Posts tagged with ‘web design’

HTML 5 and CSS 3: The Game is Changing… Again.

Much has been said about HTML 5 and CSS 3 lately. While this post is not seeking to add revelatory statements to those made elsewhere, I am seeking to aid the average layperson – people like our clients – in understanding why this updated code stuff is so important, and how it represents yet another sea change in web site visitor expectations.

You may remember a time a few years back when you couldn’t go an hour without someone using the buzzphrase “Web 2.0”.  Many of us felt it was a kind of hyped up way to say that the web was changing, and with it people’s expectations.  As with any mass hysteria, you have to wait for the dust to settle before real meaning and understanding can be gained.

What Web 2.0 was then is exactly what Web 3.0 and 4.0, etc. will be about: Evolution. The gradual change that takes place along a continuum.

What was touted as a destination by those caught up in the hype has turned out to be the next logical step in the evolution of web technology and computer-aided human interactivity.  Whatever Web 2.0 was about, it wasn’t a stopping place.  There are no real stopping places on the internet.

We have been pushing the limits of our web since the first day two computers could talk to one another.  Big surprise then that we would continue to rearrange the virtual furniture.  We will never be completely done decorating the spaces within our browsers. (And that’s the big lesson for any business that wants to remain relevant.)

Whereas the previous wave of disruptive technologies centered mostly on the cool stuff you could build and run on web servers (those glorious and all-but-invisible computer boxes that fueled the growth of countless social startups), and to a troubling extent a “glassy button” graphical look that almost supplanted the actual advancements being made, this upcoming wave of change seems to have as its beach the browser itself.

And that’s as technical as I am going to get.  Why?  You’re busy making your company work for you.  You don’t need to know the difference between server-side and client-side actions.  What you need to know is that as this new wave gathers strength and presses inexorably toward landfall, your web site visitors – the people from whom you’d like to extract a measure of value while providing the same in return – are about to get even more sophisticated in their expectations of what a web site should be and do.

So if this article is seeking to add anything to the conversations happening around the release of new web standards, it’s this: You cannot afford the luxury of a set-and-forget web strategy.  You must continue to invest and innovate in order to keep pace with the evolution of your market.

Do You Need a Website Audit?

Web Site Traffic Problems
One of the questions I get asked a lot is; “Why isn’t my website getting traffic?” When I tell them that I have no idea it takes them back a little because I am supposed to be an expert in the online traffic world. But just like real traffic, there are numerous things that can happen out there on the road that can slow, stall or bring traffic to a stand still and it’s the same with a website.

That’s why having someone conduct an audit when you have no idea what is happening is extremely important. It’s also much better for a real “live” person to do it so they can “see” what’s happening on the page; navigation, content, etc. I say this because there are companies that charge a fee to do an audit and all they do is run your website through a program to find keywords, density, links, etc. While all this is good stuff to know, I have yet to find a program that can help you with navigation, content, structure and strategy. That’s not to say that it won’t happen someday; but it has not happened yet.

Just last week I sat with a client that had no idea that the bots sent to the website couldn’t get past the front page. Everything past the home page was not being seen by the search engines. All of the page rank and page strength (a.k.a. juice) was coming from links that were going to the individual pages, which was good. However, they were not indexing the entire website because they couldn’t get in through the home page even though by looking at the home page one would “think” they were getting in because the visitor could.

This is just one of the things that could really impact a website and if you don’t have people looking at it that can connect the dots then you could spend a lot of unnecessary money to find the answer and correct the problem. Getting a website audit is well worth the cost to get your site working for you and your business.

Client Spotlight: ISB Worldwide

How Stella Saved the Farm Web Site Design

ISB Worldwide is a new client for us, and one of our first projects with them was to design a supporting web site for Chris Trimble, an author/speaker they represent, and his new book called How Stella Saved The Farm: A Wild and Wooly Tale About Making Innovation Happen. (co-written with Vijay Govindarajan)

We were able to take artwork from the book and quickly create a web site, which will be used as the center point of an ongoing email campaign, as well as to drive traffic to the companion book, The Other Side of Innovation, available on Harvard Press.

This was a fun project! And it’s really a good read, too.

Plan Your 2009 Marketing Efforts Now

With marketing dollars potentially growing tighter next year, it’s important to make every dollar count, and real return for online content and marketing efforts is a must. We continue to see Google loving sites with video, and further optimization strategies we are using in conjunction with video are making real differences for our clients.

We just recently heard from one such client who told us he landed a new customer with a projected business transactional worth in the mid-six figures next year. The reason his client told him he got their business? “Your persistence in contacting us, and your amazing web site and video.”

Since these were marketing services we had provided, we were thrilled to hear the results in such quantifiable terms! But were we surprised to hear it? Not in the slightest.

Our web video and design services provide real returns to clients. If you have fewer dollars to spend on marketing right now, shouldn’t you be thinking about how online video can act as an inexpensive, tax free employee, working for you 24/7, 365?