Category Archives: Blog
Not all websites are created equal. There is one thing that great websites do above all else: give users a great experience. Here are 5 things to avoid on your website that will give your users a better experience. 1. Never Autoplay Videos This especially applies if your videos have sound. Users should be able to control when they’d like videos to play as well as the volume of the video. Autoplay videos may seem like a great way to generate interest in your content, but it may simply end up driving visitors away without them even looking at your site. 2. Never Use A Splash Screen Splash screens were used often in the earlier days of web design. Most were only used as loading screens, holding up users so that the flash site could load. Flash is no longer a good medium for a website, and neither is a splash screen. Visitors don’t want to wait to get to the content they are looking for. 3. Never Use Under Construction Pages A mainstay of 90′s web design under construction pages were everywhere! However, in today’s world they have no place. If your content is not ready then it should either be left off your site until it is, or you should have a landing page that drives interest in your new content and collects potential customer information and leads. Under construction pages do not offer users any useful information, or allow you, the site owner, to collect potential leads or other useful content. 4. Never Complicate Tasks More Than They Need to Be This is especially important for tasks like signing up, or purchasing items or services. The checkout process should be intuitive and easy for visitors to use. Never ask visitors for more information than necessary when they first sign up. Additional information can always be added to their account later once they have already completed the process. Simplicity should also extend to all other tasks that can be performed on your site from searching to simply navigating it. Always ask yourself if this process or task is as easy as possible for a visitor. 5. Never Use Annoying Pop-ups There’s a fine line between annoying pop-up usage and effective pop-up usage. Our advice? Use them judiciously. They can be appropriate at the right time, perhaps to entice users to sign up for a mailing list. They should always offer users a clear and easy way to exit out of them, and never interfere with the usage of the site. For example if a user lands on a landing page to sign up for your product, don’t interrupt them from signing up with a pop-up asking them to sign up for your products. What’s your biggest website pet peeve? Let us know in the comments below!
SEO is an ever-changing field. New tweaks to algorithms means SEOs and their clients must continually adapt their strategies. Many of the tried and true methods are now outdated. Once mainstays of SEOs work, now they can hurt site’s reputation and drive them from the search engine rankings. The good news is there are some techniques that can still be safely used, even if they may have gotten a bad name recently. Guest Posts There’s been a great deal of confusion over a recent announcement from Google’s Matt Cutts concerning guest posts. However, if they are done correctly, guest posts are still a viable way to improve your site’s SEO, reach, and reputation. So what makes guest post great? A guest post should be an original article written specifically for the site you’re posting on. That means if you are sending the same cookie-cutter post to hundreds of sites you’re doing it wrong! A guest post should be of the same quality you would write for your own site, just written for another. Blog Comments Any blog owner will tell you there is a world of difference between a spam comment and a real comment. A spam comment has the following characteristics: Makes little to no sense Is keyword heavy Is link heavy Does not add to the conversation (it may not even be relevant to the blog post) A good comment will be written as if a real person wrote it. You are a real person, correct? The comment will actually contribute to conversation. There will be no (or only one) keywords. It only works when you are genuine, and write authentically on the subject matter. Keyword and link stuff have NO place in comments. Genuine conversation & useful information will do. When it comes to SEO it’s important to keep in mind that most, especially very popular and well respected blogs, often rel=”nofollow” their comments. This helps prevent abuse by those who would spam comment their way into higher SEO ranks (or to put it another way, a few bad apples ruined the bunch). However, there are more benefits to great comments than just SEO. Comments are a great way to interact with your niche’s community. It can draw new leads and expand your audience. Certain practices no longer have a place in modern SEO. Fortunately for site owners & bloggers, comments and guest posting aren’t necessarily one of them. Quality content via guest posts and comments can not only impact your SEO positively, but also allow you to reach more readers, and grow your own reputation.
The web continues to become more visual. 40 percent of the Internet is comprised of images and 70 percent of social content is visual. (Click to tweet) Blogs struggle to stand out, while readers are bombarded with visuals vying for just a bit of their attention. So how do you distinguish yourself in a sea of stock photos and graphics? Try illustrations! How many blogs do you see with custom illustrations in their graphics? Not many, right? Go the extra mile with the powerful punch of custom illustrations! There’s more to illustrators than cartoons, and anime; from realistic to surreal there are a variety of styles to match any brand. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” A well-thought-out illustration can be worth even more! Custom visuals will reinforce brand identity and supplement your content to drive the message home. Give your readers new, exciting, visually appealing content unique to you! It’s tempting to jump to your favorite stock image resource to look for illustrations to accompany your content. You may find some viable options, but they will still have the same generic blandness stock photos are known for. You can do better! Professional illustrators are showcase their work throughout the web, offering a variety of pricing options. You can even take a crack at transforming your own drawings in Photoshop! If you are looking for an illustrator, here are some great sites: Microlancer Behance Dribbble DeviantART Do you use illustrations regularly on your blog? If so we’d love to hear about their impact! Share your experience with us in the comments!