August 28, 2014

Website and Internet Marketing Definitions (April 8, 2011)

Added this week to my Internet Marketing Glossary at WebAsylum.com.

Alt Tags
Alt tags area form of meta tags used to provide more information about an image on a website. The tags are added by the webmaster when the images are put on a web page. Originally, alt-tags were designed for people with impaired vision to use browsers that would read the tags to the user letting them know more about the image. Search engines began using the information when indexing web pages.

Header Tags (or Headline Tags)
Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc) are used to highlight text on a webpage, usually in headlines or sub-headlines, and are sometimes used by search engines to determine what a page is about, so it’s important to include appropriate keywords for the website and page in particular in header or H1 tags.

Javascript
One of many programming languages used to control web pages, among other things. However, Javascript is not understood very well by search engines and many will suggest avoiding it when build navigation on web pages.

Lead Magnet
Something of value that you give away, usually on a squeeze page, in exchange for getting an email address and name. (Some call this an ethical bribe) The lead magnet is often delivered electronically, such as a report, white paper, newsletter, spreadsheet or software.

Linkbait
Content put on a webpageor blog post that is designed to attract a lot of attention and specifically links from other sites. Inbound links from other websites help with search engine ranking (and links on other sites can help build awareness and traffic.) Linkbait can be something creative or funny or provacative. Lists are especially popular. It could be a glossary. It could be a video, survey, picture or even a live feed.

Meta Descriptions
Meta description code is usually what shows up on a SERP as the description of what the web page is all about. Some search engines use the meta description in their algorithms to determine how the page should be indexed, so it’s important to use preferred keywords in meta descriptions. If a meta description is not included for a page, the search engines show a random piece of text from the site, so it’s important to write specific meta descriptions for each page of your website.

Socialbait
Similar to linkbait, social bait is content created for a website specifically to attract interest in social media, such as comments on Twitter or references to the content on Facebook. The socialbait content could be a blog post, online game, quiz, video, commentary, pictures or video. It could also be social media content that is created to be picked up on other social media sites.

Squeeze Page
A web page specifically designed to squeeze at least minimal information from a prospect (or even a current customer to get them into a different email list). Most squeeze pages focus specifically on getting someone to opt-in to an email list and don’t usually have distractions from the goal, such as site navigation.

Title Tags
Meta description of a web page that shows up at the top of a browserand reinforces for the visitor what the page is about. The code for meta descriptions is put in the background of the page. Some search engines use the words in title tags to identify what the page is all about. Each page on a website should have separate and specific title tags.

Trust Marks
Trust Marks or Trust Signals are webpage elements that convey authenticity and security to site visitors. Logos, testimonials and secure badges are all trust marks.

What website development or Internet Marketing Definitions are you interested in?

Where do all the good ideas come from?

My friend Liz Strauss likes to say, "The people who will get rich on the
Internet are those who solve a problem the Internet didn't cause."  I think you could succeed with that
mindset OR of solving problems created BY the Internet!  But Liz says,
"There are way more problems the Internet didn't cause … that still
need solving. :)"  Point taken.

Almost everyone with a blog or website wants to achieve website success and that often involves providing a solution to someone's problem or creating a memorable experience that supercharges your marketing and therefore your traffic. 

So where do the great ideas come from?  There are many components to a successful website, including design, writing, products and services, pricing. You might want (or need) good ideas for all pieces of your site.

Web designers sometimes look at other designs for inspiration on sites they're working on.  Some get ideas using design directories. Sometimes, you can get ideas from the portfolios of other web designers.

Web strategists and entrepreneurs can find ideas by studying what has worked on other websites.  Even something like "10 Totally Stupid Ideas That Made Someone Rich

Writers get inspiration from studying the works of others without plagiarizing. "If you take it from one source it's plagiarizing. If you take it from multiple sources, it's RESEARCH." (Some famous writer said that – can't remember who)

Bloggers are taught to read the blogs of others in their niche, and I think anyone (bloggers, affiliate marketers, corporate webmasters, et al) can get great information on what people are looking for and the solutions you can provide by reading those blogs and forums in the same niche.

So, whether you're a writer, marketer, entrepreneur or anyone hoping for Website ROI, it pays to listen to what your prospects, customers and even competitors are saying.  What are their needs?  What words do they use to describe their needs? (They may use those terms to find you in search engines)

Here are some simple search tips that may help you out:

To find websites or blogs with a keyword in the URL, type "inurl:" and follow it with the keyword in a Google search bar.  Let's use gardening as an example.  If you type "inurl:gardening", Google supplies you with a list of 20 million+ websites with "gardening" in the URL.

Good luck wading through all of those.

The keyword you specify might be found in the domain name, such as Gardening.com or it might be in the path of the URL, such as www.marthastewart.com/gardening.

Check out a few sites and refine your search, such as "inurl:tomato gardening," which results in 228,000 web pages.

Notice that some of the results use "garden" and not "gardening," so it's not 100% accurate.  But compare these results with just entering "tomato gardening" into a search engine.

To search for terms in the title of a blog post, use "intitle:KEYWORD"  As an example, try "intitle:gardening" or "intitle:tomato gardening"

Want to find a forum that discusses your niche?  Search "KEYWORD + forum"  Example: "tomato gardening + forum"

That's all the time we have today boys and girls.  I'm going to continue this series this week.  Comments?  Questions?

What is your most pressing issue, obstacle or concern regarding creating your effective web presence?

One of my coaching clients counsels others of effective website development, social meda and online marketing.  I am subscribed to her email list.  She recently sent out an email to her followers asking:"What is your most pressing issue, obstacle or concern regarding creating your effective web presence?"

I'll be interested in the responses.  But I thought I would share the answers I've gotten from our customers:

"Speaking from experience, our customers are most
challenged by developing the content for their site, especially page content
that is benefit rich and has clear calls to action.

But the key that is sorely lacking on most
websites is a plan.  Most websites fail
because the owner fails to set specific measureable goals and create a plan to
achieve them."

If you have a website that needs to be fixed, or you are building one from the ground up, you should develop a plan that lists your objectives and then create tactics and strategies to achieve them.  That's easier said than done, but if you do it, you'll be ahead of at least 90% of other sites, including your direct competitors.

Developing site content that immediately defines you and engages your visitor will lead to conversion of the goals you set when you began your plan.

You'll need to monitor your success and adjust accordingly, but you'll be better off.

These two tips are part of my "5 Biggest Mistakes Most People Make With Their Website" tutorial, a free course delivered by email.

I'd be interested in your feedback on the course, but also your answewrs tothe question, "What is your most pressing issue, obstacle or concern

regarding creating your effective web presence?"

– Kurt Scholle

Mailbag: Flash & Video on Home Page

Bobhopestamp I had a customer ask recently about adding a video to their Home page, which also features a flash animation.  Here is my response.

We can work on a Home video, if you like,
but I really wouldn’t recommend it on a page with Flash.

-It may “fight” with the Flash animation –
you’d have a lot going on

-It might not fit on the page along with
other page elements, especially if you want to minimize scrolling on Home

-Flash files take some time to load.  Video can be even longer.  We want all pages, especially Home, to load
quickly

-Depending on the message, it might be best
to tell it in Flash on 3-4 Home Flash slides and then use video to support or explain a service or to simply welcome website visitors.

Videos do not have to run on a page per
se.  They can play in a popup.

Consider promoting a video on the Home page, perhaps with an attractive graphic, with a link to an existing interior page or a new one that supports the message in the video.

– Kurt Scholle

   Website ROI Guy

Best of the Website Success Blogs (April 24, 2009)

Bestofwsb There is so much good content online.  There is a lot of drek too.  I try and distill the best parts for you from time-to-time in Best of the Website Success Blogs.

(cue the intro music)

Successful websites depend on so many things; design & layout, message, usability, marketing, strategy, metrics, etc.  Today, we have many links to information anyone interested in website ROI should consider.

Right off the bat, check out Today is Kick Ass Friday — 10 Q's for U  Kick Ass Friday is a regular feature and I think you like other recent posts, especially if you're an owner or manager.

The rest of the links include search engine tips, design tips for webmasters and social media tips for baby boomers from the always fabulous Barbara Rozgonyi.

For the more technical, we'll take a look at robots.txt files, link to some CAPTCHA scripts and introduce you to a cool tool for putting videos in your website.

And, don't forget the 'hits and giggles" section.  Some funny images captured by the Google Streetview team and a funny video on Facebook manners.

Biz Tips Blog:
Animoto is a Super Easy Video Tool
I've seen a demo of this and would have to agree that it should be in every webmaster's toolkit.

Clickz:
Is Your B2B Site a Good Salesperson?

Daily SEO Blog:
30 Web Design SEO Tips for Webmasters

Online Business:
Top 10 Search Engine Optomization (SEO) Tips

Search Engine Journal:
Google Selectively Ignoring Meta Description Tags?

Search Engine Land:
A Deeper Look at Robots.txt

Dream CSS:
10 Free CAPTCHA Scripts and Services for Websites

the Blog Herald:
20 Law-Related Questions Every Blogger Should Know
You may want to bookmark this!

SearchEngineWatch:
No Need to Freak Out Over Google Analytics Suddenly Disappearing

Copyblogger:
The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines
You can adapt some of Brian Clark's recommendations to website content too!

Corporate Dollar:
How to Build a Social Media Cockpit With Firefox

Mashable:
The Web in Numbers: The Rise of Social Media
Facebook had doubled to 200 million users in 8 months

Social Networking Websites Review:
2009 Social Networking Websites Product Comparisons
Interesting side-by-side comparisons.

wiredprworks:
10 Social Media Savvy Tips for Baby Boomers

And finally, for hits & giggles:

Facebook Manners and You

Caught on Camera: The Best of Google Street View

Best of the Website Success Blogs (March 6, 2009)

We have a bunch of great stuff for this edition of Best of the Website Success Blogs.  Google is offering training and certification in Google Analytics, Yahoo! has added some new functionality, e-mail tips, Matt Cutts on how to link to a specific part of a YouTube video, a posting about the new Facebook changes, a primer on Social Media Marketing and 9 usability mistakes to avoid with your website design!

I appreciate the suggestions you've been sending and I will have more "best of" for you in the next couple of days!

Google:
Google Analytics Launches Individual Qualification Program

What is Your Google Analytics IQ?
The course is free! The certification test is 50 bucks.

Boosting Adwords ROI With the Conversion Optimizer

PPC Hero:
New Features Rolling Out for Yahoo! Search Marketing, FINALLY!

Webmaster Resources:
Yahoo’s Phrase Based Indexing and It’s Effect on Your Site

InvespBlog:
Avoid Blacklisting and Get on Your Prospects Whitelists

Matt Cutts:
Link to a Sprcific Part of a YouTube video

Mashable:
HOW TO: Measure Online Influence

New Facebook Pages: A Guide for Social Media Marketers

G5 Search Marketing:
Facebook, Twitter, Real-Time Web, Social Marketing and Why You Should Care
Good social media primer for those of you who are SM curious

Advertising Age:
Web 2.0 Etiquette: A Review

Smashing Magazine:
9 Common Usability Mistakes In Web Design

Best of the Website Success Blogs (Jan 24, 2009)

This week, the Best of the Blogs is chock full of information on how to blog successfully, some useful information for Social Marketing  practices, trend spotting and some new services.

Information Week:
Google Terminates Six Services
Some surprises here!

Search Engine Guide:
New Service For Small Businesses Launches
Learn more about how your business is listed online.

SEOmoz:
Do the Little Things in SEO Make a Big Difference?
Good SEO tips that often get overlooked.

Search Engine Watch:
Google Conversion Optimizer: The Best-Kept Secret in PPC?

PPC Rockstars:
Campaign Structure and Advertising Merchandising Trends

Small Business Search Marketing:
Keyword Discovery Adds Question Phrases

ReveNews:
White Hat Link Building – Affiliate Summit West 2009 Session Report
Creating inbound links helps search rankings.  Good stuff here.

ReadWriteWeb:
Twitter's New Security Solution Could Pave the Way to a Future Web of Mashups
Never Give Your Twitter Password to a Stranger Again

Why We're Desperately Awaiting Feedsqueezer
Feedburner has gotten worse since Google bought them.

Traffikd:
33 Free Trend Tracking Tools

Small Business Trends:
Top Small Business Marketing Trends for 2009
Authenticity, Word of Mouth, DIY, more…

Network World:
10 Web Sites That Will Matter in 2009

SEO Roundtable:
How to Use Google to Recover a Lost Website

Six Revisions:
12 Useful Web Tools for Designers
Construct or identify a font, webpage templates, color schemes.

Webdazzling.com:
How to Have Fun with Adobe
Photoshop tutorials and keyboard shortcuts

ProBlogger:
How to Create a Blogging Plan and Actually Reach Your Goals This Year
Start with one of eight plans.

Hubspot:
5 Types of Posts to Feed Your Business Blog
In a rut? Changing the type of post may spice things up!

Blog For Profit:
Are You a Freeway Blogger or an Off-Road Blogger?
Successful bloggers tend to fall into one of these two categories.

TopRank Blog:
Social Media Marketing An Hour a Day: Interview with Dave Evans

Most Social Media plans begin with listening.

Duct Tape Marketing:
My Social Media System
John Jantsch's recommendations for daily, weekly and monthly activities.

NETTUTS:
10 Awesome Ways to Integrate Twitter With Your Website

A Confused Mind Says No

Confused2
I attended the National Speakers Association Illinois Chapter meeting on Friday.  The keynote speaker, Ford Saeks, is an interesting guy.  A former juvenile delinquent, he started a painting company when he was 15, and eventually developed a product to store bikes in a garage vertically.  He owns the patent on another product that combined the bike trailors used to pull a baby with the jogging backpack.  All of that could be the subject of other blog posts.

One of the themes thruout nearly 3 hours of presentations was, "The confused mind says no."  It was probably my biggest takeaway and it reminded me of the presentation that Tim Ash did on landing pages at SES.

People are searching for solutions online.  One of the most important elements of why customers select you is what problems do you solve that people will pay you to make go away.  But, don't confuse them by distracting them from the page's primary purpose.  Readers of this blog have heard me say on more than one occasion that your online message should be about benefits, not features.  Make those apparent by using headlines, bullet lists and bold or highlighted text.

Two popular themes are helping your customer avoid pain or increase pleasure.  And those benefits can be presented in headlines that begin with "7 Keys to…" or "3 Benefits of…" or "Secrets that will…."

Use a separate web page (or even website) to promote the single benefit (avoid pain / increase pleasure) or product.  Saeks told the room full of speakers that they might need separate websites to support diverse presentation topics and at the very least, their "one sheets" should support one speech or presentation at a time.  The same applies to a menu of products or services for non-speaker websites.

Tim Ash talked about landing pages with minimal off-page links or information that did not pertain to the product or service being offered.  Landing page optimization is also about a lack of confusion.

A confused mind says no!

Saeks recommends the book, "Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability" by Steve Krug.

Bonus stuff:

Saeks says there are 3 keys to successful marketing:

  • Message (Why)
  • Market (Who)
  • Methods (How)

Free offers to get prospects to opt in still work, but e-zine subscriptions are no longer effective.

Article marketing is an effective technique to build website traffic.

Testimonials are great influencers.

"Text sells, graphics create attention."

Here's to increasing your web site's ROI,

– Kurt Scholle

5 Biggest Website Mistakes and How To Avoid Them – #5 Lousy Design

5mistakes
Most websites have problems that suppress traffic and destroy conversion.
  Some of these problems have been addressed here before and we’ll continue to help you improve your websites.  Many times just fixing problems can be as beneficial as implementing some Aha! idea.  So I wrote a free 5-part course, delivered by email, that identifies these problems and how to overcome them.  Use the information to audit your own site.

I’ve decided to present some of the material on my blog.  (You get more information, including bonus material and case studies by signing up for the email course.)

We’re going to work to turn
the 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make With Their Websites into positives. It is imperative that at least one member of
your team have the tools, experience, creativity and talent to properly design
and maintain a site that is attractive to your prospects.  That includes proper callouts  or customer interactions.  It means helping your visitor find what they’re looking for easily.

Here is an excerpt from Part 5 of the 5 Biggest Mistakes Most People Make With Their Website – Lousy Design:

Mistake #5: Lousy design.  There are several aspects to good website design.  First, 1st impressions count.  So do second impressions. Your site appearance is an integral part of the brand you project to customers and prospects.  It is the beginning of building your reputation.  Website visitors make a decision within seconds whether to stay on a site or move on.  An attractive site has a great impact on whether people stay with it or not.  It’s not unlike choosing between a piece of fresh-out-of–the-oven pie ala mode or a day-old donut.

The aesthetics of your site need to appeal to your target audience(s).  Different colors project trust, confidence or any range of emotions.  Colors and images may be perceived differently by different types of audiences.  The theme of the site is defined by design, whether it be corporate, political, playful, informational, etc.

Good design includes proper layout.  Good layout affects attractiveness, but it also improves the ease of navigation, which helps visitors find what they are looking for.  Professional web designers use page editors like Frontpage or Dreamweaver to lay out an attractive pages that are consistent whether it’s the Home page or an interior page.  The site must have consistency across all pages, but also remain faithful to other elements of the brand.

The page elements, such as graphics that make up the header, icons, navigation buttons and pictures influence the overall design.  Many of these graphics are built using Photoshop and the experience and talent of the graphic artist comes thru just like some sculptors or painters are more talented than others.  Make sure your design elements are professional looking.

Good website design also affects the effectiveness of your online message.  The image that your site projects helps define your ‘voice’ and develop your reputation. Your message is supported by appropriate colors and suitable images as well as the integration of video and audio.  Proper design will incorporate all of these elements in a pleasing way and ensure that video and audio plays when it is supposed to.

If you’re going to design it yourself, you need to learn how to use Photoshop (or a good graphics design package), Dreamweaver (or a good website page editor).  There are hundreds of online resources for HTML Tutorials, Website Usability, Cascading Style Sheets and more.

Navigation of the website is important to keep your visitors engaged.  How your navigation and free-standing callouts are laid out have a significant impact on usability and customer conversion.  It has a significant effect on how easily users find information.

Doneforyou175
For more information on fixing the "Poor Design" mistake, sign up for our free 5-part course.  And if you’d like it "Done4You", please email me.

– Kurt Scholle (the Website-ROI-Guy)
   www.WebAsylum.com

The Benefits of White Space (Less is More)

When laying out a web page, consider the liberal use of whitespace.  Whitespace is sometimes referred to as "negative space", but it tends to allow important copy elements to ‘pop’ on a website more and it is used to convey elegance, power, honesty, trustworthiness and leadership.  It looks clean and uncluttered.  It is accepted as convention and understood not to be "nothing."

Yet, people often avoid it.  But, Less (stuff) is More in an ad or website.

We’re working with a customer now who has a website with page background colors of a medium blue.  Some of the copy is highlighted with a yellow background.  Now, don’t get me wrong, gold and blue is a fine combination.  (They were my high school’s colors)  But the blue background is so limiting.

A white background looks crisper.  It prints better and presents fewer problems when posting a graphic to a web page.

And there is the issue of contrast.
  Black on white is more contrasty than black on blue (or white on blue).

White space sets off offers, but the use of a background color in a sidebar or signup box can really help you set off that content.  It helps attract your eye to an area on a page. 

That can be a tactical advantage.

The benefits of whitespace are the perception of lower risks, higher quality, prestige, trust and leadership.

We cover designs. colors and its affect on strategy in the "5 Biggest Mistakes Most People Make With Their Websites" course you can sign up for now.  It’s free and comprehensive. 

– Kurt Scholle
   The Website ROI Guy!