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Interesting web and identity news

"How we really use the web"

 

thinkFollowing last weeks newsletter we continue to speak about Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. This week we are discussing "How we really use the web"

 

Over the past ten years we have spent a lot of time watching people use the Web, and the thing that has struck us the most is the difference between how we think people use websites and how they actually use them.

When we’re creating websites, we act as though people are going to pore over each page, reading our finely crafted text, figuring out how we’ve organised things. And weighing their options before deciding which link to click.

What they actually do most of the time is glance at each new page, scan some of the text and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. There are usually large parts of the page that they don’t even look at.

 

 

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Don’t make me think!

 

Common Sense Approach to Web Usability- “Don’t make me think!”

thinkOver the course of the next 12 weeks Identity will provide a series of topics, helpful tips and guides about Web Usability. The first topic we are discussing is called “Don’t make me think!”

Clients, customers and people we know often ask us:

“What’s the most important thing I should do if I want to make sure my website is easy to use”

The answer is simple. It’s not “Nothing important should never be more than 3 clicks away” or “Speak the user’s language” or even “Be consistent”.

 

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What Makes a Good Website Design?

 

planet2Website design is such a subjective area that it is impossible to definitively say what makes a good design or not. However, there are some good design practises that help make a website more enjoyable and user friendly.

Before we go into specifics about what does actually make a good website, lets first take a step back and get down to the key factor in website design – that being you and your business! A fantastic floral design with beautiful colourful detailed pictures of plants is wasted on a car mechanics business brand! The key to a good website is marrying the customer’s business brand with designs that are visually appealing, good clear navigation and specific attention to usability, which will generate your conversions (a conversion is an action you would like a customer to achieve – e.g. an enquiry, or purchase of a product)

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How Much Does a Website Cost?

cheap-websitesHow much does a website cost? Very often we get asked this question and there is no easy answer for it!

The cost all depends on the individual project, some smaller website projects can cost as little as £800 while others can be £15,000+

Quite often after carefully acquiring all the requirements of a project, and taking time to prepare a full proposal that is as detailed as we can make it including the price required to complete the project, a client may say:

“I’ve seen you can get a website now for £99, why is your quote so high, and can you do it for less?”

We appreciate it’s a recession, and businesses haven’t got cash to spend, but there’s a problem here.

We have an office we pay rent for, computers and software to buy, equipment to rent and service, staffed with web designers, web developers, SEO specialists.

The average experience in identity web design is 10 years to learn and practice what we do, and we spend hours every day learning new skills. It’s a highly skilled practice.

Web design does not only need artistic flare, but the art needs to be translated using web standards, programming languages, server/client integration, HCI and unit testing, relational database and SQL understanding, XML...

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Lesson Nine: SEO Conclusion / Site Builders

seo-lesson9This is the conclusion of the SEO lessons from Identity, we have hoped that you have found them useful and informative. In closing there are a few other important things that I wanted to go over.

Site Builders

I didn’t talk at all about Site Builders and this is an important topic.

Unfortunately many people are living a perfect example of “If you build it, they won’t come“.

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Lesson Eight: Maintenance

Identity Web Design search engine optimisation maintenanceNow that your site is optimized, your link campaign is under way and you are diving into social media, it’s time to talk about maintenance.

SEO is an ever changing industry. Optimization is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. You have to monitor rankings and tweak your site if the results you were hoping for don’t happen. Even if you get the results you were after, you need to stay on top of industry news and make any necessary changes to your site. If you don’t stay current with what the engines are looking for, you risk losing your rankings.

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Lesson Seven: Blogging

blog

  • The blogosphere is now 70 million weblogs wide
  • About 120,000 new weblogs are created each day – which means 1.4 new blogs are created every second
  • 1.5 million posts per day which means 17 posts are made every second

What does that mean?

Some people might think it means there are so many Blogs out there how could my little Blog get noticed and make a difference? That’s not the right way to look at it though, and here’s why:

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Lesson Six: Content and Social Media

socialmediasmThe search engines like to see that your site is growing. They like to see new content being added. It’s actually an important part of their algorithm. Many people add content when they optimize their site, and that is a great idea but you shouldn’t stop there. Create a plan to add content on an on­going basis. We all get busy and forget, but if there is a plan to guide and remind you, you are more likely to remember.

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Lesson Five: Links

linksLinks are important to the search engines because it shows the engines that other sites think your information is worthy of sharing. Each link is like a vote for your website.

Links are not only good for the engines but good links open up new sources of traffic from relevant, complementary but non­competing websites.

Linking has gone through so many transformations over the years. First all reciprocal links are good, and then only relevant links are good. Then reciprocal links are not helpful, you need one way links.

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8 Tips for Selling Online

xmas-presentsIf you are following the search engine optimisation lesions, they will continue in the new year.

With the January Sales soon approaching it’s a good idea your online store (if you have one) is set up in the best possible way to attract customers. Identity has 8 essential tips to help you get the most out of selling online.

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