Top 10 things to look out for when selecting a web designer or SEO

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Sixty-second Internet Marketing Podcast May 28th 2010. Third page of Transcription

Paul: Top ten reasons why ‑ top ten things to look out for when selecting a web designer or an SEO. I’ve just read that article and that’s how I know Kazaa.

Chris: Yeah. Or, you know, top five things to make sure your SEO has under their belt or whatever. Those ‑ people are really interested in those top three, top five, top ten kinds of articles and you can collect their email address and their name from that, and that gives you the opportunity now to interact with them further beyond just ‑ just them coming to your website and leaving. So there’s a lot of value. That’s another call to action. Of course, the phone number and, you know, put call us. Call us now.

Paul: Call us now.

Chris: Also chat, instant chat, you know, on the website. You’ll see ‑ you’re seeing ‑ you’re starting to see that more and more and there’s a lot of value in it. There are people who do not want to pick up the phone and call and they’re happy to interact via, you know, instant message or web-based instant message. So, you know, a live person or an online chat is a great thing and that’s actually a call to action.

Paul: I for one would prefer to chat because I don’t like to get to press 1 for this, press 2 for that. I’m like “Hey, I’m going to chat with somebody. This is what I’m looking for. Bang, bang, bang.” I think that’s awesome. I like seeing those things.

Chris: Yup. Now, that’s really good as well.

Paul: Why don’t you go into your design? Your…

Chris: Well, this is a key one and I think it can be easily overlooked and kind of assumed, which is easy navigation.

Paul: You know, I overlook that all the time because I assume that ‑ I don’t want to say this but I’m going to say it unless you’re a retard seriously.

Chris: (Laughing) Unless you’re going to follow Google walking directions down the freeway.

Paul: That’s what I was saying. Your website should be consistent throughout except for that dude that I was on yesterday and I was like his website is like ‑ oh, no. That was her. Maybe I don’t want to say it because that’s one of our clients (Laughing).

Chris: Dysfunction ‑ al!

Paul: That was another guy’s site that I’ve been talking to, and his website is like four sites onto one. You click his homepage, you know. It looks okay. You click his about us page, completely different design. You click the contact us page, something completely different. I mean, he had like four sites in one. This is another guy, not our client that I’m talking about.

Chris: Yeah, that we’re working on fixing.

Paul: Yeah, but you know, I think it’s ‑ and I was ‑ I probably kind of give this the backseat when I’m doing an analysis ’cause I assume you should ‑ you should ‑ everyone should understand that your website should look the same on every single page. Your navigational menu should be the same on every single page. It should be easy to navigate. You should have a ‑ a site map. I probably say two, probably an XML and an HTML site map.

Chris: Yup, absolutely. And that kind of what you’re talking about. So when we easy navigation, we’re thinking okay, typically, you want to have navigation across the top, one navigation probably across the ‑ across the left.

Paul: The left-hand side if you’re in the United States. I know that’s in the US because we read left to right.

Chris: Right.

Paul: If you’re in Japan maybe, just on the right.

Chris: Konnichiwa.

Paul: ‘Cause I think they read from right to left but…

Chris: Konnichiwa if you’re in the Japan.

Paul: Yeah, there you go.

Chris: Yeah. So it may be different in some of the countries where you read back to front or what we would call back to front.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: Or what Australians would call back to front ’cause most Americans actually don’t use that.

Paul: There you go. But you want to be consistent on every single page. You don’t want to ‑ if it’s on the top on your homepage, you don’t want it down the left-hand side on your contact us page.

Chris: Yup.

Paul: You want it to be on the same spot in the same order, and you want it, you know, make sure you don’t have any broken links you want to work. There is a broken link checker. Go to Google’s Webmaster Tools. We should get paid ’cause like we just Google like oh!

Chris: You’re saying everything to Google.

Paul: I’m saying everything is Google, Google, Google, but they’re pretty much running this show. So if we had a dime for every time we promoted Google…

Chris: Yeah, we’d probably have like $1.75.

Paul: We have like 62 dimes.

Chris: Yeah, there you go.

Paul: This is podcast number 62 (Laughing).

Chris: That’s six bucks, man. Come on, show us the money. Yeah. So ‑ and one of the things that we will typically do in a design is that the front page will be ‑ it’s kind of like substantially different and yet very similar to the rest of the websites. So, we would use the fold and take advantage of the fold on the very first website and then the rest becomes informative and so it’s branding and informational, and then it gets into just informational, more about just informational and we’ll do that on a regular basis. So, often our websites will have a banner across the top or a navigation bar across the top. On the homepage, it won’t have one on the left. And then for the rest of the pages, it will have one on the left.

Paul: Okay. And here’s another thing that I ‑ that is they’re directly related to navigation ‑ breadcrumbs. This is how ‑ if you have a large site, lots of pages, or you just have, you know, it’s a complex topic and there’s, you know, different subtopics within it, you should be using breadcrumbs. And if you’re ‑ we haven’t touched on this a lot. If you’re ‑ okay. And if you’re new to SEO or SEVO, breadcrumbs help people navigate your sites.

So let’s say I read an article about baseball cards and this is where I’m getting this example from. So there’s lots of different kinds of baseball cards. Someone gets to your website just baseball cards and then they click on a link that says “Baseball cards between 1990 and the year 2000,” okay? And then there’s another subcategory of pitchers.

Chris: Pitchers.

Paul: Just for pitchers.

Chris: Pitchers, right.

Paul: And then there’s another subcategory of…

Chris: Like throw pitchers.

Paul: Yeah ‑ of made ‑ national league pitchers.

Chris: Right.

Paul: So you can go to baseball cards then baseball cards between 1990 and 2000, and then pitchers between 1990 and 2000, and then national league pitchers between 1990 and 2000. So what I’m explaining is that there’s all these different subcategories. What breadcrumbs are, you use to see them at the top of the page, is it will say it is going to be hard, you know, if you’re just listening to it.

Chris: I think we’re probably ‑ yeah.

Paul: But it will say baseball cards. That’s the first link. And then to the right of it, there’ll be a little arrow and then it will say “Baseball cards between 1990 and 2000.” And then, you know, another arrow and then another link, pitchers, pitchers, the guy who pitches the baseball. I keep thinking of like pitchers now.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: And then on that site of pitchers, national league pitchers between 1990 and 2000. And what that does is tells the user exactly where he is when he is navigating. So let’s say he goes six levels deep into your website.

Chris: Well, here is a great example. Let’s say he was looking at the national league at the pitchers and now he wants to look at catchers. So he can look at the breadcrumb list and go one before catcher, before pitchers, and then have the option to select the catchers right away.

Paul: Yeah. He can go ‑ he’ll select baseball cards between 1990 and 2000 and there will be a list of pitchers, catchers, you know, sorts of whatever. And so I’m using that as an example. Hey, Kenny. We have Kenny over here that yells and screams all the time.

Chris: This is Kenny. Woo-hoo!

Paul: If I say what’s up, Kenny, it just…

Chris: All right. Now, everybody has to see the video.

Paul: Yeah. And if you’re looking at us, my shirt is orange and this thing is orange so it’s bleeding out of my shirt. There you go. What’s up, Kenny? (Laughing)

Chris: All right. We’ll stick him somewhere where he doesn’t talk.

Paul: So he shuts up. So, you should be using breadcrumbs. If you have a ‑ if you have ‑ I want to say lots of subcategories. It helps the user find their way around your website and it’s ‑ you know, Google it and you’ll learn a little bit more about breadcrumbs. I know I didn’t get into it in detail but you should be using them.

Chris: If that was in detail, I’m afraid (Laughing).

Paul: (Laughing) Tomorrow, next week, a term paper on breadcrumbs.

Chris: We’re actually going to do a five-hour podcast series on breadcrumbs.

Paul: So break out your pen and paper. What else goes in a good SEVO design?

Chris: The other thing I put was familiarity and this, you know, we touched on this. This really has a lot to do with navigation.

Paul: Okay.

Chris: It has, you know, good linking is something that we mentioned in here, but I want to jump to familiarity ’cause we’re actually running out of time. But familiarity goes to navigation first, right? So, when, you know, you described a couple of websites where they go from one page to the next, it looks like a totally different webpage. That would not be familiar and so that would not be part of good SEVO design. What would be is when you go to the next page, again, the bars are in the same ‑ the navigation bars are in the same place. Or let’s say an example. Let’s say you decided to move baseball cards, the breadcrumbs, you know, baseball cards from 1990 to 2000, but if it was actually 1980 to 1990, you put it at the bottom.

Paul: Okay, yeah.

Chris: You know, that’s not familiar so you want to be consistent. That’s what I mean by familiarity. There’s another thing that we brought up ‑ that I’d like to bring up about familiarity and that is you should have a YouTube logo, you should have Facebook and you should have Twitter. That brings ‑ breeds familiarity.

Paul: Yes.

Chris: Hey, I come to this website. It does two things. It actually ‑ we often talk about the first purpose of a website being reliability and credibility. Well, if you have bothered to get a Twitter account, have bothered to get a Facebook account and have bothered to get a YouTube account, let’s be honest, you don’t even have to use them, right?

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: I mean, you have one thing out there. If you can have those logos on your front page, immediately people are going to say, “Wow! These guys are serious enough about their business that they’re going to have ‑ that they’re doing YouTube, that they’re doing Facebook, and that they’re doing Twitter.” And that in and of itself is it’s familiar and it breeds ‑ breeds into your website reliability and credibility. So, I think that’s really important.

And we need to talk about good linking, you know, real quickly and everything would be in line with what Paul was talking about in terms of breadcrumbs. In that, inherent in what Paul was describing was good linking. You don’t, you know, we wouldn’t want to have it all back to front and have the linking not work and flow smoothly. Otherwise, you know, the breadcrumbs become useless. And again, people just aren’t familiar. How do I navigate on this site? What do I need to do? How does it work? So…

Paul: ‘Cause ‑ and if they can’t navigate your site smoothly, they’re leaving. I’m definitely leaving your site.

Chris: Yeah. Imagine if your target is to get them to the shopping cart, but as soon as they add something to the cart, you don’t take them to the shopping cart. You just turn on a little tiny logo at the top right. That would be…

Paul: Oh, I did. That happened to me like two weeks ago. Oh, that was annoying ’cause by ‑ so by the time I found the shopping cart, I have 15 of these items.

Chris: Hey, I’m not on the shopping cart.

Paul: I’m just clicking on this bad boy. They’re like ‑ ’cause it didn’t take me ‑ I assumed it was going to take me there, and it was something I was unfamiliar with.

Chris: And then ‑ and then, you know, if it’s hidden, if that little shopping cart is hidden, you know, that would not be good linking. So, you know, you want to focus on these. These are ‑ are all very important aspects of SEVO. The most important of them of course is keywords.

Paul: Keywords, yeah.

Chris: Just keywords.

Paul: So recap. You want to have keyword above, you know, above the fold. That’s prime real estate. You want to have keywords. You want to introduce what you do. You want to have your logo. You want to have your contact information.

Chris: Calls to action.

Paul: Calls to action.

Chris: Good linking.

Paul: Good linking.

Chris: Familiarity. Now, you don’t have to have YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. You might want to have one of them above the fold but that it can be something that’s kind of towards the bottom. So if they do scroll down that they see those, or maybe on the right.

Paul: But these are all a part of your SEVO design.

Chris: Yup.

Paul: And remember, what is SEVO? Search engine visitor optimization. With everything you do, it’s for the user, for the human user.

Chris: And we really started talking about SEVO because getting people to your website is not a problem with some of the first things we talked about. I mean, you know, we get phone calls all the time that’s like “I want to be on the first page of Google.” We look at their website and we say, “No, you do not. Not yet.” ‘Cause if you’re on the first page and you’re one of ten on the first page and people visit your website and any other website, they’re going to purchase from the other website ’cause yours is so bad. So, you need to have a good high-quality website before you’re sending lots of traffic. So if you like us to help send lots of traffic to your website, we can certainly do that. You can email us at podcast@e-webstyle.com. We also have a free website analysis ‑ si ‑ si ‑ zes.

Paul: Si ‑ zes.

Chris: That you can participate in. Just go to e-webstyle.com. Click SEO and at the top, the first paragraph is some brief information. Give us a call if you would like. Or at the bottom of that first paragraph, there is a link that will take you to ‑ to a form where you can fill out and send it to us. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t want to pick up the phone, that’s fine.

We have done analysi ‑ zes for people in the UK, around the world. This podcast is listened to around the world. We gave a shout-out to our listeners in Hong Kong. We really appreciate you. You guys are the reason we’re the most popular SEO podcast on iTunes. This is the end of podcast number 62. Thank you guys for listening. Until the podcast. My name is Chris Burres.

Paul: And this is Paul Hanson.

Chris: Bye-bye for now.

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