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Best of the Blog in August 2016

This last month in between cheering on Team GB in Rio, as usual I’ve discussed a wide range of online topics. One thing which puzzles many people is why Google often inexplicably presents PDF documents in the first few results for important product searches. You may think that it’s strange when the 10 results for ‘blue widgets’ include 8 suppliers of those products, and 2 seemingly random PDF data sheets or brochures. Here’s my thoughts on why this happens.

Guidance on website user experience and design continue to be a focus, and if you’ve a carousel on your website please revisit this post, and test your own carousel against the ten usability requirements. If yours doesn’t conform you should have a discussion with your designer. And if you’re already discussing a new design, or redesign, do refer to this article where I outline six must-have design features.

Mid-month Andrew Walker, in his regular guest article, discusses in detail the benefits of regularly adding content to your website, “…in the form of blog articles, ebooks, white papers, video, images etc – that provides the answers to the questions your audience is asking. This will help that information get found by the search engines, get matched to the search query and pull visitors to your website. Distributing and promoting this content across the relevant social media platforms will amplify the reach and get that content if front of more potential customers. And if it’s interesting enough, many people will share it with their own connections…”
For more information, Andrew’s 7 stages to online marketing success ebook is available free to download.

I’ve mentioned a recent conversation with a client, who said, “I bet you’ve never worked with someone like us before, where our head office in Germany doesn’t let us touch the website, have you?” To which the answer was: “You represent about a third of our clients”. In Are you giving products the online support they need? I acknowledge that for some of you it’s a challenge, however, I’ve seen companies overcome all of these situations. Indeed – and I’m apprehensive about suggesting this – it’s often the case that they’re just excuses for inaction. If you’re not creating sets of new web pages for each of your main products (particularly for new launches), ask yourself if you could. That means separate pages to rank in the search engines and to be the landing pages for advertisements. For many companies, perhaps including your competitors, this is now a standard part of every new product launch. In the consumer sector, supporting products with different types of web pages is taken for granted.

Finally, revisiting an old chestnut in Advert? Editorial? Nobody cares – publishers of controlled-circulation, free trade magazines have always known something about their readers which they keep very quiet. It’s this: readers think the whole magazine is advertising…

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