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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 :)

#357929 Do You Design For Local Businesses And Run Into Issues?

Posted by Black_Knight on 01 March 2016 - 12:20 PM

It's so frustrating when you're being paid to do a thing you know how to do, and the customer just gets in the way. Like, you're screwing yourself here! Why pay a professional and then circumvent everything they're trying to do?

This is a sign that they think you are trying to sell them more than they need.  It is a trust issue.  It also cuts both ways, because it shows how their mind works, and how they think they would behave in your position.


Most small business ventures and new startups fail.  And by 'most' I don't mean a narrow majority.  95% of new business ventures fail within the first few years and never made back even their costs and investment.  So you can understand why a small business will be somewhat paranoid.  They are not really paranoid if the entire world *is* against them, right? ;)


So start off by realising that these potential clients and customers are doing something recklessly brave (or just reckless) in starting up their own business at all.  You need to know your market.  Of course they will make bold, even foolhardy decisions ... deciding to start your own business is one of the most bold and foolhardy decisions anyone can make.  Your job is to be on their side.


Your job is to be on their side.  Repeat this to yourself as a mantra when they are being difficult to work with.  They call the tune, and your job is to riff and harmonise with them.  If there is resistance, find another way.  Go around, or even take an entirely different path.  It's their money, and their business on the line, so it is only right that they get to decide to take risks and which ones.  There's a very important difference between hiring someone to help you, from hiring someone to manage you.  Be crystal clear up front about which you are.  UNless they bought into the whole "Dictate to me like I'm your kid" package, then be the help they paid for.


I say all of the above as an ever-important mindset anchor.


Unless you sell yourself and your services by taking a share in the business, and take a share of the costs, then don't get too attached to the results.  You have no more control over what advice they take, how they take it, and what they choose to do against your wishes than you have over what Google places No.1 in search for a highly competitive term.  Over time you can certainly influence and hope, but you don't control.  So, likewise, focus on doing work you are proud of, rather than necessarily getting a specific result.  There are some companies that ruined everything I did where I'm still very happy and proud of my own work, of what I actually did.  I know I gave good advice, and made my case as best I could, even where it was not enough to change a bad decision they made.  Get to that place.


Most of the time, if they ignore your advice it is because you either misunderstood what they wanted to do (and how much they were already set on it), or because you failed to make your case well enough.  Accept that, learn what you can about making a better argument next time, and move on to dealing with what is, instead of what might have, could have or 'should' have happened in your opinion.  Always focus on how to do the best you can from where you are right now with a client, even if where you are is a worse position than you'd advised, or even a worse position than where you started at.

#355889 We Are 17 Years Old

Posted by cre8pc on 24 August 2015 - 11:05 AM

Just wanted to say thank you.  :infinite-banana:  :infinite-banana: 


#351229 Content Metadata Widget - My First Official Wordpress Plugin

Posted by DonnaFontenot on 09 September 2014 - 06:49 PM

I feel like I've just given birth - to a WordPress plugin!


It was nerve-wracking to go through all the steps (and there are a number of rules and steps to adhere to), to bring my first WordPress plugin to fruition and into the WordPress repository.


It's not a plugin that many will need, most likely. But whether 10 people need it or 10,000, it's a living, breathing plugin available for free to everyone. 


To most, it's not that big of a deal, but to me, it's both an accomplishment and a learning experience.  Yay!


So what is it? Nothing too fancy, but something I couldn't find already out there. Here ya go.




Display the current page or post's metadata (title, author, publication date, categories, tags) in a sidebar widget, outside of "the loop".



#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,


#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!  ;-)



#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.




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.




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:






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




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!




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!

#355726 Ammon And Bill Invite Cre8Asiteforums To Hangout Show

Posted by cre8pc on 11 August 2015 - 04:05 PM

Just signed off.  It went on for another 1.5 hours of gabbing - not live.


I had tech issues but finally got in there and on the panel in the last 15 minutes about.


The discussion off camera got into why there are so few women in SEO and in these forums. Lots of questions to John Mu.  I did tell everyone that Ron said hi.  Send2Paul came in after we off-live and a few other folks.  Was a nice way to spend a few hours.

#355514 Email Bombardment From Seo Service Companies

Posted by test-ok on 29 July 2015 - 06:28 PM

I'd post the name of the spammers/company, thats one deterrent that helps fight spamming.

#355022 5 Wordpress Plugins That Use Ai

Posted by Grumpus on 23 June 2015 - 06:28 AM

I haven't played with any of these in recent years, but... I've always tried to steer away from any kind of "automatic" things when it comes to web dev. The plugins I've looked at in the past are just as (or maybe even more) likely to make a bad choice as a good one.


For the user, the idea is to get them to where they want to be as quickly as possible and without a whole bunch of prohibitively  expensive code, processing power, and other pricey things, a computer simply isn't very good reading minds - and even then it can do the wrong things (see: Google). Sending a user down the wrong path on your web site costs money and conversions. If it's something you (or someone on your team) did, then you can fix it. If you are relying on the logic of a free or cheap plugin to do it, then all you can do is watch your money fly out the window.


For the search engine, how various pages relate to each other to reinforce meaning and relevance to a specific topic is nearly as important as the content on the page itself right now. You can say whatever you want on a page, but a search engine's confidence in its accuracy is enhanced by how that page references and is referenced by other pages. If your automatic stuff isn't actually hitting on the most relevant content in a logical and solidly referential way, this can actually hurt the search engine's confidence in the accuracy and authority of your page's content. Sure, you can add nofollow to the links, but then you gain no benefit whatsoever from the page's relationships with other pages. (And I'm also not convinced that a lot of nofollow links won't hurt a site in this area too... "What are they hiding?" asks the spider. -- That's speculation on my part, but...)


I'm a fan of the old adage, "If you aren't going to do it right, don't do it at all." On web stuff, I double down on that. Doing the wrong thing (or allowing the wrong thing to happen) is worse than not doing anything. If you want related posts listed - list them. (There are plugins that will suggest ones for you, but you still need to confirm which of the suggestions you actually want to show - these are fine).


Side note: Related products (e.g. the WooCommerce one) type things are even trickier. Before the sale, you want things that are close, but not exactly the same. You're presenting things for the user who is saying, "This is close, but not quite right." They are looking at a blue widget, but they really want a red one - so having the red widget in the "Similar Products" list will capture that sale. But, once they've added it to their cart, you have to change your thinking. If they buy a blue widget, showing them a red widget is silly - no one ever needs more than one widget. What they need to see then are widget covers, widget reinforcements and other widget accessories. (Similarly, showing these accessories before they have bought the widget is rather silly too - you don't need a widget cover if you haven't decided to buy a widget yet).


These types of plugins are fun and can be great tools on the back end to help you more quickly do the work yourself, but to give them free reign and affect your content on their own inhuman whims can be dangerous.



#354402 How Much Does Text Matter For Seo And Web Design Today?

Posted by EGOL on 07 May 2015 - 09:37 AM

Back in the dawn of search, text and markup were all that they had to rank pages.  Then the idea of citations and pagerank became important.


Even though SEOs would not believe it, visitor behavior was being used big time more than ten years ago.  If google was smart about anything it was keeping this rather quiet because it contained factors that would be extremely difficult or impossible for SEOs to reverse engineer or even identify.  People who bet on this a long time ago had the rocket fuel that continues to elude most SEOs today.




With the emphasis on large background images, parallax design with layers, text over images, scrolling to present the website story rather than presenting it above the page fold or near the top of the page, etc.,



Scrolling is visitor data, the rest are design elements that I don't think that google is using or knows how to use.   The key difference is that these things can produce a huge increase or decrease in engagement.



Getting back to your main question about the importance of "optimized text".....   I think that optimized text and just plain text qualify webpages for queries.   Measurable visitor engagement on the page/site  (visit length in seconds, scroll distance, clicks, etc.) along with offpage references to the page (tweets, mentions, shares, bookmarks, links, etc.) determine the ranking strength for queries


SEOs have missed the boat because they undervalue page richness and engagement, which are fueled by content quality and on-page assets such as photos, graphics, data tables, videos, hierarchical content structure, and widgets of engagement such as calculators, recommended readings, and sharing tools. 


Many SEOs still believe that content is purchased for five dollars a page.  That's why they continue to have Penguin and Panda problems - the publish crap that is unpromotable and then try to force it up the ranks using spam.

#354353 Grabbing The Attention Of Manufacturers

Posted by Ken Fisher on 03 May 2015 - 01:35 PM

Update. The convention was a resounding success. I didn't need an elevator pitch. It was more about a quality focus than anything that worked.


Then I did get some chuckles and laughs when I had to explain myself, who I was etc. 


"It was back in 2008 when I closed down all operations, seeing the writing on the wall. So I basically went on vacation and now I'm itching to get back into the bus."


Seven year vacation? 


It really lightened everything up. Then my real personality came out from hiding. It's been far too long. That dark cave is behind me now.

#353716 Practical Tips For Going Mobile

Posted by tam on 18 March 2015 - 09:47 PM

Everyone busy frantically turning your sites mobile? Me too. I thought I'd share a bit of what I'd learnt so far, and feel free to chime in with your own.


There are basically two options, responsive - which is using CSS to make your site stretch and rearrange depending on the size of the browsing window and detecting mobiles and serving them a completely different site made just for them. If you'd like to do the later google has some info here: https://developers.g...rate-urls?hl=en


Personally I like a mix of the two, having the same files rather than two separate copies makes a site much easier to maintain and gives more flexibility for different screen sizes. It can also be quite easy if your site is well coded with css/html to start with. But there are probably a few things on your site your rather do completely differently on mobile, and for those it's best to detect mobiles and change what's written to the page for example not including that giant 1MB photo, rather than just hiding it from view.


Detecting Mobiles


I use the script from here http://detectmobilebrowsers.com/ to detect mobiles, then set a cookie. Then any time I want to change the sites code e.g. what's written in your PHP I just have an if/then statement that checks the cookie.


This is optional, and you might want to just start with CSS and add this in later to tweek.


CSS Changes


One of the main changes I find sites need is getting rid of the set width of the container - the div that most people wrpa their site in that has a width of 900px or so. Start by changing width:900px to max-width:900px. Max width is key because it says, if the screen is narrower than 900px use the full width. You might have a few containers within containers that need editing too - then see how much your site breaks and where by resizing your browser window.


It's not just containers that works on either, you can also give images a max-width too. If you set a max-width:100% your images will never be wider than the mobile screen.


The other great thing about CSS is the ability to apply styles to different screen sizes (called media queries) like so:


@media all and (min-width:1000px)
     #wrapper {900px}    

@media all and (max-width:999px)
     #wrapper {100%}      

That tells the code to set a width of 900px is the screen is bigger than 1000px, and 100% if it's smaller. You can use that to change font sizes, padding, hide objects etc.


Note: You'll generally find it's easier to make a site responsive if you use measurements that are responsive, so ditch px font sizes, and try using em or % for padding/margins where you can too. If you get into the habit of only using px where you absolutely have to you'll find things much easier.


The other thing you might need is a different menu, a button that opens a drop down is popular.


<button class="nav-button">Open Menu</button>
<li><a href="#">Link 1</a></li>
<li><a href="#">Link 1</a></li>



Here you'd use the CSS media queries to hide the button from desktops, and the ul from mobiles (display:none), and to style them two different ways. Then use a little Javascript to swap the CSS styles when the button is touched.


One final thing you need to know is whilst the CSS will work great when you change the browser window on your desktop, when you try your new site on the mobile it will look like it doesn't work! That's because phones make up a default window size of about 900px when they display a site zoomed out. You need to tell them to use the actual device width with:


<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width"/>

Hope that helps :)






#353025 Youtube Is A Traffic Vault

Posted by EGOL on 29 January 2015 - 07:53 PM

We made a nice number of YouTube videos to demonstrate some of the products that we sell.   These are mostly, very short, how to select, how to use, how to adjust, how to repair, informative videos.


The first line of most video descriptions on the YouTube site includes a link to more information on our website.  On a few descriptions the link is lower on the page.


How many people click those links and visit our site?


In the last 90 days we had over 50,000 video views and over 90,000 minutes watched..... and a whopping 16 clickthroughs to our site.   That was a CTR of 0.03%.  Worse than a bad banner ad.


Was it worth it to make these videos?  Yes, it certainly was because the conversions of our products increased significantly after we added the videos to product pages and article pages.


Just sayin' here that you better not make videos if you are hoping to drive visitors from YouTube to your website.


Maybe I should have offered folks free beer at our site ?  :-)