Diwali Festival of Lights

Diwali Festival of Lights

Deepawali or Diwali is certainly the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It’s the festival of lights (deep = light and avali = a row i.e., a row of lights) that’s marked by four days of celebration, which literally illumines the country with its brilliance, and dazzles all with its joy. Each of the four days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition, but what remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness.

Celebrating Diwali in India

Diwali is a five day festival that represents the start of the Hindu New Year. It honors the victory of good over evil, and brightness over darkness. It also marks the start of winter. Diwali is actually celebrated in honor of Lord Rama and his wife Sita returning to their kingdom of Ayodhya, following Rama and monkey god Hanuman’s defeat the demon King Ravana and rescue of Sita from his evil clutches (celebrated on Dussehra).

When is Diwali Celebrated:

In October or November, depending on the cycle of the moon. In 2011, Diwali starts with Dhanteras on October 24. Each day of the festival has a different meaning. The main festivities take place on the third day (this year, on October 26), while the the fourth day is celebrated as new year’s day. Merchants open fresh accounts for the new year, and offer prayers. On the fifth and last day, brothers and sisters get together and share food, to honor the bond between them.

Full Article:

http://goindia.about.com/od/festivalsevents/p/diwali.htm

Print Advertising Pros and Cons

targeted-advertising-chennai-indiaIf you’re a small business owner, and especially if you’re just starting out, you’ve most likely given some consideration to the best ways to advertise your business. Odds are good that print advertising is at or near the top of your list of potential advertising mediums.

There are pros and cons to any kind of advertising, and it’s beneficial to understand what these are before dipping into your hard-earned marketing budget. Following are some of the pros and cons of print advertising in newspapers and magazines.

Newspaper Advertising
Newspaper advertising has long been an effective way for small businesses to advertise their goods or services to the community around them. Consider both smaller neighborhood papers as well as larger city (or even national) newspapers. If your business is located in a small town, advertising in the local community paper makes sense; that way you can attract the locals who would most likely frequent your store. If your business or service is specific to a particular section of the newspaper, run your ad in that area of the paper. For example, if you run a sporting goods store, make sure your ad appears in the paper’s sports section.

get a websitePrint Advertising Pros and Cons
Advertising rates depend largely on readership numbers. Thus, a paper with a large circulation will have higher rates than one with fewer subscribers. But even though prices are based on the number of potential readers who will view your ad, this does not mean that rates are necessarily set in stone. You can often strike a better deal if you agree to run your ad for a set number of weeks or months. Moreover, doing so will give you consistent exposure, which is often what is needed in order to influence consumer purchase behavior.

Advantages to newspaper advertising include the following

  • Inexpensive to produce: A little research and know-how are often all that’s needed to create a targeted, successful ad.
  • Easy to switch out. If you have a regular ad in your local paper and want to change it to reflect a seasonal sale, a new coupon, or a new product, you can usually do so rather easily.
  • Different rates and sizes. Look at the various sizes of ads in the newspapers you are considering running ads in. Newspapers normally have several standard sizes. Some standard sizes include quarter-page, half-page and full-page. Ads also run horizontally or vertically. The bigger the ad, the more it will cost. Determine which size might work for your message.

Disadvantages to newspaper advertising include the following:

  • Limited readership. This is especially true nowadays when more and more people are eschewing print publications for online electronic versions.
  • Poor printed image quality. This can be a problem if you sell high-end clothing or your services as a portrait artist. In such instances, try to drive readers to your Web site — where you should have hi-resolution images — or play up discounted pricing.
  • No control over ad placement. Oftentimes newspapers won’t guarantee premium placement on any given page. That can be a problem if your competitor advertises in the same space.

advertisingMagazine Advertising
If you have more to spend on print advertising, consider placing ads in magazines. Whereas the goal of newspaper advertising is to communicate a specific offer, the goal of magazine ads is usually more about enhancing and sustaining brand image.

Magazine ads require you to consider your brand image and how you want to portray that image to your target audience. Advertising agencies specialize in creating such ads, but they aren’t cheap and most don’t accept one-off jobs. If you decide to design and write your ad yourself, pore through the periodicals in which you intend to advertise and scrutinize your competitors’ ads.

Advantages to magazine advertising include the following:

  • Access to a specific customer base. While anyone might subscribe to a local newspaper, only car enthusiasts subscribe to Car and Driver. Magazine ads allow you to better reach your target audience.
  • More bang for your buck. Readers don’t discard magazines as quickly as they do newspapers, so your ad will be relevant for a longer period of time.
  • Help brand your business. Magazine printing methods allow for higher resolution images and better color options, which allow you to build your brand image in a positive way. Just the fact that you are advertising in a magazine gives your company a certain professional cachet.

Disadvantages to magazine advertising include the following:

  • Ads can be expensive. Magazine advertising is usually pricier than newspaper advertising.
  • Tricky to schedule. Many magazines come out just once a month, or even every three months, and to meet their deadlines it’s often necessary to have ads completed six months before they’ll actually appear.


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Google Instant Preview Changes How Search Results Are Viewed

Google New Logo 2010 png format

Google Instant Preview is a new feature following the September roll out of Google Instant which completes searches while they’re being typed into Google’s search field, with the goal of significantly reducing time spent searching.

But is the new feature really going to speed up the searcher’s experience, or is it yet another complicated layer on what was once a simple and easy-to-understand search interface? Google’s own research revealed that on average searchers using Google Instant Preview are 5% more likely to be satisfied with the search results they click after seeing a visual preview next to the organic listing.

Google Silex Technologies India Search Preview

Google Instant Preview essentially gives users the ability to see a website before they visit it. Google accomplishes this by taking a screenshot of every webpage in its index and giving users access to it via a magnifying glass icon that sits to the right of every search result.

When a user clicks on the magnifying glass icon, a screenshot of the webpage in question will appear to the right of the search result listing. It’s an at-a-glance view of the website page without actually having to visit the webpage.

One of the key elements to Instant Previews though is that Google sometimes highlights a section of the page where the page description occurs. This becomes a useful feature when you’re trying to find information on a specific person on a page that lists dozens or hundreds of people. Instead of having to scroll through the entire page to find the person, you can just look at the Instant Preview and see where they are on the page.

“We realized early on that this kind of experience would only make sense if it was lightning fast. Not long ago simply downloading an image could take 20 or 30 seconds, and even today many websites take four or five seconds to load,” Raj Krishnan, Product Manager wrote in the Google Blog. “With Google Instant Preview, we match a search query with an index of the entire web, identify the relevant parts of each webpage, stitch them together and serve the resulting preview completely customised to your search–usually in under one-tenth of a second.”

Google InstantSEO expert Peter Bowen at First One On says, “while Google Instant Preview is designed to speed up the searching process what it actually does is to speed up the decision-making process of choosing whether or not to click on the link by previewing the visual screenshot of the resulting webpage.”

“Google currently provides a lot more data to help the searcher. At one time search engines just displayed the first two lines from a webpage under a search result, but now they include information like site links, date, cached content, jump to links and even Google Places.”

Instant Previews can be helpful for many kinds of tasks. For example, say you looked at a page before and need to find it again – with a preview, you can tell if any of the results look familiar. Or perhaps you’re looking for an official website – look for a logo and formal style and you’ll probably be able to identify it. Or maybe you’re looking for a how-to guide – it’s easy to spot a page with clear illustrations and step-by-step instructions.

From an SEO perspective the big question is how will Google Instant Preview affect our understanding of traditional SEO, and what changes should we consider making to webpages so that they can be easily previewed in a tiny screenshot?

When a searcher performs a search and sees the search results page displayed, they do have a choice of whether or not to activate the Google Instant Preview feature by clicking on the magnifying glass icon.

“However, clicking on the magnifying glass icon is less of a commitment than clicking on a link, and you still need to convince the searcher that it is worth their time to preview a website” says Peter Bowen. “Therefore it becomes more important than ever to have a well defined and well written description of what the website page is about and it has to fit within the 150 character limit. So the Meta content description is what you will have to change and be aware of here.”

As we already know, Flash is not SEO friendly because it cannot be read by search engines and is even worse for Instant Preview as it shows as a black rectangle and cannot be rendered. The same is true for video files that also display a black rectangle in the preview, so consideration of this is important too.

It should be pointed out that because the image size of the screenshot is so small, unless the text in headings is large enough, it will be impossible to read.

So what does all this mean? Well, we have to start thinking about the overall page layout and if it looks good at postage stamp size or if it is just a blur of text with no images to make it look appealing. This means creating pages that pay more attention to navigation, titles and headers, spacing, colors and objects, such as call-to-action buttons. Having a good looking page with relevant titles now may count as much as the content on the page itself.

It is likely that we will begin to see a lot more webpages with well defined graphics and other visual aids designed to get a searcher’s attention. This makes SEO even more important than ever, make sure that your images are named with keywords and their filenames and alt text are descriptive and accurate.

Google Instant Preview is here to stay and designed to make the search selection process easier and according to Google faster, but in the end, good SEO practices are what is going make the difference of whether or not you get discovered on the search engine results pages.

VIA: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2010/nov/26prt.html

Twenty Five Business Tips From Experts in the United States

Experts Sharing Business Tips

Top 25 Small Business Tips from Leading Industry Experts in the U.S.A.

Could you use a handful of helpful small business tips to grow your company?

I’m sure you can, and what better way to help small business owners like you then to share some of my favorite tips from our country’s top industry experts in their respective fields.

Below you will find a personal collection of some of my favorite golden nuggets from the country’s brightest minds in the areas of start-ups, small business, corporate finance, credit, internet marketing, social media marketing, blogging, working online, selling online, branding, and much more.

Now, without further ado, here they are:

1. Lisa Barone of outspokenmedia.com. “If you want people to talk about you, you got to listen to something nine-time Grammy-winner Bonnie Raitt told us way back in 1991. People want to talk and you gotta give ’em something to talk about.”

2. Chris Brogan of chrisbrogan.com. “I continue to believe that affiliate marketing is the best possible method of extending your salesforce on the web. I think that finding passionate people with applicable communities and audiences and then enabling their ability to profit from selling a product they support into their community is the gold standard of marketing on the web.”

3. Tim Berry of timberry.bplans.com. “Remember that your business plan should be only as big as what you need to run your business. While everybody should have planning to help run a business, not everyone needs to develop a complete formal business plan suitable for submitting to a potential investor, or bank, or venture contest.”

4. Jim Blasingame of smallbusinessadvocate.com. “We sometimes get so wrapped up in our business that we risk losing our grip on the things that really matter: health, happiness and those who love us. Life is short! Enjoy every sandwich!”

5. Anita Campbell of smallbiztrends.com. “When competition is tough as it is today, you have to have more arrows in your quiver. What’s the answer? Today it’s 2 things. Search is one. I would add social media as the other. If you don’t at least know the basics of SEO and social media, you’ll have a harder time growing your website and your business.”

6. Marco Carbajo of businesscreditblogger.com. “Avoid putting your personal credit and personal assets at risk and start establishing business credit under your corporate entity. By doing so you will have the ability to obtain 10 to 100 times greater credit capacity.”

7. Brian Clark of copyblogger.com. “People want compelling content, so compelling content is your advertising. And using the right words in the right persuasive way determines not only how well your site converts visitors into sales, but also how much traffic you get and how well you rank in search engines.”

8. Gerri Detweiler of ultimatecredit.com. “If you actually do own a business, keeping your business and personal purchases separate can be crucial for tax purposes.”

9. Melinda Emerson of succeedasyourownboss.com. “You must do something every day to tell the world you are open for business. Even if you just make one sales call a day, send out one helpful tweet a day, write one article to promote your expertise, or send one follow-up email a day.”

10. Tim Ferris of fourhourworkweek.com. “One of the most valuable exercises an entrepreneur can perform is to take a step back, not looking at what’s popular, not consider what everyone is doing or what people are expected to do, and really ask what rules you need to set for your own business, from a process standpoint and a cash flow standpoint, so that it can be successful.”

11. Seth Godin of sethgodin.com. “You have to go where the other guys can’t. Take advantage of what you have so you can beat the competition with what they don’t.”

12. Brian Halligan of hubspot.com. “Change the mode of your web site from a one-way sales message to a collaborative, living, breathing hub for your marketplace.”

13. John Jantsch of johnjantsch.com. “Craft a strategy that compels customers and partners to voluntarily participate in your marketing, to create positive buzz about your products and services to friends, neighbors, and colleagues.”

14. Guy Kawasaki of guykawasaki.com. “Don’t wait to develop the perfect product or service. Good enough is good enough. There will be plenty of time for refinement later. It’s not how great you start; it’s how great you end up.”

15. Diane Kennedy of usataxaid.com. “Each product and product line must stand on its own merit. There is no room for dogs in a company that is bootstrapping.”

16. Rieva Lesonsky of smallbizlady.com. “Whether your business is just starting out, or whether you’re a seasoned veteran, marketing is a must. And during an economic downturn, marketing matters more than ever. Smart marketing can give you the edge you need to succeed in any economy.”

17. Joel Libava of thefranchiseking.com. “The entire business world is learning that transparency is really the way to do business. Not many industries will be able to escape this fact in the near future.”

18. Mike Michalowicz of thetoiletpaperentrepreneur.com. “Success is not determined by your background or your cash on hand. It is exclusively dictated by your beliefs. If you truly, emphatically believe you will succeed, you will. If you don’t, you won’t.”

19. Barry Moltz of barrymoltz.com. “Investors put their money in people not a business. The better team you have, the more money you will be able to attract. Get people on your team that have industry expertise and that have been there before. Investors want track records.”

20. Darren Rowse of problogger.net. “Aim to be unique, remarkable, compelling, and most of all, useful, and your blog will have success long after many other bloggers have all given up.”

21. David Meerman Scott of davidmeermanscott.com. “On the web you are what you publish.”

22. Brian Solis of briansolis.com. “Create a space in the online ecosystem that truly represents your business and cultivates your customers’ loyalty and trust.”

23. Steve Strauss of mrallbiz.com. “Often untapped sources of funding are your own suppliers, wholesalers, and distributors. These are large businesses that want your business and may be willing to lend you some money or inventory, provided they believe in your vision and plan.”

24. John Warrillow of builttosell.com. “So how do you know if you have a scalable business? Here are the three criteria: Teachable, valuable and repeatable – that’s your valuation trifecta.”

25. Ken Yancey of score.org. “Test your marketing message on a mentor, adviser, coach or someone who you believe represents your customer base. Ask them specific questions about whether or not the message gets across.”

One last tip worth mentioning even though it’s so simple yet so powerful is from none other than Pete Cashmore of mashable.com which is “Do what you love.”

So there you have it: 25 of my favorite small business tips from our country’s leading industry experts, all sharing their invaluable insights on how you can succeed in business today.

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Avoiding the Trap of Crap Content

People are a notoriously self-interested lot. They avoid activities that don’t benefit them, skip events that bore them, and reject content that doesn’t interest them in some way. They aren’t going to go out of their way to read up on an article simply because it has all the information the author thinks is vital and important if they personally feel that article is a waste of their time. Indeed, nothing is a surer waste of someone’s time than a crappy, poorly assembled article. A piece of copy could have the very recipe for successful nuclear fusion buried on page 14, but if it bored readers away on page 9, no one will ever dig deep enough to find it and society will continue to churn out dirty coal and uranium waste.

This raises the natural question: What exactly is “crappy” content? The short and almost tautological answer is “content that people don’t like,” but simply saying that doesn’t get a writer anywhere. There are many kinds of crappy content, each with its own unique reasons for being a dull and uninteresting lump rather than a well-polished gem of online commentary.

Type 1 – SEO Smash

First, let it be said that there are few techniques as important to online brand marketing at this time as Search Engine Optimization. Google rightly can claim to rule the web by means of its indexing power. A recent merger between Microsoft’s software and the Yahoo! search engine was described in terms of its ability to challenge the reigning king, Google, not on its own merits. So, the ability to get content noticed by search engines through the use of keywords, meta tags, and proper formatting is all a vital portion of the content process.

However, any article first approached from the angle of creating an SEO-perfect piece, rather than with a focus on presenting an existing idea through the lens of an SEO effort, is going to get called out as crap. SEO-centric writing leads to articles that are little more than keyword phrases badly hashed together with poor grammar and unusual contortions of the English language, and people notice this kind of writing. They might pop by for a look, but they won’t stick around. First have something to say, then learn the best way to say it.

Type 2 – Humor Bludgeon

There’s a trend on the web for articles to be entertaining, funny and even to an extent snarky or sarcastic. This trend can be seen in the success of biting commentary sites such as Something Awful or the new Rifftrax DVDs (a series dedicated entirely to making fun of poorly-made movies).

Everyone wants to imagine they’re a clever, witty genius who can turn a fairly dull piece of writing into biting social commentary and satire. Most of these people are not such paragons of humor, however. Instead, their writing comes across as forced and scraping for obvious jokes that seem tired and strained. As a rule of thumb, if a funny turn of phrase comes to mind on its own, a writer should feel free to give it a try. If the writer has to consciously think about how to make something sound funny, it probably doesn’t need to sound funny – and doesn’t belong in the article.

Type 3 – The Meme Beam

A variation on the topic of humor and witty banter above, memetics is a theory of social information transmission. Memes are ideas that are passed and replicated between people, and on the web they tend to take the form of popular sayings or pictures that catch on and go viral. Caturday is a meme, being the tendency of people to post funny pictures about cats on Saturdays. Other memes reference an imagined rivalry between pirates and ninjas, zombie apocalypses and other esoteric topics of web discussion.

A well-referenced meme can make an article more entertaining. A forced meme gets nothing more than rolled eyes and a disparaging snort in most cases, and quickly-spread criticism in the worst instances. Unless there’s a compelling reason to include a meme – such as a particular target audience, or the fact that your brand focuses on a specific meme – don’t try.

Type 4 – Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

Few things are more irritating than wasting someone’s time. The above examples are bad, and each one can lead to an article being dismissed, but they are also forgivable and won’t produce as virulent a reaction as presenting someone a piece of content that does them no good at all. Avoid this trap with all possible effort and ingenuity, because the moment it gets out that a brand has nothing to contribute, that brand is finished.

Instead, make sure every piece of content put up as part of a brand contributes something to the lives of the readers or viewers absorbing the content in question. Provide a tip about acquiring the product, a handy maintenance routine for keeping it running or even a story explaining how the brand has learned from its mistakes in its latest ad campaign and that it’s listening to the audience. Do something to contribute to the conversation. If the brainstorming meeting can’t say in less than 2 minutes why a particular piece of content is going up, don’t put it up.

-Enzo

Google Instant Previews – Implications for SEO and Marketing

SEO Mastering Search Engine Optimisation

Google wasn’t satisfied with just having Instant Search, now it has introduced something called Instant Previews. Searchers and web users can now browse a large instant “preview” of a site’s content by placing the cursor over the small magnifying glass displayed beside each listing. These previews are large and Google sometimes highlights a major paragraph or quote from each displayed site.

Searchers can get a general look at the layout and design of a site, on page graphics and bold headlines can usually be seen from the preview. However, small print and the general content of the page can’t be read, so searchers will have to click through to your site if they want to read your information. Assuming of course, they don’t find what they’re looking for in the headlines or bold print.

Whether searchers will use this new feature remains to be seen, but these instant previews could have some ramifications on who gets the “click through” to their site. One would also reason that getting the top spot in the rankings have diminished somewhat, if searchers can quickly preview all of the top 10 listings and then make their decision. So they might not click the top listing, but decide one lower down is worth clicking. This could make any listing on the first page more worth having, not just the top one.

This doesn’t really affect any of your SEO strategies and you should be optimizing for the search engines as usual. After all, getting those top rankings for your targeted keywords in the major search engines is what brings in the quality traffic to your site. In this regard, it’s business as usual.

Google Mountain ViewHowever, Google’s Instant Previews does change the whole nature of SERPs or rather Google’s search results in that webmasters and marketers have another hurdle to get past before they get that final click. Searchers might click your top number one ranking preview and decide your page is not up to standard or it’s not what they’re looking for, and can quickly try out the other listings instead.

From Google’s perspective these previews could improve the “overall” quality of their results because searchers will come away happy, especially if they have not wasted their time clicking on a link, only to find it’s not what they’re looking for. Now they can easily find the right results more quickly and efficiently.

For the webmaster or online marketer, these new Instant Previews can be seen as another chance to get that all important click. They must make sure their page design is up to scratch and featuring a catchy headline which draws visitors to their page or site. Also, highlighting a well worded summary could help attract more of these visitors. So too, would placing your main keyword phrase in bold print so that it can be read from the preview.

Needless to say, webmasters/marketers must always keep their targeted keywords front and center. Highlighting them on your page in the main title is already a given, but now you should make sure they can be read from the preview. This could possibly give you an edge with it comes to getting that click from Google.

On a more general note, these previews also add to the time searchers will spend on Google’s results pages. Google has been steadily focusing on this factor in recent months. Why? One good reason – the longer a searcher stays on your page the more likely they are to click your paid ads. Stands to reason, if the searcher can’t find what they’re looking for in the so-called “free organic listings” (actually, truth be told, for very lucrative keyword phrases these are not free, nor organic) they will look to the paid AdWords listings.

Google Instant Previews and SEO

If you check out the average time spent on Google, according to Alexa, in 2009 it was around 7 minutes and now in 2010 that average has jumped to around 14 minutes. And that’s before both Google Instant Search and Google Instant Previews are fully rolled out and implemented. One would expect that number to go much higher. While this is nowhere near Facebook’s average time of 31 minutes, Google has still doubled the time it had only a year ago. No wonder, Google can afford to give their employees that 10% raise, they have probably earned it.

Nor should Google be criticized for doing all of this, they are a business and their goal is to bring in more revenue. Besides, these previews will no doubt improve the effectiveness of Google’s SERPs. Searchers can more quickly find what they’re searching for on Google and come away happy. A satisfied customer is the ultimate goal of any business, why should Google be judged any differently.

However, for the webmaster and online marketer, keeping Instant Previews in mind when creating web pages is a must. Here are some suggestions you can follow:

1. Improve Your Graphics

These can really grab the searcher’s attention in the preview so it’s vital to have eye-popping graphics right next to your important information.

2. Create Great Headlines

Good headlines quickly capture the searcher’s attention and draws him/her to your page; just make them bold enough to be seen in Google’s previews.

3. Write An Informative Summary

Place your important information in a short summary which also captures the viewer’s attention. Entice these viewers to visit your site or page.

4. Take A Multi-Layered Approach

Just don’t aim all your marketing towards free organic search, but try video listings, news listings, image listings… to get other ways onto Google’s first page.

5. Finally, PPC Advertising

This is probably not what you want to hear, but paid listings through Google Adwords is another option. Besides, for extremely lucrative keywords, as more and more major companies throw major funds into SEO and Keyword Link Buying, organic search is not really free or even available to everybody anymore. For the small-time webmaster or marketer, paid listings in Google may be your only option and that option is quickly becoming too costly for many.

Of course, how Instant Search and Instant Previews play out in the near future is still open to wide speculation. Will searchers even use those added features in their daily searches? Or will users opt–out and go back to a more gentle, less hurried Google? One thing that all of us can be sure of, Google will be constantly rolling out new features and innovations just to make all our lives a little more interesting.

How to Improve Your Local Business Website

Improve Your Local Business Website

5 Ways to Improve Your Local Business Website

When customers don’t stay on your website for long, it’s hardly surprising you fail to connect with them and build the trust needed for them to get out their credit cards and buy from you. The great news for you is there are tons of quick and easy – usually free ways – to make your website more appealing to your customers.

Here’s 5 you can apply today.

1. Site Search

When you have more than 20 pages, it’s a good idea to add a search facility. If you have a site search, make sure it’s prominent. Usability guidelines tend to prefer the upper-right corner of the page. Keep the button label simple and clear – “Search” still works best for most sites. Don’t unleash your powers of lateral thinking and swap in a word like “Retrieve”. Keep it simple.

To Do: Just using your search, try to find 3 pages of content. Is that process “quick, easy and straight-forward?” Or is it “hit and miss?”

2. Ensure Your Web pages Can Be Skim-read Easily

Few people read word for word online; the vast majority skim-read to get a sense of the page before they read any of it in detail. Make it easy for visitors to skim-read your content. Always use headings and bullets to break up text. Think about it. If a heading is not relevant for your visitor, they can easily skim down to the next heading, making it straightforward for them to get directly to the information they need.

Always keep your text in manageable chunks, not an unbroken wall of words like insurance small print, so it’s easier for customers to look up what they want right away and with confidence – which is critical if they are making a buying decision.

To Do: Give your website a quick review and make sure all your text is broken up into clear, manageable sections.

3. Keep Your Styles & Colors Consistent

Make sure people know they’re still on your site by being consistent – confuse them and you’ll lose them. Keep the look and feel of your website sections consistent and avoid any radical changes. Visitors can get confused and think they have left your site accidentally.

Layout, headings, and styles should be consistent site-wide, and colors should usually have the same meaning.

For example, don’t use red for headers on one page, red for hyperlinks on another, and red as standard text somewhere else.

To Do: Ensure all your web pages appear to be part of the main site and that they are consistent with each other. Are there any “nasty surprises” depending on the part of the site you’re in?

Start-A-WordPress-Blog4. Use Emphasis (bold, etc.) Sparingly🙂

It’s a fact of human psychology: try to draw attention to everything and you’ll effectively draw attention to nothing. We’ve all seen that site, the one with a red, blinking, underlined “NEW!” next to everything. Don’t be that guy or gal.

Remember, if your site’s graphic design is counter-intuitive and doesn’t help visitors get something done quickly, it’s going to make your site much slower and difficult to work with.

Slow, awkward sites never, ever, ever, delight your customer or create a good rapport online.

Visitors will be back at the search engine in seconds if they find your website “complicated” or “busy”.

To Do: Ensure your website is only highlighting critical factors you absolutely need your visitors to gaze at or click on in order to meet your online business goals. Menus, buy buttons, opt-in boxes and so on.

5. Keep Your Ads & Pop-ups Unobtrusive

Ads are a fact of life, but integrate them nicely into your site. Don’t try to force ads and pop-ups down peoples’ throats; you’ll end up creating frustration for your visitors. Also, do people a favor and make your ads clear. If you blur the line between ads and content too much, your content may suffer, since many people have developed “banner blindness” when it comes to surfing, and might overlook some important content by mistake.

To Do: Doublecheck if your popup window is significantly increasing your opt-in rate. If it isn’t, you could be annoying present and future customers unnecessarily.

Final Word

Always make sure you view your website through the eyes of the customer and not through your eyes, the website owner.

Make sure there are no red-flags on your site that are going to frustrate, confuse or bore customers. Keep everything nice and simple to make sure your visitors enjoy spending time (and money) on your site

Full Article at Site Pro: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2010/nov/15prt.html

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