Why Every Business Should Have a Responsive Web Design

In years past the way to take a business seriously was the presence of a physical address. Business has changed a lot since, now all we have to do is ‘Google’ your business and we get a gist of what your business is all about. This has made one of the more fundamental requirements of any business is a website. The growth of the internet signifies just how fundamental a website is. Accessibility of the internet has been made easier with the increase of internet enabled gadgets like smartphones, laptops and the likes. As soon as you say your brand name the search for your online presence starts.

With the different avenues one has to access the internet, website owners have the responsibility having responsive web designs. User experience does a whole lot to the chances of one coming back to your site. That seamless experience determines a lot for visitors, you don’t want to be on a site too long and not figure out how to get around. Responsive web design helps in this and also eliminates the need to create a separate mobile site to provide the same information. Responsive web design makes sure brand integrity is maintained and for SEO purposes makes your site a lot easier to crawl.

In this day and age it is difficult to find one operating more so a business without a website. Technology has been making it easier and easier for people to get around doing their businesses. The increase in smartphone sales puts the number of people able to access the internet at an increase too. Brands that integrate mobile in their online presence caters to this growing number of mobile users and offers a truly cohesive user experience.

 

A Few Ways To Get Traffic To Your Website

This article will have some basic information about a few of the most widely used methods online to generate some traffic to your website or product. I will give you the good, bad and an overall opinion about each method so that your understanding will increase you can make an informed decision about which to proceed towards. I have used all of the methods in my business at some point or time and depending on what I am trying to accomplish, some work better than others. My desire is that you should move a little farther ahead towards realizing your goals with the information that I provide here.

The very first type of traffic we will discuss is paid traffic which simply means that you will pay for traffic to be directed to your website through some sort of advertisement. The most popular source of paid traffic is through the various search engines that will put an ad that you create next to some relevant keyword search results and every time a person clicks your ad, you pay for the click. You can also place ads on other peoples blogs or websites that are getting traffic that relate to what you are selling, most of the time a banner ad is used here. If you know your target market well and want to get a specific type of person to your site then Facebook is a good choice to place ads.

The best type of traffic you can get is the kind you don’t pay for which is called free traffic. In order to get free traffic from a search engine such as Google, you have to have relevant content that relates to what people are searching for and they have to like your content and the way you present it. Relevant content is specific information in blogs, articles and reviews that will help the searcher find what they are looking for. In order to have Google approve your content you must make sure that you understand how search engine optimization works and apply the necessary techniques of placement, keyword density and bolding to your content as well as having content added on a consistent basis which is very time consuming.

So now it’s time for you to figure out which of these two main areas of getting traffic you want to use by deciding if your time or money is more valuable at this stage in your business development. You can usually get a faster response by paying for someone to redirect traffic to your website or product but beware that is could get expensive. In order to get long term results you may want to go with the free traffic route and learn all you need to know about SEO and adding relevant content to your site. As always, I hope this information provides some value to you and allows you to move forward.

SEO Audit Tips: 8 Examples of Why Your Source Code Matters

Contrary to what many believe, good SEO practice requires some level of coding skills. At the site of hundreds of lines of code in some cases even thousands, it is common to find those who will not take another second looking at code. As long as the site functions as best as how you know then everything is okay. It may be a lot of work optimizing your page and nobody needs to add to whatever you are already going through but all that work could be in vain if some certain aspects of code are not looked into.

 

Designers, marketers and programmers should take note, all these departments need each other to actually realise that source code plays a very critical role in SEO. We take a look at 8 examples of how source code affects SEO.

 

1. Canonical URL Tag Issues

 

You come across content which is similar to other URL’s. What this tag does is inform engines of duplicate content. When used correctly it works great, take for example a bike company that releases a new model of bikes with the option of different three different colors allowing visitors to change the color when viewing the product page but the URL changes.

 

But when each and every option has the tag it tells the engines that the attribute should be given to the original page that loads the original product. You can see how that would be catastrophic across a larger amount of products, right!

 

2.Server-Side Code Showing Up Client-Side

Server side code like PHP should not appear on HTML source code, it happens sometimes and should be acted upon immediately. Competition never sleeps so you shouldn’t either. Double check and make sure code appears where its supposed to.

 

3. CSS Manipulation & Hidden Content

A stylish web-page is a top priority to site owners, well most anyway and CSS is what gets many there. However, sometimes content gets hidden and doesn’t get to appear on the page. In some cases this could be a matter of code error or it could be intentional to load keywords. There are many CSS techniques one can use to use to hide content. Visit your site with Javascript and CSS disabled it might enlighten you on what is really going on.

4. Meta Robots Problems

Meta robot tags instruct search engines to not index a certain page or not follow any links on the page and so on. There is no telling how much good and harm could come out of this, understand how it works if at all you are using this tag.

 

5. Multiple Head Elements, Title Tags & More

HTML headers hold a lot of information within them, from the meta description, title tags, canonical URL tag etc. This requires correctly structured and well optimized elements put in place. It is common to find empty tags or malformed ones, a quick detection and correction could straighten this issue out. Go through your HTML head and make sure everything is structured right.

 

6. Excessive Script Code

When something is in excess, more often than not there is a high chance not everything is being used. Excessive amounts of script code could slow down your page load speed or worse throw errors. Get rid of unnecessary code and tidy up your client side code.

 

7. Analytics Tagging Problems

We all want to know how our pages are doing and having some kind of analytics to present to us stats in a way we can understand. Thats all well and good but you need to know which snippets are there and that they are giving accurate data. Going through your source code you can find which snippets are loading and more than that you can find improper tagging. Be very careful with your site data, it could get in the hands of someone with malice.

 

8. Malformed Anchors and Canonicals

Nothing rubs off visitors than broken links and worse off is giving out a bad user experience could be the death of your site. It is also important to maintain the flow of PageRank through your site, remember to link from high ranking pages to sibling and child pages.

An extra full stop and a link won’t work and detecting the problem could be a bit difficult and take quite some time. Same happens when canonical tags are not formatted properly, they kill SEO success on the page.

Make sure your links are working properly.

 

I guess now you see the point of having a look at source code every now and again and how it affects SEO power.

10 Tools for Creating Infographics and Visualizations

They say a picture tells a thousand words, add visualizations and infographics, and turn what could turn out to be a long and hard to grasp meeting into an interesting one. Infographics and visualizations aid you in better explaining matters in the boardroom. Creating these infographics and visualizations need not be a tedious task, here are a couple of tools you could use to assist you

1. Piktochart

This is a web-based tool that has six free themes for creating easy visualizations and a whole lot more themes for paid version. With Piktochart you can drag and drop shapes and images of which you can customize. For this free version it is important to note that with every PNG/JPG you download will have a small Piktochart watermark at the bottom.

2. Ease.ly

Ease.ly is a free web-based tool that is great for conceptualizing and telling a story. However, you cannot create graphs with real data but it has a great user interface and themes which support many functions such as; flow-chart, map and comparison/relationship graphing.

3. Infogr.am

To create simple infographics, Infogr.am is the tool you want to use. Yet another free web based tool, Infogr.am has really nice themes and allows you to create charts using real data. Infogr.am offers a wide range of chart options and allows you to add your own images and videos.

4. Visual.ly

This tool is a great plus because of its integration with with social networks to analyze data from Facebook and Twitter. Creating fun diagrams just got a whole lot better with Visual.ly but it has very limited customization capability.

5. Tableau

This is an application that will have to be downloaded. Tableau has free tools to create a wide range of interactive data visualizations from bar charts to line graphs and others. These tools however are only there for Windows only.

6. OmniGraffel

For wireframing, OmniGraffel is a very good tool to create infographics exactly how you want them to appear. There are many free downloadable stencils which makes it simple to diagram architecture diagrams and even home layouts. This tool is not free though, for $99 you get the standard version and $199 for the pro version.
7. Balsamiq

Another wireframing tool for creating simple diagrams for mobile and web interfaces. The desktop version of Balsamiq is $79 but has a free demo version.

8. Make a video

Visual communication is where you have animated illustrations with verbal scripts to explain concepts and a great way to explain topics.

9. TimelineJS

This tool uses g Google spreadsheet to create good looking timelines. TimelineJS also links to most social media platforms such as Twitter, Youtube, Sound Cloud and others.Very useful in creating an interactive visualisation of a business.

10. Present.me

This tool allows you to create presentations and record yourself talking next to the slides.

These tools will surely aid you to creating interesting infographics and visualizations.

Build A Better Website With These Web Design Tips

The more you know about best practices for web design, the easier it will be to keep your site up and running. A well-designed website is more attractive, more user friendly, and has a realistic atmosphere. It will increase your traffic, and boost repeat customers. This article provides several tips that will help you design a successful website.

PhotoShop is a popular application and web designers must learn it. Strangely, Photoshop’s companion program, Dreamweaver, is far less known, even though it is a purpose-built tool for web design. The many potential benefits Dreamweaver can offer you make it well worth investigating.

Try signing up for an email newsletter that covers web design, so that you can reorient yourself should you ever become confused. Newsletters are great to have for both novices and pros alike.

As you design your website, be sure that someone other than yourself is helping you check its functionality as you go. Whenever you include a new feature or make a change, give an impartial third party the chance to assess it. You may not be bothered if a video loads slowly, but others might think differently. Always seek feedback from outside sources.

Let people cancel any action they have started. For example, allow users to cancel registration for newsletters or easily back out of a search. If visitors cannot cancel an action they are not interested in, such as providing their contact information, they will feel they do not have a choice and won’t buy anything.

Pay close attention to the background of your pages. Some sites use moving GIF images in the background which may at times be good, but mostly it just makes the text hard to read. Pick a background that meshes with your site, not against it, and your viewers will have a much easier time understanding what you want to say.

Learning new website design strategies is something that becomes simpler the more you practice doing it. Start simple pages with C+ and HTML to test your fundamentals. You need to practice at some point, so why not begin now?

CAPTCHAs are only useful when people are registering for your website, otherwise skip them. The captcha triggers a response from the viewer that he or she now has to perform complex problem solving just to view a simple webpage. Unless this visitor is already a dedicated follower, they’re probably just going to click their browser towards another corner of the Internet.

When you design a website, get artistic with it. Keep your mind open to inspiration at all times. Take down notes on a new idea as soon as it comes to you. If you’re at a restaurant, use your napkin for notepaper. If you think of something great during the workday, leave yourself a voicemail detailing the idea so that you can revisit it later on.

Stay away from pop-up windows as part of your design. The average user finds pop-up windows to be an annoying distraction, rather than something useful. If customers see these popups and get frustrated, they may not come back to your site.

Stick with common fonts that look professional. They are common for a reason. The font type on a website is a quick indicator of how professional it is. Do not use Comic Sans, overly ornate fonts, or fonts that many computers might not have. If you use a font that not everyone has, a default font will appear on their computer. This can make your website look a lot worse.

Talk to a pro to learn a lot about web design. This will help you become a professional yourself.

You should always ask to see a website design company’s portfolio before you hire their services. Make certain they have experience designing for reputable business and that their product is excellent. Their portfolio will help you to get a quick insight into their experience and knowledge of web design.

Publish a newsletter, to increase your likelihood of having repeat visitors. When you allow people to receive notifications about special events, discounts or updates, they are more likely to visit your site multiple times. Add a signup bar on your site and use it to track the number of visitors who do so. Make sure the newsletter only goes to those who actually asked for it, or you’re going to get some serious blowback.

There are many benefits of using good web design practice. Using best practices helps your site exude a genuine feel. It engenders trust in your visitors. Additionally, visitors will find your site more attractive and user-friendly. Solid web design is crucial to your website’s success. There are several good web design suggestions in this article. Start implementing them to maximize your website’s potential.