So you’ve decided you need a new website, or your existing website needs a facelift?  Not so fast!  Before you choose a website developer and spend your money on a new website, there are several things you need to consider carefully in order to get the most out of your investment.  And there are some details that if they aren’t taken care of BEFORE you start building that website, could doom you to failure.

Make sure you know the following, and can communicate the answers to your developer, to get the best possible results. […]

Apr 5, 2012

Google Hate Me

Running your own website and trying to get it to rank well in search results can be a frustrating experience. Even though you put a lot of time and effort into your site, and you think you’re following all the rules, you still feel like you’re walking around in a t-shirt silk-screened with “Google Hate Me” in 8-inch letters.

Google, like most other search engines, isn’t out to get you. But search engines are pretty picky about the quality of their search results. Some sites don’t rank well simply because of poor SEO practices. Other sites, however, may do a lot “right” with SEO and still not rank well because they also feature very big “wrongs” in other areas. […]

Does anybody remember 1-inch analog video tape? Back when I was a lad (which I’ll define here as “when I still had hair”), if you wanted to learn how to edit video, 1-inch video tape is what you worked with. A video editing console was as big as a Volkswagen, had knobs the size of baseballs and hummed along on a three-phase power supply that needed an air conditioning booster just to keep from igniting the fabric of your bell-bottom blue jeans.

Video technology has changed a lot over the years. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the essential grammar of visual communications. Just as every natural spoken and written language has a grammar — a set of structural rules that governs its composition — the international language of video has a “grammar” all its own. […]

As I’ve mentioned previously, the difference between a confusing visual mash-up and an online video that can help you sell often boils down to what happens after you shoot the video. Post-production — what you do with your video editing software — is where you assemble the whole project and get it ready to go in front of your potential customers.

You don’t need to develop professional-grade editing skills to produce a solid sales video. The basics of editing a sales video are straightforward — you just need to apply them consistently. Here are three important areas to focus on when you take your online sales video into post-production: […]

Now that you’ve had some success with the basics of making a video for your website (you are using my Tips for Online Video That Sells, right?), you’re no doubt impatient to absorb some additional pointers that will make your videos even more useful. You still won’t quite be ready to take your clips to the Sundance Film Festival, but even small improvements can give your online videos more selling power. […]

Search for the term “bounce rate” on the Internet, and you can find any number of very technical explanations. Some of them even include a nifty mathematical formula or two. But as a business owner, here’s all you should really care about: Bounce rate is basically a measure of the percentage of visitors to your website who take one quick look and run away screaming. […]

The proliferation of small, inexpensive video cameras, coupled with the ease of online video sharing, has made wildly gyrating, poorly composed videography with garbled sound commonplace in the public eye. But just because people have seen a lot of poor video doesn’t mean they like it.  Bad video is often good for a laugh, but it’s not going to sell much of anything. […]

Search engines love good text content, so why do so many website owners and their web designers devote so little effort to creating the words that will represent them on the Internet? Creating text content that works for your website takes some time, and even more thought. A few elemental mistakes can negatively impact the quality of your text, both in the search engines and in the eyes of your customers. […]

It’s one of those silly myths of cooking. Throw a pasta noodle at the wall; if it sticks, it’s done.

You don’t even have to be addicted to the Food Network or the Cooking Channel to know that just isn’t true. If a noodle sticks, it usually means nothing more than you just threw a wet noodle at the wall. Since pasta gets gummier the more it cooks, it might even mean your pasta is over-cooked. […]

When a website represents your business online, you can’t really afford for it to have bad photos running around scaring away your customers. Hiring a professional photographer for your business images is the best solution, but it’s not always practical for everybody. So a lot of website owners resort to taking their own photos, or having somebody on their staff with a decent camera do the job for them. […]