Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Where to start? SEO Tools for everyone

Friday, April 1st, 2011

If you know anything about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it is this: it takes a lot of time and effort to do it the ‘right’ way.

There are shortcuts, sure – but these are frowned upon and on occasion Google will actually dump you from their engines. So, how does one do the minimum to get a website indexed and boost traffic? The Internet is your friend. There are volumes of content regarding SEO practices, and how Google keeps redefining search criteria.

The basic steps for a solid web presence:

1) Find a good web designer who understands standards-based design and development. Getting your website done in XHTML/CSS or in HTML5 is the foundation to everything that follows regarding SEO. Make sure all your images have ‘alt’ tags, make sure your code is validated, make sure users are not confused by your navigation – you get the idea…

2) Word of mouth. Sometimes people forget that this form of promotion exists, but it’s true. Always start with the simplest promotional techniques. Some might say this is more like SEM (Search Engine Marketing).

3) Start a Facebook and/or Twitter account. They’re free. Take advantage of added exposure. Set up a Facebook ads campaign.

4) Set up a Google account – use Analytics and use Ad Words as a booster shot for your site. Depending on your target audience, you can start many campaigns to drive traffic to your site.

5) Steps 2, 3 and 4 really deal more with SEM, but it doesn’t hurt to use the free social media available to promote your site. Like I said in step 1, the foundation of your website is critical to the future success of your website. That’s why, in essence, I’m asking you to repeat step 1.

6) Start a blog. Search engines love content that is new, evolving and does not stagnate. WordPress is excellent.

7) Get these tools for your Firefox browser http://tools.seobook.com/. I recommend these tools highly. An extremely useful set of tools, it is also a gateway to learning more about SEO, and it will help you keep tabs on and stay current with SEO trends and news.

The SEO Tools keyword tracker is an excellent and simple method for your website. For people or companies with multiple domains, this provides an user friendly interface to track your sites and rank (based on a keyword) in Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Export your reports to CSV and convert to Excel spreadsheets. At worst, you will gain insight into the ever changing world of SEO.

As a simple rule of thumb, your website content is king (or queen). Always make sure you have good content. Search engines love it.

No One Nos: Learning to Say No to Bad Ideas

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

You can’t create what clients need when you’re too busy saying yes to everything they want. As a user experience designer, it’s your job to say no to bad ideas and pointless practices. But getting to no is never easy. Proven techniques that can turn vocal negatives into positive experiences for you, the client, and most importantly, the end-user include citing best practices and simple but powerful business cases; proving your point with numbers; shifting focus from what to who; using the “positive no”; and, when necessary, pricing yourself out.

Source Article is here:

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/no-one-nos-learning-to-say-no-to-bad-ideas/

JavaScript Minification Part II

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Variable naming can be a source of coding angst for humans trying to understand code. Once you’re sure that a human doesn’t need to interpret your JavaScript code, variables simply become generic placeholders for values. Nicholas C. Zakas shows us how to further minify JavaScript by replacing local variable names with the YUI Compressor.

Source: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/javascript-minification-part-II/

HTML5 vs Flash

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Adobe Flash is the industry standard when it comes to web browser games and especially online videos. Computer users have no problem with this because for most internet browsers, a free Flash player plugin is provided by Adobe. Unfortunately it is not the same case for iDevice owners.

Flash support in iPods, iPhones, and iPads is not built in. Flash is owned by Adobe and putting it in iDevices will cost Apple a hefty a sum of money. In order to view Flash videos, users generally have to purchase a third party application for their iDevice. But this will no longer be the case.

Steve Jobs had long been pushing the HTML5 format for online videos which would no longer require browsers to have Flash to stream videos. YouTube started providing videos in HTML5 format although most of its hosted videos were still in Flash. The biggest step towards the HTML5 transition seems to be of Facebook which now provides all videos in HTML5.

This means that iDevice owners will no longer need any third party application to Facebook videos. To take advantage of this feature, no new updates are required for the iDevice firmware

or for Facebook’s application for iPhone. All users need to do is browse Facebook using their Safari web browser.

Facebook shifting to HTML5 is surely a sign of the web welcoming HTML5, a cleaner, freer alternative to Flash.

Source: http://www.macstories.net/news/facebook-videos-go-html5-ipad-compatible/

6 corporate website fails to watch out for.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Unfortunately for the web, many websites are conceived, designed and built internally. Whilst there are exceptions to the rule, often this leads to a number of decisions being made that are at best questionable, and at worst disastrous for the usability and overall success of the site. This post talks about some of my own pet hates, and pitfalls I’ve noticed major corporate sites falling into.

http://blog.webdistortion.com/2010/04/27/6-corporate-website-fails-to-watch-out-for/