The Blueprint for a Perfectly Testable Landing Page


http://blog.kissmetrics.com/landing-page-blueprint/
Landing pages are composed of a group of definable elements. The building blocks presented below can be used as a guide when defining and creating a perfect landing page of your own!

Click on the infographic below to view a larger image:

The Blueprint for a Perfectly Testable Landing Page

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The Anatomy of an Effective Homepage


http://blog.kissmetrics.com

As a general rule, your homepage will be the first encounter a visitor will have with your business. Great care, therefore, should be taken to design and structure your homepage so that readers will digest and act on your business message.

Below we’ve identified certain qualities that compose an effective homepage. We recommend you spend a few minutes with this infographic to see if your homepage’s current state is effective. Special thanks to@keanrichmond and @onextrapixel.

Click on the infographic below to view a larger image:

The Anatomy of an Effective Homepage

View an enlarged version of this Infographic »

Getting Started with Banner Advertisements

Banner ads, also known as display ads or image ads, are image-based advertisements that are widely popular online. Why are banner ads so popular? They are a cost-effective way to allow advertisers to attractively display their products and services online across an array of websites. Additionally, banner ads allow for increased brand recognition and ad targeting.

Before jumping in and creating multiple banner ads there are a few recommendations to review first. You need to take into consideration the size and position of the advertisement, the context of the ad, the call to action, the file size, and other components. Outlined here are recommendations to help you design suitable ads, effective, and profitable advertisements.
Popular Ad Sizes and Positions

Banner ads come in different sizes and are used within different positions on a page. Most commonly a website will have an array of sizes and positions from which you can choose to advertise on. Additionally, it is possible to have more than one ad on a page in different sizes or positions. Finding the right size and position for your ads can be a crucial part in determining how successful they are.
Size

Every website is going to have its own requirements when it comes to the size of an ad. Typically these sizes are going to be standard sizes set by the many years of practice and existence online. These sizes can often be found present in many different graphic software programs, including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Flash. Over time ad sizes have changed slightly, with the dismissal of pop-up advertisements, however the general sizes have become rudimentary consistent. Determining what ad size will be the most beneficial depends on the product or services of which you are advertising. Ideally, you want to reserve two-thirds of the ad for a picture or the main value proposition. The other third should be dedicated to the primary call to action. In the chart to follow you will see the most common ad sizes, of which are strongly recommended for creating any banner ad.


http://designinformer.com | By: Shay Howe

Getting Started with Banner Advertisements

Banner ads, also known as display ads or image ads, are image-based advertisements that are widely popular online. Why are banner ads so popular? They are a cost-effective way to allow advertisers to attractively display their products and services online across an array of websites. Additionally, banner ads allow for increased brand recognition and ad targeting.

Before jumping in and creating multiple banner ads there are a few recommendations to review first. You need to take into consideration the size and position of the advertisement, the context of the ad, the call to action, the file size, and other components. Outlined here are recommendations to help you design suitable ads, effective, and profitable advertisements.

Popular Ad Sizes and Positions

Banner ads come in different sizes and are used within different positions on a page. Most commonly a website will have an array of sizes and positions from which you can choose to advertise on. Additionally, it is possible to have more than one ad on a page in different sizes or positions. Finding the right size and position for your ads can be a crucial part in determining how successful they are.

Size

Every website is going to have its own requirements when it comes to the size of an ad. Typically these sizes are going to be standard sizes set by the many years of practice and existence online. These sizes can often be found present in many different graphic software programs, including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Flash. Over time ad sizes have changed slightly, with the dismissal of pop-up advertisements, however the general sizes have become rudimentary consistent. Determining what ad size will be the most beneficial depends on the product or services of which you are advertising. Ideally, you want to reserve two-thirds of the ad for a picture or the main value proposition. The other third should be dedicated to the primary call to action. In the chart to follow you will see the most common ad sizes, of which are strongly recommended for creating any banner ad. Leer más “Getting Started with Banner Advertisements”

Create Great Websites, Without Any SEO

Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO is a subject which gets talked about to death all over the web.

There’s a fairly large group of people who believe that SEO is the be-all and end-all to anything on the web.

They believe that without it, you are nothing and with it, you are everything.

Today we’re going to look at why that isn’t true and why you can create a truly great website which performs well in search engines, without any seedy SEO tactics.

We’ve also included a case study of WooThemes and QA with Adii Pienaar and his views on SEO.

What They Want You To Do

1

SEO companies use techniques which fall into two categories: “White Hat” and “Black Hat”. Black Hat SEO is the term used to describe questionable SEO practices such where people try to cheat the system with multiple websites and code which exploits loop holes in search engine algorithms. Black Hat SEO is frowned upon but, to be honest, White Hat SEO isn’t much better.

People who do White Hat SEO play by the rules. They don’t break any Google Terms of Service (mostly) and they stick to the techniques which are deemed to be legitimate. The problem is that they go over the top and they entirely miss the point.

SEO companies have one goal and one goal only. To get websites into top positions for highly-search key phrases on major search engines. They generally pay very little attention to the content of the site, so long as it has plenty of keywords. They pay very little attention to the usability of the site, so long as search engines are able to index the pages easily. They pay very little attention to the bounce rate, or how long people actually bother to stay on the site.

Ranking highly in search engines means absolutely nothing if people are just going to press the back button as soon as they’ve spent five seconds on your awful website.

There are SEO companies out there with major investors taking money from clients and then paying untrained staff to create spam blogs with bogus content and links. These companies class themselves as fully White Hat, by-the-book operations, but they’re still using incredibly questionable and ultimately dangerous tactics. I should know, I used to work for one of them and disliked every second of it.

We should probably pause for a moment to add a small disclaimer. Not all SEO companies are the same, and not all of them are trying to screw you. There are a few who believe they genuinely are helping you with some misguided idea of what the web is all about (hint: it’s not spam).

There are fewer still who actually have a huge knowledge on SEO and use it as a very small part of a bigger picture. The difference is that the last group of people rarely refer to themselves with any sort of title containing the letters S, E, and O.


This post was authored exclusively for WDD by John O’Nolan //webdesignerdepot.com

thumbSearch Engine Optimization, also known as SEO is a subject which gets talked about to death all over the web.

There’s a fairly large group of people who believe that SEO is the be-all and end-all to anything on the web.

They believe that without it, you are nothing and with it, you are everything.

Today we’re going to look at why that isn’t true and why you can create a truly great website which performs well in search engines, without any seedy SEO tactics.

We’ve also included a case study of WooThemes and QA with Adii Pienaar and his views on SEO.

What They Want You To Do

1

SEO companies use techniques which fall into two categories: “White Hat” and “Black Hat”. Black Hat SEO is the term used to describe questionable SEO practices such where people try to cheat the system with multiple websites and code which exploits loop holes in search engine algorithms. Black Hat SEO is frowned upon but, to be honest, White Hat SEO isn’t much better.

People who do White Hat SEO play by the rules. They don’t break any Google Terms of Service (mostly) and they stick to the techniques which are deemed to be legitimate. The problem is that they go over the top and they entirely miss the point.

SEO companies have one goal and one goal only. To get websites into top positions for highly-search key phrases on major search engines. They generally pay very little attention to the content of the site, so long as it has plenty of keywords. They pay very little attention to the usability of the site, so long as search engines are able to index the pages easily. They pay very little attention to the bounce rate, or how long people actually bother to stay on the site.

Ranking highly in search engines means absolutely nothing if people are just going to press the back button as soon as they’ve spent five seconds on your awful website.

There are SEO companies out there with major investors taking money from clients and then paying untrained staff to create spam blogs with bogus content and links. These companies class themselves as fully White Hat, by-the-book operations, but they’re still using incredibly questionable and ultimately dangerous tactics. I should know, I used to work for one of them and disliked every second of it.

We should probably pause for a moment to add a small disclaimer. Not all SEO companies are the same, and not all of them are trying to screw you. There are a few who believe they genuinely are helping you with some misguided idea of what the web is all about (hint: it’s not spam).

There are fewer still who actually have a huge knowledge on SEO and use it as a very small part of a bigger picture. The difference is that the last group of people rarely refer to themselves with any sort of title containing the letters S, E, and O.

Leer más “Create Great Websites, Without Any SEO”

Web Design Ledger: 3 Simple Ways to Get Paid More by Clients

As freelancers, we all want to make more money. But freelancing doesn’t scale, so there’s always a ceiling. There’s a limit as to how many clients you can take on, right? So how do you make more money, if you can’t or don’t want to take on more clients? Well, if you’re better than average in what you do and can put in just a little bit of extra effort, you can get paid more by clients.

Yep, there are 3 simple ways you can get paid more by clients – the same clients you’re currently contacting. You’ll be expanding vertically rather than horizontally, as they say. No, there’s no scammy tricks, or magic pills, or sleazy sales tactics. There are simple tweaks to what you’re already doing that’ll make your clients want to pay you more – either by you being able to charge more now or raise the price for the next project.

If you make life easier for your client, you’ll increase the chances that they’ll pay you more. Because that’s ultimately what they’re paying for – convenience. Making their life easier so they don’t have to do something. Even if they could learn and become proficient in it, they’d rather pay you to do it. The more your client has to do themselves, the less they’ll want to pay you. After all, why should they pay you more, when they’re doing part of the work?


Oleg Mokhov
//webdesignledger.com

As freelancers, we all want to make more money. But freelancing doesn’t scale, so there’s always a ceiling. There’s a limit as to how many clients you can take on, right? So how do you make more money, if you can’t or don’t want to take on more clients? Well, if you’re better than average in what you do and can put in just a little bit of extra effort, you can get paid more by clients.

Yep, there are 3 simple ways you can get paid more by clients – the same clients you’re currently contacting. You’ll be expanding vertically rather than horizontally, as they say. No, there’s no scammy tricks, or magic pills, or sleazy sales tactics. There are simple tweaks to what you’re already doing that’ll make your clients want to pay you more – either by you being able to charge more now or raise the price for the next project.

So without further ado, here are 3 simple ways to get paid more by clients:

1. Make Life Easier for Your Clients

If you make life easier for your client, you’ll increase the chances that they’ll pay you more. Because that’s ultimately what they’re paying for – convenience. Making their life easier so they don’t have to do something. Even if they could learn and become proficient in it, they’d rather pay you to do it. The more your client has to do themselves, the less they’ll want to pay you. After all, why should they pay you more, when they’re doing part of the work?

Your mission as a freelancer is to make your client’s life easier.

So the more you focus on your benefits to your client and specifically how it makes their life easier, rather than simply features that you offer, the more likely they’ll want to pay you more. Who cares that you’re able to design technical thing X or implement widget Y? How do those things make life easy?

Focus on that – in your pitches, in your proposals, in your conversations, and in your actual work.

Be willing to do as much as possible to make your client’s life easier. Don’t tell them they have to do something themselves – unless it’s unavoidable, and even then, don’t highlight it but instead word it in a way that it becomes a prerequisite or requirement for a task rather than work for the client.

2. Use More Convincing Wording

The more convincing the wording of your offer, the higher likelihood that you’ll get paid more for it. Yeah yeah, it’s forehead-slapping common sense. No surprises there. But it still bears stating. How can a client want to pay you more if they’re not convinced you’re worth the money?

So, convince them – in your wording, on the phone, in your pitch, your proposal, everywhere:

  • Replace “maybe” with “guaranteed or *risk-free deal*”
  • Use “I’ll definitely” instead of “I’ll try”
  • Focus on benefits over features…
  • How you’ll make your client’s life easier…
  • And how you’ll increase their chance of their desired result

Use more convincing wording to make your offer seem like a steal.

Now, this isn’t to say that you should lie in your freelancing. No, never. Lying and being fake sucks, so don’t do it. Rather, you’re not deceiving your clients but simply making it more clear why you’re worth the money you’re charging. You’re elegantly reminding them why they’re about to pay you more than a cheaper but lower quality alternative.

If you’re confident in your offer, then show it. Don’t shy away from your self-belief. Don’t be arrogant, but don’t be overly modest and meager either – that’s just sabotaging yourself. Leer más “Web Design Ledger: 3 Simple Ways to Get Paid More by Clients”

Why Posting Less Can Improve Your Blog

A funny thing happened. This blog has been consistently growing since that decision to post less. Traffic is up and subscribers are up. Both have increased at a much greater rate then they had been when I was trying to write more often.

Less posting is certainly not the only reason, but less posting has meant more quality to each post, which has been a big part of the growth I’ve seen over the last 18 months. As I’ve set up a process to increase blogging productivity I’m now also able to post twice a week, while still maintaining a quality I’m happy with.

Others have had similar experiences. Just this week Larry Brooks, who has an excellent blog for writers (mainly fiction writers) at storyfix.com, posted a similar story to mine above called Just Maybe…He Who Blogs Less Blogs Best.

Less blogging led to increased quality and ultimately more traffic for Larry as it did for me.

The next time I redesign this site, I’ll likely go through old posts and remove many. I’ll remove those posts that aren’t really worth reading and don’t pull any traffic to them. I’ll prune the posts that aren’t contributing, much as you would prune dead or dying leaves from a plant to help it grow.

It’ll be interesting to see what effect that has on traffic to the site.


by Steven Bradley

Is more content always better? Is more traffic, more followers, more page views automatically better? Is it more signal or more noise? Is it more of something that doesn’t help you achieve your goals? Isn’t it true that sometimes less is more? Can posting less actually improve your blog?

* It’s one more link for subscribers to click on in their feed reader
* It’s one more page for search engines to index rank
* It’s one more page that can generate incoming links and referral traffic

However does that mean you should post more often than you currently post now? Chris himself isn’t saying you should automatically post more. His article is mainly an observation, and a true one at that. More posts will lead to more traffic. As Chris points out many top blogs post more than 5 times daily. This more posts leading to more traffic really isn’t in question. The question is, is more traffic necessarily better?

My answer is the ever so definitive “it depends.”

Leer más “Why Posting Less Can Improve Your Blog”

10 (almost) ironclad arguments for SEO


White hat seo symbolizes good ethic techniques...
by ian

SEO. What’s the deal? Why do marketing VPs, IT teams and CFO’s flee, screaming, at the mere mention of search engine optimization?

I have no answers.

However, I do have a few points – data-driven or otherwise – that I’ve used to sell SEO in the past. I’ve tested extensively, and I can tell you that these all work far better than threatening to give your client a lederhosen wedgie. Leer más “10 (almost) ironclad arguments for SEO”