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Questions Every Web Developer Should Ask

businessman checking off a listWhen it comes to websites, there’s a history of disconnect between SEOs and web developers. An SEO is concerned with optimizing usability and site structure. A web developer is concerned with function of code and site design. In order for a website to perform at its greatest potential, the two disciplines must make nice and work together. If the two can work in tandem from conception through the launch of a site, a lot of time and energy can be spared from reworking what has already been done.

To help this process go as smoothly as possible, I’ve created a list of questions in my latest Search Engine Land post, 100+ Questions You Must Ask When Developing A Web Site.


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Improve Your Website By Getting Beyond Who’s Right and Wrong

In my efforts to help businesses improve the conversion rates on their websites, I hear objections ALL the time. Behind the objections, I have observed fear (about how the changes will perform), offense (because they think I’m implying their work isn’t up to snuff) and procrastination (because they want to avoid the scary world of testing).

A few factors that I’ve seen contribute to this include:

  • Stakeholder’s opinions about what will work best for a particular site or page within a site are usually strongly held, whether it’s because it’s what they like themselves or what they believe as a professional.
  • Stakeholders are emotionally attached to their work.
  • There’s a lot at stake for everyone when it comes to the performance of the website.

The resulting situation can get messy. It typically involves arguments over opinions about what to do with the site in an attempt at improvement. But this kind of activity can be damaging to your team’s relationships.

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The First Step to Better Homepage Design

your homepage is like beachfront real estate

Your homepage is like beachfront real estate. Everyone wants a piece of it! [tweet]

It’s common knowledge that in general the homepage of any site is the most important page. Usability professionals have called it the “beachfront real estate” of any website. The big obstacle we run into with this though is that, of course, everyone wants a piece of it! Because this is the case, your homepage design just might be overrun with content competing for user’s attention. If you can find it in yourself to admit it, this is probably limiting its ability to allow your customers to service themselves with it—which is costing you money. After all, the homepage is many times a customer’s first impression of your site and the company behind your site.

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The ABC’s of Rapidly Growing Your Online Presence

This guest post was written by Nicholas Cardot from sitesketch101.com.

ABC's of Growing Your Online Presence

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.
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Why An Authoritative Website is So Important to Your Business

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?!?

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Will Your Website Story Have a Happy Ending?

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!

a happy ever after ending for your website with less navigational conflict

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10 Important Conversion Optimization Tips That Make Your Site Bad-@$$

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.

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If Your Site Isn’t Broken, Should It Still Be Fixed?

Should you fix your website if it's not broken?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.
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10 Easy-Peasy Conversion Optimization Tips That Make Visitors Happy

10 Simple Ways to Get More Web ConversionsIf 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.
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The Construction of a Search Engine Friendly Web Page

Make Your Website Friendly Before You OptimizeA 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.

Strong URL

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


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