff Walker (who has been responsible for over half a BILLION dollars in internet sales) has a WordPress site for this main page. If you aren’t thinking that’s good enough, then perhaps the fact that BestBuy.com is a WordPress site will settle it for you. Obviously, these people can afford anything they want for websites, but they choose the exact same platform that you can have, as a small business owner… for free.

What’s not to love?

So although everything I’m about to discuss in terms of content design will be in the context of a WordPress platform, it can be applied to DIY sites, Joomla sites, DreamWeaver sites, etc, etc. Work with your developer to make the upgrades to those other platforms, or if you don’t have a developer, then consider experimenting with a parallel WordPress site until you are ready to migrate your old site to your new online marketing platform. It’s not that hard, especially if you have GoDaddy as your hosting company, because they let you take your experimental site and “move” it directly over to your regular site location with a single keystroke. One minute, they’re on your old site. The next, they’re seeing your beautiful new online marketing platform, completely built with all the bells and whistles your old site needed but you couldn’t get included.

Let’s talk about the five basic elements that all good marketing platforms (we use this phrase instead of the old “website” name, because it is far more accurate). These five elements should be included on every Online Marketing Platform small business owners build, for they address the five basic ways customers want to interact with businesses on the web.