20 Reader Favorites from 2014 at WM
The last day of the year is the perfect time to reflect (not rest, of course). As 'Net professionals and Web workers prepare for what is sure to be an amazing 2015, let's look back at what captured the attention of Website Magazine readers this year. You'll find numerous posts and stories on search, social, email, design and more in this roundup. Did we leave off one that inspired you and propelled your enterprise to new and more profitable heights this year? If so, join the conversation and share it below.
In a world run by Internet connectivity for all aspects of life, from efficient work operations and management to social networking connections, it is no surprise that information is the foundation of our collective future. That being said, here are some quirky facts about technology that you may find surprising.
There are websites that don’t merit a second glance; there are others whose designs will stay with you for a long time. Among these are a few that will inspire you to come up with better designs for your own digital properties. These are websites that make you want to be a more accomplished Web designer.
A good website is a rewarding outcome of several important elements encompassing design, content, navigation and functionality. Nowadays running a business website is one of the most important facets in the life of a company and therefore has to be intuitive, not overly complicated and engaging. Keeping your website user-friendly will greatly improve its performance, entice more prospects and boost sales for your business.
SEO is a fast changing game. Even the best intentions will do little to keep you from getting hammered by the "big G" if you are using outdated SEO strategies or, worse, using effective strategies incorrectly. Let's review some of the most widespread link building strategies and on-page SEO practices that no longer work in 2014.
The savviest marketers, whatever their concentration (SEO, social, email, etc.), know that acquiring and retaining customers on today’s Web, starts and ends with good content. Whether that content is in the form of informative articles, share-worthy social posts, attention-grabbing ads, optimized landing page copy, clear calls-to-action or engaging emails, success is defined by the experience that users have with brands and content plays an integral role in that experience.
If there is one thing that will make you happier than a camel on hump day, it should be a big list of social plugins for WordPress Wednesday. Whether you need social-sharing icons, want to create a social community on your own site or simply need a more efficient way to post content onto all of your social profiles, this list has got you covered.
Navigating the Web for photos to populate your website, company newsletter, or other marketing tools can be like tip-toeing through a minefield. You might emerge on the other side completely unscathed, but one wrong step can blow up into a legal morass.
Website visitors — especially first time ones — are like house guests. Web designers and developers need to understand what visitors need and then supply information to their virtual house guests based on those specific interests. Good navigation menus work in the same way.
The Internet doesn’t shutdown for holidays, late nights or lunch breaks. This means that Internet professionals have very little downtime, with most of their days and nights being spent working to fix technical bugs, address customer issues and scour performance metrics.
There is nothing more satisfying than having your work appreciated through a comment, a like, a tweet or a sale. Unfortunately though, it is becoming harder and harder to get that appreciation or attention from visitors. Since we live in an era of skimming and in a time where information is not scarce, keeping the visitors enticed enough to stay on a website for more than a few seconds is getting harder. It can be a struggle to convince visitors that their time on your site will be worthwhile.
We live in a visual world, where content like images and videos attract more attention than text. This is especially true on the Web, with it being well documented that images receive higher engagement rates on social networks. Images are also an important design aspect on nearly every type of website – from media to e-commerce sites.
One of the best ways to stand out in the inbox of your email recipients is to use symbols or emoji in subject lines. Despite the widespread support to display these images/icons on most mobile devices these days, usage is still far from reaching critical mass.
Social media is an essential component in today’s digital marketing mix. In order to be effective in this channel, however, marketers need to do much more than just measure superficial gains, such as likes and follows. Rather, they need to spend time optimizing their profiles, posting engaging content and monitoring the true performance of the content they post.
Responsive Web design is a hot topic, but is it the only way to go? A variety of Internet professionals - all with advanced knowledge of Web design and development and user experience - weighed in on whether businesses should go responsive or create websites optimized for each device individually.
With the right cover photo design, brands have the ability to make a statement on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. While some brands choose to use this customizable profile space to show off their top products, others decide to use this space to promote current marketing campaigns and discounts.
Many marketers are considering how to implement responsive design on their websites, but few have extended the same focus to their email marketing campaigns. In fact, GetResponse reports that 41 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices, while data from Econsultancy shows that just 25 percent of marketers are optimizing their email messages for mobile’s small screen.
For most individuals, Google is the most trustworthy search engine out there and most of us turn to Google for any requirement that we may have online. However, most people forget that the largest search engine provider is also a great believer in small businesses.
New technologies are introduced on the Web every day. While some end up being huge successes, others are quickly deemed duds. The following are a few of the coolest solutions, services and tools that the digerati (yes, that's a thing - but don't tell anyone) have been discussing, sharing among themselves and beta testing until their fingers have grown numb from clicking – and you get a sneak peek.
A tech evangelist. A Fortune 500 CEO. A big-time foodie. Influential people are all around us, and they usually have one area of expertise in which they excel. Despite their differences in topic and subject matter, influencers across the board tend to have similar characteristics. They do certain things better than others – not necessarily because they want to, but because they have to. If they didn’t, their influence would cease to exist.
There sure are a lot of suggestions when it comes to optimizing a website for search engines. In the past month alone, for example, Bing has said exact match domains don't influence position in website ranking, and Google has said the tactic of guest blogging is done.