Web Design Category
This guest post was written by Nicholas Cardot from sitesketch101.com.
Imagine with me for a moment that an individual decides to create a blog on the topic of becoming a complete and utter failure at whatever you attempt in life. After a few months, or perhaps a year, this blog becomes wildly popular. This failure blog has tens of thousands of readers, hundreds of thousands in revenue, and more social media fans and followers than can be counted. Was this blog a raging success or a monumental failure for not accomplishing the very thing it set out to teach?
Although some in the world of art can get away with flinging paint at their canvas in random splotches, working toward success in the world of online business requires a bit more planning and work. Enter the three pillars, or the ABC’s, of online business: amazing content, brilliant design, and commanding influence. These principles provide a sweeping framework that will guide you as you plan and execute your online activities.
In the offline world, you wouldn’t invest tons of money in a sloppy-looking, incorrect-grammar-ing, confusing, and unknowledgeable salesman that wasn’t able to serve your customers needs in the ways they wanted to be served, would you? So, why would you do it online? Would you like to buy something from this guy?
The truth is, your website is your digital sales rep. It’s the go-to “person” in the online world for customers looking for your solutions. In light of all the activities you may do online, this is your digital home. It is THE preeminent piece of your digital existence. Kinda makes you think a little more about what you do with it, right?!?
I love a good story – almost as much as our staff word nerd does. And even though I’m not a particularly sentimental guy, I also love a happy ending, especially when it comes to my clients and their websites.
Every time people visit your site, a new story begins. Hopefully, all will be bliss and harmony as they follow the conversion path you’ve carefully laid out, which could be anything from a newsletter sign-up to a purchase worth thousands. However, if a visitor experiences a lots of conflict on your site, he or she may not even turn the first page. Fast forward to a bad ending: site abandonment.
But there is hope. I encourage you to read my latest column on Search Engine Land: 12 Navigation Ideas To Give Your Website ‘Story’ A Happy Ending. In it, you’ll find (a shocker!) 12 helpful ideas for reducing navigational conflict on your site. After you read it, implement the ideas. Then, you and your visitors can live happily ever after. THE END!
In a recent post, I provided a list of 10 Easy-Peasy Conversion Optimization Tips That Make Visitors Happy. That post barely scratches the surface of conversion optimization tips you can implement to build a more user-friendly site that out-converts your competitors. But they are all fairly easy to implement, and it gives you place to start.
Now you’re ready to move on to the next level. Again, this post barely scratches the service, but it does provide you with some additional, important areas to consider when looking at your site’s usability.
I’m not the most mechanically inclined person. Whenever I try to fix things, they (or I) often tend to come out more broken than before. When something needs to be fixed, everyone benefits greatly when I hire a handyman. Even easy tasks are not so easy for me. (You don’t want me anywhere near a paint brush!)
We’ve all heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s me. I’m not going to try to soup up my truck, build a storage shed or install a door. In my world, if something isn’t broke, I leave it well enough alone. If something is working, I don’t touch it!
While that may be good conventional wisdom for a lot of things, it’s terrible wisdom for most aspects of online marketing. In fact, good marketing requires the opposite principle. Instead of resting on what appears to work well, we should be looking for ways to improve what is already working and make it work better than before.
If all our clients considered conversions to be as important as top search engine rankings, I think I would pass out. Or pass the beers! Unfortunately, conversion optimization takes a back seat to the age-old question, “Where are my rankings?” What businesses should be asking is, “Where are my conversions?” To paraphrase James 2:20, “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that rankings without conversions are dead?”
True conversion optimization takes time and testing. What works for one site may or may not work for yours. You only know by trying it out and looking at the data. However, there are some good old standbys that are generally recognized as universal. If you don’t know where to start on conversion optimization, here are a few quick and easy tips.
A while back I wrote about the need to have a search engine friendly website before worrying so much about having a search engine optimized site. I want to expand on that point here and to look at what exactly constitutes a search engine friendly Web page.
Many argue about the value of using keywords in the domain name and whether that will make any difference at all in the ranking algorithms. Whether it’s a lot or a little, I believe the full process of optimization is largely about doing a whole lot of “not much.” SEO is often a series of baby steps that collectively get you closer to the goal.Continue Reading
Engaging in online marketing is all about customer acquisition, ROI and profits. If you see growth in these three areas, you can be reasonably confident that your online marketing efforts are paying off in some form or another.
But things might not always be as they appear. While it’s never a bad thing to grow in profits, ROI or a growing customer base, you may actually be paying good money to lose great customers.
There are a lot of phases to the buying cycle. Searchers begin with a thought and then start researching answers via their favorite search engine. As they learn more about their query, they move into shopping and buying modes that hopefully lead them to a satisfied purchase.
In each phase of this cycle, the searcher is typing in a unique set or words or phrases. Each search is designed to provide more relevant information than the last. As the searcher learns, the search phrases reflect what they know and what new information they need.
There is value in building a website that provides information to each of these searchers, but the value in each isn’t the same. By understanding the full marketing value and potential of your website, you can build an effective sales funnel that provides each and every visitor the information they need to make the decision you are hoping for.