Lethbridge SEO – The Psychology of Web Design

Lethbridge SEO knows that part of good SEO practice is designing your website to be appealing to your human visitors. You can spend a fair amount of time to get your website optimized for the search engines, but even a #1 ranking does your business no good if you can’t get your visitors to stay on your site or to take action on your site. The psychology of web design covers this area– how to design your website so that the layout, combination of colors, the amount of information, interactivity and other factors are optimized for your visitor, who is your prospective customer.

There are good reasons for taking psychology of web design into account for web owners learning the best Lethbridge SEO strategies. You see, happy visitors are more likely to take the action that you want them to take on your website. They are more likely to opt-in to your newsletter, to contact you with further questions, to refer their friends to your site, or to buy your product or service.

Today, unfortunately, you will find many scams, schemes and unethical practices on the internet that people have become wary and cautious. As a website owner, you will need to build up some trust between you and your visitor. This is not a quick process but it can be done. One way to start this building trust process is to put your visitor at ease on your website. Annoying pop-ups, too much sound or movement and disorganization only serve to hinder the building of trust.

To build your visitor’s trust, make sure you use familiarity and patterns they can recognize. For example, use a clean simple format that is easy to follow so they can find their way around on your website and feel at home while there.

Choose your color scheme with care. Make sure the colors coordinate because glaring contrast will scare visitors away; it is too hard on the eyes. Depending on the industry your website is promoting, there are some colors that blend well with your content. For example, it is expected that an environmental blog will have some green on it.

There are some design factors to take into consideration as well: ecommerce sites generally have products on the front page, very large sites normally have a search bar to make it easier to find things, and blog sites have a blog on the front page.

Pictures have meaning, and when people look at a picture, they will immediately draw their attention towards it and it will convey some sort of meaning to them. So choose your pictures wisely. Make sure they are relevant and are conveying the meaning you intended them to.

Every page should have a focus and a purpose. It shouldn’t be just a lot of information or pictures thrown haphazardly on the page. Check the placement of your content and see that it suits the purpose of that page. Is it the right size, in the right place, and giving the impact you desire? Take into account that most people skim across the top of the page first, skim down and then across the bottom, ending up in the bottom right corner.

Interestingly but not coincidentally, search engines have been programmed to scan your site the same way. That’s why making your site human-friendly often also makes it search engine friendly. Keywords tell your visitor what your site is about and helps them to find essential snippets of information on your website. Bullets break down large chunks of information into smaller bite size pieces that human readers can quickly pick up and easily digest. The experts at Lethbridge SEO can provide professional help to you as a website owner for optimizing your website.

In the next post, Lethbridge SEO will cover more factors involved in the psychology of web design.

YouTube

Youtube should be an essential part of your Lethbridge SEO efforts to enhance your online presence.

You tube has come a long way since its birth only 5 years ago (as of writing this post.) It all began in 2005 when Paypal alums Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim began working on “Flickr or HotorNot for video.”

One of the first videos ever downloaded was a dance video done by Judson Laipply, called “The Evolution of Dance.” This very entertaining clip is a mash-up of 50 years of dance styles, and claims the prestige as the #1 viewed youtube video in history, raking up over 157 million views, and counting.

If you want a free 6 minutes of highly entertaining fun, go see Judson by clicking on his name.

Now, I am not implying that you have to do some song or dance routine and put it on Youtube to advertise your business or your website. I am just giving you some interesting background about Youtube, and then I will give you some pointers on using Youtube to grow your business.

In October of 2006, Google bought Youtube for $1.65 Billion.

That’s a lot of zeros. But the point is, Google recognized the potential of Youtube and what it would become in the internet marketing community and for all users worldwide.

I don’t think they’ve been disappointed in their investment.

If you happen to have done any research in marketing or even if you have just browsed search results looking for information, you may have noticed that Google loves to rank videos on their first page. Remember that Google caters to the user; its goal is to offer up to you the best possible results as it can for the search terms you entered.

We all like choices, so a search results page that has a variety of websites and video clips to choose from gives us a good search experience.

We as Lethbridge Marketing specialists, Lethbridge SEO experts, and owners of Lethbridge Websites should be utilizing video to our benefit.

If you are just starting out using video, a good place to begin is to turn a document into video. You do this by making a power point presentation from the document and then record your voice as the accompaniment. Upload to Youtube and embed on your site.

The next step would be to take a video of your business, both the storefront and some inside, and record your voice as the ‘tour guide’, so that the viewer can see your place and hear your voice. This makes the potential customer feel like they know you and like they’ve been there before. It starts warming them up to become a customer.

Of course, the very best video showcases you. That’s right, your customers want to see you. Research has shown that websites with video, and especially video with you talking, get more clicks and have a higher CTR (click through rate).

People love to see video. If you have a video with an interesting picture on your website, it will get more clicks than anything else on your website.

The power of Youtube’s site also gives you some link juice to boost your site up in the rankings.

So, if you have been putting off doing a video, now may be the time to re-think that.

Facebook and Lethbridge SEO for YOUR Business

When you hear the word Facebook, you might think social media, social networking, the latest fad for chatting with friends, or that site your teenager is on all day. If you are a Lethbridge Business owner, you really should look at Facebook as a very effective local marketing tool.

Did you know?

  • Facebook has more traffic than Google
  • You can have a Facebook fan page
  • You can run a Facebook contest
  • You can manage a Facebook group
  • You can create an official Facebook page that has its own URL
  • You can enable Facebook comments on your website’s blog posts
  • There are more than 500 Million facebook users
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest by population in the world
  • Of the 500 million Facebook users, 50% are on Facebook EVERY SINGLE DAY! (Now there’s a statistic to make your head spin)

Did you know?

  • Facebook is introducing at least 4 new applications in 2011 (that I know of), including I-frames where you can embed your website and display it on your Facebook page?
  • Facebook advertising delivers highly targeted traffic at a fraction of the cost per click of Adwords.
  • With the proper SEO, your facebook page could actually outrank your site. (This needs to be done right; think ahead…)
  • Your Lethbridge Marketing plan cannot afford to ignore the marketing power of Facebook.

It’s probably fair to say that most of us get on facebook to see our friends, send a message to family, look at pictures of people we know- and people we don’t know. My teenagers get on there and instant message friends, do quizzes, play games, etc.

Here’s a challenge for you. If you thought facebook was only about checking your wall, answering messages and checking up on your friends, then the next time you are on facebook I want you to snoop around. And I mean REALLY snoop around. Scan the whole page. See what all the options are. Click on something you’ve never clicked on before and see where it takes you.

And by that, I don’t mean to randomly click on the ads. That would be click fraud and we don’t do that.

What I do want you to do is scroll down to the very bottom of your Facebook page. Do you see this:

I want you to explore each one of these links and learn as much as you can.
Okay, I think I have given you enough to do today. Enjoy this little exercise and stay tuned for more from Lethbridge SEO.

Bing

Recently Microsoft’s search engine received a new name, Bing. It has a new look, too. With an injection of $80 Million Dollars in Marketing and a commitment to solid relevancy plus some new features, Bing is definitely a search engine to watch.

While Bing has some commonalities with its predecessor Live Search, its the differences and the enhanced userability that are definitely the plus here.

According to Greg Sterling, Google is in no danger, at least in the near future, of being overtaken by either Yahoo or Bing. In fact Google outranks both together in number of completed searches. That in no way implies that Google is the overall winner in every area. There are features, gadgets and additional search tools available on these three search engine giants that are worth looking into.

A diligent searcher and a diligent Lethbridge marketer both should know these search engines inside and out, and get familiar with what qualities in a website that each search engine would rank you highly for. A good Lethbridge SEO specialist would be well-versed in all three of these main search engines, plus two others.

In fact, news this past week is that there is another search that has finally overtaken Google in number of completed searches. Funny part is, it’s not even a real search engine.

You may be wondering or you may have already guessed correctly. The search utility that has overtaken Google is Facebook.

Another huge rival for number of searches is by yet another entity that is not a search engine. Again, you may be way ahead of me, but here it is: You Tube.

If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, just follow the link.

Yahoo!

Hurray! Hurrah!

Actually, we’re not cheering our team on here. We are talking about the second largest search engine, named Yahoo!

Yahoo! was born in 1994 in a lowly trailer on the campus of Stanford University (hey, that’s where Google was born, too. Hmmm. Very interesting.) to proud parents David Filo and Jerry Yang.

These two young fellows were working hard on their PhD degrees, when they cooked up a categorized list to organize their favorite web links. This list began to grow children categories and grandparent categories and cousin categories…

Originally named “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”, the name was soon changed the the shorter and much more catchy “Yahoo!”

Before long, hundreds of people were accessing their guide, and in March 1995 the two incorporated their business and Yahoo! became official.

According to Yahoo Media Relations: “Today, Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet communications, commerce and media company that offers a comprehensive branded network of services to more than 345 million individuals each month worldwide.”

It is pretty impressive when you think that Yahoo! was the first online navigation tool for the web. Even though Google facilitates the lion’s share of all searches, Yahoo! is the leader in some other areas, especially in the business arena. Yahoo! offers some services that Google does not, and Yahoo! should not be overlooked as a leader in the internet community.

Yahoo boast a network that spans 25 properties worldwide and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

You can reach more of your audience by using Lethbridge SEO to give you a strong presence on the Yahoo! network.

Search Engines for Lethbridge SEO

A Lethbridge SEO expert would be targeting several search engines to get high rankings for your website.  There are actually hundreds of search engines, but most of the searches done daily around the world are accomplished using the big three: Google, Yahoo and Bing. It is estimated that Google captures over 70% of all internet searches worldwide, with Yahoo coming in just under 15% followed by Bing with just under 10%. Trailing behind is Ask with 2% and AOL search claims a mere 1%. The remaining 2% is spread thinly over dozens of other tiny search engines.

Today the highlight of this topic will be the popular search engine giant, Google.

Google is a mighty search engine, claiming a whopping 70% of the global search pie. Google started out in 1997 as the brainchild of two College buddies, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google started life with the name Backrub, but after some brainstorming, Larry and Sergey settled on the name Google, which is a variation of the word googol. Googol refers to the number which is the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeros. (Now that’s a lot of zeros!)

This large number, the googol, is a representation of Larry and Sergey’s dream to organize an almost infinite amount of information on the world wide web.

Google quickly made a name for itself as a search engine which delivered very relevant results to the search terms entered, as well as an efficient way for merchants to showcase their advertising online.

Google has sure come a long way since those early days, moved a few times, hired a few more employees (try 20,000 worlwide!), and is available in many languages across the globe. Visit this link for an interesting timeline of Google Milestones.

Each search engine uses a different formula to determine which websites will show up in the listings. You have probably noticed that you will get a different page of results if you put exactly the same search term into each search engine and then compare what they give you for results on the first page.

The search engines do not publicly announce how their formula works, what it entails, what qualities in a website are most important, nor any other details. However, you can get a good idea for what they prefer by studying search engine results.

Some people even conduct little experiments with google to see how their website is treated in the search results with regard to age of domain, number of backlinks, type and quality of sitemap, how much social buzz your website has created, and many other factors. This study of how search engines rank websites on their results page, and therefore what to do to enhance your website’s standings in the results listings, has been named Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short.

Lethbridge business owners, did you know that you can do things yourself to boost your website in the search rankings as well as hiring an SEO expert to take care of the details and keep your site maintained in the rankings? Here are two things you can do today:

1) Submit your site to free local listings. Even if your site doesn’t get traffic from these directories, it provides you with an additional backlink. Here’s one: Canada’s local directory.

2) Become a member of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and get your business website listed locally under the industry you belong to.

See previous post Integrity SEO for information on honest business practice.

Integrity SEO

Everything you ever needed to know about business, you probably learned in Kindergarten.

Now is about the time that you are thinking to yourself that I am crazy, and maybe I am. I’m okay with that. If you want to know more, read on. I have two questions to ask:

The first question is, what does integrity mean?

The answer is: According to dictionary.com, integrity means “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.”

The second question is, how does integrity relate to business?

The answer is: It should relate in every way, shape and form.

Not everyone will agree with me on this, and I understand that. It’s true that business feels like a very competitive, “dog-eat-dog” world, where it is “every-man-for-himself” and you are “ruled-by-the-almighty-dollar.” After all, most people are in business to make a profit. Otherwise, business wouldn’t exist.

So, I am not saying that there shouldn’t be competition in business, I am saying that it is important how we conduct our business.

A business with integrity is founded upon solid moral and ethical practices, and honesty.

In kindergarten we learned that it wasn’t nice to call each other names. In kindergarten we learned that everyone deserves a chance to do ‘show and tell’. In kindergarten we learned that putting somebody else down is not a good way to lift ourselves up.

You may be laughing by now, but these lessons we learned can be applied to the way we conduct business. There is no place in business for putting down your competition to make yourself look better. (It doesn’t work anyway; it tarnishes your name.)

Everyone who wants to compete in business deserves a chance at ‘show and tell’. If you are playing fairly, more players in the game can help you more than hurt you. In kindergarten we learned that it was more fun to have a network of friends to play with at recess than to play alone.

In kindergarten we learned the golden rule “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” That’s the old golden rule, believe it or not, and the new wording is “treat others as you would want to be treated.” This golden rule applies to business.

Think about a time when you have felt ripped off by a business you have dealt with. Maybe you got jipped out of some money or your needs were ignored or the customer service stunk. How did you feel? Were you angry? Did you vow never to do business with them again? Did you complain?

Now think about a time when you were treated like a King or Queen. Was the customer service very personal and just out of this world? Were all your needs met and more? Did they go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and that it was well worth your time and investment to do business with this company?

Compare the two experiences above. Now ask yourself, how do my clients/customers feel about me/my business? What kind of experience do they have in dealing with me? What can I do to “go the extra mile”? (Another thing we learned in Kindergarten.)

In Lethbridge, SEO Business should be built on strong moral and ethical standards, and honesty.