If your website is built on a content management system (CMS), you’ve got a powerful tool in your hands. You can use your CMS to keep all of the information on your site up-to-date, provide fresh and engaging information to your site visitors and manage all of your site’s resources to maximize your search engine results. As with most tools, however, content management can be used for both good and evil. It’s the “evil” part you want to avoid.

Poor content management practices can kill your website’s search engine rankings in a short amount of time. Conversely, follow a few simple guidelines every time you post or edit content and you can improve your site’s search engine optimization. Use these recommendations as a sort of checklist to stay on the SEO straight-and-narrow: […]

Websites offer a seemingly endless amount of space for your content, especially compared to traditional media like print or broadcast. For a relatively small hosting fee, you can literally publish entire libraries of text. An average 500 MB hosting account has enough room for more than 150 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” 400 copies of Melville’s “Moby Dick” or 600 copies of James Fennimore Cooper’s “Last of the Mohicans.”

When you’re passionate about your business, the temptation is to use as much of that space as possible to share your enthusiasm and expertise with potential customers. But it’s all a trap, a painful deception. The truth of the matter is that your customers have a lot less time than you have space. […]

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. […]