More Annoying SEO Techniques That Will Cause Your Website to Fail

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People are getting wise to the concept of repeating keywords to get high rankings with search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.). What many have failed to keep in mind is that, ideally, actual people will be looking at their website as well. The result is text that reads something like this:

 

Widget supplies in City, State are important, when one sets out to manufacture a widget. It is inevitable that the necessity for widget supplies in City, State comes up. Now, this is actually a very broad subject when it comes to widgets because the widget supplies in City, State that a widget maker would need is based on what type of widget they have. Some might want to make a widget that covers the majority of their product line which will lead to larger widget supplies in City, State, others might have a widget that is a lesser part of their product line that might be perfect for smaller widget supplies in City, State. Whichever best suits your style of widget, widget supplies in City, State are a must. One important aspect to consider when choosing which widget supplies in City, State you want is your ability level. If you think that a heavy-duty, large-sized widget modifier is going to be a little too much for you to manage, you might think about finding a smaller widget supplies in City, State.

 

When buying widget supplies in City, State it is also important to think about where you are located. If you are in a location that has a lot of special needs you are going to need widget supplies that are significantly more heavy duty than if you are living in the other areas without special needs allowing you to use lower weight widget supplies in City, State.

 

Annoyed? Frustrated? If not, you would be by the time you finished reading the rest of the page. The whole meaning of the page (excluding excessive mentions of ?widgets,? ?City,? and ?State?) could be summarized in a single paragraph.

 

 

The problem for this type of website gets worse. The search engines have figured out this trick and now downplay, ignore, or even blacklist sites that use this technique. I, for one, am grateful for this change, both as a designer and as a web user.

 

 

The bottom line for avoiding the problems of annoying your viewers and becoming blacklisted is to be honest, convey the message you want your viewers to get, and never try to trick the search engines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Your Website Readable

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In the short time you have to get a viewer?s attention, you mustn?t waste time with text that is hard to read. I?ve mentioned this topic briefly before but thought it worthy of more detail.

One of the things that makes text hard to read is poor alignment. While keeping text center-aligned makes it look even, it can be hard to read. Compare the following example:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

with:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The greater the difference in indentation, the greater the difficulty in reading it. With little time to get a viewer?s attention, you don?t want it to be a frustrating experience. Keeping text left-aligned is easier to read.

More on this topic later.

Protecting Your Equipment When Moving

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Here is another moving-inspired post. If you have a lot of equipment or even just a little, keeping it organized can be difficult and potentially disastrous. I learned this lesson in my previous move. I accidentally switched power supplies for my modem/wireless router. The result was a fried modem and an expensive replacement.

 

To prevent such costly errors this time I took some precautions.

 

  1. For each piece of accessory (like a USB hub, speakers, or external drive) I put the device, its power supply, and any cords into a single bag.

  2. Keep all the equipment together, in a single box if possible.

  3. Label boxes clearly.

  4. Make sure each piece of equipment works before hooking up more.

 

I hope this is helpful. Next week there will be a more technology/design-related post.

 



 

Issues With Moving and Internet Service (aka: Where has Tim been?)

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If internet access is critical to you business or life then the prospect of losing that access is an important topic. If you regularly shop online or manage your bank accounts online then this is an important topic. You might feel safe checking your email at the library or coffee shop but you wouldn?t want your passwords to financial accounts where someone else could get to them.

A month before moving I checked on what internet service providers (ISPs) were available. My current ISP was available at the same high speed. I found that there would be a five day interruption before service was restored at the new house. After that time passed I called to find out why I still couldn?t access the internet. It turns out that the high speed offered for this address was not actually available. I was sent an email telling me this and sending a link to the company?s website for details. Because I had no internet access I had not received that email. I arranged to get the internet access at the slower speed. There would still be a five (business) day wait. After that next week passed and I still couldn?t access the internet I called again. It seemed that the order was still pending. The next day the order was held up by a third party that had failed to make changes to their equipment. Seventeen days after I lost internet access I finally got it back.

Lessons:

  1. Double check your new location for internet access. A call to the company you plan to use might not be a bad idea.
  2. Make sure that your ISP has your phone number and make it the primary way to contact you (at least for the move).
  3. Check other ISPs that could possibly provide service in case something goes wrong.
  4. Look for other ways you could access the internet securely during the transition (like a friend?s house).
  5. Stay on top of your ISP. If you don?t get access when you are supposed to, don?t play the nice guy and wait. Call them and make sure that they are on the ball.

Happy moving everyone.

Does my business really need a website?

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Recently I was planning to do some shopping at a local store in Ukiah but didn?t want to spend hours in the store figuring out what I wanted. I decided to check their online catalog to get some ideas. They didn?t have one. They didn?t even have a website to tell me where they were and what their hours were. I had to go to the site of a large chain store to get ideas. Unfortunately, having gotten ideas from their competitor, I was disappointed when I couldn?t find what I had set my heart on.

This illustrates the problem many small, local businesses face in competing with their larger counterparts. The big stores (usually) have large, well-designed websites that let their potential customers know what they have and, many times, even buy online.

The other issue is that many people would rather use their tech (computers, tablets, cell phones, etc.) to search for a business than use the phone book. Without a good website, your business could be overlooked. Listing your business on Facebook, Yelp, and others is good (I?ll discuss this more later) but will not give you enough exposure to be listed near the top of a search.

So, when you ask ?Do I need a website for my business?? the answer is becoming, more and more, ?Yes!?

(Coming soon: What kind of website does my business need?)

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