Most things that are complicated in business require testing. That may be as simple as the local supermarket testing different promotional offers during different weeks to see what cuts through. Or it may be as complex as a commercial electrician performing circuit board testing on a highly specialised pieces of equipment that controls the signals on a busy freeway.
In the digital world, testing is just as important. Enormous companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon all employ thousands of engineers and other staff to do constant testing on their websites, apps and services to squeeze out every bit of efficiency that can.
But there is another, less commonly understood form of testing that these businesses undertake. It’s called A/B testing. And it is an incredibly powerful tool. Without testing, businesses are just guessing what website layout, offers and landing pages work best or will appeal the most. So the process of designing a website is less scientific and more driven by gut feel and experience.
There is a better way. And that way is A/B testing. A/B testing is very simple. It basically involves having two different versions of the same web page. That allows a small change to be made to one (the tested page) and one to be left as the original (the control page). That way, the effect of a particular change can be observed and measured as different users interact with the page.
In the field of SEO there is a multitude of systems, techniques, strategies and tools which can all help boost your search engine ranking and in turn attract more customers to your site. Some of these tactics and tools require a significant amount of expertise and are often best left to the specialist knowledge of an SEO expert or agency like SEO Perth to implement them for you.
On the other hand, there are some very effective tactics which can be used to boost traffic and customers to your site, which can be easily implemented by most website owners. They do not require a high degree of technical skill and rely more on common sense, good practices and consistent action.
The first is to simply know who your customers are and more importantly what their needs are. A lot of this information can be gathered from past and present customers in terms of their purchase history and their preferences. A bit more research can identify the links, and therefore the websites that your customers clicked on to reach your site.
If you’re building or designing a new website – either with WordPress or another platform – then you need to think carefully about your global design features. It’s very important to make sure that you get your UI design right, otherwise you simply won’t be capitalising on your site’s full potential.
Unfortunately, a lot of people fall into the trap of changing their general design features between different pages or sections of their website. Doing this really isn’t a good idea, and in this article I’m going to explain why.
Maintaining A Consistent Design Creates A Professional Appearance
One of the main keys to success in the modern digital world is maintaining a professional, trustworthy appearance. And, one of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure that you maintain a consistent design throughout your Responsive Web Design project.
Think carefully about how the design features that you use are portraying you and your business. Are they showing you as serious professionals who are going to succeed in the online world? Or, is your design inconsistent and flawed?
Most people seem to think that they need a lot of content to achieve a good search engine ranking. Sure, high quality content is always going to be a crucial SEO ranking factor, but is it really as important as people seem to think?
This is a question that seems to pop up quite often, so I decided to put together this short article to shed some light on the matter. Hopefully, after reading this you should have more of an idea about the way that the amount of content you have relates to your SEO score, and therefore helping boost its SEO ranking.
Without further ado, let’s jump straight into it!
Can I Rank Without Very Much Content
Well, the short answer is that yes, of course you can rank for certain keywords and phrases without pages and pages of written content. I mean, small business websites all over the world sit at the top of the search engine rankings for their relevant local keywords without having too much content.
But, in saying that, it’s important to realise that it’s always going to be easier to achieve a better search engine ranking if you have more content. After all, Google’s new ranking algorithms tend to focus on the user experience and how much value you bring to your readers – and if you have more content, you’re logically going to be offering more information and value.
If you run a small, geographically constrained business, then local SEO is something that’s always going to be crucial to your success. Local SEO basically allows you to rank well for location-based keywords, which is great when you’re trying to source new clients and generate new leads.
Unfortunately, a lot of small business website owners don’t understand the importance of local SEO. With this in mind, I decided to put together a short list of my top five local SEO tips. These include:
Create Location Pages
If you’re serious about ranking well for location based keywords, location pages are a great place to start. Basically, a location page outlines all of your services and the things that you offer in a specific suburb or area, and includes the location or locations that you want to rank for as major keywords.
For example, if you own a small plumbing business in Location X, you might create a location page outlining all of your services in Location X. Your keywords would be things like “Plumbing Location X” and “Location X plumbing services”.
Make Sure Your Address Is Listed On Your Website
If you have a physical address, you need to make sure that it’s listed on your website, and that it’s correct. Similarly, include a phone number and a list of your offices if you have more than one.
This will help Google work out exactly where you’re based, and should help you rank better in your local search rankings.
With the rise of the digital age and the internet entrepreneur, WordPress for web designhas quickly become one of the most popular websites in the world. According to recent statistics, over 25% of the internet is now built on the WordPress platform, and this number is increasing almost daily.
If you aren’t a professional website developer, but you want to start your own blog or little niche site, the chances are that you are going to use WordPress. As a website building and maintenance platform, WordPress has a whole lot of features. It will take you some time to get to know them all, but you eventually will.
However, WordPress also has a number of secret features which most people never know about. Some of them are very hidden, while others are more obvious, but all are very useful to certain people. Our top four biggest WordPress secrets that you have to know include:
Linking is extremely simple:
Linking to external websites is a bit time consuming, especially if you have a few to do, right? Wrong! Creating external hyperlinks in WordPress is easier than it has ever been. All that you have to do is highlight the phrase you want to link in the visual editor, and then paste the URL you want to link to it. That’s all you have to do, really! Try it and find out for yourself.
Remember to undergo competitive keyword research to help you brainstorm ideas for content that will appeal to your target audience. Consider what strategies are being implemented by your competitors to create social media engagement.
Images – or more broadly, graphics – are an extremely important component of any WordPress website according to web design expert Peter Brittain. They are engaging, they can encourage people to explore your content, and they can help you claw your way up the search engine rankings.
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. If we extend the definition of picture to include things like infographics, GIFs, and other visually engaging content, we have a modern definition which applies to website creation.
However, images are good for more than just telling a visual story. Some of the most important functions of images on your WordPress website include:
Images can help you jump up the search engine rankings – when used properly:
Although a lot of beginners don’t realise this, images are actually a huge factor when it comes to search engine rankings and search engine optimisation. Search engine crawler bots will pay particular attention to your images, and you can win big ranking bonuses if they are labelled correctly with things like meta tags and captions.
If you aren’t sure how to do this a quick Google search will help you out. Although it can be confusing to start with, it is definitely worth learning how to label your images properly if you want to rank highly in search engine results.
Logo Design is more than just coming up with a pretty looking design. There are a lot of factors which have to be considered and used in order to design a logo that does everything from making sense to conveying the brand’s image in a manner that sets the brand apart. Whether you’re a designer, a business owner or simply just someone who is curious about logo designing, this post is here to gear you with all the do’s and don’ts of logo design.
We’ll start off with what you should not do when you’re designing a logo so that we end off on a more positive note.
Don’t add too many details in your logo. Simplicity is a key element for any successful logo design. The more sophisticated the design is, the more likely it is to be confusing for your intended audience.
Don’t change your logo every passing year. A brand that changes its logo quite often is a weak one. It’s good to have one logo that will remain for a long time so that consumers can associate the logo to your brand.
A web template is typically used to separate the content of a web site ie: the navigation system, logo and contact information etc.
Templates make creating new pages easy and have become today the web designers dream. In creating a website, you could opt to creating your own web template or utilize a ready made one. Such a choice should be made only after careful consideration and if you do not have prior experience in the field it is always the best choice to opt for a professionally prepared ready made one.
Using web template is mainly beneficial to companies that are in its infant or start up stage. Mainly because once the company has its web site done, it can focus on the other key aspects a growing business needs to handle. Templates further allow the whole website to maintain a consistent look and feel with the ability to maintain the appropriate visual cues which the customers tend to look for and appreciate. The template as whole makes the whole website more stable, making the customers more comfortable with probing around within the site as they know they would not get lost. A main benefit companies are to achieve through a template is the ease at which it can make the required changes that would inevitably come along within the web site, making the site more relevant and the company more dynamic in the eyes of the customer.
Having now considered the importance and the benefits of utilizing a web template for any organizational site, let us now look into how one could go about select the most ideal template for the organization. There large amounts of online stores that are able to provide you with a web template. Many of them may appear quite attractive and selecting one from the many thousands available may put you in a tough spot indeed. Do not aim to buy a wrong template and redesign it as it will not be too much of a success and beats the whole purpose of buying one in the first place.
There is no doubt that social media marketing is paying rich dividends to businesses that are using it as a part of their larger marketing plan. It’s also given smaller businesses an opportunity to compete against the big players in the niche. Social media marketing brings with it a slew of benefits, but only if done right.
The problem with a socially driven marketing strategy is that there are all chances of it going wrong. If it does go wrong there are some mistakes that can righted, but there are others from which there is no turning back. Such mistakes are like the deadly sins of social media marketing.
Let’s take a look a these sins that will take your chances of marketing success way down, so much so that recovery will be next to impossible.
1. Having no strategy in place
When you are using social media as a part of your marketing efforts, you need a clearly drawn out strategy in place. You need to know why you are doing what you are doing. Does your use of social media fit in with your overall marketing plan, and what do you hope to achieve from social media marketing? These are the two questions that you need to answer before you put in place a strategy that you feel will pay rich dividends.
If you don’t have a strategy in place, you won’t be able to take the right decisions, which will mean that you actually end up wasting time on social media, rather than making any constructive use of it.
Cisco, the name spoken with the most reverential tones in the IT and telecommunications market, has a new push for their hardware’s interoperability with Linux software. The move ties in Yahoo!, who will be working with Digium to deploy Asterisk throughout Yahoo’s global communications net, using Cisco SIP end points on the desktop.
The reason given being, not cost, but because Linux is easier to support! Take that, MSCEs!
And then back in April of 2008, Cisco opened up its ISR routers’ API, with an application extension platform based on Linux. So you might actually compare Cisco more to IBM. They’ve been planning this move for a long time, and they do it like they do anything, in slow, steady steps.
Controversial as always, TechCrunch gets our attention this month by questioning the ‘Google-it’ mentality. And we’d like to not only refute things like this, but go all the way back to Socrates and lay out our direct, irrefutable line of logical statements which leads us to this path.
Proposition One: Nobody owes you an answer.
When you have a question, you are imposing on another person to do you a favor. There is no law, nor moral obligation, for anyone else to answer your question. That’s at all, whether Google exists or not, whether you can find the answer on Google or not. Both Google and people are going out of their way to help you for free.
Proposition two: The only motivation people have to answer your question is to do something kind.
That’s it. Invisible-hand-of-the-marketplace or not, every time a human answers another human’s question for free, they are practicing altruism. It might have the secondary assumption that you’ll ‘pay it forward’ and help other people, or the feeling of obligation that the answerer is paying it forward, or because helping the questioner helps the answerer indirectly, and so on. But all answers start with a desire to help.
It only looks to involve the US and UK/EU at this point, but the broad plans of ACTA, the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, look like they could eventually become a de-facto standard for the whole wide world of e-commerce.
That’s why the organizations Consumers International, EDRi, the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ASIC (a French trade association for web 2.0 companies), and the Free Knowledge Institute have all banded together to protest the agreement and voice their concerns, or at least put on the breaks until cooler heads can have a look at this.
On Australian turf, the Australian Digital Alliance, Australian Library and Information Association, Choice (a non-profit consumer advocate), and the Internet Industry Association have formed a coalition stating much the same thing. In a package, reducing counterfeiting is important where it endangers consumer health or safety or constitutes commercial scale infringement is a good thing; but we shouldn’t have to roll heads to do it.
The trouble, as all web developers know, is getting users to upgrade those browsers. Why is this always such a struggle? Older browsers are buggy, insecure, troublesome, and the hardest of all to develop for. We’ve gone for years like this, with a few hardy users getting the newest edition of everything, most of the crowd shuffling along within a year, and then there’s the die-hard long tail, bringing up the rear. They use IE7, IE6, even IE5.5, and you’ll get that old browser away from them when you pry it from their cold dead fingers. They make web designers pull out their hair.
Any blogger reading right now has no doubt bristled like an angry cat at the headline. Blog comments promoting a site immediately suggests comment spam. Well, that’s just what we’re saying: don’t spam! But anybody with a blog that allows comments has seen comments that work, which contribute to the discussion, and then the URL in the comment is tolerated.
The basic method is that you search Technoratti or Google BlogSearch to find blogs in your topic space or niche. Then go there and hopefully leave a comment that won’t get deleted, with a link back to your site.
The important thing is that you make participating in that blog’s community your first priority. Helpfully point out a mistake, add a note and a link pointing out some other aspect of the subject of the post, answer a question posed by another commenter, or even just mention that you also covered another view of this topic on your own blog.
One important strategy that is often overlooked: the sites that already link to you! Whenever a blogger links your site as a reference and you notice some traffic coming from it, go there and leave a comment thanking them for the link… and also fill in your site’s URL in the appropriate field. There, now you have two links, from a site that likes you already! You can also add a link back on your own site, thanking the blogger for mentioning you and pointing your readers to that site for commentary on your subject.
This is how the blogosphere builds friendships.
The important thing is to be a good web citizen above all else. Spam your link to irrelevant sites, or worse yet, hire a third-world freelancer to do it, and you’re heading for trouble and ill will all around. Further tips on blog comment marketing here.
Talk about any of these subjects on a blog with a Google ad in the sidebar, get the listed dollar amount every time somebody clicks the ad.
Well, as the site explains elsewhere, it’s not that simple! You have to have original content, be a site in good standing, etc. You can’t just post the list and expect it to do anything.
We ran some data-crunching on the list just to see what the top-ten most expensive words are by frequency:
Clearly, our new word for the day is “mesothelioma“, a cancer commonly caused by asbestos. Construction workers and others exposed to asbestos the world over are suing the pants off their former employers, and lawyers apparently consider it money in the bank. This is no laughing matter; asbestos is nasty stuff and mesothelioma’s primary symptom is shortness of breath.
Article marketing forms the foundation of all effective Internet marketing campaigns these days. Having attained the position to be of the industry standard among web marketing strategies, article marketing is the best way to vastly increase the level of natural search engine rankings of your website. Article marketing depends on a variety of factors, including correct placement of keywords, comprehensive syndication and one-way links to text among several other vital practices that work together to make a site interesting to someone searching the web for specific information.
To be really successful, article marketing should form the core of your regular efforts for tackling competition.
There are several ways in which article marketing can benefit your website. The most potent among them all is by providing greater visibility to the site. In article marketing, you provide the articles you have written to several ezines, websites and blogs free of cost. Your payout is that you are allowed to include a brief bio at the end of the article in the resource box with links to your website.
Some search engines are able to navigate through dynamic sites while others are not. Sometimes the search engines that are able to navigate through dynamic sites have problems indexing and navigating through the entire site.
These factors eliminate many shopping websites from the search engine result pages or limit the possibility of their advancement by SEO to the top of the search engine result pages. For a business to be competitive on the WWW, all of its pages need to be indexed and developed correctly.
Many website owners in the past have had to find a company that could optimize their site, create landing pages that focused upon a product or category, or use any number of other means to elevate the shopping cart site in the search engines. These tactics have worked successfully, but the search engines want pages that are of unique value to present to their clients. Dynamic sites impede the model search engines desire.
An excellent point raised over at Bokardo, which reminds us of a fact we sometimes lose sight of: that designers are marketers. Especially in web design, that’s a controversial point. Sure, the “tech geeks” who spend their days slinging pixels and hacking AJAX code tend to bristle a little at the marketing types, who breeze by in their suits and ties and golf tans on their way to another power lunch, but we have to acknowledge that the product of our work is the first thing every potential customer sees.
The thing that makes the boundary between web design and marketing so distinct is the kind of people each profession attracts. Marketers – the people who work in ‘sales’ – are a different breed. They’re social, talkative, interactive, open, friendly, and persuasive. Web designers, on the other hand, spend all of their time working with machines and designing abstract things like software and graphics on them. So they’re likely to be introverted, intellectual, solitary, analytical, and strong on communications but weak on personality skills.