Article Archive by Author

October 27 2010

Design Your Website for the Users Eyes

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Some may recall a study that was published by Jacob Neilson back in 2006 that analyzes how people view websites.   When Neilson asked people to view websites, it was noticed that many would read them in a similar manner.   Heatmaps were used to express now visitors would view the content on the page, and when the map was studied, a clear pattern was noticed.   This pattern became known as the “F Pattern” because of the resemblance to the letter “F”.

Design Your Website for the Users Eyes

The areas viewed most are red; yellow is less and blue shows the least amount of views.   What you will notice, is that as the reader continues to scan the page, the lower section and the right rail of the page receives less views.   This supports that most viewers are reading left to right and top to bottom, and that they tend not to read all of your content.   You will notice a distinct “blue color” toward the bottom of the page meaning that people are abandoning it.   The same can be said about content that is on the right side of the page.

What does this mean for web design?   When designing your site, it is crucial to have the most important elements in the top, left section of the site.   When creating navigation, feature your most important sections on the left side.  

As you start to create your content, it is important that you recognize this F Pattern and organize your content accordingly.   Make sure the most important information is in the first two paragraphs of the text, and make it easy to read.   Incorporate bulleted or numbered lists so it is easier for readers to pick out important pieces of information.   Understanding that you don’t have much time to grab your readers attention will be an integral part of creating text that is both compelling and optimized.

September 20 2010

Twitter Update

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In recent weeks, Twitter has announced that it will be updating its look and feel.   Many of us who use Twitter on a daily basis are excited for these new changes.   For those of you who haven’t heard that Twitter is updating, here is a run down of some of the items that it will be changing:

Pictures and Movies in the interface — In the past when someone Tweeted a picture or video by way of Twitpic or Twitvid, one would click the link in the Tweet, and it would take them off page and open a new tab or browser to view the photo or video.   With this update, these photos and videos can now be featured in the right rail of the interface by clicking in the tweet area, but not on the Tweet.   If you click on the link that is contained within the Tweet, you will still be taken offsite.

Twitter Profile Information — Currently, if you were to click on a username (@morevisibility) in your twitter stream, you will be taken to their Twitter profile page where you can see additional information and their most current Tweets.   With this new update, a click on the username will display a mini profile in the right rail.   From here you can then go a step further to read more about them or see related content.

Endless Stream — When using Twitter presently, you must scroll to the bottom of the screen and then click a button to view more past tweets.   With Twitters’ new rollout, you will not need to click buttons to receive older content.   As you scroll, content will update automatically and you will be able to see all the past information.

Overall, I think these changes will be great for Twitter, as it will keep users viewing one page more often and it will be easier to see related content as you browse through all of your Tweets.   Twitter has stated that this rollout will be happening over the next few weeks.   As you see this rollout happening, let us know what you think!

September 8 2010

Creating a Google Places Account

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As location based services are becoming more popular with searchers through the use of map searches and mobile devices, it is important that all businesses have some presence.   The first place that you should turn to is Google.   Google Local has recently been replaced with Google Places.   You may have seen the map that appears in Google that includes local businesses related to your search query.   These results are coming from Google Places.

To get started, open http://maps.google.com/ and search for your company.  

Google Places

Once you locate your business, click on the “more info” link to open the Place page.   Here you will be able to claim your listing if you have not already done so.

Google Places
 
Once you go through the claiming process, edit the information to make sure it is up to date.   Choose the most appropriate categories, or create them if they don’t already exist.   You will now have the ability to view statistics about how people are utilizing your Google Places page.   Some of the items you will be able to view include:

  • Impressions (how many times users saw this business listing)
  • Actions (clicks for more information, driving directions, clicks to your website)
  • Top search queries
  • Where driving direction requests came from

Another great feature that you will receive is a QR code.   A QR code is a graphic code that can be read and interpreted by Smartphone cameras with the right application installed.

Google Places

You can place this QR code on business cards, store locations and in other print collateral.   When the QR code is read by a phone, it will give a mobile version of the page, which is easier to read.   Below is an example of what the Google Places page for MoreVisibilty looks like after being read with a QR Code:

Smart Phone

Setting up your Google Places account is the first step to success in the local search landscape.  

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