Posts Tagged ‘website design’
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
Responsive web design is a term that refers to websites that respond to the device a visitor uses to access it. In other words, because of the differences in parsing website data and images between smartphones, tablets, and computers, different website components are necessary to render the sites visible to each device. Responsive design makes your website more accessible to each type of device your visitors are likely to access it from.
The alternative is to maintain multiple websites – one for each type of device. This can be costly, lead to duplicate content issues, and be bad for SEO.
For instance, if you have a mobile website and a traditional HTML website, both with the same content, then Google may decide to de-index one of those sites based on the duplicate content. You certainly don’t want that to happen. If it does, you might as well not have the second website.
Another issue is link building. If you maintain two websites, then you’ll have to build links for both websites. That could be timely and costly. There are much better ways to allocate your resources.
This is where responsive website design comes in. You have one website. That website is accessible from any device. If newer technologies emerge in the future, then those technologies will be rolled into the responsive design model so that your website will be accessible to those technologies. Your website going forward should adhere to current responsive website design standards.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Every now and then you have to take a second look at your website and decide if it’s time for a redesign. Even Yahoo! has redesigned its search results pages.
When you redesign your website, you want to stay true to your brand and image. You don’t necessarily need to change the content, although that may be necessary as well. But the redesign itself should reflect your company’s values. It should reflect your values from the header to the footer.
It’s important to realize, though, that website redesign is about more than changing a pretty face. You are also, in many cases, changing the architecture and site structure as well. Even something as simple as adding social media icons can involve a complete rearranging of your code under the hood. How that change is implemented needs to be carefully thought out.
Finally, after you have redesigned your site, you need to work out how you will promote it. Promoting a redesign is a necessary part of the redesign itself because you want your customers to know that you are moving ahead on their behalf. You want to communicate that your values aren’t changing and your service isn’t changing even as you redesign the face of your site and its infrastructure. This is an important distinction.
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Google likes to help new webmasters. That’s why they recently published a PDF document that is a one-page cheat sheet for beginning webmasters to help them learn the basics of search engine optimization. These few suggestions Google offers won’t guarantee your website a page 1 ranking, but they do give you the basic run down on what Google is looking for from websites.
It’s pretty simple, really. Small Business Mavericks has been saying the same thing for several years.
Here’s the basic recipe for ranking your new website in Google:
- Write an informative page title based on your primary keyword
- Choose a domain name that is easy to read and descriptive
- Make your meta descriptions unique for each page and 160 characters or less
- Use short, descriptive file names for your images
- Include alt tags for every image
- Write short, descriptive captions for each of your images
- Provide useful content and update your website often with a blog where you post original content associated with your niche
When it comes to ranking in Google, start by following Google’s guidelines for webmasters, but be willing to do your own testing.
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Website headers are a little bit misunderstood. Some small business owners think they can just find a great image, put their business name on it, and they have a website header. You really need to put a little more thought into it than that.
Your header has a very important job. It’s got to communicate something very important to your website visitors.
First, it should give a clear idea about what your business does. Putting your business name on the image isn’t enough. The graphic or image you use in the header should illustrate as well what your business’s specialty is. For instance, if you buy and sell houses, putting a turnip on your header might confuse people. If you are an auto mechanic and the image in your header is two kids playing kickball, that might confuse people.
A second thing your header should do is brand your business in a way that people will remember you and your website. You don’t want people leaving the site and forgetting about it.
Website branding is a difficult thing to achieve. It takes more than a powerful image and your business name to successfully create a brand. You have to think on a broader scale. What images do you want people to associate with your brand? Colors can also be used as branding elements. For Small Business Mavericks, we use brown and blue.
You also want your branding elements to be consistent company-wide. That means your website needs to look like your brochures and vice-versa. You are building an image. Your website is a part of that image. Treat it as a valuable member of your family.
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
When building your new small business website, should you build it with HTML from scratch or use a website template? If you decide on a template, should you use an off-the-shelf template or a custom-designed template? A free template or a premium template?
These are all important questions, but there is no one right answer. What’s best for one business might not be best for another.
Templates are difficult because there are so many things that can go wrong – and so many things that can go right. If you design your website from scratch, then you control everything. You are also responsible for everything. Good and bad.
With templates, you have to make sure that they are SEO-friendly, crawlable, and user-friendly. If you design your own website, then you can ensure each of those elements as you build. Plus, if you use an off-the-shelf template, then you have to modify it if you want specific elements that aren’t included. I would almost always recommend some modification, even with a premium template.
Nonetheless, you can often work with a template a lot less expensively. If you see one you like, then it could save you some time on the front end.
It’s always your call, of course. But you’ll need to make sure that your website can be crawled by the search engines, will get indexed and ranked, and will meet your visitors’ needs.
Monday, February 11th, 2013
It’s not easy maintaining SEO rankings when you redesign a website. There are a lot of considerations you should think about before you go through with the redesign. One of those is search engine optimization.
What are the dangers?
First, you could lose search engine rankings if you significantly change your content. Secondly, you could lose traffic. And thirdly, you could decrease conversions. If these metrics are high for your website, you should think about your redesign long and hard before implementing it. You don’t want to lose the effectiveness of those key metrics.
However, you do want your website to look like it meets the design standards of 2013, not 2005. So updating the design of your website is a good idea while you guard against the dangers.
Before you get too invested in your website redesign, do these three things and design your website with these tips in mind:
- Make a list of keywords – This should include current keywords you rank for and any new relevant keywords getting searched for a lot that you are not currently targeting or ranking for. On your spreadsheet, note which pages of your website currently rank for your relevant keywords.
- Rank your pages according to conversion rates – Which pages convert better and for which keywords are they converting? This is very important. You don’t want to make significant changes to pages that convert well for the right keywords. You’ll have to decide if you want to create new pages to seize upon new opportunities or revamp your content on certain pages to convert better for the targeted keywords.
- Traffic rates for content – You probably don’t want to rewrite every page on your website during your redesign. What you do want to do is find those pages that aren’t getting a lot of traffic and rewrite those. Identify your low traffic, low converting pages and rewrite the content. Also, if you have pages that include duplicate content, then rewrite those pages.
When you redesign your website, pay careful attention to SEO issues. You don’t want to ruin any good search engine rankings you have.
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
A landing page is a page you want people to land on so you can make a specific sales pitch to match their interests. You can have separate landing pages that target organic search results, PPC, and social media campaigns, but it’s better to target your landing pages for specific interests, then you can optimize those landing pages for each of your marketing campaigns.
Here are 6 ways you can design better landing pages for your online marketing:
- Enhance the Functionality – You want your page visitors to be able to use the page seamlessly. If there are interactive elements, make them easy to use. Layout the page so that it is easy to follow, navigate, or scroll through.
- Include a Strong Call to Action – You will make more sells if you tell the visitor what you want them to do. If it’s subscribe to your newsletter, make that obvious. If it’s buy something, they need to know as quickly as possible that you’re trying to close a sale. Finish with a strong statement that commands your visitor to take the desired action.
- Create Eye-catching Graphics – Get your site visitor’s attention with the right graphics. This includes the use of the right fonts and text sizes.
- Keep it Simple – Take out all the bells and whistles. If you try to get too fancy, you could end up watering down your sales pitch.
- Make a Tightly-focused Sales Pitch – Set a desired end goal – only one – and make everything on the page move your reader to that desired course of action. If anything on the page doesn’t work to drive your site visitor to the desired action, remove it.
- Take Out Anything Unnecessary – Links, graphics, and anything else that takes away from the overall message of your landing page should be taken out. Everything must work toward the end goal. Keep it focused on the end goal and end with a strong call to action.
Friday, June 15th, 2012
LMFAOs smash hit “Sexy And I Know It” has achieved international fame for the group that sings it. Their Superbowl commercial with the M&Ms was one of the most popular during the game and is still playing in many parts of the world. I blame it on the attitude.
Being sexy isn’t easy, but it does require a certain attitude. Whether we’re talking about grungy rock stars, chocolate candy, or websites, being sexy begins with how you start your day. What mindset do you wake up to each morning? Do you carry yourself with shoulders square or a hump in your back? How about your website?
If you want your website to be sexy and reflect your amazing attitude, start by hiring the right website design firm. Pick a firm that knows how to pick your brain and design a website that is a reflection of you and that puts your brand in front of your potential customers with the right attitude – an attitude that says, “I’m sexy and I know it.”
All good marketing starts with a plan. Don’t just view your website as a product. It’s a small but vital part of your overall marketing plan. Make that plan sexy by putting the right attitude into it.