You use search, display email or mobile to attract prospective customers to your web site. And then what happens? That’s what this column is all about — how to design your site and landing pages to achieve your marketing goals.

The Fundamental Checklist For Website Navigation Design & Architecture – Part 1

checklist-check-list-shutterstock People make assumptions about website navigation, often to the detriment of findability. We assume that the web designer or developer is naturally knowledgeable about effective site navigation. Does the designer's or developer's home page have a jquery homepage slider that takes up the majority of the screen? Or cool drop-down and fly-out menus? Granted, any designer or developer naturally likes to show the breadth of his or her expertise. I have a different reaction than most people when I see those items on a website. My immediate question is why the "wow" factor is wasted on navigatio [...]


Rotating Banners: Why Image Sliders Kill Conversions

web-design-website-layout-slider-shutterstock Digital marketers and web designers love rotating banners, which allow multiple pieces of content to occupy a single prominent space on a web page. (Synonymous terms include image sliders, carousels and animated sliders.) On the surface, the idea seems like a great way to keep several competing departments happy, giving them all a piece of prime real estate on the page. But there’s just one problem: your visitors probably won't consciously pay attention to them. The evil truth of rotating banners is that they do the opposite of what's intended, distracting users away from your most import [...]


How To Achieve Better Conversion Rates for Your Third Party Web Applications

kunikuni_piglet_shutterstock2014-07-07_0858 If you use a web-based, third party service for your career center, ticket registration or maybe webinar registrations, you are probably feeling some conversion pain. Even though these systems provide a (usually) less expensive option than building it yourself, they are usually quite ugly and have a subpar user experience.   We've become accustomed to third party services being this way because everybody has to use them, but there are options that might be worth looking into that could give you a little bit more control over those ugly systems. Their poor user experience may stem fro [...]


Testing Is At The Heart Of Marketing Success

ab-testing-test-shutterstock Marketing for any business is an ongoing effort that requires consistent refinement and improvement to see positive results in the long-term. It is not enough to simply create a quality marketing program and leave it alone to do its job. Rather, the marketing plan for any business needs to be monitored on a daily basis in order to make sure maximum returns are achieved. Testing, Testing Thanks to A/B testing, or split testing, it has never been easier to refine marketing programs. Businesses that aren’t using testing as a major part of their marketing plan are missing out on a big oppor [...]


100+ Questions You Must Ask When Developing A Web Site

business-people-asking-questions-shutterstock As a long-time web marketer (since 1998 -- that's like 160 internet years!), I'm a bit of a stickler for things that impact my online marketing efforts. Aside from actual on-page optimization and linking efforts, there is nothing that impacts a site's performance more than the development and design. In fact, a site with excellent on-page optimization and strong linking will always suffer under a poorly coded site architecture and/or design. All too often, businesses come to us after the site has already been designed and coded. We then charge the client hundreds, if not thousands of dol [...]


5 Ways To Improve Mobile UX That Will Result In Higher Conversions

mobile-responsive-design-featured Depending on whose statistics you read, mobile device usage has increased anywhere from 125 percent to 3000 percent in the past several years. Regardless of the actual number, the reality is the same: in order to get visitors to convert, your site must be able to meet their needs whether they're holding a mouse, a phone or a tablet. And the single best way to optimize for mobile conversions is to optimize the user experience. Here are five practical tips for improving your mobile UX: 1. Design For The Device The very first step in designing for the mobile device is to remember that use [...]


Conversion Optimization: Measuring Usability In The User Experience (UX) – Part 3

shutterstock_193851854-usability One of the joys of measuring usability on websites is being able to continually improve the user experience. During usability testing, I often observe the effect of improved interfaces first hand. Additionally, I commonly observe a shift in perception. Before usability testing, many users believe they are at fault, the ones who are making mistakes. After usability testing, users realize that they did not make mistakes. The poor or substandard interface is the reason for a compromised user experience. In Part 1 and Part 2 of this article series, I went over four of the six items that usab [...]


Conversion Optimization: Measuring Usability In The User Experience (UX) – Part 2

Learn what is clickable - image Many online marketers dismiss usability as a critical part of the user experience. A delightful experience requires effective and efficient goal attainment. A delightful experience also occurs on websites that are easy to use and easy to remember. As I've mentioned previously, usability should take into account the following 6 elements: Effectiveness: Can users achieve their desired goals on your website? Efficiency: How quickly can users achieve their goals on your website? Learnability: Is the website easy to learn the first time users encounter it? Memorability: Can repeat visi [...]


Conversion Optimization: Measuring Usability In The User Experience (UX) – Part 1

usability-components Here is the scenario: I am speaking at a conference about the 7 Facets of the User/Searcher Experience. Whenever I can, I try to provide case studies and usability test results to help illustrate each facet. Inevitably, there is somebody in the audience that stereotypes search engine optimization (SEO) professionals. What could an SEO possibly know about the user experience? From my perspective, usability is at the top of my UX list. Findability is intricately intertwined with usability. People can't use what they can't find. Through field studies and multiple usability tests, I learned [...]


Designing The User Experience (UX): When Technology Is A User

Humans vs. Technology sign In my previous article, 4 Things Online Marketers Should Know About User Experience (UX), I mentioned specific items that all online marketers, UX professionals, and even designers/developers should remember as they go through the website design process: Content is King, Context is Queen "Usability" and "User Experience" are not the same thing Findability is a critical facet of a positive user/searcher experience Perceived download time is more important to users than actual download time I write from the perspective of an SEO hybrid. I have skills, knowledge and experience in mul [...]


4 Elemental Problems With Low Converting Web Pages

The Vinegar and Baking Soda Reaction As “power” marketers, our work can look more like scientific experiments than creative campaigns. More and more, power marketers make decisions with data. The collection and interpretation of this data requires a new set of skills. Nonetheless, the goal remains the same for our online initiatives. We want to get a reaction from our visitors. We want to get them to do something. Complete the form. Download the document. Buy the product. Subscribe to the list. Water the camel. When we aren’t generating reactions on our site, we can see the results clearly in analytics. High b [...]


Conversion Optimization For Guide E-Commerce Shopping Carts

holiday-retailer2-600 E-commerce websites come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: the shopping cart. For something that is so easy to do in real life, the online shopping experience is usually done so badly you'd think some companies were trying to turn away shoppers. Those companies that get it right find themselves on the Internet Retailer 1000 list. When you don't have an e-commerce team to make regular changes and ensure that people find what they want and buy more stuff, what should you be doing to increase conversions? When 1% Means 6 Figures You need to create a clear pictur [...]


4 Things Online Marketers Should Know About User Experience (UX)

browse-ask-search Many people like to use the term user experience as a reason to justify their website design, development, search engine optimization (SEO) and content decisions. Why are we migrating to a responsive design? Because it's good for the user experience. Why are we implementing structured data? Because it's good for the searcher experience. Why do we have to create a blog and write new posts every day? Because it's good for the user experience. Why are we decreasing the download time of our web documents? Because it's good for the user experience... and it's good for search engine rankings, too [...]


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