Saturday, January 26, 2013

KISS DESIGN & SEO

By now you have read more than you could ever regurgitate back to anyone about Web Analytics and what tools would most likely work best for you and so on. Do you know, however, how to change those poor numbers you are getting into great numbers that drive profit? Where do you start? There are so many variables that could effect a website and it’s success. I have put together some tips to getting better numbers, from the basics of design and SEO to the less simplistic, ironically, KISS, a quick trip through a few of the more critical variables for an extreme website make over that will begin the turn around of your website.

SEO

I would like to start at the beginning, content. SEO is an extremely dynamic and progressing variable in your ever search for more traffic. Search engines like Google changes their algorithms more often then most girls change outfits before a hot first date! Google changed their search algorithm more up to 40 times(1) just during the month of February 2012. Therefore it will no longer satisfy to simply add keywords to your content, or lead generation through multiple different landing pages and countless other techniques that used to be the tried and true methods to getting SEO to work. It is critical to built SEO campaigns on solid foundations meant to drive traffic over the long haul, and not simply 40-yard dashes. Here are a few things(2) that every SEO campaign needs to stash in a roadside ditch.


  1. Article Marketing. Instead of simply making quick links in the blog networks you need to build relationships with the blog authors and their followers. Become a guest author, engage the blogs followers and don’t forget to follow up with the conversations that ensue after your guest post. It is important that you take the conversation further and respond back to the comments, not just on the blog but in the social media outlets as well. 
  2. Thin Website Content. As stated above, it will no longer suffice to re-write the content so keywords are used. You need to speak to your audience. Make your content speak to those who will read it, but optimized for search engines. Content can be rich and still be accessible and indexable by search engines. 
  3. All your eggs in the Google Basket. Great you have well-written and rich content. Don’t bank on your traffic to come from Google. You have an excellent opportunity to reach out and drive traffic from many sources such as direct traffic, news sites, social media, webinars, videos and more. 
  4. How did our Goals perform last month? So you are using an analytics tool and you have set your goals and things are good right? No! Your web analytics tool wasn’t designed by Ronco, you can’t “set it and forget it!” You need to follow up on it just like your old school oven. If something isn’t working your analytics tool will show it. Don’t be afraid to make a change and get your traffic coming.

DESIGN

A design isn’t finished until somebody is using it! (Brenda Laurel) OKAY, so your analytics tool has been set up and you are following up with it, your content is now in order why would you want to go back to your designer how is the artistic rendering going to make a difference? Here are 5 reasons that may change your mind(3).

  • Turn Me On. You only have one chance and that chance exists for maybe 2 seconds after I visit a website. This is important that you and your designer understand so test multiple versions and don’t forget to continue to check your analytics tools ability to do A|B testing that will help you make your decision. 
  • Happy Landings.  Your home page may seem like the most likely place for your customers to begin browsing your site, but did you know that less than 40% of visitors enter any website from the home page? In other words, don’t blow your wad with your designer all on your home page. Make sure you turn to your analytics tool for landing pages to see where the majority of your visitors are landing and make sure you put a little TLC towards those pages to ensure you keep your visitors turned on. 
  • The bottom line. Just because you are trying to turn them on and make for a happy landing, don’t forget that your site still needs to make money. If your design doesn’t help the website achieve it’s financial purpose then more than just the business will suffer. What ever your sites commercial intent is it is important that each visitor has a pleasurable experience. This is where KISS8 comes into play. Keep It Simple Stupid. Sometimes less is more. It is important to not get carried away, just remind yourself and your designer form follows function
  • Equal Opportunities. The market is being flooded with devices of all shapes and most importantly sizes, that are capable of browsing the web. Make sure you utilize your analytics tool to determine that your designs for multiple sized devices are effective. Fitt’s Law explains this in great depth.
  • Divide & Conquer. It is vital that you segment your visitor market. Make sure you know the different type of visitors your website is receiving. Knowing your audience and their differences will be vital to your website design. Remember what we can learn from Steve Jobs, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works,” so make sure it works for all of your visitors.


It is critical that as you approach your web designer that you make sure he or she is aware of these 5 important principles. You see below just how important the design is in the overall website production.


CONCLUSION

I have only shown you the tip of the iceberg. Don’t hesitate to look into it more. I have provided more than a few extremely beneficial links to sources that will continue your education on the topic. Now go out and give your website an extreme make over and watch the difference with the increase in traffic!


Resources:
  1. http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/02/search-quality-highlights-40-changes.html
  2. http://www.seo.com/news/link-seocoms-newsletter-january-2013-2/
  3. http://www.netmagazine.com/features/five-essential-google-analytics-tips-web-designers
  4. http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/digital-marketing/mobile/responsive-web-design-and-web-analytics/
  5. http://www.webanalyticsworld.net/
  6. http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tools-and-tips/3-key-software-principles-you-must-understand/
  7. http://blog.crazyegg.com/2012/11/26/website-design-practices/
  8. http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tools-and-tips/3-key-software-principles-you-must-understand/