Velocitize your web marketing

The Complete Guide to Mastering Your Title Tags

The complete guide to mastering title tags

(Originally published 10/9/2012, updated 7/6/2015)

When it comes to on-page optimization, the title tag of any given web page is the single most important piece of optimizable real estate there is. Think of it as beachfront property in the Florida Keys. Unlike other areas of a website, the optimizable space in the title tag is extremely limited but has great search visibility, which means it can really pack a punch! In fact, aside from a site’s total architecture, I can’t think of any single area of a site that holds as much sway over search engine rankings as the title tag.

The title tag represents the most powerful collection of characters on the entire web page. Assuming your site architecture is in order, if you could only make one change to a page to help it rank, I’d recommend making an unoptimized title tag fully search and user-optimized. All that to say, optimizing it right is extremely advantageous!

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A Look on the Bright Side This 4th of July

4th of July

As we celebrate the long 4th of July weekend (shouldn’t it always be on a weekend?), I can’t help but wonder what the Founding Fathers would think of where we now are. Some would say they are probably rolling over in their graves, but I’m going to try to keep this more on the positive (and non-political) side.

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The Best Conversion and Usability Test You’ll Never Have to Do

Website conversion and usability test

Talk to any online business owner and they’ll undoubtedly tell you they are interested in improving their website’s usability and visitor conversion rates. The problem usually is that these things either take a lower priority over other marketing avenues or they simply don’t know where or how to start usability and conversion testing.

If you fall into that latter camp, you’re in luck. I’m going to show you the single greatest usability test that you’ll never have to do, but it will give you a significant head start on improving your website. Not only will this test help you improve your visitor’s onsite experience, but it will also help you improve your over all conversion rates. And we all know that happier visitors and more conversions simply means more money in your pocket!

So what is this test, and why won’t you have to spend a penny running it? The answer to the second question is because the test has already been run and the conclusions have been determined. The name of this conversion and usability test is called . . . wait for it. . .

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Don’t Confuse Visitors with Company Lingo in Your Navigation

Don't confuse visitors with company lingo

One of my biggest pet peeves when browsing a website I’ve never visited before is when the navigation seems to be geared for those who are “in the know” rather than noobs like me. I hate to trash on churches and vacation resorts, but you’re some of the biggest violators of this. (I have no idea what “grow” or “go” means, and I certainly don’t know the difference between Cabin 1 and Cabin 2 without looking at every options first!)

Yeah, I get it. We all have our own terminology, and we know the way we would navigate our sites. But that’s the problem. Our site visitors are not us. All that stuff is second nature to us, but most visitors are simply not familiar enough with what we do, what we offer or what our lingo even means. It’s such a common problem, there’s even a name for it: The Curse of Knowledge.

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How Pizza Hut Got Social Media Criticism Right

How Pizza Hut Got Social Media Criticism Right

There’s something about Pizza Hut that takes me back to my childhood. Maybe it’s that smell when you walk in the door. I can almost hear Phil Collins “Take a Look at Me Now” playing on the jukebox when I catch a whiff of that delicious pizza.

Unfortunately, my children’s first memory of this establishment will be of Mommy almost losing her sh**. But don’t worry kids, this story has a happy ending  . . . for both us and Pizza Hut.

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“SEO” Be Damned, It’s Time Give Your URLs An Upgrade

Give URLs Upgrade

Are you afraid to upgrade your URLs because of the potential loss in link value and search engine rankings? That’s understandable. Even when you use the proper 301 redirect, you can lose 5-10% of your link value every time you change a page’s URL. However, it may be worth it. By creating more usable (i.e., readable) URLs, you make URLs more relevant to both search engines and users.  That can make up for any losses in link value, and then some.

I show you how this all works in my latest SEM Post article.

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Book Review – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence The Psychology of Pursasion book review

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Robert B. Cialdini, PH.D.

I often classify books into categories of how easy they are to read. I love books that can explain things in simple terms without dumbing down the information. They often use lots of stories and real world examples to make the point. The book How to Win Friends and Influence People was one of the easiest books to read, yet that “simplicity” in no way diminished its impact.

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The Devil in Website Design Is in the Details—But We Have a Checklist For That

Design Considerations Infographic Part 2

They say the devil is in the details, and that could not be more true than it is with website design. Everything from the colors you use to things your users can’t even see can impact your website’s effectiveness.

So much goes into website design, in fact, that we had to break our checklist of website design considerations up into two separate infographics. The first covered some of the bigger and more common issues people think of when it comes to website design. You’ll see some other pretty obvious issues here too, but there are also a number of finer details you may not have considered before.

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Interaction Is the Key To Your Customer’s Hearts

Interaction is the key to your customers' hearts

I talk to a lot of business leaders that think of web marketing as something that just happens. They build a site, get top rankings and the sales start rolling in. That mindset comes from the good old days of disruptive marketing. Put out a TV, radio or print ad and just wait for the phone to ring. “If you build it they will come.”

Unfortunately, it rarely works that way. Sure TV, radio and billboard ads still work in their own worlds, but the online world is different. Old school marketing requires you to “talk” hoping that someone will listen. Most people won’t, and many are annoyed that you keep interrupting their favorite TV show.

Online, it’s almost the exact opposite. There the visitor is looking for someone to talk to them, and many times they are hoping it’s you. Offline, when you stop talking the sales dry up. Online, when you stop interacting, people lose interest. In today’s online economy, engagement matters as much as, if not more than, any ad you can create.

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Are You Repeating Keywords Like a Broken Record?

 

Don't repeat keywords like a broken record.

Everyone (and by everyone I mean anyone reading this right now) most likely already understands the basic concepts of keyword optimization: Take your keywords and use them throughout the content. Voila! Optimized!

Close, but no.

Optimization today is less about using keywords than it is about writing authoritatively about the topic. Of course you’re going to use “keywords” when you write about any topic, especially if you’re trying to have the content be as robust as possible. But that doesn’t mean that you take every available opportunity to use your keyword when you don’t need to.

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