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#349975 Video: Drunk Usability

Posted by cre8pc on 12 June 2014 - 01:17 PM




#346940 Matt Cutts Warning: Guest Blogging Is Done

Posted by seosmarty on 20 January 2014 - 07:13 PM

I really think with his following and influence, he needs to think twice before pushing "Publish" to avoid edits like that :)


#349562 Creative Tomorrow Could Be Amazing

Posted by DonnaFontenot on 20 May 2014 - 12:01 PM

Nothing exemplifies the title of this forum, Creative Tomorrow, like this! This would be world-changing.

 

 

 




#349215 Image Slider

Posted by cre8pc on 01 May 2014 - 11:25 AM

Before adding a slider, what do you want visitors to do when they land on the homepage?  Every study done on sliders has shown that they are ignored and interfere with conversions because:

 

You have 5 seconds to communicate that you have what your visitor needs and why they should choose your company.

Your call to action should be above the page fold, and sliders push them down.

Animation is distracting.  Moving images are distracting.

Sliders provide "maybe" a 1% conversion rate.  

People don't read web pages - they scan.

 

I instruct all clients to use a "hero" image instead.  This is a static image, and can be large but allow room to the left or right side of it for text content focused on answering top questions about your product/service/value prop.

 

If a slider is beloved, I instruct clients to put content on it with a value proposition on each slide, and place a big call to action button on the image that clicks to a page in a sales funnel.  Do not put the slider on automatic scroll.  Make it manual and show arrows, etc. for controls to let users stop, look, read, and click at their own speed.

 

TEST on mobile devices.  Sliders are terrible on small screens.  




#348888 Whiteboard Videos -- Anyone?

Posted by socialwebcafe on 13 April 2014 - 02:54 AM

Hi Donna,

 

First, thank you for your patience in my extremely delayed response.  I am definitely a work in progress on that.

 

Thank you for your response.. got me thinking :)

 

Your list of alternate names is great!  I forget sometimes that there are phrases like "Explainer Videos."  I keep calling them whiteboard videos and then I get lazy and call it whiteboarding which sounds more like something one would do at the beach.  Great to have the list, so thanks for putting that out there for us, Donna.

 

Yes, I'm like you.  I like to add something that has zing.  I like to do it more than I do it, but that is more of a time limitation.  That is where tools like slideshare or even embedding an instagram or pin are helpful, just to get something, even a fizzled zing in there.  (Yes, and I say that I am writing a post that is zingless.  lol.)

So, for your question, yes, Sparkol is something that you can do yourself.  Though, I didn't find that it was instantly intuitive.  It isn't like I signed up and all of a sudden was producing masterpieces.  There is definitely a learning curve.  But, I think, as with all things, once you get the hang of it, you can spit out videos quicker.  Sparkol does have some how-to videos and my recommendation is to watch those and watch them a couple times to really get the hang of it.  Then, give yourself some slack and allow yourself to mess some up :)

 

BTW - I agree, I do feel like watching whiteboards that are well done help to drive the info home for me.

 

The whiteboard, above, is not all Sparkol.  I made a whiteboard via Sparkol and then brought it into Final Cut Pro and enhanced it.  That certainly isn't a requirement and is more of a case where I am so comfortable using Final Cut Pro that it was like breathing to just add a few things like flares, music, transitions, etc.  However, Sparkol does offer these things so that you do not need any other programs.  There is the availability for music and different options for your transitions, too.

 

Here are some tips, off the top of my head, for whiteboard videos, no matter what tool you use to make them:

  • Keep them relatively short, or modular (like under 3 min) ... unless it is meant to be a full length teaching session or something.
  • Keep a variety.  For example, use the hand to write out part, and then slide in the next part.
  • Keep it moving.  If it is too slow, people will stop watching it and leave.
  • Use the spacers (watch the instruction videos for how-to), to create a pause after the text is added.  This gives viewer time to read it.
  • If you are inserting an image, lower the timing from the default 30 seconds to 7 seconds.  What will happen is the drawing will start slow and then all of a sudden instantly finish.  That is ok.  The viewer will be intrigued by the first part, but you won't lose them by it taking 30 seconds for the full picture.

Some of the tips above hit on some things that have worked really well for us in the video business.  The process of illusion.  Just because you *can* let every image be hand-drawn for 30 seconds each doesn't mean you should.  Do you want to watch a video move at a non-engaging snail speed?  No, if it bores you it is going to bore your viewers too, so keep that thing hopping.  Adding music, change of color, change of image, anything to keep it going. You can give the illusion that the viewer is watching the entire cat being drawn without actually waiting for the entire cat to be drawn.  As long as the full kitty is shown at the end of that piece, you have successfully provided an engaging moment with the illusion of the full drawing process.

 

Til next time,

Deborah




#347684 What Do You Consider A Spammy Image File Name?

Posted by WPMuse on 12 February 2014 - 04:01 PM

Great minds think alike! Let the test begin!  ;-)

 

pretty-red-widget-that-makes-your-hair-s




#347012 I Want To Merger All My Sites

Posted by evolvor on 21 January 2014 - 09:26 PM

The first thing that pops in my head here is not to think about this as "how can these fit into one website" but more like "can these fit under a brand". I think they all could probably fall into a brand, with even more doors opening based on how that is developed.

 

If you went to a newsstand you'd find all sorts of magazine brands (think "lifestyle" magazines) that could sell any of those products (but perhaps with specific angles - "Better Homes & Gardens" has a certain demographic, "Style" another, etc.)  Perhaps thinking about a brand and building that, then incorporating all the products under it would make sense. If done well the sky is the limit for what else could be sold under the brand. 

 

If there is a shared demographic among those who visit these sites or purchase these products, then you have an opportunity




#346777 $60,000 In 6 Months? Part 1

Posted by ShawnaSeigel on 16 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

In 2011 I started an amazing experiment to create $60,000 in sales within 6 months by opening an online quilting store.

 

BUT

 

It had to be done using ONLY social media and of course organic SEO.

I was SO close!! After 6 months we generated $55,618.77 in sales. It took us 6 and a half :)

 

We shared our progress throughout and sold the store shortly after the 6 months were up.

 

8-17-2011+10-23-52+AM.png
 

 

So how did we get people to our new website?

 

Social Media

 

We blogged, we facebooked, we twittered, we flickered, and we pinned.

 

We emotionally connected with our customers. We let them into our lives and they let us into theirs.

 

It was absolutely wonderful.
 

 

Beginner's Guide to Social Media

 

Most people I talk with are scared to jump into the social media pool. They don't know how or even where to start.

 

Guess what? You are not allowed to use that excuse any more :)

Today Moz released the Brand New Beginner's Guide to Social Media:

 

http://moz.com/begin...to-social-media

 

YAY!

 

This guide has something for everyone to learn and education is powerful if it is applied!

 

Accountability

 

Let's work together to improve your social media skills. If you are going to work through the guide, let us know below!

We will check-in with your progress and make sure you are applying your new found skills.

 

Remember, team work makes the dream work!


Shawna
 

 

P.S.

Coming Soon - $60,000 in 6 months? Part 2.

Social Media helped us to get the traffic, but what did we do to get the sales?




#344942 The Words No One Noticed At Matt Cutts Pubcon Keynote

Posted by DonnaFontenot on 23 October 2013 - 12:39 PM

At Pubcon today, Matt Cutts was the keynote speaker, and the session was live-streamed at ustream.tv/channel/pubcon

 

I wish the session had been recorded for later viewing, because there were two very brief parts that I'd love to pull out and share. But alas, we'll have to rely on my paraphrasing because I can't recall the exact words he used. As far as I could tell, no one even noticed those few words that came out of Matt's mouth, but in my opinion, they were the most significant words in the entire hour. You can see a text recap at http://searchenginel...t-pubcon-174906 but it too failed to mention this part.

 

While Matt was discussing the "moonshot" changes that are taking place, such as the Knowledge Graph, Voice Search, Conversational Search, etc. he said something to this effect (totally paraphrased by me, so don't quote me verbatim):

 

All along, Google has attempted to organize the world's information, and nothing in that statement mentions the phrase "search engine". Users want answers, and that's what we're attempting to give them.

 

Later, in the Q&A portion at the very end of the session, Matt again referred to this when discussing how Google seems to be using up all the space in the SERPs with ads, toolbars, etc, so there's little room left for organic results. Another paraphrase:

 

Users want quick answers, and don't necessarily want to be sent off to a site to answer it. Your job is to provide content of real value that does more than just give a 3-word answer to a question so that users will want to visit your site.

 

I quickly tweeted about that, saying, 

 

Butt matt, if you give the answers, the users will never see our value.

 

HA! Just noticed my tweet's typo there. Bahahaha! Anyway...I digress...

 

My point, of course, is that as Google gives more and more "answers" in the SERPs, there's little to no incentive for users to ever leave Google, or ever have the chance to see the valuable content we have.

 

People say, well, it's Google's site, so they can do what they want.

 

That's not always the case, however.

 

The "answers" that Google gives is not their content. It is OUR content.

 

We've always had an implied "contract" with Google.

 

We'll let you crawl our sites, Google, if you'll send traffic back to us.

 

The "contract" isn't this: We'll let you steal and use our sites' content, Google, without anything in return (traffic).

 

Google - via Matt's brief, nearly unnoticed words today, is letting us know...we are going to keep stealing your content, because we love our users, and we don't care what you think about that.




#344852 The 100% Google Cure | Seo

Posted by WPMuse on 17 October 2013 - 09:30 AM


No wonder people are despondent, dejected, and depressed.

 

 

I know of sites totally and completely playing by "the rules" and they were put out of business by g#####'s latest attempts to stop spam.   Very cool sites, all the boxes checked.

 

I am now of the opinion that spam to g##### is anyone who they can squeeze ad dollars from.

 

We now live in a day where playing by the rules doesn't pay and the only one really listening to the market place is the NSA.

 

The only way to approach all this is pretty elegant in it's simplicity:

 

Create the best site for your market, and concentrate on providing the best product/service possible -- then nurture the customers and relationships that come your way to build partnerships for the long haul. 

 

That's all you can control -- so be the best at it that you can!




#350976 Adsense Publishers: Https Might Tank Your Income

Posted by EGOL on 21 August 2014 - 02:14 PM

I just read on SearchEngineRoundTable that moving an Adsense site to HTTPS could tank your earnings.  Barry says that his site took a hit when he moved to https and a commenter pointed to an Adsense document that says your income WILL TAKE A HIT ON HTTPS.   See link below and relevant quote.

 

https://support.goog...wer/10528?hl=en

 


 


HTTPS-enabled sites require that all content on the page, including the ads, be SSL-compliant. As such, AdSense will remove all non-SSL compliant ads from competing in the auction on these pages. If you do decide to convert your HTTP site to HTTPS, please be aware that because we remove non-SSL compliant ads from the auction, thereby reducing auction pressure, ads on your HTTPS pages might earn less than those on your HTTP pages.

 

 

Google's Search team is telling webmasters to do things that could drop Adsense and other revenue so low that they could be put publishers out of business.

 

My reading of this information makes me think that some advertisers have technology or content that will cause Adsense not to deliver their ads to websites on https.

 

Sometimes it pays not to jump when Google search tells you to do something. 

 

* wondering if you can say stuff like this on WMW *




#350639 :-) In A Title Tag ?

Posted by Grumpus on 03 August 2014 - 07:57 AM

Google ignores punctuation, as far as I know.

 

https://www.google.com/?#q=:-%29




#350278 Latest Design Trend I Hate Because It Costs Visitors Money

Posted by wiser3 on 02 July 2014 - 04:16 PM

Technologies used to make interactive web sites are getting out of hand to the point it can cost your visitors money.

 

I like the use of technologies like AJAX that update page content on the fly as i click and explore the page. But i'm afraid it's going to far. First we got ad areas where the ads would auto rotate. I didn't think much of it. But now those ads are often streaming video. Sports teams seem to be the worst. There are several areas of auto rotating ads and worst of all streaming video areas of game highlights that the visitor can't shut off.

 

Why is this a problem you ask? Because i visit the site as part of my morning routine then return that evening with the page still open. I just went way over my internet usage limits for content that i wasn't in the room for and didn't take any action to get. I've been going over my internet usage limits, AND PAYING EXTRA, for some time now and finally realized why.

 

I'm bringing this up in hopes of spreading the word and stopping this trend before it gets worse. In the meantime - always close your browser! Don't let all that unwanted content make your internet bills go up.




#350268 Page Title And Branding Revisited

Posted by Grumpus on 02 July 2014 - 12:03 PM

I was unable to find the thread, but way back in the olden days, we had a discussion going here about branding and title tags. It was a fairly long thread with a whole lot of spirited but well thought out disagreement. Reading Kim's "All I Want Is Rank" thread got me to thinking about this again. In her thread there, she's talking about other things on the web site that are more important than rank. For me, I was looking at taking all of that, but also looking into what I can do on the search engine side of things.

Nowadays, the paid placement results look very similar to the organic results. Back in the day, a #1 Organic result was the prominent link on the page. Now, it's #3 or usually #4 at best. The only real differentiation is the yellow "ad" tag in the listing.

 

A Brief History of the Debate

 

That old thread that I cannot seem to find was basically discussing the format of a title tag. Do you put your brand label at the beginning or the end of it? Most seem to agree that the answer is "at the end." Your page title should be "Page Title and Branding Revisited - Cre8asiteforums" because it gets the most relevant keywords at the beginning of the title.

 

I, especially with the advent of dynamic content and less control over the length of page titles, always thought that the opposite would be better. My argument was that if you put it at the end, the brand label will often never even show up in the SERPs. "Cre8asiteforums" is too long for this. Even "Cre8asite" is a smidge to long. I want something unique and 4-5 characters long (7-8 in a real pinch). For this site I would be tempted to just go with "Cre8" (unless I found a lot of others using that). So if it were up to me (and my research confirmed that this was unique enough to distinguish us) I'd make this page title be "Cre8-Page Title and Branding Revisited."

Why I Believe This (and Why It's Even More True Now, IMO)

 

If you are searching for information about a movie, and you see "IMDb" in the page title, you pretty much know what you are going to get. Even if this is the third or fourth result, you see that IMDb in the title and you may be tempted to click it. The trick with that is that some movies have very long titles - like this. (I'll attach an image here to ensure that you see what I see).

 

strangelove.JPG

 

As you can see here, the IMDb result is there, but you have to look at the URL to see it - the instant, at-a-glance credibility that IMDb has is lost, here. If I was looking for a review, that Rotten Tomatoes link would be something I'd consider clicking - but alas, I can't see that it's a review, or from Rotten Tomatoes without looking at the URL under the title.

Wikipedia and Filmsite.org take another approach that isn't as bad, but still not the best way to go, IMO. They (usually) make sure that pages have a short enough main title (and abridge it if it gets too long) to ensure that their brand tag appears at the end. The trick there is that as page title lengths vary, the position of that brand icon moves around and it's still harder to spot.

For me - Amazon has the best listing there. Their brand is right out front, so at a quick glance, whether I'm looking for reviews, or to buy the DVD, that one is an obvious choice - even though it's the last one above the fold.

Grumpus, You're An Idiot. Most Site's Don't Have The Luxury Of Having A Recognizable Brand, So It's Useless!!!

 

This is usually what I hear next when I am trying to explain my logic here. The answer to this is easy. Back when they first started, IMDb, Amazon, Rotten Tomatoes, and all of these sites didn't have a recognizable brand either. The developed it by - guess what? - exposing us to the brand.

 

If your site can appear anywhere above the fold (and on mobile devices, anywhere on the page because you often have to scroll just to get past the ads in the first place), your brand is going to be seen by a the person doing the search. Generally, people tend to search the same types of things over and over again, so over time people will - without even knowing it - start to have some brand recognition.

"Hmmm. Every time I search for advice on what to do about my web site, I always see that Cre8 site. Maybe I should..." >>click<<

 

If person clicks once on your site and they got what they wanted from it, having your brand there out front is more likely to generate a click because of that positive experience, too. If they don't spot your brand in that 0.78 seconds (or whatever it is) that their eyes are scanning the results for the site they believe is most likely to deliver the answer they are looking for, then there is no added recognition, no added reinforcement, or anything.

Plus, if your brand is up front and it's fresh in their minds, on the click they DO make, that brand is already there in your head before they get to the site - and what they see once they get to the site has something (the "Cre8" brand marker, in our case) to mentally attach itself to.

 

Psychological Elements of Your Brand Label

 

The stuff I'm going to describe here falls into the user experience aspect of things - and leveraging the search engine to begin the user experience before they even leave the search engine.

 

First off, your brand label isn't your brand - it's the "attachment point" for it. Nike has its "swish". Coke has its own "swish". We can't put graphics in our search engine results, so for that we need a short string of characters. IMDb has IMDb. Amazon has Amazon.com. etc.

By themselves the swishes and letter sequences don't mean anything. But, our brains automatically take those as sort of the File Label as we gather information about our experiences. A television advertisement contains some sort of a "message" that they want you to attach to their "brand label". {Nike Swish} Just Do It. or {Big Yellow M} I'm loving it. Every time you go into McDonald's restaurants, you see the big yellow M and whatever experience you had in there also gets attached to that label. "{Big Yellow M} These french fries are pretty good - and only $1.25" Good experience or bad experience, good message or bad message, every thing you see and attach to that brand label becomes part of your perception of that brand. 9 out of 10 times, you aren't even aware that you're doing it.

 

By putting your brand name at the front of your page titles, you're presenting the brand label to them. Even if they don't specifically get anything to attach to it - you are still developing recognition at a subconscious level.

 

But it also has a message, too - even without a click. What does Cre8asite Forums do? "{Cre8} Page Title and Branding" and "{Cre8} All I Want Is Rank" and anything else you manage to get popping up into a search engine. If you can generate a click, then you get "Ahhhh. {Cre8} A forum with a lot of people talking about web site related stuff!"

 

If you are an unknown company, then to me it's even MORE important to get your brand out front and not leave it out there at the tail end of the page title (or worse - to allow it to fall out of the page title altogether). Even if you don't get the click right away, you're already establishing "something". Maybe the user is aware of it. Maybe it's just a subconscious thing. It doesn't matter.

 

Eventually someone will say, "I keep seeing that site every time I search for this type of thing... I really should check it out..."

 

Long Term, Not Short Term

 

Finally, this isn't a "quick fix" type thing. And to get your pages to rank a bit better, having the keywords near the beginning of the title rather than the end is a slight advantage. (Though, over the years, I've seen some evidence to show that Google can usually recognize consistent usage of the brand label out front and eventually even that effect becomes questionable). This whole thing also doesn't suddenly make everyone in the world aware of your site and make you a household name. It builds up over time, and it definitely has an effect on the user experience - if only to give them a strong label to attach their experiences with your brand.

 

Getting rankings is good. And it's important. But if you have a bunch of high ranking pages but no one can remember you, then what have you solved? With this option, you plant a seed of them remembering you - even if you never get a click. It's a seed for the future. Something that evolves like anyone's brand perception.

 

----

 

So, there you go. There are my thoughts on this. Feel free to agree, agree with an exception, or pooh pooh on the whole notion. I'd like to hear what you all think now that a decade has passed since the last time I talked about this.

 

G.

 

P.S. I wasn't sure if this should be in Marketing, SEO, or what - feel free to move it if you feel it belongs in a different/better spot.




#350239 Do You Use Google +, Do You Go To The Conversations In Your Google Plus Acct

Posted by margoupson on 28 June 2014 - 10:06 PM

I'm fairly active on G+, and I'm a member of a few different communities (in both the sense of Google's actual community feature and the broader sense), the least of which are the SEO/website/tech crowd. There's a huge music community, and (from my perspective) an even larger crowd of writers. My writing circle is the largest, with a couple hundred people in there. I also use G+ to stay in touch with some of the people I've met through school. The music and writer communities are HOT. I can't keep up with all of the new activity. Photography is really big on there, too, but I do less in that community than in others.

 

I talked a few relatives and family members into joining up when I did, and none of them still use it. That kind of works for me. I use FB mostly for personal connections, Twitter for professional purposes (and posts about iced coffee), but Google+ is really where I've found "my people". They aren't people who I am either related to or feel obligated to be friends with (Facebook) or people who I follow for professional reasons (Twitter). That was the big draw for me. I could find communities of people that I couldn't have found elsewhere. And while there is some crossover between my Google+ circles and the people I follow on Twitter, I value the discussions on G+ more. People are interested in actual discussions, not just sharing links. 

 

I follow a few of the big names in Google/search, but that's most just to follow the discussions on their posts and to catch up on anything I might have otherwise overlooked. If I want any of that, I can hop over to Twitter. 




#350021 Why Do Companies Invest In Marketing Rather Than Web Design?

Posted by iamlost on 15 June 2014 - 01:23 PM

:)

Tell it like it is, Donna!

  • Use 
  • bullet
  • points.

Larger font.

italic and bolded emphasis.

Plus colour.

Especially purple.

 

You definitely drove it home through my eyeballs... :infinite-banana: :dazed: :infinite-banana: :cheerleader: :dancebanana:




#349032 White Hat Seo Service

Posted by DonnaFontenot on 21 April 2014 - 05:12 PM

Is there such thing as "white hat link building" today?

 

No. Link building is over. Content promotion is its replacement. Basics are:

 

1. Create fooking amazing content. FOOKING AMAZING CONTENT. (nothing less than fooking amazing, got it?)

2. Promote that content. Share it via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. Tell your list about it. Make sure the right people see it. 

3. Rinse. Repeat.

 

That's it. That's all you can really do now is create ______ing ______ing ______. (you tell me what you need to create. you should know by now). Tell everyone it exists, and hope someone important links to it.

 

Anything else will likely fail or get you into trouble.




#348778 Is Attacking Matt Cutts Appropriate?

Posted by EGOL on 08 April 2014 - 12:04 PM

Rather than attacking him for being part of it (which I admit is a bit suspect), the reaction was aimed at Matt Cutts only. 

 

This is what I feel is the injustice.

 

Its too easy to go after the mouth piece for Google rather than doing some research about the nature of the site.

 

I think that it is absolutely appropriate to tell Matt what he needs to hear.

 

How many webmasters have been slapped down hard because google thought that their links were manipulative, then they got stuck with $500,000 of inventory, a five year lease at $5000/month, and employees on unemployment. 

 

Google slaps lots of sites for links that Google thought were paid, google thought the webmaster made and none of that was true.

 

Engineers should know all about Type I and Type II errors.  

 

If somebody calls them hypocrites that is a lot better than losing their paycheck, selling their cat, and eating fried Fancy Feast... and I would rather do that stuff than layoff my employees.

 

No sympathy here.  Matt should know what it is like to be blamed for stuff that was unintended.

 

I really like Matt.  I have great respect for him.  Just saying that getting splashed with a little mud will be good for his character and cause him to do some reflection.

 

How many times have you written a little code and got unintended results?  Google does that too but don't know it.




#348680 Customer Support Should Be A Ranking Factor

Posted by iamlost on 02 April 2014 - 08:48 PM

Customer support aka customer service is a business factor, a critical business factor. That said...

 

A ranking factor?

Let Google that far into one's business?

Ummm (nanosecond shock response period)...

NOT A HOPE IN
 

 




#348205 The Getty Carrot...

Posted by iamlost on 06 March 2014 - 08:12 PM

You may have heard that Getty Images, infamous for hardcore copyright infringement demands and pernicious cloaked crawlers in search of same, is making available some 35 million images for sharing via some SM platforms and non-commercial (careful, definitions can bite you) blogs.

Do NOT.

Until you read the T&C carefully from front to back and are certain you understand all ramifications.

And then...do NOT.

Why?
1. the T&C are subject to change without notice and use after change posted is acceptance.
2. the image is free ONLY when embedded via their HTML code (similar to how one embeds a YouTube vid) and so is controlled by Getty not you.
* resizing, a problem.
* load time (third party delivery), a problem.
* can change or remove image at their sole discretion, a problem.
* can collect site info without notice or reimbursement.
* can be used to deliver ads (type unspecified) without notice or reimbursement.
Note: yes, the current agreement specifically allows the last two above.
3. Getty has a nasty track record.

The idea is fascinating in it's scope.
And I bet most bloggers will not read past the initial hoopla hype to the conditions aka fine print. Plus Getty seems to be drawing a pretty strict interpretation of non-commercial - wanna bet some bloggers get sent huge bills for 'commercial' use?
If the take up is widespread then Getty will have built (one image embed at a time) a ginormous ad network (User Generated Ad Network?) not only on blogs but on SM platforms. End run!
Sharing not only images but their accompanying ads. Home run!

With remarketing built in...Grand slam!
Plus the data mining...
Fabulous.

Stupendous.
Horrendous.