web design: common sense seldom prevails

The point of a website is to communicate. Just as in speech or writing, the basic rule is to keep it simple. This is a universally accepted principal – until it comes to web design.

For one reason or another, this simple concept gives way to a myriad of unnecessary elements. Images and graphics are helpful only to the extent that they actually illustrate the central theme or message.

Simple is better and easier. Let’s consider this website as an example. It’s as plain as plain can be, but does it satisfy the following essential criteria:

Is the point of the website immediately clear?

Does it appear to be legitimate?

As a visitor, do you know what action is expected of you?

Social Media Plus SEO Equals the New Social SEO Marketing

Search engine optimization isn’t just about keywords anymore. It is more about web presence, relationships, relevant content and reputation. Participating is social media is the key ingredient to a marketing campaign that achieves improved search ranking. These new factors influencing Google searches are known as Social SEO Marketing. Taking advantage of digital interaction and optimizing your content through these networks to improve the search engine ranking of your business.

When determining the relevance of websites for keyword searches, search engines take into account the activities of these sharing sites, such as Likes, Shares, Tweets and +1s, integrating them into their algorithms. This personalizes the searches and offers marketers the unique opportunity to target consumers using social SEO for generating revenue. Traditional keywords and backlinks are still important but leveraging relationships is just as important for your website’s ranking.

Social Media SEO Strategies

Blog and Website ContentWhen planning your blog or website content, ask yourself if it is organized, relevant, keyword optimized, informative and user friendly. Make sure visitors can share your content easily with buttons for all the social networks. Develop a strong website marketing strategy and follow through with updated content that you share on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ account pages. Share, tweet and like the posts of your followers and groups and they will reciprocate, building a larger following.

Build Followers, Share, Participate – Begin thinking of social media in terms of SEO and make the most of it. Engage users by sharing content, building a reputable profile, participating in conversations and following others. Be sure to use your keywords if you post photos on Pinterest and Google+ or when creating videos for YouTube. Spend time on social media activity every day strengthening your brand.

Know Your Customers – Once you’ve built communities, groups and followers on your networks, engage them in meaningful interactions. In this way, you get to know the needs of your current customers and potential customers. Respond to their concerns in a positive way, thinking about how you want them to view your business. Offer them solutions and alternatives to their problems. This type of interaction builds trust and results in customer satisfaction and referrals.

Links – Inbound links and backlinks signal Google search engines that other sites find your content relevant. The more links you attract to your site, the better ranking you’ll have. Links also give your site authority and drive more traffic to your content. One way to optimize links is to allow guest bloggers on your site and create press releases that link back to you. Of course, links developed from contacts and connections improve your position on Google search pages.

The New Complex World of SEO

Although this new world of social networking and SEO is complex, it is effective and doable. If you take advantage of all the different elements of keyword optimization, informative content, interaction, strengthening your authority and building links, then you will have a marketing campaign that results in high search engine ranking and a profitable ROI.

 

Marketing online

Internet marketing is time consuming – and as I have said before – not always worth it. But it’s important not to confuse  internet marketing with website marketing.

Internet marketing requires understanding and expertise in search engine optimization. SEO includes technical,  on-site issues, and keyword optimization. SEO requires understanding Google rules and policies – a full time job in and of itself.

SEO requires writing multi-purpose content, and understanding how to promote – but not over promote it. It requires understanding social media marketing, and much, much more.

Website marketing, on the other hand, is more basic, and skills from traditional marketing can be applied. In essence, a website is visual; the basic rules of graphic design apply.

It’s not a surprise, for example, that the most successful websites are simple, featuring strong graphic elements, plenty of white space, and strong typography.

Website marketing requires call to action prompts, special offers, and strong copy writing. Basic marketing and sales that are often ignored.

While there is a cost to outfitting a website with basic marketing features – it is minimal compared to the cost of internet marketing.  And unlike internet marketing, website marketing has a highly predictable positive return.