Years ago I was babysitting my nephew.  He was sitting on the floor in his diapers with a boatload of toys and I was sitting on the floor next to him doing my best to entertain him.  I noticed that whatever toy of his I was playing with he wanted.  He’d reach out his little hand for the toy I had, dropping his current toy in the process.  Doing what any good and caring uncle would do, I decided to experiment on him.  I started picking up random items nearby and playing with them like they were really cool toys too.

“Brrrrrrrr!  Bam Bam Bam!” I exclaimed as I made a rolled up extension cord fly by like it was a fighter jet.  Sure enough, the little hand reached out to grab it, dropping a perfectly good Star Wars X-Wing fighter in the process.  It wasn’t long until I had 2 more Star Wars toys and a Buzz Lightyear figure that shot laserbeams from his wrist while my nephew had various cardboard boxes and an old shoe to play with.

We are naturally inclined to reach for whatever the next big thing is.  Right now, social media is that thing, and for the most part, it is worth reaching for.  But what shiny toys might we be dropping in the process?  Likely it is email marketing. […]

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a popular topic among website owners. Everyone wants to have the #1 spot in search engines, but it’s hard to know what advice to follow.

Sometimes reading SEO tips and tricks can cause more harm than good. Following bad advice can be dangerous and can potentially get your website blacklisted by search engines.

Google’s algorithm for determining how to rank websites in their search results may be a secret, but the fundamental concept behind it is not. Google wants to provide quality content that matches what users are searching for. The best way to optimize your website for search engines is to focus on building the best website possible for your website visitors. If you are able to accomplish this, your website will already be optimized for search engines!

Below are some basic tips to help you build a better website that customers and search engines will both love. […]

Every visitor to your website is a potential customer, and whether a “conversion” on your site equals a filled out Contact Us form or a completed online purchase, more conversions equals more business.  So how can you increase conversions on your website? Here are 5 suggestions to try:

[…]

One of the most common problems that trips up aspiring e-commerce store owners is the issue of shipping. When I’m helping a client plan their e-commerce project, one of the first questions I like to ask is: “How do you plan on getting your products into the hands of your customers?”

About half the time, I discover that they haven’t given the subject any thought at all. It doesn’t surprise me. There are so many things to consider and so many issues to address with the start-up of a new online store, that I can’t really blame folks for not going into too much detail in planning for something that may initially appear “automatic” to them. […]

Quite often when creating site content a lot of craft and care goes into your copy. Then we simply hope the user will follow the copy to our desired action with a “Click Here” or “Sign Up”. How can you strengthen this call to action? You must persuade the user to follow the set of steps you want them to. It is a difficult craft to master. After all, what is my incentive to sign up, click here, or register? […]

Every website communicates information to users through text. Headlines grab our attention while cluing us into what the following paragraph is about. Supporting text tells us a story about a good or service being offered, and why we can’t live without it. Given the weighty job that text performs on a website, it makes sense to take care in sculpting its appearance. The following is a quick walkthrough of the different tweaks that web designers (and do-it-yourself website updaters) can use to add readability and impact to website text. […]

Photos can play an important role in delivering your website’s message, whether you are trying to persuade the visitor to buy your products or services, or simply trying to educate them on important information. By using photos thoughtfully, you can support the text on your page and deliver a stronger message. […]

One of the most useful and frustrating aspects of web site ownership and maintenance is trying to figure out your site’s traffic stats.  Beyond learning all of the jargon and trying to weed through the over-abundance of information available, if you’ve ever taken a look at your web site’s traffic stats in two different programs (say, Google Analytics and SmarterStats) you’ve noticed that the facts and figures are different.  What?! How can this be?  And how the heck are you supposed to make decisions based on numbers you’re unsure of? […]

One of the most important parts of creating a website is designing it to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. With the billions of websites on the internet, users have plenty of choices when it comes to online shopping, entertainment, or anything else they are looking for. If they don’t like something about your website, they can easily find an alternative with only a few clicks of the mouse.

Here are a few tips on what you should avoid on your website, so your visitors don’t look elsewhere: […]