Friday, May 7, 2010

A government without limits is a tyranny. - Petition States - Stop National Health Care Law

Friday, July 24, 2009

Local link building

It seems that according to this SEO Roundtable post, if you want to rank for a local search, i.e. "Birmingham florist," you want links from other Birmingham sites. That makes sense to me, but it's not something I would have really thought about. I know you want links from sites that have to do with, in this example, flower arranging, but I've never thought about blostering your connection to Birmingham via link building.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting it though. Let me know if you got a different idea from the post in the comments here.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Usability and SEO compatibility no excuse to ignore SEO

I couldn't agree more with the excellent points made in the article on usability vs. SEO.

The point of the article was that SEO and usability aren't at odds, but go hand in hand. The author listed examples of things you'd do for SEO that are helpful for users as well, and explained why they are helpful for both.

My only concern is that people might take this article to mean that as long as they're keeping usability in mind when designing and writing their Web sites, they're doing SEO as well.

Unfortunately, it's possible to write anchor text that is great for users and terrible for search engines. I see it all the time. I'll use an example from this very blog post.

I linked to the story referenced above with "usability vs. SEO" as my anchor text. Here I've sacrificed usability a little bit for SEO. I think it's most rational to click on the word "article" if you're linking to an article. But I'm sure the author of the article doesn't want SEO credit for the word "article," but would prefer to have it for the subject she covered in the article. I'm assuming she has no interest in ranking number one for the word article, but would love to be number one for "usability vs. SEO."

The point I'm trying to make is that you need an experienced SEO who knows when to choose SEO over usability and when not to in order to win. Just one or the other doesn't cut it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Mom Test for Usability

I've been seeing this all around and I think it really applies to the small-business Web site because its very cost-effective. It's called the mom test, and I like it. Basically, every site should optimally go through some usability testing, to be sure that an average user can figure out where to go and what to do on your site. Over at the Bruce Clay blog, Virginia Nussey talked about using the mom test to figure out what your call the action is. I've been to many a site where I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do. Was I supposed to call, e-mail, what number, what address?

So before going live or shortly thereafter, or ASAP, ask your mom to visit your site and then ask her what she thought, from the site, you wanted her next move to be. If she stares at you blankly, you might need to tweak something.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

E-commerce vs brochureware sites

I'm kind of tired of hearing about how awesome e-commerce is. Yes, not having to manage a brick-and-mortar store can save you a lot of money. But that only works if people are as willing to buy online as they are in the store. One study claims that customer satisfaction in e-commerce is on the decline.

I'm not trying to knock e-commerce at all. For some things it works well. I think it's a great addition to stores. But I think we need to get real about it obliterating the walk-in store as we know it. I also think that we should re-examine the e-commerce site's red-headed stepsister: the brochure-ware site.

I think everyone who is trying to sell someone something should have a Web site. But it doesn't have to sell anything. Just putting your basic information out there, what you sell, where you're located, ect., is extremely important. I think many times, with small business owners especially, they get caught up in thinking that their site needs to do everything, sell their brand, sell their stuff, feature all kinds of flash animation. There's definitely something to starting small. Buy a domain and let it mature. There's nothing wrong with a little 5-page brochure-ware site to get you started. It may be all you need.