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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 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)


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom


All Time Greats

Digital Marketing for Law Firms, How Hard is it?

A lot of "verticals" or industries make sense for digital marketing and the whole process can be very easy and intuitive. For instance, if you are running a Search Engine Optimization company, it's very straightforward to content market:

1- Write blogs or articles about SEO
2- Try to answer questions people have about SEO
3- Optimize those blogs around what the questions are and what you are saying.

But what about an industry that is a lot more complicated and not very straight forward? What about marketing for lawyers?

ACE, one of Philadelphia's top Law Firm Marketing companies, just posted this extremely helpful blog about why SEO is important for Law Firms. It delves into exactly how to do the job for a complex industry like the law and its practitioners.

One of the key points in the entire article is: "If your customer journey does not have a use for search services, then you'll never see SEO campaign results."

We recommend reading the whole thing. …

Tip #3 to improve your digital marketing

Do Your Research You may have ideas for what is going to work best for your audience based on past experience with your ads, but taking the time to conduct thorough research and have data to support your actions is important. You may anticipate that your customers will behave a certain way, when in fact they go in a completely different direction. It’s essential to be prepared for this ahead of time and use the information you collect from research to planning your marketing strategy. Elliot Simmonds explains this concept below:

“ A lot of people use sponsored posts and other paid advertising, and it seems that many are happy to simply pay the money and watch the views and clicks roll in - even if some of those clicks are from individuals tangential to the product or service they're promoting. Most platforms allow you to specifically target your sponsored posts and ads, and my tip is to do so following a period (even if it's only a short period) of actual research. Your gut i…

Tip #2 to Improve your Digital Marketing

Spend Wisely Each platform used to market online provides you with a different value. You need to analyze which outlets you should invest more time and money into, and which ones are not as important. Some platforms that work well for one company, yield little to no results for another. You need to find the one that suits your business goals the best. Digital Marketing is all very specific to your brand, and you need to plan your budget accordingly. Determining what each platform is going to do for your specific advertising efforts should be the basis for the decisions you make with your campaigns, explains Hitesh Sahni, Marketing Consultant at Smemark:

“It’s imperative to understand the value each channel offers. Search advertising platforms, such as Google Adwords, work best when there is a clear demand for your product or service, and you want to target people who search for your product or service online. Search advertising is less effective for a startup that has created a new an…

Does SEO Actually Work?

I wrote this for my new Doctor Digital column over at Results Driven Marketing's Blog. But I wanted to share it here too.

It's the most basic question of all: Does SEO Actually Work?

Yes it does! But not like you think it does.

This graphic should explain it pretty well:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!

Tips to Improve Digital Marketing: Tip 1

Digital advertising has become a major component of modern day marketing strategies. Here are tips on how to improve your digital marketing strategy:

1. Be Creative Your business has visual elements that make it stand out from your competition. Use that to your advantage in your marketing efforts. Whether it is a logo, mascot, font, or color scheme, having it included can help make your brand recognizable. You want to catch the eye of the audience, but you also want to maintain their attention and have them remember your brand. Incorporating unique and creative visual elements into your ads is crucial to the success the ads will bring you. Sarah Maloy, Content Marketing Manager at Shutterstock points out that you want a variety of creative images, but they should be consistent: "When advertising on social media, it's important to refresh your creative often so that it is relevant and so that users aren't seeing the same post more than once. When testing variations and tryi…

AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list of 2018

It’s Early in 2018 and AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list It’s only the first week in February and you are reading about the Metrics/Data supplier that has provided us with fodder by creating a huge marketing blunder, Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is world's biggest third-party database of search queries with refined monthly search volume and research metrics.  Their data is used by untold numbers of digital marketers across the world.  Arguably they are the industry leader in this type of data.  The only thing that they changed was how a tiny item in their metrics was being calculated. 
About a week prior to the effective date of the change, Ahrefs notified users that a change was coming to how they calculated a domain rating or DR.  They also stated that many sites would see their rankings drop.  I agree that a need for change was warranted.  What I don’t agree with how they calculated the change and its ramifications for roughly 75% of all websites.  

This past Friday evening around 11 P.…