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Why You Should Be Able to Ditch Your Website’s Navigation

eliminate navigation

Now before you put me in the loony bin for that title, please rest assured I don’t really think you should ditch your navigation. Clear and effective navigation is essential to every website. However, you should never rely on your site’s navigation alone to get your visitors to the information they want. In fact, as a general rule of thumb, your visitors should be able to navigate effectively through your site if you removed the navigation entirely!

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Sorry Mobile Converts, The Desktop Still Matters

 

desktop still matters

I’ve been writing a lot about mobile marketing and optimization lately primarily because of it’s importance in the search landscape. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you can be missing out on a lot of valuable traffic. But while I have a mobile-first philosophy when it comes to web design (not to be confused with mobile only), I maintain a healthy respect for desktop marketing. Why? Because it still matters!

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Simple Navigation Optimization: Step by Step

navigation optimization

Businesses tend to obsess over the tiniest details of their new websites while neglecting on of the most important elements: The navigation. But your navigation’s impact on the customer experience and conversions cannot be understated.

In my latest Search Engine Journal article, I simplify the navigation optimization process, showing you how you can create a kick-ass navigation with just a spreadsheet, some post-its and a sharpie.

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Website Design Is a Slave to the Message

 

website messaging comes first

Not long ago I had one of those “ah-ha” moments. We were quoting a web development project, which included a lot of content needing to be written or updated. Typically,  we would go through the process of designing and coding the website while the content is being developed. Once completed, we would then port the finished content into the design templates.

But my developer got me thinking that maybe this was the wrong approach!

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Mobile Design is Not As Different From Desktop As You Think

mobile design vs desktop designEven though mobile marketing is becoming increasingly important, it’s still common for web designers to forget to produce mobile specific wireframes and comps for an in-progress website. That either means that they do not yet take mobile design seriously or they think a WordPress plugin is a real solution to making a mobile-friendly site.

That mindset is kind of like competing for second place.

The primary difference between mobile and desktop design is accounting for the differences in screen size. For the most part, mobile and desktop sites can work off the same overall design, but there are two primary differences that need to be accounted for:

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All Successful Web Marketing Hinges on This One Thing–And It’s Not Even The Marketer’s Job!

Most important thing in web marketing

That was a hard title for me to write. Successful web marketing hinges on so many things, it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down to just one MUST have thing.

Think about this: If I asked you to name the one thing needed to make a television advertising campaign successful, what would you say? A great television commercial? Yup, that’s true, but you also need for that commercial to air in the right markets. And not just that, the commercial has to air at the times that your target audience is most likely watching. So you can’t just have the right markets. You can’t just have the right air time. And you can’t just have the right commercial. They all have to go together.

And that’s how web marketing is. You can’t just pick the right keywords, because they have to be optimized. You can’t just get links or run a great social campaign because you’re sending people to a lackluster website. You can’t just do on-page optimization because you need the links to increase authority.

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Why Your Desktop Content Needs to be Mobile Friendly

mobile friendly desktop contentWith the growth of mobile marketing we get a lot of questions on what that means for content. For the most part, content served to both your mobile visitors and desktop visitors should be identical. The primary exception is how the content is presented on each device.

As tends to occur with the advent and growth of any new medium, we have to change how we think and execute certain strategies. The new influences the old, and unless we adapt, we’ll find the old way of doing things to be less effective than they once were.

In the case of content, we know that mobile content should actually be written differently than desktop content. But wait! Didn’t I just say they shouldn’t be the same? As a matter of fact, yes, they should be. The solution is to write your content for mobile and make that your desktop content as well.

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Web Design IS Web Marketing

Web design is web marketing

Many people don’t realize this but web marketing doesn’t begin when website development ends. Too frequently companies finish their web design and then think about marketing the site on the web. That’s backward thinking!

If you don’t plan for marketing during your site’s development, you’ll be in for a rude awakening . You may find that your new site may be awfully good-looking but awful at supporting your web marketing efforts.

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How and Why to Get Organized Before A Development or Marketing Project

project preparation

When starting out on a new web development or marketing project, what are some of the most important things you need to get started? Is it the designs? The idea? While these are great components to have and are certainly necessary, these are not the most vital parts to have to ensure your project runs smoothly and is a success.

Most people don’t think about this much, as it isn’t as obvious at first, but organization is the most important factor in a web development or marketing project. These projects require lots of precise coordination across different technical disciplines split between different companies to make it all come together and work as intended. This is no easy task to achieve, but it is doable.

Organization is the backbone of every successful project , so let’s give you some pointers on what areas to really focus on organizing before approaching a company to take on your web development or marketing project.

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Mobile First is not Mobile Only

Mobile first strategy doesn't mean mobile only

I’ve written quite a bit about mobile design, development and optimization recently, advocating for a “mobile first” philosophy. But going “mobile first” doesn’t mean “mobile only.”

The world is going has gone mobile. All of our website marketing efforts (which includes web design and development–that’s not IT!) need to consider mobile, not as an option but as the primary way their visitors will be interacting with their websites.

In fact, when it comes to websites, we should probably begin devaluing the word “mobile” from our vocabulary. Right now we think of mobile as the device being used. However, from a programming perspective, mobile is turning more into the platform rather than the device itself.

What does that mean to you and me? Well, for starters, we don’t want to create separate websites for mobile and desktop. We can deal with coding tweaks for different browsers –do this for Chrome, that for Firefox, and now (maybe) AMP for mobile–but we don’t want to have to maintain separate websites for every platform.

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