Don’t Defeat Accessibility on Your Website

Some people need extra help surfing the Web. Some use readers to actually read the content of a web page and others need to enlarge the text of websites using Tools >>Text Size. When your web designer creates your page design and uses a pixel size for fonts instead of a percentage or an em, you are defeating the ability for readers who need extra help to get it.

As a web designer myself I do like to have control, but now there are many new options that designers and site owners simply need to be aware of to help. One new option is to use a global style sheet that controls your fonts, font sizes, colors, and links all on one page for the entire website. Another one to be aware of is to describe font sizes in a percentage or as an em, which is the width of the letter m in any font. Using these font descriptions instead of using a pixel width description allows your reader to resize the font as needed.

Web designers need to design especially for use of font accessibility, it is not something that can be added as an after thought but rather as an integral part of a new design.

I am currently in the process of redesigning my 1221 page website and am incorporating improved accessibility features in my new website. So when you hit a website where the font doesn’t change even when you click largest font, you will now that the web designer has defeated one of the biggest tools on the Web that shouldn’t be tinkered with to help people who need it.

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Are You Leaving Cash on the Table For Google AdWords to Take?

Are you leaving cash on the table?Are you spending more than you should on Google AdWords? You may be doing just that. Since September I have seen around a 20 to 30% increase in the cost per click on Google AdWords.

I have just finished doing 25 account optimizations for dentists and doctors for one of my clients. What I found was that by dropping the cost per click and moving the advertiser to an average setting of 4 to 7, we were able to nearly double the number of clicks and nearly triple the number of impressions.

Everyone wants more clicks, but are you willing to trade a bit of page placement to get them. Ego can force many advertisers to overpay Google AdWords in the effort to own the top spot on the results page. What I have found is that conversions are not typically ad position sensitive on AdWords. This is not the case on Yahoo where position does seem to impact conversions.

It is very important to note that on all of the optimizations we did for the doctors and dentists not every account reacted favorably to the changes, but over one half of the accounts and more likely closer to two thirds did experience improved results.

So don’t leave cash on the table for Google to take and pocket, make a careful and thoughtful review of your account and then review again periodically. Advertiser come and go on AdWords so the price that you pay is dynamic and will change over time and based on the season.

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Twitter the New Ad Ticker

I started out on Twitter a month of two ago and initially loved the interface, the interaction, and reading mundane information posted by others. Now I am looking at Twitter with a different perspective after having used it for a while.

I think if you have a community of close associates Twitter would be great like instant messaging on the fly, but if you don’t, Twitter is now all about marketing, self-promotion, and advertising. If you look at any mature Twitter site, it is chock full of links to eBooks, to people’s blogs, or how to buy their new T-Shirt. In fact it has gotten so bad now, that mainly I use Twitter to post my blog feed and occasionally monitor it for information.

Twitter is mutating as people figure out how to use it and integrate it into their lives. I do still feel that it’s a fine tool for a network of colleagues or close friends, but for me I am seeing it as a marketing vehicle and I’m not sure I want to read other people’s advertising messages in the rare free time that I have.

I’m sure that the makers of Twitter did not intend for the application to become an ad vehicle, but take a look at my Twitter friends posts and that’s all you see. http://twitter.com/mccordweb

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Hey, Are You An SEO Expert or Just Pretending to Be One?

Are you an SEO expert?Are you one or are you pretending to be one? Don’t monkey around when it comes to your website and search engine optimization. If the person who you are interviewing to help you with your website cannot answer these questions or share with you their approach and process then you may be working with the wrong firm.

Here are the top questions you should ask:

  1. How long have you been doing SEO?
  2. Where is your own business website in the results page for your keyword phrases you are targeting?
  3. What client results can you share with me?
  4. Why do I need to pay a monthly maintenance fee and what exactly will I be getting for that?
  5. What is the process you will be using?
  6. What is your thought on Google’s devaluation of links as part of their algorithm?
  7. What will you be doing to the code of my website?
  8. Do you believe in using doorway pages and hidden content?
  9. Will you be creating special pages just for search engines?
  10. Can you share with me the statistical data on searches and competition of the terms you will be using to optimize my website?

If the firm you are speaking with is wanting you to pay a monthly fee as in number four, find out EXACTLY what you are paying for. When we do optimization, we do not need to go back and lay hands on the site pages each month. This may be a ploy to build a sale or pad a project.

If they do not have a good answer for number 6 and 7, you really should not use the firm. If they will be using tactics as in 8 and 9 you really should run away as these tactics may actually get you dropped from the Google index.

Don’t monkey around with search engine optimization get real professional help!

 

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Three Web Design Layout Types – Liquid, Elastic, Fixed

There are three web design layout types. Use our information below to find out which one you want to use.

Liquid Layout

This layout style resizes to fill your browser screen regardless of your screen resolution.

Fixed Layout

This is the most popular layout style on the Web. It is a fixed size determined by the web designer. It gives excellent graphics control but may make your website appear dated as larger screen sizes become more popular.

Elastic Layout

This is a new design layout. One that resizes based on on screen resolution but rather resizes based on the font size that your viewer selects to view your site.

To complicate things even further there a wide variety of hybrid layouts that are popular on the Web. Some are:

  • liquid content section with elastic left and right sidebars
  • fixed side bars with an elastic content section
  • fixed side bars with a liquid content section

My own business site is currently done as a fixed layout. I am currently in the early stages of redesign and am leaning toward a liquid content block with elastic sidebars with padding around the whole container.

Choosing the layout style for your website is best not left to the novice but to the web design professional who can discuss which option is best for your viewing clientèle and type of content you will be displaying on your website.

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Almost 50% Drop in Impressions AdWords Week Three

I would not have believed this if I did not manage so many accounts, but in week three of June, that is 6/15 to 6/21, nearly all businesses (nearly 40 AdWords accounts) crashed in regards to the number of impressions on Google AdWords. In fact, the problem has impacted so many accounts in such a big way that June is sure to be considered a poor month when tracking results in the long run.

When reviewing the statistical data of a conglomeration of accounts, impressions and also clicks dropped from a whooping 75% on some accounts to 15% on others with an average decrease expected by month end of around 20% to 33%. Google will really have to serve ads strongly this next week in order to pocket their full 30 day click budget.

As a result we have started to see some accounts be served way, way, over their daily budget, even more than the stated and authorized 10% over per day by Google to make up for the third week’s loss. One account we manage with a $9 a day click budget yesterday had a $20 spend. According to Google’s policies, they can only spend 10% more than the daily budget in a period of several days, but with really bad results in traffic this last week, I am sure that we will see particularly strong impression and click activity to help Google end the month back on schedule.

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