Articles in The 'design' Tag

June 19 2008

How switching from image to text-based navigation can help your SEO

by Jessica Hammer

We are often asked to implement new navigation on sites that have poor optimized rankings. Many times, this is due to an image-based navigation, or a navigation structure that has been poorly designed.

While we understand that everyone wants an attractive and interesting site, a CSS, text-based navigation is a must-have for almost every website. It is your choice whether or not you want to give up looks for optimization, but in most cases, the text-based navigation looks just as good as an image-based one.

Here is the SEO difference. Image based navigations display all the ‘words’ of page names inside an image (a gif, jpg or png) and while that allows for a multitude of style options, the search spiders can not read your image. It only sees an image, and perhaps an alt tag. Text-based navigations, however, have the navigation (page names) in the code, so the spider reads it as plain language, and therefore, can follow links and index pages with better accuracy.

Using CSS and limited Javascript, you can make stylish and scalable menus by formatting the text within the CSS sheet. We like son of a suckerfish and for more effect, Superfish dropdowns for their easy editing, styling and lightness of code.

For a huge selection of menu code, and great design ideas, visit this CSS Showcase page.

May 6 2008

Seasonal Landing Pages

by Jessica Hammer

Landing Pages are an excellent way of driving your traffic to a particular page, and funneling your visitors to a specific goal. We design landing pages for clients and recommend them for specific campaigns and promotions. That being said, they can be time-consuming to design and code. So how can you get the greatest use out of them?

Aside from having a well-designed page and a well-targeted campaign with a clear call to action, Seasonal Pages can get you a lot of bang for your buck. The variety of seasons and possible promotions are endless, and can be quite lucrative, depending on your product. Major religious holidays, back to school, Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day are all great opportunities to give your campaign a boost. A versatile landing page can do that!

Before you begin to design the page, think about the elements that will remain stagnant throughout the seasons, and those that will have to change. The general look and feel should stay consistent, but think about a graphic or text area whose color can be changed to reflect seasonal colors. Perhaps allow for an area of the header to include a seasonal icon, so that when the time comes, you will just have to update that image. Buttons and icons within the text can also be easily switched out to match.

These graphic changes, in addition to updated, seasonal text, are a quick and easy way to get a fresh landing page in a fraction of the time. But as always, the initial design has to be smart and flexible!

Happy Mother’s Day Readers!

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