Web Site Evaluation

Web site evaluation entails a review of user experience and key communication points. To build your website for the long run, continually assess, update, tweak, and upgrade your content. At Sparxoo Agency, our team has developed a standard process for web site evaluation with a goal of maximizing online presence. A web site evaluation can help you measure the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of your web site:

Reach your target.
1. Who is your target audience? What audience needs are you addressing?
2. Who are your competitors? What are they offering?
3. How are you standing out to your target audience in a competitive market?

Interact with your audience.
1. What action do you want your user to take once they get to your web site?
2. How are you navigating the user to take this action?

Communicate the right way.
1. What are your top 3 business objectives with the web site?
2. What are the top messages that you must communicate (key features and benefits as well as potential objections from your audience)?
3. How are you communicating functional benefits? How are you making an emotional connection for the long-run?
4. How are you customizing communication points by segmenting out your audiences?

Match design with brand message.
1. What is the overall style and personality that your web site should convey?
2. How does your web site use design to simplify communications (i.e. a picture is worth 1,000 words)?
3. How does your web site use design to make an emotional connection?
4. How does your web site use design to simplify information communication and create a good user experience?

Stay digitally current.
1. How does your web site integrate digital assets such as video and social media?
2. Do you have a need for multiple web sites/customized landing pages for specific use cases (i.e. newsletter landing page)?
3. Have you incorporated supplemental materials such as product PDFs?
4. Is your site optimized for search?

Prepare to repair.
1. Is your web site easy to maintain and update to keep content fresh?
2. Are you constantly testing your site to make sure design features run smoothly?
3. Does your site leverage scalable platforms (i.e. Drupal, WordPress)?

Once you conduct your own web site evaluation, contact Sparxoo Agency for a free consultation on how to elevate your web site presence and better your brand. Sparxoo Agency is a branding, digital marketing, and consumer innovation agency that focuses on web design and development to expand online presence. Take a few moments to learn more about our agency:
www.sparxoo.com

 

Web Site Marketing

Web site marketing extends your web presence to attract prospective customers to your web site. The average American spent 32 hours per month on the Internet in 2010. Targeted web site marketing can be an effective method to generate leads and secure new customers. According to a recent IAB Revenue Report, nearly half of the online ad revenue in 2010 came from search. It follows that a web site marketing plan should include search engine optimization and search marketing, direct and measurable methods of boosting online presence.

The following is a big picture outline of core web site marketing methods:

1. Search Engine Optimization
SEO is becoming the backbone of web site marketing as a preferred method of marketing your web site effectively and efficiently. SEO and SEM should utilize both on-page and off-page efforts to increase page rankings and build web presence.

On-page:

Quality content – captivating content will be re-posted, blogged about, linked, and shared amongst the online community.

User experience – Be sure to write for the user, not the search engine, when creating this compelling site content. Include keywords while concurrently making content meaningful.

Custom 404 – create a custom 404 page that matches the design of your website and has a link to your site’s homepage. A tailored 404 page will greatly enhance the user’s experience.

Off-page:

Linking – To increase page ranking, implement deep linking into your site with highly ranked, reliable sites linked to your page. Also include links on your homepage to move visitors to and between as many interior pages as possible. Lastly, one-way links and reciprocal links are two forms of backlinking that will improve rankings.

Anchor text – The text displayed as the result of the link and clicked on by the user. The more descriptive, concise, and formatted the anchor text, the easier the navigation will be for both the user and search engine.

Webmaster tools – Webmaster tools will better control how search engines interact with your website, thus getting useful information to the source and performing better in search results.

Mobile – Configure your mobile site appropriately to be indexed and crawled by search engines accurately. Creating a Mobile Sitemap and ensuring user-agent access will verify that the search engine indexes your mobile site.

2. Search Engine Marketing
SEM is a common element of web site marketing. The following outlines the basics of how to begin a promising search engine marketing campaign. Take special note of the last facet – web site evaluation.

Campaign themes – Create separate ad groups for each of your products, brands, or types of services you offer. Each ad group can then have a highly related set of keywords and ads that match the specific theme.

Keywords – Use specific keywords that directly relate to the theme of your ad group and landing page. Use the Keyword Tool to generate keyword ideas. Include your keywords in your ad text (especially the title) to show users that your ad relates to their search.

URLs – Make sure that the destination URL (landing page) you use for each ad is the most relevant page within your website.

Tags – Use title tags to indicate to both the user and search engine the title of your website. The meta tag is displayed under the page title to clearly communicate the page’s content matter.

Web site evaluation – Evaluation involves making informed decisions about how to optimize your campaigns, review your campaign statistics and continuously manage and assess your web presence.

3. Key Directory Submission
Submitting your site to relevant directories is a commonly overlooked technique of augmenting your web site marketing. A link from a directory will boost traffic as well as increase page ranking. A few directories to check out: Open Directory Project, Yahoo! Directory, About.com, and Business.com.

4. Article & Video Marketing
Article and video marketing are great tools used to increase page rank, in addition to targeting a specific market. Your web site marketing plan should certainly include article and video postings to enhance exposure and reach the appropriate consumer. Video marketing not only appeals to the consumer on a more visual level, but it also allows an opportunity to showcase your product/service. Both of these initiatives will promote backlinking as well, further supplementing page rankings.

5. Social Media
Social media should be a part of the overall web site marketing strategy. Building relationships and interacting with your community helps you build your brand, exposure and most importantly, a trusted community. Social media presence increases credibility. Social media marketing allows you to connect with the right audience, using SEO initiatives to meet measurable goals. Aligning optimization objectives with social media tactics will complement your overall web site marketing strategy.

Web site marketing helps companies and organizations build their online presence. Sparxoo Agency is a one-stop web site marketing resource, specializing in everything from web design and development to SEO and search marketing. Contact us today to take a deeper dive into your web site marketing strategies.

www.sparxoo.com

 

Best Web Design Blogs

Here at Sparxoo Agency, we love to be inspired. What better way to satisfy our insatiable appetite for digital intelligence than immersing ourselves in the best web design blogs? While some of the best web design blogs focus on educational aspects of web design, others spotlight just plain cool ideas that inspire us. The best web design blogs spark ideas and stimulate the creative juices to propel new initiatives. Take a look at our list of the best web design blogs for a bit of extra knowledge, inspiration, and entertainment.

1. Smashing Magazine – anything and everything graphics, design, and coding. Great site for information and inspiration.

2. Web Designer Depot – excellent source for interesting design ideas. The site is heavy on facts and instruction as well; everyone loves to learn something new.

3. Web Design Ledger – web design aspects are covered from A to Z on this blog. WDL is also a supreme source for logo design and popular templates.

4. Think Vitamin – while this web design blog focuses more on coding than art and design, it is an outstanding source for tutorials, technical aspects, and all things web design.

5. Six Revisions – less inspiration, more facts – but most certainly a go-to guide for all things web design. Visit this web design blog for facts, tools, news, and valuable design information.

6. Onextrapixel – covering a broad range of topics, this web design blog encompasses inspiration, design, development, tutorials, freebies, CSS, WordPress, and a variety of news articles.

7. Simple Bits – Dan Cederholm is co-founder and designer of Dribbble, a screen shot sharing community. Simple Bits is a great web design blog for cutting-edge information and design advice.

8. Just Creative Design – Jacob Cass is an exceptional source for all things web design. His web design blogs focuses on free graphic design tips, articles, and cool resources that inspire and motivate even cooler design.

9. Blog Spoon Graphics – this web design blog was founded by Chris Spooner, a freelance graphic designer who loves creativity. Beyond offering techniques and tutorials, Chris offers an interesting, personal twist on web design.

10. Fuel Your Creativity – need inspiration for a new project? This is the place to go. Fuel Your Creativity is one of the best web design blogs for spotlighting inspirational articles and tips, as well as a center for external web design sites.