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Best of 2007: Website Design


Before embarking on a serious search engine marketing (SEM) program, it's critical that your website is designed to take full advantage of the increased traffic. Landing pages are important of course, but not every SEM visitor will convert immediately—some will want to check out your site to learn more about your company, products and/or services first. Intuitive navigation, relevant visitor-focused content, and SEO all need to be built-in to your site from the outset.

With that in mind, here are some of the best articles and blog posts from 2007 on website design considerations and action items.

20 Ways to NAVIGATE to Higher Conversions by Internet Search Engine Database

Writer Stoney deGeyter details how elements such as the location of navigation bars, site search functionality, contact information, image alt text and clickable links are critical to designing a user-friendly website. "Site wide navigation, including top, bottom and side navigation, should be as user-friendly as possible, ensuring that what is "expected" is implemented just as much as much what should be obvious."


Color Schemer Online

This very cool color selection tool lets you easily translate RGB color values to hex and vice versa. It's very useful for finding just the right colors for a new site or website redesign.


12 Website Design Decisions Your Business or Organization Will Need to Make (PDF) by Ralph F. Wilson

Web marketing expert Ralph Wilson provides a 12-step guide to developing an effective website in this 32-page paper. It's designed to be printed out and "serve as a worksheet to clarify your thinking and provide direction at various stages of the project. If you decide to outsource the project, you'll want to share a copy of your marked-up copy of this document with your website designer."


5 Easy Ways to Make Your About Us Page More About Your Customers by Internet Search Engine Database

This brief but insightful articles shows how to make your "About Us" page more about what your site visitors need to know in order to have confidence in doing business with you. "The About Us page can play an important functional role in the process of providing visitors comfort and assurances in your company and your ability to meet their needs. Here you can provide specific information that visitors both expect to find and that will help them feel "safe" with the offerings you provide."


SEO for New Web Site Launch by Search Engine Watch

Mark Jackson of VIZION Interactive shows how to build in onsite SEO practices from the outset of a website design to optimize search position for new domains that are not yet "trusted" by the search engines. "Search engines need to go through a courting process...They need to get to know you and your friends (external links to your site). Over time, they'll come to trust you and like you, or decide you're a flake who deserves no attention whatsoever."


Small business branding; Developing a FAQ page for your website by Smart Marketing

Marketing consultant and author Jay Lipe shows how to use the FAQ page on your site to establish credibility with prospects and help the most qualified visitors to self select. "A FAQ page is actually a sales and marketing tool that can help qualify your website visitors and move them closer to doing business with you."


Four Quick Ways to Improve Your HELP and FAQ Pages by E-Marketing Performance

Echoing Jay Lipe's contention above, stating that "comprehensive Help and FAQ pages gives your visitors confidence that you’re there to provide them the information and help they need to be comfortable purchasing from you," Stoney deGeyter offers helpful guidance on making these pages as helpful and effective as possible.


Online shoppers quick to leave retail sites: study by DMNews

Ellen Keohane reports on research supporting the importance of accurate and well-designed site search functionality. Online visitors have short attention spans, so making it easy for them to find exactly what they are seeking is critical. "73% of respondents said they would leave an e-commerce site within one to two minutes if they could not find what they were looking for."


12 Product Page Conversion Strategies That Shant Be Ignored by Internet Search Engine Database

Pointing out that "Your visitors enter your product pages...to learn, research and compare what you have against a competitor. In addition to this, product pages also help buyers find relevant pricing information, delivery costs, warranty and/or return policies and a whole lot more. To be effective, your website must implement product pages that are able to satisfy each of your visitor's needs...but (also) be convincing enough to entice your visitors to move through the purchase process—on your site rather than on a competitor's website," this article provides 12 valuable tips for developing effective product pages.


The Top 10 Dumbest Web Site Decisions by SiteProNews

Writer Kalena Jordan details 10 "ouch!" mistakes that should never be made when planning, developing and promoting a website—but sometime are.


6 Ways to Get Your Visitors To Contact You From Your Contact Us Page by Search Engine Guide

And finally, one more article by the ubiquitous Stoney deGeyter (is there any site this guy doesn't write for?!) offers six techniques to make your Contact Us page ("one of the most important and crucial pages on your site") as effective as possible.


Previous articles in this series:

Best of 2007: SEO Analysis Tools
Best of 2007: SEO Keyword Research Tools
Best of 2007: News Articles on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Blog Posts on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEM
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on Google AdWords
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEO (Part 1)
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEO (Part 2)

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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All Time Greats

Email Campaign, Newsletter and Banner Ad Click-Through Rates (CTR)

When planning online advertising and email promotion budgets, it's critical to calculate the likely ROI upfront whenever possible, as well as to establish campaign benchmarks. The first step is understanding the average and likely range of CTRs for various programs. The growth in online advertising, the proliferation of enewsletters, the emergence of new forms of information delivery such as RSS and the emergence of social media sites have all affected CTR, so planning based on current data is crucial.

It can be challenging to find current statistics, but based on several studies, these are typical CTR ranges for email newsletter ads, email campaigns (blasts or internally-produced enewsletters), and banner ads.

Email newsletter advertisements
Open rates range from 28-40%, with an average of about 33%—meaning that roughly one-third of the subscriber base is likely to see your ad. The Advertising Is Good For You blog tracks these statistics from DoubleClick.
The average CTR for indust…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tips Week Content Marketing Part 4

More tips, more tips, more tips!

Forget real-time marketing Some of the real-time marketing examples surrounding the tragic death of Robin Williams will make you sick to your stomach. Brands and publishers alike are tripping over themselves to leverage breaking news for business gain. The only situation in which you should be considering real-time marketing is if your content marketing strategy is near perfect. Only then will you be well prepared enough to tackle the risks of real-time (and reap the potential rewards). Focus on consistent, valuable information… become the expert… get the process in place… be patient.

Tips Week, Content Marketing Part 2

Continuing the mad tips!

 Go 6 months without mentioning your product There's a study that compared CMI’s informational/educational posts to posts that mentioned their products and/or services. The posts that talked about the brand received about 25 percent of the total unique visitors that a regular, educational post did. At the same time, those branding posts received virtually no additional subscribers on sales-related posts, while regular posts brought in between 35 and 75 subscribers. The point is this: The more you talk about yourself, the more you’ll negatively impact your content marketing efforts. Keep the offers outside the content, and watch your program flourish.

Tips Week: Content Marketing Strategies and Ideas Part 1

After last week's Quote Week, we're moving onto Tips Week! And our focus is Content Marketing!

Take “best of breed” seriously Ninety-nine percent of companies don’t do this. There are at least six principles that are essential to epic content marketing. The sixth, and perhaps most important, is setting a goal/mission to be the “best of breed” informational provider for your industry niche — i.e., to truly be the leading informational resource for your industry. This is critical to making content marketing work for you. If your content marketing isn’t eagerly anticipated and truly necessary, at some point, your audience will see through the fa├žade and ignore you. Ask yourself this: If your content marketing disappeared from the planet, would anyone miss it? If no one would miss your information, you’ve got work to do. Start by setting your goal, then set up the processes and invest in the people you need to reach that goal.

Quotes on Marketing

Continuing our Quote Week extravaganza, we have quotes about Marketing:

1. “Whether B2B or B2C, I believe passionately that good marketing essentials are the same. We all are emotional beings looking for relevance, context and connection.” – Beth Comstock 2. “Good marketers see consumers as complete human beings with all the dimensions real people have.” – Jonah Sachs 3. “Our jobs as marketers are to understand how the customer wants to buy and help them do so.” – Bryan Eisenberg 4. “Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.” - Mike Volpe 5. "If you're a good marketing person, you have to be a little crazy." – Jim Metcalf

Top Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Know Your Audience

Looking for some online marketing tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper digital marketing advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive, and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? Online marketing is cost-effective Easier to reach your audience members and potential customers And you know exactly who you’re reaching 

You have the ability to optimize campaigns and websites if they are not performing the way you want them to. You can clearly see how many people have opened your emails and clicked a link. You can even target who you want to when you want to.

So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top-notch digital marketing tip!

Know your target audience and knowing how to target them

These two online marketing tips are key. If you’r…