Tag Archives: website

The Social Web

21 Aug

By Tim McKane

You’ve just caught up – and the game has changed again….The Social Web.

I’ve been thinking. There are so many titles for what we do that it becomes difficult to capture it all in one phrase. Social media marketing, digital marketing, inbound marketing, content marketing, search marketing, e-mail marketing…it goes on.

But there is something that I have been trying to pin down and it is as easy as nailing smoke. Where is the web and internet marketing going next?

My take on it is that we are seeing a merging of different channels. The main thing is that web sites and social media are becoming one and the same.

Let me explain.

Is Amazon a social media site?

No? It is a sales site? But one of the ways that Amazon has been most successful in selling is because it is also a social media site.

Yes Amazon have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and people recommend books and other products on those sites, but the real social engagement is on their own site. That is where people read reviews, recommendations, and find books that other people like them read.

The key is other people like them.

Currently there are two ‘things’ the web and social media. You go here, and then you go there. To Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more. But if you build some social media style tech into your web site, then you could create engagement on your own site, and your customers would find ‘other people like them’ and your brand could be the reason that they engage.

This is the natural extension of the blog on your site. Moving away from specific blog content to content in general – so that your home page is interesting, engaging and prompts a longer visit with more brand interaction.

It isn’t here yet, but it is on the way.  The social web.

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The Great Website Experiment

17 Sep

Needlessly organised into sections relating to famous songs

Website ch ch ch ch changes

So we needed a new website. We created a site architecture based on our services and personalities; developed a tone of voice and content that would appeal to our broad potential customer-base; decided which on-page elements would entice our visitors to get in touch; and smothered it all with a healthy peppering of branding.

But then we needed somewhere to stick it all.

So we thought we’d dress our inherent thriftiness up as “The Great Website Experiment” and see if we couldn’t rustle up our very own conversion engine for as little money as possible. The answer; a web hosting company that allows you to build your own website, when you’ve limited technical-development ability. After all, we don’t code and build digital channels, we market them!

We decided on the platform Moonfruit (as the name alone sent us into a collective reverie about leguminous space travel). For as little as the hosting costs, you can pick a pre-existing template based on your industry, or start with a blank template and let your creative juices run free – which is what we did.

Can’t buy me love…

Cost is the main pro. Don’t get me wrong, a good developer is always worth their salt and can assess your needs and create a design with flexible templates to suit you. However, we want to let people know what we do and provoke a contact. Simple?

Another benefit; you can bring to life your own concepts and it quickly becomes apparent whether or not it can be done. If you want a great big arrow that nonchalantly slides under your top navigation and then shamelessly points at your contact details, you can have one with the flick of a mouse:

menuuiiii

Text and title boxes are easily created and positioned. You can move panels and images around at will and throw in more shapes than a drunken dad at a wedding. The problems with creating multiple templates are a thing of the past – you could create a different template for every page if you had the time (and patience).

navajo new

It’s not all plain sailing however… the CMS interface is a tad awkward at times and it’s difficult to make multiple changes to all pages if they’re different sizes e.g. we had to add the footer to each page individually.

I can see clearly now…

What about improving our website visibility? The platform prides itself on being SEO friendly (as does popular competitor 1 & 1) and even provides a handy guide for beginners. SEO benefits include:

• Automatic creation of an xml sitemap.
• Easy creation of robots.txt.
• Connect Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and Adsense accounts.
• Add metadata including title, keywords (if you’re into that sort of thing) and meta description.
• Add alt tags to images and titles to anchor text.
• Determine which headings are H1, H2 etc.
• Easily add in social share buttons.

Loaded…

The page load speed could be faster, couldn’t it? We’re working on this. Google have stated it is an SEO factor. We are working to improve the page load times, e.g. correct ordering of style sheets, compressing of images.

A song about usability issues (I can’t think of one)

When pages are loaded in Chrome or Firefox, they sometimes do what can technically only be described as “a weird squashy thing” as the page loads – not a major issue as it lasts for half a second, but not ideal.

The URLs are a little on the messy side. Take for example the page http://navajotalk.com/#/digital-strategy/4567610922 while it’s great that we’ve got the name / theme of the page into the URL, the numbers are a bit ugly. Fortunately, the link http://navajotalk.com/digital-strategy takes you to the same page, which begs the question why couldn’t we have used this in the first place? So when you want to share a page with all of your friends, you can use navajotalk.com/{page name} and you’ll get there.

Video killed the radio star…

Videos play in all browsers except for Google Chrome, but we never liked Chrome anyway.

What’s that coming over the hill?

Whatever it is (coming over the hill), make sure you don’t adjust your view. There’s a slight issue with zooming in and out. If your browser view is set to anything other than 100% then the site may look mangled… again we’re told that this will be developed. In the mean time don’t adjust your screens!

nqvajo

Searching…

while there is an option to add a Google search box, this looks a bit clunky. We always recommend a site search function with larger sites, however we’ve attempted to organise content with enough sign-posts to make it easy for visitors to find information.

Let us know if there is anything we’ve missed or you have any feed-back. Developers, what would you have changed? Can anyone think of a song about usability issues?

Our New Website

27 Aug

We are launching our new web site very shortly. It is interesting how new affects our behaviour, and once a decision to go new has been made, how difficult it is to be interested in the old. Have a look in your wardrobe and try and force yourself to wear something old. It is more difficult than you might think.

Our new site has been influenced by a number of factors. We want it to search better, so the content will be optimised for SEO. We need stronger calls to action. Technology has changed, and users expect a different experience. Tiling has become a way forward, and Pinterest has pushed forward design to make content more reliant on photos and images.

So look out for the new site – coming very soon, and let us know what you think…

teddy bearrr