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WHY GOOD DESIGN MATTERS FOR SEO
WHY GOOD DESIGN MATTERS FOR SEO

When we talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the mantra often seems to be, “Content is King”. While you may agree with this statement, you cannot forget the importance of the other factors that contribute to increasing traffic to your website. After all, that is what you are trying to achieve with SEO.

Good content, high quality content, will keep visitors on your site. It will increase the likelihood that these visitors will return to your site. These are good things, and Google awards you for these interactions between your website and visitors.

Here is the process simplified…

A user searches something on Google.

Google displays the results to the user that Google thinks are closest to what the user is searching for.

The user clicks on your website. They are now a visitor.

Now here is the part that is important. If the visitor stays on your site for awhile, Google can make a determination that the results they gave to your new visitor were correct, and with that your website was worthy of being on the search engine results page (SERP).

Contrarily, if your new visitor didn’t like what they saw on your website and immediately hit the back button in their browser, Google may determine that your website didn’t belong in the search engine results page in the first place. In fact, Google may decide to move your website down the results page next time the same search is made.

To Google, these are called, ‘user signals’, and they are a small part of what goes into deciding where your website belongs on SERPs. When a user hits the back button and tries a different site on the results page, this is calculated as a ‘SERP return rate.’

Having high quality content can help keep your visitors from hitting the back button. What is high quality content? Well, hopefully it’s what your new visitor wants to read or see. It should be relevant to what they were searching for. If your website is providing a visitor with content they want to see, and thus keeping them on your site clicking away, your website has quality content.

Following that logic we turn to the design and user experience (UX) of your website. If your website provides a good user experience, most likely your visitors will enjoy staying on your website. This is why good design matters for SEO.

If a user visits your site from search and doesn’t have a good experience they’ll not only leave, but they are less likely to return. This is not the kind of ‘user signal’ you want to send to Google about your website.

Good design has the user experience in mind, it’s built into it.

Ask yourself, if you visit a website from search that looks outdated and boring, and is difficult to navigate, do you remain on that site? Or do you hit the back button and try again? Most users don’t have the patience to work with a clunky site that doesn’t function with the user in mind.

No matter how good the content may be, if the user can’t get the info they are looking for in a simple, intuitive and perhaps fun way, they’ll leave. They’ll go somewhere else to find what they are looking for.

With good design, good content is more easy to engage with. Good design helps to communicate that content in a visual way.

A poor design, can make your site appear outdated, less fun, or possibly even less trustworthy. All these things can lead to a quick hit of the back button, which can negatively effect your reputation to Google.

A poor design and user experience can actually hurt your SEO.

So, if you are thinking about SEO, remember that design matters. Remember that the user experience is important. If your ‘content is king,’ your design should be the crown that promotes and identifies it.

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Logo Trends
Logo Trends

If home is our first place, and work is our second place, then mobile screens have definitely become our third place. Smart phone use has increased from 21 percent in 2010 to more than 63 percent today, and with 83 percent of all Americans online regularly, that percentage of mobile users is bound to keep edging up. The fact that so many people now view the world through a window the size of a business card has spelled an inevitable change in logo design. It used to be that minute favicons had to be kept extremely simple: Now, as a rule, logos must be as well, but that doesn’t mean boring. Designers continue to push back and evolve the meaning of “simple.”

That logos have to be scalable has always been understood. But our perception of “small” has changed, in some cases “tiny” is being rather generous. Dimension and detail are necessarily removed so that these logos read properly on mobile screens. Designs have become more and more flat. Surfaces are plain and defined by mono-weight lines.

Of course, there’s a limit to this flattening out and removal of information. Designers and audiences alike need an escape from all things digital. They need a chance to decompress and take a deep breath in a place that provides shelter from information’s frantic pace. Everyone needs to step outside and bask in sunlight, not screen light. And so the pendulum starts to swing back.

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DP1 Website Planning
THE WEBSITE PLANNING PROCESS IN 7 STEPS

When building a website, a common tendency is to jump straight into the visual design. “What’s it going to look like?” “What will the colors be?” “Can it have a video on the homepage?” We get these questions all the time and I don’t blame anyone; these are the fun and exciting parts of a website! But we need to take a step back and start with the bigger questions, “Who is going to use this website?” “What do we want this website to accomplish?” “How will our users interact with the site?” We like to tell our clients that building a website is like building a house; you need to have a solid plan and strategy behind it, otherwise it just won’t do the job.

So how do you build a solid plan for your website so you can hurry up and get to the fun stuff? Here are seven key steps to the website planning process:

1. Define your goals
2. Understand your users
3. Research your competition
4. Gather & group your information
5. Sketch your ideas
6. Test your ideas
7. Architect your plan

SEO vs PPC
SEO vs PPC

I recently read the article “The War on Free Clicks” published by WordStream, which after reading invoked feelings of panic and fear that my chosen specialty in SEO would soon be obsolete, and that everything I believed to be true about search engine marketing was incorrect. Before you begin panicking just as I did, you should know that this isn’t how the story ends. Search engine optimization isn’t going anywhere, and in fact it’s more important than ever to rank organically (non-paid search results) as search engine optimization continues to expand.

The study reports that the sponsored results on Google made up for two-thirds of clicks for high intent commercial keyword searches, searchers that were ready to buy favored the paid ads versus the organic results. On the offense was the sponsored ads camp, taking over space on Google results pages with engaging ad copy and pushing organic listings below the fold. This invasion only added insult to injury after Google’s recent updates to control SEO spam and search privacy made it harder for honest companies to rank for organic listings. In case you haven’t noticed, here’s proof that PPC invaded organic listing territory:

When I overcame my initial panic, I’ll admit that I started preparing for an epic battle, Braveheart style. Before things could go down, I did more research to exploit the enemy’s weaknesses, only to realize there is no battle after all. SEO and PPC are not, nor will ever be replacements for each other. They both have their places on search engine results pages, and can deliver impressive results when working together. >> Read More

Social Media Blunders
How to Correct 3 Major Social-Media Blunders

Nobody’s perfect: We are only human and we make mistakes. And these mishaps run the gamut – from personal flubs to business snafus. And under business, social-media blunders occasionally occur. But luckily, you can turn these mistakes into opportunities, not just by learning from them, but also by teaching others how to avoid the same ones.

I’d like to impart some social media wisdom based on my extensive use of multiple platforms.

Here are a few examples of what works and what doesn’t.

1. Focusing too much on yourself and not thinking about what is helpful to your audience. I re-tweet, engage, and share about 60 percent on my Twitter page. (I tend to engage more on the other social networks.) Because of the size of my following on Twitter, I incline to be less engaging and proportion my engagement so it will not barrage the stream. I then try to extend them beyond that platform, continuing those conversations on Instagram, Facebook and Google+ where it’s a bit more manageable for me.

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