If you haven’t updated your website in a while you may have some monster pages that need to be trimmed down to work with mobile viewing patterns and our shorter attention spans.
So how long is too long?
If you have to scroll, scroll, scroll, and them scroll some more to get to the bottom of your page on a desktop screen, just think how much more scrolling you would be doing if you were on a smartphone or tablet. In fact, think about how you yourself use the web on a device, rarely will you scroll to the bottom of the page unless it is something you are really interested in. For that matter really long pages may not even load in a smartphone or may take so long that a reader simply clicks back to leave – I’ve done that and I’m sure you have too.
A good rule of thumb is that if a page is more than 1.5 Word document pages it should be shortened and turned into multiple pages. Typically a single page of a Word document is about 500 words. So get close to 800 to 1,000 and up and you really should be thinking of getting out the chopper.
Are there different topics on the same page?
Another good way to look at your own website page is to see if you are hopping around on topics. On that super long page, do you start talking about ants and then talk about each species of ant and then talk about termites too?
It is by far better to have content on one topic on one page and when you move to a new topic create a new page.
Make sure to test your update pages using a smartphone and a tablet. Doing so will give you a really good idea of when you get fatigued with scrolling and need to take the knife out to start trimming up your content.
Technology marches on! What was popular in regards to website design is now passé today. What we used to think was fabulous and hi-tech two years ago, looks dated today.
Here’s what’s out and what’s in when it comes to website design styling:
1. Large footer blogs that almost appear like a WordPress template that have full site navigation in lists typically three or four vertical spaces.
2. Social media icons in gray or muted colors to match the site and typically found in the footer on the right or left.
3. Top navigation and sometimes with drop downs but not always.
4. Smaller amount of content per page – keeping smartphone use in mind. There may be more pages but less content per page.
5. Wider banners that may nearly fill the whole screen on a desktop, but are resized to a smaller profile and size for smartphones.
1. Footer navigation separated by | like Home | About | Contact Us
2. Social media icons in color at the top right of every page in the header or banner.
3. Left sidebar static navigation and left menu flyouts.
4. Left and right side bars and a clutter of “ad-like” icons.
5. Pages that scroll on and on forever with tons of content.
Client feedback so far about HTML5 is mixed at this point. Many clients like the old graphics intense sites that they have used for years and see no problem with forcing site visitors to pinch and tap with smartphones, but those who are positioning themselves for the future are embracing the responsive designs and streamlined look and feel of responsive HTML5 sites as the way of the future.
Here are some of the comments we are hearing from clients as they move to HTML 5 and responsive website designs:
1. The site has a very clean look – very different than my old site that had sidebars and all types of links and features right and left.
2. I love how the site re-sizes to fill the screen of my smart phone AND my tablet.
3. I like my mobile site using the new responsive design much better than my DudaMobile site that was auto-created from my old custom design.
4. I really like how my images in my content resize when I look at my site in my smartphone or tablet – how did you do that?
5. The load time of my site is fast and I am already getting feedback from customers that they love my new look.
If your website is older than four years, it is time to consider upgrading your website to HTML 5 and new technology. Starting at $1,850 these special responsive websites give you top quality unique content, design and integration completed by an SEO expert, and fast implementation or transition of your old content and site to a new look.
Google continues to push advertiser activity into the mobile arena citing that online searches on mobile devices have eclipsed searches done on desktops; but is advertising activity in mobile right for your business?
Of note is the new test that Google has been doing with mobile ads shrinking the ad space landscape to allow them to show more ads on smaller screens. Check out images.
Of particular interest to me is also the boost of app placement in Display ads when shown on mobile devices. Many placements when you look, are simply not a good match for most businesses and to me appear for a way for Google to really bleed you of your cash. Case in point, one industrial client showing in the display network spends more money than I feel he should in the mobile app arena with no way for me to totally block activity there. When I move out of the smartphone space for him, Google simply delivers more clicks on tablets to counteract my strategic changes. I have excluded literally thousands of mobile app sites in his account and Google continues to show his industrial ads on new mobile apps.
Google reps are suggesting that due to mobile trends, accounts should plus up, by 20%, the cost per click to get a better position on mobile screen. What I have seen for the majority (but not all), of my clients is that this strategy simply rings up a bigger bill. When you monitor cost per conversion for mobile, you should not bid up when the conversion numbers do not bode well for your return on investment. A limited two week test may be in order to just do a double check with careful monitoring.
My recommendation is for each account to set and monitor how effective mobile is for your needs and make strategic unique decisions based on your findings. Make sure you evaluate a 30 day and then 6 month period every now and then to give yourself a reality check as to if mobile activity is necessary for your business.
I have personally found that businesses with strong location specificity like stores, dentists, doctors, and pest control firms would do well to be active in the mobile space, but nationwide providers will need to be cautious, as would those selling higher end products, as more evaluation before a purchase will typically be done by desktop or tablet. Bidding up for position on mobile for these types of businesses may simply bleed out cash that would be better spent elsewhere.
New just this past week, Google AdWords callout extensions are the new way to draw attention to what you are promoting and a way to differentiate yourself from other ads.
AdWords decides when to show this new extension based on relevancy but that does not mean you should brush it off or not set it up.
Use callouts to highlight something special like:
We match prices
20% off for first time customers
Google will show your callouts underneath your ads where sitelinks or your business address may typically go. These blurbs are not linkable – they just add more ad text and selling points. When you do set up make sure you stay within the 25 character (including spaces) character limit and create a minimum of two for your AdWords account.
Google recommends sentence case versus capitalizing each word’s letter. They say they’ve had better results, but it may be a factor that Google shows two or three at a time and so they simply look more like an extension of the ad versus an after thought.
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