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Dos and Don'ts of User-Friendly Website Navigation

Posted by Danny Fong on April 26, 2013 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)


Good, intuitive navigation is arguably the most important element of a successful website. If visitors come to your website and they’re unable to find what they want, they’re going to leave, and all the splashy homepages and cool graphics in the world won’t bring them back

So today we’re going to talk about the basic Dos and Don’ts of user-friendly web navigation for your personal or small business website.


Do make your navigation easy to find.


Don’t hide it in a complex design or have it appear only when the user performs a behavior (like rolling over a specific tab to make it pop out).


Do make it easy to operate.


Don’t use complicated animations or make the user hover carefully and move their mouse from one option to the other juuust so. Secondary navigation that disappears when you’re trying to mouse over to it is instantly frustrating.


Do keep it consistent.


Don’t move it around or add/remove options to the fit the design or space constraints of each individual page. Also make sure you call each link exactly the same thing no matter where the user is in the site. With builders like Webs SiteBuilder3, navigation is automatically global, which will keep you from making these mistakes.


Do tell them where they are.


Don’t leave people hanging and cause them to click the page they’re already on because they’re not sure if they’re currently reading “about us” or “contact us”. Have the current page change text or background color in the navigation to indicate this.


Do tell them where they came from (and how to get back).


Don’t assume that your user remembers how they arrived at the page showing the red women’s sale jacket. Though not required, leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for users is always appreciated. Such as small text above the content that reads:

Sale > Women’s > Jackets > Red Trench coat


Do use one level of navigation if you can, but multiple if you need to.


Don’t have a ridiculously long or crowded navigation bar if you have lots of pages to link to. Though one level is preferable, having two (or maybe three) levels is a good way to organize and prioritize information if you have a lot. But never go deeper than three…if you require more than that, you need to go back and re-organize your site.


Do provide a search box.

No matter how good a job you’ve done with the suggestions above, don’t assume you’ve done so well that everyone is sure to find what they want quickly enough to keep them on your site. Provide a search box to prevent impatience and abandonment.


Do conduct usability testing, either by bribing friends/family or through a professional user testing website.


Don’t dismiss the feedback you get because you’ve worked hard and are wedded to what you already created.


Helpful Google Tools for Your Small Business Website

Posted by Danny Fong on April 26, 2013 at 2:20 AM Comments comments (0)


It’s hard to overstate the importance of Google for small businesses. While big brands are using their big budgets on flashy advertising strategies, Google provides an avenue for the underdogs to get their content out there by optimizing their sites for organic search. It doesn’t matter how big your budget is if your site isn’t coming up in your customers’ Google searches!

 

Google offers a number of helpful tools to help small business owners turn their sites into well-oiled traffic machines. Two we’d like to recommend that you look into are:


 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is all about gaining insight into how people use your site so you can adjust your strategies to keep them happy, and bring in even more visitors in the future.

 

Use this tool to:

 

- Learn what content on your site is most popular with visitors, and which content needs your attention in order to improve interactions.

 

- See how social your site is by checking on interactions like social shares, and see which of your social profiles is bringing you the most traffic.

 

- Set up and track conversions to see how your visitors are interacting with the goals you set – whether that’s sales, reservations, or filling out a contact form.


 

Google Webmaster Tools

These tools are a great way to improve your site’s visibility and bring in more traffic from the web’s most popular search engine.

 

Use this tool to:

 

- Verify your site with Google so that it can be indexed. Verification isn’t necessary to get crawled (this will happen on its own later if you don’t verify), but verifying does give you access to great tools and products from Google.

 

- Understand how your site appears to Google, and fix problems that Google may be having in ‘seeing’ your website.

 

- Take control of how your site displays on Google by submitting your sitemap. Let Google know which pages you think are top priorities and how often they should be indexed. While you’re at it, you can also tell Google how you’d like your URLs to appear.


Search Engine Optimization 101

Posted by Danny Fong on April 25, 2013 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)


An Introduction to SEO

There are few topics that have caused as much confusion, frustration and curiosity as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Whether you’re a professional writer, passionate blogger, seed-stage startup or established business, SEO is critical to your online success.

This introductory article aims to break down what people mean when they say SEO, why SEO is important to you and your business and the benefits of optimizing your website.

 

What do you mean by SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the method used to improve the ranked placement of a website or increase the number of times a website shows up in the search results of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

A search for any given word or phrase typically returns hundreds of thousands or even millions of results to choose from. The purpose of SEO is to help your website listing stand out among the millions and drive visitors (a.k.a. traffic) to your website. This is why SEO is easily one of the most important factors of online marketing.

 

Why SEO is important for me and my business?

Imagine you’ve signed your company up for its first industry expo. You plan and work for months, taking care to have colorful displays, detailed brochures, business cards, a company intro and the perfect sales pitch.

What would happen if you spent all of that time creating the perfect booth, but failed to pay attention to your booth’s location? You could end up at the farthest reaches of the room while your competition is smack in the middle of the most trafficked part of the expo.

A nice expo booth, like a nice looking website, is just one part of the equation. If you properly execute SEO, it can improve your websites’ search engine visibility and increase the likelihood of your online marketing efforts succeeding. No SEO – or poorly-executed SEO – could leave your website deep in the weeds of search results.

Web Design Trends 2013

Posted by Danny Fong on April 25, 2013 at 2:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Website trends are just like fashion. Each year, new styles come in and old looks become quickly outdated. On the web, this can have a big impact on your business’ ability to stay competitive and attract new customers.

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together some of the biggest emerging trends for 2013 – in both form and function – to help you stay ahead of the game and grow your business all year long.

A few key takeaways from the infographic below:

1. Mobile browsing on tablets and smartphones continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Responsive design – websites that self-adjust for different screens – will be big.

2. Integration with social media will become even more important for businesses looking to find new customers and build loyalty.

3. To accommodate smaller screens and shorter attention spans, website designs will use bigger buttons and simpler layouts to encourage engagement.


Photo Editing Options

Posted by Danny Fong on April 25, 2013 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)


The importance of great imagery for your website and printed materials can’t be overstated. Images are a great way to draw visitors and prospective customers in and show them something about your business’s personality. But not all images are created equal. If your images are too dark, distorted from resizing, or show things that should be cropped out, they can have a detrimental effect on your brand.

Don’t have the capital to invest in top-quality professional photo editing software? You’re not alone. Today we’re going to take a look at a few options that are better suited for small business budgets:

iPhoto

If you are a Mac user, your computer comes pre-loaded with a great application for editing, organizing, and sharing photos. With this program, you can easily do things like adjust the brightness of an image, fix red-eye, crop, resize, and more. If you’re not sure what your image needs, you can try a variety of different filters and effect, or select these adjustments one by one.

GIMP

For those who use PCs or Linux platforms (and also for Mac users) there is a program called GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). This is a very popular solution for image editing, and it simple editing tools as well as more advanced options similar to Adobe Photoshop. The interface is user-friendly, but be prepared that the downloads page is a bit confusing. Just look for the Mac or Windows links and try to tune out the more complex platforms you might not be familiar with!

Picasa

If you prefer to edit your photos in the familiar arms of Google, Picasa is the choice for you. Most famous for its online sharing, storing, and organizing features, Picasa also offers some great image editing capabilities. Broken into “fixes” and “effects” these options will allow you to make small adjustments or totally change the look and feel of your images.

Of course if you are a more experienced photographer, and you feel like treating your business to the industry’s best, there’s nothing wrong with the tried and true Adobe Photoshop, available for Mac and PC environments. This is a robust and powerful solution that can do just about anything you could imagine – and probably a number of things you couldn’t.

GamerPro Template

Posted by ShadowVenom718 on April 22, 2012 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (1)

This is the GamerPro Template. It is a great template for a gaming site, but could be used for any type of site. It features a mostly dark theme with some lighter grays and yellows. It is an overall great template that would be a great design for your site. Here is a screenshot:



If you need any help with this template, don't be afraid to ask!


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Please visit my site at http://shadowcenter.webs.com

A Couple Of Updates

Posted by jesjj on April 22, 2012 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (1)

A lot has been changing at Webs Guide!

  1. We got a new domian! Use websguide.webs.com to reach us now! Our old domain is currently not working, but hopefully that it is just temporary. Please use websguide.webs.com from now on.
  2. We got rid of the advertising section of this site. We thought that it was too unused and wanted this site to be more about helping you make your Webs site better and not about gaining traffic.
  3. We also got rid of the templates page. We decided to just implemeant the templates page into the blog. We also got rid of all the old templates, too.
  4. We have a whole new batch of brand new templates that you cannot find anywhere else published in the blog! Try them out now!
  5. We have new codes and help guides coming! They are just around the corner so stay tuned!
  6. The first member to get 100 forum posts contest is still active! Try to win now! Your chances are really good! Learn more about this contest at http://websguide.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/7561301-100-forum-posts?page=last

I hope you enjoy the new updates!

Blue Night Template

Posted by jesjj on April 22, 2012 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (3)

The Blue Night Template features a nice and very unique design. It has many shades of blue with some dark backgrounds that makes it very unique and different. It contains many borders and headings and is a great design for your site. Here is a screenshot of the template:



If you need any help with anything with the template then please don't hesitiate to ask.


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Dark Neat Template

Posted by jesjj on April 22, 2012 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

This is the first template that we have published in a while. It is called the Dark Neat Template. It features a neat and clean look with a light background, but contains many dark areas. This template would work on any type of site and features a great design. Here is a screenshot of the template:



Need help with something with the template? Want to have your logo appear at the top of the template? Please comment on this blog post, post in the forums, or contact me right away.


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Submit Your Site To Search Engines

Posted by jesjj on April 8, 2012 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (2)

Want to get more traffic to your site easy and free? Submit your sites to major search engines now! That way, people who are trying to find your site can search for it and go directly to your site after finding it in search results. So you get more traffic coming to your site for free! More traffic = better site.

  • Submit your site to Yahoo! and Bing, also great search engines. Note: In order to submit your site to these search engines, you will have to make an account. By following the link, you will be submitting your site to Yahoo! and Bing at the same time. https://ssl.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx

Enjoy the new traffic you will be receiving!

 

 


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