Internet Marketers, are They Headed for Extinction?

bruce aristeo marketing

bruce aristeo marketing

Are Internet Marketers marketing themselves out of the market, thus becoming extinct?

If you’re old enough, you should remember when the Internet was introduced to the world. Then, shortly after we got used to the directory and file driven GUI, AOL created an application with colored icons and buttons. Finally, the Internet became a term of the past and we were introduced to the WEB.

INTERNET MARKETERS MAKING MILLIONS

With the introduction of the Web, we saw .COM companies emerging with graphic designers and programmers making millions. The word was out, everyone had to have a website! Soon after, people began buying URLs and selling them to the large corporations at an astronomical profit. Ah, the good ‘ol days…

OOPS!

But, what was the end result to millions of people hitching a ride on the programming bandwagon? Well, the programmers began programming applications to build websites, scripts, and web-based apps for those do-it-yourselfers. You no longer needed a programmer when you had the app doing the job. That sounds much like a traditional sci-fi movie, the ones in which humans build computers to do work only to have the computers take over.

MANUAL LABOR

Looking at today’s level of marketing, there is a tremendous amount of manual labor maintaining social media, search engine marketing, keyword research, and yes, we still have website development. The question to ask is, “Where is all this headed?”

My inbox continues to grow exponentially with offers from companies whose product line consists of apps that maintain, monitor, and offer analytics targeting areas that require the most attention. The purpose of these apps are to alleviate manual labor and guesswork. Sound familiar?

THE QUESTION

So, are Internet Marketers marketing themselves out of the market place as programmers were deprogrammed by inventing new ways to ease the burden of manual labor? Comments requested…

On-Page SEO Strategy: Getting Found Online

bruce aristeo

bruce aristeo
On-page SEO is about keywords or key-terms, keyword ranking, and ensuring that your most important terms are found within the content elements of your website. Content elements relate to page structure and include titles, headlines, sub-headlines, body content (text), images, tags and links.

Keyword density relates to the amount of times your most important words are used within the elements, however, overuse of these terms can be as damaging to keyword ranking as failing to use them enough. A good guideline is to keep less than 7 keywords per page, making sure they are the most prominent. Remember, you can populate the page with 1-2 terms on the same page, giving you better keyword ranking in search engine results pages (SERP).

The following tips are examples of on-page SEO done right:

  • Pick a primary terms or two for each page. Search engines use these words to rank and clearly determine what your content is about. Using too many keyword ranking terms in your content will confuse search engines and reduce your importance and the ‘authority’ of your page.
  • Place your key-terms within your heading and sub-heading, as these elements carry more weight with SERP.
  • Use your terms within the body-content (main text) of your page. They must be incorporated in a natural fashion that relates to the information you’re providing in some relevant manner for the best keyword ranking. Stuffing terms out of context for the sake of having them is a no-no, so make them count.
  • Include key-terms in the file names of images (i.e., mykeyword.jpeg), or within the Alt tag option to help ranking.
  • Use your terms within the site URL for better ranking.
  • Develop content for your readers, not search engines. Writing from the perspective of keyword ranking will never achieve the natural flow necessary to engage your site visitors, and defeats the purpose of getting them there in the first place.
  • Create an XML Sitemap for search engines to quickly understand and index the content. Here’s one (of many) free sitemap builders to help you.

Got a favorite SEO tip to share or myth to bust? Leave us a comment!

Website Design: Making A Good First Impression

bruce aristeo

bruce aristeo

As with any first meeting, your website design says a lot about who you are and the quality of your business. First time visitors quickly (although, often subconsciously) run through a list of qualifiers before deciding if it’s worth their time to get to know you. Some of the questions they may ask themselves include, but are not limited to:

  • Is this a credible business site?
  • Can I trust the information provided?
  • How long has this company been in business?
  • Can I easily navigate to the information I need?
  • Is this site welcoming and engaging …professional?

Studies show that while aesthetics alone may not be the lone factor when it comes to first impressions, bells and whistles that serve little purpose are distracting to consumers. A clean website design that incorporates multimedia where appropriate will often engage a site visitor better than an overly priced, multi-colored site comprised of flashy components.

  • Here’s some additional tips:
  • Color – Pick 2-4 that compliment
  • Animation and music – avoid the unnecessary.
  • Over-crowding – make white space your friend to help reduce clutter.
  • Organization – use easy navigation bars vs. random links. Make it easy for visitors to find great content with as few clicks as possible.
  • Fonts and Layout – choose easy to read font sizes and styles. While headlines and other elements should be larger in size, don’t shout. Layout consistency is key and should remain uniform on each page (with the exception of landing pages).

What do you notice first when you arrive at a website for the first time? What turns you off, or gives you a reason to stay awhile? Leave your comments as part of simple survey of thoughts! Who knows; you might surprise us!

Website Design Navigation; Are You Lost?

Bruce Aristeo Website Design Navigation

Bruce Aristeo Website Design Navigation

One of the most important elements to any website design is ease of navigation; the ability of visitors to find the information they need and thus, keep them on your site as they explore all you have to offer.  Any roadblock, such as requiring multiple clicks to reach their desired information, or plug-in requirements to view your content can send a potential customer away from your website in a hurry.

Still, over and over again we see websites that try to use chic design features as a means to elevate their navigation tools …at their own peril, of course.

Key tips to consider:

  • Simple, clear, structured navigation near the top of your website, as well as within the footer.
  • Include a search box for ease of searching your pages by keywords.
  • When possible, keep your sub-menus no more than 3 levels deep.
  • Limit the number of navigational options on a page
  • Including links to other pages within your body text content encourages further exploration while also boosting your SEO.

Avoid fancy or complicated Java Script and Flash in your navigation, as it often requires a visitor to have updated software and limits the ability of mobile users (at present) to navigate your website. 

Website Redesign and Instant Gratification Gone Amok

Bruce Aristeo Website Redesign

Bruce Aristeo Website Redesign

For some, the decision to redesign a current website is based on functional limitations and/or failure to perform. For others, it could simply be a spontaneous decision; the colors are boring, or the lack of that “special something” extra …bells, whistles, cool gadgets! Yeah! That’s what I need… a redesign!

And so it goes; we jump head over heals (and budget) into a redesign without evaluating first, what’s really working: what could use a simple facelift, and what could be tossed altogether. In doing so, we also lose track of how deleting pages could produce a negative outcome in the form of search engine errors.

First things first:

  • Take inventory of every webpage Google has indexed for your website. Go to Google.com and enter the following into the search box: “site: www.YourWebsite.com”.
  • List them all in an Excel spreadsheet with documented traffic (or lack thereof) found in your analytics program to help you determine what stays and what goes.
  • In a third column, construct redirects (new URLs) for those that will no longer exist on your new website. Without redirects, visitors who have bookmarked pages to your old website, or tripped over old links (articles?) will land on an error page (Not Found). You can list your homepage for now and come back later and change them if a more suitable new one is created.
  • Then gather up all the content files that you want to repurpose on your new site for ease of linking and uploading, and create a new file to hold them, including:
    • Your logo formed in a vector format (i.e., .eps, .ai, or .cdr).
    • Guidelines, such as Privacy and Return policy documents
    • Images, graphics and downloadable files (whitepapers, eBooks, etc)

Now you’re ready to dig in. Your next step should be defining the purpose of your website redesign; what do you hope to gain or make better? More traffic and leads? Ease of conversions from prospect to customer? And more importantly, what new features and elements will you include in your website to help you accomplish your goals.

Got a favorite website redesign tip to share? Share your comments with us.

Creating Your New Website or Redesign On Paper First

Bruce Aristeo Website Design

Bruce Aristeo Website Design

Creating your website on paper first will help reduce design time, wasted resources, ensure necessary items can easily be found and uploaded, and provide you the opportunity to define, redefine and structure your website elements.

CREATING YOUR NEW WEBSITE ON PAPER FIRST

Here’s how it’s done: Create a Word document for each page you plan to include containing the following:

  • Page name, title (less than 60 characters), and location within the site, such as a sub-menu item
  • Meta Description (use no more than 7 keywords, preferably within long-tail keyword phrases; less than 150 characters total)
  • URL
  • Alt text to accompany each image or graphic to be included on the page
  • Main headline
  • Sub-headline
  • Body content (including text and associated images and/or media file names)
  • Links for content to referenced/related pages

Designing for a company consisting of multiple departments each with needs to consider. Bring all stakeholders into the process early and ask each the following questions:

  • Who are the buyers each department encounters most frequently?
  • What specific keywords or long-tail keyword phrases are commonly used or searched for?
  • What are their needs and objectives? Ex: Product specs and descriptions, lead generation, thought leadership, closing tools.
  • Which department requires more dedicated space for copy (text), forms or graphics?
  • What is the company/department perception: business development, high tech, entertainment?
  • What call to action (CTA) will support each stakeholder’s needs (subscriptions, trial offers, buy now campaigns)?
  • What features would best serve their customers (i.e., blogs, user forum, live chat), and who will be responsible for oversight of those features, if implemented?
  • What navigation elements would better serve their customers, including sub-menus, breadcrumbs and search bar?

If you’re redesigning a current site, ask each stakeholder to also answer the following:

  • What has worked in the past and what changes are necessary?
  • What existing content should be updated and repurposed within the new design?
  • What new content would add to their lead funnel and who will create those assets? Is outsourced talent required, and if so, are resources available (access to both known talent and financial requirements)?