Best Email Confirmation Page Message

This must be the best email confirmation page message that I have ever seen. It’s not the regular one I am used to seeing, this one actually got me to read the info on it. Very clever. This and the Error 404 pages, when designed in a clever way and actually treated as a useful tool can produce a lot more results and may even capture more sales as a result.

Take a look at this screen capture, this is what I got today after filling out a form on a landing page. I am not used to seeing this and because it was so unusual, I actually read it. Had this message have had an up-sell or some other important information other than to tell me to confirm my email, it would definitely get through. Continue reading “Best Email Confirmation Page Message”

Incorporating Sales Materials Into Your Web Design

For many people, particularly internet marketers, websites are a vehicle to sell some type of product or service. While there are many people who only want to provide their visitors with information that will enlighten them and improve their reader’s lives, there are also those who primary purpose is to make money. In order to be successful, marketers must incorporate sales material into their web design correctly and seamlessly.

It is important for webmasters to avoid coming across as merely sales pages that are after internet users’ money. While people log on the internet to make purchases, their mindset isn’t “to spend money” but to “find a product, service or information that will help make their lives easier or better”. It is important for internet marketers to realize this. Consequently website owners should their web pages in such a way that their offer meets a legitimate need or desire for their target market. Visitors who feel like they are getting important and valuable information from a particular website will be more willing to make a purchase if they do not feel like someone is simply after their wallets.

Continue reading “Incorporating Sales Materials Into Your Web Design”

Duplicate Content & Google’s New Rel-ement

relcanonical

Identical content is a problem for websites. Sometimes you will have it even if you don’t intend to. Unless the the website is static, there is a chance that a Google bot will find another way to get to a page and will label it as “identical content”.

A useful tool like site search can sometimes be a contender that will turn a page into identical content nightmare. When a link from the homepage or s sidebar links to a page is usually looks like this:

<a href=”page.php”>Anchor Text</a>

When a search results page links to that same page, because of referrer tracking, the link might look like something like this:

<a href=”page.php?ref=search”>Anchor Text</a>

If coming from a categories page the link might contain the category name variable in it, like this:

<a href=”page.php?cat=category-name”>Anchor Text</a>

If the website keeps track of session and needs to pass that via URL that will make another version of the same link:

<a href=”page.php?ses=0123″>Anchor Text</a>

Now Google bot is confused… 4 different versions of the same page… how will it choose which one to label as original and which are duplicate content?

On Thursday, Feb. 12th, Google released a new “rel-ement” that we can use in the link tags. It is rel=canonical. We would need to add this element to the link where we use the URL that we want to be labeled “original”. So our new link will look like this:

<a href=”page.php” rel=”canonical”>Anchor Text</a>

You can read more about this on the Official Google blog.

25 Popular 404 Error Pages

As I was browsing around collecting the screen shots for this post I was surprised to see how many popular websites have neglected to optimize their 404 error pages.

While there are not very many people that get lost on the net and end up on a page that does not exist, there are still ones that do. What happens when they arrive to one of these pages? The visitor will either hit the back button to return to where they came from or they will hit their browser’s home page button, either way they end up leaving your website.

There are ways to improve the bounce rate if a site simply by optimizing the error pages. Instead of saying “Oops… Page does not exist.” you can say “Oops, the page you were trying to reach is not here but please take a look at other information that might interest you” and have a category or article list below. Instead of leaving right away, your visitor will have something to look and click on instead of just an error page.

Here is the list of 26 of some of the popular websites’ error pages.

whitehouse

WhiteHouse.gov
We’ll start with the WhiteHouse.gov. It has a nice, clean error page with information on how to procede.

amazon

Amazon.com
This one is pretty basic and with the amount of business, visitors and items they sell, I think they could have done a lot better. It would also probably raise their sales.

ask

Ask.com
Same for Ask.com, this page could have been more. They could have a few recommended categories or even ads or something to click on.

bluefly

BlueFly.com
I can see that they put a little more effort into this one. At least there is a suggestion to go to the homepage.

Continue reading “25 Popular 404 Error Pages”

Mini CMS For Those Small Website Jobs

Cushy CMS

CushyCMS is a mini CMS solution for the clients that have a simple website and want an easy way to edit content on the site. Installing WordPress or even Joomla makes no sense for a small simple site and building a CMS from scratch is also too much effort for a small site. This CushyCMS lets you setup and edit almost any part of a website with very little effort. Check out the video on the website for a quick tour.

You can also read more about it on Vandelay Design Blog where they posted a nice Cushy CMS Tutorial.

Go to CushyCMS.com

Seven Suggestions For The Use Of Video On Your Website

Seven Suggestions For The Use Of Video On Your Website

In another one of our articles we discussed the importance of Using Social Media to Increase Traffic on Your Website. One of the items that we briefly discussed was using video clips to promote your website, services, or products. With the explosive popularity of sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video, and Yahoo Video, it’s time to embrace video and make it work on behalf of your company and your website!

Online video marketing surged in 2007 and is projected to grow even larger. Marketing Vox, a leading online marketing news site anticipates that around $2.9 billion will be spent on online video advertising by 2010. With online video becoming such a major marketing player, it’s an important advertising genre to consider embracing.

Continue reading “Seven Suggestions For The Use Of Video On Your Website”

Most Visited Site in 2008?

gas.gif

GasBuddy.com may be one of the most visited sites for 2008. The site itself isn’t a visual masterpiece. It also isn’t full of stuff that elicits ‘oohs and ahhhs’ from its visitors. It is simply a tool. A well liked tool these days! It’s easy to navigate and straightforward with the information you need. It doesn’t get much better than GasBuddy.com when it comes to delivering just what you requested.They definitely follow the K.I.S.S. approach (Keep It Simple Stupid).

So, GasBuddy.com gets “two big thumbs up” from me for simplicity of use and its straightforward reason for existence.

Non-Traditional Website

hammer.jpg

In my opinion, this is a very cool website. Enfatico’s site breaks a lot of rules and does it fashionably. No header, no footer, compact, simple navigation and terse content. The big, bold image of the sledgehammer on the front page really sums it all up. It’s effective and in your face. I like it.

“Why slap them on the wrist with a feather when you can belt them over the head with a sledgehammer?”

Katharine Hepburn
American actress

Interesting Content Article

books.jpg

Recently, I’ve been searching for some good articles about content. As you know from this blog, I believe that relevant, high quality content is vital to the success of any website. I found a good article discussing the importance of content this evening at SEOmoz, written by Eric Enge. I would encourage you to read his article. I think you’ll appreciate what he has to say about the importance of developing rock solid content. He has quite a few good suggestions that are very applicable to web designers. And, as a refresher…go back and read my article, “Finding a Great Writer for Your Content.”

Great Tutorial for Creating “Grassy” Text

earth.jpg

PSDTuts put out a tutorial last month detailing how to create text that looks like a well manicured lawn. The tutorial is very detailed so that even rookies like me are able to complete this task. I’m sure that advanced PS users will be able to breeze right through this tutorial. However, it’s a great tool to have available…especially in today’s “green” mindset. So…just keep this tutorial in the back of your mind (or bookmarked) for future reference.