Articles in The 'Website' Tag

June 25 2010

Digital Business Cards

by Katherine Bennett

Everyone always says to make a good first impression, but that saying isn’t limited to face to face meetings. It also applies to the web. When someone visits your website what is their first impression of your company? Do they think your company was left behind in the Stone Age because your website looks old? Any company that is serious about doing business on the web needs to make sure that their web site represents the essence of their company.

Many companies have put up websites that look awful, but their actual company is really great. How does a company fix the disconnect? First, the website needs to be user friendly. When visitors come, the navigation needs to be clear and concise. This allows the visitor to navigate and find the information they want and need. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure out where to go on a website, and clicking on buttons that lead them in circles. It’s like a person walking into a revolving door to get into a building, but every attempt they make either keeps them spinning in the door or leads them back outside. A website needs to be like a welcoming committee at an event that tells a visitor where to go and how to get there.

In addition to knowing where to go and how to get there, visitors need to know that your company exists. Your company could have the best product or service in the world, but if no one knows how to find your website then it won’t be a benefit. Many companies put together picture pretty websites, but they have no keyword density on their pages. Every website should be built with SEO in mind. After all, it’s like having free leads sent to your company. If a company, puts good keyword rich content on their website, (without spamming) then they have a better opportunity to show in the organic search engine listings. Moreover, to complement their high organic rankings, a company can run a paid search campaign that directs visitors to their website. If a company’s site is easy to navigate and people know how to get there whether it be through paid search and/or organic listings a company is on the right track.

Another important factor that goes hand in hand with good navigation and being found is functionality. If a company’s site has good content and navigation, but there are dead links and certain pages of the site don’t work, then a user can get frustrated and leave. It’s frustrating to a visitor not to know how to navigate a site, but it’s even more frustrating to know where to go and not be able to get there.

When building a new website or revamping a current website, remember that your website is your digital business card. If it looks old and doesn’t have intuitive navigation people aren’t going to stay around long.

May 10 2010

I Want To Be #1 in Google (organically)

by Marni Weinberg

So you want to be #1 in Google, huh? Of course you do and you’re not alone, so does everybody else!

Unfortunately, ranking #1 organically (let alone in the top 10) in any search engine is not an easy task to accomplish, though not impossible either. You will need a solid action plan, a knowledgeable and reputable team well versed in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and an enormous amount of patience. Unlike paid search efforts, where you can receive almost instant gratification (barring the nuances of quality scores, expensive bid prices, etc.) from “buying” real estate in the sponsored results section, organic results do not occur overnight. It is best to be seen in both the organic results, as well as the paid.

See example of Nike in AdWords screenshot below. Notice that is appearing #1 organically, as well as paying to be in the sponsored section. This reinforces their brand and provides the opportunity to take up more real estate on the page. Surprisingly many searchers do not understand or recognize the difference between a paid listing and an organic one. Nike is very smart to cover all the bases by ensuring that they are being seen in both places.

Nike in AdWords

Sure, there is methodology that can be utilized to “trick” or “fool” Google into thinking that your site should rank higher than it actually should. In addition, there are a slew of non reputable companies that will offer empty promises and make all sorts of guarantees that sound way too good to be true. At the risk of sounding cliché, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We strongly advise against employing any black hat tactics; you run the high risk of getting penalized or ultimately having your site completely banned from the SERPS.

Don’t take shortcuts, no matter how appealing they may seem. If you take the time to optimize your site the right way, you will reap the benefits over time. There are a myriad of elements that must be factored into an effective, long term SEO Strategy. Employ a credible and reputable SEO firm that will hold your hand and expertly guide you on your journey through the ever-changing algorithms set forth by the search engines.

April 22 2010

Does Your Website Have Strong Calls to Action?

by Marni Weinberg

You could have the most aesthetically pleasing website with tons of relevant content, but without strong calls to action, you are basically striking out. A call to action is a hugely important piece of the puzzle and should be screaming (well, not really but you get my drift) at your visitors prominently on every page of your website. Essentially, you want to hold their hands and guide them to take action on your website; it should be the most natural thing they do once they arrive at your site.

You may think that it is already so clear and apparent that you want them to complete an action item; however, there is no such thing as too apparent when it comes to calls to action. Offer your site visitors attractive, multiple calls to action, as what may interest one person, may not be of any interest to the next; cover your bases to ensure a home run.

Some examples of strong calls to action that should be conspicuously displayed on any website can be found below. By the way, if the first four are not options because your organization hasn’t took the social media plunge, please visit our Social Media Blog to learn more about the importance of Social Media and/or click here to view our Social Media Page.

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