Problem: Vague or Generic Goals
Many of the organizations I talk with on a daily basis say they want to “improve things.” Of course. That’s always the goal.
But how exactly do you plan to "improve things?" Do you have measurable attributes associated with your improvements? And how does the Web play into those goals? In order for goals to be meaningful, they should include what specifically needs to be done and in what amount of time.
Solution: SMART Goals
I know, I know. You’ve probably heard this term before. And for many of you this isn't going to be anything earth shattering. However, this is one of those things that everyone knows about but is rarely implemented.
What are SMART Goals?
This is part one of a three-part blog series on personas. In this post you’ll learn more about what personas are. In parts two and three you’ll learn ways to develop them and how to use them throughout a web project.
You Don’t Matter
It’s true. We like you, but we don’t care about you. We care about the people who are using your website, purchasing your products, and calling your help line. These are the people who help you achieve your business goals, and we want to get to know them better.
Maybe you’ve heard your web team refer to these people as your “users” or “visitors." Companies will spend time researching, interviewing, and collecting data on these people to find out how they behave on the web. The qualities, characteristics, goals, and behaviors of these groups of people will become the basis for your personas.
TL;DR: Nobody is waiting with baited breath for the redesign of your corporate website, so don't let minor features delay the launch.
For months, you and your team have toiled. You've planned, brainstormed, created, revised, tested, argued, tested, stressed, maybe even cried. The project is close, but there are still a few items on the list. Just a few more features, layout tweaks, and it will be perfect. Crowds will gather at their screens, gasping in amazement at this wondrous new corporate website. Or not. More likely not.
Don't hold your breath waiting for theirs to be taken away.
Why? Because nobody cares about your new website except you. And why don't they care? Because people are busy. Their time is valuable and you've never given them a reason to care before. Let's face it. Your site is not a major Internet destination. Your users are not hitting refresh, desperately waiting for something new to appear (unless you work at Facebook - in which case, forget I said anything).
In the first two posts of our Webmaster Tools series, we explained how you can use the Content Keywords Report and Search Engine Keywords Report to build a stronger keyword strategy.
Today, we’ll continue to focus on keyword strategy by explaining how to use the HTML Improvements report in Google Webmaster Tools.
What is the HTML Improvements Report?
The HTML Improvements report tells you whether your site's title and meta description tags are too long, too short or non-informative (or a combination therein). The report also shows you pages that do not have a title or meta description.
"You're all in this together."
I couldn't have said it better myself. There is a glow that surrounds CodeMash, and no, I don't mean the Polar Vortex. Everyone is so excited about what they've learned, or who they've met; it's a great way to kick off the year. With positive vibes and new ideas, I wouldn't dare miss it.
Having attended the "Precompiler" days, I could tell early in the week we were headed for the best version of CodeMash yet. Being a multi-year alumni, I was ecstatic that we were able to arrange for our whole team to attend this year (read about the sessions we were most looking forward to). I really enjoyed meeting up with them in the hallways after sessions and hearing about what they'd been inspired by. A few times we all sat in on the same session and seeing their eyes grow wide with excitement as the speakers drove home some great points made the entire trip worth it for me.
Ever since attending my first CodeMash in 2011, it has been my must attend event every year. Not even the bitter cold can keep me away. The content CodeMash continues to deliver is top notch and the people are just wonderful. I have heard others say it, and I couldn’t agree more, but the “hallway” track is where the true value lies.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the Aztek Development Team has been preparing for another self-declared holiday: CodeMash.
Next week our team (along with 2000 other developers, designers, project managers, entrepreneurs, and geeks alike) will convene at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky to spend 2-4 days coding, learning, listening...and splashing (with 173,000 sq/ft of waterpark, how could you not?!).
I've had the privilege of attending this wonderful conference for the past four years, and I am looking forward to most of the Aztek team experiencing it for the first time this year.
With just a week until the sessions begin, our team is counting down the days until the drive out for a few fun-filled and wildly educational days. There are a few sessions the team is particularly excited about, such as...
Speaker: Chad Carter
I got my hands on the original NES back in 1989, at a time when I was barely starting to speak. It was hard to get my hands off of that controller. My fate was sealed. I have been a passionate gamer ever since. It was that passion which got me into programming. The first things I ever made were silly, text-based games. Sadly, I never managed to complete any serious games. There was always an intimidation aspect. But it seems that it has never been easier to get started. I heard about Unity this past year and I have been meaning to dive in. I am hoping this session will reignite my dreams of video game development.
- Dustin Graves
Speaker: Joseph Andaverde
Last month, I explained how you can use Google and Bing Webmaster Tools to find and track new keyword opportunities. Today, I explain how you can use another report – the Content Keywords report - to implement a responsible keyword strategy after you know your target keywords.
Wondering what I mean when I say “responsible keyword strategy?" Keep reading. I’ll get to it.
You're a savvy shopper, so the holidays are your time to shine.
You were up before dawn to brave the crowds for that gigantic new flat screen, but what other gifts will you find for those hard-to-buy-for people on your shopping list?
Don't worry, we found some great gift options they'll never see coming.
We searched the internet to find some up-and-coming tech options for you to consider this holiday season. We're not being paid to share these, but if any of these companies want to throw some money my way I still have some gifts to buy...
Many of these products are still in the early development stages, so time will tell how they survive long-term. But, in the mean time, you (or someone on your shopping list) could support something fun and exciting. Just know that you won't get these in time to wrap up this year...
Ringly: Smart Jewelry
For the Connected, Fashionable Woman
- Smart ring lets you put your phone away and put your mind at ease
- Connects to your phone and sends customized notifications through vibration and light
- Know if your next meeting is in 10 mins. or if your daughter is calling without looking at your phone
See all 5 Ringly Color Options
The other day I got a call from a prospect who asked me to send him our search engine optimization (SEO) quote. His primary goal was to rank for specific keywords on the first page of Google, in the state where his business operates.
What’s Best for Your Business?
Search engine optimization isn’t what it used to be. You need to have content that is useful and usable, not just a website full of words you want to rank for. So, I told him that he should be thinking about improving his overall web presence, and SEO is only one part of it. Why invest in one element of your web presence, especially if the others aren't fit to carry their weight?